Q: Can mediation be used to resolve conflicts that arise between prisoners?
A: Of course. There are a number of successful in-prison mediation programmes in countries outside of the Caribbean region. Prisoners are human beings.
Conflicts between prisoners are not always about drugs or cigarettes or unwelcome advances by another inmate (as seen on TV) but about use of the telephone or about the cleanliness of a shared cell for instance. Mediation assists prisoners in identifying their real interests and in working on creative solutions that will satisfy these interests. Early intervention through mediation also prevents conflicts from escalating as they can do in a prison where tensions are usually high and where violence is almost expected.