Cheryl Steed

A transformative program for inmates with dementia

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About Cheryl Steed

Clinical psychologist Cheryl Steed leads one of the Gold Coat Programs at the California Men’s Colony (CMC), a medium-security prison in central California. Through the program, a carefully selected group of inmates–“Gold Coats”–are charged with assisting severely cognitively impaired inmates, including those with dementia, with daily tasks. Cheryl trains the Gold Coats and closely monitors their work through weekly meetings to address issues such as managing challenging behaviors and avoiding burnout. Peer to peer inmate caregiving and advocacy has been a part of the California and Louisiana prison systems for over a decade and includes hospice work. Prior to joining the CMC, Cheryl was a Psychological Examiner for the State Department of Education Special Services Diagnostic Team in Honolulu, HI.

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About This Talk

Clinical psychologist Cheryl Steed shares her experience leading the "Gold Coats" program at the California Men’s Colony, in which inmates are trained to become caregivers of fellow inmates with dementia. Her stories reveal how the program can transform the lives of everyone involved.

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