Education verses incarceration any day but that is easier said than done. In the words of several law enforcement professionals there are a lot of individuals that are not incarcerated but need to be and the one’s that are incarcerated should not be there.
Through my years of visits to mentor youth, men and women incarcerated, I have come to the conclusion that they were simply running from something or screaming out for help but no one was listening. As a result, some but not all, self-medicate themselves to hide the pain. It was not something done intentional to become addicted to drugs and literally destroy their lives. If you can not afford the addiction you do what you can for the next hit from hurting self to committing crime.
Persons challenged with substance user disorders, intellectual disabilities and mental health issues should not be court ordered to a correctional facility but a treatment facility. Allow a person to explain their felony conviction instead of just assuming they are all rapists, murderers or sex offenders.
On Tuesday, May 3, 2016 from 11 a.m -5 pm. the community, elected officials, employers will have a chance to hear from former felons as they speak about Overcoming Barriers After Incarceration at the Richmond Goodwill Industries located 6301 Midlothian Turnpike. Also, register to vote, sign Rodney White’s Presidential Pardon petition, and take advantage of employment and reentry services at Goodwill.
Rodney White– Adult Career Coach, Danville College
Ronalyn Brown- Accounting Bookkeeper and Property Manager
Emanuelle Johnson– Owner, ReDefine Barbershop and Hair School
Thomas Haynesworth– Employee, Virginia Attorney General Office
Oludare Ogunde– President, Project Give Back to Community
Hasan Zarif– ReEntry Specialist and Certified Workforce Development Professional