Friday, January 24, 2014
From Stocks to Purpose Driven Programming
Did you know that historically speaking, it was the Quakers who led us away from the use of "stocks" (the medieval locking wooden devices we've seen on famous financial commercials depicting criminals’ heads and hands protruding from) to monastic cells designed to promote introspection and redirect the purpose of a criminal's life? These were the original origins of our prison systems.
The New Mexico Corrections Department recognizes that its prisons must be places where accountability for one's choices remain center stage. But in keeping with the original origins of our prisons, the department also remains aware that a majority of those sentenced to prison have the capacity to be accountable and grow from their circumstances. This is why, along with the conventional delivery of education and work skills, the department has re-oriented itself to a more comprehensive and meaningful correctional focus of its work.
Truly transferable education, life, and work skills are now grounded in activities designed to expand and mature an offender's mental and moral development. Programs designed to create an empathetic, bonding linkage with our community are no longer a luxury for New Mexico's prisons but a staple component of its professional correctional strategy.