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Finding Futsal, an athletic outlet for inmates at Marion Co. Jail

Over the past several years, it has become increasingly common for correctional facilities to provide sports recreation for their inmates as a potential diversion from illicit activities. A 2012 report from the Prisoners’ Education Trust, even states that becoming actively involved in a sports league during detention can foster “an alternative social network, access to positive role models, improved employability, and develop a pro-social identity.”

The practice of encouraging sports in correctional facilities can be found locally, at the Marion County Jail, which has provided a basketball court for those seeking physical activity. The jail, which is part of four-facility system that houses over 2,500 inmates, noticed a recent decline in interest in basketball from its inmates but an interesting innovation on their parts: deflating the facility basketball and kicking it around in makeshift games of soccer.

Major Tanesha Crear began reaching out to local soccer organizations and brought the idea to her supervisor. The Public Information Officer for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Katie Carlson, connected with Indiana Futsal. As a game that requires less space than soccer and can be played indoors, futsal seemed like a natural fit.

Due to one Deputy’s thoughtfulness and a collaboration among Indianapolis community members, Indiana Futsal was able to donate two inflatable futsal goals, futsal balls, and an air pump to the Marion County Jail in June, giving inmates the athletic outlet they really needed.

Justin Becht, Director of Indiana Futsal, says that the new set-up will be especially beneficial for the younger inmates, “There’s a need for incarcerated youth to be able to play and to release some tension, we were happy to help with that. A large part of Indiana Futsal’s mission is to bring the sport to populations that really need it.” Representatives from the jail also added that while physical activity helps people while inside, it is also encouraged for inmates preparing for re-entry as a way to bond with their families once they’ve left the facility.

As a result of the community connection made between the two organizations this summer, Indiana Futsal will partner with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office for the Mayor’s International Futsal Cup later this year.

Click here to view the article as it was originally published.

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Student commencement speaker Amber Kriech discusses her path before and after graduation

Click here to read my most recently published article, where I had the opportunity to chat with IUPUI’s 2017 commencement speaker, Amber. It was an enlightening interview for me as an ambitious young professional and future graduate!

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Miscommunications from Professors

(And other people higher up on the food chain)

When it comes to the classroom, there are very few things as frustrating as a professor who gives unclear instructions. It is especially difficult for me to be patient with communications professors who do this. How could you possibly give a delightful, well-informed lecture on transparent communication and then turn around and give us an assignment that has the whole class scratching their heads?

There are always going to be authority figures who give you unclear instructions – it probably started with your parents and will continue throughout the rest of your personal and professional life. So what are you supposed to do when you don’t know what to do in the first place?

First – do your best to have patience

Take a moment to remember how easy it is to leave out important details whenever you’re trying to explain something. We’ve all done it. If you’re knowledgeable about a certain topic you don’t always stop to consider what questions newcomers might have. So you end up spending five minutes rattling off your idea, having forgotten to explain something that to you seems obvious, and your audience winds up completely lost.

Give your professor/boss/grandma the benefit of the doubt here and calmly ask for clarification. Expect that occasionally the person might get a little embarrassed, assuming that because you’re asking a question you don’t like whatever they are trying to say. Assure them, if need be, that you just want to make sure you thoroughly understand.

Second – play it back in your head

Were the instructions unclear, or were you just not paying attention? Sometimes the part you are confused about was only mentioned once, and if you happened to get distracted at the time thinking about something irrelevant you might be lost on your accord. That’s okay. Just figure out what you need to do to come back to civilization and understand the assignment fully.

See if you can run back through everything your professor said and try to put the pieces together. If you’re still unsure, don’t be afraid to ask questions! If you would be more comfortable, message someone in your class and see if they have the answer to your question rather than the professor. Chances are, they are either confused too – in which case, at least you’re not alone – or they were listening better than you.

When all else fails – do your best

Don’t give up just because you are a little flustered. Do everything you know you are supposed to do, and if there’s another section of the assignment that you are unsure on whether or not to include – it’s probably best to do it.

Your professor may be a little disappointed if you misunderstood what they wanted, but at least they will be able to see that you tried.