Return to society

Community Building

Text of a recent Toastmasters speech Michael gave at Taft Camp– Community Building I don’t know how many of you remember studies of early Western Civilization, but on the pages of a history book that’s circulating I read a passage describing the early Greeks. As founders of the first known city, the Greeks recognized the […]

Writing With Style

Book Title: Writing With Style: Conversations on the Art of Writing Book Author: John R. Trimble Book Publisher: Prentice-Hall (1975) Date Read: June 19, 2009 Nonfiction / 143 pages Writing With Style was the 9th book I read in 2009. Why I read Writing With Style: This was the second of two books on writing […]

Violating Conditions of Supervised Release

Rick, a white collar offender from Las Vegas, was serving a one year term in Taft Prison Camp for violating conditions of supervised release. I listened as Rick told me his story while we sat on a bench near the camp’s tennis courts. The adjustment choices Rick made following his initial release from prison perplexed […]

Deliberate Adjustment Plans

The Pew Charitable Trust estimates that by 2011, American jails and prisons will be releasing 750,000 prisoners into society each year. Of all those people returning to their communities, the Pew Report tells us, two out of every three will return to prison. That high recidivism rate has been steady since the time I began […]

What About Parole?

People in prison ask me about parole. That is a concept of allowing a prisoner to serve the final portion of his sentence in the community under clearly defined conditions as enforced by a parole officer. Essentially, parole is a conditional release from prison. In the federal prison system, parole only exists for certain offenders […]

Top Ten Prison Reform Goals, Article 2: Prison Reforms Ought to Offer Incentives to Transform Prisoners into Students and Teachers

Our prison system churns out repeat failures at an alarming rate. As a prisoner who has been locked in various prisons since 1987, I’ve learned a great deal from the thousands with whom I’ve served time. Personal experiences, observations, and lessons I’ve learned from others convince me that I know the prison reforms necessary to […]

Dan is Getting Out of Prison

After 14 years of imprisonment, Dan is going home. Dan has been incarcerated since the summer of 1994. At the time of his arrest he was a 25-year-old without much more of a formal education than the GED he earned in night school. He had been working in an Arizona gas station when friends who […]

Does the Corrections System Care About Inmates?

I can relate to the feelings of tax payers who want vengeance from those who have broken society’s laws. Prisoners have been convicted of crimes, and many of you want them to pay. Yet prisoners eventually pay that debt and return to society. Although punishment should represent one component of society’s response to crime, an enlightened […]

Why I Set High Standards for Myself in Prison

I strive to be the best in the world at what I do. That means I must measure my progress not in accordance with what others in society achieve, as they have resources that are beyond my reach. I measure my progress every day, and I compare the growth I make with others who have […]

What Second Chance?

Two months after the passage of historic legislation, Second Chance Act, designed to reduce recidivism, administrators continue with obstacles that hinder successful transitions from prison to society In April of 2008, President Bush signed the Second Chance Act of 2007. According to an overwhelming majority from both houses of Congress, the legislation had several purposes. […]

Those Outspoken Against Drugs

For the first time since 1987, I left prison to participate in a community service program. More than 246 months had passed since I walked in society. The sensations surprised me. They began soon after I walked out of the Taft camp and sat in the back seat of a van that our staff sponsor […]