Davao City Councilor Pilar C. Braga Privilege Speech on College Education Behind Bars

Councilor Braga Privilege Speech

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Dr. Aland Mizell Receives Commendation

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Dr. Aland Mizell, President of Minority Care International, at the Philippines Councilor’s League’s 3rd Quarterly National Executive Officers and National Board Meeting, Davao City, September 18, 2017


The president of the Social Entrepreneurship Institute, Dr. Aland Mizell, told several thousand councilors attending the Philippines 3rd Quarterly National Executive Officers-National Board (NEO-NB) Meeting and 2nd Series of Continuing Local Legislative Education Program (CLLEP) of the Philippine Councilors League that it is an undeniable fact that we live in a society where people do bad things, sometimes so bad that being to sent to prison is the only option. The event was held at the SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier, Davao City on Monday, September 18, 2017. Dr. Mizell added that it is also an undeniable fact that most of the inmates inside the jail today will not be in forever, and sooner or later they will be free to go back into society. The question is will their re-entry be a one-way trip? Will each of them leave the jail never to return? To follow that route, inmates must know how to succeed when they re-enter society. Statistics are stacked against them. When prisoners get out, eventually, most of them find themselves back in. There are many reasons for the recidivism, but studies consistently show that the primary cause is unemployment. On the outside they need a job to eat, a place to live, skills to support their family, and the ability to hold their head high and know they can handle the freedom. But jobs are hard to find when they carry a prison record with them. Still, they cannot use that as an excuse. With solid training and a recovery program to transform lives, released prisoners can overcome a prison record and the stigma. Dr. Mizell concluded that we still have more work to do. We need to initiate College Education Behind Bars in every jail in the Philippines. The more this programs is reproduced in other jails, the less money the jails have to spend. In the future, we need to prepare as many inmates as possible to return to society as productive, law abiding citizens. Some city councilors indicated an interest in replicating the program in their cities as well.   Continue reading

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Dr. Aland Mizell, President of Minority Care International, Receives Prison Education Award

The president of the Social Entrepreneurship Institute, Dr. Aland Mizell, receivee in founding this innovative program for the incarcerated, and for his effort to show that learning has the power to change lives. The award was presented during the BJMP’s 26th Anniversary Gala, which was held in Davao City on August 24, 2017.  Dr. Mizell’s being selected to receive this award highlights MCI‘s strong commitment to community service and to providing bright and motivated students with opportunities to experience the transformational power of higher education. During the ceremony the Mayor thanked Dr. Mizell for his noble work on behalf of the Davao City community and the Philippines.Mayor Duterte said that the rehabilitation programs of the BJMP lead to the reformation of the detainees and help them to become law-abiding and productive members of society once again. The BJMP–Davao regional director, Senior Superintendent Amelia Rayandayan, thanked Dr. Mizell for implementing this model rehabilitation program. She said that increased educational opportunity is key to providing economic stability for both ex-offenders and their families, to reducing recidivism, and to securing long-term success after their release. Dr. Mizell acknowledged that a college degree tears down barriers that block gainful employment and also keeps men and women from returning to prison, although many outsiders fail to recognize this potential. Continue reading

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Radicalization of Prisons

In recent years many homegrown terrorists have launched attacks in European cities like Paris, Barcelona, Brussels, London, for example, the 2015 January assaults at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and at a kosher supermarket. Several of the terrorists who killed more than 160 people that year had common criminal backgrounds but had become radicalized in congested prisons. Most Philippine prisons are overcrowded too having been built in ad hoc style buildings and now contain overcrowded cells. When inmates who represent a certain ideology are housed in the heart of a prison, surrounded by more than 3,000 inmates, there is a huge risk that they will contaminate the thinking of others.Prison is not a nice place; inmates can only survive if they are a part of a certain group or ideology. It is easier to be recruited inside a jail than outside one because conditions in the interior favor radical recruitment of newcomers. Since most of the inmates are desperate and hopeless, radicals with an ideology can easily befriend new detainees and give them what they need. It is easy for radicals to convince inmates that society has rejected them, that it is their destiny, and that God or a charismatic leader has a mission for them, little by little brainwashing them, especially if inmates belong to certain minority groups such as Muslims or IPs. By persuading the detainees that society has scorned them, that they cannot get a job, particularly because of their religious background or ethnicity, that no good school in their neighborhood will accept them, the indoctrinator opens the inmates up to his or her ideology.  Continue reading

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 Racism is a Two-Way Street

The US has come a long way since the days of slavery, and huge steps were made towards granting equal rights on the basis of race in the 1960s. But still it is not enough. Racism is not only a big problem in the US but around the world. I wish other countries could have done what America did toward minority rights. It is always easy to pity a minority, but what if one minority does not want to obey the rules and instead provokes the government to take strong measure against its members? When comparing America to other countries in terms of treatment of minorities, America treats theirs better. When we look at Europe’s treatment of its minorities, China’s treatment of its minorities, Myanmar’s treatment of its minorities, or how the Middle Eastern countries treat their own minorities, we see their lack of progress. Friday evening in Charlottesville, Virginia, a group of white supremacists marched through the University of Virginia campus holding torches, shouting “White lives matter,” and setting the stage for the 2017 United the Right rally, which protested the removal of Confederate monuments and sculptures within the city, and caused white racists from different groups and leaders of all right movements to congregate. Despite President Donald Trump’s condemnation of all forms of racism, still the leftist mainstream media blames Donald Trump for the rise of racism in the USA. Many even claim that Donald Trump won the election because white supremacists voted for him. The same liberal left media blamed President Bush for the rise of terrorism. Yet, we saw what their favorite candidate, President Obama, did for eight years that fermented hate and gave rise to ISIS and other forms of violence. Continue reading

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Assistant Secretary Department of the interior and Local Government Visit College Education Behind Bars

 Department of the interior and Local Government

Nestor F. Quinsay. Jr.  Visit College Education Behind Bars

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ROUGH CUTS| This very laudable project

COLLEGE Behind Bars.

This is the best rehabilitation project so for persons who are in conflict with the law and presently detained. The project is set for implementation inside the Davao City Jail in Maa. The school will start classes on August 11, 2017.  One thing unique about this project is that it is an initiative of a non-government organization (NGO) in coordination with the University of Southeastern Philippines (UseP). The NGO behind this very noble project is the Social Entrepreneurship Institute SEI) whose president is Dr. Aland Mizell, a columnist of this paper. His vice president is lawyer Susan Cariaga, who is no stranger in the education discipline. Atty. Cariaga is President of Thompson Christian School. She also used to be an executive of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII). The building that will house the classes are already in place and the classrooms are furnished by the SEI.  According to Dr. Mizell and lawyer Cariaga there are 70 inmates out of 300 who applied to enroll who qualified after the conduct of an entrance examination. They will be taking Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and BS in Agribusiness degrees.After some serious evaluation of the future performance of the inmate students the College Behind Bars will be introducing additional diploma courses. What interests us on this rehabilitative venture is the plan to include a discipline on anger management. We believe this one is very appropriate and will definitely “hit the nail on the head.”

For this laudable endeavor we congratulate Dr. Mizell, Attorney Cariaga, UseP President Dr. Lourdes Generalao, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Director Serafin Petronio Barreto Jr., and the Maa Jail Management team of Warden Supt. Grace Taculin And Asst. Warden Sr. Insp. Roberto Gotico.

We are hoping that the vision of the SEI to have this College Behind Bars project be replicated all over the country.

It is this kind of project that will really attain the best kind of rehabiilitation to those people who want to go back to the right track in life.

To Dr. Mizell it’s nice to have you in Davao. You are indeed a blessing to the Davaoenos, specifically to the inmates now languishing their time in jail while waiting for the disposition of their cases by the courts.

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Freedom Through Education

We strongly believe drugs have taken away freedom in our streets, jobs, numerous lives of people we love, and even our children. This has been a problem for entirely too long, and we are glad finally someone is determined to put an end to the drug menace in our country that seems impossible to eradicate in the perspective of men. We want to help overcome the drug problem through education because we believe that the drug epidemic is everyone’s responsibility since it is such a huge social issue that the government alone cannot solve. The Social Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Business Institute, Inc. (SETBI), by partnering with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and with the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) has initiated a “College Education Behind Bars” project at the Ma-a City Jail, Davao City. This program aims to provide the inmates, both male and female, who are mostly drug offenders, the means to advance their education in prison. It is a higher education program whose mission is to assist incarcerated students in identifying and achieving their educational goals. By partnering with the university to engage faculty and students in the vital issue of the country’s burgeoning incarceration population, SETBI hopes to help inmate students build meaningful lives inside the jail and to reduce recidivism by offering them a recovery program with their college diplomas, so that when they are released, they are fully equipped to go back into society as a contributor to nation building and not remain a burden to their family and community. Continue reading

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Turkey marks Anniversary of Gulen’s failed coup against President Erdogan

It has been one year since Turkish citizens poured into the streets for national unity marches across the country. This occasion marks the first anniversary of the foiled coup by Fethullah Gulen’s cult religious group to topple the democratically elected government, which left 249 people dead and nearly 2,200 injured. On July 15th, 2016, the Turkish people remembered their brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, friends and colleagues lost year ago. Since 2010, Gulen and his followers had already declared war against the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Erdogan. The Turkish state has been fighting a running battle against the cult and trying to cleanse the elements nested inside the state apparatus a couple of years before the coup attempt. If the Turkish people had not been quick to intervene, thousands of civilians would have been killed and imprisoned, and Gulen and his cult followers would be in charge of Turkey. Imagine that one of the most trusted government institutions, the one relied on for safety and protection, turned on the country and bombed its citizens, its own parliament, its own capital, and its own police headquarters, and tried to assassin its own President. Continue reading

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