Authentic Relating Saves Lives

On a cold February morning in the high mountains of Colorado, my assistant course leaders and I walked up to the towering, razor-wire-infested gates of the Buena Vista Correctional Facility. We passed through the metal detector and were escorted down twisting concrete hallways to the facility’s classroom. Inside, a window revealed snow-capped mountain tops in the distance, bordered by prison fences in the foreground. Snack machines hummed along white concrete walls, and security cameras peered down on us from the ceiling corners. A few minutes later, eighteen men filed into the classroom in their dark green prison scrubs and took their seats in hard plastic chairs, arranged in a circle.