If you are interested in getting involved with AVP on
any level — to simply participate or to ultimately
facilitate — you must first participate in a Basic
It is AVP policy that there are no monetary charges for
anyone to attend any AVP workshop held in a correctional
facility. AVP-NH also currently does not impose a fee
for participation in youth workshops.
To get everything started, just follow these two simple
1. Check out the
(if you haven't already) for the date and facility at
which you would like to attend your Basic Workshop.
(Note — you can click anywhere on the words "upcoming
schedule" and see the schedule — to get back to this
page, click on your browser's "back" button.)
2. Email, phone, or
write to the appropriate facility coordinator below,
providing your name, address, and a home and/or work
telephone number as well as any other information your
believe necessary for return contact. Also be prepared
to provide your social security number and date of birth
— these are necessary for your being cleared to enter
any correctional facility. For your convenience, you
need only click below in the box containing the
appropriate coordinator's name in order to email the
correct facility coordinator.
The following directions are available in Acrobat PDF format:
Cambridge, ME to Berlin, NH
(Note: to download directions, right-click and select "Save
When Attending a Workshop
Outside participants bring much to a workshop: just by
their presence — a message that they care, that they
recognize inmates as fellow humans, that the inmates
have not been "written off" by all of society. Outsiders
add diversity to the exercises. As a participant, you
will also find completing the workshop to be an
extremely rewarding experience.
Outside participants need to be registered for the
workshop with the appropriate facility coordinator (see
them listed above) no later than three weeks before the
Friday on which the workshop begins. This is because the
inmates on the waiting lists need to be informed at
least a week ahead of the workshop whether they will be
participating or not. Inmates also have to make
sacrifices to participate in AVP, and number one is
giving up their visits for that weekend. They need to
write and notify potential visitors that they will not
be available. Visitors sometimes travel hundreds of
miles without notice, assuming that inmates are always
available during the regular visiting hours. Also, most
inmates have jobs and/or classes. They need to let their
supervisors or teachers know that they need Friday off.
Finally, before each workshop, we need to write a letter
to the prison administration informing them of the names
of the prospective outside participants, and the
administration needs to receive and process that in a
If you have registered far in advance, but as the
workshop approaches you find you are unable to
participate, please notify your contact no later than
three Fridays before the first day of the workshop.
If you live too far from the prison to commute during
the workshop, contact the appropriate facility
coordinator at least a month ahead of the workshop and
we will try to assist you.
On the first day of the workshop, Friday, the
facilitation team will meet at the facility at a planned
place and time. As a new participant, you will always be
entering the facility with experienced facilitators.
Don't be afraid to ask questions. The team is usually
escorted into the facility as a group. The only thing
you need is a state approved picture ID, preferably your
driver's license. You will not be allowed into the
facility if you do not have such an ID with you. Do not
bring anything with you that you do not absolutely need.
Facility staff will hold your ID while you are inside.
You will not need to bring in anything else. It is
easiest to lock your belongings in your car. In some
facilities, you might have to go through a metal
Workshop hours are planned during the day through early
evening on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The actual times
may vary among the facilities.
Throughout the weekend, do not give anything to any
inmate and do not accept anything from any inmate. Our
policy is: "Nothing in — nothing out." It is a felony to
introduce contraband into the prison!
Be sure your car is fully locked up when you leave it,
otherwise the staff will find you later and take you out
to do so.
The facilities provide meals for outside participants
during the workshop. Vegetarian meals are available.
Make this wish known first thing Friday morning.
The best results are obtained by looking at the workshop
weekend as though it was a retreat from your usual life.
Leave all your notions of the prison outside the doors
when you enter the facility. We have never had anyone
from the community who did not find it an extremely
illuminating experience and thoroughly enjoy their Basic
workshop! Sign up right now!