photographer. artist. author. singer. songwriter. musician. teacher. student. humanitarian. visionary.

No Dreams Tonight

ImageJosh, blemishes and all

It’s 5:29 a.m. and I’ve been up all night. Josh is sleeping in the other room, bathed in the (deliciously) cold air. We’re now the semi-proud owners of three air conditioners! That’s reason to celebrate around here; things have been so rough lately. Apart from general hassles and stressors in life, the extreme heat was making us all a little bit crazy. It quite literally felt as if our brains were simmering in our own stupid juices.

Maddening!

I can actually think now and focus on my schoolwork again (which is drastically overdue). My teachers gave me an extension; I really don’t like to do that, but in this case, it couldn’t be helped. I’ve decided that I’ll be more than likely working on my B.A. in Criminal Justice after I graduate, minoring in Psychology. I’m interested in working in the areas of probation, parole, and rehabilitation. Here’s my theory:

There are two major gaps in our penal system. The first gap is within the age ranges of 17-24. Many of these candidates are still juveniles/young adults and have never been incarcerated for an extended length of time. They’re petty offenders and are still in a somewhat malleable state: they can still be reached and easily molded for correction and productivity. Some of these people will fall through the gap however, ending up in prison after several bouts with crime. This is the first gap and should be considered to be at one end of “prevention”. This is also the area that falls into probation rather than parole.

The second gap deals with people who are between the ages of 40-55 (give or take a few years). These are the ones who have fallen through the first gap and have been through the many revolving doors of the penal system, having never been rehabilitated. These are much harder cases because they have spent years in prison already, and when they are released, they hardly stand a chance at successfully rebuilding their lives due to the fact that the majority of our U.S. prisons aren’t implementing applicable programs that will help to restructure their lives. This is the second gap, and should be considered to be at the other end of the line, which is “cure”. 

Prevention……………………………(Incarceration)…………………………………..Cure

The two gaps are crucial points for either category, because they are both PRIME TIMES for a juvenile delinquent (or former inmate) to utilize ready programs that will help him or her change their lives for the better.

My main area of interest will be in working in one of these areas: prevention/probation or cure/parole.  And I don’t want to go and punch a time card, “do my job”, and go home. I don’t want that to be my life. I want to put every bit of what I have within me into my job, wherever it will be, and combine my personal and empirical experience in life with my academic education so that I can “actually make a difference” in the lives of others. 

We’re heading out of here at 10:00 a.m. 
We’re going to Tennessee to pick up Brianna from her friend’s house; it’s a beautiful stretch of country. 

Time to see the sandman…

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10 responses

  1. yvo

    OH B, this is a heartening and hopeful writing. Wow!!! You will make a difference in the lives of many and therefore make a difference in our world. You are something else. Really, I am shaking my head here, you have a grasp of your passion and purpose. I remember when I was involved in the organized body of Christ, I did the prison ministry a few times. The spiritual oppressiveness was like a choking blanket . . . to walk into those walls, you could not help but take so seriously that you have a temporary pass to step into a completely different world . . . one that I would possibly not survive. Funny, we 3 were supposed to hook up with a couple worship musicians and got word that they would not make it. The leader addressed the men and declared ” Even though our two brothers were not able to join us tonight, I KNOW there is a song in someones heart and I am calling forth that person to share with us . . . .” we wait. me nervous. twitching. The guy says it three x and I think boy I hope he’s righ, this is unbearable. Guess what? a rumble in my spirit began to which I said NO oh Lord PLEASE NO not me- send someone else!! ha ha chicken shit that I am, no singer am I. After (probably looking like I was either melting or my flea collar was too tight) I said. God WHAT are you doing to me??? but I will be a fool for you if that pleases thee. andddd soo . . much to the shock of the two men with me, in a meek voice I confessed with a shoulder shrug, . . i guess it’s me. I’m the one that have a song in my heart. The looks on their faces were priceless . . a cross between, this is a bad joke or WTH??? I shut my eyes to look for my Father’s HAND and stepped forward and sang You are mighty You are Holy You are AWESOME in your power You have risen You have CONQUERED You have beaten the POWER of DEATH. Some of the most beautiful and capable voices lifted that song to heaven. and I survived. I saw before my eyes a mass of scary (mostly black men) change before my eyes and saw their beauty emerge as if something had cracked off of them. I was deeply deeply impacted. And hey YOU!! YOU can actually SING among your other talents and skills and you with be a quenching drink of water and a shaft of listening and glistening light!! my dear friend!! Thanks for listening. That pic is amazing, such beauty of a man captured in that brilliant shot!!! wowed again B. Enjoy your studies, you are making a path to a better live for many. xxxx

    July 4, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    • Yvonca, I think you’re one of the bravest people I’ve ever known. I honestly don’t know if I could have shown that much courage (and I know just what you mean when it comes time to being tested, ultimately- I’m a big chicken &*^% too!). I can totally see you doing that though! I know that those men were lit up like Christmas trees that day. That…is incredible. Thanks for sharing that with me. :0) I know God has great things in store for me; I just need to buckle down and do the grunt work, you know? I’m impatient. But He’s telling me that all I have to do is not drop the shovel because He’s already drawn up the blueprint. 😉

      Thanks again for inspiring me today and you know, I actually HAVE been tested on that level before. I was asked (on the spot) once to sing at a funeral. I wasn’t prepared at all and hadn’t been asked beforehand- but I had to use the bathroom so badly (eyeballs were floating) and I couldn’t walk! I actually wanted to though, but I stayed bolted to my chair..heheh.. that was an awesome thing for you to do that day and I have no doubt that everybody’s hearts were touched so much. You are the bomb, Y!

      I have to go take care of my road trip hair- maybe even take a shower. I’ll chat with you later. 😉

      And hey, I’ll pop in soon over at RB. Miss you! xo

      July 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm

  2. I think you are very noble for wanting to go in this direction and I hope you achieve your dream. What I worry about as a country is that we seem to be getting less forgiving as time goes by. You make a mistake and it potentially can haunt you the rest of your life. I wonder how much crime results from people who want to rehabilitate, but can’t find honest work? Gainful employment needs to be a part of “the cure”. Good luck with your studies.

    July 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    • Hey, thanks, Al. I believe you are very correct, and it bothers me too that so many people commit crimes when they’re under the influence and then 20+ years later, they’re treated as if they are “that same person” and you may as well be talking about two entirely different people. When we’re all put on a large set of (moral) scales- there are none of us who have lived “worthy” lives. None. Even the most honourable, charitable heart is black compared to what we could and should be- so when I bring that into the equation, there’s no way that I can judge someone harshly to the point of unforgiveness and simply “throw them away”.

      There’s actually very little rehabilitation that goes on in a majority of prisons (think: Maricopa County/”tent city”) and the wasting and rotting of the minds of the people who are held in solitary for 15+ years is abominable. It makes me shutter to think of the gross negligence of the mentally challenged locked away in solitary who need proper medication and can’t even express it because they’re deranged after a decade of extreme abuse. Death would be “merciful” to many of them at that stage, but the reality is so many of the mentally ill can’t express their fears, discomforts, pain, etc. because they’re locked away in their own minds- inside Ad-Seg (administrative segregation).

      And in the end, the abuse and ill-treatment of these inmates are far worse than some of their initial crimes. Yeah, our system’s broken badly. Thanks for popping in. Good seeing you. 😉

      July 5, 2013 at 12:42 pm

  3. Birgitta I feel you on the AC’s. When we first came to Norfolk, VA my husband picked out our apartment (NEVER AGAIN). It was a brick building in which you had to supply your own AC unit. So we bought one and stuck it in the window. You want to talk about being in an OVEN during the summer. Holy Crap. That one AC unit hardly did anything unless you stood next to it. Thankfully it was a long time ago but I feel sure that Nick and I had many a fights due to extreme heat and exhaustion. Also, the Criminal Justice thing sounds great ! What type of job would you have working in parole/justice system ? That might be right up your ally. What made you decide on this change from your Sociology direction not too long ago? I’m still not exactly certain of the avenue I am going in with Human Services. Thankfully, I think you can do a lot of different things with it. When I get my Associates I am going to start applying to places and tell them I am looking for an entry level position as I go for my Bachelors in Human Services to see what they say. If you have any ideas of things I could apply for that would be helpful and interesting let me know! Thanks sooo much for that email you sent me last time. I will def respond to it soon sorry it has taken me a while. I always appreciate and respect your honesty. It’s refreshing to know that someones faith is so strong. Sadly, you just don’t see that kind of thing much anymore!!

    July 7, 2013 at 11:23 am

    • I’ll give you the long version of why I’m considering Criminal Justice as my major rather than Sociology (bear with me!). I’m still going to be working on a double minor- which would be Sociology and Psychology. Choosing Criminal Justice as my major just tells future potential employers that that is the area that I hold the most interest and training in, but minoring in Sociology says, “I do have a significant interest in this field” and would still be qualified to work in that area.

      I’ve held a strong interest in Criminology my entire life. When I was only 7 and 8 years old, my Dad would read “True Detective” magazines faithfully, and he showed my brother and me pictures of victims who’d been murdered- mostly young women- their bodies mutilated and tortured. Many of them had been posed by the sociopaths to shock the police, or had had their breasts cut off- dismembered. Twisted stuff. I would never recommend that a parent show that stuff to their children! But I will tell you what it did to and FOR me as a child. I understood from a very young age that some men did very sick things to women and it kept me from ever getting into a stranger’s car. Those pictures are the first thing that came to mind when I was in a compromising place in my life and was unsure about a guy. I have no doubt those pictures have saved my life on a number of occasions.

      Over the next 20 years, I have researched, read about, and have studied serial killers: Gacy, Ramirez, the Green River Killer, Bundy- the list is long. I’ve watched hundreds (maybe thousands) of shows over the past few decades on forensics and crime scenes and sociopaths, etc.- always taking notes and studying their behaviors.

      Now, as an adult, I have a LOT of training already in those areas just from my personal studies and research- my ideal dream job would be actually be as a Profiler- or “serial killer specialist”. The “go-to person”, as it were. These are things that I’ve held much interest in privately for many years, but now I’m considering moving in that direction where a career is concerned.

      The way I see it is this: if I can reach juveniles (delinquents, problematic “throwaways” that fail the system and vice versa, then I can redirect some of their paths- and you better believe some of their paths will take them to a habitual porn addiction, and then graduating onward to actually killing women- that’s how many of them start out.) This is just one reason I want to work with troubled juveniles. Another is to teach them how to tap into their talents and to express themselves in a healthy way. I have lots of personal reasons for wanting to work as a counselor/probationary sponser, etc.

      On the career side of Criminal Justice, a B.A. in that field will open doors to many avenues. Loss Prevention is just one example, which is a store “shoplifting” specialist, and overall theft in general, from a small scale (plains clothes undercover “shopper”) to a large scale agent, working with points of sale (POS) fraud and other areas. A Loss Prevention manager starts out at around $65,000 per year. That is, of course, with several years experience under your belt, but there are loop holes. Being an honour role student will set you at the top of the heap where jobs are concerned, because many employees would rather have a worker who was a top student with a B.A. than a mediocre one with a Master’s. This is another reason that I’m driven to excel in the classroom. I want to show my future employers that I CARE, and that I’ll be just as passionate on the job as I am in the classroom.

      “Criminal Justice” doesn’t just mean “probation/parole”. It could open doors in so many places- even as a family interventionist with a small caseload of 6-8 families. The opportunities are broad ranged.

      So there you have it. 😉
      Hope that answered a few questions! (And take your time on the email.) Off to make a brunch. Have a good one, M&M! xo

      July 7, 2013 at 4:14 pm

  4. claude

    Ahhhh…You should apply for work here, Hon. Our County’s Court Services Division is HUGE – and somewhat of a revolving door. A lot of the PO’s around here just don’t last. We have 2 of the State’s largest cities inside our County…With all the associated problems you can imagine. 🙂

    July 8, 2013 at 9:06 am

    • And where is “here”, pray tell, Mr. C? Sounds like a blast. 🙂

      July 8, 2013 at 11:55 pm

  5. claude

    Oops! Forgot that part, huh? Do’h.

    Kane County Illinois. Up in St. Charles is the base of operations.

    July 11, 2013 at 11:19 am

    • Oh I love Illinois. (Especially around the Garden of the Gods area.) Subtropic. 🙂 (I’m thinking about moving there later in life. You never know!)

      July 11, 2013 at 11:49 pm

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