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A real contemporary problem here in America where the status quo as lined up against ex-felons is not just, in fact it is unjust. Discrimination is an issue this country battles with daily. Just look at the history against the black African-American. Discrimination against the ex-felon is a uphill battle against those that think security is our primary source for survival as a great nation. To make a logical case for what would be just with arguable measures that should be taken to counteract this injustice has been taken since 1974. (Yale law 1974) This country “WE” call America has a primary drawing influence that brings new idea’s and ideals to our people everyday which is freedom. Freedom here is to do almost as you would please under certain societal rules and regulations. Is this really freedom? The price for freedom is death. For centuries this country has fought for the freedom that “we the people of today” experience. There has been battles of political diversity of discrimination issues fought since this country began. America’s independence began in 1776 when a parchment was signed in agreement to regulate this freedom. Did you know those men were traitors/criminals against the colonists that signed that parchment called the Declaration of Independence? In 1776 these men brought the reform to our great country. Do you think they killed to succeed in this signing of historic parchment? These traitors/criminals made what are country is today. Ex-felons controlled our country in 1776.
Today’s issues are more about unemployment, health reform for the elderly, etc., and as Obama says “we need change”. For one fact in point change starts from within. This universal principle has been documented by dozens of scholars in many different fields. Unemployment for ex-felons is a statistic that does not even get acknowledged in this country. Research this fact and the only stats anyone will find is on unemployment which doesn’t include the ex-felon. When an ex-felon looks for a job and is honest on their application about their past, the hope-to-be employer sees “felony”, and the first thing they think is security. If they hold a felony over a reformed felon’s head for the rest of their life, they’re telling you that your a liar and you’ll never change. You’re not welcomed in our society. You’re the scum of the earth. They’re telling people to just go back prison, we are better off without you. What kind of message are these upstanding citizens telling the rest of the country? Should the ex-felon be exterminated for making a mistake or mistakes? Since time began the criminal has always been punish for their crimes, which is the right thing to do. The real question here is, are we to shun the felon out of society giving them a reason to start their own country? What would this world be like to have a country with nothing but criminals in it? Do you think they be terrorists?
“States in the union of America have taken steps to remove the ex-felon from society by removing their right to vote even after reform”. (Johnson-Paris, 2003) This is just another built rung in the ladder towards the extermination of the ex-felon pushing them into a corner to where they will stand up and fight like a frightened animal. Everyone has a right to be free to life and the pursuit of happiness. Susan Wolf’s claims that for “one to truly have free will you must will the right path, the truly good.” (Waller, 2008, p. 205) “John Locke was known as the Father of Liberalism, as an English physician and philosopher, ( John Locke, August 29, 1632 – October 28, 1704). His writings influenced many other free thinking philosophers. His contributions to today’s republicanism and liberal theory are mirrored in the signed parchment written in 1776 called the Declaration of Independence”. ( Stanford Encyclopedia, 2007) This kind of thinking made our country great. Today society has broken away from this line of thinking. Which has caused discontentment among the citizens of America. Children are being taught that conformity to societal rules and regulations brings happiness. This type of thinking is wrong, because this leaves no room for error for the creative individual. This put limitations on the individual and encourages fear. This is what society wants in order to control the lower income families. An unspoken, unwritten rule of philosophy is the poorer you are the more likely you’ll commit crimes. Criminal thinking doesn’t discriminate, but the wealthier you are, the more your likely to get away with your crime.
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A writ from a higher court to a lower one requested a transcript of the proceedings of a case for review of Ex-Felon Disenfranchisement Laws was in question in 1974. “The Supreme Court has recently granted certiorari”, (Yale law 1974) In 1977 the Human Rights Act was formed. This was the beginning of change for the ex-felon. Has this reform greatly improved since then? Absolutely not! Harry Thomas Jr. a Council member of D-Ward 5, one of the sponsors of the bill said; “we’re asking ex-felons to pay a debt that has already been paid.” “Carol Peeples, openly spoke against the bill in legislation saying; it is too vague in its explanation with a strait forward discriminatory view against felons”. (Carol Peeples 2010)
There have been several business majors in our country that have taken steps to help the ex-felon to be aware of what is needed to be successful in this world of business being successfully employed as an ex-felon. Samuel Muriithi is just one business major that has put out there a plan of action to help the ex-felon be successful when looking for gainful employment. The job search tips for ex-felons are to know all your resources before your job search begins, know the Regulations and Rules for Disclosure of your own criminal background, Know when is your Offense Disclosure is Applicable, Make Sure Your Record is Accurate, Show your reformed. (Muriithi, 2010)
People have been discovering that felons have been gaining employment in school systems are happening more often than one might think. There has been bills presented to legislature to keep the criminal out or America’s schools. This is a big issue when it comes to our Children safety. The crimes that are committed should be looked at with a microscope, but charges like assault, burglary, or any kind of theft should be scrutinized in the individual prior to employment to ensure reform has taken place and the individual is taking the steps necessary to live peacefully in society again. There are individuals that have committed crimes that must be excluded from employment in schools for the safety of our children like sex crimes, or violent dangerous questionable crimes that leave real concern to the safety of others. (Debi Brazzale, 2010) There are many a designed programs available for ex-felons. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is just one available program to employers as an incentive to hire ex-felons. Federal Bonding from government agencies such as, The McLaughlin Company is another incentive for employers to hire ex-felons that are available through One Stop Career Centers nation wide with designated offices that have counselors assisting felons to find employment. The Workforce Investment Act (WIA, 1998) provides tools needed and the funding to train the needed felon to acquire gainful employment. There has been extensive research on this subject and many found a lot of reliable information that is on this web site (www.felonresources.com). You may also want to consider employment agencies such as an alternative to a temporary job. Many of these temp agencies go out of their way to find jobs for felons and many of these jobs are temporary positions for hire that lead to permanent positions. This can be a way of getting an individuals foot in the door to prove their trust worthiness.
If a person were to ask why certain societies have broad differences in their ideals and behaviors one could explain it fairly easily being in the same environment all of their life. When someone is born into a society where they usually accept the given name “family” as values then when they grow older they can, if they wish, change those values. Although they change these values they usually always conform to fit in with societies norms when there are some that convert to criminal thinking patterns that cause dangerous consequences for themselves and/or others. Although they accept these values, their behavior can be different and unacceptable in certain societal circles. The reason why the behavior is different is because of the environment of that society they were raised in. One’s environment can have a huge impact on their behavior and the way they perceive reality. For example, if one person were to grow up in China they would be building computers to survive. If one grew up in Iraq one might be using their hands to make bombs to kill, while in other places such as the United State’s and Europe most people use diplomacy before they pick up a gun. Although computers, guns, knives, or bombs do not change the violent behavior that much, it can still account for some behavioral differences across cultures. Another example of environment changing in one’s behavior is where one grew up. If someone grew up in the inner-city they would behave differently than someone growing up in the suburbs. The person in the inner-city would have “street smarts,” a different attitude/outlook on life, a broad range of friends, and they would learn specific things in school. Someone who lived in the suburbs would probably have more “book smarts,” probably have a good outlook on life, one class and color of friends, and they would be living fairly well, (maybe?). When these two people are compared, their moral values might be the same but their attitudes and behavior would be a different form of each other. Even though they may have grown up ten miles from each other, their lives and morals would be completely different. Overall, the values and beliefs could be the same for both people, but their behavior would be different because of the difference in their environment. These are factors that contribute to ones perceived thinking patterns that can still result into criminal behavior that could land an individual into prison and all the consequences that go with the wrong choices against society. The argument from the disagreement between the states here in America that there has been no agreement about the ex-felon that through time past concerning what is really right and wrong, about reform concerning the felon follows that there is really no objective of right and wrong or no moral “truth” to the individual ex-felon. In other words, this idea states that since there is no right or wrong there is no answer to what is right and wrong. This means that once a felon always a felon and they will always commit crimes against society, no matter what the crime may be. People acquire their moral beliefs from a particular lived in environments through obstruction, award, and punishments. In other words, it says moral beliefs are true to a perceived reality to particular cultural environment in which they were acquired or learned which are not necessarily true outside of their own environment. Another idea presented by the citizens against ex-felons is the idea of tolerance. Tolerance is defined as a social, cultural, and religious term applied to the collective and individual practice of not persecuting those who may believe, behave or act in ways of which one may not approve, (Oxford Dictionary). If you believe in tolerance you are saying one’s beliefs are better, but you will not persecute anyone else even though they are wrong. These two ideas contradict each other so one cannot be an avocate for the ex-felon and be tolerant at the same time, since that would involve believing in an ultimate morality which an ethical upstanding citizen does not believe in.
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In conclusion, discrimination is an issue this country battles with daily. Just look at the history against the black African-American. Discrimination against the ex-felon is a uphill battle against those that think security is our primary source for survival as a great nation.Today’s issues are more about unemployment, health reform for the elderly, etc., and as Obama says “we need change”. For one fact in point change starts from within. This universal principle has been documented by dozens of scholars in many different fields. Unemployment for ex-felons is a statistic that does not even get acknowledged in this country. Our prisons are over crowded and many say it just is the sign of the times. People are being told they are committing crimes against society and being punished for them when they were raised in an environment that approved of said above behavioral thinking.
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