Defining the Ex-Offender

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.

One response to “Defining the Ex-Offender

  1. I love your blog! I believe that an individual who has paid his or her debt to society and who has learned and change from the mistake should not have to go back to prison. This is the case of many immigrants who after being convicted of a crime lose their “legal status” and in order to get a work permit the individual has to be detain for a period of at least six months under the custody of INS.

    When a husband or wife is being detained by INS in such a case, the family goes through a lot of hardships. The family is separated and this can cause separation anxiety to children, economic and emotional distress. This is a great nation and it is very sad that our immigration laws have become emotionally detached to the reality of many families.

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