The state of Michigan spends more money on jails and prisons than it does on education, but is this money well spent? The Michigan Prisoner ReEntry Initiative would suggest that it is. The MPRI is a collaborative effort that draws from the commitment of community groups, the Michigan Department of Corrections, and other state agencies. Launched in 2003 and expanded statewide in 2008, the initiativeâ€™s mission is to equip every released offender with tools to succeed in the community.The MPRI is a nationally recognized commitment to public safety that gives prisoners the tools they need to succeed in a process that begins when they enter prison and continues through parole and reintegration into the community. The MPRI has effectively reduced Michiganâ€™s prison population, recidivism rate, and crime rate. (Figure 1) It has broken the cycle of soaring Corrections costs by investing in safe alternatives to costly and unnecessarily long stays in prisons.By breaking the cycle of crime and incarceration, the MPRI has managed to cut spending on prisons down by 293 million dollars annually, and although that may be the biggest benefit it is one of many. (1) The number one goal of the MPRI is to reduce crime. It does that by better preparing parolees before they return to the community, making smarter decisions about who is released and when, and providing enhanced supervision and services in the community. It ensures what Lansing Prison Warden Kenneth McKee calls â€œa game plan for success,â€ which includes a team of supporters from the community who will help them carry out the plan. 1) MPRI begins at intake, when a prisonerâ€™s risk, needs and strengths are measured to develop individualized programming. Prior to parole, offenders are transferred to a reentry facility, and a transition plan, which addresses employment, housing, transportation, mentoring, counseling and any necessary treatment for mental illness or addictions, is finalized in close collaboration with community service providers. After release, officers use firm but flexible graduated sanctions- including short stays in a reentry center if needed-to manage rule breaking before it escalates to more serious transgressions.All correctional jargon aside, the basic message remains; you canâ€™t put offenders back into the situation and lifestyle they came from before prison and expect the outcome to be different. This is where â€œreentryâ€ comes into play. (2) The MPRI was built in three phases to create seamless transitions back into society. Phase one is the â€œgetting readyâ€ phase. This phase begins the day the prisoner enters the prison. It starts at the reception center with a comprehensive assessment of each prisonerâ€™s risk factors, needs and strengths.A Transition Accountability Plan is formed to determine the services the prisoner will need to prepare them for life after prison. This plan also establishes a set of expectations for the prisoner and how well they adhere to the plan weighs heavily in decisions made by the Parole and Commutation Board. Phase two is the â€œgoing homeâ€ phase. This phase begins about two months before the prisoners expected release date. During this phase, prisoners identified as needing more intensive preparation and support are transferred to an â€œin-reachâ€ center, a prison closer to home.This helps set the stage for a smooth and successful transition. The focus during this phase is also to help the prisoner find work and become â€œemployableâ€ as well as setting up stable housing. Depending on their needs, prisoners are linked with community services such as substance abuse treatment, mental health services, or sex offender therapy. The conventional role of a parole officer is transformed to a case manager in an effort to help the transition team get a support system in place.When the parole date arrives the prisoner is armed with a structure and support network in place to help them succeed. Lastly, phase three is called the â€œstaying homeâ€ phase. As opposed to a decade ago where parolees were released on a Friday and had a weekend or more to get into trouble before their first meeting with their parole agent, they are now released earlier in the week and they promptly meet with their parole agent and service providers. This first meeting is used to establish job leads, assist with resumes, ensure medical assistance if needed and identify stable housing. 1) This transformation of Michiganâ€™s corrections system has been remarkable, but it did not happen overnight. Over the course of eight years the MPRI has moved from an idea of fixing a broken system to a comprehensive strategy that is changing the nature of prisons. In doing this the MDOC has created many employment opportunities for positions such as parole agents, corrections officers, teachers and case managers. The transformation has also changed the way former prisoners view people in these positions.Grand Raids police officer Terry Dixon runs a weekly support group for MPRI participants and says that â€œMany are looking at police officers in a new way, as supporters. â€ (1) The MPRI is constantly meeting challenges; one of the largest being special needs prisoners. Those include youths, the medically fragile, those with mental health issues and sex offenders. Before the MPRI, says Michigan Parole and Commutation Board Chairwoman Barbara Sampson, parole board members were reluctant to grant parole to the mentally ill because they knew services were not in place to help them succeed.Now, she said, the transition accountability plans are designed to ensure a smooth transition to the community. Similarly, she said, effective new treatment programs are in place for sex offenders. (1) The $56 million spent on the MPRI in fiscal year 2011 is substantial, but it is only a small fraction of the $2 billion Michigan Department of Corrections budget, and it is paying back dividends in public safety and reducing the prison population.The rate of parolees returning to prison for new crimes or technical violations is at its lowest level since record keeping began 23 years ago. Even though there are more parolees, the number returning to prison for new crimes fell from 2. 020 in 2006 to a projected 1,836 in 2010. Michiganâ€™s prison population grew by nearly 500% between 1973 and 2003, consuming a much greater share of tax payer dollars. The number of prisoners has safely declined by almost 7,500 since March of 2007 and is at its lowest level since 1999.As a result the state has been able to close 14 correctional facilities. (1) It is important to recognize what the MPRI is and what it is not. It is not a magic potion that will eliminate crime. It is also not an early release program. Every parolee has served at least the minimum court imposed sentence. MPRI is a strategy that pulls together the state, the community, police, mentors, therapists, and others to give each returning prisoner a game plan for success.Former Saint Clair County Community College professor Michael Berro explains the MPRI bottom line as being â€œthe understanding that the majority of felony offenders will return to our community. We should prepare them for it so they donâ€™t end up back here, spending our tax dollars again. â€ (3) Michigan may be spending more money on jails and prisons than it does on education, but consider the effect the MPRI has had on repeat criminal offenses, inmates in prison and the general crime rate. It has successfully managed to lower all three.When the stateâ€™s budget is squeezed by declining tax revenue, and areas of spending are under question, it seems the success of a government funded program couldnâ€™t come at a better time. WORKS SITED 1. Michigan Department of Corrections. (2010). Michigan Prisoner ReEntry Initiative 2010 Progress Report. Lansing: Public Policy Associates, Inc. 2. Wesoloski, E. (2011, April 15). Pew Center Report Lauds Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative. Prisons and Prisoners, p. 1. 3. Berro, M. (2006, March 13). Former Maccomb County Parole Supervisor, College Professor. (R. Spangler, Interviewer)
Reviewing The Heart Of Darkness And Apocalypse Now English Literature Essay The horrorthe horror, these were the words that echoed in my mind after experiencing Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness and Francis Coppolas Apocalypse Now. Together, both pieces have several parallels; this is largely due to the fact that Coppolas Apocalypse Now is actually an adaptation of Heart of Darkness. While the films story mimics Conrads tale with its general plot points, there are also many differences. While the characters of both Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now parallel one another in their natures, this is also where their distinct differences lie. The Accountant in Heart of Darkness is only one of the countless characters that are in Africa with absolutely no purpose; his attire is always kept at its best and it appears as though his only accomplishment was teaching an African woman to clean his garments, treating her as a servant. To parallel with The Accountant, in Apocalypse Now, Kilgore is also viewed as a purposeless character. Kilgores sole purpose is to surf, yet somehow he manages to avoid death and even injury in the most treacherous places, causing his focus on the war to be nonexistent. Marlow in Heart of Darkness and Captain Willard from Apocalypse Now both have this mission of finding Kurtz, the man known as god; the man known to be as hollow as a barrel; the man to be found. In Heart of Darkness, Kurtz is the chief agent at the ivory companys Inner Station at Stanley Falls. This so known hallow man is much taken back by the power that he has over the natives, starting out in the Congo attempting to give the natives better lives, these people learn to worship his ways. Due to his good intentions of helping these natives, he becomes isolated from his own civilization and is left to be on his own; he begins to retreat into a state of brutality. This clearly epitomizes that the basic human nature of Heart of Darkness is usually drowned out by the light of society. We can also see here that civilization is only superficial, in the way that the natives were more civilized then Kurtz himself. Marlows relationship with Kurtz after finding him begins as a professional one, but as we see when the story unfolds, Marlow slowly begins to identify with Kurtz, and by the end of the book we can see that Kurtz is what Marlow could have been and that Marlow is what Kurtz used to be. The two men see themselves in one another, a hard but interesting thing to experience. Within Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now, the use of light and dark are both dazzling and unbelievable. The representation of light, dark black and white is embedded throughout the account of Heart of Darkness. In general, the symbolism of darkness usually implies evil or some type of mysterious unknown. Yet in the book we see that darkness is used as a symbol for truth, where the light is seen as a falsehood. The truth that Marlow discovers is within him, lying in the darkness. The truth was physically found for him in Congo which was known as the darkest spot on the map. With that specific example of how symbolism has been reversed, we also look into the light. The light comes from the civilization, also seen as a source of falsehood as well as being a form of dark business. The symbolism of white and black in Heart of Darkness is most apparent when it alludes to cultural and race; the white people being the lying, evil, civilized community, and the black natives being enlightened, good, and savages. The alternating lighting in many of the scenes of Apocalypse Now, specifically in the Do Lung scene symbolizes the insanity of the Vietnam War. Here we see that no one knows why they are really there, what is real, what is not, or where exactly the real evil is. Towards the end of the film, after Willard has killed Kurtz, we see Willard purposely placing half of his face in the shadow. This use of cinematography shows that he had united the two ideals; that of the military from which his mission spawned from the light, and the moral, yet uncompassionate ideal of Kurtz and the darkness of the jungle. Another comparison that can be made between the two is the fact that they both have rivers, not the physical part, but the symbolic importance of these rivers. In Heart of Darkness, the Congo River is essential to the plot of the story, and is also essential to the Europeans in general when dealing with Africa. The river was the only means of travel for the Europeans to be able to get into Africa. In regard to the light and dark aspect, the river did not allow of efficient movement upstream, reflecting on the difficulty in Marlows journey within himself, and this struggle that he faces toward obtaining the truth. On the other hand, Marlow was capable of moving easily downstream, making his return to civilization easier and basically effortless. In Apocalypse Now, the Hung River is where we turn towards truth, a struggle with the events escalating in their level of severity and confusion. This river brought only madness and was a path to enlightenment, with every path to enlightenment, sacrifices were made and there would always be pain to overcome. When it comes to noticing differences between the novel and the film, the most obvious one would have to come with the usage of drugs in Apocalypse Now. Heart of Darkness didnt have a hippie-surfer character that was always tripping on acid. It didnt have a man named Chef who wore a sailor shirt and smoked dope constantly. To me, the most surprising aspect of Apocalypse Now was that Lance, the surfer, survived throughout the entire ordeal, proving that during the release of the film, drugs were seen as good. I believe that Timothy Leary intended to use the film to explain how marijuana, shrooms and acid unlocked the key to immortality. This is probably the most apparent difference to me in the two, we see that Apocalypse Now was very interested in promoting to use of drugs while Heart of Darkness never went to that level. In addition to the rivers, and drug use, the idea of imperialism is only found in Heart of Darkness. The imperialism had a huge effect on the race relations in the novel; it is from this and also with civilizing the natives that the criminal neglect of the Company resides and is acceptable. The closest we get to anything like this is Apocalypse Now would be in the slaughter of the Vietnam Cong during the war. The ties between Conrads Heart of Darkness and Coppolas Apocalypse Now are unmistakable. From the Congo River in Africa to the Nung River in Vietnam, Conrads ideals are not lost. In both, the ideas of good versus evil and symbolism of whiteness and darkness are all apparent. While there are many similarities between the two, as discussed there are many differences, from the usage of drugs to the descriptions of rivers. Heart of Darkness, Apocalypse Now, from one came the other, there are two dont you see? Together, both pieces have countless parallels and we see that if it werent for the distinction of time, we would be unable to determine which came first. These parallels intrigue the reader or the viewer to want to engulf themselves into the depth of the other.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.