~ Bad Boy Meeks: Has A Second Chance Already~

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June 18, 2014: This booking photo released by the Stockton Police Department is Jeremy Meeks. Meeks, 30, was one of four men arrested Wednesday in raids in Stockton, Calif.AP/Stockton Police Dept.

A handsome mug shot of a Northern California man arrested on felony weapons charges has gone viral on social media, attracting more than 30,000 “likes” and drawing comments praising his high cheek bones, chiseled face and striking blue eyes.

Jeremy Meeks, 30, a felon, was arrested Wednesday on five weapons charges and one gang charge, according to Officer Joseph Silva, a spokesman for the Stockton Police Department.

No previous arrest photo has garnered so much positive attention since the department set up the Facebook page in March 2012, Silva told The Associated Press.

“Wow. That is one good looking mug shot!” one person wrote.

“Momma, I’m in love with a criminal,” wrote another.

Some of the users also wrote that Meeks should be released because he was “handsome,” while others disapproved of the attention showered on Meeks, calling those praising the man’s looks “stupid” and “desperate.”

Silva reportedly said that Meeks is “one of the most violent criminals in the Stockton area” and added that Meeks was being held on a $900,000 bond, and was scheduled to be put on trial Friday afternoon.

second chance alliance

This is another amazing encounter with how the world views what is entertainment and praise worthy. I am looking at the possibilities this viral exposure can afford Mr. Meeks and his family if he changes his views on criminal activity. We all are children of a “Second Chance God”. This is another family man locked away from his family and although his choices propelled him into this incarceration, I feel his choices can get him a new start. He is blessed with good looks that can be marketed into a living wage for himself and his family. I thank God for this opportunity for this disenfranchised individual because so many of us don’t get noticed. Mr. Meeks should be at this moment contemplating his options verses this onslaught of attention.

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Dear Aaron,

Last November you read this letter about my friend and colleague, Kevin Ring, who was headed to prison. It’s now been six months since Kevin self-surrendered to FPC Cumberland and not a day goes by that I don’t think about him and his two young daughters.

As you can imagine, this past Sunday – Father’s Day – was an extremely difficult day for him. In fact, he wrote this beautiful and powerful piece that was featured in Sunday’s Washington Post. If you don’t read the whole thing (it’s not very long), I’d like you to at least read this one point he raises.

Fatherhood should not be a “get out of jail free” card, of course. All of us at Cumberland earned our tickets of entry. Nor would knowing that a convicted rapist or murderer was also a good Little League coach or Boy Scout leader move me if I were tasked with sentencing him. But in most cases, especially those involving the nonviolent offenders with whom I’m serving, I would want to know about the defendant as a parent, and about his family. For as much as it hurts us fathers, a growing body of research says it hurts our kids, too.”

I see this when I visit Kevin in prison. I watch the children as they eagerly wait for their dads to come through the visiting room door, and I see the big smiles that break out when they finally appear. I’ve seen fathers scoop up their kids, one in each arm, and squeeze them tight almost as if to absorb them. I’ve watched as a father gives a bottle to an infant, as another one buries his head in a toddler’s tummy making him laugh, and another plays endless card games with an older son.

Any one of these acts is a “Kodak moment” of fatherhood, yet it unfolds in a prison visiting room and will end at the given hour. The kids will return to a home without a father and, if they are lucky, will get another trip to prison in the not-too-distant future to see their dads again.

For a country that prides itself on innovation, we are remarkably unimaginative when it comes to punishment. As Kevin says, fatherhood should not be a “get out of jail free” card, but family impact should be considered at sentencing, because as I’ve heard for decades, when someone goes to prison, the whole family goes with him or her.

This is yet one more reason to support FAMM. We change laws that change lives – not just for the defendant or prisoner, but for the families that come with them. 

We are $15,000 short of our goal of $25,000 for this month. Please donate here to help us raise the funds we need to change the most laws that will have the broadest impact on families across America.

 

My best,

Julie

Julie Stewart
President and Founder
Families Against Mandatory Minimums

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