Matching Items (13)

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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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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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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Christianity and Social Justice: Resolving Internal Tension, Speaking Spiritual Truths, and Articulating an Ethic for Challenging Times

Description

Social and economic turmoil in the wake of the Great Recession have resurrected longstanding political and social tensions. Jumping on the bandwagon revival of "conservatism" in American politics demonstrated by

Social and economic turmoil in the wake of the Great Recession have resurrected longstanding political and social tensions. Jumping on the bandwagon revival of "conservatism" in American politics demonstrated by sizable Republican gains in the 2010 midterm elections, conservatives in faith-based communities have revived so-called "social issues," particularly seeking to roll back LGBT and reproductive rights. I aim to underscore the internal tensions that exist between policy choices of social and fiscal conservatives. Through a critical reading of the Bible and a comparative discussion about the role of government in modern-day economies, I seek to interrogate the longsstanding assumptions that have connected Scripture, laissez-faire economics, and Republican policies. Finally, acknowledging the multiplicity of perspectives that life experience may bring, I articulate a Christian case for social justice and offer an embodied methodological praxis as a basis for further inquiry.

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Date Created
  • 2012-05

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Connecting with Soldiers: A Civilian's Reflection

Description

In a cross memoir and essay format, I examine what connection barriers veterans face when communicating with civilians. I interviewed veterans after adapting an interview schedule and model release form.

In a cross memoir and essay format, I examine what connection barriers veterans face when communicating with civilians. I interviewed veterans after adapting an interview schedule and model release form. Additionally, I researched creative nonfiction, guided autobiography, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. I chose to focus mainly on soldiers returning from recent conflicts. Once I collected my interviews, I synthesized the stories I heard with personal memoir. The thesis focuses on three parts: coming home, communication barriers, and connection. Weaving in both my personal reflection and the voices of the soldiers I interviewed, I evaluate possible ways veterans and civilians fail to connect. I address the discrepancy between the apparent warm reception of soldiers and the feelings of disconnection soldiers express by noting the ways in which both the solider and the civilian struggle to communicate. Looking at reintegration struggles, I briefly note the transition difficulty post deployment soldiers face. From the responses I received, I reflect on how empty gestures, perceived ignorance, and an outsider effect contribute to communication barriers between soldiers and veterans. While I address how ignorance can be broken down into misunderstanding military jargon, detaching from war, hearing euphemisms, and having expectations, I also consider the ways in which situation and vagueness surrounding the war contribute to communication barriers surrounding perceived ignorance. From my reflection of communication barriers, I offer tools for soldiers and veterans making connections. I recommend that both soldiers and civilians stay informed about the military engagements as best they can, deconstruct expectations and generalizations, use empathy and active listening, and start being direct. Knowing the nuanced complexity of war and communication, I weave in my own reflections in contribution to the larger conversation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

Love and Everything After

Description

In its totality, “Love and Everything After” consists of five tracks. In musical circles, this is considered an EP (extended play), a collection of music longer than one song but

In its totality, “Love and Everything After” consists of five tracks. In musical circles, this is considered an EP (extended play), a collection of music longer than one song but generally more brief than a full album. Each track combines varying degrees of my own acoustic and piano instrumentation with modern production elements, all tied together with a corrected vocal and a quick mix and master by my producer who doubles as my sound engineer for this project. I will outline my experience with the creative process here as well as break down the development of each song. A fair bit of the lyrical composition is dedicated to background information that may seem to verge on oversharing, but alas, I am a writer. I consider verging on oversharing an inevitable cog in any successful songwriting operation. I’ve decided to tackle the songs in chronological order, prioritizing the time during which the bulk of the piece was first assembled.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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“Salvation” in the Juvenile Justice System

Description

The criminal justice system in the United States has recently come under intense scrutiny. To understand and critique the system it is important to understand the broader history and processes

The criminal justice system in the United States has recently come under intense scrutiny. To understand and critique the system it is important to understand the broader history and processes within the system. Looking specifically at the practice of juvenile detention, we see how the system developed parallel to the cruel practices applied to adults as punishment. Juvenile detention centers were modeled on adult prisons, both reflecting nineteenth-century ideas of redemptive suffering. The consistently coercive and oppressive features of the juvenile justice system also become apparent, when looking at the system through a historic lens. In contemporary juvenile detention centers, remnants of religious influence remain in the form of prison ministry programs. Throughout an examination of the historic and modern influence of evangelical Protestantism in prisons, the vulnerability of the individuals in these programs become apparent, as do the inequities within the system.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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The First of Several Unraveling Threads

Description

I begin with a brief explanation of my creative process and an exploration of the themes I attempted to include in the creative project. Then follows the slides from the

I begin with a brief explanation of my creative process and an exploration of the themes I attempted to include in the creative project. Then follows the slides from the Powerpoint presentation I used during my defense. Finally, I have my creative project, a 18,000 word urban fantasy story about a high school senior named Damien and his first interaction with a being named Rem.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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Weighing the Risks of Achievement: A Profile of the Modern, High Achieving, Secondary Student and the Implications of Striving for Excellence

Description

This thesis aimed to discover the risks of being a high achieving student, in secondary school contexts. With the growing concern for college admission, the high achieving student has become

This thesis aimed to discover the risks of being a high achieving student, in secondary school contexts. With the growing concern for college admission, the high achieving student has become more prevalent within society. This paper sought to gain deeper understanding into the risks and implications of attempting to achieve excellence for high achievers. Interviews with three frontline personnel at two college preparatory schools and one International Baccalaureate degree program were conducted. It was found that in the studied geographic location, peer pressure and relations, parental pressure, perfectionism, extra-curricular activities, college admission, mental health implications, and coping mechanisms are themes that are highlighted through interviews with primary staff of high achieving students. Although personnel at each of these secondary schools were clearly aware of the stress experienced by their students, a disparity remained between how certain programs managed the stress and how it negatively impacted students. College preparatory faculties appear to be more involved and current on their students' stress. This study was limited and further research should be conducted in the future that expands on this concept in various sociogeographic locations.

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Date Created
  • 2013-05

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Iron City Magazine: Creative Expressions By and For the Incarcerated

Description

Iron City Magazine is an online and print journal devoted entirely to writing and art from the prison world. It is our hope that through this creative platform, incarcerated artists

Iron City Magazine is an online and print journal devoted entirely to writing and art from the prison world. It is our hope that through this creative platform, incarcerated artists and writers find value in their stories, fuel for personal growth, and pride in their accomplishments. Inmates are, first and foremost, people. They own stories worthy of telling and sharing. Iron City Magazine aims to highlight these stories in a way more permanent than a private journal. In addition, we serve to remind the general public that inmates can make meaningful contributions to their communities. So often, this potential is forgotten or overshadowed by their crimes. By validating inmates' humanity through writing and art, we encourage a culture of understanding and transformation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Modernizing Truth in Sentencing in Arizona

Description

Debates about criminal justice have erupted onto the American political scene in recent years. Topics like mass Incarceration, civil asset Forfeiture, three strike laws, and mandatory minimums have been dredged

Debates about criminal justice have erupted onto the American political scene in recent years. Topics like mass Incarceration, civil asset Forfeiture, three strike laws, and mandatory minimums have been dredged up and discussed at every level of government from county courtrooms to state legislatures and all the way up to the halls of the US Senate and the desk of the White House. According to Marc Mauer of the Sentencing Project, a non-profit entity focused on prison population reduction, this new focus has yielded some important victories with New York, and New Jersey both reducing their respective prison populations by 26% between 1999 and 2012 (1). In the summer of 2015, President Obama became the first sitting President in American history to visit a prison. His visit to El Reno Prison, just outside of Oklahoma City, came on the heels of a speech against Mass Incarceration that the President made at an NAACP conference in Philadelphia (Horsely). The movement for change had reached all the way to the desk of the oval office. Indeed, it is of little wonder why our criminal justice system has come under such close scrutiny. With mass protests breaking out around the nation due to clashes between the criminal justice system and those it has victimized, the rise of a new Black Lives Matter movement, and an overburdened prison system that houses almost 25% of the world inmates (Ya Lee Hee), criminal justice in America has been driven to an ideological and financial breaking point. In a nation that purportedly values freedom and individual choice, the stark realities of our prison system have created a divide between those that would reform the system and those who seek to keep the status quo. I align with those stakeholders that desire comprehensive reform. In my opinion, it is no longer fiscally responsible, nor morally credible to lock American citizens up and throw away the key. The days of tough on crime, of Willie Horton, and of super predators are gone. Crime has been reduced to historic lows in almost the entire country despite significant increases in the population. According to Oliver Roeder, in a Brennan Center scholarly article, violent crime has been reduced by 50% since 1990 and property crime has been reduced by 46% (Roeder et al, p.15) while the population during this same period has grown by how much 249 million to 323 million, almost 30%. For the first time in almost 20 years, the conversation has finally shifted to how we can make the system equitable. My vision for our criminal justice system will stretch beyond the following plan to revise truth in sentencing. TIS remains a small component of a much larger question of our justice system. It is my fundamental belief that the way America treats its offenders needs reformation at every level of the system, from the court, to the prison. It is my view that our prerogative when treating offenders should be to address the root causes of crime, that is the societal structure that causes men and women to commit crime. Poverty, education, economics, and community reinvestment will be just some of the issues that need to be addressed to secure a better future. If we seek true justice, then we must seek to reinvest in those communities that need it the most. Only then can the lowest rungs of our society be given the opportunity to climb upward. In my view, a reimagined prison system idealistically strives to put itself out of business.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05