Christmas in jail

For the past few months, I’ve been privileged to meet some inmates in the local jail and ┬áprobationers trying to stay out of jail. They’re studying for their GEDs and I’m a volunteer literacy tutor, helping their professional teachers where I can.

On this Christmas Eve, I was thinking in particular of the inmates. Jails and prisons must be some of the saddest places on a holiday like this. Then this article came via The Crime Report’s daily email. It’s by a prison inmate, Robert Cepada, offering advice to younger inmates about using education to break the cycle of recidivism. His thoughtful perspective should be required reading in jail GED classes. At the very least, Cepada and others like him provide hope to the hopeless.

3 thoughts on “Christmas in jail”

  1. Thank you, Mark for volunteering and article. Bill Moyers posted on FB major movement now working to release older inmates whom post no threat. U may know US and OK in particular have very high number of incarcerated population. Private prisons big business.

    1. Yes, the pendulum seems to be swinging, slowly, in a more reasonable direction. But we have decades’ worth of excessive punishment to address. The inmates I tutor are all teenagers in adult jail, either convicted of misdemeanors or facing felony charges. It’s impossible to generalize. I have no idea whether they deserve what they got. All I know is that if we fail to put convicts on a better path toward being constructive citizens — which starts with a decent education — they’re destined to end up right back in jail after they’re released.

      1. Help and support greatly needed, and your efforts are hopefully making a difference there and are enlightening us in this forum. Tulsa Youth Services holds teen court run by teens for some young offenders that local judges sign off on, and it is successful. Sentences are usually apologies and restitution in an effort to keep youthful offenders out of jail.

Leave a Reply