Second Chance?

It’s strange. I was just thinking about the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run earlier this morning while taking my shower, wondering whether I will be doing the run simply for the sake of running or do I actually support the cause – my thoughts are conflicting about this, will go into more detail in awhile. Barely 15min later, I was checking facebook on my way to work like I always do and saw the following post by the organizers.

Yellow ribbon post

It simply got me contemplating further, trying to rationalize my thoughts – thoughts that were influenced by emotion and personal conviction… no pun intended.

The Yellow Ribbon Project – What is it? “Launched in 2004 by the former President of the Republic of Singapore Mr S R Nathan, the Yellow Ribbon Project seeks to engage the community in accepting ex-offenders and their families, giving them a second chance at life and to inspire a ripple effect of concerted community action to support ex-offenders and their families.” [Official website]

Word of Caution: The following contains my opinions that might seem offensive or insulting to some. Do know that my intention is NOT to offend and while I may be judgmental in some situations, know that I strive to be neutral all the time… but I’m just human and like everyone else, am affected by my emotions and beliefs.

The main question that plagues me is: Do ex-offenders deserve second chance? /sigh. This really is gonna be a sensitive topic with no right or wrong answer. Much as I’d love to say “yes” for certain, I can’t. It’s a Yes and No for me, and yeah I am simply not magnanimous enough to forgive. I honestly do think that some crimes (e.g. but not limited to: rape, child abuse, elderly abuse & animal abuse) should never be committed. Should I be given the authority, there wouldn’t even be a chance of rehabilitation – I’d have sentenced the offenders to a slow painful death… one that involves suffering the direct pain they have caused. It might seem cruel and a tad barbaric, but really, I am in favor of “necessary violence” as I believe they will serve as a deterrent.

That being said, for those who have committed lesser crimes where no lives are harmed (e.g. vandalism) and are truly repentant, I’d say yes, they deserve a second chance. And then again, who am I to judge which is a greater crime & which is a lesser crime? What I might view as ‘lesser’ in my eyes, the victims of the crime will have a different point of view. Besides, I believe the frequency of the acts should be taken into account as well. Meh, though I am in no position to judge, like most others, I can’t help doing so and I already have. I can see why employers are unwilling to hire an ex-con. It might be unfair, but that’s how the world is. Life is unfair.

Anyway, a comment on the above-mentioned facebook post reflects a doubt that am sure many people have: “What if 2nd chance is being abused?” Know the saying that a leopard can never change its spots? That. What is to say the ex-con won’t just revert to his old ways or escalate to something worse? i.e. “graduating” from animal abuse to child/women abuse? Yeah perhaps I have watched one too many episodes of CSI, Criminal Minds or other crime drama series, but anyone can tell me for sure that whatever I’ve watched is mere fiction? I fully believe that escalation is possible, and natural. It’s like taking drugs. One will need more of a substance to attain the same amount of high over time. Don’t agree? I’d like to hear your point of view, really.

Will the Yellow Ribbon Project change things? I don’t know. It will take more than just awareness to change the opinions of the general public. It’s ironic, huh? I am a misanthrope who especially dislikes people who are simply “one of the masses” w/o their own thoughts, who behaves like everyone else. When it comes to certain subjects, such as this one, it does seem that I belong to the category as well. It’s unfortunate, but am of the hopes that someday I will be able to put general prejudices behind… and taking part in this year’s Yellow Ribbon Prison Run will be my first tiny little step.

yellow ribbon prison run


One response to “Second Chance?

  1. Pingback: Yellow Ribbon Prison Run 2013: The Road to Acceptance | Simple Complexity

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