Facing Up to Conflict

“Thank you for the report and certificate from the AVP course. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the AVP team for all their help. Whilst I was doing the AVP course I found that my problem solving skills improved. I now look at things very differently, and now take on board people's feelings and emotions, and their opinions and beliefs. My strong belief now is that my thinking has become more effective in controlling my behavior.” (Inmate at HMP Usk)

What is Facing Up to Conflict?

Facing Up to Conflict (FUTC) is a distance learning course, available free of charge to every prisoner in the UK. It is designed to help participants handle conflict more effectively through the use of nonviolent conflict resolution techniques, reflection on past experiences, personal development and increased self-awareness.

Why was FUTC created?

Although hundreds of prisoners have participated in AVP prison workshops, there has always been a much higher demand for these courses than our volunteer network can satisfy. FUTC was created in response to many requests from inmates who, in the main, have little or no access to learning opportunities, or understanding of the causes and responses to conflict.

How was FUTC created?

FUTC was designed to reflect the substance of a typical AVP workshop, focusing in particular on five core conditions of non-violence:

1. Enhanced self-esteem and self-awareness
2. Improved communication skills, including listening and assertiveness
3. Greater willingness to trust others and cooperate
4. Stronger sense of own values
5. Better ability to handle conflict and solve problems in relationships.

The course was created in consultation with specialists in dyslexia, experts in prison violence, schoolteachers, and experienced AVP facilitators. Their advice was key to designing a programme which is accessible to inmates who have had limited education, have poor literacy skills, or experience other learning difficulties, including dyslexia.

How Does FUTC Work?

Every week for six weeks, participants receive a different piece of coursework by post. Each section requires a small amount of writing or drawing, and suggests practical ways to experiment with handling conflict. When all the coursework has been completed, it is reviewed by an AVP volunteer assessor, who offers detailed feedback. This feedback acknowledges effective engagement with the course, and provides support in areas that have been more problematical. Every participant receives a copy of their assessment and a certificate, if they have successfully completed the course. On the rare occasions that a participant is deemed not to have been successful, s/he is offered a clear explanation, suitable guidance, and is invited to resubmit.

How to enrol

AVP is available free of charge to every inmate in Britain. To enrol on the course, simply send your name, number, and prison location to:

FUTC,
AVP Britain,
Grayston Centre,
28 Charles Square,
London N1 6HT

We will then send you a simple application form to complete and return.