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    My mother had a maid call’d Barbara:

    She was in love, and he she loved proved mad

    And did forsake her: she had a song of ‘willow;’

    An old thing ’twas, but it express’d her

  • Since the beginning of America, leaders have been searching for the cheapest labor they can find. This was once in the form of slaves, but has since been replaced by inmates. Inmates work for far under the minimum

    • Beth I really liked your article. I think it is great how you didn’t just focus on the moral reasons that we should pay prisoners minimum wages, but you also convinced me as the reader that it is the smart thing to do. It was interesting to me how prisoners are potentially a threat to non prisoners, because they are taking their jobs and working them for much less money.

  • Beth and Profile picture of MaryMary are now friends 6 months, 3 weeks ago

  • Beth and Profile picture of AnnieAnnie are now friends 6 months, 3 weeks ago

  • Beth commented on the post, Bee Happy 6 months, 4 weeks ago

    This post made me happy! I enjoyed seeing something so positive today. I loved how you took something so simple and made it even more meaningful by explaining what happiness means to you. My favorite sentence was, “There are many synonyms, but sometimes ‘happy’ is the only way to explain something.” Everyone finds happiness in different way…[Read more]

  • Zach,
    This topic is something I care deeply about, and I thought you did a great job writing about it. Police brutality is a hot topic, and for good reason — “U.S. police killed at least 258 black people in 2016,” and the numbers keep climbing. Although many policemen do a great job keeping our communities safe, there is a clear group of r…[Read more]

  • The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist w

    • Hello Beth, Let me say I really love this article. I have never even thought of a topic like this. I learned so much from reading this article. Also I did not know that they were doing such a thing in Texas, making prisoner’s work unpaid. Also you included so many websites. Well done!

    • Beth!! Such a good article, this topic is so crucial to discuss especially in America today. It baffles me that this “loophole” is completely legal in the US. The US prison system as well as private companies profiting from prison labor need to start treating prisoners as humans again in order to find a compromise within this issue. I watched a documentary called 13th that completely showed me how terrifying this problem is. Take a look! : http://www.avaduvernay.com/13th/

  • Hi Jennifer!
    I loved your post. It was so personal and gave me an insight into your life and what makes you who you are. People put a lot of emphasis on the importance of a name, and it’s for good reason. When people talk about making a name out of yourself, they refer to the connotations your name carries based on how you represent it. Your last…[Read more]

  • Hi Sofia!
    In my oceanography class, we talked a lot about this issue in wake of the terrible hurricanes, Harvey, Irma, and Maria. These storms and their extreme damage was unprecedented and absolutely tragic. There is a clear correlation between warmer water (warming occurring from climate change) and hurricanes: warmer water = more fuel for the…[Read more]

  • In an article from New York Times, James Gilligan wrote, “If any other institutions in America were as unsuccessful in achieving their ostensible purpose as our prisons are, we would shut them down tomorrow.” Sin

    • Beth, I really enjoyed reading your piece. I don’t know very much about the criminal justice system in the United States and now i feel like everyone should know this. I agree that we need to fix this problem, it’s not okay for so many people to be in prison not learning or bettering themselves. I loved the evidence you used to support your claim. Great job!

    • Beth,
      This was a really interesting essay that you have written. I knew there were problems within our prison system, but wasn’t sure how bad they truly were. I agree that there needs to be a difference made, but I’m not sure where to start in that process. I am providing you with an article that has 10 ways to change the prison system. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/jessica-s-henry/top-10-ways-to-fix-the-cr_b_6362274.html
      Great job, I am excited to hear more.

    • Beth,
      this is a really important issue, and I’m glad you chose it. I agree that there are too many people imprisoned in the US. We are too focused on punitive measures, and like you said, rehabilitation becomes an after thought. While prisons are a necessary part of society, they are clearly not doing their job. However, tangible solutions are hard to come by. Here is a link that can help with that brainstorming process: https://www.aclu.org/other/solutions

    • Hi Beth, I am fascinated by your topic because it is so disturbing about American culture. We focus on treatment rather than prevention, in many areas of life. Your comment about how most inmates are mentally ill is something that caught my attention, because if anything those people need more attention and more qualified people taking care of them and teaching them how to be rehabilitated. This article is titled, America’s prisons are failing, here’s how to make them work, and will be beneficial I think to you, https://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21722642-lot-known-about-how-reform-prisoners-far-too-little-done-americas-prisons-are.

  • Beth commented on the post, In The Past 7 months, 1 week ago

    Hi Janasia!
    I have heard a lot about the novel, “The Hate U Give,” and have been wanting to read it. Your post made me want to read it even more. One quote of yours really stuck out to me. You wrote, “Until this day I never shot any black kid or young black man. But if I did shot a black man, I would have got away with it anyways. I know this for…[Read more]

  • In the United States of America, even the toughest criminals have basic rights protected by our country’s Constitution. The rights of prisoners include the right to humane facilities and conditions, right to be f

    • Beth, I have to disagree with your claim that people don’t receive these rights, the US prison system mat not be first class seating but it does meet the basic rights. Thats a prisoner gets is the basic rights, they don’t get more thats why it’s prison. If you read, https://www.marketplace.org/2017/05/15/world/how-much-does-it-cost-send-someone-prison, you’ll notice that our tax money is going into our prisons and I don’t think many people are happy they’re paying to keep others locked up. The real problem, I think, we need to address is the hoe people get punished. There are so many problems with unjust punishment, and if we can fix that then we can lower the amount of those in prison, therefore lowers costs on people to help us take care of those who are justly in prison. Can’t wait to hear more from you.

    • Beth, in religion class we learned about the cruelty of the US prison system but they did not focus much on the treatment of women in prisons. its interesting to see the ways in which sexism impact lives even at the most fundamental level. I’m doing my project on drug use and I’m learning all about how unfairly the US prison system targets the poor and minority under the veil of being hard on drugs. the system results in trapping users in a cycle of repeat offenses without ever getting treatment for addiction. heres a site that details the difference between crack Vs. cocaine prison times. https://www.aclu.org/other/cracks-system-20-years-unjust-federal-crack-cocaine-law. thanks for the great post!

  • Hi Simon!
    This post really interested me. After watching the Netflix documentary, “The 13th,” my eyes were opened to our corrupt criminal justice system. The American government uses ineffective punishments and has no desire to rehabilitate criminals, especially nonviolent drug offenders, like you mentioned. There is extreme inequality in our…[Read more]

  • Hi Hui!
    I loved your poem. It was a really unique way of expressing who you are and what makes you the person you are today. This was very personal and touched on many aspects of your life without being over the top, which I really liked. I look forward to seeing what else you write.


  • Hey Olivia! This is a very interesting topic to me, and I think you presented both sides very well. I hadn’t thought of some of the points you had brought up, such as how they pay out of pocket for health issues. In a country with such extreme income inequality, it can be hard to justify someone making so much money, but like you said, there is a…[Read more]

  • Although many American systems are damaged, one that is often overlooked is the foster care system. Foster care, according to the National Adoption Center, is “a temporary arrangement in which adults provide for t

    • Hey Beth,
      I really liked the idea behind your post and how passionate you were about the issue. I like how you included others viewpoints as well as providing insight to your own as well as how you felt about these other peoples viewpoints. I found an article about foster care in Utah that talks about how people are able to get involved and what can be done to help.

      Foster Care

      All in all, I really liked the work you put behind your viewpoints as well as providing insight and supporting evidence towards the issue. I hope you continue writing.

    • Dear Beth,
      Really nice write up. This is an issue that is overlooked quite often, but is highly capable of leaving lasting effects on kids who get caught up in the foster care system. The quotes from others work really well to drive your point home. This is a hard problem to dissolve because of the scale and the lack of attention, however focusing on it could change so many lives.

      Here’s an article discussing the problem that highlights a campaign to rework the foster care system in America:

      A national campaign to improve foster care

      Really great post,

    • Beth, great post! I enjoyed how you added statistics to back up your claim. I think people often overlook the foster care system because they don’t know enough information about it. They quickly look to adoption instead of fostering a child. I also liked Pamela Campbells quote when she compared the foster care system to an asthma attack- that really seemed to put it in perspective for me and other readers. I think another thing that steers people away from foster care is the fact that they are not paid actual pocket money to foster a child. It is expensive to raise a child, but it is also selfish to overlook children who need a loving home. Heres an article I found discussing the monetary aspect of foster care. https://adoption.com/how-much-do-foster-parents-get-paid

    • Beth, I really enjoyed your post. I agree that we tend to overlook the foster system and it’s ever growing numbers of family-less children. Your use of statistics to back up your claim was also well thought out but you made it seem more then just numbers, which it is, and that is important when writing about articles like this. I do wonder, though, why do you think the foster care children numbers are so high and are still increasing? I think finding a way to raise awareness is most beneficial because the more people know the more likely it is for a child to be adopted. If you read this article from the Spruce,https://www.thespruce.com/help-children-in-foster-care-27113, It gives more ways people can help lower rates in foster homes. Hope to see more from you in the future.

  • Hi Jazmym!
    Your organization sounds so amazing and thoughtful. I think having a safe place where kids can go when things just aren’t going as expected, whatever that may mean in each individual situation, is something so important that should always be available. I liked when you said you wanted people who utilize your program to think of you as…[Read more]

  • Hi Mary! I find this topic fascinating, yet terrifying, so I was glad to see you write about this. I think a lot of people partake in this “self-segregation” without even realizing it because they are afraid or being challenged, even though that’s what leads to growth. This is the reason why people can hardly even have a discussion without it…[Read more]

  • Handheld technology certainly has its pros and cons. The pros include easy communication, access to news, a platform for change, and much more. However, there are some significant cons to cell phones concerning

  • Hi Srihita!

    Euthanasia is a hot topic in today’s society because of how controversial it is, so I’m interested to see the results of your survey. People have very strong opinions about the practice, which makes it hard to come to a decision and create a law. However, it effects people around the world daily, and I think something needs to be…[Read more]

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