08/17/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Should Volunteers Fill Gaps for Prison Cuts?

Recent budget cuts leave many opportunities for volunteers to fill the gaps of services no longer available to those who need them.

The question arises: Are we doing a favor for an organization which should be seeing as crucial/vital/core the services offered by volunteers?

Actually the work being done by the volunteers in prisons is rarely done by staff.

The Alternatives to Violence Project's independence from the prison is a core premise of the offering of these weekend workshops. Not receiving money and being only facilitated by volunteers brings a credibility of the workshops to the prisoner-participant as well as to the staff.

The participants and the prisoner (and outside) facilitator team members also are volunteers.

So while the legislature slashes and burns program after program, our monthly workshops in 17 California prisons, still keep being offered, deeply affecting the lives of prisoners and their families, same as always. See or