Oct 2, 2014
Sep 25, 2014
Sep 18, 2014
Sep 4, 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
- Manchester police: Ga. man stole truck in Mass. to visit mom in NH - 0
- South African Olympian Pistorius sentenced to five years in girlfriend's murder - 0
- Manchester Crimewatch: Fingerprints of man accused of theft belong to 2 people - 0
- Lookout man in Bedford home invasion case pleads guilty - 0
- Hearing postponed for suspended fire official - 0
- Confessed serial burglar facing new charges - 0
- Former Litchfield parochial school principal to plead guilty to embezzlement - 0
- Dover man faces manufacturing child porn charges after sex assault case - 0
- Murder-suicide ruled in Fremont deaths - 1
- Nashua caretaker wants evidence suppressed in sexual assault case - 0
- NH highways have potentialy deadly guardrail end pieces, transportation commissioner says - 0
- Neighbor won't be charged in shooting death of Rumney chiropractor - 9
- Staples says it is probing possible payment card data breach - 0
- Expect the unexpected in NHIAA field hockey tourneys - 0
- Giants' blueprint? There is none - 0
- Despite contract provisions, most Manchester police officers live outside city - 11
- Kathy Sullivan: Scott Brown does not get what 'pro-choice' really means - 10
- Politics of choice: A word stripped of its meaning - 2
GT Advanced Technology attorney hoping for Apple agreement today to allow more openness in bankruptcy courtREADER COMMENTS: 0
A series of sharp exchanges at 2nd CD debate
Murder-suicide ruled in Fremont deaths
Keene police working to identify rioters, notify other colleges of students' participation
Locked in a dead heat, Shaheen, Brown spar