2017 was a busy year for AVP Ireland, with 33 full workshops run in almost all Irish Prisons throughout the country, and 5 introduction workshops in St Mark Community School (Tallaght) and Oberstown Children’s Detention Centre. Currently around 70 active volunteer facilitators are supporting the organisation inside and outside the prison.
Track record of the workshops
|Location||Number of workshops|
|Mountjoy Campus / Dochás||2|
|Oberstown Detention Center||2|
|St Mark’s Community School||3|
AVP has been very active in Wheatfield prison, like in the past years. The programme is well implemented with a strong team of around ten active facilitators. In Cloverhill prison, we ran only one workshop, because we could not find an agreement with the staff regarding the requirement of working through the meals during the week-ends.
The programme is now up and running in Limerick prison and a second team of facilitators has been trained.
In Portlaoise prison, the first team of facilitators has been trained and the programme is now fully implemented.
We have re-introduced the programme in Mountjoy and in the Dochás Centre and are hoping to be more active next year.
AVP has been also successfully introduced in Cork prison, where we will train a team of facilitators next year, and also in Loughan House.
We ran two workshops in Caslterea and are hoping to do more work next year in coordination with the peer mediation programme run by Travellers Mediation Service.
Three workshops were held in Shelton Abbey, with the help of our two inside facilitators.
Potential volunteers waiting for their prison clearance attended a basic workshop in Tallaght in October.
Last but not least, AVP ran its first workshops in Oberstown Children’s Detention Centre. They were facilitated by a mixed team of adults and young facilitators trained in St Mark Community School in January. It was part of a pilot project in partnership with Childhood Development Initiative in Tallaght, whose team trained the staff in Restorative Practices. We hope to pursue and deepen this project.
In January, AVP signed a Service Level Agreement with Irish Prison for 2017 and 2018. All our work this year was funded by IPS except the workshops in Oberstwon who were part of another agreement between CDI, AVP and Oberstown.
The full financial statements for 2017 will be produced in the coming months.
Thanks to St Stephen Green Trust grant, AVP launched an impact report in spring which was well received and can be read on our website.
AVP International Gathering
The AVP International Gathering took place in Kathmandu in Nepal on 5th-11th November and three delegates represented AVP Ireland: James, Chris and John. The Gathering was attended by 146 delegates from 40 countries, with at least 14 different languages being spoken, yet despite this, the precisely planned programme ran without any difficulties, which is a testament to the organisers! The theme was “Nurturing Local Community and Building World Community”. A full report of this event will be circulated in early 2018.
AVP Ireland aims to undertake the following in 2018
- Run up to 40 workshops in all Irish prisons except Arbour Hill, as per our Service Level Agreement.
- Finish implementing the programme in Oberstown Children’s Detention Centre.
- Recruit new volunteers and support the existing (amazing) team. Build and strengthen local teams around the country.
- Collaborate with AVP International to develop regional community and support, and build sustainability together.
AVP Ireland is a very active and healthy organisation, which is able to provide high quality conflict resolution workshops in Irish prisons and build a community of volunteers committed to non violence. AVP Ireland hopes to continue build on more than forty years of experience as a prison programme around the world and on twenty years of partnership with the Irish Prison Service. The organisation has secured one more year of funding from IPS and will be able to strengthen and develop its activities.