Pamela Gerloff just posted at HuffPost re the dignity-based Community Model for prison reform that shows great promise in radically reducing recidivism. See her post at:
I visited a jail in Virginia recently that has implemented the Community Model described in Gerloff’s post. Indeed, it is as she describes. I spent 3 hours with 45 inmates locked in large room and watched as they processed events in a system of self-governance that would put most university faculties to shame. The watchword was dignity. Inmates treated each other with dignity, staff treated inmates with dignity and vice versa. Many of these men had never known dignity in their early lives, and were examples of how indignity causes indignation, which may sometimes erupt in violence. Now, in jail, they were finally experiencing what it is like to live securely in dignity with other people. The stunning drop in their rate of return upon release shows, once again, that dignity works. Chronic rankism, malrecognition, and indignity adversely affect productivity, creativity, and the bottom line of every organization or society in which they are the default state. The Community Model of Morgan Moss and Penny Patton offers America a way out of what is surely one of our largest embarrassments: our high rate of incarceration and recidivism. If anyone reading this knows how to get this message to Senator Webb, please do so. And to Governor Schwarzenegger, and President Obama. Our leaders must be made aware that there is a proven solution to the prison crisis at hand.