Tim Buchanan meets with every prisoner when they arrive at his correctional facility. "It is not my place to judge these men for the offense which lead to their incarceration," the 45-year-old Warden says. "but rather to instill the concept of accountability for their choices they make moving forward."
Amazing! Outstanding experience. The most impacting, rewarding development of my leadership skills and relationships. These are the words of wardens, deputy wardens, and assistant wardens after participating in Prison Fellowship’s recent Warden Exchange program residency in Minneapolis.
The two-day residency began with a comparison between European and American prisons, led by Association for State Correctional Administrators president Leann Bertsch and Colette Mazzucelli, a New York University international relations professor.
One of the less obvious statistics about crime and incarceration is also one of the most significant.
Nationwide, there are 2.7 million children with at least one parent behind bars. These kids are forced to deal with feelings of abandonment, shame, guilt, and loneliness, and face not having their mom or dad present for the landmark moments of their young lives.
A version of this story originally appeared on the Huffington Post.
For some time I have felt a desire to work in a prison. I’m not exactly sure why. Could it be because of my prison visit three years ago? Perhaps.
Remember the classic Coca-Cola ad from the 1970s? The one about teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony? The marketers knew they could touch a chord in people’s hearts about the power of music to promote peace, to unify.
That’s what young prisoners at New York’s Rikers Island—the nation’s second largest jail complex—are experiencing.
When the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia was first built in 1829, it promised to be the leading edge of what was to be a reform of the corrections systems around the world. In contrast to other prisons that focused primarily on retribution, Eastern State put an emphasis on reform instead of punishment, and served as the model for more than 300 prisons worldwide.