Don’t Count Me Out!

Following on the heels of The Clean Slate Act, which offers the possibility those with criminal records of having their records sealed, and The First Step Act, which gives non-violent offenders an alternative to jail time to get in a rehab program and clean up their act is a prison reform act that would expunge criminal records is gaining steam in order to help reduce Pennsylvania’s prison population.    http://levittownnow.com/2019/06/10/series-of-criminal-justice-reforms-gaining-steam-in-pa/ 

People who really mess up should be given the option, the opportunity to get straight. The ball is in their court, and they have to want to work on improving themselves. Just because someone goes to jail, you shouldn’t count them out for life. 

Some do write people off once they mess up. Years ago, when I worked in a Pennsylvania State park, a law enforcement official told me that once you go to jail and enter the system, you are a career criminal. I disagreed. I pointed out the famous short story writer O. Henry, was sentenced to jail for five years for embezzlement from a bank. He was released after three years for good behavior. While in prison, he wrote short stories to support his young daughter. 

O. Henry got straight and stayed straight.

The state ranger argued “he (O Henry) was being punished.”  Unable to convince me of his view, he stated that the state of Pennsylvania believes what he said. That the government says something is right does not convince me. The government is populated by fallible human beings. They are not the final authority. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0377958/bio 

In America, we have the right to redress grievances, and if something is wrong, it may be changed. This is what is happening with prison reform. A call to follow up on Christian prison ministries, to mentor those when they get out is argued in a Salvation Army blog: https://www.salvationarmy.org/nhqblog/news/2014-06-20-the-revolving-door?fbclid=IwAR12yk-bu1SucA_FeE2muTk0eQKWrzPfZ9ZEKuvGmzFrtWWOB1mHkqhyX8g

With their freedom, prisoners who are let out need to act responsibly and work hard to keep straight. To that end, Conquering Life Prison and Recovery Ministries (CLPRM) was created.   http://www.clprm.org/ 

 Through Biblical counsel and working with each other in community, problem people get redeemed. We are all broken people, and Jesus can make us whole. He is the answer to all our issues.