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Palo Verde Valley Blythe/Quartzsite Times | Blythe, California and Quartzsite, Arizona

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6/12/2013 6:00:00 AM
Ruiz visits Ironwood State Prison
Special to the Times


BLYTHE - United States Congressman Raul Ruiz, who represents the 36th District of California, visited Ironwood State Prison (ISP) on May 5.

During his visit, Ruiz toured various areas of the facility including housing units, administrative segregation, classrooms and other program areas. During the tour, Ruiz talked with staff as well as inmate participants in the Palo Verde Community College Program and Ironwood Braille Program (IBP). Ruiz observed firsthand how college and IBP provide a positive learning experience for inmates. These programs prepare inmates to succeed and/or contribute to society by helping them obtain the skills necessary to be successful upon release.

The highly successful Ironwood State Prison/Palo Verde Community College Program has resulted in 1,188 inmates receiving college degrees. The IBP has resulted in dozens of inmates being certified by the United States Library of Congress as Braille Transcribers. Through a partnership with the California Community College Chancellor's Office and the Alternate Text Production Company, ISP's Braille transcribers transcribe hundreds of college textbooks yearly to the benefit of visually impaired students.

Upon concluding his visit, Ruiz stated, "I am pleased to see that effective education opportunities are provided at Ironwood State Prison that results in significantly reduced re-incarceration". Since its inception, the college program has proven effective in greatly reducing recidivism rates among the graduates. Warden Dave Long stated, "We are extremely proud of our unique and effective programs here at Ironwood State Prison and I was pleased to have the opportunity to showcase these programs for Congressman Ruiz during his visit."


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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, June 28, 2013
Article comment by: dupa blada

Before you comment of the article educate yourself. 1. The college is not free and the families commit to paying for books and other expenses. 2. Envious about prisoners wanting to get education that is perhaps no within your financial reach? How about you question the establishment for making college education elitist and available to families with money? Think, try to see a bigger picture ask yourself why is the US a country that loves to incarcerate sooo many people? Perhaps it is always the same, similar as with the wars, somebody is making money of this situation.

Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Article comment by: Luis Garcia

To all comments that insinuate that infer the Ironwood/Palo Verde College Program is wasting your tax payer dollars, as a taxpayer, I would encourage you to examine in detail how this unique and innovative partnership benefits the Blythe community. The critical mass of inmate students have benefited your community and it has been documented by numerous commissions and studies. This partnership is a win-win for all stakeholders. Again as fellow taxpaying citizen, do your homework before posting your diatribes.

Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

@ Crazy. T. If Obama care is so great, then why are a lot of the people that work for the Senators and Congressmen want to quit or let's say retire before the new health law kicks in?

For one thing. I believe that all prisoners should be treated humanely and fair. But to reward them with a free education, healthcare, food stamps, and free housing. When you have millions of young people wishing they could get what the prisoners get for breaking the law.

Have you ever been inside a prison cell? Some of those prisoners have a little man cave there. So what are the parents supposed to tell their kids when they want a college education? Commit a crime my son or daughter, and in prison you will get what I can't pay for.


Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013
Article comment by: Crazy Town

No, El Pica, you are mad at the wrong ones. This administration can't do anything for the outright promise to make him a one term President. That didn't work so they do everything they can to tarnish his legacy. It will work with some because they believe what they want and refuse to search inside to find common morals, values and integrity. The problem with the word common is those against him have nothing in common and don't have morals, values or integrity. The rest just want to get re-elected, instead of doing what's right, they do what the haters in their communities want them to do. In reality, most of the social programs would work if not for the extreme corruption. Corruption that started way before 2008. A big part of the health care act eliminates a lot of this corruption. That's why you see certain doctors and their employees crying on facebook about it. His ideas would and will work if WE(you, me and all good people) get behind them. Don't just zero in on certain talking points that may sound like they make sense. Research it and you will find a lot of it is hateful conjecture used to cloud your judgement. Please look at the big picture. I'm not mad at anyone. Like I said, there are none so blind as those that can't see, or read in this case. Use the internet, google may be your only friend.

Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013
Article comment by: @ Lois larson

Its keeping repeat prisoners out?? Then why are the prisons so full?? And another thing, it is still my tax dollars paying to educate criminals and not my family, I have all the right in the world to gripe about California ways.

Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013
Article comment by: Court Jester

@ Crazy Town,

At least the corporations give jobs, the tax breaks are legal. Fair?, maybe not. Flat tax on consumers would alleviate the IRS and most tax breaks.


Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

@ Crazy Town. In the White House. You have Chief, I'll lead from behind, and I did not know. Until I saw it on the news. And his merrily group of nuts, that had, had the majority at the beginning of his Administration. They could had done a lot in Immigration, tax, budget, and many more things. But these people choose an agenda that will hurt us all in the long run. You are mad at the wrong people.

Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013
Article comment by: Crazy Town

Preach it Lois. There are none so blind as those that can't see.

Why don't some of you whine about corporate welfare? Corporations receive more tax breaks than anyone and turn HUGE profits. I don't like welfare anymore than anyone else but let's put the blame where it really lies. We need social programs like this one to make a difference. Some people just need to learn they are worth it. And sometimes it takes incarceration for them to change.


Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

@Lois.L, I did read the article, but it did not move me. So they say that got less return customers. These numbers that they give are manipulated by these people. Question for how many months do they keep tabs on the people they release? 1 month or 6 months, or 1 year or 6 years. These people play with the number, that way they are guaranteed more money next year.

Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: Lois Larson

Instead of griping why not read the whole article? You all seemed to have missed this important point: "...Ruiz stated, "I am pleased to see that effective education opportunities are provided at Ironwood State Prison that results in significantly reduced re-incarceration". Since its inception, the college program has proven effective in greatly reducing recidivism rates among the graduates."

Posted: Saturday, June 15, 2013
Article comment by: yea right

Another liberal given preference because he is wearing a blue shirt on grounds.

Posted: Saturday, June 15, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

Was this a father and son day?

Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Article comment by: right on buster

U R Right about CA being a joke - if they would take the billions from inmates (&illegals) and give it back to seniors and taxpayers - we would all be better off. We are soooo screwed up - the politicians think this is a great idea, duh.

Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Article comment by: Buster Webb

Yea go to prison and get free programs. Prisoners outta be out working like us tax payers have to do in order to pay for all of the prisoners special needs. Its hard to get this through to people, cause a lot work out there and they don't care, there making the big bucks off of our money too. I can go on and on but I'll just end with this, California is a big joke.



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