Freedom Project Programs
Freedom Project provides training Nonviolent Communications in select Washington state prisons. The classes and workshops in nonviolent communication provide opportunities for individuals to assess the actions and assumptions in light of both feelings and needs to learn more empathy and compassion for self and for others. This type of emotional intelligence education helps the prisoner to begin to transform him/herself into a peacemaker.
Mindfulness accompanies the work of nonviolent communication. This course work teaches the prisoner how to stay in the moment, how to not fall prey to compulsive emotions and how to live with attention and intention. All are encouraged to practice mindfulness meditation and nonviolent communication to enhance their learning process.
In addition to the core programming provided inside prison, a Community Circle is offered monthly to community members; returnees who have completed their sentences as well as family members, volunteers and other friends of Freedom Project. We also offer regular community trainings in mindfulness and nonviolent communication. Ongoing professional development classes round out our course of offerings.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In 2014 Sage Publications published research that verifies that those individual in prison who take nonviolent communication coursework are 21% less likely to return to prison.
Our current need is to continue to train and support our volunteers who lead programs in the prisons, and expand to other prisons in Washington. We currently have requests from large maximum and medium security prisons and minimum security units that we cannot serve due to limitations in funding and qualified volunteers