In June 2009, TGI completed its first successful research project, NVC Live!.  The purpose of the project was to determine the impact of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) training on male parolees' level of empathy.  NVC teaches conflict resolution via empathic communication skills. Empathy is the capacity to understand another person's experience.  A lack of empathy is associated with antisocial and criminal behavior.


team-nvcThere were two phases to this project.  During phase one, 8 current and former parolees met weekly for ten weeks with TGI staff, and an NVC expert facilitator to learn NVC and design the education program, NVC Live!. This was project for parolees, by parolees!  During the second phase, NVC Live! was presented to the residents of Medford House, a residential drug and alcohol treatment facility fo rmen on parole.  More than 40 men recieved 15 weeks of NVC training and 30 men participated in the evaluation of NVC Live!  The evaluation included and empathy questionnaire completed before and after the program, focus groups, and indivdual interviews. 


Team_NVC_webThe evaluation results were significant! Participants' level of empathy improved after the program as measured by the empathy questionnaire.  Focus groups and individual interviews revealed: 1) a high rate of acceptance of NVC amongst participants; 2) the routine use of NVC skills to resolve conflict: and 3) the perceived importance of NVC training to participants' recovery and reintegration efforts. The study results have been published in The Journal of Correctional Health Care!

A proposal to expand on the success of NVC Live is under review with National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).  This new project will provide NVC training and supportive services to 134 men on parole.  This project will also hire paroled adults as project research assistants.  Award notification is anticipated Summer 2012.


TGI is eternally grateful to the following folks:

The UCLA School of Nursing Health Disparities and Vulnerable Populations Research Program for its financial and intellectual contributions to the project.

Newt Bailey, NVC expert facilitator extraordinaire.  TGI attributes much of the success of this project to Newt and his amazing teaching gifts.

The Seventh Step Foundation for allowing TGI to conduct this research project in its Medford House facility.