Did you ever draw upon resources or refer parties to resources from outside the community?


Ozell Sutton


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The police, they had a curfew and the police have a way of enforcing curfews among black folk. white folk can go on about their business uninterrupted, right? And yet the police run around, and every time they see a black, a car with a lot of blacks in it, they are running up there questioning that. Sticking their shot guns in the window and these kinds of things that provoke not only mistrust, but great anger. So I had to tell the governor, Rockefeller, at the time, and I said, "Governor, tonight I want you to go out in the black area with me." Naturally the rest of the staff hit the ceiling. "The governor go out there?" I say, "yeah, I'm out there and I don't know anyone more important than me." I said, "I want the governor to see how the police are conducting themselves." I said, "no mind can tell him, can describe what he's got to see. I'm not asking him to go out unprotected, his cars going to be, I'm sure, packed up with police in there. There's going to be a police car in front of him, unmarked I hope and one behind him. The governor just must see what's going on." And sure enough, he came out that night and I got in the car with him. And right in front of us was a group of blacks, five of them, who were hospital workers, right? They had a need to be coming through there. They lived in there and they got off at the hospital at 11:30 that night. So, the police immediately acted like they were criminals and violators after the curfew. The police stopped the car and, in a storm trooper kind of way, made them get out of the car, and you could hear the language, which was foul. They were called n*****s and all of that. I said, "Do you hear that governor? Do you see what I'm talking about?" He was so incensed the next morning he called together the chief of police, the head of the national guard unit, and all of those. He said, "Ozell persuaded me to get out," you see they didn't know, until then, that the governor was out in the field. Said, "Ozell persuaded me to go with him last night and I was so incensed! I just want you to know that your conduct out of there is just wild, and uncontrolled, and unnecessary." The mayor was there and he said, "Mr. Mayor, let me tell you one thing. I will take over this city. Ozell now told me there was a curfew and telling you and seeing it is a different matter. I will take over this city so quickly it will get you swimming in your head. Now I don't want any more conduct in that manner. I'm going to have the state police all out there where you are. Everybody is going to be reporting to me every 15 minutes, every time you stop a car I want to know what happened." And he talked about it, said, "Well, that group was one man and three women coming from the hospital," and they ran over there and stuck their guns in the window and made them get out of the car and were treated in such a way that nobody would want his wife treated. I am incensed by the whole thing." And the whole police methods changed after that. So I just go around describing it.

Question:
Was that a long lasting kind of change?

Answer:
Yes, because after the crisis was over the governor was insisting upon it.




Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Do you ever have to bring in outside resources or people from outside the community to help mediate a situation?

Answer:
Of course. Lots of times. Not for one minute did anyone in CRS think that they had the answer for everything. We went out and brought in a whole canon of experts. As a mater of fact, within CRS, Silke will tell you about this when you meet with her, we had all kinds of outside experts come in and work to resolve a particular problem. For example, we have education consultants, we have criminal justice consultants, we have mental health consultants, people that go beyond our expertise. We may not have any expertise in psychiatry, but it's been identified that we need an individual who's good in psychiatry to come in and work with us.

Question:
Do you get these people from Denver or do you try to get them from the local community?

Answer:
Oh, we get these people from across the world. In other words, we did have the resources enough to get people from everywhere. If we wanted somebody from a university, we got somebody who used to be with CRS. We've got two people. We've got the former national director, the first director of CRS in a university. One year I brought him in and he met with a group of historians and everybody else. He's in the history department of George Mason University. Brought him in. A friend of mine from George Washington University. Brought him in a thousand times in education. When we started doing the Denver bussing plan, we had all kinds of experts coming in. So many people that you can't even begin to count, I can't even remember half the guys we've brought in as consultants about some issue. You stretch around the world to find an expert when needed.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The Italian American groupís support came from Legal Assistance to Minnesota Prisoners (LAMP) from the University of Minnesota law school. LAMP had students who would provide assistance to the culture group. Every other week, this very attractive young law student in a mini skirt would sit with her legs crossed while a dozen gawking, very light-haired and light-complected Italians with names like Smith, and Larson, would sit and listen to her talk about Italian culture or give Italian lessons. This got them out of their boxes. They werenít making any trouble for anybody, but they obviously didnít have anything beyond that which bound them together. So we interviewed the corrections officers. We interviewed each of the ethnic groups, and the leadership of the groups. Many of them came together and we spoke to white inmates as well. Also the stateís Ombudsman for Corrections and the director of the St. Cloud Human Rights Commission.

Question:
And what were you asking?

Answer:
We were trying to get a fix on the place. We wanted to know why were they still in lock up. The guards were saying tensions were too high, that it was too dangerous to end the lock up. But that was not our perception when we talked to the residents. When we met with the American Indian group, as I said, they were mostly well behaved within the institution. They avoided overtures, they said, from the Black Brotherhood Development and Cultural Organization (BBDCO), to partner with them. They wanted to be left alone.

Question:
The BBDCO was another organization within the prison?

Answer:
Thatís the black group. This is the American Indian group. And they were just concerned that their people be taken care of and they wanted no part of the violence. There were half a dozen, 5 or 6 Hispanic inmates, Mexican American, and they too, would align with the American Indians. They didnít want any part of any violence.

Question:
And, in fact, hadnít been part of it earlier?

Answer:
Probably not. I donít remember, but probably not. There were only a few and they stayed to themselves. There was a segment of the white population that was overtly racist and would attack the blacks. The blacks were quick to respond. Keep in mind, virtually everybody in that place was there for a crime of serious violence. Murder or serious assault. Otherwise you could get out and work a community program.

Question:
And these were teenagers, I gather?

Answer:
Up into their early 20's

Question:
So after you talked to them all what did you decide to do?

Answer:
Well, then we had to sit down and see what we could come up with. It was difficult to get in to see the black inmates. They were a Muslim group. I was the "white devil", (which they later called me in their newsletter) who could not be trusted. They verbally abused me. You know, you expect some of that. The BBDCO said "we canít end the lock up," and it became apparent to us that they were using the lock up, as leverage against the institution. Nobody in the reformatory wanted to be in lock up, but the BBDCO was using it politically. Creating a scare by saying it wasnít safe. It wasnít clear why they did this, but perhaps it gave them some power. As I walked out of the room I remember a BBDCO leader pounding on the table and waving his fist at me and saying, "there ainít going to be no mediation in this place and if there is, itís going to be in front of television cameras.Ē So that told me that the only question we had to resolve ultimately would be the openness of mediation to the press. I had the good fortune some weeks earlier to meet a women named Gwen Davis who ran the Antioch Minneapolis Communiversity, an affiliate of my alma mater, Antioch college in Yellow Springs, Ohio. We coincidentally met on an airplane. I remembered that she had told me that her husband, Syl, worked with prisoners. I called Syl from St. Cloud, told him what I was doing there and he came out to the institution with Raymond Johnson, an ex-offender, who regularly worked with the BBDCO.

Question:
And were they black?

Answer:
Yes. They were also teaching courses at St Cloud. When they agreed to support ;the mediation effort, it gave CRS credibility with the inmates. Eventually the black inmates agreed to come to the table. There were conditions, but basically everyone finally agreed to come to the table. I also enlisted the help of T. Williams, the Ombudsman for Corrections.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Then they had the hard issues. First, was the disciplinary procedures. The African American inmates brought in not only an outside advisor, but also a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist talked about what happens when you deprive inmates, for example, of showers, or calls home. They used behavior modification, and thatís quite controversial.

Question:
Now how did the inmates have connections with the psychiatrist?

Answer:
An outside support group. Pro bono assistance. A young psychiatrist came up and helped.

Question:
Did you facilitate this in anyway?

Answer:
No, that wasnít necessary in this case. The Ombudsman undertook a study of the disciplinary procedure, and it was agreed, that his office would review every disciplinary procedure for racism.




Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Do you ever use as a resource, for example, a police chief from another community who has had successful experiences?

Answer:
Not usually at the time of a civil disorder. Maybe in the mediation stage afterwards, but not in the height of the problem. Usually it's our people in there trying to get to first base, getting the process going. Often, we will refer them to another chief or a superintendent of schools or someone who has gone through that experience. To have them in there immediately, no, but as part of the resolution, yes. We've used police chiefs as consultants in such issues as civilian oversight, complaint processes, hate crimes policies and procedures; and, in addition, we have used other citizens as resources. But I don't think any of that will work until we get the people accepting our services and then we can do a lot.




Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

In California, there is an organization called the School Law Enforcement Partnership Cadre. It consists of 50 law enforcement related positions or officers and 50 educators and school administrators, who work collectively. They are spread out geographically throughout California to work on addressing school violence, and violence prevention. They are excellent partners for me. When the shooting happened at Santana High School in San Diego County -- I think there were 13 shot and two killed -- my inclination was to first go and meet with people who work in the School Law Enforcement Cadre. I have an excellent counterpart there with the San Diego county office of education. He works in the area of violence prevention and intervention. So I moved to his operation and very quickly got a briefing on what's going on, where's it located, how do I get there, what's the circumstance, what's his position, what's their role at this point? Then I move on to the scene and relay back to his organization what we need, and begin to organize our whole crisis response to that situation. Having these partners throughout the State is really helpful. And I've trained the Cadre in different things that we do, to give them the skills to help empower school districts address some of their own racial conflicts. I've also joined the board of the California Association of Human Relations Organizations, which is the state network for all the human relations commissions in the state of California. Again this is a critical resource in terms of knowing where the human relations commissions are. They give two training seminars, one in Northern California, one in Southern California, which I try to participate in or network, so that whenever a situation occurs, we have partners to work with and we can also train these organizations. I've trained the Riverside Human Relations Commission in mediation. I've trained them in dealing with Study Circles dialogues as diffusion tactics and techniques. We took our SPIRIT program and trained the human relations commission to work with, Students Problem Identifying and Resolving Issues Together (SPIRIT). Programs like SPIRIT can be provided within the schools; it enhances their capability, and it also means that we're touching more people.



Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Do you have expertise in each of these areas or did you bring in other resources?

Answer:
I did the anger management and problem solving. The Centinala Valley dispute resolution center and CRS joined up and developed the curriculum package and they took over the peer mediation program. They are in the community and they should. The Collaborative brought in an outside consultant to do the peace builders. It also brought in an evaluator to look us over and give us a written evaluation because we didn't want to be tied into the money without outcomes. It brought in a mental health service from the county that was interested in putting counselors into the schools. Prior to that if you had psychological problems or needs you would go to their offices. Those are the systematic kinds of things we tried to do with that particular school district. That is one example how local resources were brought in to allow CRS to go on to other case work.






Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Did you sometimes use outside community resources to help resolve conflict?

Answer:
Yeah, again it would always depend on how the case played itself out. The situation in the small community where the Iranian students were coming into the community college and they were really being discriminated against by the community, is an example. The incident occurred because some high school students had been driving along and used a baseball bat on an Iranian student as he was walking. That was the triggering incident that got our attention and brought us into it. I went to the police department and it was a "boys will be boysĒ kind of thing. I went to the school board, and the principal, and it was, "Well, they're dating some of the girls,Ē and the boys were mad, and that's what happens in small towns. I wasn't getting any empathy. They wouldn't generate any understanding from the Iranian studentsí perspective at all. I talked with the community college about their guardian responsibility to these students. There really wasn't any strong support there because they saw their funding and support coming from the community at large, which was an Anglo-white farming community. I was just pretty much saying to myself, "This is going to have to take some legal action or the students are going to have to do something in terms of protecting themselves from the legal perspective. The community's not open and they're not going to listen to the interests of these Iranian students.Ē I started thinking about that small rural community and they would have 200 Iranian students come in there. It had become a place they would come for two years to get their English up to a level where they could be admitted to the University of Tulsa, in the Petroleum and Engineering school. So it was a pipeline for that community college. I thought about how much money had to be coming into that community because of those students and what impact would this have on the community if those two hundred students a year went away? The network that got them there could certainly stop them and pretty quickly cut that off. And if they kept treating them as badly as they were, and there was physical danger, they'd leave. So I decided to go to the chamber of commerce and talk to them about, "What is the impact on this community economically, about having these students, and what's gonna be the impact if the student's are gone?" And so they got involved, and of course, that meant the business leadership got involved and things began to change then. We began to see some empathy and some understanding that we need to do something different. But, again, I appealed to their self-interest. I think in most instances, that's where you have to start with people and try to figure out what is in it for them. What's it gonna cost them if this continues, and if I point that out, then they're more likely to listen. In another situation, there were some educational issues for migrant workers. And I learned through just talking with some people, listening to people, that the great operator was really the power broker in the community. And I had never sat down and talked with him directly, so I made an appointment, went in and spent a couple of hours just talking to him about what we were doing and what our interests were, and what would happen in the community in the long term if these kids don't ever get an education. It was almost just honoring him by the appointment. He opened the doors, and things started moving then. So, that's part of the dance. If you go in and you're not ready to move wherever the thing's going, then you're gonna miss something good. Q - Now he didn't feel threatened by you? A - No. He didn't project that. He probably felt he was finally honored. Q - And he wasn't being personally accused? A - No. But everyone knew that as soon as he said to the school board, "Let's go for it," it would happen. As a mediator, you could go in there and try to strong-arm, but we didn't have any strong-arm to go with, except if this is not resolved, then the agencies who do enforce may come in. But it was persuasion and working from a perspective of good will, and to appeal to people's higher being. And 90% of the time, people will respond to that. And that's what this man did. He made a call to the president of the school board and all of a sudden the school board president was open to some ideas. And he hadn't been. I'm not sure that he had talked to that operator. He just historically thought he knew what he wanted, and he wasn't going to violate that. That's the nuance and that's the dance. Itís following those trails and seeing where they go. Itís finding out who the power structures are and where the doors get opened, and then appealing to their higher being. And most of them will respond to that. Anybody who's self-interest is greed or power, is not going to respond. And that's when you have to know to hand it over to whoever the law enforcement people are and let go of it. But most often, when you give people an opportunity, they'll respond.




Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Some cultures have indigenous types of mediation. I wonder if you ever use any elements of those traditional types of mediation?

Answer:
I'm familiar with what probably is the most overt type of mediation that's more indigenous to any group. I've trained under a guy from Hawaii. He was an amazing guy but he uses a lot of shuttle diplomacy because of the Asian hesitancies to participate in face-to-face conflict. But I don't want to compromise that. In those cases, you do a lot of private meetings before you bring them together and you even move the agenda, but at some point you've got to come together. I feel strongly that you have to do that to reach where you can come together. That's probably the only one. All the mediations that I've been involved in are so multi-ethnic, so western predominantly. I haven't been into any international things where I would feel required cultural variance . Even though we may work with some first generation, like Vietnamese mediation, we usually work with the one-and-a-half generation because of the language barrier. Unfortunately, too often when we work with some of the different ethnic, indigenous populations we're really dealing with a western hybrid because of the language barrier and so they become the brokers for the traditionalists in the mediation process. So I haven't had to use various techniques other than being very sensitive to the time factors that Native Americans act out, the reticence of the Native American at the table. Some of these general guidelines that I'm aware of I think we want to be sensitive to, we want to move it at a pace that they're comfortable with. I don't recall any thing more unique than that in the situations I've had. Were you thinking of something particular?






Edward Howden


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
How did you identify the community resources that would help you resolve your conflict?

Answer:
Well, we used the hydrologist from the state university in that one case, and in that other case, involving the county welfare department, outside assistance was very vital there. We needed clarification about the exact meaning of complex statutes, and federal and state regulations regarding welfare aid to dependent children and a whole lot of other stuff. Here again, most of us, certainly myself, and I think most of the community people, were not experts on any of that. So it was agreed in advance that we would get two experts up from Sacramento to help us. They were from the State Department of Social Welfare, and each had his or her area of expertise with respect to the statutes and regulations, and that was agreed to by all sides in advance. They participated in the sessions, so they were there and could answer if any questions arose as to what the regulation was.




Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Did you bring any outside resources in to help resolve this conflict, like an expert on treaties, or the sheriff? Was there any outsider that you brought in to help with this?

Answer:
Yes. The North West Indian Fishers Commission, which is an intertribal organization that coordinates tribal positions, operations, fisheries, hatcheries and so on. I brought a representative from that group in with the consent of all the parties. I thought this was a person whose organization would have some insights into some of this.

Question:
So were they used as experts to suggest solutions?

Answer:
I don't remember specifically. There would probably have been a valuable use of such a resource. I also had the Washington State Department of Fisheries Enforcement there. It was a special patrol unit within the State Department of Fisheries that had a specific area of interest in these issues. They were involved as well. Usually, I try to have everybody start off together rather than calling people in. I know that I had the North West Indian Fishers Commission, State Department of Fisheries, the sheriff's office, I think all of those may have been involved from the beginning. Although they're not parties to the issues, they would have a role, they would have information that might be helpful. For their own policies, they needed to know what was going on. Hopefully they would be supportive of the implementation that was needed. Thirdly, they would be a part of the solutions involved in the implementation, not just support it. They were involved in some of these things. We never did go into who's allowed to be in the room as part of ground rules.




Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Yes, and then the Nesquallas had that problem over in Olympia, where there was another place on the Nesqualli River that flows on the reservation, but through privately owned property of the Mormon church. They had a number of acres right on the river that were for sportsman's events. Their people came to fish there, legally and so on, from maybe Seattle. There was also a supply center. They stockpiled supplies in a building on this property. They keep food for a year in advance. Anyway, this is where clothing was stockpiled, and poor Mormons, I gather, could come and get needed supplies. But there was a gate, which took a magnetic card for it to slide back and let you in, otherwise it was all barred off. This was a prime fishing area on the Nesqualli River. "Every time we come there, that gate's locked. And we can't get in." You can imagine. I don't remember specifics besides that. But we worked out a very simplistic approach as compared with these others. But again, we secured the recognition of the right of access through that gate, through the private property, over to the waterfront during fishing season. And of course, one magnetic card was given to the Fisheries Chairperson, and of course that card got lost and we can't get through. That's not an objective statement to make, but there were problems with keeping up with that card, and then there were some problems involving the other tribe, that we were able to help. They had treaty rights issues on another island. The teamsters union had a recreation property, a very tough outfit. We met in the National Marine Fisheries office in the Olympia area, a neutral location, non-tribal and not a teamsters union office. And again, using the basic model that we had developed on Squackson Island for this as well, that is access to this property owner and this caretaker down there who was a pretty tough person. He was retired from truck driving, I guess, to take care of this recreation property. He had been accused of not allowing tribal members to fish along their waterfront. Then there was another tribe with the same issues. One was in the town of Stillicum. They had a private park which is on the tribal land. It was on an inlet, and they had wanted it used as a custom fishing area, and this park was on a little point that had often been used for fishing, and they objected to access through their land. There was no parking here, and they built campfires where they were camping out and so on. That kind of usage that was illegal for citizens, but the Indians did use it in this way. We were able to work out that, again, pulling in State Department of Fisheries. See, they took it as a mission. They had begun to catch the significance of what they were doing. We were pioneering some area here that nobody's done before. But anyway, I had an afternoon mediation and still looked in on the evening negotiations up in Olympia and I had other casework besides just this. And I remember once I was trying to address some tribal issues over in Washington and in Northern Idaho and getting from this area to there, I was really stretched thin.



Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Give us an overview.

Answer:
There was a young black man, 22 years of age, shot and killed by a police marksman after he was a barricaded suspect in an apartment complex. This was in Anchorage. The reaction of the African-American community was very predictable. Outrage, and so on. As often happens, there are other incidents that have occurred that are brought to mind, and the Alaskan community had similar issues. "Hey, this happened to us too." Local human rights commissions held a community meeting, and as I understand it, pretty well lost control. The outrage was so strong that they were not able to provide any effective leadership and CRS came in a little bit later. This was going to be ongoing, and we helped to organize community representatives of a number of groups that had become involved into a community coalition: The Native Alaskan Organization, the statewide organization, the local Native Alaskan Organization, the NAACP, and the Black Leadership Conference. After the assessment recommended mediation with the police department, the police chief agreed to enter into mediation, we met in a federal building in a little auditorium where eventually we were able to hammer out a fourteen point agreement. This took maybe eight sessions. We had two sessions that first week and came back the next week. It made some real breakthroughs. That's the first time, I'm aware of, that a firearms policy of a police department was revised by mediation agreement. Use of deadly force was sharply curtailed to a defense-only policy, which was certainly not the standard in that time. Among other things, we found a graduate student of criminology, who was unemployed, living out in the community. We brought her in, and created a position for her, because we needed that influence. It was virtually an all white department, too. The things that were dealt with in the agreement: firearms policy was number one, of course: training black and Native American leadership; and cultural awareness training, both in service and in the local police academy. It was affirmative action. Not only recruiting, the community agreed to assist in promoting careers in the department, and agents from the community. There were promotions for those who worked within. They established a community relations unit more or less around the criminologist, although she wasn't a sworn officer. Those were the regular kinds of elements of an agreement. In the event of any racially based crisis, the members in the negotiating teams would establish communication. In other words, either could initiate contact and there were co-chair persons I believe, and either of them could initiate a joint meeting to ensure communication and to secure factual information over police reports so that they could effectively address the issues involved. So that grievance channel was established. Lastly was the review of the agreement. In three months the mediator will return. This time, I learned my lesson and was trying to get it incorporated in all of the agreements. Everybody agreed to that. Every three months, for about three quarters, I would go back and convene such a meeting. But the participants said, "Can you come back next month?" I had to say, "My budget won't allow me to travel every month up here, why don't you meet on your own? You've got two co-chairs." That was fine. They began to meet every month, I was overjoyed at this, it was succeeding. They said, "What about the Koreans, the Korean Human Rights Committee? They've had a lot of problems- accusations of drug dealing and so on." LULAC is here, so they expanded it to involve these other organizations that weren't involved on the initial negotiating team. Then a black sergeant had soldiers at the local military base bring in some of them dressed as Klansmen, and burn a cross on the door in the barracks of a black sergeant, trying to scare him, 'playing a prank.' This was publicized and the community, the black community in particular, was outraged. Nobody had a channel, a line, out to Ft. Richardson, and they weren't involved and the community was all uptight. So I went out and talked with the Marshall, and it happened to be that he was from Anniston, Alabama, right next to where I was raised in Gaston. Anyway, I got him to become involved as a member of this committee, and also, with the permission of the others, invited the US Attorney. But he sent an assistant. The FBI agent in charge was very interested and she went out. I spoke to her and she became involved and she had some very good ideas and suggestions, a very effective member of this group. So this Anchorage Police Minority Community Relations Task Force, and also the local Human Rights Commission, under a new director, became involved. It's still going on, ten years later. It took on a life of its own and it is the primary channel for police grievances as it relates to any of the minority communities, and has taken on a wide range of projects over these years. But that came out of a mediation agreement. And at first, I would start out and remind them, "This is the agreement, let's see how the implementation is going after about a year of this." They say, "Why do we have to start way back there?" And the mediation agreement was laid aside.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I borrowed a sergeant from the San Antonio, Texas police department, a Hispanic officer who helped me tremendously in educating the police in Illinois on how Hispanics are different. The policing was really the same policing but you had to kinda do it a little different. It helped a whole lot. Recently, a newsletter had the story of the sheriff in Bear County in San Antonio, and I'm reading more and I saw his story and it's the same guy I used as a sergeant almost twenty-five years ago. He got elected sheriff. I called him up. So we were talking about borrowing experts and that's one time that I borrowed someone. A lot of times, as I said earlier, I borrow people's influence or knowledge.



Ozell Sutton


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
When you were providing this technical assistance, did you use community resources, other consultants? How did you know who you should include in your training?

Answer:
Well, you gotta know that. That's the part of your body of knowledge in a sense. I pulled together the black leadership that was concerned about this issue and we drafted. I already had the plan ready when the crisis developed. I had already pulled a body together of black leaders and we had to come up with who could assist us, and who did we need to bring in. We brought in two people from this agency and one person from the F.B.I. We didn't want any local F.B.I. And we brought in five people who helped us design that plan and then helped us in the training process.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

There was a continuing problem at the institution that cut across mediation. The attorneys from the university could be discourteous and abrasive with the staff when they came to meet with residents. The officers disliked them. One of the attorneys caught me one day and said, "We are having trouble gaining entry. They hold us up till the superintendent is here or his associate is here. Then, they hold us up at the gate, then they donít escort us downstairs and we are losing an hour every time we visit. We arenít going to stand for this.Ē I asked them if they had talked to the superintendent about it?" "We shouldnít have to talk to the superintendent," they said, but they agreed to do so and I said I would work with them to get the matter resolved.



Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
At one point, I brought in Ellis McDougal as a consultant. He was corrections commissioner in Georgia at the time and a consultant to CRS. He met with Orville Pung. Being able to bring in that kind of guy is useful. You never know if that helps or doesn't help the credibility, but I think it does.




Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
If you came to the conclusion that they would be better off going another direction, what did you do?

Answer:
Refer. Our confidentiality wouldn't allow me to call that party or call that law enforcement group, but I could refer them. Sometimes it would happen because I didn't believe that the institution or the establishment was going to act in good faith. I would not bring people to the table if I didn't believe that.






Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Did you ever turn down offers of assistance or outside resources?

Answer:
People who wanted to volunteer? I am trying to remember whether we did or not. I seem to remember that there were some who decided on their own that they couldn't do this because it was too emotional for them or because they felt too strongly. They didn't think they could be neutral if they saw something happening, they felt very strongly that they had to intervene and deal with it, rather than just be observers. I don't recall that we actually turned down volunteers but it might have happened.






Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

So at this point we had a meeting and I told the board, "I've reached my limit here. I can teach you folks, but it isn't like the training that we got from George Nicholau. Let's bring him in to talk to the group. So we did. George came in and talked to them, and they liked him. So the next thing we had to do was to get George together with the director. The director also loved him, because he made sense. He didn't talk about any of this off-the-shelf, "let's be good and love each other" kind of stuff. He asked, "What can we do to change your institution that won't bring all hell from the state?" That was one point. The other thing was, "How can we make it so that, hopefully, the inmates can deal with this in a more rational manner, rather than resorting to violence?" So, we didn't promise anything, we just proposed.



Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

In the meantime, we were working with the Navy and a University down in San Diego. It's an independent university that uses a lot of the federal facilities. The Navy allowed us to use their training facility, and since this particular university was already using their training equipment, classrooms and so forth, we were allowed the same privileges. The Navy even provided us with video technicians to record our training. So we did that. We trained them for forty hours in conflict resolution. It really came out well, because they came back and did their thing, and I think it lasted about two years before fading away.



Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Would you bring in only consultants, or use any outside resources to help you during a case or a process?

Answer:
I very seldom use consultants, however I often use other CRS staff. I know a community then it's easy. But we usually make a connection to people they know that I know. In the little town of Texas, I didn't know the mayor, but I called the mayor and set up a meeting with him and he gathered about twenty or thirty ministers. One of them had worked with me eight or nine years before in another town. And he and I worked together. So when we had the meeting he remembered me. He kind of sold me to all the rest, so sometimes I use an intermediary, or if I work with one police chief and I'm now working with a new one, I let the new one know I worked with the other one.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

In fact I'm doing a training of a police department out of Houston, another county. But I'm using one of the trainers a Houston police officer. There's an excellent trainer at the academy on cross-cultural communications processes. Although we have different backgrounds, how do we, as a human being's receive information and process it fairly? We use screens that let in what we want to let in, and then we react that. What you sent this way was not necessarily what I received. He's really good at describing this and through role playing and discussion he's very good at imparting that, so we used him in community problems between the African American community and Vietnamese store owners. And, it goes beyond cultural training, and cultural awareness, it's the next level I guess. Just us as human beings. How can we better relate to each other? No matter where we came from and no matter what path we took because it's basics that we all relate to. We all have arms, heads, and faces that's common for all of us. But there's a lot of other things that aren't common too.

Question:
How does this come about?

Answer:
Oh, because we wanted to teach this course they do at the academy to rookies and others. But we wanted to do it in a community setting to help the community, the residents, and the store owners be better able to understand each other, and hopefully by understanding each other they would be more cooperative. This was to lessen the opportunities for violence, for thefts, and for problems. Of the seven stores that we targeted through this program we brought this training in because it empowered the strategic plans that we helped put together, the training's part of it. There have been no incidents, no robberies, no thefts, no vandalism, and no shootings in those seven targeted stores.




Manuel Salinas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

So we identified five people. We had a consultant that we identified from CRS, two officers out of Denver, and two out of San Jose, California, that had assessed police.

Question:
CRS?

Answer:
No. They were consultants to us. Of course we identified them, but there was only one consultant we had used over and over again. The others were not used before, but we knew of them, so we felt comfortable that they could come in and do a very good and impartial assessment. So they came in.




Manuel Salinas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Were you personally involved at all in the assessment process?

Answer:
No, we weren't. This was all done outside.

Question:
How did you determine who would be best to do that?

Answer:
Through word-of-mouth communications with other departments. We knew that the San Jose chief of police was an extremely good individual. He brought along another party, and then we had a CRS consultant we had worked with before that had done some assessments for police departments, so we brought him in. Then the other two were from Denver, not the Denver police department, but from the suburbs of Denver.

Question:
And were the locals, either el Comite or the local police involved at all in deciding who these people would be?

Answer:
No. They accepted our decisions, since we were paying for it. I think that's why they accepted it. And, you know, chiefs of police talk with one another all over the country, so they know what's going on. So when we named that fellow from San Jose, I'm sure the chief of police here knew of him, and was more than willing to accept him as one of the team, and knowing him, even without knowing the others, it closed the deal.




Manuel Salinas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

So they came in and they went over the whole thing again and talked about strategies to approach the problem. There was another group in Washington D.C. that was even stronger than the group that we had identified initially. It was called "Citizens Communication" and they had attorneys helping them. Also, the United Church of Christ was much involved in communications at that time too. So CRS paid for some people from Citizens Communication to come in to Denver and to explain how they could help the Denver group, what they could do for them. Then they returned to Washington to begin preparing some documents -- they already had a boiler plate of something they could do.






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by Conflict Management Initiatives and the Conflict Information Consortium at the University of Colorado