Second Chance for the Guilty

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Criminals are known for, of course, doing bad things. But what about the good things that they could bring to the community? The world may never know about the good. Over time, people do change, and second chances are given to those who so earn them.  

The world views criminals as these heinous human beings that can never be anything more. Despite the fact that if they do try to get better or even get help, seconds chances are not given. True enough, some people don’t deserve an opportunity at second chances, but those who put forth a major effort and actually show growth and commitment should most definitely be given a second chance. 

In the state of California, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is a program that offers correctional education. The program can improve educational attainment, benefit public safety, increase good behavior in the inmate population, and can also result in direct and indirect fiscal benefits to state and local governments. Statistics show that over sixty-five percent of prisoners have attended the program to receive a GED or Vocational Certificate. This program shows that you have criminals that still want their education and freedom in spite of the mistakes that they have made in the past. The prisoners are willing to work hard and prove themselves once and for all.  


I wonder how many people have heard of the convicted felon who became valedictorian? In 1993, Renald Moore was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment for murder after shooting a man over a drug deal gone wrong. He was 18 years old. Mr. Moore was in solitary confinement when he realized that he wanted to take steps towards a positive change in his life. Mr. Moore stated, ” I let a lot of people influence me to do the wrong thing. He began by furthering his education from prison in 2OOO. Mr. Moore earned an associate’s degree in Liberal Arts. Later, in 2013, he was released from prison. Having nowhere to stay and unable to get employed, he pushed for more out of life. With the help of his mother, he was able to gain a 3.9 grade point average and top rank of his class. 



Ever thought about the people who were in prison and TRULY did not deserve to be there in the first place? Not many people think about it until you hear their story. Michael Anthony Green spent twenty-seven years in prison for the 1983 rape of woman who had been abducted and left in a stolen car. He also matched the description of the attacker perfectly: a young black male.  That was a crime that Mr. Green did not commit. In 1984, Darryl Hunt also spent twenty-seven years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Mr. Hunt was accused of a murdered at hotel, though no physical evidence was found and false witness testimonies were presented. An all-white jury sentenced Darryl to life imprisonment. In 1994, Mr. Hunt was freed of any sexual assault and murder charges due to DNA testing. No one loses their innocence. It is either taken from them or given away willing       

There is saying that goes “Once a criminal, always a criminal”. In some cases, that happens to be true. The criminals would be released from prison on an account of good faith and earning, commit the same crime he/she did before, and end up right back where they were in the first place. Between 2000-2013, there has been ten convicted murders who were found freed on license, only to kill again, in the past decade. This devastation did not surprise many. Even though the once before criminals are in jail again, the impact that they have left on the family of the loved one’s family is tremendous.  

All prison systems should have a program dedicated to education and rehabilitation. Everyone should be allowed to sign up on their own terms, not forced. The program should not be advertised as a “get free card.”  The education program should state that it is there to help them evolve and bring light to their situation. What they do with their education should be their responsibility.  The program is just there to give them assisted help, not guarantee freedom. 

Let’s stop putting them behind bars and help them see the community once again. Let’s change their mindset for the good, once and for all!