New York jails turn lives around
I would like the general public to know that its valuable tax dollars are NOT being squandered here at Green Haven C.I. Although a considerable amount of money is allocated on its programs — and professional, caring staff to run them — they are working to achieve profound positive differences in the tumultuous lives of men such as myself.
Shamefully, I have wasted the last 30 years of ray life in/ out of other prison systems and the Feds — where for all intents and purposes I was simply “warehoused.”
There were no substantive opportunities of rehabilitation beyond a G.E.D. and shops to maintain the facility.
No A.S.A.T., No Thinking for a Change, No Anger Relapse Training. No Voc Eds to earn globally recognized certs to be an electrician, carpenter, barber, or computer operator.
Consequently, I spent my days of incarceration either confined to a cell or sitting around watching TV and playing games — unlike Green Haven, where all inmates are held accountable to whatever assignments they’re scheduled to attend. I would leave no better but worse as my record grew longer and my chances of employment shorter.
I often wondered with a good deal of bitterness towards society why a state or federal prison system would spend many thousands of dollars to incarcerate me yet very little on rehabilitation?
A.S.A.T. and its wonderful staff gave me the cognitive skills to overcome a lifelong compulsion to steal things.
I am DEEPLY GRATEFUL to the state of New York. I am glad that I ended up here. For once I will not be leaving with bitterness or no better off than when I arrived.
I will be leaving with a debt of gratitude and responsibility to a state that literally saved my life as I am certain I would have died in prison had I not ended up here, which would have ultimately cost society that much more.
I earned a certiport IC3 and several Microsoft Office Specialist Certs — and I am planning on taking the COMP TIA A+ exams to become a certified computer technician of which I’ve been preparing for the last 12 months.
I was never given such opportunities in any of my prior incarcerations. If I had—I don’t believe I would be here today on New York’s dime. So I pledge that should I get out and commit another crime — to accept a life sentence as I would have to be truly incorrigible to leave here and return to my old ways. I am done taking. Green Haven is how all prisons should be run. There’s no other way to reduce recidivism when you have a large class of men and women coming from broken homes, emotional and physical abuse, in which an education and morality aren’t part of one’s upbringing — warehousing is not the solution.
Its only result will be what we have: Overcrowded jails and prisons throughout America.
About election letters
The Oneida Daily Dispatch welcomes letters pertaining to the Sept. 12 primary. All the letter-to-the editor guidelines apply, with the additional proviso that letters making accusations against a rival candidate will not be printed in the final week (Sept. 7-12).
Critical letters must be received and verified by Monday, Sept. 4.
The last day of publication of any letters is Sunday, Sept. 10.
Those letters must be received and verified by Friday, Sept. 8. No election letters will be published on Sept. 12.