Moral Recognition Therapy for inmates

– Press release from the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office

On December 19th, 2014 the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with Inyo County Health and Human Services, proudly hosted its first Moral Recognition Therapy (MRT) graduation for the following five inmates who successfully completed the voluntary multi-phased program: Sage Haithcoat, Joe Baros, Robert Vanvelzer, Ky Ta, and Sean Jourdan.

Ky Ta, Joe Baros, Counselor Glenda Moore, Sage Haithcoat, Sean Jourdan, Robert Vanvelzer, and Counselor Merry Brown

Ky Ta, Joe Baros, Counselor Glenda Moore, Sage Haithcoat, Sean Jourdan, Robert Vanvelzer, and Counselor Merry Brown

During the graduation ceremony, which included presenting each successful graduate with a certificate of completion and coin, the MRT class had a chance to read aloud their final thoughts on their personal journey through the program.

Sincerity, introspection, recognition of responsibility and accountability in past wrongs, and an emphasis of the learned social, behavioral, and coping skills were all common themes.

The MRT program is a cognitive-behavioral program; it is systematic in its approach and takes four months to successfully complete, with meetings taking place once a week. The program promotes positive self-image and identity, and assists in the learning of positive social behaviors and beliefs. MRT requires candidates to be introspective and self-evaluating; goal setting is also emphasized.  The participants are ultimately required to be accountable and responsible to change their own lives.

“It takes courage and determination to change one’s life for the better. I offer sincere compliments to each of these men,” said Sheriff Lutze.

In addition to the MRT program the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office also offers GEDs, Parenting Class, and other self-improvement courses.



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13 Responses to Moral Recognition Therapy for inmates

  1. Bone December 23, 2014 at 11:56 am #

    Just what our tax dollars need spent on. Another b.s. program made up to justify the existence of Inyo County Health and Human Services continued waste of critical local, state, and federal tax monies. Yes inmates need to learn morals and proper behavior but we have already paid for their lawyer, take care of any medical needs, feed, provide shelter,parenting classes, and other self improvement courses, now we need another b.s. program for our criminals to attend to avoid cell time where they can think about their crimes and maybe take responsibility and learn morals without the need of two county employees driving from Bishop to ICJ weekly for four months. What are the costs for wages, benefit package, motor pool vehicle, fuel, and God knows what else they spend our tax dollars on to babysit these criminals and try to teach common sense to a person that their own parents could not teach. WHAT A WASTE!!!!!!!!!

    • Ken Warner December 25, 2014 at 10:40 am #

      Bone: Here’s a better example of government waste —

      The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) has paid one red cent to transport and break apart a third super carrier — USS Ranger (CV-61) — after once again finding no takers willing to turn it into a museum docked in the Pacific Northwest. The aircraft carrier — which was featured in the movie “Top Gun” — will embark on its final voyage in early 2015 to International Shipbreaking’s facility in Brownsville, Texas.

      • erik simpson December 26, 2014 at 11:20 am #

        Surely you could help out the Navy by offering to pay (as much as a dollar?) to take the Ranger off their hands and prevent this shameful waste. I’m not sure what you could do with it, but with all the good ideas floating around, I’m confident you could manage.

        • Ken Warner December 27, 2014 at 10:18 am #

          Eric: You’re right. I’ll get right on it. Do you have the Sec. Navy’s phone number handy?

      • Pedro December 26, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

        Surprised they’re not sailing it up the Mississippi for riot control in Ferguson.

    • Sage Haithcoat July 23, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

      As one of the graduating participants I believe it was a valuable experience. But I also appreciate your opinion. You have a valid point.

  2. Charles O. Jones December 26, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    I would agree that on the surface a program such as this looks like a waste of tax dollars. But if these types of programs can help prevent inmates from becoming reoffenders then it could actually be a cost savings in the long run.

    It’s costs roughly $50,000 per year to house one inmate in our penal system. How much did this program actually cost?

    • Ken Warner December 26, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

      Charles: Why don’t they pay people $50,000 a year to go to college?

      • Pedro December 26, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

        Because we hate teacher unions but love prison guard unions.

      • Russ Monroe December 27, 2014 at 9:44 am #

        Sounds like a great idea to me Ken!
        I might even consider creating a few jobs again…..
        if applicants came in the door able to make correct change!
        I would much rather pay the taxes to invest in education rather than to house the largest inmate population on earth.

      • Charles O. Jones December 27, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

        Ken: I’m in favor of more education and less crime. I think the two often go hand in hand.

  3. Wally Mayfield December 30, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

    How about the $20+ TRILLION on the war on poverty? Poverty won.

    • Ken Warner December 31, 2014 at 11:35 am #

      There’s a lot of context needed to discuss what you relate. But if conservatives are really concerned about “Poverty” maybe the minimum wage should be raised so that working people don’t need to get help just to survive day to day. When I hear this kind of rhetoric, I think that the conservatives think they should have got the money.

      “We have spent $15 trillion from the federal government fighting poverty, and look at where we are, the highest poverty rates in a generation, 15 percent of Americans in poverty.”
      — Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, interview on Fox News’ “On the Record,” July 31, 2013

      We were intrigued by Rep. Ryan’s statement, which was similar to a point he made at a committee hearing Wednesday on the “war on poverty.”

      There are two numbers here — $15 trillion and 15 percent — designed to show that the United States is losing the war on poverty. But do these figures hold up to scrutiny?


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