Prison chaplin encourages peace among inmates

| 06/11/2013

(CNS): Following an appeal from an inmate at HMP Northward the prison chaplin is calling on other prisoners and the wider community to embrace peace as the jail marks its own day dedicated to alternative ways of dealing with conflict instead of violence. Friday November 8 has been designated as ‘Peace Day’ in the local prison service and Cathy Gomez explained that the initiative has come from serving prisoner Dainian Henry, on behalf of other prisoners. Director of Prisons, Neil Lavis said the initiative demonstrated the prison’s “commitment to delivering safe, decent and secure establishments and reduction of violence is a major part of that priority.”

Six prison staff have attended the basic and advanced course in the Alternatives to Violence Programme along with representatives from other government entities sponsored by the CI Government in an effort to combat violence.

This programme is based on and centered around twelve concepts that everyone can resolve to adopt on a daily basis such as seeking to resolve conflict by reaching for common ground, listening before making judgments and basing your position on truth and being ready to revise your position when wrong. Others included risking being Risk being creative rather than violent and using surprise and humor as well as patience and persistence.

The movement is an international one that was initiated by prisoners in the US in 1975to address the issue of conflict and violence which although a part of daily living does not have to be. It is hoped that in the near future workshops will be an ongoing event in our Prisons.

Illustrating the growing local problem with violence prison officials noted that here in Cayman there are people who are considering relocating in order to be safe and those who live here should not have to live in fear.

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