The following articles are reprinted from the Titan Tribune, a newspaper written by students from the Miami Youth Academy, which is a commitment facility for teenage boys.
The newspaper is part of a journalism class run by Exchange for Change, a Miami nonprofit that teaches writing skills at MYA and adult correctional facilities.
Everglades Correctional students share lessons with MYA, By C.C., Titan Tribune Staff Writer
For many weeks, our journalism teacher, Mr. Henry Unger, has been bringing us letters from the Everglades Correctional Institution prisoners he also teaches.
At first, I thought nothing of it. Then, I started to read the letters and realized what they wrote about is literally just like my life.
They all have given some wonderful advice on why we shouldn’t go to prison. For example:
“Ask yourself if you would want to spend the rest of your life living like this,” one ECI student wrote to us.
That really got me thinking, like there are so many more opportunities out there in the real world for me to have fun the legal way.
Another piece of advice was: “Don’t act off emotions.” That is really good advice to give, because every one of the inmates who wrote to us got into trouble by acting impulsively.
One important comment was that getting sent to prison is a “foundational shift” that requires people to rebuild their lives from ruins.