Many inmates in prison have been deemed too dangerous for society. Yet, there are millions of people serving time because of one bad life decision. The ideal purpose of a correctional facility is not just only to punish but to also reform. However, according to a 2018 update by the Bureau of Justice Statistics prisoner recidivism continues to be a serious problem. It’s crystal clear that something isn’t working.
Our society deserves better.
Five in 6 (83%) state prisoners released in 2005
across 30 states were arrested at least once during the 9 years following their release.
In that spirit, Founder, Alex Sheen and members of the because I said I would team recently visited the Pendleton Correctional Facility in Indiana. At this facility all inmates are serving a minimum sentence of at least twelve years. The hope was that our programming and message about the importance of promise keeping would make a lasting impact. Maybe that impact would be carried with these men into society after they are released.
During our time at Pendleton we met inmates who are veterans and members of the American Legion Post 608. This group, in gratitude for the program we provided, gave our organization a surprise check of $608.00 in honor of their namesake. While very grateful, we decided to donate the entirety of the check to the Disabled American Veteran (DAV) organization.
We did this because we said we would provide our programming free of charge.
As the day ended, new because I said I would employee Nate McGrady could be seen standing in the back of the room and observing everything around him. Not only was this Nate’s first week serving as our Fulfillment Manager but his first time stepping foot in a prison.
“I didn’t know what to expect. It was an eye opening experience to see the impact we had. So many of the inmates were receptive to our message and many of them were inspired to make promises. It was powerful to see how many of the men were determined not to let their jail sentence define their personhood or hope for the future.”
Experiences like this at Pendleton are the kind of innovative programs that because I said I would continues to create everyday. As an organization we don’t believe in lip service. When we say that keeping promises can change lives, we mean it. If you feel compelled to donate to our organization, please take solace that your support allows us to make a real impact on people’s lives. Especially those who need hope, accountability and the grace of a promise the most.