Prem’s Peace Education Program (PEP), which has already been translated into 37 languages and offered in 84 countries, was recently praised at the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA) conference in Montreal, Canada, by leading officials in the industry.
Recognising that the program inspires inmates to make better choices in life, both while behind bars and following release, Terrence Matthews, a counselor at Metro West Detention Center in Miami, Florida, praised PEP as “visually transformative.” He explained that it’s not just the inmates who have made 180-degree turnarounds: “The impact of this program goes beyond the inmates… I myself have grown from it, and I have seen the positive effect it has had on the guards who accompany the participants”.
PEP has been offered to corrections and law enforcement professionals across the world, helping them stay calmer and more focused as they carry out their vital, and often stressful, jobs.
The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) representatives personally met hundreds of people at the conference, handing out more than 400 copies of written and video materials about PEP. The representatives are now busy following up with those they met, from Canada and the U.S. to Uganda, Kenya, Japan, Australia, Kurdistan, and beyond.
Many attendees were already familiar with the program, having seen it in action back home where they work, or having read about it in this summer’s ICPA industry newsletter. The 2018 summer edition of Beyond the Wall – an industry newsletter that is distributed to correctional professionals across the world – explains that the program is “an application of restorative justice in an intrapersonal way — the individual learns to make peace with themselves, which leads to forgiving or making peace with others”. The newsletter highlights the “very positive response” to PEP from industry professionals, including testimonials from them, and can be read here.
ICPA brought together professionals from 70 countries with the aim of improving practices to enhance public safety. Volunteer Annelies Bertsch described her highlight of ICPA as being “part of such a wonderful team focused on sharing the good news of PEP. The common thread among the delegates was an interest and passion for helping make this world a better place for all people.”