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Former gang members: A life sentence of joblessness (Cry me a river)
LA Times ^ | May 15, 2011 | Gregory J. Boyle

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 ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: employment; excons; gangs; holderspeople
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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To: BikerJoe

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.


51 posted on 05/15/2011 9:49:51 AM PDT by Second Amendment First ("Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..." - Thomas Jefferson.)
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To: Second Amendment First
There was actually a serious attempt in the last (democrat controlled) congress to ban employers from considering an prospective employees criminal record unless they could demonstrate that the conviction would have a direct link to the job I.E. Child Molester/School Janitor. So basically employers could be sued for discrimination if they refused to hire a convicted criminal and the burden of proof would be on them to demonstrate the conviction was relevant to the job. Also, as I recall, part of the legislation was a ban on the use of credit checks for hiring purposes. Credit checks, according to the democrats are used as back door discrimination against minorities which tend to have lower credit ratings.

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...)

52 posted on 05/15/2011 9:51:55 AM PDT by apillar
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To: Jonty30; dfwgator; AmusedBystander

“However, though we shouldn’t 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.


53 posted on 05/15/2011 9:54:05 AM PDT by Grumplestiltskin (I may look new, but it's only deja vu!)
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To: apillar

I believe some municipalities have already eliminated the question on employment applications about criminal histories. Pittsburgh, I recently read, is one of them.


54 posted on 05/15/2011 9:55:21 AM PDT by Second Amendment First ("Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..." - Thomas Jefferson.)
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To: momtothree

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.


55 posted on 05/15/2011 10:05:58 AM PDT by B4Ranch (Allowing to America is akin to injecting yourself with AIDS to prove how tolerant you are..)
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To: All
Hemet Ca used to be filled with Blue Hairs driving Buick's & Cadillacs, Now it looks like South Central.

The police need to use the IRON FIST and run the scum out.

56 posted on 05/15/2011 10:06:54 AM PDT by troy McClure
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To: B4Ranch

“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)


57 posted on 05/15/2011 10:14:42 AM PDT by momtothree
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To: Jonty30

“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!


58 posted on 05/15/2011 10:17:45 AM PDT by MarDav
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To: dfwgator

Amen...It is the lack of consequence that is, in part, instructing young people to “do what ya gotta do!”


59 posted on 05/15/2011 10:20:01 AM PDT by MarDav
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To: Persevero

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...


60 posted on 05/15/2011 10:24:51 AM PDT by sinsofsolarempirefan
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To: null and void
One of my customers used half way houses for a source of employees. Made for some interesting meetings.
61 posted on 05/15/2011 10:25:23 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Ladies and Gentlemen the _resident of the untied States!!)
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To: Jonty30
Wanna bet? Instant termination will curb the problem.
62 posted on 05/15/2011 10:27:32 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Ladies and Gentlemen the _resident of the untied States!!)
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To: sinsofsolarempirefan

I am a strong believer in personal redemption (not talking about the Christian idea of redemption here). But personal redemption does not come by somebody offering you a hand out or a hand up as much as it does coming from YOU offering to own and pay back the debt you have incurred. So, the criminal who steals, what should he do to achieve redemption? Receive a job, work at that job and earn an honest living—or receive the job, work at a job, make an honest living and REPAY the debt he incurred? What does redemption mean anyway? Isn’t it a “buying back”?

By the way, the redemption does not come on the redeemed one’s terms, but based on whether and when the redeemer decides that the debt has been settled. This is probably why so many are so loathe to give those convicted of crimes second chances. Liberal judges have levied far too lenient amounts of “debt to society” and the criminal, having not been given the opportunity to be truly redeemed has not experienced the change of heart about the debt neither has he had the chance to settle the debt owed. Employers (read “society”) likely look at the criminal justice system with its wrist-slapping, molly-coddling of HARD-CORE recidivists and has a hard time believing that these folks are sincere in their desire to go straight and, therefore, worth the risk. Is that the employers’ fault...or the failure of the justice system to exact justice?


63 posted on 05/15/2011 10:48:20 AM PDT by MarDav
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To: Grumplestiltskin

Maybe not, and I’m not suggesting that we can ever let them be free either. If they are dangerous, they are dangerous.

End of story.

However, if you want to put an end to the gang problem, genocide is not a solution, which is essentially what you’re suggesting.


64 posted on 05/15/2011 10:58:54 AM PDT by Jonty30
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To: mad_as_he$$

We Conservatives have the solutions to the problems of society. They are the same solutions used to bring our society from the time of barbarism.

Yet, your only solution is to become what Liberals routinely paint brush us Conservatives with.


65 posted on 05/15/2011 11:02:28 AM PDT by Jonty30
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To: Jonty30
People are people, does not matter what time in history. Libs can't figure that out.
66 posted on 05/15/2011 11:07:15 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Ladies and Gentlemen the _resident of the untied States!!)
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To: Ditter
Yeah I know it’s tattoos but it looks like a disease. I wonder if anyone has told him yet?

And did you notice that those tattoos spell out a friendly greeting? - 'f*** y**'

67 posted on 05/15/2011 11:15:25 AM PDT by Moltke (Always retaliate first.)
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To: mad_as_he$$

People are people.

You don’t need to become the barbarian to handle barbarians.

I have to deal with the dredge of society all the time. Not once have I had to make it an issue of who is the stronger one to control them and prevent the crap that they do.


68 posted on 05/15/2011 11:17:45 AM PDT by Jonty30
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To: momtothree

I had a similar experience as an employer. I was interviewing a young man for a technicians job. On his resume it said something about being discharged from previous employment. Mind you this was the young mans self prepared resume. I knew that to go deeper into the cause was on the edge of propriety. However, I did ask the young man if he wanted to to tell me why he was discharged/fired. He didn’t hesitate to tell me it was about being on drugs. He was caught up in the drug movement with students at the University where his dad was a prof. He offered that he no longer was a druggie. I hired the young man as much for his candid disclosure as I saw potential for the job. Never regretted my decision at any time and the young man was still doing a teriffic job after I left the organization. I believe you have to have cognizance of real character in choosing employees. I guess this comes from personal experience as a non conforming youth.


69 posted on 05/15/2011 11:37:48 AM PDT by noinfringers2
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To: martin_fierro
Well, as someone who hires people to work for even a small company, appearance does have its merits. A company, no matter how small, doesn't need a tattooed imbecile scaring away customers.
70 posted on 05/15/2011 12:34:48 PM PDT by Parmy
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To: Jonty30
On the other hand sending them on vacation to prison doesn't work either. When three strikes was put in in many states the crime rate dropped dramatically. Proof that it was a certain core group of offenders committing the majority of crimes.

Most of them would cut your throat in your sleep. It takes more force than that to stop them.

I suspect that even though you deal with the “dredge” of society you actually do not have contact with real hard cases. You probably see the ones like on Dog the Bounty Hunter. Those are “dredge” but not hard cases.

There are hard cases that would shock most cops. The LAPD has certain parts of town that they do not go into, unless in mass force, where it is a badge of honor to kill a cop.

Right now in my town a 13 year old Hispanic male is charged with murder. He will get sent to prison and turned into a model gangbanger most likely by MS13. When he comes out he will do it all again - he will kill someone’s loved one and then be housed by the State for 25 years before execution. He will be a hero of the gang world and worshiped.

Metering out justice to these scum is not barbaric. It is protecting society. It is no different than killing the enemy on the battlefield. These gangbangers want to tear down the society you old so dear.

71 posted on 05/15/2011 12:47:59 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Ladies and Gentlemen the _resident of the untied States!!)
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To: mad_as_he$$

Gang bangers are terrorists, just like any member of Al-Qaeda.


72 posted on 05/15/2011 12:50:13 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator
Thanks for summing it up so concisely.
73 posted on 05/15/2011 12:52:27 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Ladies and Gentlemen the _resident of the untied States!!)
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To: Second Amendment First

“”Damn, G. No one told me I’d be getting a life sentence of no work.””

Maybe he should have asked the parents of some kid he sold drugs to, stabbed, stole from.
How many life sentences did this scumbag hand out with his actions? Sometimes, getting kicked in the teeth is what you deserve.


74 posted on 05/15/2011 1:08:12 PM PDT by APatientMan (Pick a side)
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To: Second Amendment First

“...... he was let go from a job because his employer had discovered he’d done five years in prison”

I wonder if serving five years in prison might be something a person would tell a prospective employer. duh...


75 posted on 05/15/2011 1:30:11 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: mad_as_he$$

What I’ve noticed about the justice system, judging from Freeper comments and from the news stories that Freepers have posted and from what I’ve read in news stories and whatnot, is that the current attitude about justice in the States is that it has stopped being a justice system, where the punishment fits the crime, to one where, if you can just punish the person hard enough and vicious enough and often ebough, he will want to stop being bad and want to be good. It has become a test of wills between the perp and the state, where if the state is strong enough, it will win. I think that is part of the reason why you are reading about SWAT teams busting into suburban homes and shooting it up, where the only crime the guy is accused of is being being his child support payments or some other minor crime, that in times past, would have been handled between the perp and the Sheriff over a cup of coffee.

That isn’t the justice system laid out by Scripture. In Scripture, justice, as defined by God, has three parts. 1. Retribution - the punishment was to influence the person to not commit a crime and if he did, he would be punished enough so that it would hurt. 2. Restitution - what the accused took from the victim, would be replaced by the convicted. For example, if he took your tv set, he would be required to either return it or replace it. 3. Rehabilitation - somebody who has fallen out of favour from society could eventually work himself to a position of respectfulness.

That is justice, as defined by the Bible, but I don’t see that as how the US defines justice.

And it is contributing to your downfall as a country.


76 posted on 05/15/2011 1:34:30 PM PDT by Jonty30
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To: mad_as_he$$

And just to clarify, lest anybody lay out such an accusation to nullify my point, I am not a bleeding heart Liberal who is trying to reduce punishments to nonexistence.

I would pull the cord or switch myself, for the death penalty is sometimes the only punishment befitting some crimes.


77 posted on 05/15/2011 1:37:40 PM PDT by Jonty30
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To: Jonty30
You’re not going to solve this problem upping the punishment.

There is not another Australia on the planet!

78 posted on 05/15/2011 2:27:45 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Persevero
They are the product, generally, of a very weak to nonexistent family structure

You and I wuz his 'daddy'; courtesy of Unca Sam and the Do-Gooders.

We've subsidized the 'lifestyle' by makin' Momma the brood mare and paid her to do it!

This whirlwind is really biting our asses; isn't it!

79 posted on 05/15/2011 2:30:59 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Persevero
Recidivism is high in ex-cons.

Well, yeah!

It's VERY low in NEVER cons: almost zero in fact.

80 posted on 05/15/2011 2:32:57 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: DuncanWaring

There ya go!


81 posted on 05/15/2011 2:35:31 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Elsie

Hey, why don’t we emulate the Muslims, who have extreme punishments down pat.

Chop off a hand, if they steal a chocolate bar.
Kill them if they do it twice.

We will be a safe and crime free society.

That is the direction America is heading. Hit them hard, hit them vicious, hit them often and never forgive them.

Are you sure your name isn’t Muhammed?


82 posted on 05/15/2011 2:45:06 PM PDT by Jonty30
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To: Jonty30

“Gang bangers die all the time. If it was an effective means of deterrence, it would be working right now.”

If they died every time, for awhile, would that be an effective deterrence?


83 posted on 05/15/2011 2:51:10 PM PDT by APatientMan (Pick a side)
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To: APatientMan

Do you want a justice system like the gangs have their justice system, where people are killed for doing even minor annoyances, to ensure good order?

Then just wait, because that is where your justice system is heading. It has been heading that way for a long time.

Is it working? Is your crime rate heading down?
Do you feel safe in your home?

You cannot have a proper justice system based on punishment alone. All you end up with is a hardened and willful people who are not deterred from punishment to do what they intend to do.


84 posted on 05/15/2011 2:57:50 PM PDT by Jonty30
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To: martin_fierro

Maybe he can tattoo over it to change it to something like “May I Help You?”


85 posted on 05/15/2011 3:02:10 PM PDT by GATOR NAVY ("The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen." -Dennis Prager)
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To: Elsie

Oh dear, stupid post, guess that was kind of obvious!


86 posted on 05/15/2011 3:06:40 PM PDT by Persevero (We don't need Superman -- we have the Special Forces)
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To: Jonty30

“Is it working? Is your crime rate heading down?
Do you feel safe in your home?

You cannot have a proper justice system based on punishment alone. All you end up with is a hardened and willful people who are not deterred from punishment to do what they intend to do.”

I simply asked a question. Your response is a little confusing to me because you seem to be arguing both sides of the debate.
Up thread you use mooslelimb tactics in your example (cutting the hand off a thief). You say that by using those tactics we would have a safe and crime free society. Now you are saying those tactics don’t work and that punishment alone doesn’t work. I’m trying to figure out what your point of view is.

I have taken matters into my own hands at times. I am safer for it. Crimes against me are way, way down. I’m very safe in my home.

If someone, by their own free will, decides to take from me, hurt those I care for, injure or corrupt innocent people - I’ll hurt them. Is that the way it should have to work? No. Can I depend on some gov’t entity to do the right thing? Hardly.

I appreciated your reference to Scripture. I think it’s pretty close to being right on. In the end though the ultimate lesson is that if you do not abide God’s word - you die. You suffer and are eternally damned. No do-overs. You only have so much time to set things right with Him. If you don’t - you lose. That is a pretty good lesson in itself.


87 posted on 05/15/2011 3:17:39 PM PDT by APatientMan (Pick a side)
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To: Moltke

Yes I read the greeting. At least he can let his eyebrows grow out when he gets tired of it. Unlike facial tattoos that you can’t hide.

Imagine what a crappy attitude you would have to have to do something like that. What a creep!


88 posted on 05/15/2011 3:18:42 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: APatientMan

I’m not arguing from both sides. I’m arguing for completeness.

Biblical justice puts the victim and the accused on the same level playing field. In principle, whatever the victim has lost, the guilty loses the same way, with retribution thrown in to give some incentive to not commit the acts in the first place.

It is supposed to be balanced, where the victim receives justice and the guilty party is able to find his way back into society, unless the crime the guilty party commits cannot be made up in any way. In which way, death is the only suitable punishment.

When I referred to how Muslims handle crime, it was a sarcastic response to those who think if the punishment is hard, vicious, and often enough, we would create a safe society.


89 posted on 05/15/2011 3:39:11 PM PDT by Jonty30
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To: Jonty30

“In principle, whatever the victim has lost, the guilty loses the same way, with retribution thrown in to give some incentive to not commit the acts in the first place.”

That’s really the issue as i see it.

Who gets to decide and deal out the retribution for rape or giving heroin to children or even for making an innocent person afraid to leave their own home?
Who decides what the victim has lost and what that loss is worth to the victim and to society in general? What kind of retribution is due someone sick enough to rape or take an innocent life? What kind of society allows those sickening crimes without dealing with them in harshest way possible?


90 posted on 05/15/2011 4:24:50 PM PDT by APatientMan (Pick a side)
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To: APatientMan

I just defined for you how the Bible defines justice. If you have a problem with it, it’s not me you have the problem with.

Justice, as defined by the Bible, puts the victim and perp on equal footing before and after, in terms of acts. It doesn’t put them on equal footing in terms of emotional or psychological harm.

God doesn’t promise us perfect justice in this life, only come Judgement day will it be perfect.


91 posted on 05/15/2011 5:14:17 PM PDT by Jonty30
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To: APatientMan

I really don’t think you want the victim to decide when they’d be satisfied. That’s how blood feuds happen.

Do you really want to give me the right to decide I should have the right to take your life because I felt wronged because you didn’t say good morning to me?

That’s how it is in the Middle East. You wronged me and I get to decide when my appetite for justice is satisfied. And they do kill you for not saying good morning, at times.


92 posted on 05/15/2011 5:28:38 PM PDT by Jonty30
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To: Jonty30

I’m just trying to understand.

I’ve done things in my life that I felt were the right thing to do. I sometimes - more lately - question whether or not God will agree that they were right because I believed I was making the world better, doing the right thing.

It’s something I struggle with. I try to work through it in my own mind but that’s not so easy. I’m not exactly objective.


93 posted on 05/15/2011 5:40:19 PM PDT by APatientMan (Pick a side)
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To: noinfringers2

I agree that there are people who went down a bad path and discovered it before dying or being put in prison for life. The example you gave is a wonderful one. However, I would have been even more impressed if the young man offered a drug test right there and then and offered to take one at any point in time in the future with no discussion or argument. That would have sealed it for me that he was truly trying to show his past lifestyle was, well... one of the past. I hope the best for him in the future.


94 posted on 05/15/2011 6:02:42 PM PDT by momtothree
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To: APatientMan

God does not expect us to create perfect justice, because doing so only ends up creating injustice to somebody else.

He does expect us to be obedient, because it is only being obedient that prevents us to doing more harm to each other than we already do.


95 posted on 05/15/2011 6:09:51 PM PDT by Jonty30
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To: Jonty30
Are you sure your name isn’t Muhammed?

MY?

I was merely lamenting the fact that a free ocean cruise was not available to make a new start!

96 posted on 05/15/2011 7:31:06 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Second Amendment First

If he spent a third of his life in prison, it says something about his lack of character. Does some counseling really change things or, if things get a little tough, does he steal from the company? I’d rather hire a kid who went to a Jewish or Catholic school who has never been in trouble and who has parents who taught him values.


97 posted on 05/15/2011 9:24:03 PM PDT by doug from upland (website reserved just in case: TheBitchIsBack2012.com)
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To: Jonty30

No, even toddlers learn consequences and no not to do something that you don’t want them to do. Think how very untamed that toddler can be without rules, and rules mean nothing without consequences.
Now schools really don’t have consequences and parents can be put through the social services wringer when little ? decides he/she doesn’t want to follow those rules. Then things go from somewhat controlled to out of control very fast. (can’t touch them ya know)
So when we look at the ‘gang’ bangers we are looking at kids who are looking for no rules and believe it is with the gang, (no grown up rules) the sad part is the consequences if they don’t follow the gang ‘rules’ are much worse then if they had just followed those in school and home. For some reason they think those consequences are ‘cool’ .

For petes sake many young adults are raising kids of their own, including these bangers before they are 25, don’t hide behind crap like saying that young adults don’t know consequences. they do.


98 posted on 05/16/2011 3:39:29 AM PDT by tickles
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To: Alberta's Child
"...The proper function for this kind of person who is allegedly "rehabilitated" is not at a gathering of Boeing employees, but in a middle school or high school auditorium . . . to explain to young kids that a life of crime is a dead end..."

Well, maybe he was trying to reach those "at risk" Boeing employees. You know, because the lure of "da club" is just too strong to resist for some of those engineers, as they go about their daily lives of keeping it real by working diligently, paying their taxes, and abstaining from crime...

99 posted on 05/16/2011 12:44:22 PM PDT by I Buried My Guns (Novare Res!)
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To: I Buried My Guns

What we really need is a frontier for these people: somewhere where your past is forgotten, hard work is rewarded, and ruthlessness is a virtue.


100 posted on 05/16/2011 12:50:40 PM PDT by Little Ray (The Gods of the Copybook Heading, with terror and slaughter return!)
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