Fred Sly & Edwin Rutsch: Dialogs on How to Build a Culture of Empathy in Prisons

To build a culture of empathy, we need to dramatically transform the justice system and place empathy at the center of it. Part of that system is the prison system. I talk with Fred Sly & Vika Miller from the Oregon Prison Project about how to transform the prison system.

Fred Sly, Program Director & Vika Miller, Executive Director, The Oregon Prison Project. Working with Compassionate Communications to transform prisons and make them cultures of empathy.


Fred says empathy is like a puppy dog pile that no-one is embarrassed to play in and all are included versus coldness and mechanical robots. Vika says it’s like a compassionate room where we can be everything that we are. There is room for all that we are as human beings. The opposite of empathy would be like a closed fist of disconnection, resistance and closed heartedness.