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Frank Booth

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Ex-cons oppions about rehabilitation vs just doing time. Working our way back into society and accepting society is slow.

I'm an ex con, did a lot of jail time in NY and know from the inside what it's like to carry the "brand" around the rest of my life. Know the problems of doing time and what it's like to try to live with the stigma of my past life, for the rest of my days. I know the daily adversity of the "system" even after one has paid his price of jail time, there is an ongoing price that will be paid the rest of my life. It's been over 30 years and I still, to this day pay.

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    Mar 15 2013: Hi Kate,

    Sorry it took a bit for me to respond, thinking on things.

    Yes, Random, Carolyn, and Colleen have been a wealth of support and wisdom. But, don’t think for a moment that you cannot add to the experience. Just your years working within the child protection agency’s is beyond what I would know about.

    It’s been somewhat of a rude awakening that my original topic has changed focus and purpose. I’m now struggling with starting a new conversation because of what I’ve learned from all of you. Perhaps: "Families and Children Headed to Criminal Court". If anyone knows of any state programs such as the one that Colleen sent me geared toward my original topic, but, on young families and children affected by family court systems and institutions, I’d appreciate getting that.

    As for my original topic, Colleen sent me a site from a conversation started by Mark Johnson, which seems to be a fantastic program that addresses my original concerns of what we need to change, and I’d love to see that program go nationwide. http://www.vtfa.com/publications/fifteenyear.pdf Kind of restores my faith that things may be headed in the right direction with the justice system.
    Reading your comments about, Resources, not being available. I wonder, as in the case of Vermont’s efforts, if there are any states that are making different efforts? As for invasiveness and judgments, don’t we do that to a lessor or more degree every day in family courts across the nation?

    My conscious dictates that I think before I start a new conversation, but, more information may change of modify that conversation of the subject matter. So, if anyone has any information about family courts, new or effectual programs geared to that, I’d appreciate that.

    Again, I thank everyone for your input.
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      Mar 15 2013: Hello again Frank,
      This topic has many different angles, so try not to "struggle" with it....ok?

      You said you would like more information? Ask and you shall receive:>)

      The Restorative Justice programs have been used nationally for quite awhile, and they certainly could be used more. Google "Restorative Justice" or "Real Justice", and the state, to learn what different elements are being used, because there are different practices used for events, in schools, through the court systems, etc. IT WORKS, in my humble perception and experience:>)

      http://www.atg.state.vt.us/issues/court-diversion.php

      http://doc.vermont.gov/justice/restorative-justice

      http://www.nyscommunityjusticeforum.org/Initiatives/CJHome.htm

      http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/10/17/08restorative_ep.h32.html

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restorative_practices

      https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/bal.pdf

      http://www.ojjdp.gov/mpg/progTypesRestorative.aspx
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        Mar 15 2013: Shoot, now I have to read...smile..

        But, Thank You Colleen, as always thoughtfull and kind you are.
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          Mar 15 2013: LOL! Be careful what you ask for.....you might just get it:>)
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        Mar 16 2013: Morning Kate,

        Seems I'm not the only early riser..smile.. Thanks for the insight. I'll be thinking about what you've said and if I decide to start that conversation, hopefully, will approach it better then I did this one. But, I have learned a lot, first of all, that there are good people that truly do care, and secondly, like yourself, thoose people do have a lot more exsperiance then I do. But, being part of the conversation with you great, yes, I said great, people isn't what I exspected. This arena of TED seems to be a place where our "notes don't get shreaded" so to speak.

        So, I'm going to think on these things we speak of, maybe be more aware this time, do a little research, and be somewhat more effectual, both in my target topic, and facts.

        Part of a solution? Your comments, as well as others, have forced me to think about that "before" I start.

        Thanks.... Splash If you've read the book, Quantum Physics, it never fails, You'll know what Splash means.
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          Mar 16 2013: Good morning Frank.....good evening Kate:>)
          I agree Kate....there are some stories that make our hair curl! How can people do these things to other human bings? Then we have the systems, that fail to help people break the cycles! It is frustrating. I have been away from participation in any programs for several years, and I also hear that things have not significantly changed.

          I do not understand your qualms about this conversation either Frank. It appears that it did not go in the direction you expected, and as Kate says...we are all learning from each other and your contribution is very valuable because it comes from a different perspective.

          Your ideas about how to change the systems are similer to mine. The thing I observed, is that many of these ideas and programs are established, and many times NOT implimented. It seems like once an individual, or a family are in the systems, they become part of the system, and lose their identity as a real person. I've seen little kids put back in foster homes when there was substantiated abuse by the foster parents. I've seen men incarcerated who tried to move through and out of the system, only to run into roadblocks by the administration.

          In one of the facilities, there were two guys, lifers, who started a GREAT program called "Get a Life". They told their stories, gave participants (usually high shcool students and kids at risk) a tour of the facility, talked about how it was to live in jail, how their life was now....etc. Local high schools made it part of their regular classes, other offenders began being involved and it was a WONDERFUL, educational experience.

          The administration seemed to support it, and it continued for a couple years. All of a sudden, it was gone....cancelled.....and nobody knew why!!! There didn't seem to be any problems with the program or the people involved. The administration simply cancelled it. Those kinds of thing happened all the time.

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