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Facilitating Piece/Peace

By Richard Gross

February 1, 2020

I was facilitating a mini RJ workshop: four sessions on a weekend. We were in a different room than before, this one without a clock on the wall. I was working with Ace and Anthony as my inside and outside co-facilitators.

I had recently been through a difficult time, and my personal property had been separated from me. Whenever this happens in prison, it is routine to lose much of it: not necessarily the stuff you’re not allowed to have--just as likely, it’s allowable items, such as things you purchased though commissary, like my watch. I let my co-facilitators know that I was without my watch, and would have to rely on them, only to find that neither one of them had a watch either. So now we were all wondering how to keep the workshop on schedule without knowing the time. Luckily, one of LCu’s cofounders arrived to see if we had all the material needed for the workshop. When told we needed a watch, he took his off, and gave it to us. Whichever facilitator was leading the exercise held the watch. Much like a talking piece, we passed the Timex around like a facilitating piece. The workshop ran smoothly and on schedule. We have fourteen completions. The oldheads in the group shared their experiences and wisdom with the young bucks, thereby hopefully facilitating peace.

--I have no family on the outside. Mine is on the inside. It is LCU. There I am known to “bring laughter out of everyone,” while having a “subtle talent in facilitation.” I’m also an “excellent writer” and a “serious Villanova student.” This is what my family says that no one outside ever did.


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