1. I know a young woman who has 50 yrs of time to do. I told her once to be a light in there for other women. I have also had women tell me that have had sentences like Paula's that they are right where they belong. These women had accepted responsonbility for their actions and had come to realize they had to be accountable for what they did. Do I think that Paula deserves to get out? She has been trying to get out early for years. She has done the time that she was sentenced to. I don't think that her getting her GED or a college degree is an accomplishment. I wonder if she would have gotten those if she was not receiving a time credit for them. I can honestly say that one of the classes I took while incarcerated was for the time credit only. I accept responsibility for what I did. It is my own fault that I cannot do certain things and it is my own fault that I had to struggle to find a job and home when I got out. It was my own fault that people didn't trust me at first. I had to earn that.
    I am not being judgemental. I don't care if she is black/white/blue or green.....we are talking about a horrible crime and a women that will be living among us soon.....and honestly that is scary
    August 29, 2012 9:23 pm on Paula Cooper: Convicted of murder at 15, a Gary woman prepares for her 2013 release
  2. I watched the video of Paula and read the story printed. I do not the details of her crime but from what I have read it was truly horrific to say the least and something that most of us cannot imagine. I am going to remain nameless on here....but I am a former offender who was at Rockville Correctional briefly. I was on the same dorm with her so I cannot say that I got to know her. I committed a crime and got what I deserved. I know that many people think someone who committs a crime and goes to prison should never be given another chance. I accept full responsibility for what I did. I did my time and when I got out I had a difficult time finding employment and even an apartment complex that would rent to me because I was a convicted felon. I did not commit a violent crime and I am not a sex offender but I am a convited felon just the same. I chose to do something with my life and went back to school when I got out. I now have my Master's degree and a good job and home. I worked for those things. I can honestly say that for me, going to prison taught me a lesson that the judge intended for me. Prison is supposed to be a place for a person to be punished and reformed. The truth is that any reform is up to that offender. Prisons are overcrowded, understaffed and the staff is not educated nor trained on how to handle offenders and certain situations. The people that think there tax paying dollars are taking care of offenders is wrong......offenders must buy their hygiene items, pay to do their laundry, buy clothing (some is provided by the state when they have it, and if they have it.......and many times they do not and the clothing I am referrimg to is underwear, socks, bras) The prison does not (unless it has recently changed) provide sweat pants or sweat shirts but they are available to buy. The blankets issued are very thin and most offenders crochet a blanket to place on top of the thin one they are issued. The other clothing items...such as warm sweat pants and sweat shirts must be purchased, and the yarn must also be purchased. I know that most of you do not care about any of this. Prison isn't easy and it isn't meant to be. A person can change, if they want to...but it is up to them. I took every class I could and I also took classes that were available to me to receive a time credit. In regards to Paula Cooper, I heard the stories that she was mean and hateful. I did not know two of the other codefendants but I did have a chance to get to know Karen Corder. I did not know what she was incarcerated for until after I was released. She was always very nice to me and very nice to everyone I saw her with. I don't know if she was ever in trouble while in prison. I do remember someone that Paula was supposed to be good friends with and the "good friend" had been released from prison and she got into trouble and ended up back in prison. Paula refused to speak to her former "good friend" because she didn't learn her lesson when she got out. I remember thinking that she was really judgemental for someone convicted of what she was.
    I am not sure, plreynolds might remember....I heard to she used to work in the dog program as a dog handler but that she was mean and abusive to the dog assigned to her and she was banned from the program.
    I watched the video clip and I have to say it has been a number of years since I have seen her but she didn't seem to be remorseful at all and I thought she seemed to be that she was in some kind of fantasy thinking that the community would accept her with open arms after the crime she committed. I am not saying that I don't think people deserve 2nd chances, but considering the crime that she committed I think her 2nd chance was avoiding the death penalty. I do believe that God forgives us of our sins and there are some people who need to remain in prison for the rest of their life even if they have changed. They need to make a difference from inside the prison.....
    August 29, 2012 9:22 pm on Paula Cooper: Convicted of murder at 15, a Gary woman prepares for her 2013 release
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