Director, Counseling Psychology at Kentucky Christian University
I am in my 13th year of volunteering at Eastern Kentucky Correctional Center. I am involved in group programs there, including one entitled Creative Justice. With a group of residents, my wife and I work through restorative justice concepts, and then develop a creative enterprise, usually a play, to incorporate and communicate what they have been wrestling with. With our minimal assistance, the men develop the ideas for the play, write the script, and then produce the play. It is usually presented on a weekend to a full house of residents, along with a number of guests from the outside.
In my teaching, both undergraduate and graduate classes, I have incorporated core concepts gained in my work at EMU. Examples include conflict resolution concepts in a systems theory class, circle processes in group counseling, and restorative justice and forgiveness concepts in a theology of wellness.
I enjoyed and profited from my time at EMU, and now my students and the residents at the prison are also profiting.