Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Ahh ... the Innocence of Youth

Interesting time with my Social Justice kids today. Included in the common misconceptions:
  • People intentionally go to prison for the shelter and food.
  • Prisons aren't that bad -- you get food, internet, cable, health care, and don't have to do anything.
  • Even the homeless aren't too bad off. They've got places they can go to eat, places where they can spend the night. (Although prisoners get much better health care -- for free!)
  • There aren't really too many homeless people around here.
  • The homeless made the choice that put them there, so they should be able to get a job instead of begging money off people.
  • You can live off minimum wage.
  • Once a criminal, always a criminal. If sex offenders are going to be listed on the internet, why not all the other criminals as well? (Which makes sense....)

They seemed pretty logical about capital punishment ....

I know I've got a lot of good discussions ahead of me, and good potential to really help open some eyes. At the same time, though -- I've got my work cut out for me!

If anyone knows of any good simulations, experiential-type things and wouldn't mind sharing .... those make a far bigger impact than my merely talking at them. I'm already thinking about guest speakers and books like Nickeled and Dimed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nickel & Dimed was pretty good... I think well-selected portions will work well for your purpose. While I have a bit of a problem with some of the author's assumptions and reasonings, it's a good book for your purposes.

As for prison insight... perhaps the writings of the three Grand Rapids Dominican Sisters who were imprisoned in Federal penitentaries for Nuclear Protest might shed some light on conditions as they truly exist. I think they're all still online at www.grdominincans.org. Look for the Social Justice section or something about "Sacred Earth & Plowshares II."

Finally, I once picked up a copy of a book called "Behind Bars" by Jeffrey Ross & Stephen Richards (2002) that was pretty eye-opening too.

8/27/2005 9:31 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

Thanks for the thoughts. I'll especially have to check out the prison book -- folks generally don't have the same exposure to the "justice" system as they do the poor among us.

8/31/2005 11:43 PM  
Blogger Valerie - Riding Solo said...

Try "Sleepers" but read it before you share with your kids.

10/30/2005 1:00 PM  

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