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My story is pretty simple. I was convicted of trafficking cocaine at the age of 23 of which my offense was committed when I was 20 years old. I think everyone makes mistakes at one point in their lives, some of us worse than others. The larger percentage of the penal system (incarcerated persons) will be coming home at some point. The majority of them have families that have already suffered for their mistake(s) as well as themselves. The fact is though, that whomever these people are and despite how you might feel about them. .  . They are your neighbors, co workers, family members, maybe even your friends, and they need to continue on w/ their lives just as anyone else who reads this does. Convicted felon or not, these people and their families live in your communities, on your streets. Maybe even right next door to you. The question really is: Do we want to continue perpetuating a cycle of failure? Whether it is by stopping a person convicted of a non-violent crime from being able to obtain the assistance or training to have a career in a field which will better the lives of themselves, their families, even their communities… or perpetuating it through the suffering of their children because the person in question can not seem to get out from under the oppression of a penal system that  has absolutely no rehabilitative qualities what so ever ( I was there and begged for any kind of vocational training of which I was repeatedly denied) and their children are raised up in squalor, following the same path as a failed parent. This is not a problem that is just going to disappear. I am not going to start quoting statistics of which I am not correct, but I will leave you w/ this. I know their are a WHOLE BUNCH of convicted felons being released EVERYDAY. Do you want a productive member of society living next to you, or a desperate person looking for a way to feed their children? I know that not every person will turn down the right path despite any opportunity given, but if we do not start some where this cycle will continue to compound on itself until our already strained system implodes on itself. . . Think about it.

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