CoDA Friday Fellowship Item #2: The Message Sparks a Spreading Fire

From: "CoDA Announcements" <>
Subject: CoDA Friday Fellowship Item #2: The Message Sparks a Spreading Fire
Date: April 20th 2017

The content of this email has been approved by the Hospitals and Institutions Committee of CoDA World Service


FRIDAY FELLOWSHIP ITEM #2: The Message Sparks a Spreading Fire

A few members of our program decided to carry CoDA into one of their county jails. In this facility, the inmates were physically divided into “pods” of 30-40 each. The CoDA members were allowed to present their experience, strength and hope to a whole pod, and some inmates thought they would give it try.

The Hospitals and Institutions Committee of CoDA provided a personal copy of the CoDA Book (Blue) and Steps and Traditions Workbook (green) to those inmates for the first meetings. As the meetings continued, and those attending the CoDA meeting worked their own programs, they began to apply some of the communication principles they were learning.

They started applying those ideas to dealing with decisions made in their daily life in the pod. Due to the improved relationships among CoDA members, the whole pod decided to use “no-crosstalk” guidelines in general pod meetings. This reduced the usual contentiousness and controversy over which television shows to watch, for instance, amazingly. The overall, generally negative, atmosphere improved quite notably.

Decisions became more broadly agreeable and tensions in the pod were so reduced that prison staff and inmates in other pods began to notice. With the cooperation of staff, CoDA meetings and use of crosstalk guidelines spread to other pods in the facility.

The county is in an area with many military facilities, and there were several veterans among the inmates and they were in contact with the Veterans Administration. The VA also noticed the changes that took place in the jail. This has opened up investigation into how something like this, our CoDA principles, could be used before their people ended up in prison, maybe preventing that happening.

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