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We are examining how the modern American prison system is sometimes ineffective and can exacerbate behavioral problems. Please listen to Steve’s story, which describes his own experience in a state prison. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for additional interviews and an in-depth article.
Our client, Marcel, shares how prison can worsen negative behaviors and how it failed to provide him and his fellow inmates with appropriate resources for self-improvement. He also explains what later helped him turn his life around.
Raised by family members who used drugs, our client, Karone, was exposed to substance abuse at a young age. By age 10, he and other children from his neighborhood began selling candy, which taught them how to hustle. Once he got a bit older, Karone transitioned to selling drugs and later served time in prison. While incarcerated, he soon realized that the prison system sometimes tears inmates down, rather than helps them work toward self-improvement. He also expressed frustration regarding the lack of educational and occupational training opportunities during his time there.
To close our examination of the modern American prison system, we present to you our client Reggie’s story. Reggie was incarcerated at a young age and spent more than half his life in prison. While incarcerated at the New Mexico State Penitentiary, he witnessed the worst prison riot in New Mexico’s history, which took place in February 1980. He shares his experience of his time behind bars and what ultimately led him toward self-improvement.
Our client, Amirah, from NJRC at Greater Newark Conservancy, shares her reentry story. “It felt like I was accomplishing something every day by coming here,” she said of our program.
Tom Reigle was a classic candidate for recidivism. After thirty years in prison he had virtually no resources or connections that could help him successfully reenter modern society. It’s hard to imagine how much the world has changed in thirty years, and what its like to be gone for all of it. Luckily with the help of JCETP Tom has acquired a job and has been put in touch with housing providers and will be living on his own.
Ramon, one of our clients at NJRC at the Center of Hope in Paterson, explains why reentry services are so important. “The minute I stepped into this program… you just feel the energy, and it makes you want to get out there and just do positive things. It gives you a sense of wellbeing.”
Oseyba credits NJRC Paterson staff for his positive transition after being incarcerated. “Since coming to the reentry program, I found a job… I never thought it would happen so fast. I’m proud of myself.”