The time was not wasted, however. Our
father studied hard, earning his degree as a Paralegal and helping draft legally assistive work for those who were striving for
opportunities to improve their lives. He
worked in exchange for hand-drawn cards
sent to our families for Christmas and
birthdays, as well as small presents when he was able. He worked to salvage relationships with those hurt by his absence, and seeks to continue in these efforts as he transitions back into free life. No longer in any way in the proximity of those with whom he formerly spent tie and life, he has a new lease on life in a community committed to recovery and regeneration. His chances are not all wonderful however; unless he can find support and care.
In the state of Kansas, 36% of released inmates retained for longer than a decade and imprisoned for non-violent offenses return to prison for public order violations in the first 3 years out. The Federal rate is even more problematic, with those in the 40+ bracket starting at 50% in year 3 and falling to 36.3% by year 5. The reason for this is a lack of public support for the newfound recovering felon. The difficulty finding gainful and solvent employment immediately after release coupled with the long timelines involved in applying and receiving benefit assistance often leave people like our dad spiraling in a search to provide for themselves and find a place in this world.
If we as a community could come together as a temporary leg to prop up the efforts of recovery and regenerative growth, a strong foundation can be built upon which these statistics would shatter like thrown glass; and upon which a new and productive life could be built in time to still bounce grandbabies on knees and see a wedding or two, or more. When those who have been made to repay society for wrongs are done paying, could we not see our way through to helping them find stability so they have no reason to return to that place?
Please search your heart and mind; and
see if you can find within you the wish to
help rebuild a better life for our father, who is emerging from his cocoon late in life but
still dedicated to stretching out his wings
and sharing a better life with us and those
Please donate to his fresh start fund today.