Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.
– Benjamin Franklin, American inventor and politician
Because of the cycle of riotous and addicted behavior that once governed this family life, separation and uncertainty hammered at their peace and existence. But due to the participants being tenacious enough to pursue a second chance by uniting themselves with proactive and structured communities to become consumers and tax payers, leaders of their family and models within their communities. Mother’s have been reunited to children and grand children, fathers to son’s and various companies that these individuals are associated with are getting a honest individual that is very assiduous in work ethics.
Bad habits have been broken due to the model of these individuals. They used the skills given while within community of one another. Skills like:
1.Change the environment to change your behavior
2. Learn new behavior (using models, self-instructions)
3. Using controlling or conditioned response
4. Relapse prevention
5. Motivation training–increasing our drive level
6. Meet basic needs (so they won’t get in the way)
7. Recognize your motives and defense mechanisms
A bottle in the field lye’s lifeless exposed to all the elements until it is discovered by a compassionate individual who realizes the significance of the redemption value of that bottle. While there are thousands of bottles getting out of prison that will lye in the field of despair without any networking skills or connections to empower them. Second Chance Alliance desires to create opportunities for people to transform their own lives by fostering behavioral changes that promote personal responsibility, healthy relationships and positive contributions to society. We accomplish this through programs that provide job readiness and life skills training, along with job placement, mental health and prisoner re-entry services, relapse prevention and sober-living housing for adults in need.
I don’t pity any man who does hard work worth doing. I admire him. I pity the creature who does not work, at whichever end of the social scale he may regard himself as being.
The stigma associated with being an ex-felon in America is unlike anything a person can comprehend unless they walk in the shoes of ex-felons. People get ill everyday but they somehow recover and are able to seek opportunity and they are made whole. Ex-felons on the other hand suffer for a lifetime for decisions that they made in the spur of the moment. Some people understand the dynamics associated with persons who struggle daily to regain their respect and dignity in their communities because they were previously convicted of a felony. Then there are those who believe that once a person has been convicted of a felony they should be treated as felons and denied opportunities for the rest of their lives. We have programs in every state that offers assistance to ex-felons being released from prison, yet, every time ex-felons complete applications for employment, they are constantly reminded that some things never change.
In America ex-felons carry the stigma of being convicted for life. A conviction is like the metaphorical scarlet letter. When people see you they see your conviction because many folks in America will never let you forget that you committed a crime.
Today we are beginning to witness a paradigm shift in how ex-felons are treated. Unfortunately it is not because of the reasons that we would think. Ex-felons are treated different now because of the economy. Many states, counties and cities are receiving fewer funds for housing prisoners and have released prisoners who in times past they deemed posed threats to society. Decisions such as these makes rational people think about whether these people actually ever posed a threat to society in the first place.
According to the research, there are approximately 2.8 million ex-felons currently locked up in jails and prisons in the U.S. African American make up approximately 47% of the inmate population in the U.S. yet they account for only 12.7 % of the population in the U. S. African Americans are disproportionately represented in every state in the U.S. This means that their percentage in the prison population is greater than their percentage in the state’s general population. Sixty (60%) of the one million people who are released from prison return to prison within 3 years many of them much quicker!
Today Ex-felons are visible in every facet of life. America and Americans are becoming more tolerant of ex-felons in sports, media, education, military and areas in which felons benefit organizations but corporate America and political entities continue to maintain a strict stance against ex-felons. However, there are states such as Louisiana who allow ex-felons to run for public office after being released from probation or parole for fifteen years.
Neighborhoods, Recidivism and Employment Among Returning Prisoners
Jeffrey Morenoff and David Harding of the University of Michigan examined the association between neighborhood context and the outcomes related to recidivism and employment among a cohort of prisoners released from Michigan state prisons in 2003 (award number 2008-IJ-CX-00018).
Returning to a more disadvantaged neighborhood was associated with higher risks of absconding and returning to prison for a technical violation, a lower risk of being arrested, and more adverse labor market outcomes, including less employment and lower wages. Cumulative exposure to disadvantaged neighborhoods was associated with lower employment and wages but not related to recidivism. Returning to a more affluent neighborhood was associated with a lower risk of being arrested, absconding, and returning to prison on a technical violation, and more positive labor market outcomes, including greater employment and wages. Being employed substantially reduced the risk of all recidivism outcomes, but there was no evidence that employment mediated the association between neighborhoods and recidivism.
Taken together, these results suggest that the neighborhoods parolees experience during parole were strong predictors of recidivism and labor market outcomes, but there is not a simple answer to the question of what neighborhood characteristics constitute “risky” environments for parolees. This project was the first to assemble and analyze a rich dataset of administrative records on individual parolees and to link these records with data on neighborhood context.