If it is true that no one is perfect, then should that mean that “all” people deserve second chances in life when they make a bad mistake? I recently heard something that addressed the concept of letting out inmates who committed murder while they were young juveniles under 18 and recently President Obama has pardoned many who were sentenced to long periods in jail for drug offenses committed without the use of force or a weapon. When it comes to an inmate doing time for a bad crime he did when he was 16, do we assume that he should be held accountable for the full duration of the rest of his life? Before answering this question think of this: “Have you ever engaged in behavior that could have seriously hurt or injured someone?” If the answer to this question is “yes” then you could “possibly” be one of those people “in need of a second chance.” For the record, I am not trying to advocate freeing all incarcerated felons. No there are people in prison who “really need to be there.” However, when I try to judge my own life, I know that there is a big difference between me at the age of 17 and me as I am at this present stage in life. People can change (and people often do). The prison system is designed to keep those who are deemed menaces away from society. Should that be the sole purpose of prisons? What if we could turn the prison system into schools that could reform those who made bad mistakes? What if these inmates worked hard enough to “earn” another shot at trying to earn a respectful living. Should they then be given another chance? Many inmates who do complete their prison sentences are let out into the world unprepared to survive in it. Most don’t have any education, they can’t get jobs because of their criminal records and they are often strangers to the world of freedom. If we don’t give them a chance to make it, then can we blame them if they go back to doing crime? I am not sure if there is an answer for any of this, but I do know that as we all grow we “change.” Some will change for the better. Some will not. If no one is given a second chance, then how will “anyone know?” Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson (light colored jacket) with Brett Jolly behind him