June 21, 2023
A few years ago, I put together a recidivism map that showed re-incarceration rates in Indiana counties were between 30 and 50 percent, using source data from the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC). But after learning that IDOC only counts Indiana prison inmates who are re-incarcerated in an Indiana prison, it became obvious why the recidivism figures here were drastically lower than rates across the country.
June 7, 2023
We all know there is an epidemic of gun violence and we are all shocked every time we hear of the latest murder. But did you know that far more kids are killing themselves with guns??? I didn't know it. Yet, a little research into youth gun violence uncovers the horrific number of children who use guns to kill themselves. Suicide with a gun is 60 percent higher than Homicide with a gun among youths. Here's why...
May 22, 2023
When people compare the United States to just about any other country with a low incarceration rate it is usually far from a realistic comparison. While many first world countries have lower rates of incarceration, they also are much smaller and do not have the melting pot of cultures and values that we have in the U.S., cultures that have added beauty and depth to the fabric of our nation, but cultures whose differences can be expanded into battle lines of offense and defense...
May 8, 2023
Across the United States, approximately 1.22 million people are incarcerated in state and federal facilities. This does not include the 3000+ county jails in the U.S. that have begun to hold longer-term prisoners as well. About a half million reentrants are released every year. In Marion County, Indiana alone, annual estimated releases are about 12,000. If recidivism is the yardstick we use to measure our ability to help reentrants create a new future, it is an uncertain one.
April 21, 2023
Last month a 13-year old Covington, Indiana boy killed himself. His passion was baseball. He had a batting average of around .400 last season, and on the Saturday before he died, he threw a pitch that clocked in at 71 mph. Not surprisingly, he dreamed of playing in the major leagues. But he was relentlessly bullied in school about his hair, or his clothes, or his shoes, and the bullies would always end the tirade with "now go home and kill yourself." He finally did.
April 7, 2023
Buried in the book of Ecclesiastes is the concept that if we wait for all conditions to be ideal, we will never sow a seed or reap a harvest. It's in Chapter 11, actually. It is also said, "From a tiny acorn a mighty oak doth grow," a saying that has inspired so many who have begun a work because of a nagging feeling that 'something needs to be done.' That's how it started with founder Jim Cotterill who was nagged by the issues he saw right here, where desperate families live in desperate need.
March 21, 2023
Click here for a full size version of the graphic.When you hear that 75 percent of the juveniles in prison come from fatherless homes, an alarm goes off. There is absolutely a tie between the lack of a father in the home and kids who get sent to prison. Here in Indianapolis, Fathers & Families Center offers a few more statistics: With a father in the home, a child is 75 percent less likely to have a teen birth, and 80 percent less likely to spend time in jail. People who think fathers are irrelevant just have their heads in the sand.
March 7, 2023
Daniel Labbe is a former inmate who has some well conceived thoughts about what an improved prison/jail experience could be. The following are his words, but I wouldn't be sharing them if I didn't think there are some ideas that have merit. So, if you ever thought that perhaps we could do better with our prison and jail systems, you probably will be interested in this.
February 21, 2023
When a short-term money crisis hits a family, payday predatory lenders are there for the working poor. These lenders reap huge interest payments that, according to the Federal Trade Commission, can reach up to 390 APR. Meanwhile these companies regularly take working people down the path to bankruptcy.The car broke down and you have to get to work…
February 6, 2023
Last week a 15-year old and 17-year old were arrested for the shooting of a 15-year-old girl on the City's far east side. Also last week a national newspaper reported statistics on juvenile homicide. It's reported that juvenile murderers acting alone rose 30 percent in 2020 from a year earlier, while homicides committed by multiple juveniles increased 66 percent. Said one prosecutor, "it's just kids killing kids."