A majority of us will leave prison one day. I’ll go back to Brooklyn. We’ll find neighborhoods transformed — a new class of professionals and hipsters strolling the streets and supermarket aisles. I wonder if they’ll bristle when they hear us talk and learn about where we’ve been. We need to be prepared to return to the outside world and stay there. But have hope for us when we’re inside, too. We need opportunities to educate ourselves. My mother used to tell me something that obviously took me a long time to figure out: “How you think is how you act.”


mike:

Agree wholeheartedly. As pointed out, the opposition to these types of programs comes from a "prison as retribution" mind-set as opposed to a "prison as rehabilitation" mind-set. We want revenge, and it comes at a steep price. Recidivism in the US is extremely high. In a study cited on the National Institute of Justice website:

    Within three years of release, about two-thirds (67.8 percent) of released prisoners were rearrested. Within five years of release, about three-quarters (76.6 percent) of released prisoners were rearrested. Of those prisoners who were rearrested, more than half (56.7 percent) were arrested by the end of the first year.
Compare that with Norway's recidivism rate of 20 percent. That country's prison system focuses on rehabilitation, and yes people may grumble a bit that prisons are a little too nice, with classes, jobs and responsibilities but the end result is worth it. A lot of people commit crimes not because they're shitty people, they do it because they don't have or can't see other worthwhile opportunities. Expand their worlds – it works!

posted by camarillobrillo: 1346 days ago