"Just Write" Program Decreases Violence

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 3:11pm

Creative writing program credited with easing tensions inside New Mexico jail.

They say the pen is mightier than the sword - and at Albuquerque, New Mexico's Metropolitan Detention Center that pen is also decreasing violence.

It's part of a new program called Just Write.

Carmel Gutierrez recently shared his poem in front of a class of his peers, inmates at MDC.

"It comes from a past that I never used to talk about," Gutierrez said. "A lot of people see us in here, they see us in orange. This is our way of expressing who we were before we got to this point. Who we still are."

Gutierrez is part of the Just Write program.

"It's a program that encourages a lot of people to share a part of their past that's still being held in. That's still hurting, us," he says.

According to jail chief Ramon Rustin the program is working.

"The whole program, the honor program, the partnership with Gordon Bernell has decreased the violence and increased the activity," he said.

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