Life inside Limerick Prison

first_imgNewsLocal NewsLife inside Limerick PrisonBy Alan Jacques – November 13, 2014 7847 Limerick Prison has been part of life in the city since 1821 and has always perked the curiosity of Limerick Post reporter Alan Jacques. In the first of a two-part series, he takes a fly-on-the-wall peep around the jail to catch a glimpse of what life is like on the inside.by Alan JacquesSign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up [email protected] Mandela believed that no one truly knows a nation until they have been inside its jails. A nation, he said, “should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones”.This philosophy is one that undoubtedly rings true with the staff and management of Limerick Prison. Its mission policy is ‘to provide safe and secure custody, dignity of care and rehabilitation to prisoners for safer communities’. While its vision is simply for ‘a safer community through excellence in a prison service built on respect for human dignity’.It’s a great mantra and looks impressive on the wall of the Governor’s office but is it just empty words or do the people that run the Mulgrave Street-based prison really believe and live by these words?Absolutely and unequivocally, I would argue after getting a glimpse of what daily life is really like behind its imposing walls.Ever since I was a small child I was curious about the fortress-like jail with its army turrets and soldiers carrying machine guns. Limerick Prison would capture my imagination without fail every time I passed it on family visits to relatives living up on that side of town.The soldiers with machine guns are long gone but that childhood curiosity has remained. It always fascinated me how this large, grey, imposing building could stand in the centre of the city and yet most of us know very little about what actually goes on behind its gates.So, without a criminal record, and only TV and movies to fill in the gaps, I’ve usually been guilty of letting my imagination run a muck and picturing the very worst. I’ve always imagined the skewed and violent ‘Midnight Express’ vision of life behind bars, to the fluffier and more uplifting ‘Shawshank Redemption’ version. But, I’m actually told that the hit seventies sitcom ‘Porridge’ starring Ronnie Barker is in fact, the closest to the reality of prison life. Barker’s character Norman Fletcher, you might remember, used to chuckle that his wife told neighbours that he was away “doing missionary work in Scotland”.During my recent three-hour tour of Limerick Prison, accompanied by hearty assistant governor Mark Kennedy, he confessed, “‘Porridge’ is probably the exact same thing as we do here, we’d just be a bit more modern. That show was probably the closest to the reality of prison. The environment is the same. It’s the same ranking system and there’s a bit of banter.”Despite a lifetime’s curiosity I have to admit being a little apprehensive before my visit to the prison. And my work colleagues, all experts thanks to ‘Love/Hate’, did not help matters as they playfully offered portentous safety tips like warning me to stay clear of the infamous showers.So, I was relieved to now have the image of the quick-witted and ultimately kindhearted Norman Fletcher to replace the more deranged Hannibal Lecter type fiends that filled my dreams the night before, as I entered Limerick Prison.After producing my passport as identification at the main entrance I was then ushered towards the security screening process for a full security check. “It’s just like going away on holidays,” one of the prison officer’s remarked.I was frisked, I put my keys and coins in a little tray and went through the exact same process we do at airports, only sadly, there wasn’t two weeks in the Algarve after a flight on the other end of it.After clearing security, I was met in the prison courtyard by assistant governor, Mark Kennedy, who tells me that he used to pass Limerick Prison every day on his way to school in CBS Sexton Street when he was younger. Now with 23 years experience in the prison service, I find I am in very safe hands for my trip through Ireland’s second oldest prison (Cork being the oldest).Opened in 1821, Limerick Prison is a high security sentence and remand prison capable of housing around 260 prisoners. It is one of the oldest working prisons in Europe and an exact replica of St Joseph’s Hospital across the street. Probably something they won’t thank me for publicising, but the prison, St Joseph’s Hospital, the former army barracks in Costello’s Yard, and the hospital across the road, now the site of Limerick College of Further Education, were once all linked by tunnels.“We found one last year,” I am told.But, before any jail-breakers get the notion to go looking for these underground passages, they have since been concreted off.Prisoners come in through the main gates on Mulgrave Street and their warrant is validated. Once inside their photo is taken in front of the kind of stark mug-shot backdrop that we’ve come to know so well from reports of Justin Bieber’s miscreant escapades. A photographic record is then held of each inmate and valuables are handed into a safe for the duration of their stay.One of many myth’s that went up in a puff of smoke for me during my visit was the old TV chestnut of new prisoners being stripped down to their birthday suit and power hosed to within a scalded inch of their dignity. It doesn’t happen!But, here’s one prison statistic that will undoubtedly knock you off your feet. Out of every 15 committals to Limerick Prison under sentence in 2013, 12 were for non-payment of court ordered fines.A spokesperson for the Irish Prison Service said that people who are convicted for non-payment of fines such as their television license usually serve between a couple of hours and a couple of days in jail.Limerick Prison’s assistant governor said he is hopeful that new fines legislation will soon put an end to jailing people for non-payment of fines.“The vast majority of these would be ordinary people. At any one time we probably have 160 prisoners on temporary release for fines. They come in and they’re processed administratively and then they are discharged,” Mr Kennedy explained.“It’s no secret that people who come in on fines are here about two hours, they rarely spend an overnight in prison. Sometimes they might spend an overnight but they rarely see a proper accommodation cell. It’s a difficult experience for them at the same time. It’s not natural to be going through metal detectors,” he adds.“It’s probably safer in the prison than it is outside. You see all walks of life. We’ve had solicitors in, rugby internationals, ordinary Joe Soaps. Normally it’s for a small fine, probably less than €1,000, and they are here for under 15 days.You have people here doing a month to life. We have 15 lifers at the moment. You would have the highest crimes down to the lowest crimes and whatever society deems in between. Ninety nine per cent of them are sound.It’s a medium security prison, but it is high security. It’s a safe environment and prisoners see it as safe. We’re lucky in the Limerick staff are very mature. The vast majority work here over ten years.”I was quickly struck by the holistic approach to care and rehabilitation within the prison. There’s a huge focus on community and families, and not long after passing through its ominous façade do I start to see a very different type of prison emerge to the one I’ve grown accustomed to from TV and films. In the last 12 months Limerick Prison has taken striking steps to “softening” the prison experience for the inmates and, in particular, their families.“Once you come in past the drug dogs and screening and security on the outside we then come back into humanity inside these doors,” Mr Kennedy tells me with great pride.The bright and colourful murals, painted by inmates, in the visiting area, strike me instantly. I expected it to look drab and oppressive, but instead I am wowed by how warm, welcoming and conducive to human interaction it feels. In a female visiting room children’s toy are placed in one corner while family members wait anxiously to visit with a prisoner and loved one.As I discovered myself on entering Limerick Prison, it really is a nerve-wracking experience, and the bright colours and furnishings, certainly go some way to softening this heavy blow.“The easy thing for us to do would be to have concrete walls and not paint them, that would be the cheapest way. But you have to soften the blow for people because you have children, wives, daughters and sons coming in here. It’s not as soft as we want it to be and it is going to get softer,” the assistant governor vowed.One prison initiative that brought a tear to my eye was one where a parent serving time for a crime can record a CD telling a bedtime story which is then passed on to their children. Limerick Prison is also hoping in the future to install a more free-modelled style of visiting facility to include more open style visits, in outdoor areas to make it feel more “normal” for the prisoner and their family members.“The prisoner is here and their liberty is taken aside but the visitor coming in needs to feel comfortable. It’s important to keep that family link too,” Mr Kennedy insists.A committee was set up last year looking at the effects of prisons on families and one interesting point that came out of their findings was the idea of not treating visits as just coming to see someone, but as an intervention, an actual definite part of the whole rehabilitation process.“The big thing with prisoners is communication with the outside. When phone calls came in back in 1996 or 97, they got one phone call a week. Now they get one phone call a day for six minutes. If you work within the prison and you engage with everything you get two phone calls and it can go up and down that scale then. So that’s a big incentive and it’s good to see that a prisoner values their phone calls because they value the communication with their family if there’s a communion or a birthday at home. There’s that link with the community all the time.“This way you have a more positive impact on the prisoner and the prisoner and their family get a better quality of visit and they know the benefits. When we talk about things like incentivise regimes, giving prisoners incentives like improving their quality of visits, it make people behave and makes life better for everyone.”Limerick Prison is very much a community within a community. It mirrors life on the outside with prisoners spending their days working, training or in education, the same as we do outside its gates. I expected to be greeted with shouting and violence at every turn and prisoners banging pots and bedpans off their cell bars. Instead, I passed prisoners on the landings and different parts of the prison coming and going as they went about their daily business. Most wore their own ordinary clothes but even the prison uniform of a red shirt and faded blue jeans proved a softer garb than the harsh striped-jumpsuits I had expected to see.The place was silent other than a droning hum of activity for a soundtrack as normal everyday business was carried out within Limerick Prison’s walls.One prisoner officer even asked inquisitively as I passed his landing, “what do you think of our little city?”Assistant governor Mark Kennedy, who has worked in every Irish prison over the past two decades, sees his role as managing relationships. A friendly and approachable man, he moves confidently through the prison and interacts with every prisoner he meets on a first name basis. He is cognisant that Limerick Prison is a “community within a community” and there’s no doubt to me after a short time in his company that the prison’s mission statement and vision is something that Mark believes very passionately in.“Limerick Prison is part of the community since 1821. It’s an exact replica of Limerick City. You have doctors, solicitors, nursing, you have dentistry and psychiatry. You have everything inside here, but it’s behind a wall. It’s a community within a community. We are conscious of building relationships because we have learned from the past that you have to work with the community in Limerick because it’s so small and everyone knows each other,” he insists.The prisoner’s living quarters were compact in size with small creature comforts such as a jug kettle and TV, as well as stereos and PlayStation 2 in many of the cells. Magazine posters of buxom pin-ups and photographs of smiling children looked down from the walls and while space and light were in short supply the cells looked well liveable and appeared to be treated by their inhabitants with the utmost of respect and care.“This is someone’s cell. It has in-cell sanitation, a small kettle, TV and he has a PlayStation 2. We have a catalogue of games in the library and he can bring them back then and play them here. Now what we could do, is if someone doesn’t have the funds, we do a kind of hire purchase. We bought about 100 PlayStations when they were just going out of date. This is a typical cell and it’s nice and clean, because this is where he is living,” Mr Kennedy points out.A spokesman from the Irish Prison Service who joins us on our walkabout of the jail is quick to say that prisoners not only pay for their crimes but they pay for their TV and game consoles too. Inmates get a daily gratuity payment ranging from 95 cent to €1.70 up to €2.20 depending on their participation in structured activities such as education or, work and training, and the quality of their behaviour. The objective is to provide real incentives to encourage prisoners to participate in structured activities in Limerick Prison and to reinforce good behaviour. Prisoners out of their gratuity payment pay for comforts such as TVs and radios and game consoles themselves.The Irish Prison Service spokesman explained, “Ultimately people are sent to prison as punishment, not to be punished. We need to work with them to address the issues that caused them to be sent to prison in the first place. We need to work with offenders to rehabilitate them and make society safer.”Prisoners on D-wing are also rewarded for good behaviour with use of two Xbox game consoles in their recreation room.Mr Kennedy also tells me that the introduction of televisions into prisoners’ cells in 2002 has helped drastically reduce the rate of suicides and self-harm in Irish prisons.“If you have someone who comes in here in bad shape you can’t engage with them in a proper way. That’s all part of the process, getting them healthy, putting on weight. If they come in and they don’t feel safe you can’t do anything for them.Once they get the safety thing into there head, ‘I am safe in Limerick Prison’, and the vast majority of prisoners here would feel comfortable, you can start working with them. Comfortable is probably a word people on the outside don’t want to hear but prisoners are comfortable in the prison,” said Mr Kennedy.The prison cells are unlocked every morning at 8.15, when prisoners collect their breakfast and return to their cells. The cells are then locked for breakfast and unlocked again at 9.10am as inmates head off for school, work, outdoor exercise, family visits or cleaning duties. Lunch is served at 12 noon and prisoners are locked back in their cells again until 2.10pm again when they return to work and education. Being Catholic Ireland and a Friday, boiled potatoes and fish were on the menu the day I visited the prison.Tea is then served at 4pm and prisoners are locked back in their cells until 5.20pm when they are allowed two hours recreation or outdoor exercise before being locked back in their cells for the night at 7.30pm.The prison yard with its barbed wire and netting to catch any items thrown from outside into the jail was the most prison-like setting in the whole compound. It serves as a stark reminder of the grim reality of incarceration and lacked the “softer” more humane feel now evident elsewhere in Limerick Prison.The women’s cells situated in the older part of the prison built back in 1821 felt more Dickensian. It was dark and felt less habitable compared to the male side of the prison. Earlier this year peace activist, Margaretta D’Arcy, described the conditions for Limerick women prisoners as “inhuman”, after serving part of a second sentence over her opposition to the US Military use of Shannon Airport. While last month a Review of Penal Policy published by the Department of Justice was critical of the lack of progress in redeveloping the women’s section of Limerick Prison. Governor Patrick Dawson, who believes in a “more humane prison regime”, is well aware of the issues in the women’s wing and is confident that they will be put to rights with the new build. Mr Dawson told the Limerick Post that this work will be done under the ongoing capital project with the Irish Prison Service and for now insists that prison staff and management do “their best to treat all prisoners with respect and dignity”.Limerick Prison is well versed in receiving its fair share of negative and more sensationalized press coverage down the years and therefore shies away from publicizing the many positive and inspiring projects that take place within its walls. Woodworks students at the prison continually produce woodcraft items for a range of charities including benches for the Alzheimer’s Association and cribs for Bedford Row Family Centre. Limerick Prison also have six teams comprised of four to five prisoners, which is sent out to do various work including painting for local charities.“We don’t do positive publicity very well. We do it but we don’t publicize it.We send work parties into the community and we have a workshop that makes garden furniture for charities. It’s far sexier to write about some prisoner getting a thump off another fella,” Mr Kennedy suggested.“We’d be in the papers, probably every week, for the wrong reasons. There’s a wealth of stuff going on across the board – positive things — in the prison. We’re very much cognizant of the fact that we don’t replicate what a commercial entity is doing outside. So we just go straight in and do purely charitable work. We don’t do someone out of a contract and it’s not five fellas in boiler suits chain-ganged on the road. It’s a softer and healthier approach. It’s about going in and helping local communities and this helps prisoners make reparations too,” he concluded. Advertisement TAGSAlan JacquesfeaturedIrish Prison ServicelimerickLimerick Prison Twitter Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Email Vanishing Ireland podcast documenting interviews with people over 70’s, looking for volunteers to share their stories Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” Linkedincenter_img WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Print Previous articleThe Telescopes play LimerickNext articleBusiness owners terrorised by racists in Limerick Alan Jacqueshttp://www.limerickpost.ie Facebook Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORlast_img read more

Report sees $68 billion business opportunity in U.S. offshore wind development

first_imgReport sees $68 billion business opportunity in U.S. offshore wind development FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Over the past two years, states along the U.S. East Coast have announced increasingly ambitious targets to build offshore wind projects.In January of this year, to cite the most consequential recent example, New York nearly quadrupled its offshore wind target to 9,000 megawatts by 2035.But what do the gigawatts’ worth of state-level commitments mean for companies unsure whether to commit resources to become part of the supply chain for offshore wind projects?A new report from the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind (SIOW) at the University of Delaware aims to provide “first-of-its-kind granularity” into the U.S. offshore wind supply chain. The report forecasts 18.6 gigawatts of U.S. offshore wind procurements through 2030, which represents a $68.2 billion opportunity for suppliers.Here’s how the report breaks down the $68.2 billion U.S. offshore wind build-out through 2030. The market is likely to install at least: 1,700 offshore wind turbines and towers (worth $29.6 billion); 1,750 offshore wind turbine and substation foundations ($16.2 billion); 5,000 miles of power export, upland, and array cables ($10.3 billion); 60 onshore and offshore substations ($6.8 billion).In addition, the market is likely to see $5.3 billion invested in marine support, insurance and project management activities.More: Building out the U.S. offshore wind supply chain—a $68 billion opportunitylast_img read more

How To Avoid Six Big Money Mistakes

first_img Share Share LifestyleMoney How To Avoid Six Big Money Mistakes by: – November 11, 2011 183 Views   no discussions Sharecenter_img Sharing is caring! Tweet I have been counseling people, especially women, about money for some years now. Through my own financial journey and my experience with others, I have found that there are common mistaken beliefs that cause fear and discourage women from taking full responsibility for their financial health. These deeply held beliefs, or misconceptions, are often not grounded in reality. Although we may be unaware of these beliefs, they affect how we think, feel and act, not only around money, but also in our relationships with others. Fortunately, we can learn to identify our unhelpful money beliefs, work to change them and take rightful charge of our financial lives.Let’s look at some common misconceptions about money I routinely come across in my private practice.If I don’t think about it, I won’t have to deal with it. This is the number one mistaken belief I have encountered. Women tend to avoid the hard facts and live “as if,” the way they imagine or would like it to be. For example, they charge a pair of expensive shoes and figure they’ll worry about the money later. Or they don’t have a budget or any idea how they’ll support themselves in old age. This keeps them in a type of fantasyland where they don’t have to think about or solve financial problems. I worked with a talented artist who avoided opening her bills. The bills would come in the mail and she would just pile them unopened, afraid on some level to “look at” them. As long as she didn’t know the truth (the amount due) she felt she could continue to live as if the debt weren’t there. As you can imagine, this created problems in her life, one of which was a bad credit history. She eventually realized this as a problem and sought my help. (In our work, we consider this a “beautiful problem” because it opens the door to facing our fear and our resistance, enabling us eventually to investigate the truth.) Once she uncovered her mistaken beliefs and looked at her fear, she hired a bookkeeper to help straighten out her bank accounts and pay her bills. In time, she was able to take responsibility for the bookkeeping herself.I don’t have enough, so why bother? Many women believe you have to be wealthy to invest in a retirement plan. They don’t “get” the concept of wealth building. One of my clients, a very successful therapist, had been a teacher in her former career and received quarterly statements from the state’s retirement plan for educators. However, she never opened these statements and merely tossed them out like junk mail. She assumed that her account wasn’t worth much since she had contributed so little during her short tenure as a teacher. When she finally opened one of the statements, she was surprised to discover a modest amount had accumulated in her account. Together we looked at the role her defeatist belief about money had played, and why she ignored her retirement plan for so many years. With a small amount of savings socked away, she now grasped the positive ramifications of taking ownership of her account and her future.Money is not “spiritual.” Another widespread misconception, especially for women in the helping professions, is that wanting or dealing with money is somehow unholy and not in harmony with their spiritual work and beliefs. They feel that giving one’s attention to money could somehow taint the purity of their desire to help and heal people. Often I find that women in the service professions have a difficult time valuing their services and they tend to undercharge or not charge at all. Their “caregiver” often wins out and they tend to apologize when asked what their rate is. With these women, the “beautiful problem” we work on helps them look at their self-worth. They come to see that the good work they do as healers and helpers is extremely valuable, and having a sufficient income can help them continue to contribute to the world. Receiving adequate compensation, they learn, is very spiritual.If I mix my money with my husband’s, I’ll lose autonomy. Recently, an interesting theme has come up as I work with women who are contemplating marriage or renegotiating the financial terms of their relationships/marriages. They don’t want to mix assets or negotiate with their partners about how to spend their money. They want more autonomy with money. One of my friends recently told me, “I got a small inheritance from my family and this is going to be in my name only. I don’t want to have to debate how to spend this money. This is mine to do with what I want.” Having autonomy is terrific. But avoiding the “money talk” with your partner can impinge on your financial freedom as well. In my friend’s case, she didn’t want to consult her husband, the investor/controller of all their other finances. So she stashed her money in a savings account, where it sits earning little or no interest because investing it is just too complicated for her to contemplate. I helped her see that her fear of losing autonomy was preventing her from asking for help. She finally did talk to her husband about wanting to keep the inheritance separate. And now she is taking charge and slowly learning how to be a responsible steward of her inheritance.I don’t need to know how to handle money. My husband takes care of me. This is a common mistaken belief of women in their seventies and older, as it was with my mother. Financial power for that generation was traditionally the domain of the male partner. In my parents’ time, most women did not have a clue about their marital assets, how their savings were invested, or if they even had savings. They never learned about investing or how to budget. In many instances, they didn’t even know how to pay bills or balance a checkbook. Their husbands took care of everything. When their husbands died or they divorced, they were easy targets for dishonest people who stepped in to “help” them with their finances.I’m too old to learn. A corollary of the above belief is that it’s just too late to acquire financial literacy. Here’s an inspiring story from my own family proving this isn’t true. My parents got divorced after 50 long years of marriage. In her 80s, my mother had no idea how to handle the money she received in the settlement. Initially she felt overwhelmed, as one might imagine. But for the first time in her life, she wanted to master her own finances and be in control. With my help, she gradually learned how to read an investment statement and understand how much income she would receive and could comfortably spend. Having grown up during the depression, she lived in fear every day that she did not have enough. She truly had the “depression hangover” where she was always one day away from the bread lines, despite my reassuring her that she had more than enough money to live comfortably. Eventually, by acquiring knowledge of her assets and spending, she was able to overcome some of this fear and gain a feeling of security. Empowerment does not come cheap. You can’t snap your fingers and all of a sudden be at the helm of your financial wheel. But you can take actions, steps that build on each other to bring financial health and well being to your life. Suze Orman, in her book, Women & Money, asks two very revealing questions. “Why is it that women, who are so competent in all other areas of their lives, cannot find the same competence when it comes to matters of money?” And, “Why don’t we show our money the same care and attention that we shower on every other important relationship in our lives?” She counsels that women have to cast off two deeply imbedded attitudes: “the burden of shame and the tendency to blame.” The shame of ignorance and the desire to blame instead of taking full responsibility for our own actions are common behavior patterns that don’t serve us, both in matters of money or in life.In my coaching work, I remind each client that she is responsible for her money life. No one else is-not her partner, bookkeeper, or financial advisor. To have a healthy relationship to money requires consciousness. One of the first steps you can take toward being more conscious about your money attitudes and behaviors is to examine your underlying beliefs and really ask yourself, “Is this belief helping me become smarter and more confident about my finances?” As I see more women answer this question with a resounding “Yes!” it gives me joy to work with money and watch them grow confident and responsible with their finances.Helen Hamada By ThirdAge.comlast_img read more

UW quarterbacks continue to fight injuries

first_imgRedshirt sophomore Joe Brennan has only completed six passes in his lone year on the field, but he could be Wisconsin’s starter next year due to injuries to two upperclassmen.[/media-credit]As is the case with any college football team, spring football can be a crucial time for the coaching staff as it tries to find the puzzle pieces to replace the holes left by graduating seniors. This will be an especially difficult task for the reigning Big Ten champion Wisconsin Badgers, as fans expect nothing less than continuing to compete at the highest level regardless of the personnel head coach Bret Bielema has available.One position that has already sparked plenty of preseason discussion has been the quarterback position and who will be chosen as the replacement for one-and-done starter Russell Wilson.Both of Bielema’s top recruits, redshirt junior Jon Budmayr and redshirt senior Curt Phillips, have dealt with significant injury problems over the past year that are just beginning to improve and leave a huge question mark at, arguably, the most important position on the field.Phillips, who is recovering from the most recent of a string of knee problems, including ACL tears that have forced him to the sidelines the last two seasons, is just beginning to practice and has yet to do any drills with the regular team.“[He] has been involved moderately with the throwing, the individual time, nothing [where] we got live bodies moving around,” Bielema said at his Monday press conference. “He has continued to make good strides.”Meanwhile, Budmayr has continued to struggle with neurological issues in his shoulder and elbow that have plagued him for the past year and are just beginning to be diagnosed by doctors.“Last week, at the end of the week, [Budmayr] got some indication as to what they feel might be the problem, ” Bielema said. “He is actually at the Mayo Clinic this week getting some second opinions for him to move forward, and hopefully [they are] on the right path there for him.”Considering the bad luck the Badgers have suffered from over the last few years regarding quarterback injuries, many have begun to question whether Bielema needs to make it a priority to recruit more quarterbacks.Since his first season as the Badgers’ head coach in 2006, Bielema has made it a point to recruit only one quarterback each year.“I made a conscientious decision my first year that we were going to sign one quarterback and one tailback every year,” Bielema said. “Obviously, the predicament that you get in is if you have two quarterbacks, or in our situation, three quarterbacks, that didn’t work out because of injury. … [But] it provided an opportunity like what we saw with Russell [Wilson].”The time for the younger quarterbacks in the group – redshirt freshman Joel Stave and redshirt sophomore Joe Brennan – may come sooner than they know. Bielema expects they will continue to improve with time, especially with the uncertainty of the current quarterback situation, in the areas of on-field communication and reading the game.“I just want to see the composure in the huddle, being able to communicate, … and that has been outstanding,” Bielema said. “I think both of them [look good]; even the players around them have noticed that right away.”Next season will also be the first time in the last few years that the Badgers will look to new starters at the kicker and punter positions. Last year’s starting kicker, Philip Welch, graduated this year as the Big Ten’s leader in extra point field goals made (207), a tough shadow for any new kicker to overcome.As a result, the coaching staff has made it a focus to make sure redshirt sophomore kicker Kyle French and redshirt freshman punter Drew Meyer are prepared for the type of pressure they will be forced to face on a regular basis next fall in the Big Ten.“We try to create as many pressure situations as possible. [French] was four-for-four [a couple of days ago],” Bielema said. “It’s all about trying to create as much pressure as possible in scenarios; nothing is going to be like 80,000 fans next fall, but you can try to do your best [to replicate it].”last_img read more