Sunday, October 18, 2020

PRISONS :: My NEW effort to post more often... recent thoughts.

It is hard to know what to say about prisons...  there are so many issues, and they exist in all prisons, even in the USA.  Prisons outside of the US seem to be MUCH worse, from what I have seen so far.  :-(

I have been watching some YouTube videos about prison issues, including Juvenile programs to try to keep kids out of the system.  It becomes a lifestyle if you don't reach them soon enough.  One program said it costs over $200K to incarcerate one person, and that the average sentence is 3-5 years.  A juvenile intervention program is trying to keep kids out of the justice system by putting them through an introductory process with a challenge to stay out of trouble, then paying those who make it $1000 a month for up to 9 months if they stay out of trouble.  School and job options are always a part of any government or non-profit program for kids at risk.  Mentoring is also so critical.  Family structures are destroyed in our time, and the kids pay a big price for the lack of good leadership in their homes.  The lack of those teen value items, like shoes or clothes or other things, is socially crippling when you don't have them.  Poverty pushes these vulnerable kids into the drug culture to get them.  Missing education keeps them on a wrong path.  It's such a complicated problem, for families and communities.

There was an article in the Yahoo News feed about a man who was sentenced for LIFE because he was angry and stole a hedge clippers -- in the South.  He was recently released after about 24 years --  but not by the courts, by the parole board (I think it was).  It's hard to imagine that man's time in prison.

Terrible sentencing events in the past have been in the news lately.  People being innocent and not able to defend themselves... put in prison for other issues.  I don't think any amount of money can compensate a human being for this loss of their life... but it helps to find your way as a free person.  I think it takes a lot of years to finally collect, so it doesn't help the immediate time after release.  Imagine living in your bathroom for tons of years and then having to fit into a new world with technology and other social changes.  It would be so hard.  I hope they have some kind of family help.

INC magazine has a current voting option for a new van.  There are four finalists.  You watch the videos and then choose the one you want to receive the van.  I chose the one called GANG FREE, INC -- a group that works in a project somewhere.  I hope this group is able to save the futures of many, many kids and their families.  In three of the four videos the  people shared their outreach efforts into their communities because of the VIRUS CRISIS we are all stuck in.  FOOD is always and issue in poor communities.  One needed the van to bring kids to their community programs.  Transportation that can be relied on is an important issue in any poverty program.  Poor people don't own good vehicles.  I guess that is why drug dealers like to have them and flaunt them.

I tried to find the other YouTube videos that were about prison issues, but there was only one... an HBO production about being RAISED IN THE SYSTEM.  If you have time to watch it, there are many moments to remember.

What I found were a lot of related topics, like poverty, government, debt, national disasters like the Great Depression.  I tend to see these as important parts of the bigger problem/s.

I am filling out my ballot today and tomorrow.  Legalizing drugs, raising taxes, and other issues are on my county ballot.  I don't know what government hopes to accomplish with legalizing the drug culture.  Drug destroy lives.  They make people incapable.  Drug addictions do NOTHING good for the world.  They help the pimps, the dealers, and the criminal elements of our world.  I keep saying the bill for this will choice will come due one day, probably sooner than anyone thinks.

I think sentencing and rehab options need to be improved.  But saying drugs are OK is not a good deal for anyone.

One issue on the ballot here is making vaping and e-cigarettes taxable.  I don't see why they are a separate category... seems to me they should already fit into the cigarette and cigar category for taxes.

Government is a strange force.

Sometimes so necessary, sometimes a foolish and corrupt organization.  How to make it into an honest and worthwhile protector of our nation, that is the goal and the challenge.

Until next time,

In Christ,

Deborah Martin

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