Workshop teaches Alternatives to Violence

Inmates hoist inmates on shoulders
By Bryan Shipley, Volunteer Services and Religious Activities Coordinator, ISCI

Well, another AVP Workshop is in the books!

I would like to thank all of you who helped make it possible and successful. I would also like to give a special thanks to Pendyne, who always comes through for us.

For those of you who are not familiar with the program, The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is an international group of dedicated volunteers who work to help inmates develop effective ways of dealing with conflicts creatively and without violence.  

Over 60 inmates began the 21-hour intensive program of exercises and discussions designed to develop self-esteem and self-confidence in a trusting and supportive atmosphere. Three of them left within the first hour because it was too intense for them. 53 inmates graduated the course!

The workshops teach principles of affirmation, communication, cooperation, community building and creative conflict resolution essential in the exploration of the many non-violent solutions that are possible in almost every conflict; particularly when approached with a caring attitude towards others.

One of the cool things about the program is watching the transformation that happens as the inmate’s walls come down and they open up to each other. If a picture paints 1000 words, these two pictures of inmate Hebdon tells a great story!

Not only did these amazing volunteers donate three days of their lives to this workshop, they also brought in tons of cookies, fruit and pizza!

The program does not just stop after the workshop ends. AVP Weekly takes these inmates and continues the support every week on a continual basis.

Again, thanks to all the staff, volunteers and inmate facilitators who helped make AVP a great success!

Story published: 03/04/2019
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