Books Through Bars
By Brian E. Clark
As we covered yesterday, I am an Advocate for anyone who finds themselves behind a Defense Table in a Courtroom. My Advocacy doesn’t stop there, because I may be one of the last people on the face of the earth that recognizes if Society takes the measures to lock someone up, that society has a responsibility to reform that person in a Correctional setting. Unfortunately, our current situation with the Connecticut Department of Corrections, no one is being reformed, and certainly no one is being corrected. People are being warehoused. Plain and simple, and I wish I could say otherwise, but that’s the facts.
The total population counts as of 12/1/2015, is 16,025 incarcerated inmates, and at a cost of $138 per inmate, per day, our cost is $2,211,450 per day. And that is a cost to “warehouse” people. And let us not forget that fact, these are people. These are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters. Somehow, we as a society have gotten away from our responsibility to actually reform these people. However, that is a story for another time. Now that I’ve wowed you with some insane numbers and costs. Let’s get to why we are really here: Books.
I’m only going to concentrate on one facility, Hartford Correctional Center, where I have the most contacts, and where most inmates are pre-trial, meaning they are waiting for a disposition in their case. Hartford CC, however, is one of the facilities with the least amount of services. There is no school unless for GED, and you have to be under 21 years old. There is no library, and besides Religious Programs, there are few other services available.
As an Advocate, I work closely with the Catholic Chaplain, Sister Jerilyn Hunihan, to provide paperback books for the inmates there. We both accept donations of Paperback Books, and I’m here to break it down how you can help us out during the Holiday season. If you have any amount of Paper Back Books; It doesn’t matter the topic. Fiction & Non- Fiction, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will arrange with you either you dropping them off to me locally, or I can come to you, or we can meet. The other option is the Sister lives in Higganum, and we can arrange for you to meet with her. We really need books! All books that enter Hartford Correctional Center, come through Sr. Jerilyn, who then distributes the books to the inmates. Please help us this Holiday season! These inmates are hungry for knowledge, and reading helps to educate them, and can possibly change the way they live their lives after they are released. We would appreciate it greatly! Thank you, and have a Blessed Christmas Season!