Reform by Belt
Four in ten offenders return to prison within three years of their release despite a huge increase in reform spending. The annual cost of a prisoner in maximum security is $50,000. The USA spends $60 billion a year on corrections, yet recidivism remains high. Some States have plans for managing all but the worst violators. This story is about some of the serious violators. More
The USA spends more than $60 billion a year on corrections, yet recidivism rates remain stubbornly high. As economic pressure compels states to do more with less, policy makers are looking for a better public safety return on their corrections dollars.
Some States have plans for managing all but the most serious violators in their community.
This story is about the management of the serious violators.
Sensei Drew Staynton, a 7th Dan in Shotokan karate, proposes to save the US Federal Prison system $1 billion by rehabilitating long-term, maximum-security, repeat offenders.
The prisoners are murders, rapists and armed robbers, all convicted of violent crimes.
He guarantees to change the lives of 1000 prisoners a year from the Federal Prison system by the application of intensive training in the five maxims of Shotokan karate – character, sincerity, etiquette, effort and self-control.
The reward for the prisoners, with Sensei Drew’s recommendation, will be early parole at the end of the 12-month period and they will receive the coveted Black Belt, a 1st Dan in karate.
If any prisoner fails the program, they will return to prison to serve out their sentence.
A US Senator sponsors the program and supports Sensei Drew with his proposal.
The Attorney General approves the proposal and the first 100 prisoners travel to the remote Roanoke Island, in eastern North Carolina, where a Spartan existence awaits them at the first of ten planned centers.
The center is not like any prison - there are no gates, fences, locks or guards with rifles.
Security is a moat surrounding the center, with razor wire just below the water surface.
Sensei Drew and eleven Sensei are the only guards and trainers.
There are, however, certain business interests that try to stop the program, as it will severely impact the viability of their outsourcing contracts with the US Bureau of Prisons.
They first threaten and then kidnap the senator and attack the center with lethal force.
However, the overwhelming opposition to the entire program is the prisoners’ aggressive resistance and stubborn attitude to change.
Two prisoners escape into the forest surrounding the center.
They accidentally stumble onto a group of terrorists planning a biological attack on six major US cities.
The same dubious business interests compromise the Parole Board hearing at the end of the 12-month period and Sensei Drew has to call a stop to the hearing.
Will the prisoners receive their early parole or will the forces against the program succeed in destroying Sensei Drew’s plans?