Tuesday, January 27, 2004

The State of the Union

Last week, President Bush delivered his State of the Union message.
Full text here

Sounds like we're in pretty good shape. People clapped a lot.
Two children were constantly targetted by the cameras. President
Bush singled out the current President of the Iraqi Governing
Council, Adnan Pachachi. I'll bet Mr. Pachachi never got this
much publicity in his life. But it was a good thing to do. We need
local support to make it possible for American troops to be able to
return home.

The President proposed one thing that I find disturbing, despite
all the applause.

"This year, some 600,000 inmates will be released from prison back
into society. We know from long experience that if they can't find
work, or a home, or help, they are much more likely to commit crime
and return to prison. So tonight, I propose a four-year, $300 million
prisoner re-entry initiative to expand job training and placement
services, to provide transitional housing, and to help newly released
prisoners get mentoring, including from faith-based groups. (Applause.)
America is the land of second chance, and when the gates of the prison
open, the path ahead should lead to a better life. (Applause.) "
From the State of the Union Message

Uh, folks, did I miss something here? What are these 600,000 inmates
doing during all those years they are incarcerated? They seem to have
time to file lots of frivolous lawsuits, runs phone scams and
mail order scams from behind bars, work out and build great bodies.

Pardon me, but why can't we use fraction of the money Bush proposes
to spend - and educate them and train them while they are in prison.
I thought they were there to get rehabilitated. Why doesn't that
include job training? Why doesn't that include the three Rs?Many prisoners end up incarcerated because of their feelings of
powerlessness because they never were able to learn to read and
function in our world. HELP THEM WHILE THEY ARE THERE!

And would it hurt to teach basic etiquette? Perhaps if it starts
in the prisons, it would spread back out to society?

Seriously, though, while these folks are in prison, we have an
excellent opportunity to provide training so when the leave,
they are able to step into jobs that will support them AND be
able to interact with people who might be a little leery of them.
It takes time for all to adapt. But why not lay the groundwork
while they are IN prison? Why spend THREE HUNDRED MILLION
of our dollars, teaching them after they get out?

Heck, a condition of being accepted for parole should be that
they have succcessfully and politely completed the training.

But that's just one TaxMama's opinion....who wonders...
just who will be getting the contracts or grants to handle this
training, housing and mentoring?

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