Most people refuse to accept that there’s just one way to permanently reduce the costs of operatingprisons in the Carolinias–reduce recidivism.
Therefore, I challenge North Carolina Correctional officials to let us teach, train and provide mental and emotional “tools” for 20,000 inmates over the next two years to prove that we can teach criminals to become both reformed and transformed. The cost: $50 per inmate each year for the first two years of the program, until their release. But the person must agree, upon enrolling, to continue the transformation education program for an additional three years following release. The cost: $27 per month.or a total of $972.
So North Carolina, let’s get started no later than August 1, 2011. I will have a team of ministering mentors trained and ready to go. In this context, ministering means simply to serve. We we have the materials.
Simultaneously, we want to work with at least 7,500 of the approximately 17,000 inmates in the South Carolina Department of Corrections. We want to get started in South Carolina by September 1, 2011.
Consider our guarantee. We will refund program costs–whether paid by the Department of Correction or the individual–for any person, actively involved in our program who returns to prison within five years.
Let me explain the twin needs: transformation and reformation!
Transformation occurs when a person learns how to inspect himself or herself introspectively and to eliminate the thinking process–the mindset–that triggers and sparks specific behaviors. Reformation occurs when a person receives more education and training to be used, in this case, to make the arduous trek from crime to contribution.
It’s a long, but achievable journey. I know! I’ve made it.
Released from prison in 1968, after spending all but 22 months of the 1960s incarcerated, this December I will celebrate my 43rd anniversary out of prison. No! I did not just “age out” as the late Dr. Charles Ward once declared to be the only effective way to reduce recidivism. True, I was 25-years-old on Monday, Dec. 9, 1968 when I walked out of the gate of the former Creswell prison camp, and true I am 68-years-old today. But I have not been a criminal for more than 40 years.
Let me explain.
Crime is a way of thinking that motivates a person to attempt to justify harming others to gain for self. That definition works whether you apply it to someone like me, a petty thief, or someone like Bernard Madoff, a grand scale thief. Afterall stealing is stealing. Transformation produces a way of thinking that motivates a person to serve others, rather than prey upon them. This transformation flows through the following distinct and identifiable stages of development:
1. Criminal–a person who believes it’s all right to harm others to gain for self.
2. Former criminal–a person who continues thinking like a criminal, but who has learned to use various mental and emotional “tools” to prevent acting on that thinking.
3. Change activist–a person whodaily examines his and her thinking in the transformation process to eliminate any vestiges of criminal thoughts.
4. Change conqueror–a person who has made the arduous trek from crime to contribution and who seeks to serve, rather than plans to prey.
Though transformation delivers powerful results to the transformed, this process does not complete the transition. That’s where reformation enters the picture. Reformation, described in our program as the principles of R.E.A.P, provides the knowledge and the “tools” to achieve a successful life. In this context, R.E.A.P. stands for the following:
For additional details, please click this link below and read the article on my blog–Let’s Talk Freedom–entitled “The California Initiative.”
Okay Carolinians! The ball is in your court. Let’s reduce recidivism!