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Conflict Resolution in Indonesian Prisons
Inmates learn how to resolve disputes through dialogue instead of violence

July 2010

Conflict resolution training has become part of the routine for inmates at Tangerang prison in Indonesia's capital city, Jakarta.  SFCG developed the program, together with partners Institute of International Peace Building and the Legal Aid Institute.  The trainings help the inmates examine why they used violence in the past; look at the consequences of their actions; find possible alternative nonviolent solutions; respect differences and make positive choices.  The program, includes training prison officers in addition to inmates, was begun in 2008. 

Most of the prisoners come from a background of poverty, making them vulnerable to recruitment by gangs and radical organizations.  Indonesian security forces are therefore emphasizing this new type of training to help counter the influence of radical leaders in prisons. 

The trainings include role playing, games, and skills building while tackling sensitive subjects such as identity, conflict, strength, emotions, communication, culture, and anger.  Inmate Edi Pumaman, in prison for domestic violence, said the trainings have opened his mind and broadened his point of view.  "I can manage my emotions now.  Now I can understand why problems have developed."

"We teach them and we train them how to make the switch from destructive behavior to constructive behavior.  Based on the training evaluations, inmates' self confidence greatly improved and they showed positive responses when confronted with conflict," said Program Manager Agus Nahrowi in SFCG's Indonesia office.

A goal of the program is to institutionalize these trainings throughout Indonesia's prison system.  Toward that end, SFCG also delivered a conflict management training for the Academy of Correctional Institutions staff, as well as for prison guards at the prison locations where the inmates received trainings.

Understand the Differences; Act on the Commonalities

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