Zach Bowers is an inmate in the Missouri Department of Corrections. He appreciates the outlet that real-voices.com provides him for the expression of his views. Next week, we will have an interview with his daughter in the blog.
This industry of “correction,” that feeds its bottom line by the amount of bodies it pulls into its iron grasp, snared me at the age of 15. On May 11, 1997 I was charged as an adult in the Missouri courts. I was numbered and sent off to prison to fuel a broken industry.
What do I mean by “broken”? When an industry is built on the backs of suffering men and women who are in bondage, it is doomed to failure. Look at slavery! Missouri’s Department of Corrections is doing just that and is failing as an “industry.” More importantly, it is failing to fulfill its sworn service to correct and rehabilitate those who are housed in these stagnant prisons.
Evidence of its failure can be seen in the astronomically high recidivism rates Missouri DOC produces. Admittedly, the DOC has been tasked with a difficult job of persuading inmates to take up wholesome lives, as opposed to the drugs and gangs that are prevalent in prison.
However, it can be done.
The Kansas Example
Consider the penal system in Kansas. Inmates are permitted to work honest jobs that pay them actual wages. From these wages inmates are able to pay their own room and board, as well as pay child support and other debts. Also, a sense of self-worth is developed by the inmate who is experiencing, perhaps for the first time, the rules of laboring to earn an honest living.
Missouri’s Department of so-called Corrections continues to breed an anti-social culture with its few incentives. While the Kansas DOC, on the other hand, is creating a culture of inmates who optimistic about re-entering society. Why shouldn’t they be, when they are being released with modern work habits and a bank account to prove it?
With no changes on the horizon, Missouri remains stuck in the dark ages when compared to our neighbors in Kansas. Until Missouri takes a real hard look at how it views and administers corrections, I fear that Missouri families will continue to be victimized. Until change is brought about, I’m afraid that hard earned taxpayer’s money will be wasted indefinitely by bloated bureaucrats on a system that fails to produce promised results. From unfortunate experience I also believe that our sons and daughters will continue to get caught up in this broken industry, unless it is fixed.
Comments from Bob
I have many spiritual friends, who are ex-offenders. Two of my friends received jobs and life-skills training in the Kansas prison system. They both live in a personal relationship with Jesus. The combination of a relationship with Jesus, the beneficial experiences that occurred while in prison, a desire to change, and a supportive church family has produces two remarkable men.
Both men are well employed, active in church, good family men and good citizens in our community.
Prayers for Saturday, June 24, 2017
Dear God, please help all incarcerated persons to find the freedom and life you desire for them.