Saturday, November 15, 2014
How effective would you consider prison as a resource for helping prisoners change for the better?
Prisons do not focus on helping people change for the better. They may change titles to “correctional” institutions, but they do not make any pretense about wanting to change people for the better. Prisons are about security, isolation, punishment. Their policies and procedures are designed to extinguish hope and to remove an individual’s sense of efficacy. The guards and administrators routinely say that their number one concern is protecting the security of the institution. During the 26 years that I lived as a prisoner, I never perceived an emphasis on “corrections.” In fact, by studying to earn academic credentials, some staff members—including a warden—said that I was interfering with security of the institution. As a consequence of emphasizing security, prisons feed incredibly ineffective and negative atmospheres. Wicked subcultures proliferate in such an environment, and people leave prison less likely to live as law-abiding citizens than when they began serving the term. Prisons are extremely effective of isolating and punishing people, but they are woefully ineffective at helping people change for the better—as recidivism rates show.
Days since my release from prison: 460
Miles that I ran today: 12.3
Miles that I ran so far this week: 38.78
Miles that I’ve run during the month of November: 89.58
Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 2,139.72
Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 260.28
Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 38.78
My weight for today: 168