I recently learned of an encounter that a teenage boy had which landed him in prison after he was charged with two counts of armed robbery and given two 9 year sentences to be served concurrently. The facts showed that the boy had the property of another person in his possession. And although he did not physically take the property, he was found with it and as a result was connected to the crime.
Nothing that the teenage could do or say was enough to clarify what really happened and show that he indeed did not rob anyone; that he was given the property by another person and asked to hold it. He was found guilty of robbery. Knowing what we know about the way the system of justice deals with boys, especially some boys, the outcome was no surprise. It was simply another thump in our collective stomachs. This boy had dreams of going into the Marines, but, as he put it, instead of going into the Armed Forces, he ended up in the DOC (Department of Corrections).
I wonder, how many boys with grand dreams of a bright and fulfilling future will not see it actualized, because of odds against them? We don’t have to be scared at the potential prospects of trouble ahead, we need to do something about it. I’ll be doing just that. Are you with me?
Systems are not entities to themselves. They are devised by human beings, albeit human beings that are full of faults, cultural biases, and in some cases downright dislike for others. Let’s face it! This may sound a bit harsh, but in reality, our judicial system is set up to do harm mingled with some good. I truly wish it wasn’t, but, that’s what it is. The stats show it and the physical prison populations show it also.
Knowing that the system is flawed, the work that must be undertaken to save our boys becomes the more critical. The work must be deliberate, persistent, and consistent. It has to be, because, without a concerted effort, this battle to save our boys will be a losing battle. It is time that we do all we can to rescue our boys from the judicial system’s warehouses that are called jails.
Watch this reality: the teenage boy I mentioned earlier, after his release, met with a probation officer to go over expectations conditional to his release. After his first meeting, the boy was very anxious about his prospects. He feared that he could return to prison, not for a crime, but that he could easily breach the restrictions put on him. He was given a ^:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew.
As this man was well into his thirties, he realized that although he had served time in prison and released, he was not really free. He said that he felt like a dog on a leash. That it felt like he was still in prison, for, here was someone controlling when he could be out and when he had to be in.
Today, I want you to take a good look at your boy or boys and begin to devise plans to ensure that they are protected from the odds and that they walk into the promise of a fulfilled life. Let’s all get to work.Let’s change the odds. It can be done; indeed, it must be done.
Until next time —
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A copy of my book on Wealth Creation and Freedom