We might not be able to afford counseling, at least at first, but we could help heal the broken by giving them the chance to serve. It is such a healing experience to give, and I think many broken people feel that they have nothing to give, and so do not experience this healing. When you give to someone, you are opening the doors of your heart -- then those same doors are open to receiving gratitude and love. For a person who has been rejected by society and placed into jail (or detention), feeling a positive connection with people is absolutely vital. Someone who feels they are going to continue being mistreated and distrusted is not going to take the risk of growing, of finding better ways to live, but someone who feels that there is at least a chance of them being loved and accepted just might be willing to take that risk. We need to show people in prison that they do have a chance of being a productive, accepted, loved member of society.
"Juvenile offenders start life over with a crochet hook"
These people have attempted murder, destroyed people's property, sold drugs, etc. But given the chance to create and to give to others, something changes in them. It's not perfect, of course, but it is a large improvement over the norm: once released, 85 percent stay out -- far up from the national average of 50 percent. The article describes one person's experience in particular: "To see his eyes well up with emotion about the smiles his blankets have brought a needy elderly man and a toddler in a day-care center is to witness genuine tenderness." That person, Branden, was in for attempted murder, and for the first year and a half of his time there refused to join the program. Now he has created more blankets than anyone else, and speaks with real hope about his future.
I hope that people take notice and use the power of giving to change the lives of all inmates, not just the young ones. I believe all people deserve that chance.
((note: I found this article through the Good News Network, a site that collects positive news from other publications. Anyone can submit, so if you regularly read the news, please submit any positive news you find! You can also add the site's feed on LJ: good_news_net))
LJ idol topic 4: "Current Events" ((feel free to vote here if you get something from this post))