Prisoners, Paychecks And Self-Respect

Susan Jim Bohannon 5_31_12

My thanks to the gracious and very entertaining Jim Bohannon for a fun interview! We talked about personal responsibility, a subject near and dear to my heart, and something we see sorely lacking in many families, individuals, schools, the workplace and government.

One of Jim’s callers asked what I thought we should do about our ever-increasing prison population. Our church is working with a youth detention center, and one of the things they told us was a big problem was that when the kids are incarcerated, they are given tools to deal with their issues, but when they get out, they are returning to their old haunts with influencers that don’t have the benefit of the same toolkit. Without a support system, many of these kids reoffend.

There are myriad reasons why we have so many youngsters in trouble now (which is a much longer subject than this post will allow) but there are some preventative measures that can be taken to see that all children reach their God-given potential. Ideally, of course, children should be taught by their parents from birth about high expectations for themselves and their behaviors,  along with consequences for bad behavior, which needs to be reinforced in the schools. But when youths choose to leave the straight and narrow path, we can still help them get onto a different and more fulfilling road – by putting them to work.

Anyone with a pooch will understand what the British dog trainer Barbara Woodhouse meant when she famously stated that a tired dog is a good dog but an exhausted dog is a great dog. Chaucer assigned a similar proverb to people: “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”

What would imbue these troubled souls with self-discipline, self-respect, pride in accomplishment and reward for hard work is a job, which is yet another reason why fighting for a healthy, vibrant economy is so critical to the future of our country, to our freedom and to our liberty.