Friday, March 25, 2011

The Jobless Criminals

If you have been reading this blog for long, then you know that my heart belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. And you also know that I have a place for the "uglier" parts of our society, the criminals in our midst.
 
We have created a system of second-class citizens because we want nothing from “them”, and we want to give “them” even less.
 
“Sixty-five million of our American neighbors—or one in four adults—have a criminal record. This may come from a crime for which one is found guilty, or even has charges against them dropped because the investigators later determine the person was wrongly accused. However, the damage is done, and an ‘arrest record’ has been created. So now many employers routinely post job ads that explicitly exclude such applicants.
The practice appears to be against the law, and at a time of record long-term joblessness, advocates for the poor say it places yet another obstacle in front of the people who need jobs most, those who want to get their life back on track. In addition, there's widespread agreement that helping those with criminal records to find stable employment is crucial for preventing future crime and a return to incarceration, increasing the costs to the government, and in turn to tax-payers. Indeed, that's the reason the government runs programs (Federal Bonding) designed to make it easier for ex-offenders to find work by offering insurance bonds to the hiring companies. Yet, it is still not available to all those who have been convicted, and it is not a sure way to encourage employers, even if they know such a program is in existence.” (See the full article here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110323/ts_yblog_thelookout/help-wanted-sixty-five-million-need-not-apply)

Our way of doing things now doesn’t work effectively or efficiently, but most of us don’t want to get our hands “dirty”, or put forth the effort it will take to make a lasting change. Whether you can make a difference or not, many of us won’t stop, even once, to consider how we might help.

Let me create a picture for you of the world I see: broken families, the poor & sick, the homeless, those on welfare, the mentally ill, the unwanted, uneducated, rampant addictions, then additional crimes, and children without stability to repeat the cycle.

So what are we-Christians known for? 
 

When the world seems dark, light enters in.

God infiltrates and works to save us. 
 

Help me live in the joy of Your forgiveness.

Show me how to find the light in the darkness.

 

Next week is the wrap-up to “Being Available to God - Part 3.”

The another series begins on the struggles to find work as a criminal.

 

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