The Role of History in the PROMIS Project
In my sophomore year of high school, I took a course in “American Historiography,” in which I was presented with the mythologies that make up current and past narratives of American history. Starting from the Revolutionary War and ending to present day, it became evident that the social construct of race will forever be intertwined in American culture. Free labor and slavery, used to maintain the power structures of race and class in the 1600’s, continue to exist in America’s current prison system.
The course exposed me to how Black America was received and ignored within elementary and high school textbooks. It taught me the dark truth behind the American Dream and forced me to see how often the mainstream media uses racial ideologies to transform the oppressed as the branded criminal.
It is through history and the injustice it carries that I became interested in America’s prison system. For there to be 2.4 million people locked up behind bars, for years at a time, with little to no treatment is a cry for disaster. The issue of mass incarceration, which has endured for quite some time in this country, requires the public’s participation and awareness in order for it to be beneficial for everyone. My desire to contribute to this cause remains a driving force of this project.
Junior Research Project Seminar (JRPS)
Every year, juniors from Meridian Academy are expected to write a 20-or-more page literature review on a topic of their choice. My paper answered the central question, “How have laws and government policies, and the ways in which these policies are implemented, helped to cause high recidivism rates, and what programs can be instated in order to reduce those recidivism rates?”
The project stage of my JRPS process led me to focus on recidivism rates to answer the question, “How can current rehabilitation programs be improved?” By interviewing treatment programs and organizations that help formerly incarcerated people with the reentry process, I found some of the pros and cons, costs, outcomes, and methods it takes to run such programs. My findings are now here in the PROMIS Project.
The PROMIS Project
The PROMIS Project stands for Prison Reentry Operation, Methods Intended for Success. It is a platform where I write about organizations who aim to reduce recidivism rates through ethical methods that promote self-growth and humility within the incarcerated population.