Do Felons Deserve a Second Chance, Obama Thinks So [Reader Post]

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Should convicted felons be given a second chance? Barack Obama thinks so, and he thinks the tax payers should have to foot the bill. He made his view on this issue more than evident during a town hall meeting in Elyria, Ohio on January 22nd. Here is a excerpt from this Ohio town hall meeting, where a 29 year old felon who has never had a job in his life asks Obama if he will help felons get a job.

Jerome the felon asks Obama:

“I’m 29 years old, and I’ve never had a job in my life. I went to jail when I was younger. It’s like hard to get a job as a felon. Is this — any programs that hire people with felonies like something that — because it’s sad, it’s like — 29 years old, I’m 29.”

Obama Answers Jerome:

“Look, I’m proud of the fact that you’re bringing this up because there are people who’ve made mistakes, particularly when they’re young, and it is in all of our interests to help them redeem themselves and then get on a straight path. Now, I don’t blame employers obviously for being nervous about hiring somebody who has a record. It’s natural if they’ve got a lot of applicants for every single job that that’s a question that they’d have in their minds. On the other hand, I think one of the great things about America is we give people second chances.

And so what we’ve tried to do — and I want to say, this has been a bipartisan effort — when I was in the Senate, working with Sam Brownback; my Vice President, Joe Biden — passing a Second Chance Act that helps to fund programs that help the reintegration of ex-felons.

It’s smart for us to do. You know, sometimes people say, well, that’s just coddling people. No; you reduce the recidivism rate, they pay taxes, it ends up being smart for taxpayers to do.”

Shame on Jerome, if he really wanted a job he could get one. He is playing the victim card. In reality he is only a victim of his own bad decisions. Taxpayers already pay for convicts to be in prison, now Obama wants us to pay to get them a job? Don’t get me wrong, I believe everyone(well, almost everyone) deserves a second chance, but it is not the responsibility of everyone else to provide that second chance.

Now before you start sending me nasty emails saying “you are stupid, and you just don’t understand how hard it is for felons to get a job.” Please allow me to stray from the beaten path for a moment and tell you a bit about my own experience.

I am a convicted felon. Five felonies to be exact. I spent the later part of my teenage years (15-19 years old) as a drug addict. Between ages 18 – 19, I lived out of the back of an Oldsmobile, and skipped around from job to job (i kept getting fired for some odd reason, hmm) to raise money for my heroin habit. I continued this pattern of living until I was finally arrested, charged with 9 felonies, convicted of 5 felonies, and sentenced to 1 year and 2 months in prison. One day, as I was sitting in my cell, I thought to myself, “this isn’t the life I want. I want something better, and I’m going to get.” So I made a plan for what I was going to do when I got out, and I decided to use my time in there wisely by educating myself. I started studying college algebra, then moved on to calculus and finally computer science. I also applied for college while I was in prison, so I could attend as soon as I got out. My release day came, and guess what, I went out and got a job flipping burgers the next day.

I worked the early shift at my new job . Public buses didn’t run that early in the morning(in VA, if you receive a felony conviction you lose your license), so I walked to work, 5 miles, every morning. When my shift was over, I hoped on a bus, and went to the local community college to take a couple of classes. When I got out of class the buses weren’t running so I walked home, 4 miles, every night. This process repeated everyday for 9 months until I finally saved up enough money to pay off all of my court costs, and go through all of the red tape required to get my license back. When I finally got my license and my car back, I went out searching for a new, better job. I found 2 jobs. Who would have thought that a convict could get 2 jobs (Jerome couldn’t seem to find 1 in 29 years). I met a wonderful girl at one of these jobs, and we eventually got hitched! Fast forward 4 years and I am happily married, the proud owner of a brand new home, 6.5 years sober, have a good job, and I am almost done with a bachelors degree in computer science (I pay my own way through school, so I only take as many classes as I can afford).

I told you this story to tell you this. I know it is hard to get a job if you are a felon. I do understand. However, if you are a felon, you are not a victim of society, you are a victim of your actions. It is not the responsibility of tax payers to provide you with a second, it is your responsibility. In the United States there are infinite possibilities for a second chance, but you have to go out and get it. It will not come to you. Don’t let your criminal record hold you back, use it as a lesson in life. If you work hard, pursue your dreams, and strive to be a good citizen, good things will happen. That is the beauty of liberty and freedom, you have every opportunity to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get on the right track in life. How could you not love a country that has allowed a drug addicted, homeless convict to become a sober, homeowner, with a beautiful wife, and lives the American dream everyday. God Bless America!

Crossposted from Liberty and Pride

904 Responses to “Do Felons Deserve a Second Chance, Obama Thinks So [Reader Post]”

  1. 901

    Marquis peete

    felons deserve a second chance in life being a felon is hard how do you protect yourself if you are invited by a intruder someone comes in your house take your manhood it right from you nothing you can do you should at least be allowed to hold a firearm in your home for protection

  2. 902

    Joel

    I can tell you that no matter what anyone says thus world is run by who and what you know and that determines where you are in life. Some people are just lucky or know someone who can give them an opportunity. You can not be a felon and still have a sorry job or you can be a felon and have a good job with the right connections. You can work hard until your hands bleed and never get anywhere in life. The world is a gamble and some people win and some don’t. Some felons made a mistake as a kid and now want to redeem themselves and life has been tough while others just repeat this cycle of bad behavior. Because of this one person gives a bad name to a whole group of people which isn’t right but that’s how humans are. Most people can point the finger but when ito pointed back because of a mistake they made they begin to realize their mistakes. I don’t know why I’m bothering to give my opinion since everyone became an expert especially after most people got Internet access but I said fuck it. I hope that society can learn from its mistakes just as some felons have learned that life is hard and you can’t let that stop you. The world is always going to judge you and you have to do the best with what you have. Learn to love your own life and not the next man’s life. Work at it and one day you might hit instead of crapping out. Don’t let ignorant individuals hold you down and do what you have to do to make yourself happy

  3. 903

    Johnelder Lyons

    Well, Thank u very much for that I hold no remorse against anyone for having their opinion, As I’ve been told my entire life. Opinions are like ass-hol, everybody has one. I thank u for urban comments as they are probably the closest I’ll come to anyone speaking the truth. I am doing well. And I am a ex-felon. I don’t have friends in high places, but am still not giving up. I served 36 years day for day. Now I am atempting to start over. If I can get that one break that I have always sought all will be great.

  4. 904

    shannon

    Im a felon….. I was 18 on drugs don’t even remember that night 21 years ago ….. the first couple of years out of prison was rough…..got some small charges misameners …… but then I had a kid then a job then a wife then 2 more kids a house found god and received one of the highest awards for our church …….. I hunt and fish and I live every day and got my shit strait…….. that felony has haunted me but when I left the bad behind and found god… put love in my heart and started living his law I’m much happer ……. the government has giving up on this American but I trust in god …….. none know I’m a felon I even talked at a town meeting about gun rights and was on TV ……… I believe in the constitution I don’t have my rights I don’t brake the law but I still have freedom of speech

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