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Amicus: Thistledew Circles

Johnson, Matt
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) St. Paul: Minnesota Department of Corrections.

Amicus was requested by the Minnesota Department of Corrections and Thistledew Camp administrators to be involved in helping the organization proactively cope with the stressors and tensions that resulted from the Minnesota State Workers strike this fall. Thistledew Camp is a residential correction placement for adolescent boys in Northern Minnesota. Due to a variety of factors, such as; remoteness of facility, the relatively low turnover rate of the personnel, and the lengthy history of the organization, the staff team is a close-knit group of individuals who take pride in the quality of services they provide to teenage boys. The events of the strike were, as expected, difficult for this agency as many people felt separated by alliances toward or against the union, and also felt that relationships were damaged due to behavior and verbal interactions during the heat of the moment. Thistledew Camp administrators took a proactive stance by suggesting that a circle be called to get the issues out in the open, allow people to share their stories, create a safe place for feelings to be shared and listened to, express what is needed to move on, and to start the healing process. (excerpt)


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