Thursday, July 3, 2008

Prison Break!

I just got back from our youth activity and - wow - was it cool! We visited the prison and got to meet five of the inmates... er.. uh.. residents. They were way cool... not as in, I want to be them, but you get it. They gave us short stories as to how and why they came to reside in the prison and then let us ask questions. Any questions we wanted. They were very articulate and, surprising to me, very willing to give out the details to their crimes. One guy was intoxicated with meth when he blacked out at the wheel and killed a local teacher. He was extremely resentful of his decisions starting back when he was a teenager and it was great to see that the system hadn't hardened him, but made him a better person. He's religious, educated and quite the leader among his peers. The program that the prison does is centered around taking responsibility, staying sober and contributing to society in a positive way. So, they all have classes that they take; from sober living, to community college classes. It was great to see how they were benefiting from it. All five guys we met were great motivational speakers and it was good for our youth to see how making one or two 'small' mistakes can easily (and without notice) turn into horrible lifestyles.

If you're in Utah, you should check it out. The prison here is a great resource that we should be using regularly. If you're not, look into it in your state and find out if they have similar programs.