Rich Jacobs works inside one of the largest maximum-security prisons in the United States. He began his career 20 years ago as a corrections officer and has been a teacher to the inmates for the past 15 years.

For thousands of hours, Jacobs has listened to the stories of hundreds of incarcerated men. Despite the darkness behind the walls of concrete, steel, and paint, Jacobs has witnessed many stories of hope and transformation and is the visionary behind, which publishes stories of hope and transformation told by those impacted by the criminal justice system.

Get Free and Stay Free’s first book, available since July, was produced with Yoke fellowship Prison Ministry and is titled "Get Free and Stay Free: Inmates Who Found Freedom Inside and Out".

Jacobs is an advocate of increasing vocational training for inmates, especially those who are nearing the point of release. But, he cautions, the inmate must want to be trained in order for the program to succeed.

“I would say that we can do a better job with providing services, but then the other very important piece to that puzzle is just because you have the services it doesn't mean that it's going to help a man change the way that he thinks.

“Government in general has put billions, a trillion of dollars into all kinds of social ills of society the last 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years. And it almost feels like they throw money at the problems and things just keep getting worse. You’ve got to have the man step up to the plate himself if he's ready to be transformed. You’ve got to have society or corrections or whoever's involved there to help him along the way. But you’ve got to have that one, two punch to, to make it effective.”

In fact, Jacobs says, unless the inmate changes his own outlook on life, “Just because you make an inmate smarter doesn’t help if they don’t change – they just become smarter criminals.”

Take a listen to the episode. It’s a fascinating look behind the bars of a maximum security prison by a man who’s worked there with inmates for the past two decades.

Show Notes

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Show Transcript

PLEASE NOTE: The transcript below was auto-generated and has not been edited.

00:01:17] bob_gatty: To get started. How about telling us a little bit about the work you do in the US prison system and why it is you do what you do.

[00:01:24] rich_jacobs: First of all, it's a pretty interesting environment. Not a lot of people, really knows what's going behind the walls of the different in the criminal justice system. I know mass incarceration, the United States. Even though we only have 4% of the world's population, we have 25% of the world's prisoners. And I think we found out both sides of the aisle, Democrat or Republican that something's not working out with that formula. And I think we did over incarcerate lot of too many men. It was a good way to get, for politicians to get elected over the years. As the Department of Justice tells us over 10,000 prisoners get released every week of the year in the United States, and we always hear the same statistic that I've heard for 20 years is up to two thirds of them go back into prison. Within three years, and we concentrate on that. But what about the one third who didn't go back and defi the odds? And that's where my and passion lies. And I find it pretty rewarding to studying those guys to see what they did differently. did they not go back to prison in a system that is pretty like many government systems, dysfunction.

[00:02:42] bob_gatty: Rich, what kind of teaching do you do in the 

[00:02:45] prison? 

[00:02:46] rich_jacobs: vocational school teacher, so my students are students that want to be in my program. My program, I have anywhere between two to 300 men on the waiting list at any given time, and I can only put 80 guys through in a year of time. It's not a typical public school vocational program like hvac, carpentry, electricity, or any of those kind. Called warehouse operations and material handling. So it's, even though it's not really a, technical skill that takes a year or two to get three because it's more entry level, but nonetheless, that's a, area that the that my employer has identified that might be a spot in the warehouses for men to get job after prison.

[00:03:32] And of course, in the last 15 years since the program started, They had the advent of Amazon, which really changes the way supply chain goes and that kind of thing.

[00:03:42] Mark Bello: Rich in and about what you do? I wrote down as Bob knows A long list of questions about prison reform and things that are wrong, and things that are right, but the question I

[00:03:53] bob_gatty: that's it. 

[00:03:54] Mark Bello: must confess I misinterpreted your visit. I didn't realize that, that you were a direct vocational teacher for prisoners who are released.

[00:04:05] So the first question that I have for you is how many people like you are there? Are there enough? Should there be more? And how do people get involved in doing what you do so that we train people who get out of prison rather than have them immediately commit another crime and go 

[00:04:25] rich_jacobs: Right. 

[00:04:27] Mark Bello: know that's a long list of questions, but.

[00:04:30] I'm mind blown by what you just described, and I'm guessing that there are very few people like you out in society.

[00:04:38] rich_jacobs: first of all, let me clarify. What I do in the streets with the men is from my full-time job My on the streets, it's through my local church as a prison ministry. Is how I've been working with the men on the personal side for much of that 15 to 20 years. And then during the day is when that's my full-time job inside. And to answer your question about there are enough services and training and classes and program. Being offered, Generally speaking, you know what I see from the 5,000 foot level and then also down in the weeds, I would say that across the board, there certainly not enough services, but then again, that would go, would be because simply of how expensive it is to incarcerate a, a. One of the disappointing statistics behind the cost of incarcerating prisoners is it's like 40 to $50,000 a year, and we're only spending about 8,000 a year to put a student through the public school system. So you got a whole wide spectrum of attitudes and opinions about this. Like just about any other topic.

[00:05:52] You got the far one. Some of the terminologies that we hear is hug a thug side. There should be no prisons, abolish all prisons, and all the way to the o other side is just lock 'em up and throw away the key thinking. And of course, neither side works out very well. And but yeah, I would say that we can do a better job with providing services, but then the other very important piece to that puzzle. Is just because you services doesn't mean that it's gonna help a man change the way that he thinks. Government in general has put billions, a trillion dollars into all kinds of social ills of society the last 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years. And it almost feels like they throw money at the problems and things just keep getting worse. You gotta have, you gotta have the man step up to the plate himself if he's ready to be transformed. you gotta have society or corrections or whoever's involved there to help him along the way. But you gotta have that one, two, that one, two punch to, to make it

[00:07:00] effective. 

[00:07:01] Mark Bello:

[00:07:01] How do you identify those people? How do you identify realistically how honestly committed that inmate is to your program?

[00:07:11] rich_jacobs: when you're with the same guys, I got 40 brand new men brand new students about. Oh, one month ago for my three month program, actually a six month program, but it takes three months in the classroom, and then I take each one to certify 'em on the forklift back in the warehouse. So that takes a long time, that the other three months.

[00:07:33] But when you got the same guys coming in every morning for three hours or every afternoon three hours you, you learn pretty quick who's invi who's interested and who's not interested. And you have to run a pretty tight ship. because if you don't have good classroom management skills, and that's just not for me in my class, that's, I can see where this is the case in the public school system, if you can't keep the students engaged and create an atmosphere where it's a good learning environment things can get a little ugly because one, guy be cancerous for the whole other 20. And and I if not often that I go out in the hallway and I'll pull two. In fact, I just pulled two guys out there yesterday I said, Look, we need to do I need to understand better what you two need to do to get your head in the game. I, I and I just told him, I said, we need to do this and that by the end of the week, and if not, we're gonna have a different conversation.

[00:08:29] Oh, but I need that certification. I need that forklift. I need my flagger card. I said okay, then we're gonna see how much you need it. And then the one guy came back today, he took a test on the computer and he walked away and he was grinning. I didn't know if it was a happy grin or a disappointing grin.

[00:08:45] And he passed a test. And I said, Come on, let's, What did you do different? he told me, My cellmate last night told, He made me stay up after night and made me study and this and that, okay. That's good.

[00:08:58] should be working.

[00:09:00] bob_gatty: You mentioned earlier that so many of the inmates in regular, not in your vocational but in G e d classes that they don't there. That there's just an attitude that they just don't want to do that. And in Pennsylvania, and I know other states too, just know Pennsylvania, cuz that's where I'm from. A requirement a. If students, if inmates want to get out anywhere near their earliest release date, they've gotta get their G e d. Is that the case where you work and does you finding that that's a worthwhile initiative?

[00:09:37] rich_jacobs: Yes. So you're in our, where I work at that there is a state law, I believe that says if you wanna get out of prison closer to your minimum sentence, That, and you don't have your high school diploma, g d have to get your high school or g d to be considered to get out earlier. So if a guy has a 10 to 20 and he wants to get out closer to his 10, he needs to get it.

[00:10:01] And a lot of the younger inmates, Which are to as young bucks. Versus the old heads, the old guys, they

[00:10:09] To be bothered with getting their education. Their mind is on the streets, yet their minds unfortunately have the lower minded have become more criminally minded out in the yards and. Because of they learn how to do their crimes a little bit better, so then when they go back out, So those academic teachers my peers who do that they have a little bit more challenges with the, with that population. And unfortunately that, that goes back to what I'm saying. We could put all, make all kinds of programming available, but just because. You make an innate, smarter doesn't, if they don't change, they just become smarter criminals.

[00:10:48] Mark Bello: Your your program. Does not necessarily apply to early release? Correct.

[00:10:53] rich_jacobs: Correct?

[00:10:55] Mark Bello: It applies to release, so anybody who's released is eligible for your program.

[00:11:01] rich_jacobs: Yeah, so we want the ones closest to the door. even though there's over 3000 inmates, and a lot of the lifers would like to have the class, and a lot of the guys would like to have the class for different reasons, the certifications are three years old. We priorit. The ones closest to the door, three to five years.

[00:11:23] But actually so many that want the program that my guys are within a year or year and a half of their release date.

[00:11:30] Mark Bello: So you're seeing them as they're about to be released and completing your program contributes to their ability to be 

[00:11:42] release. 

[00:11:43] rich_jacobs: more that they have, While they were incarcerated, looks better for them for when they go up for parole and that kind of thing as far as getting out. And then once they're out, the certifications that they get from my program are pretty It's a certification, it's a forklift certification.

[00:12:04] It's an OSHA 30 card. It's a flag or card. They're credentials. Oftentimes I'll hear temp agencies saying things like, Hey, look, if you have two guys and they're about the same and one has their OSHA card, send them to us. Kind of thing.

[00:12:19] Mark Bello: Is it easy to. People to say, send them to us. Is there a discrimination issue in the work in the employer community in hiring former 

[00:12:32] convicts? 

[00:12:32] rich_jacobs: question. the old days, it was a big deal. other words ban that check box, the you felon in the old days, they, that they would look at that and the would just throw that out into the into the trash. And then things have really changed as we go through criminal justice reform different things.

[00:12:51] It's a whole different ballgame. And recently, It's a whole different ballgame, not only because of criminal justice reform and locking up so many people everybody knows somebody who's locked up. Then you have this work we have in our country, and some people that it's brought on about c. My best understanding and belief about that is yes, C brought it on earlier, but the issue is the baby boomers are retiring. I'm 62 years old and I'm on the tail end of the baby boomers, and we are all retiring, which means that's a huge amount of truck drivers and plumbers and welders, every trade or job that you can. So what co covid,

[00:13:38] co, what Covid did is that just

[00:13:40] Lot quicker.

[00:13:42] bob_gatty: Yeah. For part of my career I. Was a business journalist and covered the food distribution industry and I would say at least 10 years ago there were warnings about the shortage of truck drivers and what that was going to cause, and nobody did much about it. now here we are. Huge supply chain, a huge supply chain crisis. And it seems to me that you with what you're doing in the prison in helping to, in helping these people learn these skills are playing a pretty important role in helping to address issue.

[00:14:20] rich_jacobs: Yeah. Yeah. It really it really is practical. It's a


[00:14:24] And as far as, connecting it the men to the industry. In fact my supervisor asked me to head up the career fair, reentry fair with the outside employers beginning

[00:14:37] And send out a bunch of emails. There's no problem with getting for these men, especially nowadays. With so many jobs available. The new minimum wage for all intent and purposes in our country is $15 an hour. Not that's set by government but that's set by

[00:14:56] These

[00:14:56] Can't go to work at McDon and the old days, the best they could do would be McDonald's for $7 an hour.

[00:15:01] But now you Amazon 15 to $20 an hour. And I encouraged them cause I toured two Amazon, 1 million square. Fulfillment centers part of my job, and have a, an onsite school of those plants because they not only need the entry level, 15, 20 hour, an hour people, they need the everybody else to make that massive company operate.

[00:15:27] So what they do is 90 if they're there one year to just show up for work and they do good for one year. pay 90% of the tuition for them to train them to be computer programmers, truck drivers, whatever other in the company that they need. And I tell 'em, but why not?

[00:15:48] Some of 'em will say, Oh yeah, but they make you work so hard and they make you do this and that. And I said, Look, I don't, know, our country was built on hard work. I don't think it's that bad to go out there and work. Cause unfortunately, A lot of these guys, in fact, an inmate came up to me today and told me that, Hey, Mr.

[00:16:06] Jacobs, I I'm new to the prison system, and, but I didn't realize it. A lot of these guys never had a job. And I said, Yeah, no, exactly right. And and just the reality of it. So just doing something and being committed and I told him, I said, You can go into a new employer. They're gonna know you've been in prison. You can't lie about that. And we're over that now. People aren't as freaked out about that anymore. And so they, you tell 'em up front, you're getting outta, you got outta prison three weeks ago, three months ago, whatever the case may be. And then I said, because the work ethic unfortunately, is so poor in so many different sectors. I said, You can go in. And within a few weeks, a few months, you can make a you can become a rockstar in that environment just by showing up and doing a good job advancement opportunities and that kind of thing are just so much more possible. They don't get much hope in there.

[00:17:01] It's a pretty dark world, like you said on the intro. And and they don't even really think of the possibility. Of getting a job and keeping a job. I saw one documentary the streets of, think Philadelphia, Pennsylvania back when jobs were really super hard and one of the kids on the bike, 15, old kids was having a clash with the police. And the one lieutenant said why don't you think about getting a. And he said you gimme a job. There ain't no jobs out here, but you gimme a job, I'll take a job. then I couldn't help but to think if it's not like that. You know you gotta work when you go to your job and you got to show up and you gotta eat a lot of crow. Just like any working man

[00:17:45] bob_gatty: Yeah. Yeah 

[00:17:48] Mark Bello: that, that brings up a whole different can of worms. A whole different question about juveniles and juvenile sentencing and sentencing juveniles as adults. You take a 14, 15, 16 year old kid, you throw 'em in prison. They haven't finished high school. They've never worked. They come out they're about to come out of the prison system with no employment history.

[00:18:13] Take us through the process of educating this person and getting him or her. For the kinds of careers that 

[00:18:27] talking. 

[00:18:27] rich_jacobs: I had mentioned earlier, you really got. The dude himself. The guy himself, the student has to be ready for it. If he's not ready for it, there's just it's just a tough road. It reminds me there's a guy that met one time in Texas and who's real heavy in re. With prisoners and interestingly enough, reentry success recidivism the state of Texas and Georgia has some of the lowest recidivism rates in the country of two thirds, who knows what it is 40, let's say 40 or 50% instead of 67%. And he told me that, and what's interesting or ironic about that is Texas execute. More people than anybody in our country, but yet they had the best recidivism rates. So how do they do that? And what they do is they say, Look their attitude is all right, you're gonna come outta jail, you're gonna come outta prison, you're gonna come into our neighbor.

[00:19:29] So you're our neighbor now. So come on into our neighborhood neighbor. We're gonna have empathy for you. We're not gonna have sympathy for. We understand that you have a hard time getting connected back into services because we understand that about society. We're not gonna treat you like the parent child mo model. We're all poor, you poor that. But we're gonna treat you like a man. You're in our neighborhood you're gonna come in our, and we're gonna you find a place to, to. If you need a place to live, we're gonna get you a job. We're gonna find you a job, we're gonna help you along the way. again, that goes back to one of my most fundamental beliefs. that is the man has to be ready. And a lot of times these, these guys are not ready they get older Now speaking of that juvenile sentencing and sentencing in general, That's part of that mass incarceration thing. We got ourselves with where we locked up so many people and I, the crack cocaine revolution or I remember that cocaine in of itself would carry a certain amount sentence back when Clinton

[00:20:43] Mark Bello: Mini minimum. Minimum

[00:20:44] rich_jacobs: sentences. President Clinton. A lot of folks seem to believe that it was the crime bill that President Clinton signed into When is, when things started to really get tough, tough on crime. Three strikes, you're out. And one of the things that happened in, in those ensuing years and wherever the feds go is where the states usually follow the multiplication of sentencing go from cocaine to crack cocaine, it was. Massive amount of more time, but yet it wasn't a different drug or more drugs. All it was you used baking powder heat to turn the cocaine into crack cocaine, but yet it was a lot more crazier sentence. 

[00:21:25] Mark Bello: We had a situation here in Michigan where I, where a secretary of mine brother-in-law, under minimum sentencing. Spent 20 years in prison for a crack cocaine possession charge, which is more than manslaughter or second degree murder. And not necessarily the overall sentence, but the ability to get out.

[00:21:49] You could get out of a murder charge quicker than you could a crack cocaine charge. It was incredible. This kid spent over 20 years in. For possession, not sales, possession of crack 

[00:22:02] rich_jacobs: The stories like that go on and on. And it's throughout our whole country, especially the big cities.

[00:22:08] Mark Bello: confused though. You mentioned that the kid has to want it. What I'm trying to suggest or asking is the kid's been in prison. His whole adult life. He went in as a kid. How does a kid like that get trained and motivated to be a successful,

[00:22:28] rich_jacobs: Re.

[00:22:29] Mark Bello: reenter. Good . I like that word, reentered.

[00:22:33] bob_gatty: same exact question. What do you do? What can you do to motivate these folks so that they want to do what you say they need to 

[00:22:41] rich_jacobs: you know what 

[00:22:42] Mark Bello: Exactly. 

[00:22:43] rich_jacobs: biggest credit to? I gave an example of it earlier, but to

[00:22:47] The lifers, the guys that are in jail it depends on what state you're in. Some states, I believe about 40 states have their life sentences are, you can actually get out after 20 to 25 years good behavior and transformation. that, I think 10 states about have death, what's called by many folks. Death incarceration In other words, they will die into prison of

[00:23:14] Will not be getting out. And

[00:23:16] Lifers are spring stability to the prison population. And they finally, that time, a vast of 'em got their act and they got it together because other lifers and other prison. Did it for him. And then myself just comes along at the right place, at the right time, at the right class. And that's just another seed, in, in, in their transformation process. But but yeah, that's, that, that's how that goes.

[00:23:46] bob_gatty: Rich, I'm curious to know about your own background. You teach all these warehouse related skills. was that your background before you got into the prison system?

[00:23:56] rich_jacobs: would say so. Cause I'm 60 years. I'm 62. But let's just break it down to the two sets of 20 years. Born and raised, went into the army at got out 21, and then from the age of 20 to 40 before I got the corrections job, I did work in about 10 eight to 10 different warehouse warehousing situations. And then

[00:24:17] Down with corrections 20 years ago that, that's why I got the.

[00:24:20] bob_gatty: Okay. And so the first few years you were an actual corrections officer and, but then you went into five years after that, I think you said you went into the teaching aspect of it, right? Yeah.

[00:24:35] rich_jacobs: Yep. 

[00:24:36] bob_gatty: Okay. 

[00:24:36] Mark Bello: Do you, Go ahead. Go ahead, Bob.

[00:24:38] bob_gatty: to, I wanted to ask Rich about the project that he's involved with the Get Free and Stay Free initiative, but that'll take us a little bit away from the prison discussion.

[00:24:51] Mark, if you had something you wanted to

[00:24:53] Mark Bello: I'm just I'm just, I want to go back to a question I asked earlier. There's your program, Rich and I'm wondering, If you think in America the prison system currently provides adequate educational job training or job placement opportunities to inmates in general so that they are less likely to repeat their criminal behavior if they're released.

[00:25:20] rich_jacobs: Across the board, I would say I would say we, we could use, we could do a lot better. We could offer a lot more program a lot more programming, I would think.

[00:25:31] Mark Bello: We'd be better off using our, using the money to release people and train them rather than incarcerate them at the expense that we incarcerate. And lock and throw away the key as Bob referred to it.

[00:25:47] rich_jacobs: Yeah, you would th

[00:25:49] Mark Bello: Yes.

[00:25:50] rich_jacobs: yeah, you would think logistically just practical thinking and logical. You would think that when it comes down to dollars and cents quality of life in neighborhoods, you would think that it would be a, a no-brainer to, to make the proper investments.

[00:26:09] But it's it's tough. Even the job we have in the country, only are we in hospitals and everywhere else, nurses and doctors, correctional officers are strained. So think a lot of these correctional systems are struggling just to maintain the care, custody and control and not able to put the resources in the treat. they like they would, would, or could, or should,

[00:26:35] Mark Bello: They don't have, they don't have the, they don't have the resources, do they?

[00:26:39] rich_jacobs: not the way that we should, I think. 

[00:26:42] bob_gatty: You alluded earlier to political implications. 

[00:26:46] Mark Bello: I was gonna say politically, it's not a good political issue for a for a politician. They sound like they're soft on crime. 

[00:26:53] rich_jacobs: It's definitely a right now in the election seasons, it's with all the high crime going up. Correct. So it's hard to. It's hard to, to ration, to make sense of a lot of it, to be honest with you.

[00:27:07] bob_gatty: Yeah. Now let's talk a little bit about this. Get free and stay free initiative that you're involved with. Rich. Tell us about that and what it 

[00:27:16] does. 

[00:27:16] rich_jacobs: what that's doing, I'm I'm doing that, with York Fellowship Prison Ministry, and I'm just

[00:27:22] If men got stories of hope and transformation inside these prison systems across the country, if they heard

[00:27:29] From other men who went through the same experiences that they went through, not from, not stories, from well-meaning you 

[00:27:38] bob_gatty: froze. 

[00:27:41] rich_jacobs: counselors

[00:27:42] Mark Bello: He's back.

[00:27:42] rich_jacobs: teachers. From the men themselves. So I just visualized publishing many publications that have stories of hope and transformation. So we were able to put one book together in July

[00:27:58] bob_gatty: Yeah. 

[00:27:58] rich_jacobs: Like you've mentioned earlier, Bob and my, the last time I checked, we had close to a thousand books. We're on our way to getting a thousand books into the hands of prison. and so that they can read these stories and to, that process of the of their journey.

[00:28:18] bob_gatty: It sounds to me like that's a good start, but. When you think about the population in these prisons, you got a long ways to go, don't 

[00:28:27] you? 

[00:28:27] rich_jacobs: The, actually the population's starting to come down after probably 30 or 40 years of skyrocketing populations. They ha it start, it has started to come down a little bit but then again, it might be leveling off

[00:28:39] One, one concept that really blows my mind, I, it wasn't even on my radar screen for my 20 years until about six months ago, I went to see man speak that got out of my prison, the prison that I work in, and wrongfully convicted people that didn't even commit their crime.

[00:28:59] Now, I'm not talking about guys that were wrongfully convicted and got out on a technicality. I'm not talking about that, that. That's in the terminology of wrongfully convicted. I'm talking about the guy that never committed the crime. was,

[00:29:15] bob_gatty: Okay 

[00:29:15] rich_jacobs: a guy that got out in December of 2020 from our prison, and that night he was on the evening news with Lester Holt, News, I believe. And right after 9 11, 20 years ago, October of 2001, was going to work, I believe, at four o'clock in the morning and a girl was getting violently rap. In the city that he was from. And she's screaming. And then by the time the, and he hears this, he goes and runs over to help her and the police close in and they say, Get your hands up.

[00:29:50] Get your hands up. He said no. I'm helping her. I'm helping And they shot 'em three times in the back then they found out that they really did screw. And apparently they, in some of these cities, things are so corrupt. 

[00:30:06] To say that they carry the police carry a handgun on 'em to plant on the perp, if that's what they're called, perpetrator. That's did to this guy. And I started to dig into, And then I know I studied this for six months and there's a national exoneration Somebody's funding that and they do an incredible job at keeping the record. And here the amount of people that are in this boat of not committing the crime.

[00:30:34] Cause you know, there's all kinds of different corruption strategies that they used in these inner cities. And John g Grham, a very popular writer. Criminal, books theories. so enamored with this concept. He's involved with the Innocence Project and, don't know why I even brought that up, but I even called the major, the guard when I was studying this in the last six months, and I said, Hey so and what are we doing in corrections about. He says, Rich, he's we're, That's not our focus. That's not our job. That's we're corrections, care, custody and control. And I said, Okay, I get it. But yeah, I said, That's a whole nother whole nother animal.

[00:31:13] Mark Bello: Rich I'm of glad you brought that up anyway cuz it brings up a question. You're, this person gets out can he or she go through your program?

[00:31:24] rich_jacobs: So while he was in my prison, he could have went through my program. Yes, he did not. I knew him really well during the 20 years. He worked in the chapel 

[00:31:33] Mark Bello: but the question I have you answered the question, Yes, he can. What is the likelihood that a person who is. Gone through 20 years of the prison experience actually committing a crime when he gets out, do you, Do we have any statistics on that? He's innocent, but prison turns him into a criminal.

[00:31:57] Is that doable? Is that 

[00:31:59] possible? 

[00:31:59] rich_jacobs: not, If you're asking me how many people do I think and that are in prison that did not commit the crime, I studied that out in the. Estimates of anywhere between one and 8%.

[00:32:15] Mark Bello: I'm taking it to the next level. What is the chances? What are the chances that person who was innocent but raised, for lack of a better way to say it, In a criminal environment becomes a criminal as when he's released? Is that a question you can answer?

[00:32:33] rich_jacobs: Not statistically,

[00:32:34] Mark Bello: Okay. Okay. Okay.

[00:32:37] bob_gatty: Okay. Do we have anything else we need to cover, or Rich? I think this has been a really good conversation and full of fascinating information. 

[00:32:46] Mark Bello: Bob, I have one more question

[00:32:48] About. Discrimination and racial equality. The, there's a, there's obviously a larger percentage of black people who are incarcerated and accused of crime than their white counterparts. Does race play a role at all in the success or lack of success of someone in your.

[00:33:11] bob_gatty: Okay. 

[00:33:12] Mark Bello: Is that an issue?

[00:33:13] rich_jacobs: absolutely not. I treat the guys, and you're right. Unfortunately, nationwide black of are much higher than we, than the whites the prison system. And race plays a big part of that in the cities and stuff. yeah, my program I, I.

[00:33:29] Mark Bello: I don't mean it, I don't mean it in terms of how you treat them. I mean it in terms of how they approach the program and whether they're more, more or less likely to succeed.

[00:33:39] rich_jacobs: No. I don't think so. Nope. I think it's a pretty level playing field as far as when they go out into the streets,

[00:33:45] Mark Bello: Good.

[00:33:47] rich_jacobs: Yeah.

[00:33:48] Mark Bello: Yes, 

[00:33:49] rich_jacobs: we've certainly got our racism issues, as much as ever. But but I, but I think as far as getting jobs, that's better than ever, whether of race,

[00:34:01] Mark Bello: there's, there is likely to be hired.

[00:34:03] bob_gatty: Yeah,

[00:34:04] rich_jacobs: Yep.

[00:34:05] Mark Bello: good. That's good to hear.

[00:34:06] bob_gatty: I'll tell you what, I think that we're lucky that we have people like, Rich Jacobs in Working in the prison systems, it's too bad we don't have more common sense approach to job training. Just seems to make so much sense. Anyway, so thanks for being with us Rich.

[00:34:23] I appreciate it really very much. 

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