Rehabilitation: Oasis, or Mirage? (Part III)

Is it possible for a criminal to change?

Having established that crime comes from egotism, I launch on my search for the answer to this question posed to me while I was on a community outing during my prison sentence.

By Colin McGregor

First, as we established in the previous part of this study, we concluded that you have to perceive the negative effects of your egotism upon others, and want to make a change in your life.

Next, you have to start thinking of others. Turn your eyes towards the same things as those whom you wish to help and support. You have to find ways to integrate with others, to serve others, to use your gifts and assets to help support a family, a community, a world.

When the justice system puts you in quarantine, it takes a certain level of creativity to get to this place.

Creativity isn’t magic thinking, and it doesn’t come from nowhere. According to a book written by a composer (Anthony Brandt) and a neurologist (David Eagelman), The Runaway Species, creativity is remodeling. We are constantly remodeling what is already there. There are three brain operations involved in creativity:

  1. We bend: by modifying something;
  2. We break: then rebuild something from the debris;
  3. We blend: we mix several things together.

So we build something original and new, but never totally disassociated from the original.

That’s what an inmate has to do: reinvent themselves, using the cards they’ve been dealt.  

Once we accept who we are, as well as what we are, we are all capable of improving on that by bending, breaking and blending. That’s how we can be rehabilitated.

I will always be a nerd, a library rat, an introvert, and depressive. But there are gifts within this that I can use to help others.

First sen in: Reflet de Société, Vol. 27 no. 1, printemps (spring) 2019, pages 26-27.

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