“We will decide what programs you need. Take the programs, work at them, and you will get out sooner.”  (Case Worker).

“Don’t become friends with these inmates. Don’t talk about your personal life. Besides they will use that information to threaten you or hurt you. If they reach out to you, tell them to see the shrink. (Supervisor of programs)

“Theatre, no, we can’t do that here. It’s not therapeutic. Music, painting, and writing, the same. We’re here to do some serious rehab work on you.” (Program facilitator.)

“Your day will be regulated here. Everything is on the clock. We’re preparing you for life on the outside.” (Top director of guards.)

“Do what you’re told. Respect the staff. They’re trying to help you. Don’t talk back, you will just be reported.” (Assistant warden)

  •  Is this an atmosphere for rehabilitation?
  1. James Inglis says:

    The quotes certainly are harsh, but as there is no context for the entirety of the conversations it’s hard to determine if they are conducive to an atmosphere for rehabilitation.

  2. Joanne says:

    Prisons the way they are now are the opposite of what is needed for preparation on the outs. Having your whole life controlled for you means that you’ll likely be lost when the time comes to make your own decisions.
    You make a great point with this post, Ed.

    • Ed Griffin says:

      I think if I were younger, I would set up a great organization to help the guys coming out. Everything from counseling to job help to just being there when a guy needed someone

      • Joanne says:

        Yeah, that’s what John Howard Society is supposed to be. But they are plagued with funding problems and lack of support from the community. And they need to be nice to CSC, as that is where they get the majority of their funding. To create such an organization and be successful, I believe we first have to create an attitude change among the majority of people in society. Only then will the necessary funding flow and the neighbourhoods open to allow what is needed. As it is now, John Howard’s and St. Leonard’s and MCC all fight uphill battles daily.

  3. Well no, of course not, and that’s the point. Despite all the (substantial) requirements in the Act, Regulations, Policies and Procedures, and Commissioner’s Directives, for rehabilitation, CSC does almost nothing (and what they do, they do so little and so badly that it’s useless), although they lie about it in every Annual Report to pretend they are fulfilling their statutory requirements. The truth is that, when it comes to anything other than putting people in cells, that can’t, won’t and don’t. Any increase, or lack of decrease, in crime is their fault. The same is true of their probation services; one review by their own staff found them to be “almost entirely ineffective”, and an American assessor said that “we could not have designed a more counter-productive system if we had set out to do so.”

  4. carmen_ferrets says:

    Might be the staff tries to help, might be it’s the intention to prepare for the outside world, it’s an advice not to talk back or your life gets even harder. But sad enough it’s a fact for most there is no “being accepted”, being ready for the outside world, if it comes that far.

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