Redemption: Former 'menace' asks society for another chance

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  • Kelliebelle66 West Jordan, UT
    June 11, 2014 3:07 p.m.

    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.

  • 100%TruePAtriot cincinnati, OH
    June 11, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    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 his rights.

  • Nighshade Acton, MA
    June 9, 2014 3:44 p.m.

    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.

  • dotGone Puyallup, WA
    June 9, 2014 3:18 p.m.

    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.

  • RRSJD Central Point, OR
    June 9, 2014 2:15 p.m.

    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.

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    June 9, 2014 2:05 p.m.

    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.

  • CA Granny PETALUMA, CA
    June 9, 2014 12:59 p.m.

    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.

  • alanjones520 Tustin, CA
    June 9, 2014 11:22 a.m.

    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.

  • LittleStream Carson City, NV
    June 9, 2014 10:56 a.m.

    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?

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    June 9, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    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?

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    June 9, 2014 10:25 a.m.

    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.

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    June 9, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    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.

  • midvale guy MIDVALE, UT
    June 9, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    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.

  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    June 9, 2014 8:13 a.m.

    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.

  • Reader Sandy, UT
    June 9, 2014 7:15 a.m.

    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 chance.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    June 9, 2014 6:17 a.m.

    Redemption and damnation are alike because you have to die to have earthier of em.

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    June 9, 2014 5:29 a.m.

    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.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    June 9, 2014 12:08 a.m.

    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!

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    June 8, 2014 11:28 p.m.

    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.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 8, 2014 8:34 p.m.

    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?

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    June 8, 2014 6:40 p.m.

    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.

  • Well.... Phoenix, AZ
    June 8, 2014 5:28 p.m.

    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.