By James R. Smith
But what happens when individuals are deprived of gaining an education? He or she loses the ability to contribute to a discussion; to contribute to society; his or her ability to provide for themselves with an opportunity to be productive in their respective community once released from their confinement. The community loses out too because they will now have the burden of providing that individual with the necessities of survival. Reentering society must start within the confines of a prison by providing prisoners with the necessary education and training that will allow and enable them to re-enter society.
The writer has been taking steps to try to change/fix the failing educational system. The writer has been researching and preparing a “Legislative Proposal to Expand Existing Post-Secondary Correctional Educational Programs and/or to Reinstate the Pell Grants for Prisoners” to present to the United States Congress. The writer had also researched and prepared a “New Jersey Legislative Proposal to Create an Educational Credit Statute and/or to expand The New Jersey Education and Rehabilitation Act to create an Educational Credit Statute that would provide sentencing credits to those who received an Associate’s Degree or higher while incarcerated. The Educational Credit would take time off a person’s sentence, thus reducing the amount of time one must serve in prison.
We must all participate in the endeavors of changing the way society views prisoners. The more education an inmate receives while they are incarcerated, the better chance they have of remaining viable to our society.
The writer welcomes suggestions or comments and assistance and in this endeavor. Remember, we must be One Person, One Voice for a common cause.
As a Member of the KTSP/NAACP Branch, Unit 2020, our Motto is “Each One, Teach One.” So let us all start teaching one another.