The Greatest Gift of All
I think access is the greatest gift we can offer one another. A network of “successful” people living in society crime free has offered me access as well as: new ideas, experiences and a source of positive advice and mentorship. Whereas my fellow prisoners offer mostly negative advice. I have found a network of the right people to be invaluable. All the great ideas and plans, without the right people and their guidance and support are worthless and short lived. Like prisoners we are put in prison to stagnate and become as the dead sea where the flow is stopped and dies. Only you can pull yourself out into the current by seeking outside connectivity and maintaining that connectedness with every once of your being. It can easily become your most rewarding experience in prison, or your life. You will realize that you have as much to offer as you have to gain. I have came to know and understand that there is certainty in that what ever you seek to harvest must first be your seed.
[Something for the Prison staff to consider in this process]
Developing and maintaining contact with the free world promotes reintegration into society and is proven to reduce recidivism. This is the day and age that people connect and stay connected with one another over the distances through the internet which prisoners do not have access to except through friends and family or advocates which promote connectivity with the free world.
In cyberspace as well as with letters, visits and phone calls contact with the free world is something that must be managed by prisons. Positive communication which supports goals of reintegration through developing and maintaining healthy relationships with people in the free world should be encouraged and facilitated, while negative interactions need be identified and dealt with accordingly.
Attempts to discourage prisoners from developing and maintaining meaningful relationships is counterproductive, in terms of rehabilitation. Prisons should be actively encouraging prisoners to developed relationships with people who will be there when they are released to help with jobs, housing and other special needs of the recently released. Developing and maintaining a network of social support should be the first thing on the agenda of every success oriented prisoner from the first day of arrival in prison.
To fetter the attempts of a successful integration back into society is plain and simply, counterproductive to the goals of society as a whole.
Peace & Light