Sunday, March 11, 2012

Compassion for the Prisoner

At church this morning, the pastor opened his sermon by telling a story about an old lady who helped an ex-convict when he got out of jail. She put him in touch with people who assisted him in finding a job and a place to stay, and she was also a friend to the ex-convict, to the point that he called her "Mom".

That stood out to me because I've wondered what exactly a person would do after being released from jail. Where would he go? What would he do? Living in a place requires money. How could a person pay for an apartment, when he's been in jail and thus has not been working? And, after getting out of jail, would a person have difficulty finding a job, since employers may not want to hire an ex-convict?

What I just said is not an absolute, though. There are prisoners who manage to work while they are serving their time. In some prisons, prisoners can be trained for a vocation, and there are groups that match felons with jobs after their release. In my opinion, it's important to make ex-convicts aware of that when they get out of jail, since a steady income and a place to live can serve as factors that can contribute to their rehabilitation while reducing the likelihood for recidivism.

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