Aw, Poor Little Felon
- Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan on Friday called for legislation that would end the practice of labeling those released from prison as felons for the remainder of their lives.
During a speech before the Coalition to Reduce Recidivism’s 12th annual luncheon in Waukegan, Ryan told attendees the “felon” tag is a deterrent to someone looking for a job.
Ryan, 81, a Republican, spent more than five years behind bars on corruption charges. He said during his incarceration at a Terre Haute, Ind. federal prison he saw many young men who have to wear the felon tag once released from prison.
“They’ve served their time, and that tag ought to be removed for the rest of their lives by law,” he said.
Second, we be amenable to removing the "felon" tag after the felon completes a probationary period, at least equal to the sentence that was imposed upon them - not the amount they served, because in Illinois, that would be a matter of days in certain instances.
During that probationary time, the felon will complete any court imposed education programs like anger management, or domestic violence, or AA, or "don't take shit that doesn't belong to you," because the felon obviously missed these lessons somewhere along their life route. The felon will hold a series of menial jobs, like ditch-digger, highway trash collector, port-o-john attendant, etc., a job that demonstrates what labor honest people do to support themselves and their families. The felon will earn minimum wage so he/she can see how honest people live. If the felon holds a second minimum wage job, the felon can reduce the probationary period by exactly zero - lots of people hold three and four jobs and they don't commit felonies. Any failure will result in the "felon" label for life.
Additionally, anyone who is dumb enough to commit another felony, will have the word "felon" branded upon them so that everyone can see what a dumbass they are. If honest work, honest pay and a second chance aren't enough to cure you of your stupidity, then you deserve exactly zero sympathy and should carry your burden where everyone can see it.
Third felony and you're done. We'll gladly kick in the extra tax money to house the felon for the rest of their life, as long as a reputable prison warden provides no TV, no exercise yard, no unapproved reading material, and the cheapest food allowable by law. Also, no medicine stronger than an aspirin or Tylenol. Prison shouldn't be a vacation.
You're welcome to disagree - discuss within the bounds of decency please.
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