Saturday, October 31, 2015

Gems of Opportunity: Penal Correctional Concept: "Penal Indenturement Campus" (PIC)

Hello All,

Like I stated I've got this month's innovative conceptual design under the wire before the month has technically elapsed. Although this may be a scary topic to broach however it has nothing to do with Halloween. It has more to do with our humanity or in many instances our broken national penal correctional system. The United States of America is often cited as the world's jailor and indeed we deserve the name by incarcerating more than 3 million inmates across the country. There are a convergence of issues some not our fault at least in terms of mental health. Since prisons are utilized as the last line of custody of the mentally ill. Asylums have given way to prisons or prison hospitals at least here in America.

There is the racism quotient of the new "Jim Crow" discrimination against Afro-Americans stuck in usually generational poverty. No upwards mobility and a series of bad choices with a society that doesn't understand its minority demographics spells ruin. Next to Afro-Americans it is our native Indigenous populations as native Americans have it like a 3rd world nation within our proper borders. But, I digress forgive me for that rant since lack of fairness is all too common in America's 2nd Gilded Age as it was in the historical first one over a century ago.

Today's attempted innovative conceptual design is to reduce the Recidivism Rates of convicts in America of all ethnic and racial backgrounds. Since whether we call it by semantics prisoners are slaves of the State. In many ways they are stripped of their civil rights and treated more like chattel in the worst instances and at best akin to lepers by the rest of society. The criminal class of citizens I'm speaking here is of the Non Violent Offender and not the hardened criminals never to see the light of freedom again. Often by sociological norms we've deemed felons or ex-convicts as outcasts not to be trusted ever again nor given the benefit of the doubt as to redemption. Far too many ex-convicts having little to none upward mobility due to endemic poverty reoffend just to survive financially in our society. I do not condone such behavior, but I try to understand so the reconciliables have a fighting chance to live in our socio-capitalistic society.

The "Penal Indenturement Campus" or (PIC) is meant to take convicts that are non-violent near release by 1 to 3 years time as a proposed pilot program. To be resettled in a refurbished low security penal correctional facility converted into a partial collegiate campus of sorts. Separated by gender of inmates in certain sectors and not in others on the campus correctional facility. Where former white and blue collar workers now as inmates are given advance placement into such a (PIC) program nearing their term release. The program inmates that flunk out by poor behavior return to the prison general population opening up a slot for someone else.

The refurbished low security facility will have air conditioning and heating indoors. As an example my State of Florida all of it indoor prisons have Zero Air Conditioning where indoor temperatures can reach 110 degrees fahrenheit (In the Summer months). Correctional staff usually wear polyester uniforms with body armor vests for protection. The food is another factor, which I'm recommending food services would be something similar as to what public school district children receive as a public nutritional meal planning. This won't be "Club Med" but it will be decent enough. Whereby locally grown produce that is in season can also be sourced regionally for such a (PIC) campus facility. The barracks or dormitories will be separated by gender including the early phases of recertification of any pertinent job skills that need refreshing.

Employers outside the campus will be solicited giving them a Cheaper Labor Force. By as much as 20% cheaper than industry average in hourly and salary Indentured staff. Additional tax rebates, onsite private security detail, coverage of healthcare and workmans compensation offered by the State for the program Inmates, and strict shuttle transportation to and from the Penal Indenturement Campus for the Indentured staff. All Indentured inmates on this program will be wearing monitoring ankle bracelets when at the job site and when at the (PIC) campus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

Industries of employment will be: construction, landscaping, agriculture, secretarial, IT (Information Technology), manufacturing, hospitality, mechanics (auto, marine, misc), etc... Forbidden industries will be: financial, medical, and pharmaceutical for instance and no retail or management roles. NGO's (Non Governmental Organizations) can also help the State develop such a pilot program and service the pool of inmates within the "Penal Indenturement Campus". Perhaps acting as advocates similar to the "Ad Litem Program" that children receive in terms to quality of life issues and overall progress. Not to coddle the inmates but to keep track like a caseworker as to their needs and progress within the program itself.

A third of the wages earned by Indentured Staff Will be Garnished by the State in order to help foot the bill for such a proposal contract for this pilot program. If the pilot program succeeds after its trial phases it can revert to a negotiated contract in order to keep up with costs of increase overall. The remainder of the funding can come from State / Federal sources and perhaps from some of the NGO's lending a hand. All inmates will also be supported to develop a Nest Egg in that 1 to 3 year period of Indentured working off campus. By having a checking / savings and even a 401K retirement account created and managed on their behalf. The rest of the 2/3's wages can be accumulated for any dependents on the outside be it alimony payments or other dependent expenses. There will also be financial literacy curriculum offered to the program inmates in terms of maintaining a household and to grow their 401K retirement account.

Upon successful release of their term and graduation from the "Penal Indenturement Campus". Former Indentured Staff will continued being employed for a period of 1 year's time by their previous employer so as to offer income stability. To alleviate parole officers swamped by burgeoning caseloads of ex-convicts and other custodial roles. The campus will continue to be utilized by the ex-convicts in such a (PIC) program as a surrogate to the parole officer role. To keep tabs as to their professional progress or lack thereof in open civil society in coping and other familial needs. The same NGO advocate or caseworker will continue to follow their ward as to their personal holistic requirements in civil society. (ie housing, transportation (work shuttle services continues as needed), spiritual / recreational outlets, including exercise / nutrition aspects of living)

Graduated ex-convicts can certainly come and mentor new inmates onto such a "Penal Indenturement Campus" life path. As a form of volunteering by giving back to the correctional community of prisoners. This is a humane way to knock out multiple birds as issues of contention for prisoner success upon release into society. By providing a baseline entry point with employment as a non-issue for the ex-felon. Although regular average wages would increase from the former discounted 20% pay gap when in the (PIC) program. Since the employee is now living outside the campus and costs of personal living naturally increase as well. Unless the State pays the difference as a contractual stipend with the employer as their incentive. To the former program participant during their post release 1 year period with said employer. This is far cheaper in many instances in keeping an ex-felon out of the prison system in terms of re-offending.

I hope this is considered as a humane manner of ex-convicts to find poverty relief and upward mobility at least here in America. Instead of becoming career criminals in the turn style archway of the big mega bucks for the corporations that have built the infrastructure of the prison industrial complex to date. This is certainly one of the kinks that doesn't make our American democracy shine as bright as it used to in respects to our global Image. America houses 3 million inmates out of a societal population of 320 million plus, if you count illegal status immigrants. We could double and even triple that number of inmates in the decades to come. However we may no longer have the right to being fully democratic in nature. Imperials on the other hand is truly viable if we continue on this unfair societal megatrends in this our 2nd gilded age. As the American Democratic Experiment of Exceptionalism fades before us and within our lifetime if we become poor stewards to the vulnerable and the needy on a macro scale.

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