Source: Santa Maria Times (CA)
Contact: FAX: 1-805-928-5657
Copyright: 1998 Santa Maria Times
Author: Carla Wall, Santa Maria
Pubdate: Fri, 27 Nov 1998


To the Editor:

I am a student at Righetti High School. I am writing to you in regards
to the article by Jack Anderson, "Prisons neglect rehabilitation,"
which was published Tues., Oct. 27.

In this article, Mr. Anderson expressed his views on the education of
prisoners. He believes that if we give prisoners a better education
while in jail, there would be less returning criminals to prisons. I
agree that prisoners should have the right to get a college degree in
prison, so when they get out of prison, they can better themselves and
our country.

But I don't believe that the only reason former prisoners keep
returning to prison is because of their lack of education. I think the
real problem is that habitual offenders have lost their respect for
themselves, society, and life. For some reason, they seem to have lost
their sense of meaning and hope for the future without crime. I think
we as a society should all feel responsible for this problem. The
things we surround ourselves with everyday are negative: The music we
listen to, and the things we watch on TV. We also have a general lack
of respect for each other.

We need to work together as a nation to turn this problem around. We
need more sports and activities for young kids to get involved in so
they can have positive things to put their minds to. I think we all
need to take responsibility for changing the problem, and the first
way we can do that is by starting with the man/woman in the mirror.

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Checked-by: Don Beck