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The Prison Society

May 11, 2013

This so called Society, is nothing more than a group of people, whom do not care about the group of law abiding citizens, who where victimized in some respec....

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(22)

Luey22

May-11-13 11:39 PM

Spike nailed the response!

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Millwe

May-11-13 11:33 PM

I certainly hope that Mr. Hertel is retired because it is obvious from his letter that he is jaded beyond reason. Perhaps he could benefit from further education and I am also wondering when hiring if the State of PA. conducts psychological evaluations of potential employees (they should). I was not familiar with the Prison Society, until now, although I am familar with various other ministries advocating for prisoners. In light of the current overcrowding of facilities, I think they are greatly needed. As a matter of fact, Mr. Hertel, I am way past college age and I am going to volunteer myself. I bet you might feel differently if one of your loved ones was incarcerated. Not everyone in jail rapes nuns or molests children just as not all Corrections officers as as jaded and ignorant as you are!!!

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BornHere

May-11-13 4:23 PM

Thanks spike, I found the site this morning.

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spike2

May-11-13 3:56 PM

BTW. 2013 Recidivism Report is on the Pa D.O.C. website.

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spike2

May-11-13 12:22 PM

Clearly writing skills are not a prerequisite for employment in State Correctional facilities. Apparently the writer is unclear as to the purpose of incarceration. The sentence and separation from society is the punishment. It is not your job to punish. As to SCI Muncy, many of us are aware of the off-duty behavior of many employees.Your concern is The Prison Society running messages on the street? This may very well occur but occurs frequently from within your own. The hiring and retention standards are apparently significantly lower than 20 years ago. BTW, how many rapists are housed at SCI Muncy?

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CMReeder

May-11-13 10:51 AM

Back to the original letter and not the side show.

Inmates are back in jail because they broke parole either by committing antother crime, substance abuse, failure to show up for work. There are many ways to break the rules of one's probation and when they do they are thrown back into jail. It is not necessarily because they became better criminals.

Other factors that will cause recidivism is homelessness, mental illness going untreated, substance abuse, lack of employment, family.

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CMReeder

May-11-13 10:45 AM

LOL

You mean how the Republicans make data up.

THey were talking about libs suppressing data in regards to prisons and recidivism.

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Ritty77

May-11-13 10:43 AM

"Conservatives suppress data."

You mean like when they removed the truth from the CIA's summary of the Benghazi attack and substituted a pack of lies?

Oh, wait...

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CMReeder

May-11-13 10:03 AM

Conservatives suppress data.

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enigma

May-11-13 9:35 AM

erik,"I cannot find any statistics if the recidivism rate has declined or not."

If the liberal plan had worked, you would be able to find the data. Data is only suppressed when it disproves liberal theory. Up until about 15 years ago the data was available and it showed a miserable failure. People commit crimes because they are bad people. Education does not make bad people good, it just makes them more proficient criminals. If there is any way to make a bad person act good, it is punishment.

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Tedeaux

May-11-13 9:29 AM

You make work in a prison where it is acceptable to discuss anything and everything under the Sun, Mr. Hertel, but this is the news paper that our wives and children may wonder in to your letter to the editor. Your reference to the actions of a sexual preditor were strictly gratuitous and completely unneccessary to get your point across.

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philunderwood

May-11-13 8:43 AM

Human nature dictates that some will make choices that are wrong or even evil. These folks aren’t victims; they’re criminals and need to be treated as such to protect society.

Some are incarcerated for breaking laws that aren’t infringements on other’s rights, but are intended to punish what some consider bad behavior. We can discuss bad behavior crimes on a different thread.

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ToTEXASfromPA

May-11-13 8:19 AM

And when you do take a trip to Philadelphia some time, definitely take a tour of the Eastern States Penitentiary. It is really pretty cool! I would allow 4-6 hrs.

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ToTEXASfromPA

May-11-13 8:16 AM

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Secular humanism religion (IMHO) has lead to increased deterioration of society. "Let people do as they want as long as they don't hurt anyone else" mentality does eventually lead to hurting others. Young children need rules and boundaries. Young children need parents that are there and teach them right and wrong. Young children need a nurturing, loving, rule-setting, rule-enforcing mother and father to minimize later criminal behavior. Parents modeling behaviors like adultery, abortion on demand, always getting money/food from the impersonal government, glorifying out-of-wedlock motherhood, sleep-in boy friends, etc. instill those self-centered behaviors in their children. The basic family unit is under attack in society and people wonder why criminal activity abounds.

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ToTEXASfromPA

May-11-13 8:15 AM

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Chuck Colson Prison Fellowship Ministries (a Christian based approach) has had some good success in rehabilitation. Unfortunately many are opposed to Christian-based solutions.

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About 8 years ago, in a different city, I met a man that had made a change on the jail floor and invited Christ into his life. He was a changed man and was trying to help others make the transition from prison back into society. He was an inspiration.

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The prison society has definitely changed some of it's focus over the centuries. Early prison society pushed for rehabilitation through means of contemplative reflection in isolation when they helped establish the Eastern States Penitentiary in Philadelphia. Now it seems like they just want to treat the prisoners as victims. They have unfortunately dropped the spiritual healing on the inside that can lead to improved behavior and choices.

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ToTEXASfromPA

May-11-13 8:15 AM

Shotgun of random thoughts.....

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This gentleman uses one gruesome example to support his conclusion; it could be more balanced.

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From the original S/G May 4 article where one of the prison society people made a statement....""I've watched people wait 20, 30 years for an execution," he said. "Then when it comes they say, 'Why don't I feel better?' ".

People think they can get closure when a person that murdered a loved one is executed. The prison society people use this statement to push for lenient punishment or early release. The only true freedom is to forgive; without that all the family members will be emotionally imprisioned to the criminal. Forgiveness will not cause someone to forget the incident but it is the only way that leads to the healing of the soul.

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CMReeder

May-11-13 7:10 AM

The PA Prison Society has been in operation since 1787. Apparently there is a conflict between correction officers and the Society. Like Erik I am finding little information. Maybe Mike Kerstetter can shed some light since he works in corrections.

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eriklatranyi

May-11-13 6:45 AM

Throughout the feel good 1970s, we kept hearing about changing prison from "punishment" to "rehabilitation".

I cannot find any statistics if the recidivism rate has declined or not.

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sideliner

May-11-13 6:25 AM

How does one make a person "never want ti come to prison?" Not feed them? Make them wear dirty clothes? Not allow them to buy their own hygiene products? Maybe torture them a little?

Most people forget that most inmates are not serving life sentences. They do get out and they do move to our communities next door to us and our families. Treatment within the prison has a heavy impact on determining behavior once released. Treat a human like an animal and he will behave like an animal.

TV's have proven to be an effective management tool. Without them, behavior problems increase.

Judges sentence offenders to "time." It is not the job of corrections to judge further.

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MrShaman

May-11-13 5:47 AM

"There were members of this group that truly were there to help and attempt to guide a prisoner in the right direction in life, but most were there to sympathize and show compassion for murderers, rapists, child molesters, etc. These prisoners are serving time for a crime they were convicted and sentenced to serve. They don't need compassion or a shoulder to cry on. They need to be made to never want to come to prison." - ladydawg4

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...And, as-long-as we AVOID any-and-all efforts to discover what DRIVES such aberrant-behavior, you've got job-security!!!

What are you complaining-about?? Your job isn't more-fulfilling...or, doesn't provide the amusement-value you were expecting?

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MrShaman

May-11-13 5:37 AM

"I have spent over 20 years working as a Correctional a officer within the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. I have seen many different inmates come and go. I have read transcripts of cases and read Court documents of what these people where found guilty of. It is completely unrealistic, for anyone to care for these people." - Steve Hertel

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...The PRIMARY reason for (finally) recognizing...AGAIN...there are people, in prison, who SHOULD be isolated in a facility designed for those suffering from OBVIOUS mental-illnesses...rather than being herded-around by warehouse-staffing, who could "almost" care about how such people end-up in prison.

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ladydawg4

May-11-13 2:55 AM

I, too, work within the prison system. Staff have had to escort members of the Prison Society out of our institution due to them not being able to abide by our rules within the walls. They would pass notes among prisoners who were segregated, talk to family or friends on the street and relay messages back to the inmates, cause a ruckus when there alloted time would run out, and just overall give us a headache. Not only are they a nuisance but they are sometimes a threat to the security of the institution and a danger to the community. Now, dont' get me wrong. There were members of this group that truly were there to help and attempt to guide a prisoner in the right direction in life, but most were there to sympathize and show compassion for murderers, rapists, child molesters, etc. These prisoners are serving time for a crime they were convicted and sentenced to serve. They don't need compassion or a shoulder to cry on. They need to be made to never want to come to prison

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