Forgiveness, Freedom and the Inmate Issue

Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Professional Writing (MAPW)




Melanie Sumner


Jeffrey Greene


Forgiveness Freedom and the Inmate Issue:

It is no secret that the United States has a mass incarceration problem. The war on drugs, traffic violations, and the Three Strikes Law, are just pieces of the systems being used to repeatedly place people behind bars. What we are facing now as a society is the repercussions of reintegrating under educated, digitally literate, mentally abandoned individuals back into society. In addition to post jail operatives like parole fees, fines and probation scheduling are re-sentencing these individuals into a society they no longer relate to, that socially struggle to adapt to and that has no mercy for previous offenders. America’s incarceration system has eradicated the possibility for job opportunities, stable households or redemption to offenders after they have served time for the crimes committed. There is a lack of compassion and resources available to the previously convicted that some inmates would rather stay in jail as opposed to facing the improbability of success after jail. Adapting to a lifelong sentence in jail should not be so familiar to teenagers in our country. Wrongly, it has taken society decades to feel the aftermaths of mass incarceration. Now, we must reclaim this issue, rehabilitate people and reintegrate compassion back into humanity.

The Interactive Text-Based Video Game

The purpose of Inmate 001, as creative capstone project is grounded in the notion of being an advocate for the incarcerated and unheard which stemmed from a childhood in a household with law enforcement. The choice to present my findings as a video game evolved from my life-long love of game-playing, previous experience as an educator in oppressed communities and my comprehension of interactive play as a means for absorbing information. The creation of Inmate 001 is aimed at exposing the gaps in our county's reform and rehabilitation methods within our incarceration system. In due course, the effects of mass incarceration will continue a trend of gaps in technological proficiency, societal re-entry ability, and employable candidates; especially with people currently serving or who have served extended prison sentences. This country needs and influx of diversion programs to keep sick people, and non-criminals out of jail. Plans for sharing this game include making it available in classrooms as teaching material. In addition to distributing it free of cost to non-print re-entry programs across the U.S. Restoring the quality in the community and leveling the playing field for the previously convicted is the overall goal for Inmate 001.

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