Sunday, April 15, 2007

Tonight on 60 Minutes they featured a privately funded education program through Bard College specifically for prisoners at one maximum security prison in New York. The spot was so moving to me, so provocative.

We all know that a sizable portion of the nation's prisoners could be educated, rehabilitated and given the chance to really live a meaningful life and contribute if/when they get out were resources devoted to such a cause. But then those people would also be encouraged to vote, to think, to influence decisions with their tax dollars...and well, that tends to make politicians nervous.

I hear all the arguments about how criminals deserve to be where they are, with few benefits, that they should have thought before they acted. I know that. But all I could think as I watched these men come alive was: think of all the wasted talent. Not every murderer, thief, and even rapist is a worthless piece of scum. If many of these people had had decent educations in the first place, who knows where they would have wound up.

All I'm saying is to imagine, for just a moment, the potential that goes untapped in people. Not just those in prison. All the time. In us. In your own life.

It'll make you reel.

Makes me want to DO something with this mind I've got--as shoddy and tired and slow as it feels most of the time.


At 8:38 PM, Blogger Patry Francis said...

I saw that too and had the same reaction. So glad you wrote about it.

At 11:20 PM, Blogger Laini Taylor said...

I didn't see the show, but it made me think of thoughts I've had watching the TV drama The Wire, and hearing the creators talk about the real people who inspire the characters -- the intelligence and creativity that gets channelled into the only thing these kids know growing up on the streets: drug dealing and gangs. The squandered potential is so vast and so sad -- that program sounds wonderful.


Post a Comment

<< Home