Dolphy Jordan and Ari Kohn from PPEP on KBCS 91.3 FM "Voices of Diversity: Prison Life"
Wed, Aug 3, 2011
Consider this question: what is our prison system for punishment or rehabilitation? Retribution or justice? Recently, prisoner treatment and needs gained national attention with a three week hunger strike that began at California’s Pelican Bay State prison near the Oregon border. The strike is over but debate continues over how incarcerated individuals are treated. On today’s Voices of Diversity, we talk to local prison advocates, officials and both current and former inmates about what’s going on in the prison system behind the scenes, and where there may be hope for a better future.
Margaret Gilbert is Associate Superintendent of Programs at Washington Corrections Center for Women. Margaret has been in her current position for about nine months. She also worked as Correctional Unit Supervisor and Commander of the Hostage Negotiation Team and spent 12 yrs in the forensic unit at Western State Hospital.
Theresa Matheson is a current inmate and one of the core council members of The Women’s Village at the Washington Corrections Center for Women. Theresa was convicted and sentenced to 13 years for murder. She is scheduled to be released next year.
Gary Idleburg is co-founder of University Beyond Bars. University Beyond Bars provides post-secondary education to the incarcerated, particularly to prisoners of color. Gary has taught college courses in African American History and Human Geography for the program. He also hosts a monthly radio show called "America's Disappeared," on KSER, a community radio station in Snohomish County.
Ari Kohn is the Program Director for Post-Prison Education Program. The goal of the program is to increase the number of released prisoners that transition successfully to state community colleges upon their release from prison.
Dolphy Jordan is a graduate and Volunteer Coordinator of the Post-Prison Education Program. Dolphy was sentenced to 21 years in prison for murder at age 16. He was released last year and is continuing to work on his bachelor’s degree.