Today, I had a conversation with the first deputy superintendent of this facility. I asked her what her thoughts were about my proposal to start a program here, that was similar to TRUE. She said they weren’t looking to expand the programming. I wasn’t surprised. New York State Prisons are among the most reactionary in the nation.
As a point of reminder, TRUE is a program at the Cheshire Correctional Institution in Connecticut where prisoners under 25 years old are housed together with a few older prisoners who run the unit and mentor them. The program has been successful in curbing prison violence. The TRUE unit hasn’t had a single fight, and virtually no other incidents since it’s been open, unlike the rest of the facility.
It’s a no brainer for Great Meadow to have a similar program here. In the last two months, the number of violent altercations at this facility has increased and have involved mostly young prisoners. The first DEP told me she was surprised that for a max, Great Meadow seemed to have a lot of programming. This lady must be blind.
Because aside from the man- mandatory prison programs, which don’t do much of anything, there isn’t much else available to young prisoners here, who need more specific programming designed especially for them. I’ve proposed a program through my UFD organization that will curb prison violence, but prison officials denied it. So, New York state prisons, for all the violence, you reap what you sow.
This is Dontie S. Mitchell, better known as Mfalme Sikivu, reporting to you from Great Meadow Correctional Facility. Follow me on Facebook @freeDontieMitchell. Thank you for listening, and God bless.
(Sound of a cell door closing.) These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.