Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2021-10-25 12:06:30 –
The national prison system is working to make prisoners more relaxed in the hope that they will lead to better results. This is known as normalization and acts to more closely reflect the state inside the prison with the state outside.
In Colorado, the Corrections Bureau has created a working group of imprisoned people to assist in reviewing DOC policies. Although it may seem small, last year the group approved a policy that would allow people in the prison system to wear their own glasses.
“It allows me to show off my personality and make me feel more human,” said Dennis Presson, who has been in the prison system for over a decade.
In South Dakota, the state prison system has implemented a program to contract beds so that parolees can adjust to normal life outside the prison before they are released. And in Oregon, correctional bureaus don’t use much punitive measures such as quarantine and detention, so people in the prison system feel more respected.
“It’s hard to change,” said Lieutenant Mike Real, an ODOC employee. “People stick to their way. This is our way and we are trying to change it.”
In 2017, Lieutenant Real flew to Norway to observe how the correctional system works in Norway, hoping to bring some ideas back to the Oregon Corrections Bureau.
“The interior didn’t even look like a prison, so I was surprised at how different the interior looked,” he said. “There were trees and vegetation.”
“You act on how you are treated,” said Samuel Mulligan, a resident of the Colorado Correctional Bureau. “Things are changing as we are heading towards normalization. As you said, we are now part of this process and are invited to contribute to policy and more. . “
Mulligan has been part of CDOC’s resident advisory board for several years, as the voice given to him helps boost his morale and is impartial in policies that affect his own well-being. Say you feel.
There is still debate about how effective these types of policies will be, but the numbers suggest that they may be contributing to fewer people in the US prison system. In 2019, the US prison system reached its lowest total since 1995, with 1.4 million people imprisoned.