“When you’re released from prison with your first felony and you have no education, you have no sense of self-worth, never worked a legal day in your life, you don’t have a good address and you have the “Scarlet Letter” of the detention center on your back… you’re not getting a job… you’re not getting an apartment… you’re not getting all those essential things that folks without a felony take for granted.”
So when you’re released into that scenario… how do you survive?
When you can’t get access to a legal way of making a living and you’ve been surrounded from birth by folks working the system to take every handout, and/or commit crime to provide their living… when your choice of housing is in slum, ran by a slum lord who comes once a week to collect the $100 dollar rent and if you cant pay, kicks in your door and tosses your belongings on the street…
… when you’re taught the “family trade”, when the only one in your neighborhood with money in their pocket is the drug-dealer, the pimps, the thieves, the fences, the forgers…
… it is going to take strength to stand up to the family and friends and say, “I don’t need that. I can take care of myself.” But then you’re battling everything you been taught all your life… how to use the system… and take… how to use the people around you… and take… how to use the people who are trying to help you… and take.
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