The Three Rs of Rehabilitation
To reform as criminal offenders we must take unequivocal responsibility for our actions and the consequences thereof. This means owning the choices we made and situations we created. It also means coming to terms with the harm we have created and the people we have hurt. At the very least it means participating in the Victim Impact program to get a better understanding of how much survivors or victims of crime suffer and lose.
We cannot undo the harm we have done but we can provide financial restitution to those we have harmed as well as spend time and energy to help those affected by our actions. Further, we can work to ensure that we do no more harm. That means taking a hard look at ourselves and our patterns. Finally, we can use our experience and perspective to reach out to those who may be at risk of making the mistakes we did. We must build and create where we have previously destroyed.
This begins during our incarceration as we rebuild broken relationships and become people again worth of trust. It continues as we grow in responsibility and continue to give back to those we have harmed as well as to those around us. Finally it means returning to the world as responsible and productive citizens. Our mistakes and redemption allow us to serve others. This new role ensures that we not slip into the past behaviors and patterns that caused so much harm.