Prison Radio
Terri Harper


You cannot expect many, let alone all of us, to be rehabilitated over the decades. It takes for legal relief. Be it through the courts or commutation, if we have no continuing education avenues to travel upon.

The PADOC policy dictates only 10% enrollment per class for lifers, and that often translates into no school, taking a class you’re truly not interested in, or years of waiting for one class. If the enrollment isn’t your problem, accumulated classroom hours is. That’s verbalized to you as you have over the allowable amount of school hours, so we’re graduating you out.

Really, there’s such a thing as too much education? If you believe that as whoever collectively devised this policy seemingly does, then you’re already mentally dead, or you are a part of the fabric of [inaudible] and demoralization our country has grossly thoroughly fallen victim to.

Please do not do that to yourself, your community, where convicts will eventually return to, or the generations to come. Appeal to the legislators to strongly support the education of prisoners and not just those with the pending release dates or those needing their GED for parole.

To leave lifers and long-termers out of the equation is to give credence to us being warehoused, not reformed. And that only adds to society’s fear of those convicted and having served time and weakens the threads of re-entry services. It also adds to the burden on taxpayers to continue to pay for more expensive, often excessive, medical costs, more government or public assistance to those not prepared to have an independent self-sustaining life, and give skeptics more rhetoric to spread.

The education, the change, and heightened accountability starts in the voting booth. What better place to feel empowered, wiser, and safe? Please put your words in motion, put your actions to good use, and help us to get educated so that we can be better citizens. Thank you.

These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.