Pubdate: Sun, 24 Feb 2008
Source: Muskogee Daily Phoenix (OK)
Copyright: 2008 Muskogee Daily Phoenix
Author: Ricky Williams


It is clear that the state Department of Corrections has problems, be
it with not having enough employees or money to operate, or the
inability to provide the offenders with adequate resources to actively
combat recidivism.

This was especially clear to me in early January 2008, when a man who
is disabled was released without the assistance of housing, SSI, DHS,
or other means. It amazed me that this man, who is HIV-positive and
has Hepatitis C, seemingly would have to work in fast-food restaurants
or as some unskilled laborer as his illnesses prohibited him from
gainful employment.

He spent nearly one year in prison. He was not allowed to go to
school, take self-help classes, learn job skills. He left with one
month's supply of medication, without benefit of a family doctor to

I think it would be unfair to say that this man was set up for
failure, but I think what is closer to the truth is he never had a

What did DOC do for him outside of warehouse him? How did they help
him better deal with his illness, and what options does he have to
make his life of better quality? When a person is in prison, and the
time served is served in compelled idleness, there leaves little for
habilitation and nothing for rehabilitation.

In theory, there is help, care and concern, but in actual practice,
the system does not have the resources, time or personnel to deal with
the day-to-day operations so the offenders, whom the system is all
about, fall through the cracks until they become your neighbors. Then
you have those needful, lost, bewildered and confused people right
next door.

Ricky Williams,

Lexington Assessment & Reception Center
- ---
MAP posted-by: Derek