Sunday, February 12

real solutions

Richard Moore expresses his primary mission in writing Escaping the Matrix, as being to provide answers to the important, difficult questions like: "... how on earth do we go about creating a new culture and gaining a new vision? And how can that lead to the transformation of our societies?"

This afternoon I found some references that to the work of people found at the Co-Intelligence Institute. The first example I read was about Manitonquat, a Native American elder who has been working in US prisons for 12 years, with phenomenal success. The description is clear and direct and shows how much can be done with the right approach. It is a worthy read from the point of view of developing effective communications processes.

Some facts:
  • The prison population in the U.S. doubled from 1981-1991,
  • It has doubled again in the past five years.
  • There is a general recidivism rate of 65-85% in the overall prison population.
  • Manitonquat's program has run for more than 12 years.
  • Only 5-10% of the convicts who complete his program revert to criminal activities which land them in Prison again.
  • As a volunteer, he serves 120-150 inmates in seven state prisons with only about $100/month in travel expenses.
Manitonquat notes that the convicts he works with are eager to use the same practices to heal the young men on the streets, in the gangs and in the juvenile correctional system. They want to build job programs and start ex-con businesses, especially environmental ones. He infects these men with his desire "to replace the pyramid of domination with the circle of equality and respect."

Could such a program be useful to us?

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