Skip to comments.Former gang members: A life sentence of joblessness (Cry me a river)
Posted on 05/15/2011 7:46:45 AM PDT by Second Amendment First
Lorenzo had a hard time concealing his nervousness. Standing in front of a large room packed with Boeing employees in late March, the tall, lanky African American gang member described the arc of his life. At 22, he had spent nearly a third of his life incarcerated.
Peering out of his round, black-rimmed glasses, he talked about his seven months at Homeboy Industries (the largest gang reentry program in the country), and about how he had moved quickly from the janitorial team to become an assistant in the accounting department. "I used to steal money," he said. "Now I'm counting it."
I had the honor of witnessing Lorenzo's seven-month journey from convict to accounting assistant, watching as he became the young man God had in mind when he made him. But despite his remarkable turnaround and the many things he had to offer an employer, Lorenzo's prospects for finding a job outside our program were dim.
Opportunities for second chances are few for people like Lorenzo. Homeboy Industries is about the only game in town. Most employers just aren't willing to look beyond the dumbest or worst thing someone has done.
Another "homie" recently came to me for help after, for the third time, he was let go from a job because his employer had discovered he'd done five years in prison. He told me the boss said, "You're one of our best workers, but we have to let you go." Then, with a desperate sadness, the young man added: "Damn, G. No one told me I'd be getting a life sentence of no work."
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
You can’t tell me these kids can’t look around and see what happens to the older gang members? Kids aren’t stupid. If they do choose this lifestyle, then like the rest of life, they’ll pay a price, whether they fully understand it our not. It’s just the way life is.
No, but if no one hires them what do you eventually expect?? Hell, even an accusation or a ‘not guilty’ verdict can ruin your life since it follows you. Once you have finished your sentence there should be no more punishment. USA has more than 2 million in jail, imagine how many more are out or on parole. What to do with them?
This is not about punishment. It is about comparing resumes. Who would you hire if there was a choice? A person with a resume showing a degree obtained while working full time, or someone who spent the same time in prison for rape or armed robbery. Who would you choose to punish?
A business is not a social rehabilitation agency. They are in business to make a profit. When I go to a store, I expect to be helped when I have a question, not murdered.
The problem is that our prisons are too cushy, prisoners should not be allowed to congregate, shouldn’t have any access to TV.
Prison should be a place to be feared. Gang members see prison as a part of the ritual, a way to get street cred. That’s has to change.
At the age most gang members join, no they don’t. Most young people don’t have an appreciation for the consequences of their actions, that’s why the hospitals are full of young people having done acts of stupidity (criminal and noncriminal).
It takes until about the age of 25 for the brain to develop the synapses needed for the appreciation of consequences.
You’re not going to convince some young person to not join a gang by having to line up gang bangers against a wall and shooting them, then putting their heads on a pike for all to see.
And the very-weak-to-nonexistent family structure is a product, generally, of LBJ and his "Great Society".
Oh, I think that would be very effective, not saying I advocate it.
Gang bangers die all the time. If it was an effective means of deterrence, it would be working right now.
I have heard that. I worked for a company for 18 years and new owners came in and told me that “I was the glue that held the company together”.
Two weeks later my job was eliminated and so was I.
It happens to non-felons and felons alike. No one ever said life was fair and if they did and a person believed that, they are fools.
No I would not want the feds to step in. My point is that a business will hire an employee if they need one, not just to create a job. Those best qualified will get that job, and the money paid for it. I would think that the person who worked hard to position themselves for that job should earn the rewards that go with it. They would also probably be the ones most likely to spend that money on constructive things like their family, education and a stable home, rather than at a club with their banger buddies.
So, if this had become law, a bank could have been forced to hire a teller who was a convicted felon that is behind on all his bills and being chased by creditors. (no incentive to steal there...)
“However, though we shouldnt tolerate gangs, we need to bring ex-members back into society and help them lead a normal life, or you are not going to solve this”
You are quite naive.
There are some “problems” which simply cannot be “solved”. They just exist.
The only way that the “problem” of gang bangers being unable to get work (whether as ex-gang members or otherwise) is to get rid of gang bangers, period, by getting rid of the subculture that spawns them.
The overwhelming majority of them are NEVER going to be able to live “as normal individuals” after going that route. As their tattoos reveal, they are “scarred for life”. And I don’t particularly care about that or their futures, insofar as they can be confined, controlled, corralled, and kept away from decent people.
Best posts of this thread so far are #27 and #31.
I believe some municipalities have already eliminated the question on employment applications about criminal histories. Pittsburgh, I recently read, is one of them.
If someone shows up with a shaved head with tattoos on it, DO NOT hire him because it’s evident, to me at least, that he is still trying to maintain his gang banger badass appearance. That’s not enough mentality change for me.
The police need to use the IRON FIST and run the scum out.
“That’s not enough mentality change for me”
You are right. The character in the photo could have grown his hair in to hide the tattoo or used one of the government sponsored groups to take the tattoos off (or at least I have heard of groups who do that for free with laser stuff)
“It takes until about the age of 25 for the brain to develop the synapses needed for the appreciation of consequences.”
Only if the parents have not done their...JOB!
Amen...It is the lack of consequence that is, in part, instructing young people to “do what ya gotta do!”
I understand all that, I thought at the time that the OP was having a contemptuous attitude towards someone who was genuinely trying to turn their life around. I do believe the onus is on these people to prove that they have turned their life around first, perhaps by working in a voluntary capacity in something first.
The trouble is, if you don’t give these people a chance to redeem themselves, you may as well just take every convicted criminal into a trench and blow their heads off because if they aren’t given the opportunity to go straight, it is obvious that they will go straight back into crime...
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