JPay Blog

How to Stop Revolving Prison Doors with Books

Despite the evidence that inmate education reduces recidivism — by 43% according to the U.S. Department of Education — many “tough on crime” politicians find the idea of inmates receiving a college education behind bars infuriating. Politicians can choose to ignore the evidence and paint in-prison education as unfair to law-abiding citizens, but the true injustice lies in the continuation of ineffective and costly practices.

Read the full article.



  1. Cari Blondie

    June 14, 2016 - 11:11 pm

    I think that things should definitely be done differently, for the non violent drug offenders.. Because I feel that some kind of rehabilitation and, some kind of help when they are released from prison.. Like continuing rehab of some sort, along with a direction of jobs and places to live. Cause I have noticed that a convicted murderer and it also seems a child molester get to have more help with benefits, such as food stamps and so on! So not only do these guys that get locked up with these kinds of people.. Where they shouldn’t! They get to notice traumatizing.. Things like people stabbing and killing each other, which really puts an effect on ones mind, on top of the fact that, because they choose to do drugs and sell them they get more time in prison, and less help and no kind of benefits!! Now Wonder why they go back to ,the go with what you know life style!!! & why is it because they relapse ,and then they are afraid.. to go see the probation officer, because of fear of going back to jail or prison. But yet.. it’s like they get, a more harsher punishment! than a murder, or someone who took a child’s inisense!!!

  2. Concern human

    June 10, 2016 - 6:50 pm

    This world is about MONEY ONLY, that’s what matters to the masses….being programmed from cradle to grave to accumulate wealth regardless of how……If your child is in public school you’ve been brainwashed……your in a system to uneducate the child & prepare them to work for others as a slave to the caste monetary system. ….ask why each child is not taught about entrepreneurship …yes owning their own businesses….who use algebra in life really……teach truth … ”The Power of the SUBCONSCIOUS MIND”….educate your own child….self help books etc…..pastor Neville Goddard…..KEEP HOPE ALIVE

  3. Michelle Suppes

    June 2, 2015 - 5:27 pm

    Educated or not it is up to the individual whether or not they will stay out of trouble. My husband spent a few years in the military and then 19 in prison. After being home for four short years he has been working is now a manager at his well paying job we are buying our home and anyone who hasn’t not met him would never guess he was an inmate for almost half his life. He wants to move up higher in his job and can’t get NO help with college. What we are teaching people is if they choose to mess up their lives it’s OK we will pay for it. I encourage helping anyone incarcerated. Let’s do it by giving them a hand up not a hand out! I have a son who was recently incarcerated and has already figured out if he can get a little money from the outside and serve his full sentence of 3 years he will walk away with no parole and never really accepting responsibility for his actions. He was educated as much as a person can force education on their child. He clearly will choose what is the easy way out.

  4. rachel

    May 31, 2015 - 2:39 pm

    Educating yourself while locked up is the best investment you could make in yourself. It is not true that felons will not be hired. You probably wont get a job in some fields, healthcare for example is touch on backgrounds, but the possibilities are endless with good training and knowledge when you get out vs. having nothing new going for you.

  5. John Desmond

    May 30, 2015 - 6:31 am

    Annette Powell-Clifford said on April 23, 2015 –
    “The best answer for both sides of this equation is the University of the People which is an accredited online offering the first tuition free college degrees in business administration and computer science….While there is a nominal fee for the required proctored exams to insure the person taking the tests are actually the enrolled student that fee is paid to the proctoring site so if the prison is willing to become an exam proctoring site, this cost would be returned to prisons….This is an excellent alternative to the current problems as it offers a win win solution this not only the politicians and prison officials as well as to the offenders who wish to pursue a college education….”

    I took some classes from this accredited university and they were very good. My second recommendation is to learn all you can while in prison and start your own business. You don’t need tons of capital to start… become partners with someone that has money. The key is desire and knowledge… coupled with wisdom.

  6. Marie

    May 28, 2015 - 10:58 pm

    I am retired from teaching Sociology in our local university. I see many people here assuming that education must come from a college but that is incorrect.
    Go to a technical school, learn about plumbing, welding, auto repair, nursing, become a chef! There are many alternatives to college and, believe me, many of my former students paid big bucks for required classes they will never use again.
    If you learn how to be an electrician, somebody will hire you and, eventually, you will be able to have your own small business that you can, over time grow it. I loathe the U.S.prison system and know it makes a lot of money for some people while not caring at all about treating “inmates” in a humane manner.
    My experiences require me to encourage each and every person in a jail or prison to read, read, read! As much as you can! That is called “informal” education but it is also free and will allow you to be in charge of your own lives instead of handing it over to someone else who will try to manipulate you for their advantage,
    I agree with what the late Mr. B.B. King said. Your knowledge can never be taken away from you. So get as much of it as you can. REAL knowledge from legitimate sources, preferably, but if you find that hard to do
    because you “don’t like” to read, then start out with something easier and more enjoyable. Eventually, your appreciation of the written word will grow, you will be more prepared for a future learning experience, and you will be better prepared to own that business of yours when you get out.
    My best wishes and prayers to all. Marie

  7. john

    May 19, 2015 - 5:49 pm

    one reason the prisons have revolving doors is the money folks mo money mo money mo money get the picture,its that simple believe it or not.

  8. James Chavis

    May 18, 2015 - 12:58 pm

    Expungement- Remove by erasing or crossing out or as if by drawing a line, a one time reprieve depending on the crime version, the only true second chance. Of course it should go without saying there are those that would take advantage? Recidivism- habitual relapse into crime, is a concept some would imply this system of depraved government depend and thrive on.

  9. Leslie Johnson

    May 15, 2015 - 10:14 am

    On Erin’s comments about a college education not doing you any good when you get out because you are a felon. Go ahead and get yourself educated with coarses that you can use to start your own business and then you want have to depend on anyone for your well being. It would be tough but people on the net want to do business and don’t know you personally. You have a better chance to succeed today than in the past.

  10. Paula Dixon

    May 12, 2015 - 9:30 am

    I agree, education is the only way,our loved ones in jail or prison even have a chance. My grandson left home at seventeen,to live with his friends.I talked to the judge in our town hoping he would order him to come back home,He said at seventeen the law does allow him to move out, and their is nothing I can do. Then he sure enough begin to get into trouble,now still seventeen,he’s managed three felons. So, I no longer have any say so in his life, he is like my son I raised him. like a lot of young people his life was not good to begin with, without his parents around.He never had much of a chance. Now not much hope either,without some training or education, then it’ll be tough to get a job. To those who don’t think felon’s are worth helping as far as wasting money on educating them, you have either had no one incarcerated for awhile, or no feelings for anyone in trouble, I’m glad everyone don’t feel that way, with so many going to jail and prison, we really need to look at ourselves in what we are doing wrong in society.

  11. debbie

    May 9, 2015 - 12:18 am

    unfortunately, when our Justice system became a money making revenue for the state, and we opened ourselves to Privately owned prisons for capitol gain; we then saw budget cuts for things like food, and education. Inmates are required to purchase most of their own clothes now, the meals are based on calorie intake not nutritional value, with that level of substance we are basically just keeping inmates alive. This is what we consider rehabilitation today, very, very sad state we are in these days and it only gets worse from here. I am only stating my observation. thanks for reading.

  12. Leslie Rodriguez

    May 8, 2015 - 2:33 pm

    the only way I see for the door to stop revolving for good, is for all to dig deep into why & how the door stays open….i.e. Let us start at home.. with more love, more hugs, & more open & honest communication. It does start at home!!

  13. Erin

    May 6, 2015 - 1:59 pm

    Even if they did get a college degree, a lot of places won’t hire them because they are felons. To me there is no point in even getting a college degree if it is not going to do anything for you in the future. However, it is something to do while you are locked up.

  14. Jessica

    April 26, 2015 - 5:46 am

    Being educated while incarcerated is an amazing activity for inmates!! I have a family member that is 24, in Prison and obtained his GED, i have never seen him so happy and more driven to want to do better. He felt accomplished and was given the best ‘high’ of his life. He started to have a better outlook on his future and was not going to let a mistake define who he was! Taking education away from inmates would have an impact on the ones that want to learn from mistakes and take every advantage to better themselves. They are human that need these resources. Most inmates have came from broken homes and living in unhealthy enviroments. If the goal of DOC was to prepare and encourage inmates to be successful and have stability and independence, they would be doing more than they know. Just believing in someone and praising good works could change lives for the better.

  15. Annette Powell-Clifford

    April 23, 2015 - 7:53 am

    The best answer for both sides of this equation is the University of the People which is an accredited online offering the first tuition free college degrees in business administration and computer science….While there is a nominal fee for the required proctored exams to insure the person taking the tests are actually the enrolled student that fee is paid to the proctoring site so if the prison is willing to become an exam proctoring site, this cost would be returned to prisons….This is an excellent alternative to the current problems as it offers a win win soluation this not only the politicians and prison officials as well as to the offenders who wish to pursue a college education….

  16. Debbie

    April 20, 2015 - 8:57 am

    Does anyone know what this means, it was on my husbands tx offender information under his parole info:

    Denied on 03/31/2015

    SERVE ALL- Deny parole and not release the offender until the serve-all date, which is the projected release date or minimum expiration date as determined by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

    His projected release fate is September 2015

    Thank you all, I really appreciate this help

  17. D Lotaki

    April 10, 2015 - 9:14 am

    Federal Pell Grants cover the cost of their college education so their is no extra cost to taxpayers. I did a published research paper on Solitary Confinement/Education in the prison system. Education IS a vital tool to stop recividism. But the most damaging tool prisons use is solitary. The United Nations has called for a world wide ban on the use of solitary confinement calling it “cruel and unusual torture”. Yet the US has minimally 80,000 prisoners, on any given day, in solitary confinement.The United Nations says it should only be used in very extreme cases and for a maximum of 15 days after which irreversable psychological damage occures. If you want to talk about a cost to taxpayers…General Population cost approximately 25,000 a year, whereas solitary costs 75,000 per year! Prisons usually start their solitary sentences at 30 days! Some prisoners are there for years and totally unable to then function in society, ever again.Some persons sentenced to solitary will bite and cut themselves just to feel something, anything. The confinement is so complete and overwhelming that they esentially go completely insane. Human beings are social creatures by nature and to remove all human contact IS torture. The US is the ONLY country in the world who still uses solitary on regular basis. Most countries have banned it altogether and their imprisoned rate per one hundred persons is far far below ours. And the criminal justice system wonders why we have so many re-offenders. I recommend the FRONLINE investigative television special from Apr and May 2014. You can view it on-line. It is an eye opener but if you have a weak stomach, be prepared.I would recommend it to anyone who believes prisoners are getting just what they deserve or if you want a true and unbiased look inside solitary confinement.

  18. Amina Williams

    April 2, 2015 - 12:57 am

    I think inmates should be allowed to have access to books.I think reading would (1) help time pass reading books that help learn interesting subjects(2)helps focus (3)have better positive conversation(4)show that their are so many ways to deal with experiences other than negative behavior etc. so much more.
    What is sitting in a cell doing for the inmates? Spent monies on what is suppose to help them when they come home.Help them to become produtive human beings.

  19. Betty Powell

    March 28, 2015 - 1:13 pm

    Is there a way to donate books to prisons, or to donate money for the purchase of books chosen by a proper authority?

  20. Stephanie Wallace

    March 28, 2015 - 12:28 pm

    As far as taxpayers paying for the inmates college education, we are paying for much more than that anyway, especially if the inmate keeps returning, because they don’t have the ability to do something else to survive. If you have a flat tire, do you want to pay $8 for a plug every week, or do you want to pay $80 for a new tire, and not stress about it anymore. Which option is really the better deal? If I am going to pay for something, I want the best deal. And this is coming from a former grad student with $130,000 in student loan debt. Also keep in mind that while yes, it is still expensive, imates do not have what campus dwelling students have, fancy buildings, the latest technology, quiet study zones with coffee shops and mentor programs. I also wonder how many degree choices they have, and how many job options there are for them when they get out. I know someone who got an associates degree in general studies while in prison, and it did not affect his ability to get a job afterward at all. He did not return to prison, however, so maybe it did something. What we need, in addition to education for inmates, is to stop the prejudice against them. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” There are two types of people in this world…those that got caught and those that did not.

  21. A black soul

    March 15, 2015 - 7:14 am

    You know how to stop the revolving door of prison? Quit putting people like my ole lady who is not a criminal at all just likes to do drugs and drink. Shes not a threat to society now I’m not saying I wish she would stop the drinking especially but she doesn’t need prison but drug treatment.

  22. Petrice Henderson

    March 14, 2015 - 2:08 am

    Cities for woman to make it in 2015; I don’t know as far as states there are four. Idaho, Missouri, Maryland, and Wyoming. Depending on the circumstances and goal; there is a break down of facts to choosing these states. Being able to change is the first way on becoming, or beginning something never thought of. There are some interesting comments on this page. All of them genuine and current on fact not opinion. Getting someone to ask for the moratorium will be beneficial. Declare can cause a slow down when they want freedom. The question is how the answer moratorium. Where and when can this be appliable? Is it a piece to the door? What year is the revolving door and the make or frame. The installation of the door is also apart of our topic. Death can cause the body to hurt. When you miss someone you will be there unconditionally. Some comments on here seem very blunt. 2013 VA [veterans hospital] scandals not good. The less said the more done! When speaking on healing and change the reaction usually monitored. Please becareful in attending the wrong place at the wrong time. Wanting to know or putting others in situations that where uncalled for; doesn’t mean you can be of any help or justice!

  23. janie

    March 8, 2015 - 11:25 pm

    This comment is from a mom who saw the differences in which our children get a so called education in our public schools. The merit of an educator is in teaching students who need them and their help in learning, not in holding the hand of those students who are gifted enough to make good or great grades. In public schools “No child left behind” was a joke. If you were not smart or belonged to the right group, sorry you were left to your own devices. Therein comes failure and acting out. Then comes the term “troublemaker”. Soon all the troublemakers are hanging out together and they are a gang. The “educators” no longer want or desire to work with them. Then the “gang” does not care anymore, he/she has been given a name and now tries to live up to that. Now the trouble starts. We as parents try to work and prevent this but the wheels have started rolling and they are hard to stop. We cannot make a dent. We as parents care, about our children, that is a given. When someone else from outside shows our children that they are worth something, then it makes a real difference. That someone else does not have to care but he/she does, our children think “I am worth something” and he/she tries. Otherwise “Mom loves me no matter what”. So yes education makes a difference but educators makes the greatest difference. Not just school educators because we are all educators in some way or another. Yes definitely, our loved ones need and education while they are incarcerated, we never stop learning. Why should they? It costs money but it also costs to keep them behind bars. Prisons are the best universities in the world, but they teach beginning criminals to be better criminals. If they are not steered in the correct direction. It costs many $’s to keep them there. I see how the laws and systems change all the time. We all do wrong things. An article I read one time said “We all have the potential to be criminals, we just have not been caught”. It does not take a great deal to go to jail or go to prison in this day and time. We are just the lucky ones. Yes education is great and it SHOULD not be denied to anyone. There are great efforts to get education to the underprivileged, are convicts not “underprivileged”? Yes they are. We are taking away their privilege to get an education, some rightfully, others not so rightfully, either way that option is being taken away. Lets give them the opportunity to become productive people. If they do do so, we can rest assured that we did ALL in our power to help make them that. GOD BLESS US ALL.

  24. David Klar

    March 7, 2015 - 1:30 am

    As someone that survived 20 years inside the fence, trust me, education is a brightly shining light and, if your loved one is blessed enough to walk in that light, he or she will get out a better man or woman for it! Sure, it hasn’t been easy since I got out, and there have been many roadblocks, trials, and tribulations along the way, but I am coming up on my 10th anniversary (or ‘LifeAP’)and life just keeps getting better! Most incarcerated people of from minority, lower economic class backgrounds and were born with two strikes against them so, if we can give them the opportunity inside that they didn’t have or didn’t take advantage of outside, by all means, let’s do it! The bottom line is this: Either you pay now or pay later. I would much rather pay now and avoid further illegal activity later.

  25. M Johnston

    March 5, 2015 - 3:20 pm

    It seems like the States are so unequal in how they treat prisoners. My son is an example of the Revolving Door. He was charged with assault on a Law Enforcement Officer, when actually he was beaten and tazered by them over and over. Now He’s charged with “Attempted” aggravated assault. Sounds pretty pathetic to me that someone gets 34 months in jail for this crime. He actually threw some things around while drunk. He has Alcohol and drug problems, and it’s that simple. He has never been offered any kind of education advancement in Florida. He also never has had the money to get a private Attorney. Poor white folks also go to prison. It’s a shame that we are such a nation of people incarcerated for problems they have and there are little to no Social Services available. No-one really cares either. That is the pathetic part. This is big business at work. I feel bad for anyone that has a loved one incarcerated. It’s a heart breaker.

  26. Concerned Jackson

    March 1, 2015 - 2:10 pm

    I agree with Roy and Robert. My man is in prison and has been for a while. To the people who say why should they pay for an inmates education, you are going to pay either way. Your tax dollars pay for public schools and they pay for prison upkeep. Do you realize how much it costs to keep a man locked up in prison for a year? Research it! When he first got locked up, he like Robert lived like he was out on the streets. Hustling! When he decided that he wanted a change he dove into educating himself and went on to formal education. That has been his saving grace while locked. He was on is was towards completing his degree when his state revoked all college coursed, so unfortunately, no degree. This will not stop him, but it would have made a difference for his life when he leaves. And yes he will finish when he is released.
    And reading some of these comments, its pretty sad to see that some of us on the outside need to relearn how to write and probably learn better reading skills. So lets use this opportunity to better us all, whether in or out of prison.

  27. Amelia York

    February 27, 2015 - 3:48 pm

    Well said Cindy Alkire

  28. Petrice Henderson

    February 25, 2015 - 6:22 pm

    Are prisoners allowed to vote? They are allowed to work while they are incarcerated, and after they are released. 2003 British gross independancy law repealed. Obama goal is residency for immigration. Currency sometimes has no value in certain parts of the world. This isn’t politians fault; these things are learned within the test of time. Acceptance of choice and favor are two different things. Discussion is to be addressed with those that are specific in what they need to return from being behing bars. These conversations can be held with probation officers. What the probation officer can offer the convict or human is information, and guide the person to a new beginning. This is the second chance rule in Indianapolis; that allows offenders a chance to work while recognized as a felon, or a person with a court date. If the offender is serious about wanting more or different for themselves they will appear to the places in time. Are they being treated as a human or number? Are they being pestered with run arounds, after certain individuals fail the system; or their county job with state pay. These situations shouldn’t be liable to happen. This could be the slow down of the return, and effective decisions that can be counted as resource living not needy families. Success can be measured and not accounted for; due to the responsibility and endless situations that can occur. Doesn’t mean that we feel as a certain gender or race that incarceration is fair treatment. Others owning and providung for a change; office space and rental space. Indianapolis offers this all over the city. Notary is in the city also, going about things appropriately is needed.

  29. Grace Vincent-Smith

    February 24, 2015 - 6:07 pm

    I agree about the education. Everyone should have the right to receive it. Some of the incarcerated have no education and nothing to do but get into trouble over and over again, because they have nothing else to do. Those that want it, educate them; make them proud of themselves. When they get out, and are truthful about getting a job, they can succeed. They can become a good citizen,rather than getting into trouble all over again. Employers, let’s give them a chance.
    A good education changes things for the best. God Bless

  30. Melissa Tarkett

    February 23, 2015 - 6:25 pm

    I think getting an education in prison would be great for all the inmates! It gives them a better chance once released back into society. People make bad choices in life but they shouldn’t have to suffer the rest of their lives for it, for a felon to get hired for a career is almost impossible, hell, they can’t even get a place to live because of the one felony. Society looks down on drug addicts and non violent criminals and no one wants to give them the opportunity to do better with their lives, so naturally they go back to what they know, which is how to survive, they never get the chance to actually live!

  31. Cindy Alkire

    February 23, 2015 - 2:14 pm

    For those of you complaining about paying for inmate education, consider this. You are paying for them to go to school when they are in public school, how is that any different. And then there are those who do make it out of high school and end up in prison. And let’s not forget all of the students who come to our colleges from other countries that get a free ride. They are not in prison, and neither they nor their parents pay taxes. But still, they come to the U.S. and get a free college education on our tax dollars. You really will never know where all your tax money is going and it is what it is. Why not take care of our own and help them instead of stereotyping them. God put us here to love one another not complain about what we have no control over. Some prisoners will rehabilitate and some won’t. That is the nature of it, because not everybody is the same. Start looking for the good in things, and stop being so cynical. You will feel better about yourself.

  32. Kim brown

    February 22, 2015 - 2:54 pm

    Let’s say and Do something. Spend $ with Amazon you can send books, learning is reading, self teaching is what America is built on. Drug addicts, or character flaw…..either the same thing a narcissistic behavior. Ask them to make a decision and let you know. Although the behavior shown while incarcerated Is usually more humble. Deny them occasionally and tell them you are wanting to see what they are Really about. The true heart shows. Give them stamps and paper to write who they hurt and get those where they need to be. When they ask you to take the money you are spending on them and payback someone on the outside that was done wrong. Then God has answered your prayer. Write your congressman.your state representatives. Your state senators with your thoughts and ideas. We do need them educated before they get out we need them to be as close to working and good employable people before they hit the doors. Prison jail and any incarceration is a BURDEN ON THE WORKING moms, dads, grandparents, friends because we are the ones who want them better and know they are not getting three hot meals a day and just watching tv. It cost average $43 a day the last time I looked it up to house an inmate. 265×$43=$11,395 a year. I want my son more educated and more importantly the most of a man he can be when he gets out. If you are a person who thinks not educating is wise Then my suggestion to you is study the statistics and look at where the government does spend your money off of American soil. HOME is FIRST. HOME IS FIRST. And when we require our government to behave this way we will all benefit. God bless yall. Stepping down off my podium.

  33. Petrice Henderson

    February 22, 2015 - 5:40 am

    Is there a law against inmates reading? With books reading is the main criteria in learning. Harold has a good motive in the reality of the topic. A lifestyle can be corrected. Finding employment is the main focus. Those who haven’t been incarcerated and voting; is this the verses or completing the sentence. Once convicted a person can complete all judges orders; even if others do not understand, or feel like the person is likely to succeed. Attending certain Obama lead discussions 2015 in Indianapolis. Schools are educating in sex and complaining about bullying. These subjects can be realized in homes and jobs across the world. Presidents before Obama wanted him in office; what Obama and his wife have in common are kids. Clinton and Bush have a scholarship together. Michelle Obama was on PBS, Beyonce also what are there goals. Independantly speaking and representing for United States aren’t seen equally.

  34. someone felons wife

    February 22, 2015 - 2:18 am

    Hey not all convicts are getting an education in jail. Its offered to those who want to walk the path less paved and make a difference in their lives. Not everyone is raised in ideal situations where they know things are wrong or right but eventually lead them down the wrong path. Some mothers and fathers are functional stuff shifts and do illegal things in front of their children and that’s what children are raised setting and learning. We are the best and most attentive learned as children but don’t want to seem to learn as we grow older. So the inmates that do want to become productive citizens of society should have a chance. Your tax money is used for stuff you wouldn’t approve of anyways if you knew everything. Just some food for thought!

  35. Peaceful Warrior

    February 21, 2015 - 5:34 am

    “Education” should not be a privilege but rather a “must”.

    But inorder for such not to be misused (example: someone does jailtime merely to achieve education, or a warm bed) the Lawmakers first must examine their own system of sentencing. Its ridiculous that some people are jailed for 1-3 years without having even been convicted of a crime, due to lack of “real factual evidence”, and merely due to overwhelming court backlog.

  36. breeboo

    February 20, 2015 - 9:45 am

    I pay close attention to my boyfriend and his family members a lot of their actions was taught to them by the father witch is in and out of prison his whole life not careing about his young men who are fallowing his foot steps its so sad and breaks my heart to watch them suffer due to their role model but only ones who’s powerful enough to break that cycle is them I pray for them all brothers and cousins ms.naptown 317 thickie boo

  37. Roy

    February 17, 2015 - 2:31 am

    For those of you complaining about an education being paid for, you are going to pay anyway when they go back in so why not try and give them the skills needed to help them avoid that. I’ve spent 2 years in prison for possession with intent and I can tell you first hand they do absolutely nothing to prepare a person for life upon release. Many of the inmates spend all day just trying to pass the time in any way possible because they don’t have enough jobs for half of them. They sit at tables most of the time swapping stories with other wrong thinking individuals. They may get 1 or 2 courses for an hour a week for 6 weeks during their stay. Most of you, who have tried to make a serious lifestyle change know that is a joke and will accomplish nothing. It takes more time and effort than a few courses to change a lifetime of habits. Getting an education is one way to remove them from the poison environment of the living units and give them a positive focus for change. Many ex-offenders, like myself, will be released and get an education on your tax dollar anyhow through grants. It doesn’t make sense that I wasted a couple of years being unproductive as a result of not being provided an education while inside.

  38. Jamie Janadia

    February 16, 2015 - 10:34 am

    I agree 100% on educating these inmates, otherwise they will continue doing what they do and what they know. Politicians have a problem with educating inmates, but have no problem with them returning to prison over and over again. It makes no sense.

  39. Darlene

    February 15, 2015 - 4:34 pm

    This is all crazy. I feel if you do the crime, then do the time! Why should I have to pay for someone to get a high school and college education while imprisoned. My son as been locked up since he was 15 and now he is 26 years old. I could sit here and say they should do this and that, but he should of done all he could to not be incarcerated. I LOVE my son, but he picked that road. By the way, he is in for a non-violent crime!!

  40. Robert Osborn

    February 13, 2015 - 7:44 am

    I was convicted of possession with intent in 2007. I was hustling while I was in prison. Getting contraband in to distribute to other inmates. I was behaving as I was on the outside. Do you know what saved me? EDUCATION! I stopped being an idiot because I saw the the value of education and how it can bring worth to someone’s life. Not only is an educated person better equipped to find employment, but provides the confidence that something positive can be achieved in life. The only hustle I ever knew was selling drugs. Don’t get me wrong, I am still a hustler, but I’ve just switched up my product, which is me. I will graduate with my Master’s degree in October of 2015. If you want a job that is worth a crap, you better have an education. BTW, those with Master’s degree have a 0% chance of recidivism.

  41. Paul Brunner

    February 12, 2015 - 2:35 pm

    How about taking responsibility for your actions? How about choosing not to do drugs, how about not going down the wrong path cause you know it’s wrong? People make decisions.
    My brother has spent his entire adult life in prison. He missed the birth of a child, missed my mom’s funeral, and is missing family time, but he made choices and continued to make choices and there he is. I love my brother, and I could and do rant about how my mom and step-dad did a terrible job with him. If he had stayed with me and my family, he might have stayed on the right path and not have made such poor decisions. However, he decided not to stay with me and got into trouble. Even though I disagree with my brother’s choices, I still send him money in prison because I love him and want him to know he has support.

    Each person makes there own choices and it’s not the government’s responsibility to educate you or take care of you or help you re-enter society. Unless you are a psychopath (not knowing right from wrong), you know your choices can be better. Normally, the harder choice is usually the right choice. They may only know one lifestyle, but I feel a majority chose that lifestyle. You’re not trapped, but rather an excuse. You can choose to wake up and say “I will go get a job and learn skills so I can earn money to support myself.” I, myself, started off digging ditches for a plumber and now I have a master plumbing license. It was years of dirty, sweaty work, but I learned, never gave up and made a living.

    I’ve hired men on probation or parole (I’ve even paid someone to pick them up and bring them to work), but most don’t care about the work; they just want a paycheck check, not a job/career. Thomas Jefferson also knew by stating “that a man shall not eat lest he work”. My dad died when I was 6 and my mom had a hard time; we didn’t have anything. Most people need to take the hardships in their life, and use it to be more motivated to improve and do better for themself and their families.

    You can have a job without an education, and that job will be an education. For example, you need to have 4 years of work experience in plumbing, electricity or other trade and then you can get your license. If you are a felon, of course, this is harder, which means looking into having an honest, hard-working job rather than a career in crime. However, most industries nowadays actually hire ex-offenders, such as the oil industry, construction, etc. Most of these ex-offenders probably don’t want a real solution to your problem if you are thinking about telling me to shut up and say I don’t know what I’m talking about. But I did it, and life isn’t perfect and I’m not a millionaire, but I have 2 beautiful daughters, thanks to my beautiful wife, and we have a roof over our heads, food in our bellies (of course I should cut back a little!) and clothes on our backs. The American Dream isn’t that someone gives you anything; it’s the pursuit of happiness! So start pursuing it, before you know you’ll realize it’s the effort that makes it worth it. Or so I tell myself.

    I don’t have the solutions, but I have a few ideas that won’t get you thrown in prison.

  42. Debbie

    February 9, 2015 - 9:37 am

    How to stop the revolving door?
    1.) Declare a moratorium on prison and jail building of new or expansion plans

    2.) Get rid of mandatory minimums, every case should be treated individually. Remove mass production of inmate sentencing and give judges back their discretionary powers over sentencing

    3.) Money saved from millions into prison and jail expansion should and could be used for building healthy community resources that help community members in crisis intervention, healthcare, harm reduction and mediation services.

    4.) When people are released and sent back into their community, cities and counties should have the means available to make a successful transition to gaining their life and their freedom back. This includes housing, food, transportation and social and legal aid services to help them rebuild their losses.

  43. Marie Dawson

    February 8, 2015 - 1:39 am

    My family has also been a victim to the justice system. I have a daughter who is 14 and her father has been incarcerated since she was 3.Also, he has been institutionalized since childhood in some way or another. I believe in generational curses. He has been through the revolving door as well drug addiction. When people have struggles and tragedies in their lives, but are not helped or taught how to cope, they tend to find comfort in blocking out things so they don’t have to deal. It amazes me that if an inmate has a certain sentence time, they are overlooked when it comes to an education. I’ve learned that my child is the splitting image of her father (attitude, behavior, defiance, etc.) and has school problems, fights and she was even locked up for the 1st time when she was 12! Now, I will be damned if I let my baby girl slip through the cracks and become another statistic of the revolving door!! We need EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION…I am praying and fighting for his release so we can piece our lives back together. I promote education, no matter what!

  44. Marcia Sanderson

    February 7, 2015 - 7:01 pm

    We can comment and complain forever, but nothing is going to change unless we take action. We need to sit on the doorstep of the legislators who are on committees regarding our prisons. We need to take action by informing ourselves about what the people running for office are willing to do about prison reform. At my fiance’s institution there is a long waiting list just to take the GED. There is little or no focus on rehabilitation even though it is in the title of the institution!!!! The system is not going to fix itself! We need to be watchdogs of the parole boards because they are self serving.

  45. Sharon Taylor

    February 5, 2015 - 11:57 pm

    I fully agree with Shawntika. My son has been though those revolving doors every since he was 17 years old. Education is his only way out. He is 48 years old and never committed a violent crime. He is addicted to meth. Putting a person in prison for possession of drugs when no other crime has been committed is wrong, wrong, wrong. He was just sentenced to 6 1/2 years as of yesterday. I will be 81 years old when he is out and his daughter will be 17 years old. It has to stop. He has no way of earning a living without an education. No way to make a permanent change. It will be just wasted time in prison.


    February 5, 2015 - 5:31 pm

    MOOCs are giving anyone in the world a chance at superior education. Prisoners are in an ideal situation to grow their minds. Three meals a day and shelter provided and time to sit and think. We need to stop throwing away our people.

  47. Nate Smith

    February 5, 2015 - 10:25 am

    I have a solution for those politicians who are ‘infuriated.’ Maybe college should be free for all citizens — just like Thomas Jefferson intended.

  48. Shawntika Peck

    February 4, 2015 - 8:27 pm

    Has anyone ever stop to think that maybe some of these men only know one lifestyle. It makes you think does society enjoy turning on the news and seeing robbery, assaults and carjackings. I believe any person who is a non-violent offender should be offered a high school and college education while imprisoned. So when reentering society the offender will have another means of funds and so they don’t continue to repeat their previous lifestyle. The bible provides knowledge to those who seek the knowledge. If you have the desire in America you should be afforded the right to an education. While locked behind bars you have the time to spend on learning, if that is how you choose to spend your time, then you should be afforded the right.

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