Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Health & Violence

The class I am taking in graduate nursing school is called Health & Violence. We go over research on how the two are related. I'm learning more and more how the body and mind are so intricately connected. It seems to explain the concept of vicarious trauma as well. You hear about trauma, you think about it, and you feel it physically. This week's class was an interesting presentation on parolees and how difficult it is to aclimate to life outside of prison, but it can be done. This research is done by UCSF gradaute Dr. Marlow.

Speaking of violence, theWorld Health Organization defines it as "Violence is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against a person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation." It includes not just physical harm but the threat and mental harm. Its understandable that after living for years in prison, a violence place, that when prisoners get out and say want to go to community college, that anything that is complicated, not explained or sets them back would infuriate them. In prision, the only way to get what you needed was to assert yourself aggressively. Dr. Marlow's pilot project paired mentors, formely incarcerated persons (FIP) with recently graduated parolees to help them complete tasks that the average person takes for granted like applying for college, getting a birth certificate, getting an ID, looking for a job. They had a mentor, role model, and friend. The program has developed into a non-profit The Gamble Institute with co-found Yima Lee to continue to provide research and programs for former parolees. Our prison system doesn't offer enough support for parolees and this organization tries to help by filling in the gap between parolees coming out of a prision mindset and helping them adjust to a free society mindset, completely different things. Check out the organization and see if you can donate your time, money, or know someone who could benefit from the organization.

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