by Lachin Hatemi M.D.
It was a happy day for everybody in the room, community leaders and leaders of local NAACP were also present in the audience. After hearing a group of inmates giving a small concert, a renowned School Principal in
Mr. Wade Stanfield, took the podium and gave a very personal speech to the
inmates and other members in the audience, talking about lessons he learned
from his life’s tragedies and triumphs. Lexington
For the next 60 minutes, the magnate school principal discussed how he approached life’s challenges and how he benefitted from his education. Stanfield described his transition from an All-American basketball player to a very successful educator.
Such programs are now gaining popularity across the nation, but the Division of Community Corrections at
takes it into a whole new level under the leadership of ’s
director Rodney Ballard. Detention Center
The inmates at the detention center can learn life skills and gain education to better transition to life in the outside world. The G.E.D. program at Division of Community Corrections at
, seeks to put that idle time to
use. In the short term, it hopefully will allow the inmates to leave prison
with better education compared to before they got institutionalized. Lexington
This experience reminds us the two new bills sponsored by legislators that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in
’ House of Representatives last
week, which rewards inmates who continue their education behind bars with
shorter sentences and sealed criminal records. Illinois
The Illinois bills would seal criminal records for non-violent felony offenders seeking employment, if they receive a “high school diploma, associate’s degree, career certificate, vocational technical certification, or bachelor’s degree, or passed the high school level Test of General Educational Development” while completing their sentence. The same applies for individuals who earn a certificate during aftercare or supervised release.
According to a RAND Corporation study, a person who pursues academic or vocational education while serving time is 13 percent more likely to find employment. Correctional education also leads to a 43 percent lower chance of recidivating. These statistics show that education behind bars is the best investment we can do for our inmates.
Hopefully one day, we will see the same legal changes in
Kentucky and inmates at the Division of Community
will never had to come back again, other than to cheer for next year’s graduates
in their graduation ceremony. Lexington