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Hands-On Prison Programs Are Dying

Did you ever wonder why the U.S. Department of Corrections does not try to rehabilitate or alter the criminal behavior of inmates? No. Oh… are you aware that in the U.S. Inmates who participate in correctional education programs have 43% lower odds of returning to prison than those who do not. When inmates return home un-rehabilitated guess who really suffers? That’s right we do- families, schools, hospitals, and whole communities.

Recent budget cuts have reduced spending on vocational training and prisoner re-entry programs and inmates are less likely to get out and stay out as a result. It seem like the system doesn’t truly want inmates to succeed as free and productive citizens. Why would it, when each inmate- according to the 13th amendment- is expected to work as an employee of the Prison Industrial Complex as a cheap labor force? Is this the new form of American slavery? Is the criminal justice system really just a front for human-trafficking? It sure seems like it.

If only Americans knew the real truth about the criminal justice system and how it utilizes her hard-earned tax dollars. If only she knew her efforts were being misused on strategies intended to sustain recidivism! Because studies prove that inmates are less likely to return to prison when given opportunities to better themselves. I believe that if more people understood how poor these policies are we would reverse current trends and re-enter more inmates back into society as a result of public outcry.

All tax-payers need to know that there is more money being spent on institutionalizing, repressing, oppressing, and psychologically destroying peoples loved ones than there is on educating, rehabilitating, and preparing them for successful re-entry. This is not an opinion – its facts. I believe if more people knew the truth that the entire system would be forced to implement new policies that would result in real criminal justice reform.

Truth be told, inmates are in dire need of programming and support from their loved ones, but unfortunately there are too few hands-on programs available, and too few people who care. I managed to discover a single website that offered an inmate postcard service that utilized art to rehabilitate inmates. Nonetheless, as long as prison programs are underfunded or phased out we all will suffer. So, something must be done to re-socialize and re-educate our nation’s enormous inmate population soon – or else.

Everybody suffers when inmates don’t get support. If you are supporting an inmate – here is my number one solution for staying connected and providing DIY rehabilitation through art therapy sketch postcards.

For inmate postcards check out KyteSketch.

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