In today’s New York Times is an Op-Ed piece entitled “Paying a Price, Long After the Crime.” It touches upon some of the issues that have been covered on this blog concerning the increasing marginalization of ex-offenders in all aspects of daily life, from employment to education to housing, and provides proposals as to how those in power may seek to reintegrate ex-offenders into society. On the latter point and in addition to what the authors have proposed, I would simply add the following: that we consider a fundamental shift in our perception of the capacities and desires of an ex-offender from an individual with a presumed criminal bent to someone who, if given the chance, greatly wishes to contribute to society, perhaps (gasp!) more so than those from different (read: more conforming) walks of life.
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About the AuthorAlbert Wan is a criminal defense and civil rights attorney in Atlanta, GA.
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