Have you ever wondered what happens in a typical United States prison? Perhaps it differs from the cosmetic images that we see in the movies? It may be a surprise because you will discover a new reality, as it seems to have metamorphosed recently into a horrible atmosphere for inmates.
Over the years, a school of thought has maintained that a prison system should not just be a place to punish law offenders but a holistic scheme specially designed as correctional facilities to help lawbreakers reunite with society while ensuring their fundamental human rights.
Is this the case with the present prison system, which is more like a breeding ground for future criminals rather than correcting and making them more useful for society? I don’t think so because of the dehumanizing conditions these prisoners experience.
Those who often appear emotional after watching an edited version of prison conditions in movies will be shocked at the reality. This is so as they may not know that images painted are often twice as horrible as what is obtainable in most U.S. prisons.
But as they say, it takes a man with great vision to lead a team. Hence when recently, a highly educated and renowned Texas businessman, Tyler King, found himself behind bars, he was not just hoping to change things in the system but was ready to be a voice to the voiceless prisoners.
Tyler started a nonprofit project tagged “A Voice From Prison” to change things after he was accused of “conspiring to access” sensitive company information- a charge that he said was ambiguous and in error.
His family members work hard to relay his gory experiences in incarceration through regular blog updates and insightful commentaries. His vision is not just on his condition but the general pitiable life of prisoners in the United States prison system that is causing widespread concern about the health risks of the inmates.
From California to New York, Chicago to Florida, the story is the same about avoidable overcrowding. Racially discriminatory practices and occasional violence and sexual abuses of inmates have been reported. Prisoners sleep on an empty floor, under extreme heat or cold and unsanitary environment that makes their food contaminated even before consumption.
Facts available from U.S. criminal justice system revealed that a 500% increase in detention occurred within the last 40 years due mainly to changes in sentencing law and policy, rather than an increase in crime. A practice that has inhumanly subjected inmates to the permanent devastating effect of overcrowding on incarcerated victims.
Interestingly, this mass incarceration is also discriminatory, according to the data available. The report that black men are six times more likely to be detained than white men and Latinos, two and a half times as likely, comes a handy. This has given credence to what stakeholders viewed as a total violation of the justice system.
With all these happenings, Tyler King’s “A Voice From Prison” advocacy for criminal justice reform and the constitutional rights of prisoners could not have come at a better time. Tyler’s goal, just like millions of others that seem to have lost faith in the United States judicial system, is to protect the right of inmates. He also wants to promote the right to a fair trial for all, having been a victim of the failed system himself.
Until something positive happens, the likes of Tyler King and many others that will soon join the campaign will continue to inform the public of the hidden human rights violations that are now the new order of things in U.S. prisons.
Food Is Medicine And What We Eat Is Important
The Points of Light Civic Circle Offers Real Ways You Can Change the World
Sixty-six percent of Americans don’t believe they can make a big impact in the world.
That figure is according to Points of Light’s research on civic engagement. But what if I told you there are actually many ways to drive change?
Today’s political climate can feel divided or even stagnant, but the truth is, you really can make things better, starting with your own community, one act of kindness at a time. And those aren’t just words. I’m here to share real, practical ways for you to make a difference.
The Points of Light Civic Circle helps people connect to opportunities and understand that doing good comes in many forms. It is a framework that represents your power to lead, lend support and take action for causes you care about and live your best civic life.
The Civic Circle provides actionable examples of all the ways you can change your community to reflect the world you want to see around you. In fact, you’re probably doing some of these things already. Are you helping a neighbor by picking up groceries or chaperoning on your child’s class field trip? You’re volunteering. Did you vote in the last election or help others get to the polls so they could vote? Those acts of civic duty illustrate the “vote” element. When you buy a product, do you choose to support companies that reflect your values or advance a social cause? That’s called “purchase power.” There are nine elements of the Civic Circle, and countless ways to bring each one to life.
This blog is the first in a five-part series that will help you find real and manageable ways to activate the Civic Circle through apps, documentaries, podcasts and books.
We also offer other resources to help you connect with all the ways you can become empowered to be the change you want to see in the world. Check out our videos that provide an in-depth look at each element of the Civic Circle. And don’t miss Civic Life Today, our digital magazine series. Each issue takes a deep dive and provides materials, ideas and inspiration so that you can become civically engaged. Get started today, and launch your own civic engagement journey with these tools.
Are you an Amateur or a Pro? 30 Differences to Help You Decide…
My client, Sebastian, thinks he’s behind on “life”.
He thinks he missed the memo the rest of us received on how to live a happy life.
I know better.
Sebastian hasn’t fallen behind and there is no such memo.
We’re all just trying to figure it out.
Unless we’re not. And there are a lot of people who simply are not trying to figure it out.
My friend and Professional Coach, Elaine Taylor-Klaus, calls them Status quo-ers — as opposed to Growers.
Anyone who makes a serious commitment to working with a Professional Coach is by definition a “Grower” and Sebastian is no exception.
Growers want to know, feel and live more. They push every boundary and sometimes fall off cliffs. They say “yes” to way too many things and often feel overwhelmed and over committed. They have a congenital distaste of the status quo and will sabotage any situation if it feels like “settling” to them. They’re insatiable and often don’t know what exactly will assuage their hunger.
Growers often appear to the world as troubled, frustrated and critical.
Inside they feel unfulfilled and misunderstood.
The truth is that they can’t help but be driven by Oscar Wilde’s belief that,
Growers will break every piece in the china shop when they find themselves just existing and not living as they see fit. And they suffer for it.
That is… until they turn pro and transform their life!
Steven Pressfield famously states in his book, Turning Pro,
Sebastian thinks he’s falling behind because he’s still living life as an amateur at 34.
To put the above into context, I didn’t turn pro till well into my 40’s!
Best move I ever made!
So what’s the difference between living life as an amateur vs. a pro?
Although there is no one size fits all manifesto on “how to turn pro”, here are thirty distinctions I’ve learned which apply to ANY Grower who is truly committed to living a life of purpose, fulfillment and ease.
- Amateurs look for hacks and shortcuts — Pros do the work.
- Amateurs speed up — Pros slow down.
- Amateurs are busy — Pros are focused.
- Amateurs sell first — Pros serve first.
- Amateurs think it’s about them — Pros know it’s never personal.
- Amateurs think life is short — Pros know life is actually really freakin’ long.
- Amateurs are reactive — Pros are responsive.
- Amateurs live with constant misunderstandings — Pros take the time to get clear.
- Amateurs don’t know what success looks like (to them) — Pros know their definition of success and aren’t afraid to change it.
- Amateurs don’t know their core life values — Pros do.
- Amateurs want to feel happy — Pros want to feel alive!
- Amateurs play to “not lose” — Pros play to win.
- Amateurs are harsh — Pros are fierce.
- Amateurs secretly enjoy being in the “Victim Mindset” — Pros are a “Hell No” to that!
- Amateurs wonder what people say about them when they leave the room — Pros know.
- Amateurs have false and limiting beliefs around money — Pros don’t.
- Amateurs are constantly searching for life balance — Pros are living an integrated life.
- Amateurs think everything matters — Pros know what few things actually do matter (for them).
- Amateurs set boundaries defensively — Pros simply honor their “operating system”.
- Amateurs think help is a four letter word — Pros actively seek opportunities to help and be helped.
- Amateurs don’t have a relationship with their “Future Self” — Pros are best friends with their “Future Self”.
- Amateurs confuse knowing with doing — Pros receive knowledge and apply it (EVERY moment of EVERY day).
- Amateurs love information — Pros love insights.
- Amateurs have intentions — Pros have commitments.
- Amateurs have expectations — Pros have agreements.
- Amateurs compare — Pros create.
- Amateurs live from probability — Pros live from possibility.
- Amateurs are focused only on the “Goal Line” — Pros are focused on both the “Goal Line” and the “Soul Line”.
- Amateurs set goals with contingencies — Pros know contingencies are just excuses and NOW is the time!
- Amateurs create from the past — Pros create from the future.
Now that you are aware of the 30 differences between an amateur and a pro, where do you see yourself?
And I’d love to know why. Get in touch with your answer.
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