Check out the trailer for a documentary called Faith in the Big House.
It depicts a very real look at prisoners in Louisiana who want to better their lives, and the state there in is attempting to help them do this through faith based incarceration…
Why is this important…?
Because a lot of what they are doing here is a lot like what incarceration is like for me.
Instead of being faith base the prison I am at uses is a “therapeutic community” approach
The reality is a lot of these so called efforts and programs designed to help prisoners are just a bunch of smoke and mirrors.
The proof is in the pudding too.
Just look at how many guys who get released either get locked right back up, or even worse…
A perfect example is my friend Justin Hobbs who was just released a few months ago and his tragic death.
I’m not even sure there is a solution to all this either, I mean, how do you really lock a guy up and change him so that he doesn’t end up coming back to prison again..?
Is there a way to fix that?
In my housing unit there are 82 prisoners…
I would make a safe estimate that of those 82 prisoners, myself included, 75 of them have been locked up at least one time prior to this.
Is it possible to change someone who is unwilling to change for them self?
Think about that…
If an individual is unwilling to change for themselves, there isn’t a snowballs chance in hell their going to change because the state wants them to.
In my opinion, the only possible solution is the cycle of destructive behavior is to provide some sort of program that actually makes prisoners like, myself, to want to change.
Provide me with some sort of real world job training or employable skills where I might be able to go out into society and get a job that might actually pay me something a little better than minimum wage. Something I might be able to survive on.
Now don’t get me wrong…
Prisons like the one I am at do offer “trade” electrical, HVAC and building maintenance…
But the waiting list to get into these small classes makes it where prisoners like my Bunkie Kenny is an example of many MANY others never even get in.
Their stuck on the waiting list what could literally be a year!
Then when they do actually try to push the issue they are told that now they don’t even have enough time left to take the trade class.
Only a small percentage gets into trade classes in prison…
There should also be more focus on individual needs…
Like if a guy has addiction issues then that should seriously be the focus of his incarceration.
Help make prisoners WANT to change themselves for the better by allowing them to address a little more definitively what seem to be their real struggles in life.
Offering a one size fits all religious or therapeutic community approach is not the solution for America’s prisons.
It’s nowhere near it.
But I would be willing to bet that for the same money poured into prisons like these that in all actuality- that don’t work we could get a little closer to some real solutions and some programs that actually do work.
By the way this is just a view of a prisoner on the inside looking out…
How do you feel about this as a member of free society on the outside looking in?