Matching Items (16)

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Teaching Biology in a Maximum-Security Prison Unit: Feedback, Notes and Recommendations from a Pilot Class

Description

We, a team of students and faculty in the life sciences at Arizona State University (ASU), currently teach an Introduction to Biology course in a Level 5, or maximum-security unit

We, a team of students and faculty in the life sciences at Arizona State University (ASU), currently teach an Introduction to Biology course in a Level 5, or maximum-security unit with the support of the Arizona Department of Corrections and the Prison Education Program at ASU. This course aims to enhance current programs at the unit by offering inmates an opportunity to practice literacy and math skills, while also providing exposure to a new academic field (science, and specifically biology). Numerous studies, including a 2005 study from the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC), have found that vocational programs, including prison education programs, reduce recidivism rates (ADC 2005, Esperian 2010, Jancic 1988, Steurer et al. 2001, Ubic 2002) and may provide additional benefits such as engagement with a world outside the justice system (Duguid 1992), the opportunity for inmates to revise personal patterns of rejecting education that they may regret, and the ability of inmate parents to deliberately set a good example for their children (Hall and Killacky 2008). Teaching in a maximum security prison unit poses special challenges, which include a prohibition on most outside materials (except paper), severe restrictions on student-teacher and student-student interactions, and the inability to perform any lab exercises except limited computer simulations. Lack of literature discussing theoretical and practical aspects of teaching science in such environment has prompted us to conduct an ongoing study to generate notes and recommendations from this class through the use of surveys, academic evaluation of students' work and ongoing feedback from both teachers and students to inform teaching practices in future science classes in high-security prison units.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Kicking the Habit: Reforming Mandatory Minimums for Drug Crimes

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Abstract Kicking the Habit: Reforming Mandatory Minimums for Drug Crimes Ashley Allen While mandatory minimum sentences apply to all drugs, in this paper, I primarily discuss them for marijuana, cocaine,

Abstract Kicking the Habit: Reforming Mandatory Minimums for Drug Crimes Ashley Allen While mandatory minimum sentences apply to all drugs, in this paper, I primarily discuss them for marijuana, cocaine, and opiates since these drugs are the most commonly used. My paper will include an exploration of the reasons behind the implementation of mandatory minimum sentences, an analysis of the problems involved with enforcing them, and a discussion about the harms such enforcement has on communities. While mandatory minimums were introduced to prevent discrimination in sentencing as people of color often faced much harsher sentences, the minimums have not been a lasting solution; rather these sentencing techniques have become a major component of the problems communities face associated with drug use. They enforce negative stereotypes and cycles of drug use, do not promote rehabilitation, and unnecessarily burden the judicial and prison systems. I will discuss both successful and failed attempts to reform these laws, and finally offer possible solutions for rethinking mandatory minimum laws, including harm reduction, sentencing restructuring, and the reform of federal laws.

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  • 2012-05

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The Practical Differences of Higher Education in Prison

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Abstract What began in 1971 as a "War on Drugs," led to the political position of being "tough on crime" and has ultimately given birth to the mass incarceration crisis

Abstract What began in 1971 as a "War on Drugs," led to the political position of being "tough on crime" and has ultimately given birth to the mass incarceration crisis that we see in 2017. The United States composes 5% of the world's population, yet holds 25% of the world's incarcerated. At least 95% of those incarcerated in the United States will be released at some time and each year, 690,000 people are released from our prisons. These "criminals" become our neighbors, our colleagues, and our friends. However, the unfortunate reality is that they will go back to prison sooner than we can embrace them. In order to end this cycle of recidivism, higher education in prison must be made more available and encouraged. Those who participate in education programs while incarcerated have a 43% less chance of recidivating than those inmates who do not participate. This thesis dissects that statistic, focusing on higher education and the impact it has on incarcerated students, how it affects society as a whole, and the many reasons why we should be actively advocating for it. Additionally, I wish to demonstrate that students, educators, and volunteers, as a collective, have the power to potentially change the punitive function of the prison system. That power has been within education all along. While statistics and existing research will play heavily in the coming pages, so will anecdotes, first-hand experiences, assessments of established programs, and problems that still need to be overcome. By no means are the following pages a means to an end, but rather a new beginning in the effort to change the interpretation of being "tough on crime." Keywords: higher education, prison, recidivism

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Drug Treatment in Ex-Offenders: An Exploration of Re-Entry Resources

Description

Prison re-entry is a complicated process and is associated with a number of challenges for offenders to overcome. Unfortunately, many are not successful at navigating this process, and consequently, recidivism

Prison re-entry is a complicated process and is associated with a number of challenges for offenders to overcome. Unfortunately, many are not successful at navigating this process, and consequently, recidivism is a prevalent concern within the criminal justice system. These concerns are problematic with drug offenders, specifically, as this group is a quite pervasive component of the correctional population in America and one that tends to face more difficult experiences with reintegrating into society. In addition, a substantial need for substance abuse treatment in the community is in place for these offenders, yet is not necessarily readily available. This study examines the accessibility and nature of such treatment through the use of interviews with community treatment providers. It also assesses the barriers offenders face accessing help as well as potential solutions to these obstacles. The findings suggest that independence, support networks, resistance to treatment, motivation to change, rule conformity, mental illness, institutionalization, a lack of resources, and restrictions within the agencies that provide treatment are all significant factors in recovery. The results then demonstrate that treatment providers are able to provide incentives to bolster motivation, encourage healthy mindsets, help gain access to the resources that are available, and validate success through celebration in order to overcome these difficulties. The study may be limited by a potentially non-generalizable sample and a lack of specificity could be addressed by more expansive but focused research in the future as well as financial analyses to raise awareness regarding the severity of the situation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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The People Project: Personhood Painted Orange

Description

Perhaps the most compelling thing about any one human being is their story. There are stories that get shouted through media, thus reinforcing their social value. There are also stores

Perhaps the most compelling thing about any one human being is their story. There are stories that get shouted through media, thus reinforcing their social value. There are also stores that go systematically untold, diminishing or erasing the social value of those they represent. My creative project, The People Project, seeks to give incarcerated writers a platform (albeit small) on which to share and develop their stories (through submissions to Iron City Magazine), and to share my own story of teaching within the prison walls. The People Project is a collection of short essays that seeks to explore the personhood that exists underneath the mandated orange outfits, and ultimately seeks to prompt discussion about the incarceration system as a whole.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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The Walls are Alive with the Sound of Music: Music Therapy Techniques for Incarcerated Persons

Description

A music therapy informed music group program was created and implemented at the Maricopa Reentry Center in Phoenix. This program \u2014 entitled Building Hope Through Music \u2014 utilized music therapy

A music therapy informed music group program was created and implemented at the Maricopa Reentry Center in Phoenix. This program \u2014 entitled Building Hope Through Music \u2014 utilized music therapy techniques including lyric analysis, songwriting, singing, musical games, and guided visualization in order to improve self-awareness, provide a medium for self-expression, increase teamwork and collaboration, promote relaxation, facilitate emotional processing and awareness, and improve tolerance of non-preferred activities in participants. This group was conducted for seven months and had participation from over 400 male ex-offenders.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

Users and Abusers: Self-Identification of Substance (Ab)use Among Incarcerated Men

Description

The purpose of this project was to explore whether perceptual differences exist between meth, marijuana, and alcohol users who acknowledge that they have a substance abuse problem and those who

The purpose of this project was to explore whether perceptual differences exist between meth, marijuana, and alcohol users who acknowledge that they have a substance abuse problem and those who do not acknowledge that they have a substance abuse problem. Additionally, this project was taken a step further to analyze whether these differences changed as harder drug users were progressively phased out of the sample. The data for this project were obtained from a larger study conducted through ASU. The larger study collected questionnaire data from over 400 incarcerated men at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Florence. Two samples were created to assess differences between users who acknowledge that they have a substance abuse problem and those who do not. The purpose of the first sample was to explore whether differences exist between meth, marijuana, and alcohol users when “hard” drug users are progressively eliminated from the sample. The purpose of the second sample was to get a more comprehensive look at all individuals who marked that they used either meth, marijuana, or alcohol. The data showed that there are no apparent differences between meth, marijuana, and alcohol users who acknowledge that they have a substance abuse problem, but that there may be differences between those who do not acknowledge a substance abuse problem.

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  • 2020-05

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111 Steps to the Steel Door: A Movement Exploration of the Journey from Death Row to the Death Chamber

Description

Today's prison industrial complex in the United States often dehumanizes inmates simply because they are criminals. Members of the free society are generally too far removed from the inside of

Today's prison industrial complex in the United States often dehumanizes inmates simply because they are criminals. Members of the free society are generally too far removed from the inside of prisons that most people do not see the harsh and cruel conditions for and treatment of prisoners. As a Dance and Justice Studies major at Arizona State University, I was curious about how to intertwine my interests in dance and justice. This paper chronicles my exploration of adding a human rights issue to my dance practice through choreographing a solo dance performance based on Cleve Foster's unusual experience on death row. Research on theories of prison and punishment in American society combined with physical research in the dance studio enabled me to create a solo performance that shed light on the inhumane conditions for and treatment of prison inmates in today's society. Through the process, I found that some elements of my dance practice stayed the same, while others changed. This informed me of what continuously remains important to me, while allowing me to expand my personal dance practice. I ultimately discovered a bridge between my two passions, dance and justice, and learned a meaningful way to convey a contemporary social justice issue to the general public.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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America: The land of the Incarcerated

Description

The United States of America has the highest incarceration rate in the world per capita. In 2019, the American criminal justice system held almost 2.3 million people in prisons. The

The United States of America has the highest incarceration rate in the world per capita. In 2019, the American criminal justice system held almost 2.3 million people in prisons. The current prison system is failing us. Eighty percent of prisoners return to jail within 5 years of being released because the prison system focuses on punishment, not rehabilitation, making reintegration into society nearly impossible for released criminals. Solitary confinement, abuse and a lack of resources only make this worse. Roughly 600,000 prisoners are released every year, back into your community to interact with your children and family, after years and years of sensory deprivation, violence, and being medically neglected. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of contributing factors and products of the mass incarceration crisis, but the most threatening and in need of attention are: the overcriminalization of drugs, inmate treatment and living conditions, the arrest and trial process, the prioritization of punishment over rehabilitation, and long sentence lengths for non-violent offenders.<br/><br/>The goal of my project is to bring awareness to this often overlooked problem. Throughout my research, I faced many unsettling emotions including fear, anger and deep sadness. While I do not wish to cause you pain, I noticed the impact my emotions had on my response to this issue. Therefore, I included disturbing content in my design to bring out similar emotions in you, because you should be fearful and angry about what is happening in our country.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Death behind bars: Exploring the need for prison hospice programs in the US

Description

The purpose of this project is to explore the historical context and current state of prison hospice programs in the US. This objective was accomplished through an extensive review and

The purpose of this project is to explore the historical context and current state of prison hospice programs in the US. This objective was accomplished through an extensive review and synthesis of the relevant literature pertaining to prison hospice programs in the US. The historical increase of the incarceration rate beginning in America during the 1980’s has led to the development of more elderly prisoners than ever before in the US. As prisoners age in the US correctional system, they experience faster-than-average health decline. Mass incarceration has placed incredible strain on the correctional system to provide healthcare to the medically complex elderly inmate population. This project proposes that some of this systematic strain may be alleviated through the action of prison hospice programs. Prison hospices replace unnecessary industrial medical interventions with personalized comfort care measures and the unique service of inmate volunteers. This approach to medical care at the end of life has become the standard of care for the free population but is slower to emerge in the prison context. This project asserts that the dying US inmate population should be offered the right to a dignified death through equitable access to hospice services.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05