Nice story. No idea if Mr. Keane would read these comments--but what about
police or detective work? Maybe not an officer, but knowing how a criminal
thinks and acts could make him a valuable resource for any PD. IMHO.
Living beyond your past is a very difficult thing. As the well-worn (for a
reason) saying goes, "The best predictor of future behavior is past
behavior." In fact, of course, the **only** predictor of future behavior is
past behavior.Nevertheless, one of the things I've learned from
my past and the past lives of a (very) few other people I've known (in my
past), is that, as rare as it may be, real change is possible. Furthermore, I
think the whole point of Christ's life is that not only change but
redemption is possible. And, I think the hope that stems from realizing that
fact is the reason that Christianity became the largest world religion (as of
about 20 years ago, I think it's still true).So, I hope this
guy is able to hang in there and continue making enough of his current life
become a big enough chunk of his past that he can point to it with pride and use
as it evidence of his real redemption. It's tough, but possible.
A person convicted of a crime, who after stays clean for a period of time and
gives restitution to his victims, ought to be able to have their record
expunged.Isn't this just common sense?
But by the grace of God go I. That story could of been me. I was blessed when I
or should I say she found me, that changed my motivation. Amazing Grace.
I wish you well, Mr. Keane. It will take strong persistence to prevail, but it
can be done. When I was in a criminology class long ago, we had a former inmate
visit. He talked about his struggle, and stressed the importance of doing
volunteer work to prove reliability. Having an income is vital, but sometimes
the way there is long and tough. Don't give up!
Redemption comes through restitution. When he makes restitution to
those that he has damaged and the communities that spent thousands trying to
catch him then he will be forgiven. Sorry but doing prison time
(another expense), staying clean for a year and saying "I am sooooo
sorry." just does not cut it. People lost money and lives were altered
because of his actions. No forgiveness here.
Redemption and damnation are alike because you have to die to have earthier of
We all love Les Miserables and are outraged at how Valjean was treated after his
release - beaten, thrown out of towns, no one would hire him, no one would give
him a place to stay. We all think the way he was treated was so unjust, but we
do it to ex-cons all the time.I really hope an employer will give this man a
In order to do restitution, money is needed which requires a job. I
believe if he has his vision of the future opened, he is sitting on a gold mine
and doesn't realize it.
I applaud this gentleman's change of heart and can only hope that prison
actually may have done him some good. One year of sobriety for person's
situation is very commendable. I think it is far from time to even think about
expunging his record and in actuality that doesn't even matter. Someone
will give him a chance if he perseveres and it is truly in recovery then when he
reaches his ninth step the restitution everyone is clamoring about will occur.
The true recovery he speaks of is just beginning with him. Making the steps away
a life takes longer than one year. Being out and in the real world is what
it's all about and not folding to the pressure or going back to the
previous behaviors will be the indicator of where his heart and actions truly
lie. I have been in recovery for many years and I wish him nothing but the best
but in all honesty, 93% of us all return to drugs and alcohol. And we know where
that leads. Congratulations my friend but we both have a long way to go and God
will lead us there if we follow him.
The State should have a program for ex-cons like this fellow. Go to work on the
roads, parks, administration. Build a track record for future employment.
Turning people out of prison with no hope for a job almost guarantees they will
be back in prison.
If I were President, I would propose work programs for ex cons to help them
re-integrate into society. Their receipt of these programs would be dependent
on taking group socialization classes to learn to speak proper English, learn
manners and put other people first. There would be a required service
component. Then, once they have kept their nose clean for 10 years, and worked
hard, and contributed to society, their record would be sealed. Not expunged,
but sealed, not accessible by the public unless they returned to crime.
The work programs would be subsidized - 50% the first year, 30% the second, 15%
the third. By then, they should have made themselves indispensable to their
employer if they are sincere and appreciative of the opportunity. Employers
would get cheap labor, but be required to give them annual reviews and
recommendations if their work was acceptable.Recidivism is a cancer
on our society. Why isn't anyone working on a cure?
Everyone can change. Most decide it is easier to stay the same and not do the
work. When faced with free agancy we need to be able to see the right to choose
it. We as a society are often too quick to condemn. If you never see right,
how are you going to choose it?
People can and do change. This guy has spent many years of consequences for his
bad behavior. I think he deserves a second chance to be trusted and accepted
into society. May God bless him.
Forgiveness is about personally taking responsibility to learn how to heal your
self from someone else's bad behavior; it doesn't mean giving a
perpetrator a Get Out of Jail Free card without them taking responsibility for
what they have done. He isn't in a position to repay the financial damage
he cost others at this point; how could he be until he has a job with adequate
pay and how would he know just how much the dollar amount is anyway.
It's nice to make restitution, but what is more important is turning your
life around, which is hard to do without help. My prayer is that you find
someone who can do this for and with you and that you can avoid becoming
discouraged and going back to where you came from.
The nature of society would be that it would be rightfully so take time to fully
gain back 100 trust but looks like you are heading in the right direction by
admitting that you were popping in meth. The best of luck to you and I do hope
that you would never ever put yourself, "by choice" again in a situation
and environment where you would be tempted to ingest meth.
While I sympathize with this man's plight, it is a reality that you have to
pay a price for behavior even if you have now placed that life behind. Trust is
earned with time and patience. I fear in this case that the "change of
heart" may not be as deep as represented, as he is already talking about the
"unfairness" of employers. He needs to start at the bottom,
and work his way back up. He needs to present himself well, be candid about his
past, network, and if necessary flip burgers until he has earned respect for his
new found integrity. Then he can go to step two.It is unrealistic to
take the assertion of "I've changed." and accept it at face value
when as an employer that means trusting that person with your livelihood.
Well said RRSJD! Forgiveness is "easy", trust takes time. It's
foolish to take people at their word that they've changed. He must build a
track record. Prove it! We all have to live with the consequences of stupid
choices. Some are just worse than others.
It's so hard for ex cons to go straight even if they want to. It takes a
rare and unusual person to hire them and give them a chance. It's true they
have to 'pay the Piper' for what they've done and restoring their
name and reputation is all part of their road back. They can't blame people
for not trusting them right away and inviting them into their life and/or
business. They have to expect some trouble with that. But if they persist and
stay straight for a while, they begin to build a new record and new history and
gradually people will put more and more faith in that. If they complain
they're not being given a chance and can't go straight, they will not
succeed. They have to see their record as their own doing and be ready to do
whatever is necessary to live it down. To stop blaming others is Step 1. Good
things follow from that. I wish this man well. I hope he makes it in
spite of the statistical odds (93%) against him. If he does, he'll be an
inspiration to others.
He already had second, third, etc chances.He made a claim, but how
to we know that he has changed?If indeed he can show he has changed,
then fully restore his chances to become a productive citizen. Restore ALL of
As part of releasing people into society shouldn't there be a transitional
phase for them to help them adjust? I have heard of programs in other states
with work release employment but I do not know if we have them here. Maybe the
ex-convicts could do work that needs to be done for the state and prove
themselves reliable and changed. If part of the criminal justice system is
supposed to be rehabilitation we shouldn't just throw people out into
society without any skills or jobs which often leads them back into their old
habits and associations which were trouble. I agree that part of the
consequence of crime is dealing with your bad record, but I also believe in
repentance and redemption, so maybe as part of their rehabilitation the justice
system should partner with the state, individuals and companies willing to give
people a job to prove themselves and develop a resume. Then they are less
likely to relapse into the criminal behavior they used to survive before. My
grandma used to say idle hands are the devil's workshop. Keep them busy and
if they blow it, back to jail they go.