Format for Community Discussion
This format should be used when clarification is needed on a particular issue or situation that has occurred with an RDAP participant. This format has evolved as a result of confusion that has occurred in the community meetings when issues arise that do not fit in a specified format, i.e. giving feedback. For example, participants would like to express their concern regarding a participant’s problematic behavior, i.e. he received an incident report for stealing food from the kitchen or is believed to have sold commissary to another inmate.
When there is an incident that needs discussion or clarification during any part of the meeting, a staff member, peer counselor or any participant ought to suggest that an issue needs clarification. The community will then determine whether or not the issue needs clarification, or if it is determined by majority vote or stall’s direction that clarification is necessary. The meeting facilitators will announce that “Discussion” is needed. The facilitators will call on individuals in sets of 3 to request clarification until appropriate clarification has been provided or it has been determined that another activity needs to take place, i.e. feedback or learning experiences. The facilitators will assist the community in identifying the issues that they would like clarified by a specific individual, i.e. Where were you? What did you say to him? Did you steal food from the kitchen? Etc.
Participants are to ask the question directly to the individual in a non-judgmental manner. The individual should answer the question in a appropriate, respectful manner using “I” statements. Participants should focus on speaking for themselves. It is also possible that during this phase of the meeting participants “will provide clarification on the issue, i.e., “I heard you try to sell the chicken to my roommate.” “You told me if I did not get out of your face I would be sorry.” Remember: staff are always in control of treatment activities so they will give the community direction at any time.
REMEMBER: Look at people when you speak to them. Practice the “Eight Attitudes” in your interactions. Snitching refers to a behavior that is inappropriate in the treatment program. Snitching according to the treatment program is when you tell on someone for the express purpose of getting back at them or getting yourself out of trouble. Holding someone accountable is when you want to help someone with their behavior by pointing out issues with which they are struggling. Holding someone accountable should be motivated by caring for that individual.
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