Letter: Classes in prisons would improve lives

I've been a county jail volunteer for more I've been a county jail volunteer for more than 10 years on Long Island, and I can tell you that educational services are long overdue. Photo Credit: iStock

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The op-ed "Prepare inmates for life after prison" [April 11] asks us to put aside our fears and need for retribution and instead go for true correction of inmates, who need a future away from crime.

The path away from crime includes the pain of incarceration, with the resulting loss of privacy and freedom, and reflecting on past behavior. It must also include rebuilding one's perspective on life and learning the social and pragmatic skills that families, communities and local businesses are looking for. Research shows that if we provide psychological and educational programs to inmates, they can learn new ways to contribute.

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I hope our state representatives reconsider their opposition to providing increased high school and post-high school educational opportunities to all appropriate candidates in our jails and prisons.

I've been a county jail volunteer for more than 10 years on Long Island, and I can tell you that educational services are long overdue. Unproductive time in jails increases recidivism. Too few inmates are changed under the existing system.

Charles A. Perretti, Setauket

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