What is necessary for change?
How often do we really want to change? This is a tricky question. As in many cases we rather have others changed than ourselves. But change can create a realm of new opportunities for healthier relationships and a better life.
When someone is in prison because of crime, everyone expects this person to change. To make new choices, to restore the harm that he or she has caused, to become law-abiding persons.
But what is necessary for that to happen?
1️⃣ Respect. Treat incarcerated people with respect. Without respect or human dignity, people will not make changes in their lives. Why is that? A respectful attitude is an example. By being respectful, your behaviour says: You have the same value and dignity as every human being. The other person then is encouraged to show the same respect towards others.
2️⃣Support. Maybe a training, an advisary conversation, feedback or a plan for the future is necessary to start changing. Incarceration has the tendency to make people passive and change-postponing. By offering help for the future steps to take, the change can be activated. Although a one-time support can mean a lot, in general people need long-term support to persevere in their choice for change.
3️⃣Hope and encouragement. Hope is related to the future.
How do we give prisoners hope? By being present, in the midst of their situation. Being present says: I see you, I am with you. And together we will look at your life. We will look at your family, and see how you can add value to your family again. We will look at the harm you caused to victims, and see how you can take steps to repair the harm.
📌Encouragement will help a person who wants to change to not give up when attempts fail or new difficulties arise. Even only a simple card with an encouraging text can mean a lot.
We want prisoners to change. Just realize how difficult it is for yourself to change. Help each other to find new ways to become more and more the persons we are created to be.
Post writen by: Esther Klaassen
ShKBSH – Prison Fellowship Albania
This article is originally published on our page on LinkedIn