Joseph Paul translates Peace Education Program material into Creole for fellow Haitian inmates at Miami’s Everglades Correctional Institution. “This program has enhanced my awareness of the strength, humility, beauty, and love that I already possess,” he says.
So far this year, Miami’s Everglades Correctional Institution has more inmates participating in the Peace Education Program than any other correctional facility in the U.S. Volunteer facilitator Lucy Collins says, “One inmate has been in prison since he was 18. A counselor told us that until this guy started taking the program he never talked to anyone, he never had a smile on his face. He just kept to himself, for 46 years. And now he is never without a smile!”
Tony Cobb has been incarcerated for 28 years, struggling with the haunting memories of an abusive childhood. Attending the Peace Education Program is giving him a new understanding of life and inspiring him to write: “I have a sweet, beautiful reality waiting to be discovered inside. I now step with knowledge, with the freedom of doing things with clarity.”
Luis Calderon, an inmate at Everglades Correctional Institution in Miami, Florida shares how the Peace Education Program has had a profound impact on his perspective. “When we let inner peace be the natural, guiding force in our lives, then joy – for life, for love, for contentment, for clarity – sprouts from our being,” he says.
Irene Woodhead and a team of volunteers launched the Peace Education Program in Cornwall, UK with a screening of “Inside Peace,” a documentary about four inmates who attended the peace workshops in a Texas prison. One viewer said it was “absolute madness that there are inmates who have a life of pain and difficulty who are in more peace than billions of people on the outside world, living normal ‘free’ lives… It was just amazing to me— if these guys get in contact with that, then anyone can.”