Rehabilitate or Punish how should Society Treat Criminals

Everyone deserves a second change; even a criminal.  Being called a criminal usually means that the person has been caught, tried, convicted and had to do prison time or probation; maybe even both. Once they are released back into society, we should help them restart their life.  They have to work to support themselves; they have to have a roof over their head and food to eat just like anyone else.  If a criminal is denied the right to work after they have already paid their debt to society it will only result in more crime and more money that society has to pay out FOR the criminal instead of helping them gain work and pay their own way. If they cannot work, they cannot eat or support themselves or their family.  After a while, they will be forced by society’s rejection to commit other crimes just to survive.

How do you decide who to help and who not to help?  Do you decide by the type of crime they committed, by how many times they have been arrested? Is this the first or the tenth time they have had a go at freedom and failed? The bottom line is none of us have the right to judge them after they have already been judged and convicted.  Instead; society should have work programs for convicted felons instead of denying them any chance at all to live an honest life.  If the criminal is a sex offender, do not put them in a school or day care to work, put them in a warehouse or construction job.  If the crime was for bad checks don’t put them in the payroll/accounting department, but DON’T DENY them the right to work.   

There are so many people who have committed a crime and just never gotten caught in the act.  Some of the leaders of our country today are the worst criminals of all.  They steel from us, they cheat on their taxes of just don’t pay taxes at all, they abuse the funds that have been trusted to them by frivolous vacations, large bonuses and extra marital affairs yet their crimes continue to go unpunished as society votes them back in to office over and over again.

Why is it acceptable for someone who has millions of dollars to commit a crime which normally goes unpunished and most people overlook it and shrug it off as just a bad mistake; yet when a homeless person steels from food from a store because they are starving; this person is dirty and unacceptable to society and

Being an ex-inmate myself, which would classify me as a criminal, I have to say that society is pretty judgmental and unforgiving even when they have no idea what crime it was that I committed or how long ago it was. Not one time when I have applied for a job has anyone gone past the label felon that comes back on my background check. If they had, then they would know that my felonies were bad checks over ten years ago; written to run from a very abusive ex-husband who had nearly killed me on more than one occasion. They would also find out that the District attorney who prosecuted me actually ‘helped’ me when I got out and we are still friends after 10 years.

There are many different types of criminals but no matter how you classify them, they still have the right to a second chance if they have paid the price. If they have done the time that the court saw fit to give them as their payment to society, then society needs to accept that they have done their time, paid their debt and now deserve a chance to work and live a normal life just like anyone else.