Welcome to the AVP Maine Home Page!
is looking for volunteers interested in being trained to facilitate weekend
workshops in Maine’s prisons/jails. Workshops focus on making non-violent
choices to manage conflict through a better understanding of communication
options and building self esteem, empathy and community.
Planned or already completed Workshops in Early 2013 include Basic, Advanced and Training for Trainers Workshops with Men and Women at the Windham Correctional Center!
If you would like to get started working with
AVP Maine the first step is to take the Security Training for prospective
volunteers at the Windham Correctional Center. A) Contact Pat Moynahan
by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. B) Contact Norene Hopkins at Norene.Hopkins@maine.gov Initial information needed to sign up for the security
trainings is basic contact information: Don't delay, contact
Pat Moynahan today!
A) Contact Pat Moynahan
by e-mail at email@example.com.
B) Contact Norene Hopkins at Norene.Hopkins@maine.gov
Initial information needed to sign up for the security
trainings is basic contact information:
Don't delay, contact
Pat Moynahan today!
AVP-ME gratefully acknowledges the continual and sustaining support of a ROSC grant $2,000.
Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!!
Volunteers are needed to fill the exponentially growing desire on the part of inmates and facilities for AVP workshops in Maine. Please contact Pat Moynahan by clicking on her name. She is our state coordinator and will let you know the steps to becoming a part of this life-changing program for any that participate in the workshops (facilitators included!).
Trained volunteer AVP Facilitators offer weekend Alternatives to Violence workshops and occasional week day activities, so we are in need of people who can volunteer those times.
We hope you will join our growing, vibrant community by giving your energy to the degree that it enhances your life and the life of others as you practice non-violent life choices both theoretically and in real-time.
The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP), offering weekend workshops to prisoners in Maine, is a program whose wellspring is the belief that human beings are capable of change for the better. AVP programs work on the premise that former inmates are more likely to succeed when they return to their communities by developing, during incarceration, the skills to communicate more effectively, to reflect on their lives, and to deal non-violently with potentially explosive situations.
AVP originated in the United States in 1975 when a group of inmates at Green Haven Prison in New York asked members of the local Quaker community to put together a program on communication and non-violence. The program was very successful, and since then AVP has expanded to many states and countries.
AVP is offered in intensive two and a half day workshops on three levels. The Basic Workshop concentrates on:
Affirmation - building self-esteem and trust.
Communication - improving listening and assertive methods of expression.
Community Building - developing cooperative attitudes and a sense of oneself as part of a community.
Conflict Resolution - exploring and practicing creative and peaceful alternatives to resolving conflict.
Advanced Workshops help inmates focus more deeply on the underlying causes of violence in their lives. The group chooses the theme it wishes to explore: topics like anger, stereotyping, or power and powerlessness. The Training for Trainers Workshop teaches participants how to become a facilitator for other inmates.
Response from Inmates and the Impact of the Program on Individuals
In Maine, the response has been very positive from inmates. The willingness of participants to take risks, to explore difficult issues, and to support one another has been remarkable. Over and over again, inmates have demonstrated courage in looking at the patterns of abuse and destructiveness in their lives and how they've contributed to that pattern as adults. Many have also been highly motivated to changing the way they communicate and resolve patterns. When two board members from the Maine Women's Fund came into Cumberland County Jail several years ago to interview women who'd participated in the program and see whether this was a program the fund wished to support, they were so struck by the passion of the women describing what AVP had done for their lives, that they suggested we increase the amount of money we'd asked for in a grant.
Over the past five years, Maine facilitators have learned a great deal about how to help inmates sustain and support the new insights and skills they acquire during a workshop to life between workshops and on into life in the world outside. Facilitators in Maine have also been steadily developing an awareness of how to design workshops that meet the different needs of men and women. Throughout the process, the formation of strongly supportive groups is central to the success of the program. At its best, these weekend groups move beyond the weekend into the formation of stronger and more supportive communities within the prison walls. It is the support of these short or longer term prison communities and the safety they bring, which enables individuals to have the courage to dig deeper into themselves and ask the questions they need to ask to bring about permanent changes in their lives.
What To Do If You're Interested in Volunteering
We would welcome new facilitators in order to extend this program to other facilities in the state. The work is intense, heartening, exhausting, and immensely rewarding. There are few places anywhere where one could find a group of such highly motivated participants; or few places where one is reminded so urgently and movingly of one's common humanity. The AVP curriculum has evolved since 1972 and is solid, balanced and thoughtfully put together; it's not necessary to begin the process as an already experienced facilitator. If you think you might be interested in trying out AVP by participating in a Basic workshop, please get in touch with the
Alternatives to Violence Program
161 Stovepipe Alley
Monroe, ME 04951
Or call 207-525-7776
Double click HERE to e-mail us
page last updated 03/28/13
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