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Hanging out with some of the homelesss in my area, I've heard similar plights. It's HARD for someone with a criminal record to be able to make a fresh start...people are reluctant to employ someone with a past. The previous tenant in my apartment was apparently evicted because of a discovery of prior minor convictions. I'm told he was a nice old fellow...just trying to salvage what he could of a normal life.

What also angers me is that incarceration is used as a solution for petty crimes like car theft,etc. Young first-time offenders often end up developing drug addictions, being raped, & developing HIV. It's tantamount to training them to be professional criminals...keeping them locked into a system of hopelessness.


Some people become callous to the real dangers of incarceration. They seem to think it is like summer camp or like the military and that it is somehow "good." Reality and imagination do not coincide. Some Judge used to incarcerate young people for 6 months in a prison boot camp for failing to complete community service or the like. Prison boot camp ideas originated in the "south." Prison boot camps for youth were banned in Florida by former gov. Geb Bush after a 14 year old youth was murdered by drill instructions. The public still has some idea that prison boot camps will solve everyones problems. It does make the meaner meaner and the tougher tougher but it does not teach them how to get and keep a job nor does is address their underlying needs such as mental, drug treatment, nor does it teach them how to read or educate them.


Thanks for the thoughts guys; sometimes I feel like I'm speaking into a void, but it's good to know y'all are thinking about this stuff on your own. I hope you both get picked to serve on juries.

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