Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Salon: The Crime Report: Graham Kates: Re-Inventing College For Prisons

Re-inventing college for prisons

Because of the fact that we have such a high level of prison inmates going back to prison after they are released. And in a lot of cases within a year of getting out of prison the previous time and in a lot of cases because they. Simply don't have the skills that they need to be successful legally on the outside, which means that society. Meaning tax payers get stuck with the bills of having to take care of these people while they are in prison and then. Get stuck with the bills of having to pay for them while they are back in prison, because these inmates enter prison. As criminals and leave prison as criminals, screw ups going in and screw ups going out and coming back in. They aren't even very good at being criminals because they keep getting caught and in a lot of cases get caught. Pretty easily, knowing all of these things you would think that society would get the message that there's a better way. In how we could incarcerate our prison population then having them remain uneducated screw ups who repeat. Their same mistakes from the past that landed them in prison in the first place.

Some say that funding education and schools for prison inmates costs money and of course they are right. Anything worth doing does but done well its cheaper to pay for that then funding things that aren't worth doing. Like inmates to remain criminals while in prison with no hope of making it on the outside once they leave prison. And end up coming back to prison and once again being wards of the state which is exactly what they are. Adult children who can't make it on their own and can't be taken care of by anyone and must live in an institutional environment. To be able to function at all but if we give them the opportunity to improve themselves with skills that they can use. Once they leave prison and something like 7-10 inmates leave prison while they are still young and healthy enough to work. So instead of having no hope of making it on the outside we could empower them to get the skills so they can become productive citizens.

We could fund education for prison inmates through things like Pell grants and student loans that they would pay. Back while either still in prison or once they are out of prison and also by putting inmates to work in prison. With what's called prison industries which would be companies that operate inside of prison that would hire inmates. And pay our inmates for the work that they do to cover their room and board but its just a matter of priorities. What we believe we should fund in this country.

AlterNet: Lynn Stuart Parramore: "Lets Talk About America's Gutted Mental Healthcare System": How to Fund Mental Healthcare in America

In the Wake of Another Mass Shooting, Let's Talk About America's Dangerously Gutted Mental Healthcare System | Alternet

A little early for me to talk about solutions to prevent future tragedies from happening especially just twenty eight. Hours after the last one happened and quite frankly I wish it was too early for a lot of other Americans to be. Talking about policy solutions for preventing future tragedies like this from happening in the future as well, so lets talk. About mental healthcare in America and the shooters who were mentally ill, to what degree I'm not sure we know. All of that now one of the disadvantages of proposing solutions to tragedies like this so early in the game so to speak. Is that you simply don't have all of the facts yet which is why law enforcement is still investigating the situation. Of course we know as best as we can who the shooters were but we don't know why they committed the horrible tragedies. That they did which is why these shootings are still under investigation to find that out which will later help us. As a society figure out what to do about it and try to prevent these things from happening in the future.

So to move away from Connecticut for a moment and talk about mental health, something I'm somewhat familiar with. Because mental disease is in my family and I know how devastating it can be to watch a relative who was once. A brilliant person see their brain literally shrink in front of your eyes which is one reason why we need better mental health. In America to prevent mentally ill people from yes having guns but also so we don't have as many mentally ill people. On the streets but the people who are basically stuck with some type of mental disease, we make sure they are. Getting whatever treatment that they need to be as functional as possible, whether they are institutionalized or. Living on the streets to help prevent further tragedies like Connecticut from happening in the future.

Our mental hospitals are underfunded in America and in a lot of cases have been closed down, because they. Are simply expensive to run especially if they are public and tend not to have a direct funding source. And have to come out of general revenue but if we treated mental health in America like physical health. We could clear that problem up because health insurers would be required to cover mental healthcare as well. And with the individual healthcare mandate, we would all have access to mental healthcare as condition. Of having health insurance, so the people who need mental healthcare they would get the mental healthcare. They need through their health insurance, we should've done this seventy years ago, something that wasn't part. Of the New Deal which was healthcare.

But health insurance for mental patients and I say that the nicest way possible, is not enough because that would. Just cover their healthcare whether they are living inside or outside and more importantly inside, we need to. Be able to fund their cost of living while they are living inside so they are covering their room and board. And so fourth, which is why the non wealthy mental patients who need the funds to do this, they should have. The same access to public assistance as low income people on the street, the mental patients who need it. Things like section eight public housing, Welfare or Unemployment Insurance or more importantly Disability Insurance, Food Assistance and so fourth. As well as the mental patients who are up to it, having jobs while they are living inside to help cover their cost of living.

There are much better ways to fund our mental healthcare then the way we are doing it today which in a lot. Of cases is closing down hospitals and putting people who need to be inside on the streets and we saw this in the 1980s. With all of the mental hospitals that were closed down and as a result we saw a spike in the level of homelessness in America. In that decade and is something that we can prevent from happening in the future.