What I Learned Volunteering in Prison

By Emma Love Arbogast for Be Yourself:

I live in Portland, Oregon. Portlandia. I love it. But it feels sheltered, unreal.

Six months ago I decided I needed to get out of my bubble. I needed to experience something different. Very different. I needed to challenge myself and my self-created (and very nice!) comfort zone.

I have been learning and practicing Non-violent Communication (NVC) for 6 years or so. There is an active NVC community that teaches in prisons, and I signed up to teach as part of the Oregon Prison Project.

A group of around ten of us meet at Oregon State Penitentiary (Oregon’s only maximum-security prison) to teach in four different classrooms of about 10-20 inmates each.

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