In thinking about the justice system and criminals in general, I do have some preconceptions that have been shaped from media, TV, and simply my imagination. These preconceptions paint the picture of prison as perpetual and profoundly complex. I tend to visualize prison as a dark cell, with a single window facing out to the free world while the prisoner inside is full of regret and pain. I see life inside the bars as time for inmates to spend considering the mistakes or decisions they have made in their life. Whether it be drugs, alcohol, theft, murder, whatever the case may be, deep down, the prisoner knows he messed up and his or her willingness to admit it is up to his or her reputation or status that he or she wants to portray.
I do believe that the justice system could be vastly improved from where it is today. The stipulation is that this does cost serious money, money that isn’t willing to be poured into a fund that helps criminals. The argument from the top is that the money could and should go into places and disciplines of education, construction, and the market rather than the rehab and improvement of those who drastically need it. To be a criminal, you have to chose to break the law and the choice of choosing to do so means that rehabilitation or teaching is necessary to solve the problem in most cases. If money could be funneled into prison programs to resolve the mental issues or help someone get clean, the nation would not have to rebook citizens back into jail, saving money in the long run. If a prisoner is taught the tools of education and taught how to navigate the outside world to live a better quality of life, there is very little chance that they will break the law again.
I would say the only fears I have about going to the correctional facility are that I am going to see someone who has killed another person. It is scary to think about that I could I staring and talking with a human that has killed another person. I know that most likely this will not happen but at the same time I believe that it will be difficult for me to look in the eyes of a killer.
I hope to gain valuable perspective on the jail system, the prisoners, and their stories. I am very much looking forward to seeing the facility to rid my mind of the most likely false misconceptions that I have about what a correctional facility looks like in reality. I also am excited to hear the stories of the prisoners and to teach them the tools necessary to succeed in the outside world.
I expect to talk to the prisoners and give them advice on lessons that I have learned firsthand on how to be successful and how to make the best out of any situation. I have faced adversity my whole life, big to small, not even close to the level that they are facing but I want give them hope to live a better life outside of prison.