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!”
The transformative potential of the Peace Education Program was highlighted at a recent screening of “Peace is Inevitable” in Croydon, England. The documentary film shows how the program inspired former members of the Bloods gang in Ibarra, Ecuador to renounce violence in favor of community improvement projects.
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.”
The Peace Education Program has changed the equation for a group of seniors in Quito, Ecuador, giving them a reinvigorated sense of dignity and hope as they face the challenges of aging.
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.
The Alpha Times, a newspaper distributed to inmates and staff at HM Prison Leeds in West Yorkshire, England recently featured this article, highlighting the profound impact PEP had on Rajinder, an inmate.