AVP WORKS!!

Santa Barbara Unified School District is tracking students who take AVP workshops;

Total # of Students completing Basic workshops = 131   Current Grade levels = 7-12           

 Students referred by Assistant Principals at all nine Middle and High schools, who complete the Basic workshop receive not only 20 hours of community service, but have their suspension removed from their record and indication that they have graduated from an AVP workshop.

In a Spring  2020 verbal report from Dr. Wageneck, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, said she was seeing a substantial decrease in fights, violence, office referrals and especially truancy. Enough so that she was  considering  SBAVP for funding from the SBUSD, which COVID-19 has eliminated.

All workshop teams include youth trained to facilitate workshop as well as a couple of adults.


University of California Santa Barbara is in the middle of a study of youth workshop participant attitudes. Available in 2021.

AVP is a “million-hour baby” for California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.  

Over 1 million hours have been spent by  CDCR Inmates in AVP workshops over the past 20 years.

AVP/California  has been consistently invited by wardens and inmates to offer monthly  workshops in an increasing number of  prisons. Now in 25, plus 6 Fire Camps.  

Parole boards recommend inmates take AVP workshops before they come to their next board hearing.  

ARC (Anti- Recidivism Coalition) founder Scott Budnick attests to the success of the AVP experience in  those parolees who have taken an AVP workshop are the most successful.

Research on Anger/Recidivism  reduction by AVP Project workshops:

A recent study in a Minnesota prison has provided objective evidence of AVP effectiveness. Researchers measured the effects of AVP on reducing an individual’s tendency to become angry.                                

After experiencing only the Basic 20-hour  workshop, participants’ predisposition to anger was significantly reduced. After experiencing the advanced workshop and training for facilitators, the impact was even greater. The average  score decreased from about 20 to a score of 15, a 25% reduction.  This dramatic reduction in tendency to get angry continued to the two-year follow-up   assessment.  This suggests AVP is an effective method for reducing anger.                                                               

These results are consistent with other studies that showed AVP reduced inmate behavior write-ups by 60% and recidivism by 46% [three years after release, only 13.5% committed a new felony.

This 45-year-old program is operating in 45 countries successfully reducing conflict in local communities and is repeatedly sought after by more communities and prisons.

As students have (often begrudgingly) attended AVP workshops, they regularly report that they very much liked the workshops and enjoyed their weekend with the group.  Some of the students have continued on to additional workshops, and many more say that they want to continue on and will work further with JP.  Students have been great ambassadors to others as well saying that they will like it if they go. ~ Dean of Student Engagement, James Bedard, La Cuesta Continuation School and Alta Vista Alternative High Schools, SBUnified School District

Research and Accolades:

Why we are offering the AVP Experience to at-risk youth?

Almost every time we are in a workshop in prison, inmates lament:

“I wish I’d had this workshop before I caught my crime. I wouldn’t be here now.”

Check out these comments by youth and adults who have taken an AVP workshop.Teens speak in their own words:

I learned in the AVP Experience…
“that I can change”
“I will think more about how my choices effect those around me.”
“Need to be better at listening”
“We can all relate to how violence affects us.”
“Like to smile.”
“I learned how to trust others during this workshop”
“Being patient, aware and respectful will get me far in life”
“It will make me more aware.”
“Put yourself in others shoes”
“It will prevent us from getting in fight.”
“everyone’s different”

Adults in workshops with youth:

“The most valuable aspects of this experience were being able to share in an open safe place. To go through this process with juveniles who are in a pivotal moment in their lives. Seeing them connect the dots, that just because of something they did; doesn’t mean that’s who they are. Being able to connect with others on an honest level.”

“Conflict is part of the human emotions spectrum – it will rise, but I learned new ways on how to resolve it.”