Pubdate: Sun, 20 Apr 2003
Source: Times Daily (Florence, AL)
Copyright: 2003 Times Daily
Author: Doris Harvey


To the editor:

Gov. Riley says he's going to make Alabama a better place to live. One of 
the improvements is supposed to be the prison system. He's got his work cut 
out for him. This system needs a complete overhaul. So does our justice system.

I'm for punishment when a crime has been committed, but it should be fair. 
 From what I see and hear, you can serve more time for drugs and DUI's than 
for violent crimes.

It doesn't matter what the person has done or the length of their sentence, 
they are still stigmatized. Some people think when you've been in prison, 
you have no rights or feelings, even though you've paid all of your debt to 
society, including your restitution.

It doesn't make any difference. Society doesn't want you back, even though 
you've done everything you could to earn your freedom. I believe if someone 
is trying to do better and make a decent, positive life for themselves, 
they should be given a chance.

I've been told when a "felony" appears on a application, you may as well 
get ready for a big disappointment. No matter how qualified you may be for 
the job, the felony sticks out like a sore thumb. It doesn't matter that 
you desperately need a job just to survive.

You can't make me believe that discrimination isn't involved.

I'm not saying put these people on a pedestal or just give them a slap on 
the wrist. I'm just saying after they have paid for their mistakes, give 
them a chance to redeem themselves.

Doris Harvey

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