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Forum Post: Why Prison Education?

Posted 1 year ago on March 21, 2013, 2:09 p.m. EST by GirlFriday (17435)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

The Higher the Degree, the Lower the Recidivism Rate

Studies conducted over the last two decades almost unanimously indicate that higher education in prison programs reduces recidivism and translates into reductions in crime, savings to taxpayers, and long-term contributions to the safety and well-being of the communities to which formerly incarcerated people return.

Recent research on prison education programs presents discouraging statistics on the current recidivism rate. The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) reported in 2011 that nearly 7 in 10 people who are formerly incarcerated will commit a new crime, and half will end up back in prison within three years. Given that about 95 out of every 100 incarcerated people eventually rejoin society,[1] it is crucial that we develop programs and tools to effectively reduce recidivism.

Prison education is far more effective at reducing recidivism than boot camps, “shock” incarceration or vocational training, according to the National Institute of Justice.[2] In 2001, the Correctional Education Association’s “Three State Recidivism Study” quantified this reduction, demonstrating that correctional education lowered long-term recidivism by 29 percent.[3]

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[-] 5 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

Higher education is a requirement for any success today. Up until the last decade or so a person without higher education still had the opportunity to find a descent job even though they may not earn as much as a coworker with a college degree.

Whether prisoners should receive education is an interesting topic and I have very mixed feelings about this. In my opinion, not all prisoners should be entitled to such. Our tax dollars pay for these programs and frankly, why should I pay to educate a prisoner who has a life term or has a repeat criminal history when there are bright hardworking kids who deserve an opportunity BEFORE they end up in prison?

Not everyone grows up in a family or cultural environment that values education which is a big part of the problem. That's why it's so important for teachers and other mentors to expose all children to the opportunities before them and instill value for higher learning.

When I heard the story about the young man who shot the baby in the stroller, I just cried. If I had been the mother, I think I would have killed him on the spot but I also realized that this was a boy who hated himself and his life so much that he became enraged by seeing a mother caring for her baby as she was. We have a culture of children who hate themselves, who have been neglected, emotionally abandoned, intellectually abandoned and dismissed as having no real value in society. That boy was just as much a victim as the baby in the stroller. Even so, I'm not so sure that at this point in his life, he can be rehabilitated into a productive male citizen. His parents should be locked up and sterilized as far as I'm concerned.

Several years ago, I began mentoring several children at a homeless shelter because I was so angry at the mothers of the kids who did absolutely nothing to encourage their children to be any better than them. It may sound insensitive of me to judge these mothers so harshly but I don't have any sympathy for selfish parents and many of these mothers are still getting pregnant while living in the shelter. Parenting is not about being selfish on any level.

I have tried for years to recruit black male college students to assist me and to get involved in mentoring these children. All it takes is opening the doors of possibility and instilling a sense of pride and value in these children. They need to see in real time what college campuses look like, museums, trade schools, on the job training,, etc...They need to feel productive and happy and they need to be able to dream about more than just being doomed to the same fate as their parents. Just hearing about something in a classroom has very little impact if a child never sees it or touches it. They only know and believe in what they see every day. It's a labor of love to mentor and a way to invest in the future of our world. However, for some reason, I have yet to find a single black male or female who will even consider assisting me or mentoring on their own. What is the deal? I only mention the race issue because the majority of these children are indeed black and they relate much easier to others of the same race. I beg of each of you ( no matter what race) to reach out to these kids while they still have a chance. Once they commit a crime, it's too late. They will forever live with the stigma of having a record and it will defeat any of their efforts in life if they ever get an opportunity.

It only takes a few hours a month to alter a child's perception. I've had to counter mothers who resented their children trying to be better than them and I've had to deal with a lot of anger issues and other problematic behaviors but, I've never had a child who gave up because I won't let them. I won't give up on them and sooner or later they all figure that out even though many do try and push me away to prove that they were right that no white woman gives a fuck about them.

Please consider becoming a mentor. We all need you!!

Tonight on PBS, I believe that Tavis Smiley is airing a special about this: " Education Under Arrest"...check your local listings.

[-] 4 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

.Truly Gillian the spirit that i see in Occupy was embedded in you long before Sept 17th, 2011. Thank You for sharing your personal stories, your knowledge, and for pushing us all to take the time to make a difference in someone's life, hence making this a Better World

The last time that I was in Alaska, i said to one of my daughters who is a public defender there, 'I wonder how many of your clients ever received the kind of love that your daughter gets on a daily basis.' She said, "not many."

When my kids were in school in Vermont they attended a private high school. That was only because the town did not have a public HS though. Anyway someone left an endowment for the purpose of bringing up 2-4 inner-city kids from Newark, NJ every year to attend that school. People had to volunteer though to to put them up in their homes for the school year. We were one of those families.

We ended up with a bright, very feisty African American girl named Trizonna. It was a very fun, exciting...laughing...year. Trizonna and my family, now hers got along very well, but yes after the kinks were worked out on both our parts. Triz and I used to take great pleasure in teasing the shit out of each other, and she was always quick with a good comeback that was usually foreign to me, and it would leave me speechless....lol

Anyway during that shool year, my oldest daughter who was a junior while Trizonna was a senior got up at Monday morning assembly to make a speech. The entire faculty and all the students were present, as I was too. Her speech was on racism, and it ended with her looking straight in the eyes of a classmate and saying, "No I am not a "nigger lover," I am a people lover." The boy she looked at while saying that was the same boy that said that nasty thing to her only days before. I will never forget the courage she showed that day, and it was all her idea, not mine

When Triz.. graduated, she promised my oldest daughter that she would be back for her graduation, and she kept that promise. We went on to have several more exchange students from different parts of the world, but thinking of Trizonna makes me smile, and she will always have a special place in my heart.

~Odin~

[-] 4 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

Maybe I'm a softy, but I just got misty reading your story.

This seems like a great starting point for a Novel or a Film. I never thought of writing a story about a young woman or child though since I never had a sister and had a small family. Maybe I'll keep your story in mind to carry into the future... I do communicate better in writing. Thanx.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

You are a "softy" Mildman ;-), but that shows sensitivity, and that is nothing to be ashamed of

And besides I must admit that I was misting up myself between smiling a lot while writing it

~Odin~

[-] 3 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

Thanks.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

;-)

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

What a wonderful story Odin ;D Your daughter is very blessed to have you! Racism is still very alive in the US as well as sexism! We have just refer to it by different names now.

Do you still hear from Triz? I hope that Triz will give back too.

My sister has a few exchange students each year. It's a wonderful experience for their entire family.

XXOO

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Thanks Gillian. My kids keep in contact with Triz on facebook, and we know that she is living in one of the Carolinas, but to be honest, I have not kept in contact with her to my bad. You have made me think though.

We went on to have a girl who was from Sri Lanka, but was adopted, and grew up in Sweden......a girl from Russia...a boy from Ecuador....another girl from Sweden... a girl from Spain...and a boy from India all living with us mostly at different times. The latter two were only with us for a couple of weeks though. And my oldest daughter spent a school year in India with the Rotary Club

~Odin~

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

That is absolutely wonderful. Do you have anything to say about the topic?

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Just as Gillian pointed out GF we should all take the time to make a positive difference in especially young people's lives

Other than that, I would just reiterate a quote from Danny Thomas that I heard along time ago, "There are two kinds of people in the world, "givers and takers." The "takers" may eat better, but the "givers" sleep better."

~Odin~

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Gillian is rather nice but had nothing to really say about the actual topic. So, do you support prison education? Pell grants in prison?

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Yes i do support prison education, and so in that I differ with Gillian

Everyone should have the chance to redeem himself whether on a small scale or a larger one

Not educating prisoners just increases the chances for recidivism, and in the end costs society more

~Odin~

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

It's not that I disagree that prisoners should have education. My point was that it's complicated. We can't discriminate by saying that only some of the prisoners are worthy and yet, many of them are not worthy of an educatoin that is being funded by tax payers.
SO, that said, my comments thus far were all about focusing on ways to prevent the first arrest. Even with an education, a convicted criminal that has served time has a great chance of failing in society for a variety of reasons. We've already seen this happen mostly because when a prisoner returns to the real world after a number of years ( especially in todays fast pace world), the struggle seems so overwhelming, they feel alienated by their old friends and that they often give up and return to their old hood, their old friends/bad influences and they feel like the degree really didn't benefit them at all.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

I believe in redemption, and giving people hope, as it is not only the most humane thing to do, but it is also the most cost effective and the most beneficial for society on the whole

Yes I agree that by preventing the first arrest and giving kids a chance for a good education is the ideal, but we both know that is not happening

The deck is stacked against even good kids who come from good homes in the inner cities as they are far more likely to be incarcerated for youthful indiscretions, and for far longer too, that suburban white kids. They are the fodder of the PID, and once that first arrest happens, many never recover as that follows them throughout their life

It is easy to pass judgement on these youths having been brought up in a world of love and 'plenty' as probably both of us have, but many of these kids never had that.

Finally, it should not be a question of spending our money on educational programs for prison inmates.... OR.... kids that are not in prison, rather it should be a question on spending on BOTH... versus... a lot of other crap we spend it on which is to the detriment of almost all of us

There are no easy answers Gillian. I understand that, but there are good people searching for solutions as I found out by attending a community collaborative event called Beyond The Bars at Columbia University Saturday

In any event what is going on now has lttle to do with the benefit of society on the whole, and a lot to do with money for everyone involved with the prison industrial complex

~Odin~

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (25218) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Those who are slated to never see the light of day again - the mass murderers and Bernie Madoffs of the world should be segregated - removed from the prison population that will return to the street ( in time ) - "they" will not need an education. Violent criminals - that will be returning to the street should be removed/segregated away from non-violent criminals.

All prisoners to be returned to the street/society ( eventually ) should be given an opportunity for a full education ( an education as far as their intelligence will take them and they are wanting to pursue ).

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

Yeah, I suppose we could say that lifers are not entitled...that's sort of a given. I think Manson got an Masters degree in fine art? hahahah

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

Frov...that's a good quote but I am afraid that I don't always sleep better! Honestly, I carry too many others suffering to bed with me!

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

You deseve to sleep better Gillian. Think of the difference that you have made in so many young peoples' lives. Maybe that will help.

~Odin~

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

Great story as usual, Odin. And I'd have to say you and Gillian are about on par as far as embodying the OWS spirit long before this movement ever began.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Thanks g, raisng a family and having a giving home was the highpoint of my life

Being involved with all the great people that I have grown to love in Occupy is not far behind though

I suspect that Gillian feels the same way

We all must remember though that it is never too late to be a better person even..... because this classy revolution will progress, not by reviving old hatreds, but by renewing the best in us. Case in Point: Occupy Sandy & The Rolling Jubilee

~Odin~

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

Yes, I suspect Gillian does. She certainly has been putting up some very interesting comments lately, too. I've learned a thing or two from her recently.

And Occupy Sandy and the Rolling Jubilee are two of the best things that have come out of OWS, in my opinion. We need more of the same in the coming months and years. That's the kind of thing that will change the general population's perception of OWS, I think.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Agreed, Gillian comes across as a very intelligent, perceptive, loving, and honest person, and I see that a lot in Occupy

When people see the good projects that Occupy has launched, it only portends well for our struggle

The loving spirit though is a real problem as these old bones can only take so many hugs in one day ;-)

~Odin~

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

Yeah, but it hurts so good, eh?

[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

They really are the "salt of the earth," and yes it is nice to be accepted and trusted by them

~Odin~

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

It sounds like it. On both counts.

[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Yes it is

~Odin~

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

Well, it's that time again, Odin. I'm about to log off.

Until tomorrow, my friend. keep up the good fight.

g

[-] -1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Good Night g

~Odin~

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

I have the opportunity to find a decent job for 10 years

hasn't happened

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Perhaps it is time to reevaluate your approach.

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

In what way?

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Gillian, have you completed college?

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

Yes

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

So, did you encounter any course work in diversity or cultural sensitivity?

[-] 2 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

Yes, yes, yes..so what's your point? What is your suggestion?

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

You need to reevaluate your approach or you need to reevaluate your programs approach. If you have that much of a failure rate then it's way past time to take a look at both.

Not everyone grows up in a family or cultural environment that values education which is a big part of the problem.

It depends on the culture and it is a matter of priority and as well as the parents experiences with the educational system. Some cultures place family over education.

However, for some reason, I have yet to find a single black male or female who will even consider assisting me or mentoring on their own. What is the deal? I only mention the race issue because the majority of these children are indeed black and they relate much easier to others of the same race.

Other programs do not have this problem.

Several years ago, I began mentoring several children at a homeless shelter because I was so angry at the mothers of the kids who did absolutely nothing to encourage their children to be any better than them.

Or because they did not respond to you in the way that you wanted them to.

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

Of course it can be cultural which is exactly the point of my comment and to suggest that we have failed is completely ridiculous. This is a nationwide problem and there are many programs across the country that are in desperate need of caring and concerned African-American mentors. We can't force anyone to mentor and it's a huge commitment. Children need ongoing stable relationships with mentors and just showing up once doesn't help and can actually do more harm. The reasons as to why there is not enough involvement from the black community should be examined as it contributes greatly to the success or failure of African-American children.

Just because someone grows up in a homeless shelter or a ghetto or on some pig farm doesn't mean that they can't excel beyond the limits of their socio-economic, cultural, social or family conditioning. It's not just the poor or ethnic children from blue collar homes that grow up in families that don't value education. I've known parents with college degrees that didn't value education and alternatively, I've known mothers at the shelter who were so incredibly determined to do whatever it took to instill good character and values ( including education) in their children.

Given that most teachers are white, it's even more important to bridge that multi-racial gap. A social worker told me that she believes that when some people work their way out of poverty don't want to look back or become associated with the other side anymore and many fear being ridiculed for helping those welfare kids whose parents abuse the system.

Perhaps people don't feel that it's worth their time to invest in children that don't have enough healthy family influence and support. When I see a ' homeless' person on the street begging for money or food or a job, I always wonder if they are for real or if they are just an opportunist shyster. Even so, I stop and ask them to explain their situation. Maybe I can help. Maybe I can't. Maybe I won't trust that they are being honest. Nevertheless, I can't just assume that every poor man with a sign is a shyster anymore than I can assume that every child on a farm is an illiterate redneck who can't become a novelist.

Tikkun Olam!

[-] 1 points by Narley (284) 1 year ago

I’m not as optimistic as you. In fact I’m very pessimistic. For the most part the programs intended to help unprivileged kids have failed. I also think education for inmates won’t make much difference in re-incarceration rates.

At the same time I think we still have to make an attempt to salvage these folks. Maybe some success can be made. We can’t just ignore it and think it will go away.

Alas, I think we’ve lost a couple of generations. Unfortunately, the black community is hit the hardest. That’s not intended to be racist. If we’re going to address the problem we have to be honest about it.

So, I don’t have any suggestions. To some degree I think a large part of our society is unrecoverable, they can’t be helped.

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

I'm not optimistic at all really. I'm a fatalist. However, when it comes to children, I know that I have the best chance of making a difference. There's a very small window of time where a mentor can alter a child's perception of their world.
You're very correct that the black community is hit the hardest with criminal behavior. That's why I have 99.9 percent black children. It's very rare that I see a white child in a homeless shelter. That's not to say that white kids don't commit crime but black kids don't have the same legal, family or community support and resources 'available' to them so they end up giving up and repeating. If they can't imagine themselves as being respected outside of their social group then, they aren't even going to try to better themselves. It's up to each of us to show them that there's a different world that they can choose for themselves.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Building that community support system is very important as bureaucracy alone is not enough. That point was brought out over and over again at the seminar I attended.

~Odin~

[-] 1 points by Narley (284) 1 year ago

As a father of three daughters and two granddaughters I believe children are the most important people on earth. I would walk through fire for any of these girls. As would any parent. My family is fortunate to be stable, healthy and happy. We are fortunate indeed.

My wife is a retired child protective services worker. I can’t count the times she came home with tears because a child was abused or neglected. I would not have the strength to work in such a field. I don’t think I could do the work you do.

I always thought it odd when people say our future is computers, or some political scheme. I’ve always known our future is our kids. If they are lost, then all is lost.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Come September, i will match you in having three d's and two gd's, and I agree that "our future is our kids," and "if they are lost, then all is lost."

Anyone who came home crying from working in the CPS obviously cared very deeply about children who were being abused. But it should not be overlooked that 'some' of these state agencies working under the auspices of the federal HHS also caused a lot of harm too, and that was mostly driven by a perverse funding method

~Odin~

[-] 2 points by Narley (284) 1 year ago

I can’t speak for all child agencies, but in my wife’s case it was a case of case overload due to reduced budget. The last two years before she retired she transferred to the Adoptions section of the agency. Much happier there.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

I'm glad to hear that she was happy there, after all the difficult years. It sounds like a nice way to end a career.

~Odin~

[-] 1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

There is no political solution to a cultural problem.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

That's a great quote. I know you've said it before, but still. It's dead on.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

to suggest that we have failed is completely ridiculous.

But, apparently you have.

Put education back into the prisons. Not the wanna be Kaplan etc. crap. The recidivism rate drops and allows parents to regain, renew the relationships with their own children and creates the opportunity to remove the hustling that you might encounter with the poverty factor.

Your teachers have training in multiculturalism in the classroom but.......you're going to need to get rid of the high stakes testing to do so and allow them to teach. It would be wise to ditch those people who insist on white washing history textbooks. And drop the zero tolerance policies that set up the school to prison pipeline. Get over the inclusion movement. Refusing to hire qualified special education teachers because handing over the money to high stakes testing says that children are not worth the effort. Doing a jacked up job on testing for learning disabilities because it will cost a district money is a part of the problem.

I don't know how to put this gently. I encounter this frequently with some volunteers. There is an attitude of because this one can then every one else can. Or this is what you should do or how you should react. Unless you have a psych evaluation in your hand, I'd advise against it.

I noticed that you edited your first post earlier. But, I am going to go back to that.

Several years ago, I began mentoring several children at a homeless shelter because I was so angry at the mothers of the kids who did absolutely nothing to encourage their children to be any better than them. It may sound insensitive of me to judge these mothers so harshly but I don't have any sympathy for selfish parents and many of these mothers are still getting pregnant while living in the shelter. Parenting is not about being selfish on any level.

If I remember correctly, the part that you edited is that you found the mothers resented you. You betcha. I don't think that you understand that you undermined the parent's authority in the midst of a financially unstable situation. So.............you did and said whatever you wanted and knew that there was really nothing that they could do about it.
The odds are that many of them felt that if they did react that they would lose the little stability or access to whatever services are left that a shelter provides.

I find that to be quite passive aggressive. I would gather that might make parents resist any benefits that you may believe you are bringing.

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

If I edit my posts, it's usually because I left out a word or misspelled a word. But so what? You seem to be deliberately misinterpreting my comments in an effort to undermine the importance of reaching a child before they get arrested- which , in my opinion is part of the solution and not just a bandaid ( prison education) on a much deeper wound It's difficult enough to find work in this country with a degree. Imagine having a criminal record? Why should we be focused on educating criminals when we can't allocate enough funds for the current education system in this country? Since you know so much about minority culture, then you also know that despite a college degree acquired in prison, a prisoner must be able to keep, sustain and tolerate their low paying job in an American economy that doesn't even support the middle class. A prisoner must also be able to integrate back into society and in many cases, this means abandoning their former acquaintances, not visiting their families in the old neighborhood. This is tough, mighty tough for them. It's also a rude awakening to realize that all that hard work didn't pay off as well as they thought and that they are still struggling to survive. Despite the stats that you quote, many do not last in their jobs and will return to their old lifestyle. I don't believe that a degree alone is going to solve the problem. It doesn't solve the problem for any of us anymore.

My comment about the mother's resenting us or me? Of course they would in some cases but it's not for the reason that you attempt to explain. These mothers rely on these children for many things ( taking care of their siblings, running to the store, laundry, etc..) but they also fear their children becoming more successful and leaving them or feeling ashamed of them. This is perfectly natural but it's no reason to hold a child back. It's also difficult for a parent to reveal their own lack of education to their child who is learning way beyond their own level. This is why I always invite the parents to participate in the studies. Additionally, many of the children fear surpassing their parents as well because they don't want to hurt their feelings or outgrow their families and friends.

Psych evaluations have done more harm than good for many reasons which I'm sure you would be aware of given that you have such knowledge about cultural and social barriers. Standardized testing is just as harmful for the same reasons. There is no one size fits all despite what the bureaucrats choose to believe.

GF, it sounds like you have taken the courses and read the books but I can't help but wonder how much real time, real life experience you have working in the field? What you write sounds like something I'd hear in a classroom and not what really happens in the real world.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

If I edit my posts, it's usually because I left out a word or misspelled a word. But so what? You seem to be deliberately misinterpreting my comments in an effort to undermine the importance of reaching a child before they get arrested- which , in my opinion is part of the solution and not just a bandaid ( prison education) on a much deeper wound It's difficult enough to find work in this country with a degree. Imagine having a criminal record? Why should we be focused on educating criminals when we can't allocate enough funds for the current education system in this country?

There isn't anything to twist. It isn't an either/or situation, Gillian. You have made it an either/or situation. And you know something?

See this sentence here: Since you know so much about minority culture, then you also know that despite a college degree acquired in prison, a prisoner must be able to keep, sustain and tolerate their low paying job in an American economy that doesn't even support the middle class.

That's some of the most racist shit that I have seen in awhile. Minority culture ≠ prison culture.

It was 1/10 of 1% of Pell Grants. The recidivism rate drops dramatically with that education and, yes, Gillian there are other issues that will be confronted. Since you know that there economic problems on the outside then one would want those people on the inside to have an easier transition. Yes, they are not supposed to go running with the same crowd and it is tough. In fact, that would be a reason FOR education in prisons so that they don't have to get back in trouble.

However, many times they often have children themselves and, as you know, female offenders are the ones most likely to attempt to have custody returned to them. Father initiatives are big but the education helps here as well. They are in prison. We have passed the stage of rude awakenings.

My comment about the mother's resenting us or me? Of course they would in some cases but it's not for the reason that you attempt to explain. These mothers rely on these children for many things ( taking care of their siblings, running to the store, laundry, etc..) but they also fear their children becoming more successful and leaving them or feeling ashamed of them. This is perfectly natural but it's no reason to hold a child back. It's also difficult for a parent to reveal their own lack of education to their child who is learning way beyond their own level. This is why I always invite the parents to participate in the studies. Additionally, many of the children fear surpassing their parents as well because they don't want to hurt their feelings or outgrow their families and friends.

You will find that in the most stable of situations and up and down any block. However, you did this at a homeless shelter. Psych evaluations are wonderful if you are looking for information regarding the cognitive abilities of an individual. Such as a mother in a homeless shelter. It sure would be dandy if you had that information before you decided to go in and redirect a parent.

There are two types of volunteers. One is the individual that volunteers because they can. The other does it out of self-righteousness. Thus far, you have shown me classicism and racism.

Make no mistake, I meet all kinds and believe me when I tell you that I have real time experience and on both sides of the coin. In November of 2003, I and my 2 1/2 year old son, had a police escort to a women's shelter. Not all shelters are equal. So, we had 7 people crammed into a tiny room. Everybody in their own little crisis with no real personal space. Limbo. Everybody is trying to keep all of their emotions under control because we don't know each other and the last thing that you want your kids to see, in the middle of complete and utter chaos, is that you have lost all control. Finding stability in the middle of an unstable situation. Some can pull this off for awhile and some cannot. Some have no idea how to react if they actually have a quick minute without a crisis. Not everyone there came from a domestic violence. There were women that had contacted every shelter in the area and had kids and were trying to find a place that didn't hand out tv dinners because they had kids.

The one thing that we all had in common is that this was not the best position that we had ever been and it was not a happy occasion. Hell, I was also taking my finals at the time whilst trying to figure out if I was going to be able to actually leave the building.

When I got there and did the intake process, there were questions that in theory is supposed to determine if this guy is going to murder you. I had a cat that my ex had stated that he was taking away and I did not see the cat again. They wanted to know what happened to the cat. Well, I didn't know. The woman that was doing the intake became increasingly agitated and kept asking me, "What happened to the cat?" At one point, she was almost yelling at me. I'm thinking, "Yes, ma'am, I left my house and it is almost midnight so that I could make a bunch of shit up about my cat". Well, they determined that my then husband was not going to kill me. They just forgot to let me know. For about three days.

So, there were classes that you can sign up for. I had to take one which was really a group session. The counselor was great. She didn't judge anyone of us. None of us were forking over any information but she wasn't judging us.

I took another class because no one signed up for it and I felt very bad for the woman that came to teach it. Some of us felt compelled to participate in anything that was offered. I didn't need it. It was a basic nutrition class. I am a pretty damn good cook. I used a slang word for a beverage and she spent 10 minutes talking down to me and trying to get me to say it the way she wanted me to. I never took a class again. I know why nobody signed up for the classes. There were some genuine people there, both volunteers and paid staff. There were some real genuine self righteous ass hats. However, you are treated as if you are a child or seemingly not worthy.

Now, that was a decade ago. I can tell you this. The system doesn't work. The system is actually more damaging, Had the system worked then I would not be dealing with the shit today. Now, I have to deal with the guy and whomever it is that he has for a semi permanent lay.

Not every woman in a homeless shelter is coming from a domestic violence situation. However, many women have had past sexual or physical abuse that they have never had counseling for. Now, I am dealing with other people that are going or have been going through these types of crisis.

The one thing that I have learned is that any time that you are dealing with people who are in a crisis situation then you have to see that this is not their shining moment of glory. This is not everything that there is to them. They may often find that they are in a position where they have to have validation for their experiences continuously. Not because they want it but because they are forced into it. Cops, shelters, social agencies, lawyers, courts, counselors, therapists, judges. Snap judgement calls are made that will make or break. The never ending you don't know what is best for you and your children. So, why in the hell should anyone trust someone else coming in to tell them anything? Everyone that you encounter is your judge and jury.

It's why people don't go to shelters, or seek help or treatment even if you do have any section of the system that works.

[-] 2 points by adamaronson (3) 1 year ago

Through increased education access for the imprisoned, Education from the Inside Out Coalition (EIO) is working to help diminish the system of mass incarceration. We seek to see the restoration of Pell grants, Tapp grants (in NY), and the proliferation of all educational experiences to provide the greatest opportunity for successful reentry as well as promoting more humane carceral conditions. Please take a moment to watch our video and consider signing our petition: Campaign Video: http://bit.ly/EIOVideo Change.org Petition: http://chn.ge/EIOPell

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Awesome.

Would you mind or could you put this on a separate thread? Or I could.
I think it would get more attention this way?

[-] 1 points by Narley (284) 1 year ago

I’ve read all three or four of your prison education threads. And I agree education should be available in prison. It’s good for the inmates and ultimately good for society.

However, I’m not one to have much sympathy for convicted felons. For all I care people who rape, murder and generally harm other aren’t deserving of my compassion. They can rot in hell for all I care. It just seems to me we want to feel bad for the criminals and think we owe them something. I wish we cared as much about the victims as we seem to do bad guys.

So, while it’s a good investment to provide education for murderers, rapists and thugs, It would probably be even better for society if most of them never again saw another day out of prison.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

However, I’m not one to have much sympathy for convicted felons.

No lie-I'm not either. This isn't about sympathy. Not at all. Most of these people are going to be released back into society Not everybody that walks through those doors is there for murder or rape. Many of them have children. So, you will pay one way or the other. So, if this is what it takes to drop the recidivism rate then lets get that done.

For all I care people who rape, murder and generally harm other aren’t deserving of my compassion. They can rot in hell for all I care. It just seems to me we want to feel bad for the criminals and think we owe them something.

No, this has nothing to do with feel bad about the criminals. This is what I'm talking about when people who have a specific agenda whip out those stats and have a knipshit. It's ok to feel bad then, right? Drives me up a wall. Some people suck and no matter what you do, they are going to keep on sucking. That said, it is how much do you want to keep paying? Identify the problem, solve the problem.

I wish we cared as much about the victims as we seem to do bad guys.

Don't we? If this drops the recidivism rate then the message that we send is that we care enough about the victims to do whatever we can to make sure that there are no more victims.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 1 year ago

Well said!

[-] 0 points by Nader (74) 1 year ago

If you just want to reduce the recidivism rate you should support the death penalty for murderers, rapists, and anyone else who commits an extremely violent felony. That would be even more successful than giving them an education that very few will appreciate. I would guess that it would 100% prevent recidivism and also greatly lesson demand on the food supply. Truly a win-win!

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Wrong again. Further, there are no studies that support the death penalty is a deterrent. Being from Texas, I'm quite sure that you are familiar with prosecutorial misconduct and executing innocent men.

[-] 0 points by Nader (74) 1 year ago

What makes you think I am from Texas? I live in New Hampshire. You were replying to "Narley" so maybe you got us mixed up.

And I am not talking about a deterrent but as a way to prevent recidivism. It would obviously completely prevent it. Only to be used in cases where there is no doubt as to someone's guilt. Think of the video of the guy robbing the convenience store who pistol whips or shoots the clerk. Or the girl that gets raped in her own bed at night and left with some guys DNA dripping out of her. If you really want to prevent people from offending again there is no reason to keep people like them around, education or not.

[-] -1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Damn, well my bad. I apologize.

Here, have some, http://www.propublica.org/article/criminal-injustice-the-best-reporting-on-wrongful-convictions

Ahem, you being from New Hampshire know absolutely nothing about prosecutorial misconduct.Nope. Never seen it before. Never had false eyewitness testimony.

[-] 1 points by Nader (74) 1 year ago

If you have a man committing murder or assaulting someone on video or a guys semen dripping out of a 7 year old, eyewitnesses don't really matter.

I wish our state put some people down like the sick dogs they are. Maybe someday.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Yep, but you know that isn't how it works.

[-] 1 points by Nader (74) 1 year ago

I will give you that.

But I still think there are a lot of other priorities for our tax dollars to go to before they go to educating prisoners.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Like I said, you will spend the money. It is simply a matter of spending the money right the first time or continuously spending it for something that should have been done right the first time around.

[-] -2 points by inclusionman (7064) 1 year ago

Illustrative of the problem, but not quite degree related.

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/newtechcity/2013/mar/26/

FYI

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Agreed, although, I am not down with this: For example, virtual inmates could check in with their parole officers by video chatting on smartphones instead of driving 50 miles to meet in person.

[-] -1 points by inclusionman (7064) 1 year ago

You support the virtual check in?

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

No. Not at all. Hell no, absolutely not. Nevah.

[-] -1 points by inclusionman (7064) 1 year ago

Ok. Well I could see how that might be easily defrauded. but teaching inmates about new tech is certainly important if we expectthem to stay legal on the outside.

Parole system should probably provide enough agents to allow for close easy visits.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Yep, funding has been cut pretty much all over as it is and this is a transitional period for these folks.

[-] -1 points by inclusionman (7064) 1 year ago

1st place they cut is anything for the accused/indicted/guilty. Good friend of mine advocates for juvenile offenders in NYC. We've been cutting that for as long as I can remember. She is overworked like you would not believe.

It's obscene, and self destructive. Cause the system destroys people (especially young people) and many can be handled without being destroyed.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Well, not just the accused/indicted/guilty but the general public is at risk. It is a huge adjustment. When we read about somebody who screws up on parole an we wanna know what the hell went wrong and then we read that they are short staffed, it's a do more with less thang.

[-] -1 points by inclusionman (7064) 1 year ago

Oh I know. In the end the innocent public become victims of mishandled justice/imprisonment.

The system is designed to keep particular groups in prison and create the most profit as possible.

They even exploit these city prisoners by sending them to upstate suburbs and counting them as upstate residents in the census, thereby giving less money to the city and more to the upstate suburbs.

It's tangential but important & insidious.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Well, when something breaks down everyone wants to know what the hell went wrong. If you take that which is in the public's hand and defund it till it doesn't function, then you just created the opening for privatization and now.............now, you will pay and you really are jacked.

[-] -1 points by inclusionman (7064) 1 year ago

We have s whole ideology that hates govt so muchthey WANT to defund, and force failure so that they can point and say "see govt diesn't work"!

This is why they desperately need to defund SS, Medicare. These are well loved popular pgms that disprove the 'govt pgms don't work' ideology.

but I'm rambling & going off topic.

Great important post. definitely an Occupy supportable issue.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

I could be overly tired and have lost my ever lovin' mind but, is this that wonderous Libertopia?

Mmmm mmmm good

mmmm mmmm good

Libertopia is

mmmm mmmm good.

[-] -1 points by inclusionman (7064) 1 year ago

Nope you got it.

(cue the music......)

Li ber n Toooooo Piiiiiaaaaa!

LOL

[-] -2 points by ganya4 (-10) 1 year ago

I take it BimboFriday's husband must still be doing time with her constant prison rants here. You'd be better off baking him a cake with a metal file in it so he can cut through the bars.