By Christopher Zoukis A budget is a powerful thing. From a household budget that keeps a family out of consumer debt to a state budget that protects the welfare of millions of citizens, budgets have a huge impact on our daily lives. Of course, not everyone agrees on how to do a budget. For some,
Michelle Jones is a talented woman. Despite lacking internet access and print material resources, she lead a team in producing an outstanding research project on behalf of the Indiana Historical Society. She is also a playwright, specializing in historical plays, one of which ran in a live theatre. Jones’s talent doesn’t stop there. She also
Soft skills are essential to social integration. These are skills such as communication, empathy, organization and cognitive reasoning that enable people to interact more positively with each other. They’re non-academic skills that also help people become more accountable for their actions, and to pause and think before acting irrationally. While much focus is put on
The U.S. may have the worst recidivism rate in the world at 76.6 percent, but that doesn’t mean the system has failed every prisoner. There are a handful of inspiring stories about some that went to jail and used their time to turn their lives around, got out, and made lasting differences in their communities.
By Christopher Zoukis John Valverde is living proof that second chances are possible, and that the criminal justice system needs to be about more than just punishment — it should focus on rehabilitation and facilitating successful re-entry for the legions of ex-offenders who will eventually rejoin their communities. Valverde this year becomes CEO of YouthBuild
Aaron Kinzel faced obstacles after being released from a 10-year prison stint, and now teaches criminology and is an active prison-reform advocate. By Christopher Zoukis It’s easy to think only of the crimes committed when words like “offender,” “incarceration” or “prisoner” come up. But we should remember that many offenders in our system of incarceration
By Christopher Zoukis The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections spent 2016 making laudable strides toward helping improve the state of mass incarceration in this country. Corrections Secretary John Wetzel made a statement in December outlining improvements the Department of Corrections (DOC) has made in public, prisoner, and staff safety, improving transparency and fiscal responsibility, providing more
Mass incarceration costs billions each year, but the toll on society is not just financial. By Christopher Zoukis There are myriad issues with the current U.S. system of mass incarceration where more people are imprisoned than any other country in the world, and often in a hugely skewed manner — one which varies widely across
By Christopher Zoukis The Prison Entrepreneurship Project has helped transform more than 1,300 convicted felons into business graduates that have transitioned successfully back into society. The project focuses on male prisoners, and is a comprehensive, holistic program aimed at reducing recidivism, giving second chances to ex-offenders, and helping to ensure successful reintegration into their communities.
By Christopher Zoukis The Bureau of Justice Statistics has found that within five years of release, 76 percent of prisoners released in the U.S. reoffend. Breaking this cycle requires radical reforms in rehabilitation methods, and some surprising approaches are showing promising results — downward dog and mantra chanting. Educational and vocational programs already in place for