How to Keep Parolees Out of Prison

libertyRather than attacking employers, we should find incentives for them to hire rehabilitated ex-convicts. My brother served nearly 18 years in prison. When he humbly reentered society in 2007, he hit brick walls every where he turned that first year back in civilization. But, thanks to a special program, he has been gainfully employed the past two years and I’ve seen his confidence and self esteem grow.

We can posture and make demands of corporate America, but we must realize that while there is the occasional bleeding heart Liberal at the helm of some companies, most are run by strict, capitalist business men and reaching out to anyone has to mean there’s something in it for them.

If sisters, mothers, cousins and friends want to help the men (and some women [becoming the largest growing population in prisons around the country]) get jobs and hopefully stay out of the corrections system, I recommend looking around the country for programs that are working and selling those programs to your communities. Get a motivated “positive” person behind your effort. Something tells me, however, that these programs are in place and therefore, there is more for which to be concerned.

Are these young men/women returning without the ability to read and write? Do they have any skills? Do they have the tools to be successful? Are they encouraged or are they demeaned? Are they loved?

Having spent three years teaching personal economics to “boys” (ages 17 – 22) at a maximum security detention center, I believe they all got there in the first place because of the lack of love. To reenter society and not feel love, that, coupled with having no job prospects, is the perfect recipe for candidacy into crime.

Bottom line…Parents love your children – everyday! If they are incarcerated and are lucky to return, support and encourage them to be successful – don’t hound them. Employers, please work with your local communities to find ways to support their needs.

Donna Perdue

Published by the LA Progressive on January 3, 2011
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