Thursday, August 22, 2019

Life Cycle Stages Essay Example for Free

Life Cycle Stages Essay There are four stages in the financial life cycle of an individual. The accumulation, saving, pre-retirement and retirement stages. Judging from the financial ratios of Winston and Yvonne, we concluded that Winston and Yvonne are in stage 2: the savings stage of the financial life cycle phase. This stage of the life cycle is usually characterized by the increase of assets, net worth and the decline in the use of debts, as by this stage Winston and Yvonne have already accumulated more assets over the years and would seek to protect their wealth and priorities and at the same time seek to be more risk adverse than before. People in this stage are usually concerned in saving for the future like children’s education, retirement etc. As the savings Ratio can be easily explained by the amount of money a person saves as a percentage of their total income. The level of savings as a percentage of Winstons and Yvonnes income is 60.41% as calculated is expected of the couple in their mid 30s falling in this stage of the life cycle as it portrayed high savings planning for the future of their children’s education. In the savings stage of the life cycle, we could expect an increase in net worth and assets as those had been accumulated before reaching conservation phases in that cycle. The increase in assets meant that Winston and Yvonne have a relatively high net worth as calculated at 74.51%. As Winston and Yvonne have a relatively high net worth ratio, their financial solvency is lower as most of their funds are being tied up with their fixed assets and their high net worth ratio also showed that their investments and commitments are being funded by debts and trade payables that are not proportionate. Winston and Yvonne might also face problems such as liquidity problems as their high ratio meant that they do not have immediate access to their cash. Therefore any decline in value of their investments or in any aspect that is relevant to their assets would cause them to have the inability to pay back their debt, thus lead to bankruptcy. Winston and Yvonne should seek to lower their net worth ratio by diversifying their funds in lesser fixed assets like property, home contents and education funds as lowering the ratio of their net worth would help them have more f inancial flexibility and ability to meet their financial payment obligations. http://smallbusiness.chron.com/interpret-assetstonetworth-ratios-57281.html. http://www.accountingtools.com/net-worth-ratio. As Winston and Yvonne are in their wealth protection phase, we explained that there would be an indication of a high net worth and a decrease in the use of debts. The debt Service ratio is the monthly debt commitments in comparison to total income and expressed in a percentage. In other words it is the ratio of the ability to repay loans over a period of time. If a debt service ratio is too high it would mean that one is too highly leveraged and has a high amount of loan and in the long run might run into difficulties in repaying off the loan commitment in the future. In this stage we expected financial prudence and a high risk adversity. The low debt service ratio of Winston and Yvonne at 14.21% indicated the low dependability on debt and increases their ability to service their debt, reducing the risk of them not being able to continue going in the long run. This could be expected of them as they are seeking to save for the future and make sure that they are able to service their l iabilities in the long run and not exhausted halfway through by limiting their commitments and slowly getting a debt free approach when it comes to their retirement. http://www.e-conomic.co.uk/accountingsystem/glossary/debt-ratio.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Why Marriage Fail Essay Example for Free

Why Marriage Fail Essay Marriage is something very beautiful you get to enjoy the rest of your life with the person yo love and share lots of nice things together, however there are some negative things about getting married and most of them are lack of time, addiction, and money. Work, home, schedules, time spent apart and time spent together are equally important for maintaining a marriage. People that spend time alone without making an effort on spending quality time together puts a lot of stress on a marriage. In a magazine â€Å"Time Plus Marriage† they state that 65% of the couples that do not spend time with each other always have an excuse on why they can not for insistent they had to stay late for work or their friends invited them out. Most of the couples that get a divorce is because of addiction problem, drugs, alcohol, and gambling all affects marriage. The behavior of an addicted spouse make their life difficult to because they are only worried if he/she would come home safe. According to â€Å"New York Times† most of the accidents and death on the year 2010 has been because of drunk driving or drug uses from their spouse which leaves them traumatized. One of the major reasons why marriage fail is because of the communication about money. Everyone has financial issues concerning bills, dept, spending, and budgets. Majority of the human being has a problem splitting their expenses individually to make things easier on their end. Those issues can make or break a marriage. Understanding each other and following the simple steps you would have a long lasting marriage. What comes in between is time, addiction, and money majority of the couples do not know how to manage these specific things when married.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Postmodernism and Hyper-Reality in Architecture

Postmodernism and Hyper-Reality in Architecture Introduction This essay will address architecture’s position in a consumer society. Consumer society can be described as the outcome of modernism where consuming material goods is the paramount feature of its balance and values. It is the result of the escalation in manufacturing and rapid industrial developments. It is also the outcome of the immense pace of diversification and growth of culture, creativity, technology and urbanism as a way of life. I will use the concepts of semiotic philosopher Jean Baudrillard’s as a basis in understanding the implications of this culture on the built environment, urban design and technology. I will also examine the desire for fantasy realms that mirror reality by examining Baudrillard’s three orders of simulacra and the â€Å"hyperreal†. To understand the expression of this phenomenon in our consumerist culture I have chosen to examine its manifestation in the urban context of Montecasiono and also virtual environment of Second Li fe. My aim is to better understand the architects’ position in this current culture and what it could mean for the future of architecture. Postmodernity and Hyper-reality The postmodern condition does not simply replace modernity but it rather opens up a new and complex layer of meaning of the modern by emphasizing its paradoxical aspects. Modernity has become deeply rooted in contemporary societies and thus it is almost impossible to find a condition where it has had no influence. Post-modernity by default cannot be separated from modernity as emancipation and liberation are inherent to the modern. In the post-modern era the electronic picture is the predominant force defining its figurative character. It is saturated with pictures in the degree which was not observed in history. (Asanowicz, 2014) To understand some of the complexities of our image driven culture I will first be exploring the writings of Jean Baudrillard. According to â€Å"Simulacra and Simulation† (Baudrillard, 1994) in our post-modern society, â€Å"It is no longer a question of imitation, nor duplication, nor even parody. It is a question of substituting the signs of the real for the real†. Baudrillard suggests that postmodern culture is not merely artificial, because the notion of artificiality still involves some sense of reality against which to identify it. What he conveys is that we cannot recognize the distinction between artifice and nature. Baudrillard then argues that there are three orders of simulacra. Simulacra (Simulacres in French means: stereotype, a pseudo-thing, an empty form, a blank form) is one of the key concepts of postmodern aesthetics. (Asanowicz, 2014). The first order of simulacra is related to the pre-modern period where the image is a clear imitation of the real. Baudrillard associates the second order of simulacra with the industrial revolution of the nineteenth century where mass product ion and the increase of copies break down the differences between the representation and the image. The third order of simulacra is specifically associated with the postmodern age. It suggests that the representation precedes and determines the real. The distinction between reality and its representation is has disappeared and there is only the simulacrum. Baudrillard defined this distortion of the lines between the original and its copy as the ‘hyperreal’ (Baudrillard, 1994). Not only does the simulacrum simulate the original but the simulacrum of truth is truer than true and thus the hyperreal is realer than real. (Horrocks Jevtic, 1999) This kind of simulated image is all around us, nature reserves are constructed to disguise the absence the natural environment in urban areas. Reallity TV programs are edited to romanticize the mundane. Baudrillard uses the example of Disneyland, â€Å"Disneyland is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest is real, whereas all of Los Angeles and the America that surrounds it are no longer real, but belong to the hyperreal order and to the order of simulation. It is no longer a question of a false representation of reality (ideology) but of concealing the fact that the real is no longer real, and thus of saving the reality principle.† (Baudrillard, 1994). To relate this theory to a South African context I will use the example of Montesasino. While the simulated environment is patently false, guests at Montecasino buy into the â€Å"reality† of fantasy because society will continually absorb simulacra and its preference for it over reality. Offerin g a surplus of services and entertainment options in a Tuscan themed environment, Montecasino disorientates and mesmerises its guests in a world of fantasy where spending money enhances participation in, and enjoyment of the retail and leisure experience. Baudrillard comments on the blurred distinctions between culture, consumerism and identity: â€Å"Work, leisure, nature and culture, all previously dispersed, separate, and all more or less irreducible activities that produced anxiety and complexity in our real life, and in our ‘anarchic and archaic’ cities, have finally become mixed, massaged, climate controlled and domesticated into the simple activity of perpetual shopping. All these activities have finally become desexed into a single hermaphroditic ambience of style† (Baudrillard, 2001). Another example of hyperreality is that of Multià ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‚ User Virtual Environments. This has fascinated me since I engaged my first multi-player role-playing computer game and recognized the addictive qualities it stirred. Today these virtual environments are much more sophisticated with virtual worlds like World of Warcraft and Second Life simulating not only of our physical world but also of our social, political and economic condition. Second Life has an active socialist party, an opposing Marxist party and even an anarchist group. Prostitution, gambling and consumerism are central to the simulation. Users of these environments create avatars which they define as the most accurate reflection of theirrealself. Aside from hyperreality, many of the concepts Baudrillard postulates in Simulacra and Simulation are present. It is a semiological perfect world, where the users are deprived of the ability to move, eat and drink. The avatars have nothing else to consume but â€Å"sign s† of the real. Avatars can rent prostitutes to have sex which is devoid of human contact or experience consequently consuming the â€Å"sign† of having sex. The avatars buy expensive virtual clothes to express the distinction against the avatars wearing free clothes. No actual clothes have changed hands, but people spend real that they have actually earned to consume â€Å"signs† of goods. From a modernist this would seem irrational but Baudrillards states that, â€Å"Nothing resembles itself, and holographic reproduction, like all fantasies of the exact synthesis or resurrection of the real (this also goes for scientific experimentation), is already no longer real, is already hyperreal† (Baudrillard, 1994) , therefore it could be argued that there is no difference in consuming something â€Å"real† or a â€Å"sign of the real†. The newest phase of consumer society is accordingly concerned with the effect of digital consumption. This is intensified by globalisation, new information technologies and real-time communication. In the next section I will discuss the implications of society’s preoccupation with consumption and hyperreality on Architecture. Post-Modern Architecture in a consumer society Frederic Jameson suggests that Postmodernism replicates or reproduces and reinforces the logic of consumer capitalism. Thus when we study a consumer society we should focus on the seductive and alluring as this is inherit to the consumer lifestyle. In architecture terms such as image, ambience and enchantment of appearance are more important than modern notions of individualism, rationalism, naturalism and functionalism (Jameson, 2002). Few contemporary architects have consciously thought of their works with consideration to our image driven culture. In â€Å"Visions’ Unfolding: Architecture in the Age of Electronical Media†, Peter Eisenman postulates that by using computer programs which randomly fold surfaces and connect the building and landscape into one continuous whole, the architecture does not surrender to any particular explanation, but continuously disrupts what is defined as architecture (Eisenman, 1999). This does address the idea of surface being the most important aspect of design but the problem is that the works is possibly not seductive enough, rather the work is merely fascinating. On the other hand the work of Jean Nouvel is shrouded in the enchantment of appearance. In Jean Nouvel in Conversation: Tomorrow Can Take Care of Itself, he says that â€Å"image is the matter of architecture and thus the future of architecture is not architectural in the tectonic senseâ€Å". Nouvel emphasises that his architecture is not composed of space but of communicative surfaces, which he calls interfaces. He is not interested in details but only in images. Koolhaas and Tschumi are two other architects that have based their works on a conscious study of atmosphere rather than functions or meanings in architecture. Lastly one cannot forget to mention Bernard Tshumi. After the vertical, modern, in La Villette we have the horizontal, minimal, conceptual and postmodern hyperrealism. The â€Å"cinematic† adaptations in the architecture enable â€Å"events† and are said to provide new freedom for the visitor when choosing routes and viewpoints. Lastly the famous â€Å"congestion† in Koolhaas’ works can be recognised as an atmospheric effect created by â€Å"programming†. Koolhaas tries to create architecture congested with the masses in diverse actions. These actions have typically not been assigned a specific place. Rational individualism must be abandoned when interpreting mass society. Conclusion In its most recent forms, architecture is already becoming transparent, mobile, flexible and interactive. It almost tries to disappear in order to let a hypothetical mass creativity show through. It replaces the immaterial with floating rules of the game, a screen of deconstruction which leaves the subjects quite free to invent their own game rules. Besides, architecture is not the only thing to give way to this interactive utopia of exchange and playful recreation: all art, politics and virtual technology is going in this direction. These tendencies manifest themselves in contemporary architecture in the new possibilities for pluralism, â€Å"open† architecture, the flexible interrelationship between producers and consumers, interactivity, and â€Å"the innovative consumers†. Moralism against consumer society and commercial architecture does not work because it is characteristic of consumer society itself that it spreads moralities concerning how people should live and which kind of buildings they should have. These moralities concerning consumers are disguised in the form of â€Å"choices†. Neither building without architects nor pragmatist architecture can make the position of architects better in society, because these phenomena are already included in the mythologies of consumer society. As concerns the relevance of Baudrillard’s theory in architecture, it has become apparent through my theoretical work that this makes impossible such traditional architectural concepts in general as creativity, the fulfilling of needs and functionality. Architects can only speed up or slow down interpersonal socio-economic processes and in this way increase social reciprocity and cohesion. According to Baudrillard’s analysis of the present socio-economic patterns in society, it has become almost impossible to make truly seductive and reciprocal architecture. Baudrillard’s theory does not leave very much for architects to lean on, up to the question of asking whether architecture can at all be designed under Baudrillard’s terms, however believable he is in pointing out the crucial problematics of culture in consumer society. Source List HILDE HEYNEN, 2000, Architecture and Modernity: A Critique, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 8-24 JEAN BAUDRILLARD, 1994. The precession of simulacra, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1-42. JEAN BAUDRILLARD, 1982, Modernità ©,† in La modernità © ou l’esprit du temps, Biennale de Paris, Section Architecture, Paris, L’Equerre, 27-28. PETER EISENMAN, 1994, Visions’ Unfolding: Architecture in the Age of Electronical Media, Michigan, A+U Publishers, 2-5. REM KOOLHAAS SANFORD KWINTER, 1996, Conversations with Students, New York, Princeton Architect ural Press, p 5-6.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Alice Walkers Journey with Self-Esteem Essay -- essays research paper

Many writers choose to write memoirs about terrible incidents that changed their lives. Alice Malsenior Walker is one of those writers. She was born on February 8, 1944 in Eatonton, Georgia. She considers her life to be very successful for several reasons. Walker graduated from high school as valedictorian. She was involved with the civil rights movement in Mississippi where she lived for seven years. During that time she also got married to a lawyer and had her daughter Rebecca. From an early age she was introverted and quite shy, most likely due to a terrible accident. She immediately retreated into solitude, reading poems and stories and then finally writing. â€Å"Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self†, by Alice Walker, is an essay that reflects on her ideas of beauty as a child, a teenager, and as an adult. Walker spent a great deal of time outside, due to the overcrowding in a small house with eight children (St. James). While playing outside at age eight, she was sh ot with a BB gun in the eye, causing her to lose not only her vision in her right eye, but her self esteem as well. She describes several events in her life that are significant in the formation of her identity. Alice Walker’s past reliance of being a physically cute girl, how confident she feels both before an after her surgery, and her constant feeling of being criticized are all factors that make her the woman that she is today. In order for Alice Walker to know the difference between the positive stares that she got when she was younger and the negative glances that she got when she was older, she had to experience that there was a difference between the two. Before the terrible BB gun accident, there was not a doubt in her mind that when people looked at her they saw an adorable little girl. She said, "It was great fun being cute." Afterwards, she believed that all they saw was "a glob of whitish tissue, a hideous cataract† (Walker 3). She compared the beautiful child that she was, to the ever-growing adult that she grew to become. She had a constant inner struggle between the person that she knew she was and the person that she appeared to be. â€Å"Now when I stare at people—a favorite pastime, up to now—they will stare back. Not at the ‘cute’ little girl, but at her scar† (Walker 3). Years later in her home, a woman arrived to take the photo for the back of Walker ’s book. The woman as... ...all that she could with her vision, while she still had it. Although many of us take our physical normalities for granted, Alice Walker choose to share her personal hardships and experiences to show how she has grown to become the writer that she is today. Her positive memories of being an adorable child have shaped her to realize what both ends of the spectrums are like, and what she will never be again. Low self-esteem soon followed, and as Walker grew, she also learned how to cope with the abysmal comments that she was destined to hear. However, as she grew into womanhood, her knowledge that she was still the same person thrived. Although being constantly judged, Alice Walker made light of the situation and realized that she loves the woman that she has become. Works Cited â€Å"St. James Encyclopedia of Pop Culture: Alice Walker.† Gale Group: 5 pars. On-line. Internet. 25 Jan. 2004. Available http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/g1epc/bio/2419201268/p1/arti cle.jhtml Walker, Alice. "Beauty When The Other Dancer is the Self." The Blair Reader Second Edition. Ed. Laurie Kirszner, and Stephen R. Mandell. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002. 1-7.

The Character of George in John Steinbecks Of Mice and Men Essay

Of Mice and Men character essay George Character : George George, a character in Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck was â€Å"small and quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp, strong features. Every part of him was defined: small, strong hands, slender arms, a thin and bony nose.† (Steinbeck, Pg.2) George was Caucasian and it looked as if he had stepped out of an old movie containing drifters, better known as migrant workers. Although physically George was very small, he had complete control over his companion Lennie, the way a father controls a son. George not only controlled Lennie but he also looked out for him and he wanted him to be happy. An example of this is how he constantly reminds Lennie of their dream, to work on their own farm, much like the dreams of other migrant workers. â€Å"Sure, we’d have a little house an’ a room to ourself, little fat iron stove an’ in the winter we’d keep a fire goin’ in it. It ain’t enough land so we’d have to work too hard. Maybe six, seven hours a day. An’ when we put in a crop, why, we’d be there to take the crop up. We’d know what come of our planting.† (Pg. 58) George had taken care of Lennie, every step of the way, just like his Aunt Clara told him to. â€Å"He ain’t much of a talker, is he? No he ain’t but sure is a hell of a good worker.†(Pg. 21-22) George even went as far as talking for Lennie to get him a job at the ranch, something not many workers would have done for eachother. Ev en though George acted like ... The Character of George in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men Essay Of Mice and Men character essay George Character : George George, a character in Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck was â€Å"small and quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp, strong features. Every part of him was defined: small, strong hands, slender arms, a thin and bony nose.† (Steinbeck, Pg.2) George was Caucasian and it looked as if he had stepped out of an old movie containing drifters, better known as migrant workers. Although physically George was very small, he had complete control over his companion Lennie, the way a father controls a son. George not only controlled Lennie but he also looked out for him and he wanted him to be happy. An example of this is how he constantly reminds Lennie of their dream, to work on their own farm, much like the dreams of other migrant workers. â€Å"Sure, we’d have a little house an’ a room to ourself, little fat iron stove an’ in the winter we’d keep a fire goin’ in it. It ain’t enough land so we’d have to work too hard. Maybe six, seven hours a day. An’ when we put in a crop, why, we’d be there to take the crop up. We’d know what come of our planting.† (Pg. 58) George had taken care of Lennie, every step of the way, just like his Aunt Clara told him to. â€Å"He ain’t much of a talker, is he? No he ain’t but sure is a hell of a good worker.†(Pg. 21-22) George even went as far as talking for Lennie to get him a job at the ranch, something not many workers would have done for eachother. Ev en though George acted like ...

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Importance of Preserving the Union in John Milton’s Paradise Lost Essay

The Importance of Preserving the Union in Paradise Lost  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚        Ã‚  Ã‚   Critics have long argued over the power structure operating in the gender relations of Milton's Paradise Lost. However, to really understand Adam and Eve and the intricacies of their relationship, it is necessary to view them in terms of a union, not as separate people vying for power. Because they are a union of contraries, the power dilemma is a moot point even though a hierarchy exists; it is a hierarchy of knowledge, not of power, and it in no way implies that Adam needs Eve any less than she needs him. Actually, they both need each other equally as much because they each have strengths and weaknesses that are complemented by the other&emdash; this necessarily leads to their interdependency. They are opposites, each with their own limitations (which Milton makes clear particularly through their creation narratives and their pre-fall relationship), who come together to form a very powerful and cohesive union. Everything that Adam and Eve do throughout the story of Par adise Lost, most obviously during and after the Fall, is directed at preserving their union. The balance of their relationship changes after the Fall and allows for the redemption of the union as well as humankind. Milton shows the opposite natures of Adam and Eve throughout their creation narratives. Adam is created during the day, and his creation emphasizes the heat of the sun: As new wak't from soundest sleep Soft on the flourie herb I found me laid In Balmie Sweat, which with his Beames the Sun Soon dri'd. (8.253-56) The sun is both light and heat, and it plays an important role in Adam's creation: "The sun helps creation by drying Adam" (Flannagan 441). Conversely, Ev... ...woman: they are two forces which must remain in balance, or if they change, they must change according to each other and come to terms with a new union. The relationship of Adam and Eve changes greatly in the course of Paradise Lost and though they lose much of what they begin with, they end with what they need: each other and a newly defined union whose terms they both accept.    Works Cited Froula, Christine. "When Eve Reads Milton: Undoing the Canonical Economy." John Milton. Ed. Annabel Patterson. New York: Longman, 1992. 142-164. McColley, Diane Kelsey. Milton's Eve. Chicago: U of Illinois P, 1934. Milton, John. Paradise Lost. Ed. Roy Flannagan. New York: Macmillan, 1993. Webber, Joan Malory. "The Politics of Poetry: Feminism and Paradise Lost." Milton Studies. Vol. 14. Ed. James D. Simmonds. Pittsburgh: U of Pittsburgh P, 1980. 3-24.   

Saturday, August 17, 2019

A Prisoner’s Re-Entry into Society

Prisoner re-entry is a vitally important issue today which has yet to reach its full impact on the minds and lives of voters. However, with every passing year the importance of this topic becomes more evident. Since the eighties, every passing year has brought more pressure for harsher and longer imprisonment and more streamlined mandatory sentencing rules. This has not only resulted in an exploding prison population, but also in a drastic increase in the number of prisoners re-released into communities. Additionally, the push towards more punitive measures has decreased educational opportunities in prisons and the availability of rehabilitation programs. This means that released prisoners are increasingly unable to reintegrate into their communities, increasingly prone to recidivism, and increasingly violent in each release and re-capture cycle. Even the conservative Bush administration has recognized the threat posed by unprepared prisoner re-entry and responded with a series of grants to private and public organizations involved in rehabilitation and easing prisoner transitions. However, merely making government money available to private, religious, or state-based programs is not enough. These funds are only likely to reach a minority of prisoners who are already being aided by the aided programs. Prisoners whose communities and systems do not already take measures to help their rehabilitation will not be seeing any increase in re-entry programs or preparation. A nationwide set of standards is needed to assure that every prisoner eligible for re-release into the community will be inoculated against recidivism and prepared to become a useful part of the society in which they will reside. It is time for the Democratic Party to back away from the conservative model of crime prevention through fear and towards social responsible model of crime prevention through the creation of healthy communities. This can be done in large part by reforming the prison system from a gulag of social control and intimidation into a truly educational experience in which prisoners are put on a moderated track towards social responsibility, respect for the rights of others, and preparation to take a beneficial role in society. Joan Petersilia wrote an insightful book on this subject documenting a series of studies in crime and public policy, When Prisoners Come Home: Parole and Prisoner Reentry. After presenting many pages of carefully documented research, Petersilia provided four suggestions for future reform which could drastically reduce recidivism and change returning prisoners from presenting a public threat to being a boon to society. These suggestions were as follows: 1. Alter the in-prison experience. Provide more education, work, and rehabilitation opportunities. Change the prison environment to promote life skills rather than violence and domination. 2. Change prison release and revocation practices. Institute a system of discretionary parole release that incorporates parole release guidelines. These parole guidelines should be based primarily on recidivism prediction. 3. Revise post-prison services and supervision. Incorporate better parole supervision classification systems, and target services and surveillance to those with high need and risk profiles. 4. Foster collaborations with the community and enhance mechanisms of informal social control. Develop partnerships with service providers, ex-convicts, law enforcement, family members, victim advocates, and neighborhoods to support the offender. (Petersilia) These suggestions represent the best Democratic policy towards reform of the prisoner re-entry system. Petersilia's book on the subject provides documentation about the efficacy of these recommendations and their necessity in the current environment. The remainder of this paper will focus on the precise laws, policies, and programs which may be recommended to promote the implementations of these suggestions. Petersilia's first recommendation is to alter the in-prison experience. This may not be the immediately evident response to prisoner re-entry, but evidence suggests it may in fact be the most important response. As Petersilia points out in a separate article on the â€Å"Challenges of Prisoner Reentry and Parole in California,† the reason that returning convicts pose such a threat is not merely that they are dangerous criminals returning to the communities that they originally victimized, but that their time in prison has in all likelihood increased the dangers they pose to civilians! It is common knowledge that non-violent and inexperienced criminals entering the prison system are likely to emerge being both violent and experienced due to the brutal conditions that exist in most prisons. Male (and female) rape is extremely common in the prison system, with estimates placed between 13-70% of inmates suffering unwanted sexual conduct. (HRW) Such brutal experiences lead many inmates to experience post traumatic stress disorder, which has been positively linked to increased violent tendencies. The degree of dehumanization and stress common in prison can cause other problems as well. â€Å"Mental illnesses, particularly chronic anxiety and depression, may be caused by incarceration. Psychologists believe that incarceration often breeds ‘global rage,' an impulsive and explosive anger so great that a minor incident can trigger an uncontrolled response.† (Petersilia, â€Å"Challenges†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ) The Human Rights Watch's report on prison rape in America recommends several measures for preventing prison rape and brutality, and it is vital that policy focus on this aspect of the prison experience. In 2003 a bill was passed establishing a National Commission dedicated to studying prison rape, and several other measures to provide information and training regarding prison rape. However, these measures did not go far enough to assure that prison rape was both prosecuted and that victims received help and counseling. Neither mandatory prosecution nor counseling was included in the bill's measures. Though some constituents might hesitate to focus on preventing brutality to prisoners (indeed, if one pays close attention to the sorts of attitudes and jokes prevalent on crime shows such as Law and Order and NYPD Blue, many consumers may think that prison rape is a justifiable punishment for child abusers and pedophiles), it is important to remember that prison rape victims are likely to emerge with HIV and equally likely to become sexual abusers after their experiences even if they were not abusers before. Thus it is a public health and safety concern to prevent prison rape and other brutality between prisoners. The following policies should be instituted nationwide: 1. Division of prison population between violent and non-violent criminals, and between those who are eligible for parole and those who are not. (Parole-eligible prisoners have more incentive for good behavior) 2. Establishment of special court systems for prison population, mandatory investigation and prosecution of all incidents of hospitalization resulting from sexual assault, availability of independent prisoner-rights advocates, and segregation of all inmates convicted of prisoner-on-prisoner sexual assault to carefully regulated wards, and automatic termination for any employee convicted of sexual impropriety or battery of an inmate. 3. Mandatory counseling and AIDS testing for all prison brutality victims and the establishment of victim-positive protective custody arrangements. (Many victimized inmates are only offered solitary confinement as a protective arrangement, which generally means loss of other privileges and any human interaction, potentially worsening the trauma and decreasing reports) Condoms and retro-virus treatment should be made available to all AIDS/HIV positive inmates, so that future consensual prison relationships will be less likely to increase AIDS transmission. Additionally, the very arrangement of prisons tends to discourage personal responsibility and the development of positive social interactions. Petersilia describes how prison systems punish individual initiative and free-thought, and fail to prepare inmates for independence and responsibility within an open society. â€Å"When personal choice is eliminated, so is personal accountability because the system makes all decisions for prisoners.† (Petersilia, 184) A nationwide study should be undertaken regarding ways that personal choice and accountability can be safely established in prisons and a set of guidelines for national and private prisons should be developed based on the results of that study. Petersilia recommends some programs which have had success in the past which allow simple personal choice from requiring prisoners to decide for themselves when/how to clean their own cells, send their laundry to the cleaners, and so forth. Involving prisoners in some of the more mundane aspects of their confinement is likely to increase the sense of personal control and encourage responsibility. These changes should not be geared so much as ameliorating the punishment of prisoners as of assuring that the incarceration does not reduce their ability to function as a free person. One more important issue regarding prison experience is the availability of vocational and academic training. It is well known by those who study these issues that prisoners who are able to be employed after re-entry to society are significantly less likely to commit further crimes. Petersilia's second suggestion was to change prison release and revocation practices. The best recommendation for policy on this issue would be to adjust mandatory sentences so that they included the completion of certain educational and behavioral requirements. These adapted sentences would require the inmate to both complete a certain length of time and a set of release requirements to be established by a panel of experts on a case-by-case basis. These release requirements must be completed before the inmate was eligible either for parole or release based on time served. Requirements should include, as determined per individual case, mandatory counseling, addiction treatment, educational attainment, vocational studies, and good behavior. Petersilia points out that, based on prison records, recidivism predictions can be made that are 80% correct. Recidivism predictors should be made clear to inmates and they should be encouraged to work towards being eligible for release and parole. A nationwide set of guidelines regarding minimum achievements requirements in addition to the current nationwide set of minimum time-served requirements would return the focus to rehabilitation rather than mere punishment. In fact, the minimum time-served should be directly related to the minimum time necessary to complete the release requirements. Part of assuring that the prison system creates parolees who do not endanger the community is assuring that it creates educated parolees. It would do well in the future for ex-criminals to speak of â€Å"graduating† from prison, as it were, and going on to lead productive lives. In 1997 the Center on Crime, Communities, and Culture reported that â€Å"inmates with at least two years of college have a 10% re-arrest rate, compared to a national re-arrest rate of approximately 60%.† This is somewhat ironic, because just three years earlier in 1994 Congress passed a bill which virtually destroyed the prison undergraduate school system. This bill eliminated Pell grants paying for the education of incarcerated individuals. â€Å"Nationally, the only higher education program that's still publicly funded is for youthful offenders.† (Banks) So it is that since 1994 recidivism has increased by almost half, going from around 60% to nearly 90%. Today a mixture of volunteers, religious organizations, and state-funded programs have moved in to provide some college education for inmates. However only slightly more than 10% of prisoners will re-enter society with a college degree. A new bill should be sponsored which would fight to prevent crime by educating prisoners and thus slashing their chances of offending again. Even if Pell Grants were not extended to prisoners, perhaps a new system of educational grants should be developed that would pay for accredited college education for prisoners as part of their pre-release requirements. Our founding fathers all focused on the necessity of a free people being an educated people, and claimed that democracy was dependent on the education of the people. If we are to prepare prisoners to reenter a democratic nation and partake in it as citizens rather than as public enemies, then a liberal arts education which both prepares them for work and prepares them to understand the rights and responsibilities of all citizens is absolutely necessary. Petersilia's third point is that we need extensive post-release services. A new set of federal guidelines should require all released prisoners to be prepared with housing and income options. Halfway housing should be arranged for those who do not have families prepared to commit to providing housing. Job-placement services should be arranged before release and continued employment should be a condition of parole with job-placement provided at any point during the parole period at which the ex-inmate becomes unemployed. Continued medical treatment and counseling for prison-related problems (including AIDS and mental illness) should be provided, as well as mandatory counseling and guidance sessions. More federal and state funding needs to be available to increase the number of parole officers and services. Nationwide there is a shortage in parole officers. In California, for example, â€Å"the ratio is now 82 parolees to 1 parole officer†¦ even parolees who are motivated to change have little opportunity to do so.† (Petersilia, â€Å"Challenges†¦Ã¢â‚¬  ) According to Petersilia's research, â€Å"most inmates have a strong desire to succeed when they are first released.† (Petersilia, â€Å"Challenges†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ) Therefore it is vital that re-entry services are provided. Additionally, as most inmates are re-arrested within three years, it seems vital that such services are available for a period of at least five years as the inmates adjust to the responsibility and freedom of life outside. Homelessness, lack of income and opportunities, and a return to addiction are among the main reasons for a return to crime — proper post-release supervision, counseling, and provision of housing and work opportunities can prevent this. Though such supervision would be expensive, it will be far less expensive to provide ex-inmates with housing, employment, and services within the community than to provide them with housing, constant supervision, and services inside our prisons after they re-offend. In conclusion, it appears that a national Recidivism Prevention Bill is absolutely necessary. This bill should include: 1) a commitment to stop prison rape by means of the creation of a special court system for in-prison crimes such as rape, the mandatory investigation of prison rape cases, and special custody arrangements designed to combat rape; 2) the establishment of a study resulting in national guidelines for prison reform aimed at fostering social responsibility and accountability; 3) the establishment and funding of an accredited national university of correctional facilities which provides liberal arts, vocational, and technical degrees to inmates; 4) Creation of national guidelines for sentencing to include individual minimum release requirements including (but not limited to) successful completion of addiction or other counseling, charitable service, educational and vocational training, evidence of good behavior, and treatment for mental health problems; 5) national guidelines and funding for parole services including housing, job-placement and training, medical services , and mental health/addiction/family adjustment counseling, and a low parolee-to-officer ration allowing for adequate surveillance and regular check-ups. A Prisoner’s Re-Entry into Society Prisoner re-entry is a vitally important issue today which has yet to reach its full impact on the minds and lives of voters. However, with every passing year the importance of this topic becomes more evident. Since the eighties, every passing year has brought more pressure for harsher and longer imprisonment and more streamlined mandatory sentencing rules. This has not only resulted in an exploding prison population, but also in a drastic increase in the number of prisoners re-released into communities. Additionally, the push towards more punitive measures has decreased educational opportunities in prisons and the availability of rehabilitation programs. This means that released prisoners are increasingly unable to reintegrate into their communities, increasingly prone to recidivism, and increasingly violent in each release and re-capture cycle. Even the conservative Bush administration has recognized the threat posed by unprepared prisoner re-entry and responded with a series of grants to private and public organizations involved in rehabilitation and easing prisoner transitions. However, merely making government money available to private, religious, or state-based programs is not enough. These funds are only likely to reach a minority of prisoners who are already being aided by the aided programs. Prisoners whose communities and systems do not already take measures to help their rehabilitation will not be seeing any increase in re-entry programs or preparation. A nationwide set of standards is needed to assure that every prisoner eligible for re-release into the community will be inoculated against recidivism and prepared to become a useful part of the society in which they will reside. It is time for the Democratic Party to back away from the conservative model of crime prevention through fear and towards social responsible model of crime prevention through the creation of healthy communities. This can be done in large part by reforming the prison system from a gulag of social control and intimidation into a truly educational experience in which prisoners are put on a moderated track towards social responsibility, respect for the rights of others, and preparation to take a beneficial role in society. Joan Petersilia wrote an insightful book on this subject documenting a series of studies in crime and public policy, When Prisoners Come Home: Parole and Prisoner Reentry. After presenting many pages of carefully documented research, Petersilia provided four suggestions for future reform which could drastically reduce recidivism and change returning prisoners from presenting a public threat to being a boon to society. These suggestions were as follows: 1. Alter the in-prison experience. Provide more education, work, and rehabilitation opportunities. Change the prison environment to promote life skills rather than violence and domination. 2. Change prison release and revocation practices. Institute a system of discretionary parole release that incorporates parole release guidelines. These parole guidelines should be based primarily on recidivism prediction. 3. Revise post-prison services and supervision. Incorporate better parole supervision classification systems, and target services and surveillance to those with high need and risk profiles. 4. Foster collaborations with the community and enhance mechanisms of informal social control. Develop partnerships with service providers, ex-convicts, law enforcement, family members, victim advocates, and neighborhoods to support the offender. (Petersilia) These suggestions represent the best Democratic policy towards reform of the prisoner re-entry system. Petersilia's book on the subject provides documentation about the efficacy of these recommendations and their necessity in the current environment. The remainder of this paper will focus on the precise laws, policies, and programs which may be recommended to promote the implementations of these suggestions. Petersilia's first recommendation is to alter the in-prison experience. This may not be the immediately evident response to prisoner re-entry, but evidence suggests it may in fact be the most important response. As Petersilia points out in a separate article on the â€Å"Challenges of Prisoner Reentry and Parole in California,† the reason that returning convicts pose such a threat is not merely that they are dangerous criminals returning to the communities that they originally victimized, but that their time in prison has in all likelihood increased the dangers they pose to civilians! It is common knowledge that non-violent and inexperienced criminals entering the prison system are likely to emerge being both violent and experienced due to the brutal conditions that exist in most prisons. Male (and female) rape is extremely common in the prison system, with estimates placed between 13-70% of inmates suffering unwanted sexual conduct. (HRW) Such brutal experiences lead many inmates to experience post traumatic stress disorder, which has been positively linked to increased violent tendencies. The degree of dehumanization and stress common in prison can cause other problems as well. â€Å"Mental illnesses, particularly chronic anxiety and depression, may be caused by incarceration. Psychologists believe that incarceration often breeds ‘global rage,' an impulsive and explosive anger so great that a minor incident can trigger an uncontrolled response.† (Petersilia, â€Å"Challenges†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ) The Human Rights Watch's report on prison rape in America recommends several measures for preventing prison rape and brutality, and it is vital that policy focus on this aspect of the prison experience. In 2003 a bill was passed establishing a National Commission dedicated to studying prison rape, and several other measures to provide information and training regarding prison rape. However, these measures did not go far enough to assure that prison rape was both prosecuted and that victims received help and counseling. Neither mandatory prosecution nor counseling was included in the bill's measures. Though some constituents might hesitate to focus on preventing brutality to prisoners (indeed, if one pays close attention to the sorts of attitudes and jokes prevalent on crime shows such as Law and Order and NYPD Blue, many consumers may think that prison rape is a justifiable punishment for child abusers and pedophiles), it is important to remember that prison rape victims are likely to emerge with HIV and equally likely to become sexual abusers after their experiences even if they were not abusers before. Thus it is a public health and safety concern to prevent prison rape and other brutality between prisoners. The following policies should be instituted nationwide: 1. Division of prison population between violent and non-violent criminals, and between those who are eligible for parole and those who are not. (Parole-eligible prisoners have more incentive for good behavior) 2. Establishment of special court systems for prison population, mandatory investigation and prosecution of all incidents of hospitalization resulting from sexual assault, availability of independent prisoner-rights advocates, and segregation of all inmates convicted of prisoner-on-prisoner sexual assault to carefully regulated wards, and automatic termination for any employee convicted of sexual impropriety or battery of an inmate. 3. Mandatory counseling and AIDS testing for all prison brutality victims and the establishment of victim-positive protective custody arrangements. (Many victimized inmates are only offered solitary confinement as a protective arrangement, which generally means loss of other privileges and any human interaction, potentially worsening the trauma and decreasing reports) Condoms and retro-virus treatment should be made available to all AIDS/HIV positive inmates, so that future consensual prison relationships will be less likely to increase AIDS transmission. Additionally, the very arrangement of prisons tends to discourage personal responsibility and the development of positive social interactions. Petersilia describes how prison systems punish individual initiative and free-thought, and fail to prepare inmates for independence and responsibility within an open society. â€Å"When personal choice is eliminated, so is personal accountability because the system makes all decisions for prisoners.† (Petersilia, 184) A nationwide study should be undertaken regarding ways that personal choice and accountability can be safely established in prisons and a set of guidelines for national and private prisons should be developed based on the results of that study. Petersilia recommends some programs which have had success in the past which allow simple personal choice from requiring prisoners to decide for themselves when/how to clean their own cells, send their laundry to the cleaners, and so forth. Involving prisoners in some of the more mundane aspects of their confinement is likely to increase the sense of personal control and encourage responsibility. These changes should not be geared so much as ameliorating the punishment of prisoners as of assuring that the incarceration does not reduce their ability to function as a free person. One more important issue regarding prison experience is the availability of vocational and academic training. It is well known by those who study these issues that prisoners who are able to be employed after re-entry to society are significantly less likely to commit further crimes. Petersilia's second suggestion was to change prison release and revocation practices. The best recommendation for policy on this issue would be to adjust mandatory sentences so that they included the completion of certain educational and behavioral requirements. These adapted sentences would require the inmate to both complete a certain length of time and a set of release requirements to be established by a panel of experts on a case-by-case basis. These release requirements must be completed before the inmate was eligible either for parole or release based on time served. Requirements should include, as determined per individual case, mandatory counseling, addiction treatment, educational attainment, vocational studies, and good behavior. Petersilia points out that, based on prison records, recidivism predictions can be made that are 80% correct. Recidivism predictors should be made clear to inmates and they should be encouraged to work towards being eligible for release and parole. A nationwide set of guidelines regarding minimum achievements requirements in addition to the current nationwide set of minimum time-served requirements would return the focus to rehabilitation rather than mere punishment. In fact, the minimum time-served should be directly related to the minimum time necessary to complete the release requirements. Part of assuring that the prison system creates parolees who do not endanger the community is assuring that it creates educated parolees. It would do well in the future for ex-criminals to speak of â€Å"graduating† from prison, as it were, and going on to lead productive lives. In 1997 the Center on Crime, Communities, and Culture reported that â€Å"inmates with at least two years of college have a 10% re-arrest rate, compared to a national re-arrest rate of approximately 60%.† This is somewhat ironic, because just three years earlier in 1994 Congress passed a bill which virtually destroyed the prison undergraduate school system. This bill eliminated Pell grants paying for the education of incarcerated individuals. â€Å"Nationally, the only higher education program that's still publicly funded is for youthful offenders.† (Banks) So it is that since 1994 recidivism has increased by almost half, going from around 60% to nearly 90%. Today a mixture of volunteers, religious organizations, and state-funded programs have moved in to provide some college education for inmates. However only slightly more than 10% of prisoners will re-enter society with a college degree. A new bill should be sponsored which would fight to prevent crime by educating prisoners and thus slashing their chances of offending again. Even if Pell Grants were not extended to prisoners, perhaps a new system of educational grants should be developed that would pay for accredited college education for prisoners as part of their pre-release requirements. Our founding fathers all focused on the necessity of a free people being an educated people, and claimed that democracy was dependent on the education of the people. If we are to prepare prisoners to reenter a democratic nation and partake in it as citizens rather than as public enemies, then a liberal arts education which both prepares them for work and prepares them to understand the rights and responsibilities of all citizens is absolutely necessary. Petersilia's third point is that we need extensive post-release services. A new set of federal guidelines should require all released prisoners to be prepared with housing and income options. Halfway housing should be arranged for those who do not have families prepared to commit to providing housing. Job-placement services should be arranged before release and continued employment should be a condition of parole with job-placement provided at any point during the parole period at which the ex-inmate becomes unemployed. Continued medical treatment and counseling for prison-related problems (including AIDS and mental illness) should be provided, as well as mandatory counseling and guidance sessions. More federal and state funding needs to be available to increase the number of parole officers and services. Nationwide there is a shortage in parole officers. In California, for example, â€Å"the ratio is now 82 parolees to 1 parole officer†¦ even parolees who are motivated to change have little opportunity to do so.† (Petersilia, â€Å"Challenges†¦Ã¢â‚¬  ) According to Petersilia's research, â€Å"most inmates have a strong desire to succeed when they are first released.† (Petersilia, â€Å"Challenges†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ) Therefore it is vital that re-entry services are provided. Additionally, as most inmates are re-arrested within three years, it seems vital that such services are available for a period of at least five years as the inmates adjust to the responsibility and freedom of life outside. Homelessness, lack of income and opportunities, and a return to addiction are among the main reasons for a return to crime — proper post-release supervision, counseling, and provision of housing and work opportunities can prevent this. Though such supervision would be expensive, it will be far less expensive to provide ex-inmates with housing, employment, and services within the community than to provide them with housing, constant supervision, and services inside our prisons after they re-offend. In conclusion, it appears that a national Recidivism Prevention Bill is absolutely necessary. This bill should include: 1) a commitment to stop prison rape by means of the creation of a special court system for in-prison crimes such as rape, the mandatory investigation of prison rape cases, and special custody arrangements designed to combat rape; 2) the establishment of a study resulting in national guidelines for prison reform aimed at fostering social responsibility and accountability; 3) the establishment and funding of an accredited national university of correctional facilities which provides liberal arts, vocational, and technical degrees to inmates; 4) Creation of national guidelines for sentencing to include individual minimum release requirements including (but not limited to) successful completion of addiction or other counseling, charitable service, educational and vocational training, evidence of good behavior, and treatment for mental health problems; 5) national guidelines and funding for parole services including housing, job-placement and training, medical services , and mental health/addiction/family adjustment counseling, and a low parolee-to-officer ration allowing for adequate surveillance and regular check-ups.