By Lt. Lupe Cartagena, PIO/AA
California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison
The California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison at Corcoran (CSATF/SP) along with representatives from the Alternative to Violence Program (AVP) held a facilitator graduation ceremony last month for 18 inmates.
The AVP is a volunteer-run conflict transformation program. Teams of AVP facilitators conducted workshops to develop participants’ abilities to resolve conflicts without resorting to manipulation, coercion, or violence. Typically, each workshop lasts 18–20 hours over a three-day period.
The graduates, who were awarded a Training For Facilitators certificates, will be able to use their new skills while incarcerated to help build a better community through nonviolent conflict resolution. In order to become a facilitator, the graduates had to complete the basic and advance three-day workshops.
After a welcoming address by AVP sponsor Don Nason, Capt. Stephen Smith, congratulated the graduates on their success and challenged them to strive for even more personal growth and success.
Inmate Thomas Markham addressed his fellow graduates and attendees with an emotional and heartfelt speech. He expressed his commitment to the AVP program and his promise to make a change to help transform minds and bring an atmosphere of non-violent conflict resolution; which in turn will help foster positive programming on the facility.
Don Nason ended the ceremony by expressing his gratitude to the Warden, Associate Warden Janel Reynoso, and Capt. Smith for their commitment to change and the AVP program.