TWAICB Director Sandy Sohcot writes: When I watched the April 3rd 60 Minutes screensegment called “Crime and Punishment” I was struck by the human rights approach taken by the German prison officials in administering their rehabilitation-first practices for all prisoners.  I believe this segment offers perspective on how seeing people as human beings, no matter what situations they are in, can bring about a major shift in advancing public health and safety.  

About seven minutes into the segment, we learn that the German constitution contains language about respecting the human dignity of each person.  By the 13th minute, we hear what I consider the most compelling human rights-oriented statement, presented by the Pennsylvania head of prisons upon implementing strategies learned from his visit to Germany: “A human being’s value is not diminished by being in prison.”  

I’m hopeful we can continue to apply this perspective as we grapple with community challenges like homelessness, human trafficking and violence, so as to bring about a culture of human rights thinking and acting.