MacDougall Dialogue - A House Divided Deliberative Forum
Medium Security Correctional Institution and the Citizens Center for Public Life regularly hosts National Issues Forums (NIF) deliberative dialogues (DD) for about five to 20 residents for two hours twice a month. The project is designed to help residents adjust to life after prison. How do residents talk about the tough issues of the day?
Do the residents have similar opinions as people on the other side of the fence /wall?
Do deliberative dialogue forums provide a means for these residents' voices to be heard?
Five residents participated in "A House Divided" the first week of April and will do so again on April 15, 2019. After agreeing with all options presented in the issue guide, participants suggested that the only way to make needed changes in communities and in America was for individuals to make changes within themselves, and if they had a good idea to figure out how to present their idea to other community people within the current systems. Broken or not the current system is the law and though it may be hard work, participants felt they needed to work within the system.
"All the best ideas come from the people effected by a problem," said one resident, "We have to figure out what we want, do our research, and present our ideas to those in control in a rational manner"
"Sometimes officials listen; sometimes they do not. But, we cannot stop if it is important to us. Some people support us; some do not."
Residents that participated in the first "A House Divided" forum are recruiting more participants for this forum.