“Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”
I agree with the tenor of that saying, but I wonder, If a person does the crime and the time then why after he/she has done the time do they still have to pay for the crime?
For the past two years God has brought many African-American men into my life. Several of them are convicted felons. As a result, they have an extremely difficult time finding work. If a person has paid their debt to society, what gives employers the right to ask on an application if they have ever been convicted of a felony? Believe it or not, it is easy to get a felony.
Here are some crimes that could be considered felonies:
- Drug abuse
- Disorderly conduct
- Curfew and loitering
That’s right! A person in their twenties could violate curfew and get a felony and unless they can afford (pay a lot of money) to get that felony expunged from their record, they will have a hard time finding work for the rest of their lives.
In addition, a felon loses his/her right to vote for life! And in some cases they cannot get financial assistance for education or mortgages.
So, a person can make one mistake, do their time, be encouraged to turn their lives around and become a contributive member of society, be released, but have very little chance to succeed. It’s a recipe for failure. Thus, 60% of felons end up back in prison.
Does that sound fair to you?
I know there are some felons who commit serious, violent crimes, but some estimates say that has much as 70% of all prisoners are incarcerated for nonviolent crimes (mainly drug use).
While everyone of us are accountable for our own actions, why should 1 mistake end up penalizing a person for the rest of their lives?
In the bible we are commanded to care for prisoners (Matthew 25:36). At the very least this means we need to raise our awareness of this issue and speak up for those who have no voice.