As a general rule, when seeking to solve a problem, it helps to get the opinions of those most directly affected by the policy in question. Those who are most familiar with the situation are usually able to bring unique insights and ideas to the table, and are often better equipped to make these suggestions a reality.
Animals. Subhuman. Unrepentant. Undeserving of mercy.
The perceptions that many people have of prisoners are harsh and unforgiving. They are formed by television and movies, augmented by the nightly news, and used by politicians seeking to sway voters that they are “tough on crime.”
Ever wonder what life is like for someone with a criminal record?
A new quiz on the Marshall Project website gives readers an opportunity to see how much they know about the hurdles that face men and women who have committed crimes.
Andre Lyons is a popular man at the Correctional Treatment Facility in Washington, DC. Once a month (or occasionally more frequently, if needed to calm rising tensions), Lyons enters the confinement unit, clippers in hand, to provide haircuts for the men in “the hole.”
When men and women who have been convicted of a crime are incarcerated, the sentence almost always extends beyond the prisoner. Spouses, parents, and children all “serve time” with their loved ones behind bars, suffering silently as they pay the price together for past misdeeds.
If there was something someone could have said or done that would have changed the path that led you here, what would it have been?
The question is a simple one, yet full of profundity. It is nearly universal in application—who among us doesn’t have a past decision that we lament?
Numerous studies have indicated that prisoners have a much greater likelihood of not being re-arrested when they stay in contact with friends and family outside the prison walls. Maintaining a connection to the outside world helps to keep incarcerated men and women focused on a life to which they want to return, and keeps them from adopting a “criminal identity.”
For many family members of incarcerated men and women, the barriers to staying in contact with their loved ones behind bars can be tough to overcome. Separated by long distances and inflexible schedules, these families ultimately lose touch with each other, depriving prisoners of the support and encouragement needed to make a break from past behavior and to successfully endure the time spent in prison.
Did you know that a visit from a family member can reduce a prisoner’s chances of returning to prison by as much as 25 percent?
A 2012 publication from the American Correctional Association explains why: “Family members provide both social control and social support, which inhibit criminal activity.”
As the wildfires raging through much of California continue to stretch the abilities and resources of professional firefighters, assistance is coming from an unexpected source—men in the California corrections system.
Nearly 4,000 prisoners have joined forces with roughly 6,000 firefighting professionals in an attempt to tame the fires that have burned 117,960 acres so far, and threaten thousands of homes and businesses.