Behind Bars: Inmates Get a Visit

By Kimol Felmine ‘16

Experiencing life inside a maximum security prison was one opportunity a group of 30 had, on Wednesday, November 12 when Mr. Stuart Rothstein went with the group to Green Haven Correction Facility.

“I thought that the experience on this trip was beneficial throughout the reactions of the students. I believe that the experience is beneficial to those at risk of coming in contact with the law,” said Mr. Stuart Rothstein, the trip advisor and Criminal Law teacher, “as to those who aren’t because we all learn something from it,” said Mr. Stuart Rothstein, the trip advisor and Criminal Law teacher.

At first, entering the prison many had ideas on what it may be like. However, after everything they saw and experienced, they realized how wrong they were.

“At first it was scary because I thought it was going to be like Beyond Scared Straight,” said Apphia Nurse ’16. “Then at the end, I realized how good it was. I felt blessed.”

Diandra Ellis ’15 said, “It was very traumatizing for me, mostly because I’ve never been to jail before and everything was scary.”

However, most of the people from the group were able to learn things based on their experiences at the prison, and some were able to look at life from a different perspective.

“I met a lot of people today who aren’t bad people. They just made bad decisions,” Erica Tangretta ’15 said. “The decisions you make can lead to bad consequences.”

The trip was an eye opener because it raised the concept of what decision-making is and how big of a role it plays in our daily lives said Arianna Jean-Francios ’16.

Furthermore, the topic of that day on the trip was choices and consequences. It’s safe to say that there is a thin line between choices and consequences. The two fall hand in hand. On Wednesday, the group got to see how one choice led to a chain of events that may lead one far away locked up in a maximum security prison for life. It opened up their eyes, not only to think about the choices them make, but as well as the things they take for granted.

Anne Cupri, a French lawyer at Sullivan and Cromwell said, “I was able to understand what it is like to be a free person. To make my own decisions.  Most importantly, it isn’t like what you see on the television. Going on this trip made me experience something I never did before. It was both shocking but good.”

Hopefully, the message many got on the trip, was to be careful with every decision one make. Even if what is “in” right now is cool.

“What may be cool today, might not always be cool,” Nurse said. “Therefore, don’t waste your life on it.

Tanagretta said, “Don’t go to jail!”

“The whole point of the trip is so that the only person that would ever come back to a place like this is me,” said Mr. Rothstein.

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