The Prison of Peace journey begins with an intensive 12-18 week Peacemaker program led by PoP Trainers. The curriculum follows a customized process with an emphasis on developing deep interpersonal communications skills in the inmates. The basic curriculum is:
- Restorative Justice: Introduction to the basic human needs of all victims
- Essential Problem Solving Skills (EPSS): Active and results-based listening, reflecting, and agreements
- Peace Circles: A group process based on discussion of values, to foster understanding and develop collaboration, respect, dignity and equality
- Mining the Emotional Data Field: Reinforce and support listening skill development with regard to the emotional experience of a speaker
- Moral Disengagement: Introduces inmates to the principles of moral disengagement to help them deal with inmates who are morally disconnected. Through this process, the inmates are able to examine the moral disengagement that led to their criminal behavior.
The EPSS modules are based on the book People Skills by Robert Bolton. Inmates who will become trainers will become proficient in EPSS, Restorative Justice, and Peace Circles.
Early participants were selected based primarily on length of sentence, with a preference for those serving life without possibility of parole, and quality of answers to short, introspective questions. Wherever a cadre of inmate trainers has been created, the training is open to all inmates with preference being given only by date of application.
Each participant is required to participate in class, practice the techniques and processes outside of class, write up his or her experiences, turn in weekly assignments, conduct 5 peace circles, and observe 2 peace circles.