The Curious History of AVP.
After the 1971Attica Prison “riots”, a group of inmates who had moved to Greenhaven Prison said “we know how to solve things with violence… what we need are alternatives to violence”.
They reached out to a group of Quakers who were volunteering in the prison to help design a program that would give them nonviolence skills to share with their increasingly violent children. Quakers involved inmates as well as community groups, including Martin Luther King staff to create this highly participatory and effective workshop design.
Today AVP workshops are available in 120 prisons. AVP workshops offered globally are effectively bringing together previous enemies (think Rwanda and Burundi, prison gangs) and your neighbor!
Santa Barbara is the first location where Latinx youth who have been in trouble in school are referred to take an AVP workshop. The workshops are also attended by referring parents and friends as well as adults. Workshops participants are also referred by parents of graduates, and by workshop graduates.