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"Let them march all they want, as long as they pay their taxes."  --Alexander Haig

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Author Topic: Prisoner Outreach Project  (Read 313 times)


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Prisoner Outreach Project
« on: May 14, 2009, 12:12 PM NHFT »

Every time one of my friends ends up in jail, and I hear about what a debilitating effect it has on the human soul, I am re-inspired to do some kind of broader prisoner* outreach. I'm planning to organize and spearhead this but hopefully others will be inspired to participate in various small ways. This country locks up more people than any country in the history of the world. In a way, I look at these prisoners as a kind of extremely low class, lower than the most poverty-stricken, because they have no options while they are in cages, no possibility of improving their own situation. The best they can hope for is to beg and comply in hopes of some kind of leniency from the people who put them there in the first place. Besides being ahead on numbers of people caged, the process itself seems so destructive and counter-productive. These people have an increased likelihood of committing a crime when they get out, whether or not they actually really committed a crime in the first place. If you've witnessed a few trials of liberty activists, you'll understand my skepticism.

Mike is really quite ahead of me with his mail-to-jail project, which I think is an excellent component of this effort.

This is going to be an evolving project. I'm going to start by trying to have some conversations with Van Wickler to get a better idea of what we will be allowed to do and what information is available. I have a voice mail in now and I will follow up on that. For instance, I'm hoping he can share lists of prisoners, with their permission, who don't get regular visitors, which ones are violent or not, etc. I'd like to start arranging regular visits from volunteers and we can start finding out what more we could do to improve moral straight from the horse's mouth. Visits with prisoners will be an important part of the evolving of this process. In time, we can choose how to most effectively address moral issues and hopefully we can improve moral right away and maybe more of these folks will walk out of that place one day with a a peaceful disposition toward their fellow human beings and a better sense of self-esteem and optimism than they otherwise would have.

I'm going to focus my initial efforts on the Cheshire County Facility but if we do this well and promote it well, perhaps others will be inspired to take on similar projects locally.

Since this is a local Keene area project, I'd appreciate it if discussion could continue at the Free Keene Forum so that interested parties won't have to follow multiple forums, aside from the occasional bump, perhaps.

* I know there's a difference between prisons and jails and I'm not sure what you call people in jail; maybe inmates, but "prisoner" seems like an apt description regardless.
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