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kevmo

I have had a unique opportunity in the past year to do a little volunteer work at a prison. Going into it I felt very fearful. These men are in prison for a reason. They have done some bad things.

As I have gotten to know these men, I've been very surprised. The prisoners I know have shown a deep remorse for their crimes. They have taken concrete steps toward becoming the kind of person who would not commit another crime. I can see those changes. Some of these guys would be great mentors or great friends.

The group I help with doesn't give the prisoners any advantage with the parole board. As a result, they are ones who have an intrinsic motivation to become better people.

It's sad that the parole board system doesn't seem to have a good sense of who's changed and who hasn't. Some very good guys in our group have been flopped (denied parole). They talk in frustration of others in prison that they know of who get parole but are eager to go back and offend again.

I have come to see that these men are human beings that have value & dignity. The men I know in prison were badly abused as children. That abuse in no way excuses them from responsibility for their crimes. But, it helps me have compassion for them. Apart from God's intervention in my life, would I be there too?

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