In lead up to the Correctional Services Healthcare Summit, at Informa Insights, we spoke to Catherine Gavigan, Director, National Centre for Training and Development regarding her international case study on “Facilitating Peace Education Programmes in a Women’s Correctional Facility in New Zealand”.
As the Director of an education consultancy that specialises in the design and facilitation of personal & professional development programs for all sectors – education: primary school through to adult professional development, corporate and government, the highlight for me is always in developing programs that work for a particular group of participants.
It works if they:
The Peace Education Program came out of a request from Corrections in South Africa to have a curriculum they could follow. My involvement in the development and roll out of the program has been a career highlight. The program has now been translated into 14 languages and used in more then 48 countries. So the reach, of what I consider to be a excellent learning experiences for participants, is wide and the feedback excellent.That is gratifying.
Some key factors to successful facilitation of the Peace Education Program:
From my experience mental health issues are in abundance in Correctional facilities as are learning disorder. The literacy and numeracy levels of many inmates are low and are an impediment to training for employment.
Mental health issues usually begin at a very early age in the lives of many inmates. Many come from disadvantaged backgrounds where they are not cared for physically or mentally.
As I continue to work in schools I see more anxiety, depression, mood disorders, learning and behaviour disorders and physical health issues that affect learning and development in Primary and Secondary students. Many such mental health issues are not treated professionally and lead to drug an alcohol addiction and anti-social behaviour in adulthood. Some of these young people eventually end up in a correctional facility where, if there is to be change and rehabilitation, a professional holistic approach to their mental and physical health and wellbeing needs to be taken. Delivering such an approach, is particularly difficult when there is staff shortages. My experience in NZ is that there is a huge willingness on the part of Correctional staff to do what is required to rehabilitate, but they are often overwhelmed by their case load numbers.