One of the major roles of the prison system is to punish those who are caught breaking the law. However, the system itself has so many issues that lead to prisons coming out worse off then they were before. Idealistially incarceration should be a place where the troubled are healed. At its worst, prisoners are mentally, sometimes physically, tortured. Living in a cage with no freedom, no options, and constant dehumanization, will only yield a higher propensity towards anti-social behavior.
A project in Britain is attempting to change the way we handle rehabilitation by introducing a new initiative called Books in the Nick. The project focuses on providing books to kids 15-17 who have found themselves behind bars. As readers, we know how a single book can change your entire outlook on life. For kids behind bars, this might be just the right nudge they need to help them reflect on the decisions they’re making.
As reported The Guardian, Victoria Gray, a member of a similar book giveaway program called Give a Book, hailed such programs, stating; “the act of giving a book…shows you’re being thought about differently. I truly believe that reading can open a door and help turn people’s lives around.”
That is the most important part of this program, showing prisoners that we don’t just see them as criminals. We see them as humans who have gotten themselves into bad situations one way or another. Do the time, pay your debt to society, and become a better person for it.
All imaged from Books in the Nick