Thursday, November 13, 2014
On a scale from 1 to 10, how effective would you consider the halfway house as being useful for preparing a former prisoner for society?
I am not a fan of the halfway house as they currently operate. They operate under the “custody” model. In other words, they are very much like prisons. Administrators emphasize the urgency of security and control. Obviously, security and control are essential. But there comes a point when an emphasis on security and control becomes disruptive, interfering with an individual’s prospects for making a successful rebound into society. Case managers in the halfway house that oversaw my final year in custody resented the stability that I had created for myself. I walked out of prison after 25 consecutive years and I had a job waiting for me, resources in the bank, and a strong support network. Rather than offering encouragement and liberty, they burdened me with a need to participate in ridiculous course such as anger management, budgeting, family planning, resume writing, communication skills, drug awareness. Those mandatory classes wasted my time and interfered with the progress that I was making. I had a strong fortitude and will, so I could overcome those frustrations. Yet most people who emerge from prison are much more fragile. They do not have strong support systems or options. When administrators place a massive emphasis on security and control, the discourage people. They block them from being able to make the transition into society effectively.
A proactive administrator could easily reverse this unfortunate circumstance and make the halfway house experience much more effective. The administrator would replace the commitment to bureaucratic forms and procedures with incentives that would incentive excellence. On the scale of 1 to 10, I would say the halfway house earns a 4 because it offers a place to sleep and food for people who need that during the transitional phase.
Days since my release from prison: 458
Miles that I ran today: 0
Miles that I ran so far this week: 26.48
Miles that I’ve run during the month of November: 77.28
Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 2,127.42
Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 272.58
Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 38.16
My weight for today: 168