Sunday November 16, 2014
If you were asked to create a plan to improve our nation’s prison system, how would you describe your plan?
My plan to improve our nation’s prison system would follow the plan that has made America great. Instead of focusing on punishment and isolation, I would change the focus to preparing individuals for law-abiding lives as contributing citizens. The first challenge would be to change the management culture, policies, and procedures. I would want to train staff to encourage individuals to work toward developing values and skills that translate into success. Rather than governing through the threat of punishment, I would govern through the promise of rewards. Individuals would have opportunities to earn gradual and incremental increases in liberty, based on merit. Currently, such mechanisms do not exist. That fundamental flaw results in extremely high recidivism rates and intergenerational cycles of failure.
People may begin prison terms with lengthy sentences and anti-social values, but prisons are perfect institutions. Administrators have opportunities to carry out valuable social experiments, by encouraging individuals to work toward better meals, better clothing, better access to visitation and communication with family. By encouraging individuals to develop a strong work ethic, administrators would see results. Instead, we see an abundance of gang activity and people returning to society with the values and skills necessary to live in prison; unfortunately, the values and skills that lead to status in prison lead to failure in society.
Days since my release from prison: 461
Miles that I ran today: 12.25
Miles that I ran so far this week: 12.25
Miles that I’ve run during the month of November: 101.83
Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 2,151.97
Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 248.03
Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 43
My weight for today: 168