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Business Development, Ministry Of Justice UK

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Ex offenders into employment? (sex offenders and serious violence excuded)

Providing ex offenders with opportunities into work makes sense.It takes them off the cycle of crime,reduces the number of victims and enhances the economy.In the UK reoffending alone cost £11 Billion in 2010 and to ignore this would be insane.By challenging lifestyles,putting in place interventions and sending offenders out into society as workers,surely makes more sense than simply warehousing them and sending them out the same as when they came in to prison.


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    Dec 11 2013: right, although you'd have to give them more than employment skills, you'd have to give them more morality, more skills at getting along with people? How do you do that?
    • Dec 14 2013: How do you do that - with people that are classified 'white collar criminals', a large growth area.
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        Dec 14 2013: don't understand the reply. White collar criminals would teach the awareness of morality and skills at getting along with others to blue collar criminals?
        • Dec 15 2013: Your assumption was, viz my reply, that they dont have employment, social skills, white collar do.
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        Dec 15 2013: well, apparently there is some gap in their social skills, or something flawed with their sense of morality, that causes them to commit crime? For some people, just going to prison once would cause them not to re-offend. But for the ones who re-offend despite going to prison, how do you fix whatever causes them to commit crime?
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          Dec 15 2013: We cannot "fix" anyone Greg. We can offer some different ideas, and encourage participation in a lifestyle that is more beneficial to offenders and the whole of society. Ultimately, people have to make choices for themselves, and as we said before, we/they are all different, and although there are similarities with groups of people, we/they are all functioning based on different information.

          One observation I had, is that most of the guys incarcerated had low self esteem, and that is sometimes difficult to perceive in them because they often come off as very strong, dominant, intimidating people, which is often a protective mechanism.

          I agree with one comment Bob made....prison is a place where offenders learn more about crime and criminal activities.
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      Dec 14 2013: Actually Greg, some offenders get along with people very well if you don't mess with them! Some of them are very charming and intelligent. That being said, getting along with people and having good communication skills is important for all of us.

      A common practice I observed with offenders, was the inability to sift through information to make good choices. Many times, they were exhibiting a "knee jerk" reaction without thinking about the consequences.

      One of the first questions I often asked offenders was....what were you thinking or feeling when you committed the crime? The answer was often......"nothing.....I just did it". We also know that there ARE premeditated crimes that are very well planned and orchestrated. The "knee jerk" crimes were often assault, which was attached to other crimes like B&E, which were also often drug related. (About 95% of those incarcerated are drug and/or alcohol dependent).

      All I'm saying, is that the issues can be complex, and it is not simply a matter of teaching all offenders one thing or another.....they are people.....all different....just like all of us.
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        Dec 15 2013: Well, a difficulty might be that in society we sometimes have to deal with people messing with us and have to have the skills to do so in a noncriminal way? I would think many offenders lack some of those skills, not that even we nonoffenders always have them perfectly. But wouldn't people have to acquire those skills to stay out of trouble?

        I have read psychologists saying to be wary of charming people, although I didn't read why. I suppose they can mislead you with charm? But there must be a healthy way to be charming?

        I'm sure the issues are complex. But you agree that it's not enough to just give a person employment skills? You agree the other issues are morality and relationship skills? How would you teach those, particularly given that every person is different?
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          Dec 15 2013: I agree Greg, that as members of a society, we often deal with people messing with us, and it helps to have appropriate skills to deal with those situations. When one has grown up in an environment where you simply hit someone who messes with you, or maybe worse, that is the behavior that is learned....that is how some people "settle" the issue. Those who are abusive to others have often been abused, and they have not learned other methods of conflict resolution.

          People can be genuinely charming, and some folks can put on the "charming" persona to get what they want.

          Yes, it is sometimes complex because we cannot simply "give" people new ideas or behaviors. They need to be ready to accept and apply the new ideas, and you probably know how difficult change is for anyone....right?

          One of the best ways to teach anything, is to model the behavior. We are putting offenders in correctional facilities/prisons where they are seeing some of the same behaviors from people (administrators) who are getting away with the same criminal behaviors, and are on the "good" side of the law!

          On the first day I volunteered in a facility, I learned that one of the correctional officers brought drugs into the facility, sold them to an offender, who then sold them to other inmates. This whole business had been going on for a long time, and the administrators knew about it. I went directly to the top guy and talked with him about it. His response was....well that CO has been with us a long time, and he does his job....bla....bla.....bla!!! Apparently, that person was getting a kick back as well! As I mentioned in another comment on this thread, after an investigation and testimony before our legislative body, the 4 top administrators in that prison were relieved of their jobs.

          The councilors in the facility knew about the situation for a long time and could not speak up because they were afraid to lose their jobs. As a volunteer, I had nothing to lose.
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        Dec 15 2013: well, I appreciate the opportunity to talk to someone who has actually been in the prisons. I would say I know more than the average person how the police work on the outside, but not so much about inside prison. For a while I had a neighbor who had done seven years behind second-degree murder, one thing we talked about was him liking milk, at lunch he would grab six or seven little cartons!

        Well, it's certainly a good idea to "model" good behavior, Colleen, or, to just behave well. Is it sufficient? We do know stories of decent parents whose children turn out to be bad people. I was watching an interview with Ted Bundy (Ted different than TED), and he was stressing that his parents were good, loving parents, yet he ended up killing many. So modeling might not be sufficient?

        I don't agree that it's necessarily hard to change, but maybe for prisoners yes as the fact that they committed crimes in spite of the consequences shows that they're rather committed to crime-doing?

        Now you were trying to help inmates transition to the outside? Were there any rehabilitative efforts worked into that mission? Are there rehabilitation professionals working in prisons, or do you know, Colleen? What do they do to try to rehabilitate people?
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          Dec 15 2013: Greg,
          Modeling behaviors is only one piece of the puzzle, and I brought that up because offenders are punished for behaviors (selling and using drugs for example), while some correctional officers and administrators are supplying drugs to the incarcerated inmates!

          You're right Greg....there are some people brought up in a seemingly good environment who choose a life of crime. As we said already.....it is often a complex issue to wade through, because everyone is different.

          I don't believe that people are committed to a life of crime. Being the optimist that I am, and with the observations I have, I believe that when people are shown something different, there is a possibility for change.

          There were councilors in the facilities I was involved with, and there are laws that require certain programs, like AA for example. However, I did not see a wholehearted effort on the part of the administration to encourage participation.

          We used to have work programs, including painting crews (painted the outside of government and non profit buildings), furniture building and repair crews, mechanics shop, etc., Since the privatization of the facilities, those programs have disappeared.
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        Dec 16 2013: well, corruption among the prison staff is very defeating. But those people were removed from their jobs you said so that's encouraging?

        What sort of counselors in the facilities you were involved with?

        What exactly is "privatization" of the facilities? What is the connection, if any, to the disappearance of programs?

        Above you were saying we can't "fix" people, Colleen. I guess my thought is that we have two groups of people. One is us who have managed not to offend, and the other is the group of people who have offended. Would one presume that if the offenders knew how not to offend, they would have refrained from offending? Would one presume that we who haven't offended know the techniques of not offending? So that possibly we could share these techniques with the offenders and guide them to employing them, too? The recidivism rate, we are told, is high, one wonders if there is a way to reduce it?
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          Dec 19 2013: You are right Greg....a few people have been removed from their jobs because of corruption with the system, and that is encouraging on one level. However, that is only one facility, and only part of the overall picture.

          The counselors in the facilities I was involved with, facilitated programs, and offered counseling services to inmates who wanted that service.

          Privatization simply means that the facilities are owned and operated by private companies. Prior to that, all jails, prisons and correctional facilities were owned and operated by municipalities, states, or federal government.

          The connection with privatization and the disappearance of programs, is that programs cost money, and the private entities who now own and operate the facilities would prefer to make money and spend as little as possible.....it's about the bottom line for them financially.

          I believe those to be good presumptions Greg...." if the offenders knew how not to offend, they would have refrained from offending.... that we who haven't offended know the techniques of not offending".

          And yes.... we can share some information which might support offenders in a more beneficial life experience. That was one goal with the "cognitive self change" and other sessions I co-facilitated. Encouraging the offenders to think and feel for themselves, rather than blindly following old patterns, which include crime. In my perception, the only way to reduce the recidivism rate, is to offer offenders new tools.
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        Dec 20 2013: now I'm asking myself about a point you made that all criminals are different. That seems true, so how do you design rehabilitation that will speak to all their different needs?

        Those of us who don't commit crimes, what causes us not to commit them? Part of it is fear of going to prison, isn't it? Once I took a tour of a police station, and I said to the officer leading the tour that part of what kept me from committing crimes was fear of going to jail, and he said it was the same for him. But then I asked my neighbor who had done seven years behind 2nd degree murder if he valued his freedom, and he said, no, he did not care about his freedom. That might be a good question to ask any offender, do you value your freedom?
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          Dec 23 2013: All people are different Greg, in some respects.....are we not? Although we share some similarities, we are different as well. I think recognizing that helps us in all educational programs and relationships.

          It appears that most people want to be accepted in our society, so we create programs that accept the person, and reject the criminal behaviors. That is why I believe educational programs in which the offenders can learn skills to support themselves when released is so important.

          Those of us who don't commit crimes have been given, accept, and use different "tools" to navigate the life adventure. Maybe the fear of going to jail influences a person enough so they do not commit a crime. Perhaps it is the values and worldview a person has been taught. Perhaps it is the consciousness or lack of.....the reasons may vary.

          I observed that the most common response to my question.....what were you thinking or feeling when you committed the crime was......I wasn't thinking or feeling anything.

          The guys I dealt with seemed to have learned a certain lifestyle/worldview, and often continued to repeat those patterns and behaviors which supported that lifestyle. This is something that we all do. When our thoughts, feelings, perceptions, perspectives, ideas and opinions change, our behaviors and worldview change as well, because humans generally behave in a way that supports their underlying thoughts and feelings about themselves. We generally project out into the world what we have in our heart and mind.....make any sense?
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        Dec 24 2013: Well, I guess a question might be why the mere unpleasantness of being incarcerated isn't enough to change thoughts, feelings, perceptions, perspectives, ideas, and opinions? Or the difficulties of having a permanent stain on your record?
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          Dec 25 2013: I sincerely wish I, or someone else could answer that question Greg!

          It reminds me of a kid (19) who was incarcerated....seemed like a really good kid, but got mixed up with using and dealing drugs.

          For awhile, the facilities in this state were overcrowded, so we were sending some inmates down south to another state, and from everything we heard, it was a much more challenging experience for them....very unpleasant! This kid, unfortunately happened to be one of the ones chosen to do his time in another state prison.

          When he came back, he said that was SO bad, he would NEVER offend again. I was sincerely hoping he was serious.....and perhaps he was serious when he said it. Unfortunately, 3 months later, he was back in again for some of the same offences.

          We just do not know what will work for each individual.
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          Dec 31 2013: Greg, By the time that they are old enough to be in prison their record is ruined. They do not care about a "stain" for most it is a resume on their criminal career.

          The only unpleasantness for most is at the hands of others and gangs. We use the term institutionalized ... Many have spent so much time in jails, Juvy, and prison that the challenge is the outside not the inside. Their "family" becomes the gang.

          If you look at the list of 100 worst life events ... most of these people have experienced a great deal of them. Life sucks ... they resort to extremes for survival ... you got it ... i want it ... it is about me ... everything else is rubbish ... the gang took me in ... they care.

          I am sure Colleen could tell many stories as could I. But you have to be there and look into the eyes of a stone cold killer to understand. I have see guys laugh at a murder trial and cry when they found out the dog was hurt during the gun fight.

          I cannot explain either. It is like war ... I can look at another vet and we nod in respect ... because we have been there and done that. What Colleen and I have experienced is not text books or what if ... it is real life in a completely different environment.

          If there was easy answers we would not have the problem that exists today. We don't.
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        Dec 30 2013: well, I suppose one possibility is that he didn't think he would get caught? Did you ever talk to inmates about whether they had thought they would get caught for their crimes?
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          Dec 30 2013: I mentioned in a previous comment Greg, that we did talk about that, and many of the offenders did not think about consequences at the time of the offence.

          Colleen Steen
          6 days ago
          "I observed that the most common response to my question.....what were you thinking or feeling when you committed the crime was......I wasn't thinking or feeling anything."

          That, in my perception, is part of the challenge....they have not developed a thinking/feeling process in themselves that might support different choices. That is what the "cognitive self change" sessions were about.....developing a process in themselves, which might support different choices.

          If they are not making good choices for themselves, it is less likely that they would be employable. If they can demonstrate that they have the ability to make good choices, they are usually more employable.
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        Dec 30 2013: sorry, colleen, I would not have made that connection. But when you say they weren't thinking anything, are you using the word thinking to mean thinking and feeling? In other words, they were not thinking anything, or feeling anything, when they crimed? Or did you talk about feeling?
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          Dec 31 2013: Greg,
          In my perception, thinking (logic/reason/mind activity) is one process, and feeling (compassion/empathy/intuition/instinct) is another, which can happen at the same time....or not....we talked about both.
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        Dec 31 2013: so when you say they weren't thinking anything when they committed a crime, you're saying they weren't thinking or feeling anything? It seems hard to believe as it seems like the body has to feel or think something, like biologically if you're alive you have to feel or think something, you can't turn everything off?
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          Dec 31 2013: Greg,
          My statement from the previous post is...
          "I observed that the most common response to my question.....what were you thinking or feeling when you committed the crime was......I wasn't thinking or feeling anything."

          That was a common response from offenders.

          My interpretation, as I believe I stated, is that they were not thinking about, or considering consequences for themselves, or to the victim.
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        Dec 31 2013: oh, I'm sorry colleen, I had remembered it wrong, I thought you had said that they said they weren't thinking anything, but I see you had also mentioned feeling. But it is a bit surprising that none of yours mentioned considering consequences, because I have read about serial killers who expected to get caught during their run, but killed anyway?
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          Dec 31 2013: Greg,
          Did you read Robert's comment which he just posted in this thread? He made some good points. It seems like you are trying to make some kind of sense, and answer questions with your worldview, and those who are incarcerated do not usually share the same worldview as those who are not incarcerated.

          There are all kinds of stories about criminals Greg, and it's important to try to remember that we do not all function with the same worldview or lifestyle. We cannot answer questions using our perceived logic, when the questions we are trying to answer stem from a totally different perceived logic, and this is one thing that Robert brings out in his comment...."real life in a completely different environment."
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        Jan 2 2014: well, how successful were your programs, Colleen, did anyone you worked with actually rehabilitate, any success stories? Any ideas on what would be more successful?

        I wonder if it would help to only serve milk as the food in the prisons, to go to my all-milk diet, what effect might that have?
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          Jan 2 2014: I am not sure how successful the programs were as an end result Greg. The guys gave us feedback during the sessions, and we do not know how much information they retained and used after that.

          My task was to offer them different ideas regarding how to make different choices. It was totally up to them to embrace the information and use it.....or not.

          In some of the feedback we got during the sessions, it appeared that some of them were assimilating and using the information. One guy actually called me after he was released to thank me for the program, saying that it had helped him. That was the only direct feedback I got after the sessions were finished.

          My guess is that your milk diet would not be well received in prisons. Many of the guys I interacted with were body builders, and there does not seem to be the nutrients in milk which help build muscle mass.
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        Jan 3 2014: well, that's too bad, it seems like it would be useful to gather info on how successful any particular rehabilitation strategy is. But apparently you felt good about what you were doing?

        As far as I know, what builds muscle mass is the lifting the weights, not the food you eat. When it comes to food you want something that adequately nourishes you in terms of calories and nutrients, and tastes good, all of which milk does. I think an all-milk diet encourages clearer thinking as the fluidity of it doesn't clog the brain and body as much as solid food.

        This isn't a proof of what I'm saying, just an interesting tidbit, I do recall having a couple of Muslim neighbors who said that in the Koran milk is considered a very holy food.
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          Jan 3 2014: Greg,
          There probably IS information "out there" somewhere. My task was not to gather statistics regarding the end result....it was only to offer some ideas. Yes, I felt good about what I was doing.

          I am aware of your thoughts and feelings about the milk diet Greg, and I'm sure you are aware of my thoughts and feelings about it. I don't see any point in continually going over the same information.
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        Jan 4 2014: colleen, I don't believe you've ever said how you got involved in that program, how did you, or what made you want to be involved? How many hours a week did you work it? Did the program have a name, was it standardized across multiple prisons?

        I would think we could say that we who have never been in prison still need help making good choices so the things we learn in thinking about prison programs also apply to people not in prison?

        Yeah, it's really not just my thoughts and feelings about milk, it's actually having experienced both diets, the solid-varied-food diet, and the milk one. From direct experience I can tell you the latter is better, but it might be hard for a person to realize that until they experienced it themselves. Whether it would work in prisons I don't know, at this point the government wouldn't introduce it into prisons because they assert that it is missing certain nutrients. I acknowledge that it is missing certain nutrients, and yet my experience is that it's still healthier, I have experienced no harm from the missing nutrients, but large benefit from the diet's good points, and I believe others would have the same experience. I am corresponding with extremely high officials in the federal Health and Human Services Department http://www.hhs.gov/ to try to get the diet officially approved as a safe, healthy diet for human beings.
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          Jan 4 2014: Greg,
          I volunteered in a shelter for women and children for a couple years and realized that we can educate, encourage and support women and children when they are abused, and ultimately it would be helpful for men to be part of the solution as well, because they are often the abusers.

          I saw a notice looking for people to serve on a Reparative Board (modeled after the 'Real Justice" program), I volunteered, was trained and served on that board, which was through the probation & parole dept. of the dept. of corrections. Other opportunities were offered to me, I accepted the challenges, and it sort of mushroomed into other programs. Some of the programs were used in other states as well as in Vermont. My hours varied depending on what programs I worked on for about 6 years.

          Usually people are incarcerated because they do not make useful choices. Some of us were given the tools to make good choices, and because of the environment in which inmates were usually brought up, they were missing the information that is needed to navigate the life experience in a beneficial way.

          A milk diet IS missing some nutrients that are needed for the human body Greg. I remind you again, about how many times you have mentioned being tired, and low on energy.
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        Jan 5 2014: colleen, I've heard of people volunteering in a women's shelter, when you volunteer in a women's shelter what do you actually do practically speaking?

        That was good thinking to then go for the men. So basically the reason you went to work in the prisons was to work with men who had abused women, but in fact when you worked in the prisons you got men who had committed all kinds of crimes?

        Well, what I was saying about choices is that for many of, we don't commit crimes where we end up in prison but we still might not think that soundly in every situation, we still might make bad choices but not as severely bad as the ones criminals do. In fact, I would say everybody in the world at times thinks poorly and makes bad choices. Thus thinking about how one helps criminals make better choices might also help we non-criminals make better choices ourselves?

        Yeah, what sometimes happens to me on TED, Colleen, is I see a conversation or comment I want to reply to, and, although I can say something worthwhile without researching, I know my reply would be a stronger reply if I would do a little research first. For example, I may be asserting something in my reply and the research might back up what I'm saying. But at that moment I may not feel like doing the research but I do feel like communicating with the person, just for the pleasure of communicating. So I might not do the research at that moment but give a reply and "cover up" not doing the research by saying I'm tired. But honestly, I have much more energy on the milk diet, I don't think it's so much that milk gives one energy, but that milk is the least "clogging" food for the body and so the body's natural energy can emerge. It's the solid-varied-food diet that reduces my energy. But as I say, it might be hard for a person who hasn't experienced the diet, such as yourself, to understand this just through imagining it.
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          Jan 5 2014: Volunteers do lots of different tasks in a shelter Grag. It depends on what skills a person might have. Some of my friends do electrical work when needed, plumbing, painting inside and outside, cooking meals, transporting the residents of the shelter for appointments, picking up donations of food and clothing to bring to the shelter, etc. I worked on the hotline, and did whatever else needed to be done in between.

          Yes, some of the incarcerated people I interacted with had all kinds of crimes on their resume.

          Yes, of course, we all make choices that are less useful at times, and yes, we may all benefit to some degree from cognitive self change workshops, counseling, etc. Mostly, it's about introspection.....know thyself.

          I agree Greg....it's always nice to know a little something about the topic in a conversation in which we are participating. I realize that you do not like to do research sometimes Greg. You've said that you prefer actually conversing with people rather than looking at links, which might provide information.

          I know how you feel about the milk diet, and I think you know how I feel about the milk diet Greg. With all due respect, your insistence about it is tiring for me, and it is usually off topic.
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        Jan 5 2014: well, that was kind of you to give your time to a shelter that way. What actually motivated you to start working there?

        Well, at times research can be fun, too, and in fact can involve talking to people as well. Have you done much research in your life, Colleen, what have you researched and why?

        Again, it's not just how I feel about the milk diet, it's based on having directly experienced the two diets, the solid-varied-food diet and the milk diet. It's something that really might be hard to understand just through one's thoughts or feelings, one might have to experience the diet to understand what I'm talking about. I brought it up because I was thinking it would be good for inmates to live on milk in a prison, which I think you'd agree is on-topic. In my last comment I mentioned it because you apparently have the impression that I am often tired because of my milk diet, and I want to be crystal-clear that that is not the case, that in fact I have much more energy and am less tired because of the milk diet, versus the solid-varied-food one, which does tire me out.
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          Jan 6 2014: Well Greg, maybe it was kind of me, and I also learned quite a lot with the experience. My father was abusive and violent, so I learned more about that, while healing in myself, and hopefully helping to support others on a similar journey.

          One of my life philosophies is...if I'm not part of the solution, I'm part of the problem. When I notice something in the life experience in which I can give time and effort, I do so. It is my way of learning, growing, developing and evolving as an individual, while contributing to the whole.

          Have I done much research in my life and what have I researched?

          I have lived, learned, experienced and researched every single thing that I talk and write about.

          "I know how you feel about the milk diet, and I think you know how I feel about the milk diet Greg. With all due respect, your insistence about it is tiring for me, and it is usually off topic
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        Jan 7 2014: I'm sorry to hear that your father was abusive and violent. Is it something you've totally healed from? Are you saying that working in the shelter helped you heal, how did it do that?

        Fine philosophy. Sometimes I also think that what appears to be a problem can represent an opportunity.

        Beautiful point about research. Probably I was wondering if there is anything you've researched at real length, the way a university student or professor does?

        I'm afraid I don't understand why you didn't respond to my specific points about the milk diet, Colleen. I believe it's almost always on topic when I bring it up. If it's off-topic I usually acknowledge that and state why I'm bringing it up anyway. For example, I'm quite interested in why certain Asian people don't drink much milk, and, when I get into a conversation with an Asian person about something else, I'll talk about that topic, but then I'll say by the way, I know this is off-topic, but do you have any idea why people in China, or Japan, or Korea, don't drink much milk. I'm only asking because you live in one of those countries and might know. This seems reasonable to me as TED is a great opportunity for me to talk to intelligent people in Asian countries who I might not talk to otherwise. As for how you and I feel about the diet, it seems like you're trying to represent our feelings as meaning our viewpoints of the diet are equal, you feel one way, I feel the other. But you're ignoring a really important point: I've experienced both diets, and you haven't, you've only experienced one. Thus what I have to say is much more informed than what you have to say. I'll say again, Colleen, that before I experienced the milk diet, I would not have grasped how different it is. When I was eating a little bit of meat, little bit of bread, some vegetables, some milk, if someone had said living on milk is really different from the diet you're following now.....
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          Jan 9 2014: Greg,
          Volunteering in the shelter, the dept. of corrections, and SRS (organization that oversees kids in state custody), and lots of other experiences, helped me to heal, because I learned more about the dynamics of violence and abuse. We have an opportunity to continue healing on many different levels right up until we take our last breath.

          Yes Greg, as I said, I've researched quite a few things throughout my life adventure, including, and not limited to "at real length, the way a university student or professor does", AND....more importantly, by EXPERIENCING.....using the information I researched and learned by applying the information in the life experiences.

          In my perception, your insistence regarding the milk diet, is tiring, which I've told you several times, and it is not on topic.
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        Jan 7 2014: I would have said, what's the difference, food is food. It's only by having done both that I see the really large difference between the two, and how much better the milk diet is. If you want to reject the diet, you can, but please don't think that your feelings about the diet are giving you an accurate picture of how it is.
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        Jan 9 2014: I'm afraid I don't know what you mean by "the dynamics" of violence and abuse?

        So what have you researched at real length?

        Well, the difficulty on the milk diet, Colleen, is that you keep trying to have the last word by saying that you feel the milk diet is bad because it lacks certain nutrients. But I keep saying to you that I acknowledge that it is a bit deficient in a few nutrients, but I have never seen a harm from those lacks in me, all I've seen are enormous benefits from the good points of the diet, and I believe if other people followed the diet they would have the same experience. And you never respond to that. Isn't it wrong to reject a diet because it is slightly deficient in a few nutrients when there's no harm from the lack of nutrients, but the diet does so many more good things than the more average diet? As I say, I don't think at this point they would use the diet in prisons actually for the same reasons you say, that it is a bit deficient in a few recommended nutrients. But the thing is, I don't think the nutrition establishment has ever actually delved into a diet that is almost all skim milk because almost noone has ever tried this diet and come forward, like I am doing, to say it's great, please delve into it. I hope I will succeed in getting the nutrition/medical establishment to investigate this diet, and they will conclude that it is a great diet, and they may try it in prisons. I certainly think it is on-topic for me to mention it here, as the conversation is about prisons?

        By the way, I notice you replied to a comment I made on another conversation by Diann? But you replied on the "third level," so I can't answer back? I really didn't follow your reasoning there, if you really want to say someone is critical there, it seems to me Diann is more critical than I am, she is the one who is criticizing the whole world and saying the world is not caring and nurturing enough, I am actually defending the world?
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        Jan 11 2014: Colleen, I see this conversation is closing in three hours, so I may not get to these links. Thanks much for sharing your different experiences and thoughts with me. What I find myself wondering is what is healing, just off the bat it doesn't seem to me that understanding something bad that happened to you is the same as healing from the bad experience?
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          Jan 11 2014: You can still connect with the links after the conversation has closed Greg.....if you want to. And, you can also google "relationship dynamics", "dynamics of relationships", etc.

          In my perception and experience, understanding is very much a part of healing, learning and growing with an experience.
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        Jan 11 2014: i wonder if a person could heal without understanding?
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          Jan 11 2014: Greg,
          My personal experience, is that the more information and understanding I have about anything, makes it easier and more enjoyable to navigate the life adventure:>)

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