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Exchange For Change: Nonprofit Prison Writing Program (Term Paper Sample)


For this assignment, you are being asked to write the Regional Director of the Florida Department of Corrections, Thomas Reid, to speak about this issue. Your goal is to present Mr. Reid with a thoughtful, evidence-based argument as to why this program deserves to continue in the South Florida prison system.


Thomas Reid
Regional Director
Florida Department of Corrections
Region 4 Office
1599 SW 187th Ave
Miami, FL 33194
3 April 2018
Dear Mr. Reid,
Greetings from Name Surname, a student at the University. I am having my English Composition class about a special program called Exchange for Change with Dade Correctional Institution (DCI). During this semester, I have learnt a lot about life in prisons and prisoners. Fortunately, I have a valuable change to communicate with one prisoner in DCI. However, as I heard that the administration at Homestead Correctional Institution (HCI) has taken an issue with Exchange for Change, I thought I should share my views with you. HCI has already banned E4C classes, and we're waiting to hear from Everglades Correctional Institution (ECI). The banning of E4C classes raises a concern and fear that other correctional facilities might follow suit, thus putting the whole program in jeopardy. Considering various benefits and achievements attributed to the program, I am at this moment presenting reasons as to why the program deserves to continue in the South Florida prison system.
Exchange for Change (E4C), a nonprofit prison writing program, has been helpful in addressing two issues that have been a problem in our current correctional systems. It simultaneously addresses the common misunderstanding about incarcerated people and the absence of advanced literacy and arts programs in correctional facilities. Bales et. al in their assessment of the effectiveness of prison work-release programs in Florida, they reported that there are more prisons per square mile than colleges and has the third largest inmate population in the United States (Bales et al. 3). Unfortunately, the Florida Department of Correction has only been able to offer the general inmate population basic education courses such as those necessary for GED preparation and English as a second language. You are aware of the state funding cuts that have left these programs unstable across the nation. At the same time, the number of prisoners with a seventh-grade education and above is about a quarter of the total inmate population. With such figures, there are concerns about how the thousands of prisoners in Florida prisons spend their time, regarding education and self-rehabilitation.
Therefore, alternative correctional institution programs such as Exchange for Change are necessary for addressing these issues. Through my interactions with the prisoners, I learnt that the participation of inmates improves their relationship with other inmates and the prison staff. It improves the manner through which prisoners interact and relate with their family members. Sayre, a correctional policy expert shares that through the program; inmates learn and achieve life-building values such as self-esteem, self-respect, and above all, self-discipline (Sayre n.p). The program thus converts the inmates from being law-breakers into law-abiding citizens in various levels. For instance, they can realize their potential constructive capabilities and other self-realization aspects that improve how they perceive themselves, their past, and the transformations they get while serving their sentences. In addition to these benefits, I learnt that the program provides a better way through which inmates can spend their time and thus minimizing the rate of disciplinary infractions. With such benefits, the Florida correctional system will be able to attain a great milestone in transforming law-breakers into productive, law-abiding citizens.
I believe that you, as the regional director, would wish to see the prisoners become useful people in their communities once out of prison. This is almost impossible to achieve if you...

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