The event that I attended was a graduation ceremony for 61 persons who were incarcerated by our county. What a waste of talents, personalities, strengths and aptitudes that these persons possessed.
The major theme for the day was “making good decisions.” The guest speaker was a young woman who had spent four years in prison herself. She was awesome, fantastic and inspiring. She spoke to these persons for over an hour and held the men in her hand the entire time. They listened to every word she said. They responded to every cue as if she held them in her hand.
These persons ranged in age from 20 to 60. How did we let so many people slip away from us? And this was only one re-entry class. What can we do or what could we have done to allow these persons to make good, responsible decisions.
As I looked over the group I imagined the orange clad men dressed in suits or sport clothes and saw them as members of churches, civic organizations, school, the work force — playing sports or as musicians. One participant recited a beautiful poem of length.
Let us encourage our young people to make good decisions and to look ahead at what the consequences could be. It is never too late. Older people can make good decisions also.