Criminal reform: Why wake-up calls are windows of opportunity

Here's how we can use the concept of 'impact impression' for criminal reform.

  • In his work in criminal reform, Bishop Omar Jahwar recounts how a person's life trajectory can typically be traced back to a moment of trauma or an 'impact impression'.
  • An impact impression has two outcomes: It can be an awakening that steers people in a positive direction where they seek help, or it can become a negative spiral that lands them in prison. In the latter case, supporting people in undoing the damage and mental scars they've incurred from such impact impressions can help reduce recidivism.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
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How the hard-man mask can affect a prisoner’s sense of self

What happens to a person's identity when they are forced to play a hypermasculine role just to survive?

Photo credit: Scott Olson / Getty Images
  • Prison is not a place where it pays to be vulnerable.
  • Living in prison involves survival through developing a front, or a mask to live behind.
  • Many men in prison develop a hypermasculine sense of self that shows no fear, emotion or distress to cope with the threatening overtones of the prison community.
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Mind & Brain

700,000 people get out of prison each year. Let’s hire them.

The U.S. has a talent shortage and the formerly incarcerated have paid their debt to society. Let's solve two problems with one idea.

  • The U.S. has a talent shortage. There are 7.3 million open jobs, and only 6 million people currently looking for jobs, says President and CEO of SHRM Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.
  • The solution? Let the formerly incarcerated work good jobs that contribute to the economy.
  • SHRM research shows that 80% of HR managers are interested and willing to hire the formerly incarcerated. The bias exists at the employee and customer level – but that bias is changing fast for the better.
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Videos

3 qualities of super resilient people

The formula for resilience? Hope, grit, and amnesia.

  • Shaka Senghor spent 19 years in prison, seven years of which he was in solitary confinement – a punishment designed to drive a person crazy after 90 days.
  • In his most adverse moments, Senghor took inspiration from the memoirs of great minds, learning resiliency from their words and stories.
  • Resilience boils down to 3 ingredients: Optimism – you have to acknowledge it's a dark period with light at the end; resourcefulness – find aspects of your environment you can use to help you cope; and memory loss – stop replaying memories inside your head. It only holds you hostage.
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Videos

Why the Rosenhan Experiment still matters

One flew east, one flew west, eight shrinks flew into the cuckoo's nest.

Photo by Scott Barbour / Getty Images
  • In 1973, eight experimenters faked insanity to see how easy it was to get into a mental hospital. The hard part was getting out.
  • Their findings sparked a great debate over how psychiatry treated patients and how accurate diagnostic procedures were.
  • In an age marked by a lack of proper mental health care, the finding that it was too easy to get a doctor's attention seems shocking.
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Mind & Brain