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Crime Blog on the Huffington Post

Thursday
Jul172014

Breaking News: Fear and Discouragement Don't Rehabilitate Prisoners

By Christopher Zoukis

American Prisons: A Failure of the Greatest Magnitude

The state and federal prison systems of America are in tatters.  Inmates are being transformed into hardened convicts.  Recidivism rates continue to rise.  And all the while, the concept of prison rehabilitating offenders has become a running joke, ongoing dialogue on prison reform aside.

It's pathetic, plain and simple.  Inmates are real people that go through real struggles and aren't provided the tools they require to succeed, but still the American people expect prisoners to be rehabilitated upon their release from custody.  It's laughable to think that inmates could leave prison without any type of additional education, vocational training, or treatment program and succeed in an unfamiliar and unaccepting world outside prison walls.  American corrections simply provides no structure or protocol to promote recovery, and the significant stigma against former prisoners acts in a way that practically ensues that all will return to a life of crime and recidivate.

The Onion Presents its Case: Prisons Don't Make People More Employable?

It's crucial that prison policies, procedures, and governing principles changes to assist former inmates in leading a better, more productive, and law-abiding life after their term of incarceration has concluded.  In fact, the need for reform is so obvious that even "The Onion" -- the satirical newspaper -- wrote an entire article characterizing the thought process of those who think that prison provides inmates with the tools required to leave prison and not return to a life of crime.

"It just doesn't seem possible that an inmate could live for a decade and a half in a completely dehumanizing environment in which violent felons were constantly on the verge of attacking or killing him and not emerge an emotionally stable, productive member of society."

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul162014

Texas State Prison / Windham School District

By Christopher Zoukis

Name: Windham School District

Associated Educational Institution: Itself

Associated Prison: 89 Separate Prisons

Website: http://www.windhamschooldistrict.org/

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 40 804 Bldg. B, FM 2821 West

Huntsville, TX 77320

Phone Number: (936) 291-5300

Fax Number: (936) 291-5300

Email Address: information@wsdtx.org, Contact Forms Available on Website

Point of Contact: Not Publicly Available

Social Media:

  • ·         Facebook: None
  • ·         Twitter: None
  • ·         Google+: None
  • ·         Other: None

Texas Prison School District – A Chance for Change

Texas is not well known for its treatment of the prison population. But the Texas Board of Corrections has developed one of the few school districts that solely serves prison populations. Known as the Windham School District, the Texas institution boasts one of the largest prison education systems in the country.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul152014

Crowded Prisons, Unions, and CA Three Strikes: Why We Can't Just Build More Cages 

This video provides a unique overview of California's prison problem.  California's philosophy appears to be lock them up and throw away the key.  The bulk of California's prisoners are imprisoned for non-violent drug offenses.  The Three Strikes Law is briefly examined, along with so-called 'mandatory sentencing' guidelines.  Simply throwing money at the problem -- hiring more prison guards and building more prisons -- is not only a waste of money but, more importantly, doesn't work.

 

Monday
Jul142014

LGBT Month Celebrated in Federal Prison: A Validation for Lives Dismissed

By Christopher Zoukis / Huffington Post

At the start of June, pink flyers announcing LGBT Month started appearing around FCI Petersburg, a medium-security federal prison in Petersburg, Virginia, where I am incarcerated. The fliers, along with many colorful postings in the Education Department, explained what LGBT means: lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. They profiled famous and successful LGBT persons, and generally strived to inject an element of understanding into the prison population, a population somewhat low on the concepts of compassion and understanding -- particularly as it concerns gender and social issues.

Continue reading ...

Friday
Jul112014

Higher Education in U.S. Prison System

Thursday
Jul102014

Men Are Important

 
The World needs Men. Men are the key architects of our bridge to the future. And our children are our future – our bridge to the future. Yes, Men are necessary. Everyday in their usual unassuming way, Men offer each of us valuable life lessons. Life lessons about honor – that one’s word should be one’s bond. If you say you are going to do something, then you must do what you say you are going to do and then do it – no excuses . . . no complaints. Just go about the business of delivering what you have promised.
 
Men offer life lessons about sacrifice. 

Quietly and unceremoniously, Men who are Fathers throughout our global village place their own personal dreams on a shelf, and work at back-breaking, spirit-numbing, and for many – very dangerous jobs -- so that their children can have access to economic and educational opportunities that they themselves could only dream of. Men will walk through fire for their children, if that is what it takes to keep food on the table for them, a roof over their heads, and clothes on their backs. Many of these Men – after completing a grueling day at work, return home and play an active role not only in the positive emotional, intellectual and psychological development of their own children, but also mentor other children and serve as coaches of neighborhood basketball, baseball, softball, soccer and hockey teams. And when asked by their country to serve in their nation’s military and defend their country in an unarmed conflict thousands of miles away from their families. Men quietly anunceremoniously answer the call, not knowing whether they will return to the families they are leaving behind. Sadly, a number of these men never return. These men have made the ultimate sacrifice. They have given their lives in defense of their country.Men are a family’s liaison to the world that exists outside of the family’s immediate environment. As a result, they offer very valuable life lessons on how one should navigate the world that exists outside of one’s environment – for example, the worlds of business and politics.
 
Our sons need Fathers. Men help the young males of our society successfully navigate the journey from childhood to manhood. It takes a man to teach a boy how to be a man. It takes a Man to provide our sons with the positive affirmation that only a Father can give – positive affirmation that our sons so desperately seek and need to receive from an adult male. It takes a Man to prepare the young males of our society for their future roles as husbands, fathers, and productive members of our global village once they reach the age of maturity. A young man’s relationship with his father determines, to a large degree, how he will raise his own children.

Our daughters need Fathers. Fathers shape our daughters’ first images of men.Fathers shape the decisions that our daughters make when choosing a career and choosing a mate. Fathers shape our daughters’ perception of their self-worth and their place in the world. It takes a Man to provide our daughters with the positive affirmation that only a Father can give – positive affirmation that our daughters so desperately seek and need to receive from an adult male. A young woman’s relationship with her father determines, to a large degree, how she will raise her own children.
Wednesday
Jul092014

Transformation Through Education

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