Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I always hold my breath when I walk in on Monday mornings wondering what happened over the weekend. This "Monday" happened on a Tuesday and gave my guys an extra day to get into mischief! One of my resident inmates was very busy over the wknd and not in very good ways. Apparently our long meaningful, remorseful, I-need-to-find-God-again chat didn't do as much as I thought. The reality is he will probably be going back to jail.

I remember in my interview some 15mths ago being asked if I would have a hard time sending someone back to jail to which I replied, "No, not if it was clear that that was necessary." Well, a lot has happened since then that I never knew about back then. I have been told in the academy they ask you questions about whether or not you would arrest a close friend or family member if necessary. Wrong is wrong and I am OK with that but sometimes it's hard to know what the best choice is overall. This man, my resident, wasn't committing crimes (at least not against man necessarily) he simply was playing the system. Either way regardless of who's laws or rules were broken it hurts to know that this man will quite possibly being going back to jail. Where I got stuck can be summed up in a quote I was reminded of recently..."good is oftentimes the enemy of best." I am not 100% certain what the BEST solution is for this man, other than truly getting his life right with man and God.

It is easy for me to immediately think, "Hmm, I bet this is just a teeny glimpse of how God must feel when we mess up." For that I am grateful to have a small teeny sense of that especially if it makes me think twice. I only hope it stays in my heart and mind.

This "job" has changed me in ways I never anticipated. When I started I thought criminals are criminals plain and simple. If only that were true!! I have found an attempted murder funny, found a kinship with a drug dealer, laughed at the (clean) jokes of a gang member, listened to stories of abuse to themselves and others from a felony drunk driver (the hardest for me to forgive) and most recently had my heart broken by a man who has done it ALL because he made some bad choices. This is the same man who sat in my office and sobbed when he had started to feel remorseful but made bad choices the following day.

I challenge you to think long and hard before you think things like "He deserved what he got; Stupid junky; Let him rot" and similar thoughts. I too thought that 15months ago before meeting all of these wonderful teachers of mine behind bars who have taught me more about life than many.

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