Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Changing the Criminal Mind

I've started the new program at work called Victim Impact. I had 31 inmates send me notes asking to participate. I split the pile in two and put 15 in one class and 16 in the other. One did not show up today and one opted not to participate. That leaves me 14 in class on Tuesdays. I'm curious to see if the 16 on Thursday show up and agree to the restrictions.

I do believe that confronting criminal thinking (errors in how they preceive the world) can make changes in how they behave. I think adding to that the impact of the personal in-your-face stories of the victims can make a positive change in how they think. They honestly want to believe they aren't really hurting anyone. And that the overall impact of their criminal behavior is minimal and normal.

The program is part of a grant study. Virginia, Tennessee, Ohio and California are participanting. I've very excited about the material. I hope I can convey the same to the inmates. That only two today decided to opt out gives me hope.

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