From life in prison to law school - Full Ride Scholarship

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by AsianStew, Sep 20, 2022.

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  1. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    A few years ago, I read an article in regard to someone who has gone to jail and also did something similar, they became a lawyer after helping other inmates with their legal issues and decided to improve the legal system.

    Today, I came across another article, something slightly different with a similar outcome. This individual was jailed for "life", but he successfully appealed after 13+ tries due to a previous successful change/challenge.

    Today's article link: Imprisoned for life at 15, freed after 25 years and now in law school. Mercy for children who commit crimes benefits society and the economy. (msn.com)

    Here's another older article from the school: A New Path: Chicago-Kent Student Gets Full-Ride Scholarship After Successfully Appealing Life Sentence | Chicago-Kent College of Law (iit.edu)
     
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  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Having worked in prisons for several years, I can confidently say that two things work best to rehabilitate inmates: work and school. Drug treatment, social work, counseling, all good. But people need to make money in order to buy food and shelter. And they do that best by improving their education and work experience.

    That's why I don't understand the persistent backlash about providing educational opportunities to inmates. The majority--the vast majority--will exit prison and return to society. Getting them as prepared as possible doesn't just serve them; it serves everyone.

    Prison serves four basic purposes:
    • Punishment
    • Removal from society
    • Deterrence
    • Rehabilitation
    Only the first two are served by those attitudes. The other two have to be addressed. Otherwise, you're just temporarily holding on to about two-thirds of them, then turning them loose no more prepared than before to fend for themselves within lawful society.
     
  3. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    The second sentence explains the first. They are "bad people" who shouldn't even be getting out in the first place. They'll just go right back in. Why educate them at all? It's just a waste of money.

    (Nevermind that this is kind of circular logic. As you already pointed out, if they could get jobs, then they'd be less likely to re-offend. But it does also explain why you can get doctorates in Applied Social Justice...)
     
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  4. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

     
  5. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    hm. Pushed the wrong button i guess
     
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Well, glad you're not in the Oval Office! ;)
     
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  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    A lot of people embrace this. But at least a third or so never re-offend (especially murderers; they almost never commit crimes after their release.) We can help them re-adjust and help lower the recidivism rate of the rest. It's an investment in our society's well-being.
     
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  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Didn't question that. Questioned how you could get a scholarly doctorate in it.
     
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  9. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Good for him! Some of our nation's best advocates are those who have experienced the system themselves. I assume he won't be able to qualify for a law license, but can hopefully work as a paralegal, policy analyst, or similar non-licensed role. I'm thinking of Stephen Glass, noted plagiarist/fabulist, who earned a degree from Georgetown and passed the Bar in two states but is unable to meet the moral turpitude standards.
     
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  10. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    Depending on if his conviction was overturned or what, he might still meet the qualifications for a law license.
     
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  11. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Hear hear! It may not be a college, but especially because so many employers don't feel the way you and I do, I'm a big fan of the Prison Entrepreneurship Project: https://www.pep.org/
     
  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    How about this man? He made it to Bar admission. Spectacularly! Bank robber - served his time. Then Lawyer - now Professor at Georgetown U! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shon_Hopwood

    (Maybe we should have a "reverse" thread - lawyers who have gone to jail. That could be a L-O-N-G one! ) :)
     
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  13. mattbrent

    mattbrent Active Member

    The college where I teach has a 2nd Chance Pell Grant site. I teach at the prison regularly, and have previously served as the program administrator. I can confidently say (and we have plenty of data to back it up) that our incarcerated students are FAR better than our traditional students. My incarcerated folks have to apply to be in our program, and they do so because they recognize the potential education has to offer. Many of my students there have written essays about how they screwed up in their youth, and so this is their way of fixing that. My traditional students who are usually 17-20 sometimes only come to the college because mommy and daddy make them. They don't have the same view of education that my incarcerated students do.

    I'm excited that Pell Grants are being restored to those who are incarcerated. Educating those in prison seriously cuts down on recidivism rates. There was a RAND study a few years back that said something like for every $1 spent on education, $4-5 are saved on reincarceration costs. Sounds good to me!
     
  14. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Sometimes I wish I were just a little closer so I could teach for you. It's such a worthy endeavor!
     
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Are there any numbers supporting this? Or are the numbers still so small that anecdotal evidence is what we have?
     
  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

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  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

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