Men behind bars dating dating other countries
The founder and executive director of BPI, Max Kenner, says it took Pérez four tries just to get into the rigorous program. But most importantly says Kenner, when he gets out, he's more likely to be "a middle class tax paying person, who is a neighbor, and a family member, and perhaps in time a father, and a full civic citizen who is living as fulfilling a life as possible." Although Pérez will soon have a wife as well as a college degree, he can't entirely escape the reality of being in prison.He still spends a lot of time in the prison weight room, but he says his inevitable arguments with other inmates have taken on a different tone.I've watched him over the years really become a transformed person.He's gotten in touch with his intellectual ability.It's called "ceiling time" at Eastern Correctional facility in New York's Hudson Valley—those minutes between heading back to one's cell and falling asleep."Ceiling time is when you lay down and you're reflecting on things, looking up at the ceiling," says 28 year-old inmate José Pérez, "thinking about the day, what I did right, what I did wrong." Pérez has already had a lot of time to think: He was given a 20 years to life sentence for second-degree murder when he was only 16 years old.The national nonprofit The Sentencing Project cites statistics that 60 percent of the more than 2 million inmates in the United States are ethnic minorities. And Muller says it makes sense that Pérez would be a good catch, despite his situation.
Today, 23 year-old Brie Morris and Pérez will exchange vows in a small room just off the visitor space at the Eastern Correctional facility.Muller says for a long time, "lifers" — a term he uses for people serving 15 years to life — were not allowed by the state to get married.Now they can, and he says some look for opportunities, despite the complications of being incarcerated, "They reconnect with women they grew up with."If we are committed to successful re-entry, we should offer as many opportunities as possible for offenders to re-connect — or connect in the first place — to conventional institutions like education, family, and the like," Laub says."In this way, the criminal justice system can facilitate turning points away from crime." That doesn't mean the transition to family life on the outside is an easy one.
"Then maybe that's the relationship that will work on the street," he says.