AVP-USA, Inc. (AVP-USA) POLICY STATEMENT
Adopted January 16, 1994
Amended September 4, 1995
Amended September 8, 1998
Amended September 5, 1999
Amended May 30, 2010
Amended May 29, 2011
Amended March 11, 2018

I. Purpose and Methods of AVP Program

The primary purpose of AVP groups is to offer individuals tools for personal empowerment, enabling them to live their lives with dignity and self-respect. AVP facilitators serve the community by leading workshops with the goal of enhancing individual’s’ skills for peaceful reduction of conflict.

Our method is experiential; we use a minimum of lecture. We believe that people have within themselves answers to their questions and problems. We encourage each other to search for solutions within ourselves, drawing on our own experiences and those of our communities. Workshops endeavor to break down barriers that prevent people from revealing their inner selves, thus enabling them to form friendships with other individuals, and to build a community.

II. Spiritual Basis of Program:

AVP has a spiritual base. AVP promotes no religious doctrine. We believe that there is a power available to everyone which, if we are open to it, can transform violent situations. We call this Transforming Power.

The goal is to empower individuals to liberate themselves and others from violence by finding creative ways to resolve or manage conflict peacefully by being open to Transforming Power.

We build upon each person’s human worth, inner strength and spiritual endowment. We strive to maintain a caring attitude toward ourselves and others.

III. Quality of Workshops:

Maintaining high standards for AVP workshops is a primary goal. Another goal is that workshops conducted in different regions are similar enough that facilitators can easily be part of a team in different places.

General

• We follow the outline for standard AVP workshops as described in the Basic, Advanced, and Training for Facilitators manuals.

• Facilitators need to be thoroughly familiar with the underlying principles of AVP as described in the AVP training materials, including the concept of Transforming Power, and endeavor to demonstrate those principles.

• All workshop participation is voluntary.

• A workshop leading to a certificate should be eighteen (18) to twenty-two (22) program hours.

• Workshops are conducted using AVP ground rules as outlined in the Basic manual. Facilitators and Local Groups are encouraged to develop new exercises and resources and share these with the community of facilitators. Such exercises and resources shall not be published as AVP materials until they have been reviewed and approved by AVP-USA.

Content

• Basic workshops include exercises designed to build self-esteem, mutual respect and community, and to facilitate learning the skills of listening, cooperation, communication and problem solving. Role-plays demonstrate how these skills influence creative nonviolent conflict resolution.

• Advanced workshops expand the skills presented in the Basic workshop, while focusing on situations in our lives or in society that are caused by or result in violence. Themes may be decided upon by participants during the workshop or may be designated in advance.

Although the agendas outlined in the manuals for each of the three levels can be fine-tuned to each workshop, elements of affirmation, communication, cooperation and conflict resolution are to be included in every workshop.

• The concept of Transforming Power is to be communicated in every workshop.

IV. Team Leadership

• Team leadership is basic to AVP workshops. Workshops require more than one facilitator. This does not apply to mini workshops or presentations that do not lead to a certificate, although it is still strongly encouraged.

• Prison workshops must have at least one outside facilitator.

• Every workshop must have at least one experienced facilitator, normally designated as a lead facilitator. It is recommended that this person will have, as a minimum, completed all three levels of workshops, apprenticed as a facilitator, and been recommended as a lead facilitator.

• For programs beginning in new areas, the apprenticeship process may be abbreviated with the approval of the sponsoring program to enable an individual to function as an acting lead facilitator pending designation as a lead facilitator.

• A workshop team leader may be designated to lead the pre-workshop team-building session, write the workshop report, and may have other responsibilities assigned by the Local Group. The workshop team leader empowers all team members, encourages them to take responsibility for team functioning and the quality of the workshop.

• For each prison workshop, an outside facilitator will be designated to act as liaison with the prison staff for that workshop.

• We encourage facilitators to work with facilitators at other training sites and/or invite facilitators from other groups to participate on local teams at least once a year. This cross-fertilization stimulates learning and growth among facilitators.

• Development and improvement as a facilitator are significant parts of the program. Local Groups will establish a process to enable facilitators to learn more about themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, skills and growth, and the place of Transforming Power in their work and their lives.

•AVP may reimburse any expenses incurred in conducting a workshop. Local groups may decide whether or not to pay facilitators for conducting workshops.

 

V. Organization of Local Groups

Definition

• A Local Group, (Local Chapter, Area Council, etc.) is a group providing AVP workshops in an area as defined by one or more of the following: geographical area, programmatic area or community served.

• In the event that a Local Group does not exist in a certain geographic area, trained AVP facilitators or interested parties working with trained AVP facilitators can form a Local Group.

• It is recommended that as they are forming, new groups seek out a mentor to give support and guidance. A mentor may be obtained from a nearby Local Group, or if none is available, from a Regional Organization or AVP-USA.

• Local Groups unable to agree on the division of a geographic area are encouraged to seek the support of a Regional Organization or, in the absence of a functioning Regional Organization, to the Committee of Local and Regional Groups (CLARG). (See AVP-USA Policy Section XI.)

Each Local Group shall operate in an area in which it believes itself competent to cover effectively. Local Groups are encouraged to form regional organizations for mutual support.  When a new Local Group is formed in a geographic area close to a pre-existing Local Group, the groups are encouraged to come to a decision about the boundaries of their respective areas. Regional Organizations and CLARG may be reached for support in contentious situations. Local Groups have the right and responsibility to participate in CLARG by appointing a Local Group representative or by representation through Regional Organizations. Local Groups that are not members of a Regional Organization shall report annually on their workshops and other activities to CLARG.  

• Each local group shall be financially self-sustaining and is encouraged to seek opportunities for funding through grant writing, individual donations, or other means.

Responsibilities

• The keystone of AVP operations is the Local Group. With a minimum of oversight, each Local Group makes decisions regarding managing its own resources and developing procedures that meet its needs as long as they are not in conflict with the AVP-USA Policy Statement (“Policy Statement”) or the Bylaws of AVP/-USA, Inc. These decisions include, but are not limited to: finances; training and support of facilitators in their group; relationships with prisons served; pursuit of community applications of AVP; policies that govern facilitators, training procedures, and workshop evaluations; job descriptions for organizational positions; and, oversight of any paid staff.

Working within the policies outlined in this statement, Local Groups are responsible for maintaining standards for workshops including length of workshops, attendance required for certificates, adherence to ground rules, training required for facilitators, etc.

• All workshops are conducted under the authorization of an AVP Local Group. Facilitators must work with a Local Group when setting up and/or conducting AVP workshops leading to a certificate, unless a Local Group does not exist in that geographic area. 

Local Groups will provide oversight of outside facilitators working in prisons within their area, and ensure that they understand the importance of abiding by Department of Corrections regulations.

• Formal orientation of facilitators by the prison where they conduct workshops is highly recommended.

• Local Groups will report annually to their Regional Organization or, in the absence of a functioning Regional Organization, to CLARG on their program.

Local Groups are encouraged to appoint a contact person and notify their regional representative of the name of that person.

• Local Groups may or may not be incorporated as they see fit.  They must all, however, operate within the mission statement, guidelines and policies developed by AVP-USA, and follow the manuals authorized by AVP-USA.

• All Local Groups taking 501(c)(3) status under AVP-USA shall submit a financial statement to the Finance Committee of AVP-USA annually by a date to be specified by the Finance Committee.

Governance

• Consensus is the recommended process for making decisions. A Local Group will endeavor to develop the community necessary to make this a viable way to govern itself.

• Local Groups are encouraged to appoint a representative to their Regional Organization when possible.

• All Local Group meetings are encouraged to be open to active AVP facilitators and volunteers except when otherwise indicated. Individual groups may define ‘active’ for themselves.

• Local Groups may create their own organizational structure, deciding on officers and committees that will best meet their needs.

Considerable effort, including holding AVP meetings inside prisons, should be made to bring inside prison AVP facilitators into the decision making process on policy matters. Local Group members could also meet with inside facilitators, discuss concerns and bring insiders’ points of view to outside meetings without being obligated to uphold that position.

VI. Regional Organizations

Definition

A Regional Organization is made up of Local Groups within a state or contiguous group of states. Regional Organizations provide support to Local Groups and facilitate communications among their Local Groups and with other regions as well as with AVP-USA and CLARG.

The boundaries of Regional Organizations shall be determined by the Local Groups with support from CLARG when necessary. Regional Organizations shall report annually on their workshops and other activities to CLARG.

Each Regional Organization shall be financially self-sustaining and is encouraged to seek opportunity for funding through grant writing, individual donations, or other means.

 Responsibilities

• A Regional Organization supports its Local Groups by sharing information, exercises, camaraderie, and visions for the possibility of nonviolence. It may, with the agreement of Local Groups, negotiate with the prison system of the state(s) where it is located. It may organize retreats and/or conferences that provide opportunities for development of trained facilitators and reaffirmation of AVP’s spiritual base. It encourages inter-visitation and AVP outreach to new areas. When asked, it may work with Local Groups within its area to help resolve disputes (see final section on Solutions When Problems Arise).

• Each Regional Organization appoints a representative and an alternate to CLARG. The representative acts as liaison between CLARG and the Regional Organization and Local Groups.

• Each Regional Organization will report annually to AVP-USA on the activities of Local Groups within its Region.

• Regional Organizations may or may not be incorporated as they see fit. They must all, however, operate within the mission statement, guidelines and policies developed by AVP-USA, and follow the manuals authorized by AVP-USA.

• All Regional Organizations taking 501(c)(3) status under AVP-USA shall submit a financial statement to the Finance Committee of AVP-USA annually by a date to be specified by the Finance Committee.

Governance

• Consensus is the recommended process for making decisions. Regional Organizations will endeavor to develop the community necessary to make this a viable way to govern itself.

• Each Regional Organization will appoint a recorder for its proceedings.

• The Regional Organization will create governance structures that help it meet its responsibilities.

VII. AVP-USA:

Definition:

The National Level of AVP-USA is made up of the Annual National Gathering, the Board of Trustees (including the Officers of the Corporation), the Standing Committees, Ad Hoc Committees, and persons hired or contracted to work on behalf of AVP-USA.

Responsibility:

The National Level, through its various parts, shall be responsible for maintaining the functioning of AVP-USA. They shall provide support for Local Groups and Regional Organizations. The Board of AVP-USA will be responsible for maintaining regular communication with the rest of the AVP community at large about projects, visions, accomplishments, and Board meetings. The Board may choose to publish or post this information on social media platforms, through email listservs, through the Transformer, and/or on the AVP-USA website.

Governance:

The Committee on Local and Regional Groups

The Committee on Local and Regional Groups (“CLARG”), a standing committee of AVP-USA, is responsible for compiling data on the Local Groups and Regional Organizations.

Ad Hoc Committees

The process for forming or dissolving an Ad Hoc Committee, including the process for determining Chairs, is located in the AVP-USA Bylaws, Article VI. Chairs of the Ad Hoc Committees are encouraged to attend all Board meetings. To be appointed as a Chair of a committee, a person must have at least one year of experience in AVP committee work. This requirement may be waived if the committee members determine that the nominee has the necessary skill set and desire to adequately perform the duties of a Chair.

 

  1. Nominations Committee
    1. The Nominations Committee shall be composed of up to five (5) persons: up to two (2) members of the Board and up to three (3) members from the wider AVP community. The committee shall be at least three (3) members with at least one (1) Board member and one (1) member from the wider AVP community. No person interested in holding an officer position or an At-Large position for the following term should sit on the Nominations Committee. The membership of the Nominations Committee should be representative of AVP-USA’s diversity (e.g., from various regions, returned citizens, youth, etc.).
    2. The Nominations Committee is responsible for proposing up to three (3) candidates to sit on the Board in the At-Large positions as well as a slate of candidates for the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Nominations Committee’s recommendations should be representative of AVP-USA’s diversity (e.g., from various regions, returned citizens, youth, etc.) while being attentive to the skills required and the  roles and responsibilities that each officer position entails. The Nominations Committee shall reach out to the members of the Board and the members of each committee (with special attention paid to Finance, Communications, and CLARG) when recruiting possible candidates.
    3. The Nominations Committee is responsible yearly for seeking potential candidates for officer positions as well as at-large members of the Board. To do this the Nominations Committee is encouraged to reach out to AVP list-serves, Regional Organization representatives, Local Groups, and members of the Board for nominees. The Nominations Committee is encouraged to use social media platforms and the AVP-USA website to make the nominations process as transparent as possible. Once the Nominations Committee has gathered information for each candidate, they will present this information to the Board of Trustees, including a recommended slate for officers. The Board of Trustees will look over the information and will come to consensus on a recommended slate to present to the wider AVP community.
    4. In order for a candidate to be considered for an officer position, they must be interviewed by a member of the Nominations Committee and provide information on their previous work within AVP-USA, any Regional Organization, and their respective Local Group(s).  The Nominations Committee will conduct interviews with each candidate in order to determine if they meet a sizable portion of the recommended criteria for holding a position:
      1. President:  A dedication to AVP-USA, the Regional Organizations, and all Local Groups. A general understanding of the committee structure, the structure of the Board of Trustees. A focus on organizational skills, attention to detail, facilitation of group meetings, and communication skills on multiple platforms (in-person, email, social media, etc.). A vision for the improvement and longevity of AVP-USA as a national organization. A willingness to engage openly in constructive conflict that will progress AVP-USA forward and help both local and regional organizations to grow.
      2. Vice President: A dedication to AVP-USA, the Regional Organizations, and all Local Groups. A general understanding or willingness to learn the committee structure and the structure of the Board of Trustees. A focus on organizational skills, attention to detail, facilitation of group meetings, and communication skills on multiple platforms (in-person, email, social media, etc.). A vision for the improvement and longevity of AVP-USA as a national organization. A willingness to engage openly in constructive conflict that will progress AVP-USA forward and help both local and regional organizations to grow.
      3. Treasurer: A dedication to AVP-USA, the Regional Organizations, and all Local Groups. A focus on organizational skills, attention to detail, and communication skills on multiple platforms (in-person, email, social media, etc.). An understanding of non-profit finance and accounting procedures. An understanding of financial stability and long-term sustainability of the organization’s finances.
      4. Secretary: A dedication to AVP-USA, the Regional Organizations, and all Local Groups. A focus on organizational skills, attention to detail, and communication skills on multiple platforms (in-person, email, social media, etc.).

  1. Adaptations Committee.
    The Adaptations Committee is working on the way that AVP is used by other organizations and attempting to create a set of guidelines for how to interact with those organizations. (Active 05/17).

  2. Bylaws Committee

    The Bylaws of AVP-USA shall be reviewed the at least every four (4) years and shall be updated as needed. An intentionally diverse committee will be formed out of the Annual National Gathering the year preceding the year during which revisions should be made.The Board will specify a point person who will convene the committee at said Annual National Gathering.  The committee will be responsible for choosing an editor from amongst themselves who will be primarily responsible for compiling suggested edits and communicating them to the Board.  The committee will also be open to suggestions from all Local Groups and Regional Organizations.  Attention, when possible, will be paid to concerns raised from inside facilitators.  Revised versions of the Bylaws will be presented to all facilitators through each Local Group and Regional Organization for which AVP-USA has contact at least thirty (30) days before the Annual National Gathering. It is the responsibility of all Local Groups and Regional Organizations to ensure that inside facilitators, when possible, receive copies of the Bylaws and proposed changes to the Bylaws for comment in a timely manner. (Inactive 05/17).

  3. Re-Entry Committee

    The Re-Entry Committee is tasked with the

    development and implementation of a network of coordinators focused on Re-entry efforts, that share do’s and dont’s of Re-entry with respect to the overall mission of AVP-USA.  The purpose of this network is to provide support for all AVP groups within the United States for Re-entry efforts. There will be two aspects to the Re-entry committee: Education and Fundraising.  The committee will provide a stronger foundation for supporting returning citizens in our organization, providing opportunities to support returning citizens monetarily and with help to find housing and stability when they are released. The committee will provide potential funding sources to Local Groups and/or Regional Organizations for increasing efforts to support returning citizens. This can be used as a platform to help grow community workshops which will in turn sustain access to prison coordinators and increase efforts on the inside. (Inactive 03/18).

Duties of the Officers of AVP-USA

Transition of Roles/Responsibilities

In order that there is a smooth transition of role/responsibility upon the induction of a new officer, each officer will consider it among their duties to act in a mentorship role with incoming officers to the extent to which they are able. Outgoing officer must transfer access to appropriate papers, files, etc., to the incoming officer in a timely fashion, including computer files and other data when relevant. It is encouraged that this mentorship role should include at least one session of communication in which the previous officer lays out the roles/responsibilities to the incoming officer and is prepared to answer questions/concerns. The incoming officer is then encouraged to reach out to the previous officer for support throughout their tenure while remaining aware of the boundaries of communication that the returning officer is able to provide due to their own time or other constraints.

President:

In addition to the duties laid out in the Bylaws of AVP-USA, the President is responsible for signing contracts and other legal documents, writing and signing correspondences, and serving as the chief executive of AVP-USA. The President is responsible for chairing all Board meetings and for crafting and distributing agendas for these meetings. The President sits on all committees of AVP-USA, and is responsible for ensuring that committees have all they need to conduct their business and move their committee work forward effectively. This does not obligate the President to attend all meetings, but to be available, responsive and attentive to issues committees raises. It is also the responsibility of the President to reach out to the Chair(s) when committees appear to be waning in order to aid in their continued growth or the discernment process of their dissolution. 

 

The President should also be involved in and attentive to discussions on the AVP-L. The President along with the Board must carefully review and implement issues and actions raised during the Annual National Gathering. Before the Annual National Gathering, the President will work with the Conference Committee on conference logistics and making sure organizational needs are met. The President also provides support in crafting the Pre-Conference business meetings.

 

The President regularly stays in phone and email communication with committee chairs and members who express concern. There is also a certain amount of keeping in contact with AVP-International to facilitate cooperation and consistency and see emerging issues coming from abroad.

 

Process for Co-Presidency Communication: When two persons are chosen to jointly hold the office of Presidency, attention will be paid to whether a staggered timing is possible, so that when a new President is taking office they will be working with a person who has already held the position for at least one year. It will be the responsibility of the Co-Presidents to remain in communication with one another in order to equitably determine roles and responsibilities to ensure that the tasks above are maintained for the good of AVP-USA.  The Co-Presidents shall be accountable to each other in instances where one person seems to be struggling with maintaining their role/responsibilities.

 

Vice President:

In addition to the duties laid out in the Bylaws of AVP-USA, the role of the Vice President is to support the President. The Vice President will be responsible for reaching out to the President to form a communicative relationship and determine which roles/responsibilities are best delegated to their particular skill set. The Vice President will learn the details of the organizational structure of AVP-USA. The Vice President will act as a liaison between AVP-USA and Regional Organizations, and Local Groups. The Vice President will work to help strengthen networks, and communication, and provide support as requested. The Vice President will help to oversee the continuation of the Leadership Fellows and the Peace Fellows programs by assisting those programs when necessary.

 

Secretary:

In addition to the duties laid out in the Bylaws of AVP-USA, the Secretary will be responsible for keeping the AVP community aware of the decision and priorities of the Board of Trustees. The Secretary will maintain the minutes of the Board of Trustees meetings and make them available to the wider AVP-USA community. The Secretary will work with the editor of the website to ensure that information on committees and officers is up-to-date. The Secretary will file an annual renewal of incorporation with the Secretary of State in Minnesota every calendar year, beginning the calendar year following their original filing.

Treasurer:

In addition to the duties laid out in the Bylaw of AVP-USA, the Treasurer of AVP-USA is the chief financial officer of the organization. As such, the Treasurer is an officer of the Corporation and a member of the Finance Committee. The Treasurer is responsible for ensuring that the funds of the organization are maintained and accounted for responsibly, in accordance with direction from the Board and the Annual National Gathering. The Treasurer is responsible for the bookkeeping of AVP-USA, and as such performs a number of regular, ongoing tasks to maintain the financial records.

The Treasurer’s responsibilities include, but are not necessarily limited to:

      Entering all financial transactions (receipts and disbursements) into our accounting software

      Downloading reports from our credit card processing services and entering the date into the accounting software

      Reconciling monthly bank statements, including reviewing the bank statements for transactions that have not yet been entered into the accounting software

      Investigating transactions that appear on the bank statements for which the Treasurer has no prior knowledge

      Reconciling quarterly statements from AVP’s investment accounts, and recording gains or losses in those accounts

      Paying the bills and obligations of the organization

      Depositing monies that are received by the Treasurer

      Filing annual returns with the Internal Revenue Service and the state in which we are incorporated

      Attending all meetings of the Finance Committee and the Board, as well as the Annual Meeting, and preparing and presenting financial reports at those meetings

      Monitoring the organization’s budget, and alerting the Board and/or the Finance Committee of impending or actual problems

Duties of the Members of the Board of Trustees

  1. Members of the Board of Trustees are expected to be present at all Board proceedings. In the event that a Board member can not be present at a meeting, they must notify the other members of the Board, preferably at least twenty-four (24) hours before the meeting. It is also then the responsibility of that member to provide in writing any input that they may have on the topics to be discussed that that Board meeting. Members should not have more than two (2) unexplained absences per year from Board meetings.
  2. Members of the Board of Trustees are expected to read email communications from the Board and respond when necessary in order to move dialogue forward between official meeting times.
  3. Members of the Board of Trustees are expected to weigh all new ideas, opinions, and directions from the community at-large and to offer proposals and insights for the Board’s consideration when they feel strongly inclined to do so.
  4. Members of the Board of Trustees are expected to engage openly in constructive conflict that will progress AVP-USA forward and help both local and regional organizations to grow.

At-Large Positions

The members of the Board who are At-Large will be responsible for fulfilling the duties laid out above. They are not required to be Chairs of a committee, but are encouraged to join an AVP-USA committee if they feel inclined to do so.

The At-Large positions are meant to ensure that AVP-USA has the benefit of diverse experiences in the decision making process.

Leadership Fellows

The Leadership Fellows was created in May 2016 at the National Gathering of AVP-USA in Denver, Colorado. The goal is to provide leadership training and mentorship to those seeking to serve AVP-USA, to pass along institutional knowledge about the decision-making process, and to add new voices and perspectives to the Board.  A mentorship relationship will be established between a Leadership Fellow and an elected board officer—President, Vice President, Secretary or Treasurer. Alternatively, it may be possible to arrange a mentorship relationship with the chair or chairs of an AVP-USA Committee. As part of the fellowship experience, the candidate will be expected to serve on one AVP-USA standing committee. The Leadership Fellows program runs for one year, from September 1st until the following August 31st.  Determination for persons who receive this position is up to the Board.

Participation and Relief of Duty:

1.     Discernment Policy: As an organization that founds itself on collaboration, all members of the Board are expected to be active participants and are expected to carry out the duties as required by the AVP-USA Bylaws and this Policy Statement. When a member of the Board is not adequately completing the duties mentioned above, it is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees to start a Discernment Process for whether that person should remain on the Board or be relieved of their duties. One member of the Board will volunteer to be a representative of the Board and communicate with said person about their participation and the underlying circumstances which are keeping them from being an active member. This process will take place within thirty (30) days. Once these reasons have been assessed, the volunteer from the Board and the person in question will discuss whether or not it is in everyone’s best interest for the person to step down from the Board.  The recommendation is that the two people will come to consensus about whether or not the person in question will be able to fulfill their duties adequately in the future. The resulting recommendation will be reported to the Board at their next meeting.

a.     If it is determined that the person can complete their duties in the future, the two will decide on a benchmark behavior and date by which said person will be able to show that they are making adequate process and are committed to be a functioning member of the Board.

b.     If it is determined that the person cannot complete their duties in the future, the person will step down from the Board, and the procedures laid out in the AVP-USA Bylaws Article III Section 6 will be followed.

c.     Each case will be treated individually and attention will be paid to the person’s overall well being during the process.

 

VIII. Relationships with Corrections Department (DOC) and Facilities:

The goal of this relationship is to provide an environment where AVP programs can be conducted effectively within correctional facilities. Care should be taken not to compromise or surrender those aspects of AVP which are central to its success simply to win admission to a particular prison or prison system. AVP groups are empowered to serve as a bridge to unite conflicting parties in the search of common ground.

The following guidelines are expected:

• All participants in AVP workshops are volunteers.

• Participation is open to all inmates.

• Registration for AVP workshops is according to an inmate’s sign-up date. A system needs to be devised to assure this happens.

Participation in AVP workshops shall not be considered a requirement for any DOC program.

• Inmates have excused absences from their normal program assignments to attend AVP workshops. Inmates may not be called out except for mandatory call-outs.

• Participating facilities will support the full range of AVP workshops.

• Facilities will work with AVP to accommodate the required eighteen (18) to twenty-two (22) program hours in each workshop.

• Facilities are expected to provide appropriate space for the workshops.

• In order to preserve the confidentiality of participants, DOC staff is not present in the workshop rooms without prior approval of the group. Of course, this should not interfere with the correctional facility staff’s ability to perform their essential duties.

The appropriate AVP body conveys these guidelines to the participating facility or DOC, and devises with that agency the method used to communicate the guidelines to the facilities. Employees of DOC are encouraged to participate in and facilitate community workshops, but may not do so in prison workshops.

Local Groups and Regional Organizations should consider and implement ways of letting corrections staff know the philosophy and format of AVP workshops.

Local Groups will appoint an outside Prison Coordinator for each facility where they conduct workshops. Prison Coordinators are responsible for maintaining a good working relationship with local facilities and for dealing with problems as they arise.

Prison Coordinators, working with the Local Group, will ensure that outside facilitators are cognizant of prison regulations affecting volunteers and AVP workshops.

The content and process of AVP workshops remain within the province of AVP. Prison officials are not involved with AVP affairs.

XI. Solutions When Problems Arise

For the purpose of maintaining our integrity and effectiveness, we must promptly use our principles and methods to resolve our own conflicts. To promote harmonious relations among people involved in AVP Local Groups, AVP communities should provide opportunities for community building.

To protect our community relations, AVP conflicts should be kept out of public view; e.g., not to be shared with client agencies unless the local AVP group or groups involved agree. Some suggested methods (described in the AVP Basic Manual for conflict resolution) are:

• Direct conversation
• Clearness committees (C-11)
• Threshing sessions (C-11), and
• Mediation.

In addition the Basic Manual lists a number of exercises to reduce conflict such as: When Things Go Wrong (c-11), Six-point Problem Solving (e-47), Queries on What it Means to be a Member of an AVP Team (c-15).

When parties involved are unable to find a solution among themselves, they shall invite members of Local Groups, Regional Organizations or AVP-USA groups to assist in the solution. Persons unwilling to participate in conflict resolution until a conflict is resolved shall be relieved of their AVP responsibilities until they engage or re-engage in conflict resolution. The relevant Local Groups, Regional Organizations or AVP-USA groups shall determine whether persons are actively engaged in the resolution process.