Supervisors at state juvenile detention facilities graduate from innovative training in Kingian nonviolence principles
Miami, FL June 1999 A new era of more constructive treatment for juveniles held in Florida detention centers recently began when supervisors at those facilities completed a training program based on the nonviolence principles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
At the recommendation of Miami-Dade Public Defender Bennett H. Brummer, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) instituted the intensive two-month course for 35 assistant superintendents to train their staff members to incorporate nonviolence principles into the culture at the detention centers. Because youth learn by example, this approach should help juveniles use peaceful conflict resolution techniques for handling disputes. Also, the training better equips staff to defuse potentially explosive situations through peaceful means.
It was largely because of Mr. Brummers reputation that we went ahead with this. He is a man of high integrity, said Francisco J. Alarcon, deputy secretary of
Mr. Brummer was the keynote speaker at the graduation and said: Respect, dignity and courtesy are powerful antidotes for feelings of shame, powerlessness, fear, anger and humiliation. Respect and dignity can reduce the destruction and violence that these feelings can engender in individuals and communities. This is the basic motivation for the creation of the Public Defenders Anti-Violence Initiative (AVI). This was our purpose in suggesting that the DJJ provide nonviolence training to its youth-hall superintendents. They do very important work with our children every day.
The nonviolence training is part of the AVI, which Mr. Brummer has established to help clients lead law-abiding lives and promote governmental accountability.
The training was provided by the Florida Martin Luther King Jr. Institute for Nonviolence, created by the Florida Legislature in 1993 to promote nonviolent social change. The organization, housed at the Miami-Dade Community College North Campus, offers formal and informal training and assistance to the public and governmental agencies.