News flash

Videos of SAL/UER Climate Week events

Racism and the Collapsing Society, Barbara Love and Tim Jackins, June 7, 2020

RC Webinars listing through July 2021

New Online Workshop Guidelines Modifications


 

Re-evaluation Counseling and the Reasons Why It Should Be Taught Behind the Walls

When I was first asked to go to an RC class, I really had some second thoughts about it! But I was invited to go, so I went. Medicine Story, an RC teacher from New Hampshire, USA is my elder. He had brought up this lady, Stacey, with him. I knew we were all in trouble with her. We put her through the test with this feeling stuff. She made her way through and she had my respect. It is hard for me to just give my respect to someone I only know a few hours. But she had mine.

How has RC been helpful to me? It has taught me that it is okay to show feelings without worrying about how others will look at you. And where I am at with how people see me is a very big thing. RC has helped me grow in ways that I never thought I could or wanted to. I started to grow up.

What part of the theory has been helpful? The theory part is okay. To put it to work is another idea-getting a bunch of grown men to talk about their feelings and about their lives, what life means to them or what the price of life is to them. RC theory says to give people respect and give it to each person in the class. That is a very hard thing to do. RC puts in a room a bunch of people that want to change but have always been told that crying, sharing, and opening up your feelings is wrong for a man to do. For a man to cry or share his darkest secret with people he hardly knows is difficult. The theory is good when it turns out good.

What should people know about teaching inmates about RC? There is really not that much you have to remember about teaching inmates. You have to respect us. You have to have more patience with us because we are not used to sharing our feelings with others. Most of all, you have to treat us like you would want to be treated. Most of us are okay. We just want to be respected like anyone else would want to be.

What should you know about teaching RC inside the prison? One of the most difficult things with this kind of class or workshop inside the prison is that you can't come in and think you are going to make all things work. You must remember that we can't put our feelings in a check box until the next time, and we are in a different world than the outside world. For us to have feelings and not be able to work them out is hard. It's hard because the correctional officers don't understand that we are trying to change some things and that we need some space to do that.

You need to understand that this place is a place that most people don't want to change. The correctional officers don't care one way or another about us except that they want to knock us off the box. So, always keep in mind that while you are out there, this world behind bars is different than the real world. Places like this always want to break you, and they don't care about you.

I know that my words might come out backward or sound like I am in left field. But I was at one time in my life the person your family warned you about. I had no feelings about anything, let alone anyone. I would have just spit on you rather than give you a second chance. With the help of Medicine Story and Stacey, I worked a lot on what was wrong with me. Today, I don't want to ever again see that young man who walked through these gates twelve-and-a-half years ago. Not only do I like and respect those around me, but I also like myself. That is saying a whole lot. If you get the right people, RC should be taught in all prisons around the world. Most of us want to change. We just need the right way of going about it.

M-
USA


Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00