College Admissions Should Be Fair and Honest: Why the Rich and White Need Not Apply

Dear friends and students and parents too,

Danny Taurasi was eighteen years old. He applied for the University of Notre Dame, an elite Catholic private college in South Bend, Indiana. The result, in spite of his best efforts and being the son of a ND alum, was rejection. The school would not accept a home boy from FLorida without verifying he came from elite blood, had been the number one in his class, or even more so, Valedictorian.

When I was that same age, I filled out college applications, mostly to Florida State, but ended up going to community college first. After two years of isolation and inability to do things, I stumbled into FSU’s school of music, wholly unable to socialize due to the piles and piles of homework, coupled with accommodations to uphold. The university was not doing its part to see that I could play music at my level, instead giving me basic pieces that would not go to recital level. Senior recitals would be required if I should make it, but I changed majors because nobody thought I could excel in music, which was bunk.

Today, it was found that 33 sets of parents, including CEO’s, a lawyer, and actresses and fashion designers forced their sons and daughters to attend elite schools, and moreover by cheating the system and getting away with it due to their wealth and color. This makes it that much harder for a blind student to excel in college. What can be done to ensure the playing field is level?

1. Don’t charge for applicants to fill out applications. Most definitely, that $50 for an application fee would have to be saved up or go to a family bill. $50 fees or more ensures that the wealthy get in first. They oftentimes have no concept of money, and $50 doesn’t seem to be a big deal.

2. Don’t put barriers in front of students who are black or biracial. By not charging application fees to begin with, the barriers will be thrown out. But it should start with K-12. Black students are more likely to face discipline in school due to color, which is unfair and puts barriers in front of joining clubs and going to college.

3. Don’t put downright impossible conditions on scholarships. Th National Federation of the Blind, for instance, requires you to attend convention in order to receive college scholarships for college. Requiring NFB indoctrination in order to receive the much needed scholarships proves that only white blind people can receive such things. Oftentimes, colored/African American families can’t afford even a plane ticket if convention is held out of state. Asking for an essay is reasonable, but not for scholarships that don’t deal with English composition. Admissions essays should be simple, five paragraph, limited word count. This way, the brain is asked to think about what you are writing.

4. Do not ask about race on college applications. Let people find out for themselves. Race blind admissions may put a stop to wealthy white and Asian folks getting a leg up.

5. Play your choice of sport in front of the coaches. This applies to athletic scholarships applicants. If you’re a student that plays a sport, you should submit stats on your team’s sport such as volleyball and tennis. Let’s face it, you can submit transcripts from high school, but the sport stats will help coaches place you better, and then you should invite coaches to your games. If scouts see you play well, even better.

6. Do not use sight reading as a requirement for music auditions. For instrumental musicians, this is impossible if you’re blind and in 80% of cases, don’t know how to read music Braille. Braille takes time to process, and auditions should be limited, but to add Braille to the mix would make the playing field uneven.

There are many reasons elite schools should be worried. Notre Dame should be worried about its admissions process. Danny would have had a better chance if certain bits of information were not present and if they would allow Danny’s transcripts to go through with a 4.0 average or 3.5 at best. I graduated with honors from high school, but so many others have been rejected due to race, class, or disability.

Beth

Letter to Cari

Dear Cari,

Recently, I’ve stood accused of writing nothing but negative posts on Twitter and Facebook. Well? What am I supposed to do? I’ve tried to explain myself to anyone, and all I get is the following: I don’t believe you, or I don’t want you to defend your case. Cari, if only I knew how you dealt with the pain of your illness so early in your life, so much so that you left this world too early for me to have contacted you. Cari, I need some sort of divine intervention because I’ve had enough of this world, of losing friends, of losing significant others, and my career never supported by anyone. A friend screamed into the phone, “Get a life” and was gone in an instant. She had a good guide dog, I remember her dog’s name, and here I sit sobbing on my bed because people don’t understand how I got here. I am literally hauling a weight so large that even a Simon won’t carry it. Yes, I may not go to church, but I still remember the story of Jesus’s crucifixion. He carried a cross so heavy, and was whipped horrendously by Roman soldiers, but even he had Simon to give him some help in carrying this heavy wooden cross, and then, between two thieves, he was nailed on it. Cari, if only we could switch places for a while, I want to know what your castle would look like up there.

Honestly, I was told over and over I could not be friends with anyone. Can you only imagine what would have happened if I only stayed at elementary school? Ten years old? Fourth grade?

I went to the neighborhood school, but then someone made a decision that wasn’t great. I personally can’t sit there and lose friends right and left, and they won’t let me defend my case. I. have been diagnosed with three different mental illnesses, and then sudden withdrawals from me occurred today. Why aren’t you staring at me with a smile, Cari? You might have been the most innocent of girls, victims of circumstance. But like anyone else, and everybody else in this world, you left. But unlike everybody else, you left too early.

If only I could go back so many years, maybe go so far as to tell my family what I know now about their decision to send me to Catholic private school, waste their savings, and not support what I do. I’m a grown woman, sure, but I’m a broken and tattered one too. I’m broken, but some days I feel I’m broken beyond repair. I can’t sit here coping with the loss of friends who swear they’re supportive of me 100% but then they turn on me like tornadoes, destroying everything in their paths. We just had a blizzard, as you know, from way up there, and there are twisters in the south. I wonder what will happen at the end of the day. Let me explain what happened when we parted so many years ago.

After reaching the fifth grade, I had to go to a school that, later I would learn, lied profusely about sexuality and women. The big slogan or mantra of this school was, “No sex before marriage” and when would marriage work? When? Marriage would become a thing out of reach. Cari, you were only fifteen when you died, peacefully and with a family around you.

How will I go? When will I get the chance to fly? When will I? How will I ever begin to forgive myself?

I always wrote letters to you when I was having a terrible day. And honestly, it feels better sitting here at my keyboard and typing this out because I can’t talk to anyone. Not a single person can speak my name without uttering a painful disgraceful word. I wish this would go away. If only I had your energy, your purity, maybe even your belief in God. But God tossed me out to the wolves, and Jesus didn’t exactly do what the Romans wanted him to do. But still, Jesus had no fault in this.

Cari, if only I had a picture that would affirm what I should do. I have to take medications already for the destruction my family has brought upon me, and that medication is nothing but trouble. The doctor says I’m “hyper manic” and sure, I could use a second opinion. But the last thing I want to do is tell clinicians what my parents want to hear anymore. This is what happened when I left Catholic school:

I. had crushes on boys, for sure. I wanted someone with a nice smile, all the things girls want. But when I went to high school, oh my, the culture shock. It was amazing what the teenagers at that school got away with. Cussing, swearing, what else and oh, the drugs, sex, and rock ‘n roll. Well, not so much the rock ‘n roll, but one of my best friends, a girl in the ROTC group, said to me once, “There’s a lot of pregnant females on campus.” Not surprising, I thought, but I didn’t expect one of my friends, Emily Caldwell, to become pregnant with her then husband. Or should I say, then boyfriend.

I adore Emily, she’s one of the best bandmates a band member could have had. She now has two kids, a loving sweetheart (not the kids’ dad), and a lot of support. I never thought a marriage in the teen years was a good idea anyway.

Cari, if you only knew Emily’s baby, her son was so awesome. She gave him a name, she gave him love. If only people would see what Emily is capable of, and attaching to her child was the best thing for him as well.

I must say, though I sit crying as I write this, that I was isolated in the cradle. Why on earth my mother simply left me to rot in the confines of a ark room is beyond me. IF that was my baby, there’d be no way in Hell I’d leave him/her in a dark rocking crib or cradle at all, especially if she was under 2 years old. Cari, I don’t think my mother was attached enough to prevent what happened after.

She certainly wanted to cover up the way she handled the abusive nature of her dealing with blindisms, I know you’re familiar with those. Cari, now that you’ve passed on through to the next life, you probably are now able to see the colors, the things that. don’t see here on this planet. Who knows? I don’t know if spirits are always blind, but I do believe that there’s a rainbow up there. Rainbows are brilliant, for sure, but if only I could just see a rainbow of something. It doesn’t even have to be color.

Cari, I wanted to celebrate you at a Dance marathon, but the time came too quickly. I couldn’t find any information except the virtual “find a grave” thing with your name on it. Sweet Caroline, I never knew your name was Caroline. God, Cari, I have been spelling your name wrong while writing you all along, and I had forgotten how your name looked. Your voice, I forgot what it sounded like, I can barely remember what it all was. You had an infectious personality, I have felt it before, but it’s gone now. Gone are the days I can safely say I played beside you as a small child. Now, as a grown woman, I have to tackle so much of this stuff.

Cari, you saved me from the wrath of several exes, but can you please piece together the friendships I could lose? Please, bless the friends who confronted me today about the social media analytics with the courage to say, “We’re sorry. We were way too hard on you.” Do they not realize who you were? You are an angel in the sky, so I am guessing you can fly anywhere you want. Colorado is the only other place I’d rather be, and Trenton is the best guy I’ve been with. Honestly, relieve us of this snow. Take it all away with one swift stroke. I don’t think we need this. And give Arizona some cooler weather in June, and please, give California less and less wildfires. I don’t want friends in either one of those places to have to suffer any more. If only I had power beyond the wildest imagination of the others in the human race. Hell, I’d stop wildfires, bring rain, bring more rain, and plant trees. There might be a few control burns here and there, but really, I feel like there’s nothing I can do now. Cari, show me the way. Show the others that whoever has traumatized me in any way will have afflictions beyond their imaginations. One day, my family will be somewhere they don’t want to be, and they will be in so much trouble for fraudulently stating that I have “severe emotional handicaps.” It is this kind of thing that keeps me holed up in a burrow, not able to come out. There has to be something good to look forward to, and I wanted nothing but good things to look forward to. But seriously, I’d like to tune in to scopes but every time they come on, I’m usually at choir practice. I can’t help that I’m a choir member here, and that choir practice is on Wednesdays, when the Catalyst scopes are on, when the HIdden Truth Revealed radio program is on. When I speak of others, I certainly don’t feel any sort of way toward them.

Cari, maybe you never had boyfriends in school. You couldn’t have. I never heard a guy’s name mentioned regarding you. Cari if I could just give Orien Henry the last of what is here. Maybe I should’ve taken him to my senior prom, and yet, I never went to my prom. Full inclusion in society is a bear to me. Nobody has any real respect for a lady who isn’t employed, has nothing more than SSI, and so on. But is there hope? Cari, help me. You are probably the last hope I have in this life and the life after that.

If I died tomorrow, how many friends would say, “Good, she’s dead, we all hate her guts.”? How many people are gonna throw an Irish party that celebrates a world without me? How many people, including my own fiancé, will not grieve my loss? Tell me, who is the last person to grieve my loss? Perhaps people should realize that certain things they say do hurt, really do hurt.

One friend encouraged me to step outside the box. Another friend encouraged me to look beyond. And then betrayal began. Look, just because I can’t get transportation to choir practice on Sundays doesn’t give anyone license to sit here and say that negativity is all I post about. I want something positive to post about on Twitter and Facebook, but Trenton is sleeping now as I begin to rap this up.

What things can I possibly be thankful for? In this place, in this space, how can I be thankful that people turn on me? This isn’t thankfulness. I’m thankful that I breathe, that I can type the words I am typing now, but please. Cari, if you see this in your heavenly place, come back and call on me. I may never get married, have children, or live a normal life. But then, what will my purpose be? It doesn’t make sense now. It just doesn’t. I should probably let you know our power’s out, and there isn’t a restoration time. Please, Cari, help me.

With love,

Your friend,

Beth

The Documentary that should Be Made

Dear readers,

While some people watched Leaving Neverland and Surviving R. Kelly, people everywhere are not watching what happens when female with disabilities are preyed upon by their families or fellow disabled adults. A docuseries exposing this phenomenon should be made, no doubt on behalf of the many who didn’t report their abuse. While Michael and Robert Kelly’s abuse stories are shaking up the entertainment industry, people are not giving two cents to females with disabilities, those of us who are blind, deaf, or in wheelchairs. Or can’t speak. Or who can’t breathe without a ventilator. There is a wide variety of disabling condition in the human experience that must be covered, and we must make a docuseries about females with disabilities and their abuse stories. You would never believe what the failure to report means for all of us. Such a docuseries should include but should not be limited to the way in which families view the abuse, the community, and the nation. We need to expose the able world for seeing us as not valued. In any case, I will be singing with choir and doing the things I must do to bring the message out that all lives matter.

Beth

My Triumph

Dear readers,

I’m sitting in my kitchen. Lights are on. I should turn them off. But I was having a camera practice session with a document with Seeing AI. It doesn’t do well in this building, and I could use the Danny Boy smartphone holder. Gosh, things hav become weird.

In any case, I would like to announce that I’m in the Denver Women’s chorus. The women’s chorus part I’m singing is second soprano, which is fine. There is one other blind woman in the chorus, which is good. I was able to pair everything back up with this new phone I’m typing on. I will be telling the story of the DWC from my perspective. I must admit the director is cool, but dues. Dues, dues, dues. What the hell would I do if I had to give up grocery money? And without a smartphone like my iPhone, I would not be able to read documents properly. I’m trying to hold steady and take pics with it too, and the depth in the front shooter is stunning, but I can’t set up Face ID in lighting so poor in this stupid building. So, well, I better talk about it. It’s embarrassing to admit that as a blind person, with no family support and adequate care in mental health circles, I have to shell out thirty bucks. A month. I”m not complaining here, but that same amount has to finance something that can help me. Some blind people may view this as a stupid thing, purchasing a new phone, but it’s what it is because the overpriced phone is the only type that will support Seeing AI, and the iPhone 8 will have Voiceover bugs on it, something a friend of mine reported and Apple refused to document.

Well, I’m sitting here with an XR beside me. I’m at this point triumphant that I am in chorus, but I must have a chat with the treasurer about dues, and I’d be willing to use some prize money for financing things I need because needs come at you like a drop of a hat. That old phone I had was on its last legs, and I didn’t get much for the trade in without having to add a whole other voice line. I missed it so I can’t get that promo. It sucks that people just don’t want to tell me these things.

Well, my social profiles are on Chorus Connections, and I want everybody to know that everybody in th DWC has so ar been nice and cool. I can’t wait to meet other women with other occupations related to music, maybe someone will take me under her wing. As for working at clubs, I will have to juggle thand schedule everything chorus related and Soar, and then there’s the moneymaker. Thank you all for following me, and I look forward to showing you my vantage point.

And of course, I’ll talk progressive issues and informative stuff on current events as well.

Beth

Notes from a Choir Audition

Dear readers,

I’m super happy to report that my audition is done. I’m really happy but a bit nervous about whether I should be selected for choir. I’m super excited about the possibilities, the open opportunities to do things. I’m also excited about blogging, yes, about choir matters, about solo tryouts, notes from a DWC singer. LEt’s just see what Mark’s email reveals! I won’t screenshot it since a lot of you on Twitter are blind, and a lot of friends on Facebook are blind. But I’m thoroughly looking forward to working with Mark and Alison and Gloria. Even more, Amy was sweet, but I’m going to have to make sure she can drive me, even after I may be moving to the new apartment. I don’t want to be thirty minutes away from my fiance or husband. That would scare me, and certain friends are probably hoping I don’t make the choir. The big problem here is that if certain friends don’t want me to join the choir, they’re hindering my dreams, hindering my life, and altogether hindering everything I want to do for the sake of traditional jobs that don’t exist. As a blind person, I have an 80% chance of not being hired in a mainstream position, and with bipolar and border line personality written all over my profile, and we’re not talking Facebook here, but we’re talking med charts here, but with all that there, nobody’s going to hire me in a blindness org position. CCB as we’ve seen only hires insiders and NFB top brass, which sucks because there are many people who like me want to be better, teach, or learn. Art wanted to teach Braille, but age and lack of NFB brass officer status wouldn’t allow him to continue. Art would have been underemployed. CCB isn’t my first choice of place to go, but worse, I don’t think working with blind orgs is my calling. Music has been a lifesaver for me, and to top it off, I just hope the email goes through, but I studied music in college and did well at it in high school. Oh well. Mr. Davis, my former choral director, would never want me to excel in music and accompany the choir. He discriminated against me for being blind, and only cared for his image at competitions, but that’s Brevard County Floridians for you. They will deny they’ve done wrong for a long time, then the truth comes out. For example, the case of Dawn Blanchert’s baby and the unsafe conditions at her group facility. Robert Blanchert clearly got mad in a USA Today article because of the way his daughter was used. Females with disabilities could be used and abused in Florida a lot more than any other state, and it is a small wonder that guardianship abuse is rampant. People with disabilities must fight for their right to exist in that space they desire, not be denigrated, the right not to be segregated to disability orgs that cut them down, judge them or skills and abilities. Worse, I could be judged for mental capacity by the National Federation of the Blind. THey refuse to help with the guardianship case and think that I have the capacity of a damn three-year-old. Wrongo!

This is why I auditioned and worked hard to come out of my shell, and I auditioned for the DWC. Please, I hope I make it.

R. Kelly Revisited

Dear devotees and fans of R and B music, fans of R. Kelly, and especially the victims of this man,

I’m not here to beg and plead for mercy for R. Kelly. It has become apparent that Mr. Kelly does display the ten most common traits of a sexual predator, and here is what I know so far.

 

  1. R. Kelly did indeed blame the girls for his sexual behaviors. Being hot doesn’t make girls have sex, right? But R. Kelly may be exhibiting behaviors that point to this.
  2. R. Kelly thinks he’s entitled to indiscretions now and then, and as a singer whose music is played over and over again, he’s living in luxury. Oops. So he thinks that because he’s rich, he’s entitled to do things ordinary men do not do at all.
  3. R. Kelly has a badly damaged self image. What with the bad court dates and the fact that he has to be bailed out of jail. But he has a badly damaged self-esteem.
  4. R. Kelly exhibits a need for power and control, and there’s a fine line between good power and bad power. WHen adults have illicit sex with children, it is evident that the adult in this case is establishing power and control of a victim. It’s not a romantic sojourn or a happy marriage potential as many families will claim.
  5. R. Kelly has a history of child abuse,  with his sisters being the abusers. Many predators have been slapped or cuffed in the face when their needs were to be met. IF they felt angry, a sibling or parent might just give them the cold shoulder or slap them across the face. This might have happened to R. Kelly, sadly.
  6. R. Kelly did have a troubled childhood. He might have abused girls too.
  7. R. Kelly seems to have either no conscience, no empathy, or both. empathy is a skill that will indeed need to be taught with regards to R. Kelly.
  8. Kelly has had issues having relations with adult women. It is evident that Andrea, his wife, or should we say ex-wife, is probably one of very few women who would come into contact with Kelly. He has done some pretty stupid things to uproot his career, including allowing himself the time to mess with little girls, on top of not finding ways to do something about his inability to have real satisfying relationships with proper adults.
  9. R. Kelly might have been acquitted on child pornography charges, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have deviant sexual behaviors and attitudes to deal with. HE does have the potential for deviant sexual behaviors as is evident in his amatory overtures with young girls.
  10. Where are the drugs and alcohol? Well? R. Kelly might have been using while abusing. WHile I don’t have access to R. Kelly, I certainly do have access to some information about him.

What can be done to reform Mr. Kelly? While America’s justice system firmly believes that Kelly should be locked up in jail, the key thrown away, I think it may not be necessary. Kelly already will have to register as a sex offender in the state of Illinois. Cook County will specify how many times anyone can visit him otherwise. What is the life of a sex offender like?

Well, R. Kelly can look forward to being checked on by the department of corrections in Cook County every Halloween. HE can also look forward to group counseling, in which he will have to devise a safety plan and learn the dynamics of sex offender behavior. HE will have to pay for his own treatment, right out of his pocket. Of course, Kelly is likely to be told never to associate with females under the age of eighteen. Kelly will likely live a bleak life if he can’t have his music streamed. His music will have to be played, even if the victims don’t like it. Sure, we can say “Mute R. Kelly” all we want, but the entertainment industry will go on allowing men to have sex with underage girls. Robert Kelly is hardly the only black singer charged with a crime. Singer Chris Brown was infamously charged with domestic violence against fellow singer Rihanna. People called for him to be muted permanently on the airwaves. But R. Kelly is a bit old to be messing around with young girls.

What should prison look like for R. Kelly? Not the kind we have, but if I had it my way, I’d never bother putting Mr. Kelly in jail. Jails are overcrowded with prisoners, and in the toughest prisons, inmates oftentimes don’t get to eat. It especially happens in Papua New Guinea and other places near Australia. African prisons are some of the worst. A Costa Rican prison wouldn’t work either, as inmates there would put Kelly’s life at risk. If we only had a prison system that rehabs inmates, not so much punishes them, as they are already being punished. Perhaps Mr. Kelly should have some time in rehab, not prison. If he lived in Norway, he’d spend time in Halden prison, where the guards and inmates are treated as equals. So what if Kelly is accused of sexual abuse of underage girls? His behaviors need to be put in check, and violence is hardly the answer to any of what anyone does committing a crime. It’s like fighting fire with fire.

If anything, R. Kelly should be given a Norwegian style 21 years in a rehabilitative environment where he can eat a good diet, learn to write better lyrics, and perhaps if people see he’s reformed and changed and taught to do a good safety plan, he will have his career back on track. He should of course be willing to work with psychologists, prison guards, and other entities that will rehabilitate him from the sexual predator of the past to a reformed “bumble” as Cornelius would say in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Cornelius somehow reformed the snow monster, the Abominable Snowman. But can R. Kelly reform? I think he can, and I think he will, regardless of what America’s broken beyond repair justice system thinks.

How to Reform Hardened Criminals: Lessons from Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons

Dear readers,

Okay, before you all try to pull the retribution shields out, I want to make you guys look carefully at the world’s toughest prisons on Netflix. Watch this show, and it is amazing. Rafael Row, a journalist from the United Kingdom, went around the globe and voluntarily locked himself up in places like Lahora Forma in Costa Rica, Priova Prison in Romania, and even Halden Prison in Norway. Rafael discovered something important.

In Colombia, Costa Rica, and many other countries in the world, including the United States, people think that if you do the crime, you should be locked up and the key thrown away. However, there is a huge dynamic problem in a lot of these prisons. For example, Row spent a week at one of Romania’s toughest prisons, surrounded by Roma Gypsies, akin to something he might see with our African Americans. There are many African American and Hispanic drug kingpens and dealers, but the big problem isn’t with the people. It’s the system that fails them. Gypsies in the Romanian prison are often angry at the racial stats in such a place. Their culture is not quite peaceful, and includes early arranged child marriages, but there are too many Gypsy men in that prison flooding the population. Our prison system, however, could learn a few things from Norway’s prison system, which focuses entire efforts on rehabilitating inmates.

Yes, you might be thinking, but that child molester! That bank robber! Okay, but if you give these folks aggression, that’s what you’ll get back. In the Norwegian prison I watched, Rafael was treated respectfully by the guards, even upon entrance. Even when he was disruptive, he wasn’t stabbed, beaten, or choked by the guards. Geez, are you listening, government bureaucracy? The prison guards should respect and treat the inmates as human beings, and have their cells in basic clean conditions!

This may sound completely radical, I know, but perhaps some of those things in the normality principle could go a long way in treating child molesters. For example, Maria and Armand treated Rafael Row as if he were equal. They did the same with the inmates at their prison. THe results show that recidivism rates are at a very low, wait for it, 30%. For sex offenders, this could be a big break in our system.

Suppose we reform our prison system, and actually rehabilitated criminals, especially juvenile offenders. What should this look like? Here’s a plan, based on the conditions I observed in this docuseries.

 

  1. All inmates and guards should be treated and treat each other as equals. Greetings and interaction go a long way, even a smile speaks volumes.
  2. Inmates should be given basics, of course, not so much Internet and cell phones, but basics such as personal privacy in a unit, let’s not say it’s a cell, and a bed. They should also be given a chance to take responsibility for themselves and the community around them.
  3. Female prisoners should be allowed to give birth unshackled. Period. And they should be given free pads and tampons, things they will need anyway in the outside world.
  4. Inmates should never be forced to work for subminimum wages, but should be given incentives like they do in Halden. And they should be assessed for their skills and abilities while in prison. They could do any number of things, including train dogs for service, culinary programs, carpentry, plumber’s apprenticing and certifications, a myriad of jobs would abound. Prisoners should have access to decent and never substandard food.
  5. This leads me to ask, prison grub? Well, the prison inmates should cook for themselves at least once or twice a day, then go to the kitchens for some decent, not substandard grub. That means the food should be safe to eat, not expired garbage.
  6. Drugs and alcohol should never be allowed in prison, of course.
  7. All inmates should be required to go to therapy for the specific actions they end up with. Sex offenders should be treated as other inmates are treated, but by this plan, they should be learning coping skills and mechanisms so that they don’t reoffend. Part of this in the next item.
  8. Guards should talk to inmates more. Developing relationships, just as demonstrated in Halden, helped a hardened killer find some new ground. So what if you think the guy that killed a friend of yours is “too far gone”? By the Normality Principle, he isn’t. A female who might have committed the same crimes should be subject to the same treatments, and with male guards working with them on boundaries and respect issues. No male guard should ever openly be having sexual relations with female inmates, just their wives and such as that. Female inmates should know that the guards have what’s best for them in mind.
  9. This leads to another thought. While America over incarcerates black people, Romania and Hungary over incarcerate Roma, and then there are other countries that allow overincarceration of indigenous groups to go unchecked, we should treat all inmates, black and white, as equals. We should have a campaign on the outside to stop racial prejudices because the de facto segregation, both with Jim Crow 2.0 and Jane Crow version 1.5, if I may call it that, harm and humiliate black men and women. Just for being with someone who’s black in my civilian life gets me trolled on here. But the best thing to do is ask yourself, what the hell made this person do it? The trolls and haters who send me hateful comments about my black significant other/fiancee exhibit a much greater problem in miniature. Racial discrimination is alive and well.
  10. Life sentences without parole and death should never be considered. By Norway’s Normality Principle, all hardened criminals, the Ted Bundies, the Ken Bianchis, and so many others could have benefited from a second chance. To dispose of the body and soul of anyone is tantamount to doing the opposite, especially in the case of Jokhar Sarnaev. That guy might have bombed the Boston Marathon, but we should have said, let’s give the guy some meds, reeducate him so that he doesn’t reoffend, and then we can address the root of the problem. In Sarnaev’s case, it is plausible that he may want to throw his Muslim upbringing or inspiration into the trash, never to write a bloodstained note on a boat again. Life sentences are not deterrent enough to keep us law abiding people out of prison. They only serve to waste taxpayer money.

What should have been done in the case of the Aurora Theater shooting? Well, Mr. Holmes was mentally ill. The radical registration thoughts that people had about mentally ill people won’t stop them from either becoming targets or targeting others.

What about disabled inmates? Well, working hand in hand with state agencies, I think disabled inmates can do the same things within reason as a non disabled inmate.

What I learned from Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons is just one thing: the only way to put peace and love back in our society is to change our attitudes towards prison inmates and teach the most hardened folks that it is okay to be angry, but not to commit crimes. Sex offenders may never be able to be in contact with children again, especially the pedophiles, but we should still teach them that their actions harm others. Period. Child molesters should be given a chance to reform, go out into society, and not ideally have to go back. Perhaps the way sex offenders are viewed should be changed a bit. Registration should still be there, and certain ones should not babysit or watch children or be with others who have children. Part of a safety plan involves coping mechanisms such as not being around the victim or potential victims. However, being beat up in a prison by guards is not real retribution. Punishment is punishment no matter what, but the goal of any real consequence should be that the person never again makes the same mistake that got him or her there in the first place.