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Guest Lecture - John Rives ex-convict

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University of Toronto St. George
Woodsworth College Courses

th Monday March 7 2011 Lecture: Guest Lecturer Talking about experience in prison and justice system Imprisonment result from personal failures didnt come from stereotypical background of murderers serious offenders cut through social classes police business lawyers, in common alcohol, substance abuse, relationships that went sour and people with mental health issues Tremendous shock going from finishing a paper and then Sunday incarcerated for murder and 2 attempt murders alien environment, beginning of dissociation opened windows didnt expect to be opened didnt want to shower Learned later upon reflection learned the actual dynamic was people thought he was a crazy murderer they perceived him as a lion Completely alienated go to prison for punishment the loss of freedom but after a while you get used to it, the big issue is you lose freedom and lose ability to exercise choice when you lose that you learn helplessness, in prison its done to you or for you if you spend 10 15 20 years telling you when to go to the bathroom thats the big effect, the loss As a lifer he didnt understand what that entailed, few people do its for life debated between doing the bit or killing themselves you become a new identity as a lifer, its like a different ethnicity, its not that obvious, generally when you see a middle aged man you dont think hes done time First went to jail thought about it as the life bit got minimum sentence life 10 years when got out was happy on parole, didnt care about surveillance with parole officers etc. the longer your out the more it nags on you have to keep parole papers on you at all times more and more he was out in the community, the more he felt like a normal person the parole bothered him more even though its not there all of the time Whats the biggest problem with parole? Parole itself, its always there you can forget to tell you parole officer when you go outside your radius Travels to the united states virtually impossible to cross the border with a criminal record parole wasnt reinforcing his guilt it was clouding it, it was making him focus on the parole and avoiding addressing the guilt etc. Canada most lifers have plead guilty and not because ticket for lesser charge they do it because theyre guilty 683 lifers on parole, used to be higher, over 1000 incarcerated in prison used to be 5050 uft more are taking longer to get out back then life-10 but now
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