Educate before Incarcerate To Restore our Economy!
A core issue for our Coalition is discovering, diagramming and educating ourselves and the community about the hidden ripple effects of incarceration on people, on our business and civic community, on our economy and on our society as a whole. Then we focused on finding and teaching alternatives to incarceration that could have a better impact on our society as a whole.
We have done deep research on statistics and trends, observed in courts, studied the press articles and political positions of different organizations and interviewed thousands of people in Whatcom County to learn what happens when an arrest happens. Where does the money go?<!-Where do the people go? What is the ripple effect? What is the cycle and pattern of disruption? What costs are incurred to the person arrested, to the taxpayers, and the economy? How does the prison industry work? What does in-sourcing mean in the world of incarceration? How do the contracts with the government work? What is the return on investment to the taxpayers?
Is there a better way for the community to respond to people who have violated a rule, created a self-inflicted damage to themselves or their family? Are there alternatives to incarceration that get a better result and mitigate the negative ripple effect is on the community? What else could be done?
From this inquiry, we have identified many ways that our community could do things differently. That is what this section of the site is about, and will include information on our RestoreALife Center, on our Education Center, our Reclaim Store, our Freedom Farm.
We have been doing the Choices and Consequences Panels, the ReEntry University program and been teaching courses and doing achievement coaching and trauma intercept work with individuals and their family for years now.
We have shown that $1500 invested in a person can divert people out of the path of repeat offending. It works.