If there were more programs that focused on developing social skills, educational skills, writing, etc. do you think there would be less recidivism?
Yes. But not much.
Prison needs programs that create intrinsic motivation to all the different personality types. Programs that are mandatory are widely ineffective. DOC can’t force someone to be good.
The most effective programs are the ones people want to participate in. That’s why it’s important to have a wide variety of programs that are open to everyone. Inmates should not have to meet specific criteria in order to participate in positive programming.
There are some programs that would significantly help struggling inmates. By struggling, I mean guys that are always in trouble, using drugs, fighting, and rebelling against the system. But because of their steady out-put of misconduct, certain programs are not an option for them.
These are the portion of inmates who need the programming FIRST, in order to promote, encourage, and inspire positive change in their lives.
Let me further illustrate by using a “Five Star” analogy.
Let’s say there was a program that offered rewards for inmates who earned “5 Gold Stars” at the end of the month.
You would find that there is a sector of inmates who would earn that reward regularly. You’d also find those who NEVER earn that reward. However, within this very sector, there are guys who could maintain a 5 Star status if they start out with 5 Stars. The problem is, they don’t have the skills to build up to 5 Stars.
So why not give EVERYONE 5 Stars, and create an environment where more people can thrive?
To help reduce recidivism, DOC needs more programs, and to offer those programs to ANYONE who wants them.
The Superintendent here at SCCC is on the right track. I feel blessed to be at a facility with a Superintendent who is big on positive programming. Now let’s just hope these programs are open to EVERYONE.
Question #1: What is your daily routine like in prison?
Question #2: Which activities do you currently engage in that are most meaningful to you?
Question #3: How has engaging in activities like education, NA meetings, writing (blog & books) been useful to you?
Question #4: Do you think that engaging in any of these activities would help you after you get out? If so, how?
Question #5: How have you developed and maintained meaningful social relationships?
Question #6: Why isn’t there more engaging, humanistic activities in prison?
Question #7: Why are programs like the dog program a good fit for a prison setting?