March 2019
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wounded people hurt others, but giving can heal / news -- juvenile offenders create & give blankets

I firmly believe that the only reason anyone ever hurts someone else is because they have been hurt. It's a cycle of pain -- we all have brokenness, and our brokenness causes us to hurt others. For this reason, I think it disturbing that we lock people away (which causes them MORE brokenness) and don't do anything to heal them before releasing them into society again. It's treating the symptom, not the cause. I understand that it would be terribly costly to give them help, and that it would be unfair to all of the broken people who have not committed crimes and cannot afford help -- but at the same time, the most compassionate, giving, wise people are the ones who have been deeply broken, done hurtful things to themselves and others, and then been healed. If we truly worked on healing the broken, we would have an incredible resource of wise people to learn from.

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))

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lilerthkwake ══╣╠══
I fully believe that even the people who commit the most heinous crimes are still PEOPLE. They need love the same as all of us do.

Great entry.
belenen ══╣interconnectedness╠══
YES indeed. and thank you!
blood_4_deniro ══╣╠══
it's a great article. i'm glad theyre doing some good and rehabilitating these kids instead of sticking them in jail and letting them learn even worse habits than they went in there with. although i dont think it'd work on everyone (sociopaths and psychopaths for example, who cant feel empathy or can lie so well they can fake empathy) the 85% success rate should make other cities look into programs like this.
belenen ══╣writing╠══
I agree!
amber_n_teal ══╣╠══
Love the post, and THANKS for the link to the Good News Network, that's exactly what I'd like to read!
belenen ══╣writing╠══
thanks, and you're welcome! ;-)
zyada ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣beautiful╠══
oh wow, how wonderful ♥
theardent ══╣╠══
Very nice!

I also agree with your assessment, and I see some possible solutions. If the government were to simply give an increased tax-break or tax-based incentive to non-profit organizations that are dedicated to physically going to prisons, then perhaps the U.S. (and other countries) could get a firmer grip on the actual root of crime.

Also--as someone else pointed out--in this system mercy is usually up to a jury, not common sense or truth; a female or racial minority may very well get out of a sentence altogether when she/they committed a crime equal to someone serving years, all dependent on the jury. On the flip side, the inverse may happen--especially with minorities--and someone who had performed a lesser crime can "do more time" than a person who has done worse.

But one of the biggest underlying points I see from this is of simple mercy. When do I give up on someone for hurting me, after they've done it over and over? What if they do not show signs of improvement after a while? What if they DO, but still slip-up sometimes? How does our current system respond to this? It doesn't. How do I, as a person, respond to it? Should I? Should you?
belenen ══╣analytical╠══
Re: Very nice!
I like how you looked at it and brought it back to a very personal view! thanks for the comment ♥
lacombe ══╣╠══
I used that technique a great deal as a teacher. Whenever possible, I'd always find a way to show others ways to give and share, and to give them responsibility and trust they weren't necessarily used to.
belenen ══╣inspired╠══
awesome! I'm glad there are teachers like you ♥
blue_eye ══╣blue_eye╠══
There *is* hope.
belenen ══╣hopeful╠══
yes ♥
lacombe ══╣╠══
I was fired. :-P
belenen ══╣confused╠══
lacombe ══╣╠══
sidheblessed ══╣╠══
Your post describes very well why I got into the line of work I did and why I want to be a counsellor. I truly believe that people who comit criems and treat others poorly are people that have been very badly hurt. Some are just operatiing on what they know. If they were raised in an abusive, uncaring environment with no love or tenderness expressed to them, how can they know how to express love and tenderness to another? It's a pattern I see over and over.

I agree that if people are given a chance to give, the they can learn all the things theymissed out on and move on to live as healed human beings eventually. I'm a strong believer in compassion and second chances. Everyone deserves the chance to heal.

In other words, I agree. ^.^
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on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.