DID YOU KNOW: That there are an estimated 90 million family members, spouses, children and friends of current or formerly incarcerated offenders living in communities across America? These individuals and families live quietly, shamefully and suffer the continuing pain of being excluded from society just because they have had a family member involved in the criminal justice system. They serve out THEIR PRISON SENTENCE daily hunkered down to avoid attracting attention to their troubles. We know from published government statistics that there are currently 14 million arrests each year and close to 1 million new felony convictions. We also know from the U.S. Department of Justice that over 2 million individuals are currently incarcerated in prisons and detention facilities across the country. An estimated 8 million other individuals are under court jurisdiction serving out terms of probation or parole. That means there are a total of 10+ million persons currently in the criminal justice system.
What the federal and state governments are reluctant to publish is the actual number of offenders who have returned to various communities after serving out their sentences. Informed estimates put this number at 30+ million. Why is this information important? Simply so that you will understand the staggering loss to the economy and the warped, political views which are driving this engine of incarceration. Compared to the current immigration problems, this reality is a storm on the horizon, which dwarfs all other crises facing this nation. Media outlets have consistently failed to expose the pending disaster to the public. So much for the responsibility of the media to keep the public informed. When an individual reemerges from the criminal justice system with no job skills and a criminal record, there are few if any jobs available that would make the adjustment to community life that much harder. Few of these jobs would afford the former offender the opportunity to support a family and succeed within the community. No wonder so many windup back in prison.
Consider another reality. The current budget expenses for the justice folly are not clearly set up so the public can understand. In fact prisons for profit are now considered to be an offset to the direct costs of incarceration, so no one truly knows what it is costing the people of this country for the privilege of destroying millions of lives in the process of serving the interests of justice. We do know that the end result is looming as millions of prisoners who have been incarcerated for decades are released back in communities with no realistic prospects of employment; no accumulated social security or disability credits and no health care provisions. This is a time bomb waiting to go off and it will straddle the taxpayers with untold debt into the foreseeable future. Can we as a nation afford these short term policies which fail to consider long term social, economic, community and family costs? These policies are being acted upon in our names under the false applications of the rule of law which is a masquerade for an economic (The Justice Industry) industry fueled at the cost of millions of individual lives. The current immigration problem is child’s play compared to this disaster which is looming under our very feet.
If a third of the population of the United States is directly impacted by existing justice policies, why haven’t we heard about this problem before now? Do not take my word for it, check out the numbers yourself. You are paying for a system that is about to implode with disastrous long term costs. If you are one of those who have committed no crime, but you are staggering under the social burdens of being a family member, spouse, child or friend of those who have had criminal justice encounters, you need to know the truth in order to move through this humiliating and painful process. DISMASPROJECT.com is a voice of truth for those who seek help along the lonely pathways of life which is the legacy of those trapped in this depraved and indifferent system. To reach out for direct information or assistance please email your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-545-5128. A staff member will assist you or provide useful referral information, as well as ongoing tracking support to make sure you have received the help you need. Ambassador-International Publishing has just released “Surviving the Justice Experience: An Essential Christian Resource for Families of Offenders.” This book contains a step by step guide to making your way through criminal justice encounters. Ä Change of Heart: An Essential Christian Resource for Current and Former Offenders” is expected to be released in late 2013 for those who are struggling with the stigma and burdens of a criminal record and the indifference of those who have assumed responsibility for equal protection under law for all citizens.
It’s time for a change. Get informed. Start to ask questions. Write letters and make phone calls. This is NOT a call to be soft on crime, rather it is a plea to the conscience of a great nation for equal justice and opportunity for all citizens, especially those willing to admit their past failures and to embrace the value of life, respect for property and a desire to participate in the common effort to restore this country’s past honor and glory. Your single voice can make a difference.
Kevin J. McCarthy, Ph.D.
Touching hearts, one person at a time.