Back to RJ Archive

A Study of the Effectiveness of Alternatives to Violence Workshops in a Prison System

Sloane, Stan
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) Simon Fraser University Center for Restorative Justice. Downloaded 21 August 2003.

This project arose as a continuation of earlier research on Quaker other-regarding behavior (see Sloane, 2001). That line of inquiry led to an ethnographic study of inmates in the Delaware Correction Center who were participating in Alternatives-to-Violence Program (AVP) workshops. These workshops were originally developed by the Quakers in response to requests from inmates at Attica prison for some way to address violence at the prison. The workshops are facilitated by outside volunteers (non-prison employees) and focus on developing social skills. The intent is to help the inmates cope with potentially violent situations, by recognizing when they are likely to occur, improve interpersonal communications in order to mitigate the situation, and develop a sense of other-valuing to reduce the likelihood of resorting to violence. The workshops are managed by inmate trainers, but with the support and involvement of outside volunteer co-trainers. AVP workshops are typically two or three days in length, depending on the specific module. Both inmates, as well as outside trainers are volunteers, their qualifications being completion of all AVP modules in addition to the ‘train-the-trainer’ workshop. Participants start with the basic workshop, progress to the advanced, and from there to the adjunct modules which include Bias Awareness and Manly Awareness. The ethnographic study, completed in May of 2001 (Sloane 2001), suggested that AVP participants’ behaviors were modified by their involvement in these workshops. Abstract courtesy of the Centre for Restorative Justice, Simon Fraser University,


AbstractCourtsPrisonsRJ in SchoolsStatutes and LegislationTransformation
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now