I’m excited about our most recent recent Revealing Voices episode for a number of reasons.
For one, it is our first foray into the intersection of mental illness and criminal justice, particularly the prison system. Studies show that on any given day fully 10 times as many persons with severe mental illness are in prisons than in psychiatric hospitals.
Secondly, our guest, Dr. Susan Lockwood, is uniquely qualified to address issues related to correctional education, particularly for youth. She served 34 years as an educator, first in the public school system, then with youth who were incarcerated, and finally as Director of Juvenile Education at the Indiana Department of Correction. Currently, she is the owner of Nexus Point Consulting, LLC, specializing in correctional education and workforce development, and the Director of Education Strategy for American Prison Data Systems (APDS.) She also serves as President of the national organization, Correctional Education Association (CEA.)
We are also catching Dr. Susan Lockwood at a pivotal moment, just before the December 4 release of her book — Kicked to the Curb: Where Policy Has Failed our Most Vulnerable Youth and the Fight for a Better Tomorrow. In this book, she details how even well-intentioned policies and programs fail to take into account distinct needs of individual persons to equip them for more well adjusted life beyond the walls of prison. Dr. Lockwood writes:
Over the course of my career as a public-school teacher and as a teacher and school administrator in juvenile justice settings, I have witnessed over and over youth who are justice involved getting kicked to the curb. Although they are usually viewed as difficult, there is more to their stories than what is seen on the surface. They have been kicked to the curb by the adults responsible for their well-being. They are kicked to the curb by a myriad of systems allowing them to become invisible. At a very basic level, this population of youth who don’t complete a high school credential become adults whose illiteracy costs taxpayers billions of dollars. More deeply, it raises moral questions about a society which allows its youth to be kicked to the curb.
Finally, I am delighted about the release of our podcast and the December 4 release of Kicked to the Curb because, over the past 3 months, I have come to know Dr. Lockwood both professionally and personally. She has become a dear friend who holds a special place in my heart. We have many plans for future endeavors. Only God knows where they will take us, but I am confident the adventure to get there will be delightful.
So, check out this podcast then go to Amazon for a (free) download of Kicked to the Curb on December 4.