Uncaptive Minds Essay

1550 words - 6 pages

In the article entitled, "Uncaptive Minds" the author presents the reminder of the moving power of hope and how those who argue, sometimes understandably, against the provision of education in correctional facilities are choosing punishment over rehabilitation. The difference is the prisoner who returns to society hardened, as opposed to the one who is released is having a sense of hope and self-worth. "One person to have benefited from such an education is Mika'il DeVeaux, a slim, 48-year-old black man who served 25 years for murder. DeVeaux studied theology at Sing Sing and got an M.A. in sociology. After he was released in October 2003, he founded an organization in New York with his wife called Citizens Against Recidivism." (Buruma 1). Buruma's goal was to capture the essence and give us knowledge of how released inmates feel and what they go through when they are released from prison after a long sentence and find themselves unable to rejuvenate from all those years and start to live again. The Eastern New York Correctional Facility is a maximum-security prison that offers education to inmates that potentially want to better themselves."Uncaptive Minds" brings us inside the world of the Eastern Correctional Facility where the Bard Prison Initiative was set up and is now offered to inmates. "The Bard prison initiative was set up by Max Kenner, who graduated from Bard College in 2001. He spent the summer driving around from prison to prison, meeting with staff members and inmates to find out what kind of education program was most needed. He found many administrators receptive to the idea of a higher-education program; there was overwhelming enthusiasm among the inmates." (Buruma 2). The Bard Prison Initiative is a program that is helping restore high education to the prisons in New York. Kenner found many administrators in the prison receptive to the idea of a higher-education program in the prison. The Eastern Correctional facility now runs an associate degree program with plans to introduce a bachelor's program. (Buruma 2). "Inmates have to go through an application process like any prospective college student: an essay, test scores, transcripts (G.E.D.'s for those who didn't finish high school) and an interview by Kenner and his colleague Daniel Karpowitz. ''The admission process,'' Kenner said recently, ''is emotionally the hardest part of our work. Up to 200 apply for 15 spots.'' Only 50 students, out of a prison population of more than 1,200, are now enrolled." (Buruma 2).Buruma has vivid explanations of the prison. "The first thing you notice inside is the spotlessness of the floors, which is no wonder, since there are always men around mopping and buffing. We walked through a narrow corridor with yellow lines on the floor. Inmates in olive green uniforms filing past us greeted Theresa with elaborate courtesy." (Buruma 2). He explains how the prisoners greeted him and his escort, Theresa, through the halls in the way to his first class...

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