Another issue affecting the success of rehabilitation is the sudden loss of perspective experienced by prisoners, especially those serving longer sentences. Michael Santos served 26 years in prisons around the United States after being convicted of selling cocaine in 1987. He was 23 years old at the time.
He describes how his life went downhill after entering prison: “All that I could see were days turning into weeks, weeks turning into months, months turning into years, and years turning into decades,” he told Life Links. “The magnitude of troubles I had created for myself tormented my mind. As I lay in a jail cell, with walls closing in around me, I didn’t know how to make sense of my life.”
Maelicke says building relationships between social workers and prisoners is crucial in preparing them for re-entry into the outside world. The process is known as “transition management.”
Revenge or rehabilitation?
While transition management is in place in several Western European countries, experts say the penal system in the United States is lagging behind. Lack of funding for rehabilitation programs as well as mandatory sentences for particular crimes are considered some of the biggest factors preventing successful rehabilitation.
Reforms experts are calling for include introducing substance abuse treatment facilities, psychotherapy, medical care and showing prisoners “the same degree of respect and kindness as we would hope they would show to others after they return to the community.”
Educational programs are also considered vital. A 2005 analysis found that the number of re-offences decreased by 46 percent among people who participated in education programs in the US.
Michael Santos is a particularly fine example of successful rehabilitation. During the first nine years of his sentence, he completed a Bachelor and Master’s degree and launched a publishing career. “I made a 100 percent commitment to prepare for a successful return to society, and that commitment carried me through 9,500 days of imprisonment”, he says.
Prison Presídio Central in Brazil (Photo: Britta Kollenbroich/dpa)
Reforms experts are calling for include introducing substance abuse treatment facilities, psychotherapy, medical care and showing prisoners respect and kindness
A long road
The Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) is a Houston-based initiative that aims to transform inmates into entrepreneurs through hard work and investment; it also challenges society to rethink the criminal justice system.
Charles H., a 34-year old who served four years in two Texan prisons, acknowledges the degree of discipline the program requires – and its long-term benefits: “You cannot be a slacker and be a part of this program. It was normal to wake at five in the morning and work until five or six in the evening. If you can be successful in PEP, you can be successful in the real world.”
However he acknowledges: “I guess I had some fear about whether I could accomplish all of these lofty goals I had set for myself. There has never been any fear of returning to prison or to the old life. I’ve had more than I ever wanted of both experiences.”
One German-based initiative, known as “Resi” recruited experts to care for ex-prisoners’ accommodation, working environment, debt management and to intervene in crises up to six months after their release. The project lasted for three years and saw reoffending rates decrease from 50 to 13 percent. However, the scheme was dropped in 2012 due to funding cuts.
Maelicke highlights the importance of supporting prisoners after their release. “These people need stability,” he says, adding “I think it’s actually a crime to release someone after ten years and just say ‘Good luck finding your way!’”
How easy is breaking free after decades behind bars?
Prison in Baghdad, Iraq (Photo: EPA/MOHAMMED JALIL)
Rehabilitation advisor Maelicke told Life Links: “I think it’s actually a crime to release someone after ten years and just say ‘Good luck finding your way!’”
But avoiding crime is only one challenge prisoners face. Other obstacles awaiting individuals upon their release are court fees, insurance costs, debt and often broken family bonds. In the UK, an average of 45 percent of inmates lose touchwith their families while in prison.
Even seemingly trivial things can become problematic. Choosing what to eat, what time to go to sleep at, learning how the internet works and how to behave in traffic can prove challenging. Maelicke said: “The longer someone has been imprisoned, the harder it gets to find their way back into society. Inside prison they are stripped of every right and become less fit for life outside.”
Ben Gunn, a former British prisoner, described his release after 32 years to be “deeply disturbing”in The Guardian : “I could see where I was in prison. I knew who I was and what I wanted to be. But that [prison] was a very small world, and this one is infinite. It’s an identity thing. I’m completely lost. I’m imploding.”
Trust bonus: “2nd Chance 4 Convicted Felons” Give Them That Second Chance to A New Beginning !!!!…
Many prisoners also feel rejected by society once they are released. Prejudice, intolerance and stereotypes abound; this affects those who have used their time in prison effectively as much as those who have not.
Academics and criminal experts underscore the responsibility society has in taking part in the rehabilitation process. Trusting ex-prisoners to turn their lives around can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Help Me Help others .We don’t need this happening to our youth in the link below.So let’s make a change our youth need the older ones to show them first hand how crazy life can get.Our youth need real life positive,
Role Models.Showing and teaching them things that’s constructive. They learning & having fun at the same time teaching them the tools you need to achieve in life. Workshops & hands on Vocational Training . Please don’t let our youth go threw what the youth in th link below went threw.
Teens locked up for life without a second chance – CNN.com
Apr 8, 2009 – See which states have sentenced minors to life without parole » …. “There has been a general momentum of changing juvenile law in the last …Image result for pictures of people getting released out of prison
Image result for pictures of people getting released out of prison
I know how the lady fill in the photo because I went threw that same pain. Also we have young youth like this person. Help! me please Save them so this would not happen to all of our youth. Our youth need us, need that blanket to protect them from these mean streets. (CNN) — It began as horseplay, with two teenage stepbrothers chasing each other with blow guns and darts. But it soon escalated when one of the boys grabbed a knife.
Lotts, now 23, spends his days at a prison in Bonne Terre, Missouri, ineligible for parole.
Michael Barton, Quantel Lotts’ stepbrother, was stabbed to death at age 17.
The older teen, Michael Barton, 17, was dead by the time he reached the hospital, stabbed twice.The younger boy, Quantel Lotts, 14, would eventually become one of Missouri’s youngest lifers.
Lotts was sentenced in Missouri’s St. Francois County Circuit Court in 2002 to life in prison without parole for first-degree murder in his stepbrother’s stabbing death.
It made no difference that at the time of the deadly scuffle, Lotts was barely old enough to watch PG-13 movie and too young to drive, vote or buy beer.
“They locked me up and threw away the keys,” Lotts, now 23, said from prison. “They took away all hope for the future.”
His stepmother, the victim’s mother, has forgiven Lotts and is working with lawyers to gain his release.
Lotts is one of at least 73 U.S. inmates — most of them minorities — who were sentenced to spend the rest of their lives in prison for crimes committed when they were 13 or 14, according to the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit organization in Alabama that defends indigent defendants and prisoners.
The 73 are just a fraction of the more than 2,000 offenders serving life sentences for crimes they committed as minors under the age of 18.
Across the country, most juvenile offenders and many adults are given a second chance. Charles Manson, convicted in seven notorious murders committed when he was 27, will be eligible for his 12th parole hearing in 2012. He’s been denied parole 11 times. Even “Son of Sam” killer David Berkowitz, who confessed to killing six people in the 1970s when he was in his 20s, has had four parole hearings, though he has said he doesn’t deserve parole and doesn’t want it.
But Quantel Lotts has no hope for a parole hearing. At least not yet.
“2nd Chance Image result for pictures of people getting released out of prison 4 Convicted Felons” lower the percentage by a big margin but only with your help.
If you can’t help with money you can help by sharing with your friends and sharing on social media. just click the link below to the fundraiser.