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.”
Jodi Barker, a facilitator of the Peace Education Program, never expected that volunteering at Miami’s Everglades Correctional facility would be so rewarding, especially witnessing the inmates’ process of self-discovery. One said, “No matter how hard it gets, I can know who I am on the inside. It helps me even if no one else knows. Because I know.”
Annelies Bertsch (pictured on the right with Marielle Comeau) is a volunteer with the Peace Education Program (PEP) in Canada. In this blog she shares her perspective on presenting the program at the National Restorative Justice Symposium.
Incarcerated for over four decades, a participant in the Peace Education Program addressed other inmates about the possibility of experiencing inner peace, regardless of their tough circumstances.
In this new blog, UK Peace Education Program (PEP) volunteer Mary Dalgleish, writes about how “the PEP addresses the core of a human being, looking at the beauty and value of each person, not addressing what’s good or bad, right or wrong or trying to ‘fix’ people. It focuses on developing a positive approach to life; bypassing negative thought processes that can undermine an individual’s self-worth and behavior.”