Should those who have Committed a Crime be Allowed to Benefit from their Publications

Being a convicted felon myself it is people who actually ask a question like this who need to be enlightened. My felonies were for bad checks over 10 years ago. The checks were written to grocery stores to buy food for my kids because my deadbeat husband used our money for drugs. He battered me so badly that I nearly died on several occasions. Injuries included: 6 broken ribs, punctured lung, punctured main artery, broken jaw, 3 broken vertebra; and the list goes on. Not every “criminal” is a bad person and does deserve a second chance. It has been many years and though I was a victim myself; caught up in a very violent relationship, I still can’t get a good job and the bumb I was married too walked away scot-free.

People are so quick to judge as soon as they hear the word “felon”. Without taking it any further they just think the worst; not ever delving deeper into the whole truth. Fortunately for me, people believed in me and I now have two published books about my experiences and they are distributed at homeless shelters, battered women’s facilities and prisons all across the country. I write about teen homeless for a local newspaper and I am able to reach out to others who are in similar situations as I once was; abuse, drugs and prison.

I thank God everyday that I have been blessed to overcome the constant labeling of “felon” and wish that others would be more open minded. There are many people that are incarcerated for bad checks, or not paying a fine; something that has to do with harming no one physically yet it is the child molestors and armed robbers that are set free long before any of the white collar crime inmates. Once released, because of the automatic label they have they cannot get work, a place to live, food or clothing because of the stigma that goes along with prison. When someone has done their prison time, they have paid their debt as the court has ordered and they deserve to work, write, or whatever they can to make an honest living. Many end up right back in prison because no one will give them a job.

Many offenders write to help others to not follow in the path that led them to prison and the fact that they have the courage to write about there trials says a mouthful. Yes! An offender should have the right to write and publish their work and if they get paid for it good for them! It’s an honest way to make a living; it is also thereuputic not just for the offender but for others who may be in a violent situation or worse. What would you have them do? Steal for a living? Everyone deserves a second chance; everyone!