Essential Components of the Program
The following are the essential components of The Power to Change for Corrections.
Peer Setting The peer-to-peer group process is a key element of The Power to Change program. We have found time and time again that inmates respond positively to sharing their experiences with and getting positive feedback from other prisoners in a safe and confidential setting.
Meeting Structure The meetings are highly structured resulting in individuals’ stories and the group’s comments advancing the participants toward calm and reasoned expression and analysis. The system’s constraining guidance moves the entire group toward objective, orderly expression of emotional issues.
Four-Part Example At every meeting, individuals tell stories of disturbing or upsetting everyday events they have experienced, using a structured format in four parts.
- They describe what happened as objectively as they can.
- They describe what feelings, sensations, thoughts and impulses they experienced in their bodies and minds.
- They tell how they did or did not use the program’s “tools” to manage their upset.
- To remind themselves of their progress, they tell what the experience would have been like before this program’s training.
Throughout the process they are urged to report, not to complain or try to convince and to praise themselves and each other for every effort—even if the result is unsuccessful.
Using this structure repeatedly to describe experiences develops a habit of objective observation of events and of one’s responses, management of thoughts and impulses, and an increase of self-control and self-respect.
Group’s Comments After each example, the group members comment, using the “tools” provided by the program. These are short statements that provide insight into the nature of anger and fear. The use of these tools guides the participants toward recognizing that they have the power to choose how they react to a situation.
For further information, contact Christine Lewis.