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Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) began in 1975 as a collaboration between inmates in Green Haven Prison and Quakers interested in working with youth gangs and teens at risk. This successful, ongoing program quickly spread throughout New York State prisons and then to other states as a prison program and as a community program for people from all walks of life. AVP is active internationally in countries on all inhabited continents. Through an international network of local chapters, AVP facilitators — all trained volunteers — offer workshops in prisons as well as in the community for all who would like to reduce the level of unresolved conflict in their lives and the lives of those around them. AVP offers 20-hour Basic, Advanced, and Training-for-Facilitator Workshops. Workshops are fast-paced, weaving together interactive exercises, facilitated discussions, role plays, humor and games.
– An experiential program, helping people change their lives.
– A community program, offering a new approach for community groups, social service agencies, schools, youth organizations and all who would like to participate.
– A prison program, helping inmates learn new skills and attitudes that lead to fulfilling and crime-free lives.
AVP builds upon a spiritual base of respect and caring for self and others. Though founded by Quakers, AVP draws participants and trainers from all religions, races, sexual identity, and walks of life.
• Awareness of tools and programs that address violence in our communities
• Insights into helping incarcerated individuals re-integrate into society
• Focus on affirmation and communication skills
• Focus on self-knowledge and empathy skills
PAT HARDY, a Quaker, is co-founder of two successful businesses in the bed and breakfast field, as well as revived one non-profit. She is co-author of numerous publications in the B&B field including “So, you want to be an innkeeper.” Upon retirement, she was part of a team that co-founded the all-volunteer Alternatives to Project/California in 2005. With 636 inmate and 198 community facilitators, this group has offered workshops in Spanish or English to over 25,000 people, including inmates in 25 prisons, jails, probation departments and in 15 California communities for over 10 years. Through Pat’s past experience and the Quaker approach to organizations, AVP/CA has established a reputation as a force to learn from nationally. This respect also comes from within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. As a grandmother of 5 and mother of two, Pat and JoAnn, her partner of 36 years have learned a great deal about themselves and others as paths open for them to follow the leading into the powerful work of AVP.
J-P HERRADA is a father of three and a previously incarcerated individual. Upon his release in 2008 he was hired as an Outreach coordinator for a non-profit called Collaborative Community Foundation, where his job consisted working with at-risk youth in gangs. A year later he became Executive Director of the organization. In 2010 J-P founded PALABRA, a non-profit organization that serves at-risk youth in the county of Santa Barbara providing Gang Intervention and Prevention programs, also doing gang mediation to minimize violence in the community. He was the first to bring restorative justice to the mediation process working with the gang population in Santa Barbara County. He has also been involved with Alternatives to Violence Project for the last four years and the last year as an Outreach Coordinator in Santa Barbara where he continues to work with the same population.
STEPHEN TRAVIS POPE is an award-winning composer, computer scientist and social activist based in Santa Barbara, California. He is also active Quaker prison clergy registered with the California Dept. of Corrections and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons. He has been an AVP workshop facilitator for 10 years, facilitating over 100 workshops