Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Notes To My Inmates

I think I am the only Correctional Officer who does this. If not, like to meet other officers who do, and that have a passion for re-entry.

Everyday when I come into the dorm at 0600, at my first opportunity I leave an inspirational thought for my inmate residents. I jot it down on a piece of scratch paper and tape one copy to one side of the dorm, and another copy to the other side. I also write one more copy of it in my journal. The thoughts come from where ever - literally. Sometimes they are a quote I heard the day before, or they may come from my devotional time that weigh heavy on my heart and mind. I've been doing this ever since I started and I plan on continuing. Even though I am a by-the-book policy and procedure guy, there is no policy on this and inspirational thoughts I'm sure would be approved. The embedded images are some of the notes I get back from my inmates.

Why do I do it? As of June 5, 2016, 63% (92 of 145) of my dormitory residents will be released from their prison sentence by the year 2020. Will they be ready?  Is there anything we can do, indeed something I can do to help them in their successful re-entry back into society to help them be employed, responsible, caring and law-abiding sons, fathers and husbands. That is why I do what I do.

My guideline for notes to inmates is that it must be applicable to all. If it is religious in nature, which my notes sometime are, they must be acceptable to all faiths. The faiths represented in my dorm right now include several Christian denominations, Jewish, Islam, Wicca and Buddhism (that I know of). 

This is what my last note said:

Faith and Family

Faith and family are two things we should hold dear and value the most. What can you do today to strengthen these? A letter? A prayer? A thought? A phone call?  Think about it.

Follows is another note back from one of my inmates...

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