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Friday, 31 July 2009 10:29

Florida's Prison Inmates Back Up Criminal Reform

Written by  Mary Fitzgerald
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CriminonWhat would happen if Florida's prison inmates worked one-on-one to get their fellow inmates to reform?

Right now Florida prisoners are helping Criminon® Florida get 10% of the state’s prison population involved in the Criminon program.10% has been shown to be the make-break point. When that target is met in a single prison the entire prison calms down significantly with dramatically lowered acts of violence and much improved guard and inmate relations.

Criminon (which means “no crime”) is a non-profit, non-religious public benefit corporation dedicated to addressing the causes of criminality and restoring an inmate’s self-respect. Criminon Florida has 100 volunteers who deliver 7 life-skills correspondence courses to inmates throughout the state. The courses teach common sense values and educate about drugs and addiction, study skills and other key life skills. But most importantly Criminon graduates recover their self-esteem and are able to become ethical and productive members of society.

With a total state inmate population of 100,000, Criminon Florida has the target of 10,000 students on their roll call. With that target in mind, a game was announced in January of 2009 to the then 500 Criminon students throughout Florida’s nearly 100 prisons. The game challenged them to sign up 5 new inmates to start their first Criminon course, thus bringing the total number of students to 2500. When those 2500 students sign up 5 more the goal of 10,000 students will be met.

Since January the number of students participating in the game has climbed steeply to 50% or 250 students now actively playing the game. The number of new students signed up by current students is now close to 500.

A spokesperson for Criminon told us, ”We divided Florida into 4 teams and they compete against each other for how many new people they sign up. They are showing their friends and cellmates the Criminon courses and talking about their personal successes with Criminon. The word is getting out that something can be done about it. The inmate's help is making a big difference. I don’t think I am exaggerating when I say that these men and women could make a significant and very positive change in the Florida state prison system in just a few years."

Any public person who wishes to help as a course supervisor for new students or who wishes to make a much needed donation can contact Criminon Florida at http://www.criminon-inc.org/ or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Read 1333 times Last modified on Friday, 23 October 2009 11:45