"From Serving Life to a Life of Service"
From its inception, Prison of Peace has empowered the incarcerated to be of service to each other. By resolving conflicts as peacemakers and mediators and by teaching those skills to their peers, Prison of Peace participants create durable and sustainable programs in their institutions. For this reason, Prison of Peace requires all of the initial participants in each prison to be serving life or long-term sentences, with preference given to those serving sentences of life without parole. In this way, Prison of Peace creates cadres of trainers who are likely to remain in the institution long after others have been released, equipping them with the skills to change their environment and pass those skills on to others. In focusing on these men and women, Prison of Peace truly can become a self-sustaining program.
Once a cadre of at least 6 trainers (usually inmates serving life or long-term sentences) is certified, Prison of Peace is considered sustainable in that institution. It generally takes 3 years from the first orientation through trainer certification in each institution to achieve sustainability. At that point each trainer is given an individual license to teach and administer the Prison of Peace workshop for which she/he is certified. As a condition of the license, each Trainer is required to conduct a minimum of three full Peacemaker Workshops with groups of between 8 and 15 participants during each of the five calendar years following certification or until released from custody, whichever is sooner.
In addition to the effect of Prison of Peace programs, processes and events in prison facilities, thousands of inmate family members have been positively affected by the skills learned by their incarcerated loved ones. Due to the extended reach of this program by our inmate peacemakers to other inmates around them, countless other families have been impacted.
Prison of Peace has now been brought outside the barbed wire fences. Over 125 Peacemakers and Mediators have been released on parole and more are being released every month. They have jobs, they're in school, they're building families, they're of service in their communities and to Prison of Peace. With the hard fought Peace they've each won, they've earned their freedom and are making a difference!