Conflict Resolution Facilitators Needed at the Westchester County Jail
On the weekend on May 31 to June 2, the first conflict resolution workshop was held for women at the Westchester County Jail. Nine women who had been accused or everything from misdemeanors to violent crimes sat in a classroom together. This workshop was led by the Alternatives to Violence Project to help the women deal with the conflicts in their lives. All women participated fully, speaking about themselves positively, brainstorming violence and nonviolence, sharing a conflict they solved nonviolently, using I messages, and doing role plays. When asked at the end of the three-day workshop what they will take away with them, they responded the importance of listening, assertiveness, actual tools to use when they find themselves in a conflict situation, affirmation and a better understanding of themselves.
The Westchester County Jail, in Valhalla, New York, is exemplary in providing programs and preparing prisoners for reentry. Programs and counseling begin on entry to the facility and continue through their stay. The Administration fully supports these efforts and enthusiastically welcomed a new program into the facility.
AVP, begun in 1975 by inmates at Green Haven Correctional Facility, helps people build conflict resolution skills by working on communication, listening, community, and tools to resolve conflict by using exercises and role plays rather than lectures. The intense emotional focus used in dealing with conflict and anger is interspersed with “Light and Livelies”.
AVP needs more facilitators to meet the needs at the county jail. There will be an AVP Basic Workshop in Scarsdale on August 9-11. For more information on the Westchester County Jail Program contact Jacqueline Labatt-Simon at [email protected].
The Alternatives to Violence Project conducts workshops in the community and prisons. All facilitators and participants are volunteers. For information on AVP, go to www.avpny.org