steve l 
Member since Feb 16, 2008


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RegionName: Southgate

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Re: “From freedom to failure

Somewhere along the line many people seem to have forgotten that the ubiquitous “ribbons” you see on the bumpers of cars supporting the troops, breast cancer research, and everything else under the sun, evolved from the yellow ribbon in the song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree”, made famous by Tony Orlando and Dawn in 1973. This original ribbon was intended to show support for an ex-con coming home from the joint. Too many politicians these days are scared to death of appearing “soft on crime” for fear their political opponents will use it against them during elections. Ex-cons are our family members, even if only ex-step-in-laws twice removed. They are our friends, neighbors, church-members, co-workers or even just the person sitting next to you on the bus. These ex-offenders are known by many people, people who vote. If people would contact their State Representatives and State Senators, maybe even U.S. Congress people too, and let them know that most of us know someone who has broken a law and we would not vote against those who try to help them, perhaps our elected officials would be more supportive of propositions submitted to the legislature with the intent of easing the difficulties ex-offenders face when seeking work.

Posted by steve l on 01/13/2010 at 7:36 PM

Re: “Run-on sentencing

RE: Recently released report on immigration reform by University of Denver and use of released convicts to 1)make room in jails for illegal detainees waiting deportation and 2) fill the jobs they would be removed from:

Advocates of amnesty for illegal aliens argue that it is just too difficult to deport the nearly 30 million or more violators of our immigration laws living in our country. This sum includes offspring, most of who were conceived and born in this country. It is claimed that the main, insurmountable obstacle in this task emanates from severe shortage of jail space in which to hold detainees arrested in sweeps of “illegal friendly” businesses and neighborhoods until they can be formally convicted by our court system. Furthermore, it is maintained, there are insufficient numbers of legal American citizens willing to do the work that employers illicitly hire foreigners to do.

This line of reasoning is merely a smokescreen put up by parties interested in maintaining the profitable supply of cheap, docile, foreign labor. A very simple solution to this problem is a “prisoner exchange”.

Across America today, there are millions of U.S. citizens being held captive in privately and publicly owned jail cells. Many of these convicts were imprisoned for the very same crimes that unincarcerated, illegal immigrants have committed: criminal trespass (across our border and into our country), theft (of jobs they are not legally eligible for), burglary (of American tax dollars), identity theft, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, accessory to a crime and harboring fugitives, to name a few.

Criminal, undocumented outsiders are welcomed with open arms by our business community, our politicians, our religious leaders, our schools, our hospitals and our government-provided human services programs. At the same time, once they’ve served their sentences and earned their freedom, many of our own unfortunate family members, friends, neighbors and countrymen, born in the United States, are shunned by the majority of employers and landlords, who refuse them the chance to earn an honest living or a nice place to live.

Large numbers of current, non-violent inhabitants of our penal facilities could be freed, leaving plenty of places in which to put captured, immigration law-breakers prior to their deportation. Meanwhile, the now vacant, so-called “unwanted” jobs formerly done by these newly locked up inmates could be filled by the released Americans, who would be thrilled at an opportunity to redeem themselves in productive jobs, no matter how menial the task.


Posted by steve l on 12/12/2009 at 1:27 PM

Re: “Sit. Stay. Start over.

Colorado State Representative Mark Ferrandino A recent article in the Colorado Springs Gazette highlighted your House Bill 1082. While I praise your efforts, I feel many felons have also moved beyond their past deeds. Recently, at the local Rescue Mission, which has a chef training program for recovering alcoholics, addicts and people dealing with a number of issues, a few program members spoke of their hopes and ambitions in re-entering society. I could only think sadly, Wait till you try to get a job, if you have a record. The most recent issue of the Colorado Springs independent newspaper features an article on Colorado inmates training dogs for adoption. These people will also find few friendly faces when looking for work. Its a terrible shame to see doors slam shut on their futures, to keep people imprisoned in the past. For without a job no future is possible. Furthermore, the stresses of poverty resulting from few employment opportunities can ruin relationships, destroy families, prevent healthy, healing personal interaction. Added to court imposed sanctions this punishment seems far beyond the scope of the crime. Frustration, depression, anger, recidivism. It seems curious that people would donate to rehabilitation programs, then deny the rehabilitants a chance. Representatives Gardner and Jahn object that ex-offenders can ruin a business. A wise employer would be wary that most anyone, even himself and his most trusted employees, can be seduced by crime in certain circumstances, and would put in place the appropriate safeguards. Instead of keeping people out of jobs perhaps we could better spend our energies trying to put people into jobs. Thank you for your good efforts, .

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by steve l on 02/16/2008 at 3:50 PM

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