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April 23, 2008

Inmates doing Bard time

I was amazed to learn that while I pay $3.50 a gallon for gasoline, inmates at the Lansing Correctional Institute are being trained in classic Shakespeare (4/20, A+E, “Drama of hard time; Inmates in the mental health unit like Heidi Stubblefield’s classes”).

Could drama instructor Heidi Stubblefield guard these inmates while they pick up litter on K-7? I am supposed to be impressed that she has to “hold her own” with a group of male inmates who have been without female attention a while.

Ah, to be or not to be ... serious. What in the world are these directors thinking? Miss Stubblefield is allowed to present herself to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

Get me a tax break on gas and put the inmates on litter patrol.

Mark Brauninger
Kansas City

Editor’s note: Arts in Prison has a $230,000 budget for the current fiscal year; $8,088 of it came from the Kansas Arts Commission.

Comments

Engineer

Marctnts
I wouldn't be so sure. If they are murderous enough and throw in some anti-US rhetoric they could well end up as professors. After all Angels Davis, Ayres and BD did.

Stifled Freedom

The cost of prison is just going to get worse. We keep filling them up as we build them with more ane more punitive measures to address every issue.

Marctnts

BTW, $230,000 spent on Shakespear seems excessive. While I'm sure it's nice for the inmates to have an appreciation for english literature, I seriously doubt that this appreciation will translate into a lower recidivism rate. If your goal is to "rehabilitate" prisoners, perhaps the money would be better spent training these people for a productive life outside the bars. I'm skeptical that a life of college professorship is in any of their futures.

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

Again you have to define criminal:

With the majority of inmates being ppot smokers and debtors (actually wrongly accused debtros), maybe we should not lump all "criminals" into one group.

There is a difference between a violent criminal and some dude that simply could not afford $800 a month extrotion on a $10/hr job.

Below is criminal and many of these men you think should rot are wrongly jailed.

http://www.auditor.mo.gov/press/2007-59.htm

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

Again you have to define criminal:

With the majority of inmates being ppot smokers and debtors (actually wrongly accused debtros), maybe we should not lump all "criminals" into one group.

There is a difference between a violent criminal and some dude that simply could not afford $800 a month extrotion on a $10/hr job.

Below is criminal and many of htse men you think should rot are wrongly jailed.

http://www.auditor.mo.gov/press/2007-59.htm

Marctnts

Public opinion concerning the purpose of incarceration tends to be very cyclical. We alternate between periods of "rehabilitation" and "punishment", each with its own set of "new data" supporting the prevailing position.

At the turn of the century, when Leavenworth Penitentairy was built to look like the US Capitol, we held the idea that even the worst criminal could be rehabilitated into a productive citizen. Since that time, we have gone through alternating periods when our goals were either to "help" those in prison or to "protect" ourselves from them. Typically, these goals were determined by our impressions of the causes of incarceration, whether it is the inmate's fault through self-centric choices or not, being caused by outside factors such as poverty, bad parenting, mental illness, etc.

If you find fault with the current "rehabiltation" trend we are seeing, just wait. We will inevitably see a return to the "punishment" model.

T. Hanson

To badly quote a good movie...
"When people want money spent on prisons it is for more guards and bars."
--The Shawshank Redemption

Tom K

I am certain that any dollar spent in educating convicted criminals will be returned many times over not only in the return of people to productive jobs but also in less crime.

 
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