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Working in the penal system...

I am curious what people's opinions and attitudes are toward people who work with prison populations. Obviously there is a lot of stigma attached to being in prison, but what about those who work with inmates? I am interested in people's honest thoughts and feelings about the social workers and other staff like teachers and counselors who take on the job of reaching out to prisoners and helping them while they are incarcerated.

I know a lot of people have voiced opinions already about how we should just lock them up and throw away the key and that prisoners get too many perks while they are in jail. What I am more interested in here is what do you think about people who want to have the job of reaching out to convicts and who help them without judgement or prejudice? Do you see these jobs as demeaning or beneath any job you would do? Do you think the people who do these jobs are gullible or unrealistic? How would you look at someone who teaches in a jail differently than someone who teaches grade 4? I am really interested in some honest opinions about this.
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replied May 28th, 2009
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It’s definitely a positive thing.

Inmates need to be educated so they can
actually get a job when they get out of prison. I know that a prison near where I live doesn’t really offer educational classes to get your GED when you are sentenced for life, but they do offer vocational classes where they learn to build sheds and whatnot. What they make then is sold to the city for really cheap.

Counseling is also very important for inmates who are going to let back into the public—who wouldn’t want that?

I don’t really think of prison workers any different than people who work outside prisons, but I have a lot of friends who are currently applying at prisons so I may have just gotten used to the idea and understand the need for it.
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