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Former gang members: A life sentence of joblessness

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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-11 07:30 PM
Original message
Former gang members: A life sentence of joblessness
Former gang members: A life sentence of joblessness

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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."

The business of second chances is everybody's business. We lose our right to be surprised that California has the highest recidivism rate in the country if we refuse to hire folks who have taken responsibility for their crimes and have done their time.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-boyle-jobs-20...
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sibelian Donating Member (543 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-11 07:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hmmmmmmm.

Not really seeing a way round this one.
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-11 07:34 PM
Response to Original message
2. Hey, they don't even want to employ you if you've been unemployed.
And people who have an arrest record for something minor they did 20 years ago are stuck in the same stupid job for years because they can't change jobs - due the the background check. Its really stupid.
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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-11 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. +1. With 11% unemployment, if I had a criminal record, I wouldn't even bother applying.
Fair or unfair, even people who have never made a mistake in their lives are having their resumes shitcanned for using the wrong weight of paper, living in the wrong part of town, taking a year off to take care of sick family members...

I think people should get second chances, but the reality of the economy is that they won't. Not even close. A lot of people aren't even getting first chances- look at the unemployment rates for first time college graduates.

So it's create your own job, starve or start offending again. Instead of training people for jobs that don't exist, we should be subsidizing companies that hire the unemployed and former criminals.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-11 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #6
16. It would be worth it if you were a white male.
A white male with a criminal record has a slight edge in applying for a job requiring unskilled labor than a black man with a clean record.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-11 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
3. No one told me I'd be getting a life sentence of no work."
More like when he was young he refused to listen to the people who told him that.

We always told our sons that the most important time of their lives was the time between 15-19, because those were the years that they could alter their lives significantly enough to change their whole life history by a few wrong choices.

They saw some of their friends do exactly that by having children too young, or dropping out of school.

Some kids can rebound from early sidesteps, but many cannot.
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-11 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. How do you what kind of home environment these "homies" had?
I am not so sure most gang members who served time in prison had supportive, loving parents or the opportunity for a decent education.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-11 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. probably not, but for at least some part of their younger lives
they had grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers,etc..

I seriously doubt that they had NO ONE in their life who at least gave them a heads up,..
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-11 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Well, then, they deserve what they get. Fuck 'em.
:puke:
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-11 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. I don;t know what your problem is, but
:puke: back atcha :)
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-11 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Problem? High and mighty - ness. Better than anyone else. NOT a Dem value.
:puke:
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-11 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Reality is not "High and mighty - ness."..
Yours reality is not necessarily the same for EVERYONE..

I did not realize that you were in charge of determining who could be a "Dem" and who could not.. I've been here since '01, but I must have missed your election :rofl:

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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-11 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. "Fuck 'em" is what your earlier post boils down to.
If, as a kid, they weren't smart enough and wise enough to always listen to good advice...

if they weren't fortunate enough to never have the wrong friends and lucky enough to never get into the wrong crowd, then they deserve that life sentence.

Fuck 'em.

They should have listened to the right adults.

They should have known which adults those were. :eyes:

It's so much easier to condemn people than to offer second chances. :(

It's so hard to to try to see who someone is now, and try to offer trust.
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monmouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-11 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
5. Then they wonder why these guys go back to crime...n/t
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-11 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
8. If a person has been doing a good job they shouldn't be fired for having a record.
A good worker is worth it.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-11 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
10. One more way a New Deal-type of administration could be improving this country.
:(
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-11 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. That's a very good idea.
But can you imagine the reaction from right wingers? Just the idea of the government employing ex-cons as part of the stimulus. With "THEIR" tax money!

But it is a really good idea.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-11 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Its what we can imagine a Dem administration of the past WOULD do.
Reclaiming lives, rather than saying "We told you so", and haughtily consigning them to a life of hell.

WHAT are their options??

Really, I ask ... what ARE their options?

Is that really what we want, when we could do a CCC, WPA sort of program, and have productive members of society?

And, I really don't give a flying fuck what the RW has to say. Its time we grow up and learn to creatively counter the immature assholes.
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