Friday, July 31, 2009

What We're Left With

Our pals at Corrections One link today to a phenomenal and touching piece by Michael Cabral, currently serving time at Salinas State Prison, about the impact of the budget crisis on life within walls. Some of his sad words:

Now, six months later, the political solution to California’s budget crisis has eliminated all self-help programs behind the walls. First-time inmates are popping up regularly, impressionable youngsters with a year or so to serve. Without the support of any rehabilitative programs, prison for them will be less “Correction and Rehabilitation” and more “Corruption and Retaliation.”

Of course, a few of the “good guys” will try to lift their spirits, but an overwhelming number will be surrounded by company-seeking misery.

They’ll hear all about the system being out to get them, how their lives are ruined forever, how it would be pointless to parole and look for a decent job (or any job). Then, they’ll hear countless theories and strategies on how to become better, smarter criminals. Their environment will gradually break them down, and mold them into mindless — if not heartless — products of “the way life is” according to convict lore. Finally, they’ll rejoin society, never wanting to return to prison again, but knowing only how to do just that.

Read the rest of this moving piece here.

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