What's this Blog About?

Politics in Wisconsin as they roll up to every level... and some other thoughts that may cross my mind are explored here from my lefty point of view. My values shape my opinions. You'll always find them in here. Let's have some fun exploring why Liberal values are American values!

Your comments are both welcome and encouraged!
(The watercolor is called Magnolia Tree for Momma, by Audrey Crawford)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Break the Cycle: Reading is the First Step, Right to Vote is Critical

For my long time readers, remember this post from December of 2005? It was my second post and I drew a direct correllation between criminal behavior, redemption, and reading. I knew at the time that I wasn't the only one who noticed the correllation, but did not know that others were working on the solutions.

Project Return proves my theory resoundingly. Please go to this website and read the entire site. Recidivism can be resolved. In fact, the majority of crime could have been prevented in the first place if the school systems would just teach the students to f$&#ing read!!!!

This is a project that has been around for years and that works. For almost nothing (about $5,000), the most likely to reoffend can be taught just some basic skills and returned to society significantly less likely to commit another crime.
Each week participants spend approximately 12 hours in GED/academic coursework, 8.5 hours in Addictions Education, 6.5 hours in hands-on computer training, 4.5 hours in Employability Skills training, 4 hours in Communication Skills, and 2 hours in Community Building. A stipend of $5.00 per hour is paid to each participant during the sixty to ninety days he/she is in the program prior to job placement. (a)

It's working in Louisiana, why not ask our legislators to try this here?

On first glance, I would add two things to this program. The first is a more comprehensive addiction treatment program and the second is to add a civics component to the Community Building. Felons must be afforded the right to vote.

What better way to teach ownership in society than to reenfranchise (or not disenfranchise...) felons? Did you know that losing the right to vote based on a felony conviction is a state by state issue? Did you know the first felon disenfranchisement laws were also the first Jim Crow laws and the only ones still in force today? Did you know the entire purpose of felon disenfranchisement laws always have and always will be a direct attempt to supress the minority vote in this country? Did you know that in Maine and Vermont they bring the voting booths into the prisons because all felons can vote? Guess what the minority population is in Maine and Vermont? Isn't not being allowed to vote for 5, 10, 20 years while out of prison and on probation/parole taxation without representation? Completely against the whole point of our democracy.

I'll be writing about this issue much more extensively in the future, but for now, go to this website www.democracysghosts.org to begin to explore the issue further.

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