One of the things that I find most difficult to accept is some parricides’ feeling that the world owes them sustenance. They have admittedly suffered a lot in their young lives. Intolerable homes followed by years in prison… none of it, by their reckoning, of their own making. Many of them come out of this experience knowing nothing but being cared for, dismal as the conditions may have been.
I think one of the greatest failings of the prison system is that it fosters a culture of dependency. Prison officials may point to this “program” or that, claiming that they encourage initiative, but this is hogwash. I have a grand universe of only two individuals to have learned from (both of whom grew up in the prison system), but each has independently told me of being overwhelmed by the choices of toothpaste they first had to make at Walmart. Yet living a successful life involves more than toothpaste purchase decisions. We seem to be surprised when recently-released (and not-so-recently-released) inmates make choices that we regard as “dumb.”
My friend Lone Heron constantly reminds me that I dealing with shattered persons, each broken in his/her own ways. Success with one provides no blueprint for success with another. With every kid, I feel as if I’m starting at scratch.
84° and Clear