I believe that the inmates if listen to have the answer.
We have artist, mechanics, cooks, those that know law, clerical, everyone has something to offer.
To have a place where they could take their skills and use them, share them, mentor the people that have dreams. They have a voice if given a chance. I believe that socialization is missing. They know how to program.
Learning of the basic skills. Human Relationships, outside of their norm. Dealing with problems such as paying bills, shopping, communication skills, parenting, technology, banking, money management, sex education, learning difference lust, love, in love, coping with themselves in a home environment.
The transition is difficult most of the time. If there was a place such as a church or some where to learn to discuss fears, difficulty's the fast pace of life outside the prison walls. To discuss any issue drugs alcohol relationship family gang involvement anything. I would structure it so that part of the giving back would be to volunteer at local places. To bring various organizations together in dialog about where they can get help. School, child support help, housing, jobs, programs that are in our community. Transportation would be key. Allowing each person to start where they are. Have behavior health available, doctors that would be willing to help with health issues, dentist. I believe that our community can help begin to build the bridge to another life. Nobody knows the people in our cities better than we do. The cost is always a big question. We have the answer start at church that will open a door, let the artist sell their art. The cooks sell their food. Let the people decide how they would like to pay for it,make it theirs.
Responsibility, accountability, and believing in self is the most important lesson a person can learn. The reason for these ideas are due to a journey that I personally have traveled. I had mentors in my life that stood by me. I am presently at Hartnell and in a computer class that the instructor has came along side me and is showing me again I am a part of the community and I do have a voice. Yes at times I have a hard time believing it and I have been out of prison for 18 years. I also have been clean and sober for 18 years and at times have to be reminded that my voice is important. I am from Salinas and believe we have the answers.
The effort to listen be open for change and willing to act.