Many people hold on to the expectation of prisoners being restored by some special class, some program, some psych doctor, or group therapy. A professional was to brief through an inmates file and decide what was necessary in order for the offender to be "changed or corrected."
I myself was labeled as a habitual offender with an arrest record dating back to 1988, and was given "the" intervention plan. None. How was I to be committed to prison for 1 1/2 to 7 years, expecting to be rehabilitated without a design for treatment? With Delaware prison systems managing about 8,000 inmates in 12 prisons and facilities, Community Corrections supervising about 17,000 probationers and 535 parolees and a budget of about $200 million dollars a year, you have to ask yourself if what they are doing is working. Better yet, what are they doing? The crime rate in Delaware is 8% above the national average and violent crimes are about 32% higher than other states. The rate of adults under correctional supervision, including prisons, jails, probation, and parole is about 40% higher than the national rate. I believe these statistics are the catalyst for a different approach.
I've asked quite a few about their perspective of criminals, their behavior and the idea of prison as punishment and reform, and what many fail to realize is that the overcrowding prison system itself serves as fuel to the cycle it is created to cease. It is merely a holding place with little hope of being effective standing alone. The life typically hardens inmates who often leave worse than they were when they were first committed. The prison population forces long waiting lists and inapt programs with a quick fix approach to deep rooted problems. There is little focus on core criminal behavior which resides in the criminal mind, no focus on real life skills or the tools to cope with life after confinement.
"Three hots and a cot" is the term for prison, which suggests a lax environment, a place to sleep and three hot meals a day. Although confined, prisoners have little responsibility; they don't wash their own clothes, cook their own meals and they take directions on what to do and when to do it., it is easier to live inside four prison walls than out in the community as a responsible citizen. It is training ground for dependence upon the system, while inside and upon release, that is why so many return. A prisoner released is no different at the end of the sentence without effective solutions during incarceration, pre-release, and post release.
What is needed is a comprehensive approach with more effective methods. The focus should be to put the $200 million where it counts, habilitating the offender. If rehabilitation means to restore formally to former capacity, standing, rank, rights or privileges, than habilitaion is what is needed. Most offenders have never lived a life desired to be restored. Habilitate-to equip, impart an ability, to qualify or entitle. They need vocational training, with job placement. They need employers to forgive them after their time has been served. I'm not sure that "Inmate at Cambridge Springs Correctional Institution" would impress an HR recruiter for any of the "Best Places To Work In America." In other words, they need to be empowered.
About the author ~
Allison is a wife and an adoring mother, of three and is known as an over comer, inspiring all she comes in contact with.
Allison believes, together we can change lives, one woman at a time. Heal the life of a woman you change the direction of her family..change the family, you help the community..help the community you change the city, state and the nation....one woman at a time!!
Let Allison Moore start you on track to achieving your personal and professional success, even if you are starting from scratch. This highly acclaimed life coach raises the bar by teaching others that no matter where you are, or where you have been, you can create an extraordinary life.
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Email Allison ~ IwasIam AT allisontmoore DOT com
The book ~
One of the most difficult things for ex-offenders to accomplish when they are released from prison is finding employment and becoming a productive member of society. For many, the stigma of a criminal record is just too much to overcome. For others, like Allison, it is a matter of viewing obstacles as an opportunity. “I Was I Am…How to Move beyond Your Past to Create an Extraordinary Life” (http://www.allisontmoore.com), a book by motivational speaker, author and ex-inmate Allison Moore, provides an account of her prison experience as the catalyst for change and guidelines for those who struggle with being hindered by their past.
Moore wrote, “I Was I Am…How to Move beyond Your Past to Create an Extraordinary Life” (Allison T Moore Publishing, July 2010, $14.99) not just for individuals with a criminal record or who have been incarcerated, but for those who have past experiences that prevent them from living a full life. The book draws from her experiences in order to educate readers on the reality of the prison sentence, the lack of support systems and the perils of living a life unmanageable. Whether it is a physical prison experience or a prison in mental capacity, she shares her beliefs on how to become free. Her memoir is scheduled to be released on July 20, 2010.
Allison Tammy Moore’s own rise from being labeled a habitual offender to prominence deems her an expert on personal success. Allison went to prison and developed her own method of recovery by redefining success. Through persistence and determination, this ex-offender to extraordinary woman, immediately used her past to fuel her passions, became a published author, speaker and entrepreneur. She is dedicated to help educate people to new levels of involvement in the lives of ex-inmates, victims, and their families “I decided to share my experiences in the hope that my book will help readers remove the limitations to being successful” she says.
Read an excerpt ~
Chapter 10“I can work for the Lord in or out of prison.”
Charles W. Colson
I AM Overpowered
by numbness throughout my entire body. Barely standing, I felt as though my legs would give out at any moment. My eyes were drawn to people who were moving like actors in an old fashioned silent movie. Their lips were moving but eerie silence was all that came out. A tug on my arm brought me partially out of my fog. The cold metal chilled my wrists and my feet shuffled along with a constant clicking sound that led me out of the courtroom.
Just a few hours earlier I had strutted in with confidence. Now I was being led away not so sure of myself. Now darkness and clouds of gloom surrounded me and surrounded everything in that courthouse. I should have sensed it. You know the way it smells just before a mid-summer rainstorm, how every one of your senses knows the storm is coming. Then the winds begin to blow strong and the thunder begins to roll. Well, I missed all the signs of the turbulence about to disrupt my life, and then, without delay, the roof cracked wide open right inside the Chester County Courthouse. I nodded slightly at my attorney. I knew what he was thinking. In his professional opinion, the plea offered to me for a 12-36 month was better than good. I should have accepted it when I had the chance. I gazed in disbelief at my pastor. I knew what he was thinking. In his professional opinion, the suggestion to contest the pre-sentence investigation may have been an opportunity to catch the prosecution off guard. I was confused.
I asked myself, “What did just happen?” I had no answer. Faith-the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not yet seen. Over and over a voice echoed in my head. Faith was what I had done; at least that is what I thought. Practice makes perfect right? I confessed and believed, prayed and stood. Faith told me that my parking spot right out front was only available because Faith was giving me easy access to quickly leave the High Street court and have my Trailblazer on Route 202 in 2.5 seconds. Then this would be all over. Faith said to refuse to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Faith assured me that those who trust in the Lord will never be put to shame, but in that horrible moment, I managed to find the irony of that statement funny. Shame is what was crushing me. Faith was dead wrong. My kids expected me to be waiting for them when they got in from school. My new boyfriend was at work expecting a text from me once I got out. USAir was expecting me to check in at curbside in approximately 24 hours, and a group of anxious trainees were expecting me, one of the companies top producing managers, to arrive for a week long training designed to increase sales at their Raleigh Durham location. Rent was due in 9 days and for once in my life it was going to be on time. The $5000 increase could not have come at a better time. What about my friends? All the people I had to call and share my miracle with?
A series of events occurring over the past year, since my offense, altered my life’s direction. Didn’t that count for anything? The voice in my head got louder and more dominant. “It’s too late……it didn’t work!” My faith was shattered immediately. Without it, where was I going? I thought I was going home. I wasn’t. Where I was, was in the basement if the courthouse, where my heels clicked distinctly against the cement floor. Cold, damp and stuffy best described the atmosphere. By this time my crisply pressed white blouse was wrinkled and stained with MAC. It was hard to wipe tears with handcuffs on. Placed in a holding cell, I curled up on the little wooden bench and stared at all the carvings. I can remember thinking….”why would anyone want people in lock up to know TAE WUZ HERE?” I could hear conversations outside the steel doors but I was unable to see through the tinted two way glass. No longer able to contain my cry to my eyes, I allowed my sniffles and whimper to convert to a full breakdown. “Why didn’t it work?” If faith was here I would probably need to be restrained to prevent myself from choking her to death.