Posts Tagged ‘second chance’

De-institutionalization (and your Tax Dollars)

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

Mizuo Shinonome_Where Excuses Go to DieSome see de-institutionalization as prison reform’s black hole. We neither think about nor understand it much, until we see how much it can swallow.

Yet redirecting, rather than just recycling, offenders begins and ends with the most common form of second chance behavioral therapy of all: showing individuals the potential in themselves they can’t yet see. I’m certainly a product of it, and there are countless other second chance cases even more deserving of the right mentor than I was.

In such an inexcusably crowded prison system as California’s, wringing Yard life from offenders can devour solar systems of resources, and profoundly institutionalized individuals are difficult people to be around on a good day. So for both plucky and grizzled corrections professionals working with offenders and parolees, resolve and past re-entry successes are crucial. So, too, are faith and funding – or at least the delivery of funds previously promised. (more…)

Second Chance Sexy

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

People who screw up but handle it well
are more attractive than those who don’t. 

AVOID PSYCHIC CLUTTER_Where Excuses Go to DieThat’s no newsflash, but why do you suppose it’s true? What is it about second chances, and second chance stories, in which we find inspiration? Aren’t flaws and faults at the center of nearly any second chance?

Here’re a few things I’ve learned about errors and do-overs:

Excuse-makers are repellant. You can’t spend time behind bars without becoming intimately familiar with psychic clutter. Clutter comes in many forms, but people who consistently fall back on rationalizations, excuses, and denial are usually quite guarded, with mental walls of all shapes, sizes, and complexities. If you’ve ever lied to cover up a lie, psychic clutter isn’t new to you, either. It’s just that too few of us recognize how unappealing we become, stressing and tripping when our heads are filled with it.

Let us go forth with fear and courage and rage to save the worldDeniers are draining. We all have friends, family members, or co-workers with good traits, generous moments, and genuine talents, which makes it frustrating and disappointing to accept them fully (or even work around them) when they’re in bullshit mode. I don’t mean your actors and other neurotics, or even dinner guests who show up and start ticking off their food allergies – those are a different kind of drain altogether. I’m talking about blamers, focus-shifters, liars, counter-accusers, and verbal bullies. We might be cheerleaders for the parts of these people we appreciate, but after coming to terms with their weak-ass coping skills, we can’t help but feel betrayed. And while positive character traits may make a person worthy of a second chance, should they get a third or fourth? The more efficient and healthier option would be to move on to a less draining individual, but individual results may vary. (more…)