What an amazing weekend! Thanks to the introduction from Tom Martin (AVP Facilitator in Texas) to an Associate Warden who had transferred to North Carolina, John Shuford and I, along with 3 new AVP Facilitators, were at the Butner Federal Correction Institution (for men) this past weekend. We held the first ever in a North Carolina prison AVP Basic Workshop. We had 16 participants. Each of the participants was fully engaged and very grateful for the workshop. Most of the participants were former gang members. They can’t wait for the Advanced! And many of them want to become the first inside trainers in the state! At the end of the first night, we heard comments like “I forgot I was in prison”, “This doesn’t seem like prison”–we’ve gotten those comments in other facilities before but usually not until the 3rd day. Talk about good feedback, wow! Our new facilitators were amazing too! We are looking forward to an August Basic in a different facility within the Butner complex with 5 more new facilitators. It’s really important to be in a federal facility–the inmates rarely even get visitors since they are mostly from out of state, so coming in from the outside means a lot to them. I hadn’t thought of that prior to meeting the men. What an exciting and rewarding start to the program in North Carolina!!

Deb Bromiley