Author of Elusive Peace Teaches Incarcerated Women Peacemaking Skills

SF Gate
October 31, 2011

Professional mediators, Laurel Kaufer, Esq. and Douglas E. Noll, Esq., created the pro bono project called “Prison of Peace” as a request of long-term inmates at the Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, California who sought to reduce the conflict and violence within the prison. Receiving recent attention from politicians in the California Senate, the nonprofit organization is devoted to teaching mediation and peacemaking skills to incarcerated women.

Working with the inmates has helped shape Douglas E. Noll’s groundbreaking book, Elusive Peace: How Modern Diplomatic Strategies Could Better Resolve World Conflicts (Prometheus Spring 2011). Noll explains, “While working with these women, I saw many similarities to war and violence. My thought was that if we could be successful teaching these women with dark pasts, many of them serving time for murder and manslaughter, to be peacemakers, it would be a strong testament to the idea that peacemaking in other equally difficult and challenging parts of the world would be possible. Through working with these women I was energized with hope that world conflicts could be mediated, and peace can be achieved. The book, Elusive Peace offers strategies for accomplishing peace in areas of conflict around the world, as well as mediating peace at home.”

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