Oct 30, 2014
Oct 2, 2014
Sep 25, 2014
Sep 18, 2014
In his own words, man tells how he went from inmate to corrections officer
Thomas Schoolcraft is shown in his job as a corrections officer. (MEGHAN PIERCE/Union Leader Correspondent)
KEENE — Was it the money society spent to rehabilitate former prison inmate Thomas Schoolcraft that helped him turn his life around? Were there prison programs that worked for him that might have failed other convicts?
Schoolcraft said no to both.
It was an inside job for him, with the support of his family, and a leap of faith by a corrections superintendent, Richard Van Wickler, who gave him a chance.
“I’d say the biggest part was taking responsibility,” Schoolcraft said. “This makes it possible to accept your mistakes and move on. I don’t believe you can move on if you can’t see that you made a mistake.”
While former inmates also need good role models when they are released, their basic needs also must be met if they are to succeed on the outside, he said.
“Rehabilitation can’t occur when you have no place to hang your hat,” Schoolcraft said.
When inmates first leave the prison or jail, they need to set reasonable and obtainable goals.
“People need to see progress, especially offenders who often are accustomed to instant gratification,” Schoolcraft said. “They need to see that there’s a way out, a path, which often is not well lit.”
Without those things, it is easier for offenders to return to the life they knew, he said.
“None of these things are costly,” Schoolcraft said. “No one made me do them. It was a choice. I hope to show people in my situation that those options are there.”
Offenders need to give up and submit to the fact that they’re done with crime. “You need to be willing to do whatever is asked of you by the criminal justice system and society. If you want to be a rebel, you will get caught.”
There’s also a role for everyday people who have never been locked up themselves and maybe never even thought about committing a crime.
“People need to give the offenders a chance to prove themselves,” Schoolcraft said. “Opportunity needs to be there.
“Without this, I would never have come this far.”
READER COMMENTS: 0
- $50k bail for two charged with beating pizza delivery man - 0
- Latest round of riot arrests includes 5 Keene State students - 0
- Suspected Pa. cop-killer Eric Frein taken into custody - 0
- Anonymous tip leads to arrest of moose poacher - 0
- Victim in Hampton pedestrian crash files lawsuit against driver, town and state - 0
- Dover police say man broke into same business three times - 0
- Two more Keene State College students charged in riots - 1
- Two Keene State students among three newest riot arrests - 1
- Man charged with robbing Rochester bank while wearing zebra-print dress is arraigned - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Misleading women: Does Kuster think they're bad at math? - 0
- NHIAA Tournament Roundup: Campbell boys pull upset - 0
- Marchand scores 2, B's win - 0
- Ex-Nashua deputy police chief sues city and outgoing police chief - 0
- Manchester pub crawl leads to arrest of four - 0
- Shaheen, Brown supporters gather at final debate - 1
- Senate candidates sharply divided on Islamic threat, Ebola, Obamacare - 16
- Stocks up on GDP, earnings - 0
- Rocket blast damps Orbital as commercial space rush lures rivals - 0
Trump fired up over NH mailer
School's out for voters
- Whom do you think bears the brunt of the blame for the mayhem this weekend in Keene?
- KSC students
- KSC administration
- Visitors from out of town
- A combination of any/all of the above
- Total Votes: 2483