A faith-based program at the Fayette County Detention Center using pastoral experience, Correctional psychology, Wisdom traditions including AA, group dynamics and volunteers. The project coordinator has 17 years experience in correctional consulting and 40 years experience in pastoral counseling (overlapping :-)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Overview: A Fierce Landscape, expectations


You, each of you, have been placed in a "DESERT."
The DESERT is a solitary and fierce landscape that is unforgiving and rude.
You either respect the desert or it will punish you.
It can punish you severely.
Jail or prison is a kind of desert.
You survive by respecting the total environment.
Which is a solitary, fierce, unforgiving and rude landscape.

Here, you will either grow in spirit
or die in spirit. You choose
Daily. Actually you choose minute by minute
by what you choose to focus on.
If you grow in spirit,
you will leave a better person.
If you die in spirit, you will leave more angry,
and in reality, less able to cope and survive in the real world.

One of the reasons you are here,
most of you, maybe not everyone one of you,
is because you have not respected others, the feelings & rights of others.

You were determined to do it Your Way. . .
Regardless of how others and loved ones and family-others felt.
You were headstrong, maybe even arrogant,
in claiming your needs were urgent, more important
than those of others.
For anyone to do this is to remain in a
stage of adolescent rebellion, fretting and pushing
against the way the world is, because it does not meet YOUR needs.

Now here is the paradox for each of you.
You are in a place where you will either learn and grow
you shall become more bitter and self-centered.
It is a kind of fierce landscape.

You are in a spiritual desert
You either face yourself and learn what you have neglected to learn up to now;
Or you continue downhill on the private easy road
which will cost you and your loved ones even more in the future.

Many men today are still emotionally adolescent,
stuck in a teen-age immaturity.
Are you one of these? Still a boy?
The desert forces us to choose.
You can keep to yourself, go along to get along,
get by, fake it, and reserve to yourself
your angry and bitter thoughts,
You can begin facing yourself.
You can begin to pay attention to the feelings of others.
You can begin to grasp what kind of cage your life
up to now has kept you in by your blindness to others.

Funny strange, isn’t it?
One of the reasons you are here is that you have ignored
the feelings of others, and perhaps many others.
Now the only way you can grow and learn is
by learning to listen and pay attention to the feelings of
others around you. And by continual self study and self-examination.

A key question is whether you are still
a "boy" emotionally, i
n a man’s body, or
whether you have decided to grow up.
Many men are still "boys" inside.
Are you one of these?

Unless you use this opportunity,
face yourself and seek feedback from others,
you are sure of nothing. Nothing.
How will you know?
How open are you to feedback from others?

(This is one secret key to the Mystery of your life)"

Copyright © Paschal Baute, 2004
Note: anything on this blog can be copied. Please request permission
and give proper attribution. Thank you.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Screening: An Inventory for Spiritual Growth.

This five question inventory must be completed before an inmate is considered or interviewed for admission into the Spiritual Growth program unit.

Complete this in preparation for admission the the SG unit in FF8.
Fayette County Detention Center, Unit FF June, 2003

1. What kind of changes in your life are you open to making that you want support for? Que tipo de cambios en su vida esta abierto hacer y en que quiere apoyo?

2. Is there a particular faith or wisdom tradition that you want to learn? If yes, tell why. Hay una fe particular que quiere aprender? Si la respuesta es si, diga porque.

3. How do you KNOW that you are ready and open for this kind of personal inner work? Como es que SABE que está listo y abierto para este tipo de trabajo personal y interior?
4. Have you yet, on your own, begun any kind of study or reading that offers guidance for you to change your life? If yes, describe. Ya ha comenzado Usted mismo cualquier tipo de estudio que es una guía para cambiar su vida? Si la respuesta es si, describalo

5. Change for anyone (anyone, anywhere, any time) means stopping blaming others, giving up your resentments, stop feeling like a victim, and taking responsibility for your life now, moment by moment, step by step. Explain how you are NOW ready to do this? Para alguien a cambiar, se necesita a parar culpando otros, dejar sus resentimientos, parar teniendo ganas de ser una victima, y aceptar responsabilidad para su vida ahora. Explicar como se prepara AHORA a aceptar esta tareja?

USE REVERSE OF THIS PAGE WHEN NECESSARY TO COMPLETE YOUR ANSWER. Then, request a visit by the chaplain or the SG coordinator on the Request to INMATE SERVICES. In the meantime, review your answers with someone in your unit.

Beginnings in 2002

This program began as an ad hoc jail ministry to inmates at the Fayette County Detention Center in 2002. Many inmates ask for bibles and there are a few volunteer bible study programs. Most inmates "get God" in jail and lose God when they walk out the door. A Bible study program is simply not effective for the radical change in life style desperately needed.

Most inmates are there for crimes associated with addiction, mostly theft. There are a few tax supported programs in AA and GED. Two of three offenders are back in jail within three years. We have an enormous problem in the effectiveness of our justice system.

We are dealing with our exploding drug problem by punishing the addict. All the jails and prisons are overflowing. In some counties, the jails are Third World conditions with as many as 600 housed in space built for 150. Dr. Robert Lawson, UK Law Professor is addressing this issue in a research paper to be published soon, and we hope to highlight his research. Kentucky's penal system has become one of the most harsh in the nation. So many expenses simply in warehousing that there is no money for rehabilitation programs.

Steps are being taken to raise awareness of these programs as it is part of the state budget crunch. Kentucky is now spending $300 million per year. Nationally, we now have seven million persons in our correctional system either as inmates or on parole. This is the highest rate of incarceration of any nation in the world except Russia.

We in the SGN of Kentucky have conceived a total program that summons a life style change. This blog will explain that and ask for comment and discussion. We have the total support of the FCDC administration, staff and chaplain. Inmates are screened for readiness, and interviewed. If accepted they are moved to a specific pod or residential unit of ten. Volunteers provide daily lessons. Inmates follow a workbook of exercises and daily group meetings.

Each volunteer gives one hour per week. We invite others to consider joining this program as a volunteer or to consider undertaking a similar project in your locality. Here we expect to tell you about this program and invite comment and discussion. We are much encouraged by the success of the program so far. Inmate response is very positive. Please join us.