Superintendent Wenerowicz- SCI Graterford Prison (cont’d)

Prison is not what you see on TV. Most of our inmates are good people who made a bad decision. The answer is not to lock everyone up and throw away the key. The majority of our offenders come back out to the community. My question to the community is how do you want this individual released? Do we want to give them every tool necessary to succeed? In order to do that, we need community help and outreach. Just incarcerating someone is not the answer. We need faith based programming. We need help from outside agencies to be part of the reentry process. There are individuals that we need to keep locked up but they are a small percentage, it is not the majority. The majority are coming out. How do we want them to come out?

 We tell inmates when to sleep, when to get up, when to do this, when to do that, when to go to programming, then we kick them out on the street and no one tells them what to do. So they’re basically learning everything all over again. It’s the struggles of keeping up with technology, trying to secure employment, when employment opportunities are so slim, even for people without a criminal record… I believe offenders get frustrated, and they go back to their old ways. They see the fast money. They see the drugs. I think that the stress overwhelms them because we didn’t do a good enough job preparing them for those challenges. We can only provide so much. That’s why we need that community outreach to help. Inmates need an outlet. If they can’t find a job and all of a sudden lose a loved one and they no longer have a place to stay, what do we do with them? Locking them back up again is not the answer. Especially if they didn’t commit another crime. “

-Superintendent Wenerowicz- SCI Graterford Prison

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