Robert Rosenthal conducted a series of experiments in the early 70’s around body language and its effects on others. In one he took two groups of rats, labelled one smart and the other average or normal. He then instructed his students to guide the rats through a maze. Even though the rats were cerbrally identical, the group labelled smart outperformed and was much calmer.

He re conducted the experiment on students and their teachers. Again, even though the students were of equal intelligence, the ones labelled smart outperformed the average.

The reason for this was the body language of the teachers with the students and the rats. They were more empathetic and attentive, gentler.

I take information like that and I think about how that would effect inmates if DOC were to take an actual rehabilitative approach. Officers would not be allowed to stare us down behind sunglasses, or call us retards, or say everything in an angry and condescending tone. They would interact with us, give us positive conversation, know how we’re doing because they interact.

I wonder how many less fights or arguments there would be, how much recidivism would drop, how many less gangs there would be. In Washington state the minimum custody facilities are prime spaces for rehabilitation, inmates are begging for change. Instead of change from staff, we get sunglasses stare downs, homophobic rednecks and simple minded hillbillies who would rather be at a tavern drinking their lives away then ever humanizing their slaves.

Sound familiar?

With Love