Defined Term

Thinking Outside the Cell


Intangible Benefits


Prisons re-becoming institutions to Rehabilitate, Educate and Vocationally Train For Employment.

Below is an extract from Time for prison reform across Australian states - ABC - The World Today -  26 Feb 2007 where a former inmate, ROBERT BARCO, now a youth program coordinator, explains that before Prisons became overcrowded, there were programmes to 'Educate' and 'Train For Employment'.

EMILY BOURKE: Robert Barco, if I can ask you, the culture within prisons, do you see that as a driving force for re-offending?  What are the problems there?

ROBERT BARCO:  There is very much sort of "them and us" and breaking away from that is not an easy thing. But I think when industries came back in which are more sort of driven at profit now, as opposed to providing actual work skills, then a working culture sort of is developed as well.
I remember back in the earlier days in the early and mid-'80s, there were workshops that had trade skills attached to them, you had a culture of becoming a tradesmen-type person where some prisoners would wear the bib and brace khaki overalls, as opposed to green and floppy tracksuits.
So if you are thinking along the lines of prison and prisoner very much so that is what your behaviours will be, say as opposed to thinking along the lines of having goals like commitment, responsibility and the possibility of employment and life readiness.
It took me many, many years of slowly changing my thinking, learning different work skills and getting different educational qualification all wrapped into sort of one thing to be able to make the changes that I have made, but I think that is possible with anyone.  But alas, the prison culture is sort of the plop along, just do your time and survive, without too much thought as to, you know, what is going to happen after that.







See:          Tangible BenefitsTangible Costs Intangible Costs