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Beliefs and opinions of authority

Beliefs and opinions of authority

Inequality can come in many ways. One way inequality can occur is the acceptance of incarcerated people re-entering society. When an individual is convicted of a crime, they are immediately judged and are not given a fair shot to improve their lives and live by society’s laws. Due to this, many people result back to crime because they feel there are no other options available to be accepted back into society. This has been a problem in our society for a long time; however, due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, those released from prison are having more difficulties in our society. This paper will discuss two articles on the challenges people face in society once released from prison.

The first article that will be discussed is from ABC News, locked up to lock out: Recently released prisoners face unprecedented challenges amid the coronavirus crisis. This article starts off with an inmate by the name of Ronald Reynolds, who was released from prison after serving twenty-nine years. At the time of his release, the coronavirus had just started to progress which led to a pandemic across the world. While incarcerated, Ronald Reynolds got his certification in American Sign Language to help deaf inmates and worked as a hospice volunteer and was hoping to utilize these skills upon being released from prison. In an interview with ABC News, Ronald Reynolds stated, “he had hoped he could use to begin rebuilding his life and get back to the society that had given him a second chance after he was released under Louisiana sentencing reforms”. (Mallin, Barr) However, due to the pandemic, his hopes of improving his life were placed on hold. Ronald Reynolds was laid off from his job due to the pandemic, which forced him to be confined in the halfway house he resided in and put him back to feeling locked up. This has allowed overcrowded institutions to put not only himself but other people at health risk.

The pandemic is not the only challenge that recently released incarcerated people face. Re-entering society is a struggle that they face, which leads to the next article, From prisons to communities: Confronting re-entry challenges and social inequality. According to the article, men and women are not prepared to re-enter society. They receive little assistance and resources to survive outside of prison. It does not matter what type of crime was committed. There are consequences these individuals will face. Having a criminal background restricts public housing assistance, employment, and social services. People who are released from prison have trouble finding employment because employers will not hire the person due to their criminal background. Employment is not the only challenge they face but getting an adequate education may come into play. This type of discrimination is allowed due to many states having laws where employment can be denied if the applicant has a criminal background. Since employment is a struggle, many people who are released from prison find low-skilled jobs in food service, wholesale, maintenance, or manufacturing industries. These employment options provide no benefits or very limited benefits and no opportunities to grow in the work field. If a previously convicted individual can secure a job, their wages are lower than what they would have earned prior to being incarcerated. Offenders are more likely to commit crimes due to these circumstances. In addition to employment, housing is another difficulty they face. The high risk of finding a residence can be led to being homeless. Many people released from prison have financial troubles which enable them to get an apartment. Rental properties have strict policies that must be followed for an applicant to be considered as a tenant. (Li)

The imbalance of power that is presented in the articles is controlling and discriminating against individuals who have a criminal record. Those who have criminal backgrounds are judged the moment they are arrested. The government and state law allow this type of discrimination and stereotype to occur. These laws force ex-criminals to result back to crimes because society does not give them a chance to prove they have changed and want to become a better person. The restrictions put into place for employment and residence shows that people who were once in prison do not have a chance to succeed in life. It is bad enough that finding employment and housing is a struggle, but when COVID-19 hit the world, this made it even more difficult since jobs were limited, and if money is not being earned, then housing cannot be afforded.

The individuals involved are those who are being released from the prison system. This affects them because they are the ones who are constantly being judged and not able to redeem themselves. For previously incarcerated people to succeed in the community and/or society, there must be effective strategies where it lifts the barriers that prevent them from succeeding. If there are laws against hiring or renting homes, there is a possibility many will not succeed and will result back to crime. The recent pandemic has made it even harder because many jobs are not available, and it is putting them in a bigger situation where their health is at risk and making them feel isolated from society. It will seem like they never left prison, and their freedom is taken away.

This issue affects the larger society because the people who were once in jail are unable to support their families. If a job cannot be obtained or secure due to discrimination or COVID-19, then this will negatively affect the people who rely on them. This also can affect the legal system because it makes prisons overcrowded because it is a known fact that many returns to bad habits that will result in them going back to jail. In my opinion, it is morally wrong to judge someone based on their past mistakes. No one is perfect, and people do learn their lessons and will change. It is not fair to judge someone based on their mistakes or the fact they have served time in prison. Especially today when we are in the middle of a pandemic. Jobs and housing are limited or desperately need help, and to deny someone from employment or rent a residence for a mistake they made in the past is not only fair, but it is wrong. As a community, we all need to help each other to create more jobs in the market and to allow the economy to grow.

In conclusion, previously incarcerated people are not given a chance to redeem themselves. Once released from prison, there is a barrier on the back and immediately judged by society as a bad person. Not everyone who goes to prison is a bad person, and not everyone will repeat the past. There are many people who will and want to change for the better, but how can they if they are not given a chance? The economy has gotten worse over the last few years due to the pandemic, and this has caused even more trouble for those who committed a crime or even got arrested. There are laws put into place where an employer or property manager can deny anyone from employment or residence. There must be a way to help these ex-criminals where they can succeed upon leaving prison and allow them to live a happy life like everyone else.

Reference

ABC News Mallin Alexander, Barr Luke April 10, 2020 Prisons face unprecedented challenges amid coronavirus crisis Locked up to lock out: Recently released prisoners face unprecedented challenges amid coronavirus crisis – ABC News (go.com)

American Psychological Association Li Melissa March 2018 From Prisons to Communities: Confronting re-entry challenges and social inequality From prisons to communities: Confronting re-entry challenges and social inequality (apa.org)

Week 6 Assignment – Beliefs and Opinions of Authority

Overview

In this assignment, you will discuss how the imbalance of power creates or sustains systemic issues by examining one of the topics below. In so doing, you will examine the ethical,  legal, and political implications of inequality and inequity at a  societal level. This will increase your awareness of how social intelligence can help leaders make fairer decisions for society. You can also apply this learning to your personal decision-making process to make choices that benefit the people you interact with every day.

Beliefs and opinions of authority

Beliefs and opinions of authority

Requirements

Select one of the topics listed in the Topics section below.

Read the articles provided for that topic.

Topics:

Topic 1: Inequality in the Workforce.

The US Economy Lost 140,000 Jobs in December. All of Them Were Held by Women.

5 Years of Leaning in.

Topic 2: Sanctions Against Released Inmates.

From Prisons to Communities: Confronting Re-entry Challenges and Social Inequality.

Locked up to locked out: Recently Released Prisoners Face Unprecedented Challenges Amid Coronavirus Crisis.

Topic 3: Public Restrooms

3 Myths That Shape the Transgender Bathroom Debate.

Federal Court Rules That Transgender Students Must be Allowed to Use Bathrooms That Match Their Gender.

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