do people in prison deserve the same chance as people who are not?

United States
September 1, 2007 5:25pm CST
I have a friend who is prison, and we have been writing for some time now. I write to him, and yes he is an ex. My mom always tells me that I should not write to him because he is in prison and obviously no good. Well my response to that is "it's not like I am trying to get with him" So my question to you is do you think that the people who are in prison deserve to be looked down upon? OR Do you feel they should be treated like anyone and everone else that deserves a fighting chance at life?
9 people like this
19 responses
@ashar123 (2360)
• India
1 Sep 07
I think people who are suffering in prison must never be looked down upon. They are also humans like us. I know they are in prison for some bad things they had done but overall, if you also look down upon them then when they come out, how will they adjust in the society. I think 98% of people who come out of prison are totally changed as don't do any bad things anymore.
4 people like this
• United States
1 Sep 07
I don't know about the whole changed thing. I mean this is the fourth time he has been locked up, but the only time he has been innocent. He says once you go you don't change back... He seems to think only 50% change if they are going to they will after the first stint. Another thing is I always say "people don't change circumstances change!"
3 people like this
• United States
1 Sep 07
By the way thank you for taking the time to read and post to this discussion.
3 people like this
@Ravenladyj (22992)
• United States
2 Sep 07
" I think 98% of people who come out of prison are totally changed as don't do any bad things anymore" oh no no no I'm sorry but that is really inaccurate...really really inaccurate..especially considering these men and women who for example serve long time are sent back on the streets with LITTLE TO NO coping skills other than the bare minimum...They are NOT giving suitable skills to readjust into society after serving a fairly long sentence...
2 people like this
• Malaysia
1 Sep 07
Well, that would depend on why they were in jail. If they are child molesters or murderers or rapists, then yes, they deserved to be looked down upon. But if they're just people who made some bad choices and now really regret their mistakes, then they should be given a chance. By the way, I think it's great that you're still talking to your friend when he's in jail. Don't let anyone break your friendship. :D
4 people like this
• United States
1 Sep 07
I am trying not to, but sometimes I feel like I am letting my job break our friendship up. But I am doing my best to change that. I think that the rapist and child molesters should be chemically catrated. Thank you for taking the time to post.
2 people like this
@khazeemee (288)
• Philippines
2 Sep 07
i believe that everyone deserves a fair chance to have a new life after paying off what they've done during their stay in prison.. and us people here outside should be the first one to approach them to have a different insights that what's done is over and they could move forward to a clean life..
3 people like this
• United States
2 Sep 07
I mean by what I said, so many people find the time to look down on them and not forgive. So I am so glad that you have this approach to this subject. Thank you for taking the time to post.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Sep 07
This can go 2 different ways..It depends on what they are in prison for..If its for rape,child rape,or murders...I don't think there is much help for tomany people like that..Thats what I think..But on the other hand I think they can get the help and change if they really want to..Just because they were in prison doesn't mean they are bad people. My husband is in prison for 1-2yrs for a dui.And he isn't a bad person he just made a bad decision..And he shouldn't be judged or put down just because he is or has been in prison...
3 people like this
• United States
1 Sep 07
I agree completely, I probably wouldn't have dated him in the first place if I didn't. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to this discussion.
2 people like this
• United States
2 Sep 07
It all depends on why they are in prison.If they killed someone in cold blood, then you should look down on them. But if they are in prison on a charge less severe than murder or rape and they do their time, you know pay their debt, then they should get a second chance.You know your mom just wants the best for you and an ex con isn't mister right in her eyes. And she thinks that you are trying to get back with him.But it sounds like you are just being a friend.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Sep 07
I know what you are saying about my mom. I am just being a friend to him and I will always be there for him no matter what. I will always be a friend to him, and hope that he will be a friend for me and realize what he has as far as friendship.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Sep 07
I think it is great that you can be friends with him. G-d knows he needs them.I just wish there was a way to tell your mother that it is just a friendship.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Sep 07
I have told her, and I think it is just her old fashioned ways.
2 people like this
@love1979 (37)
• United States
2 Sep 07
Well it's not like you're penpals who don't know each other. He is someone you knew and it would be sad to treat him any different. If the crime wasn't against you or anyone you know, I see nothing wrong with it. Now as far as sending money or any outside material items NO I don't think that they should receive the same treatment. They lost that privelge when the did the crime.
2 people like this
• United States
2 Sep 07
You know things in prison really cost alot. I rarely have to send money to my husband but when he needs it I send it because he has to have things like like personal hygiene products. the Prison doesn't give them anything. So he has to buy it I can't sit here and say that he lost the privelege to be able to wash himself with soap and use toothpaste. He has to have stamps to write home and if he wants to eat anything besides mealcall he has to buy it . alot of the times I buy his clothes out here because they are cheaper than in prison. So yes I have sent him money a few times. Most of the time he doesn't want me to. And sometimes he sends money home to me. When my husband was convicted he lost his freedom he is still a person. Although he did not do what he was convicted of He is nevertheless in there and I try to make him as comfortable as possible until we can get him home.
2 people like this
@Ravenladyj (22992)
• United States
2 Sep 07
"the Prison doesn't give them anything. So he has to buy it I can't sit here and say that he lost the privelege to be able to wash himself with soap and use toothpaste. He has to have stamps to write home" Really?? wow thats sort of surprising to me....I know that my ol' man gets certain things supplied to him..for example I BELIEVE he's entitled to basic toiletries..I KNOW he has a 10 free envelopes a month limit etc...but if he wants extras then yes he has to purchase them himself and its not easy when he's making crap for money at work (he does little side jobs for extra cash like drawing cards etc and selling them)... "Now as far as sending money or any outside material items NO I don't think that they should receive the same treatment" just out of curiousity love1979, why do you think they shouldnt recieve money from loved ones into their account?
2 people like this
• United States
2 Sep 07
Well As far a what the Prison gives them It probably varies from state to state. I never really concern my self with what they give him because I get him what he needs whan I need to. which isn't very often. The main point I was making was that I have no problem sending him what he needs. For instance last week he wrote me and told me that he needs some slippers. I am sure they have them in the prison store. I am also sure they cost a small fortune in there so I bought them. Not only that He is my husband. I am really funny about what he has the prison store may not have the kind that I want him to have so I got them from the mall. Like I said before there really aren't too many things he asks for because he always has a way to make money for himself and for me if I need it. But sometimes he has to ask for money.. Really all he wants me to do is write him and I do that every single day. I go see him twice a month. I Love that man and There isn't anything that is going to change that no matter where he is. Although I will say that for me that is the right choice it may not be for everyone. everyone has to live their life in the best way for them.
2 people like this
@koikoikoi (1247)
• United States
2 Sep 07
Well I would say yes because if they are in prison they then must've done something cruel to land themselves in such a position. And they had a fighting chance at life and obviously they took their chance and I think they should be looked down upon because you only end up in prison if you did something disgraceful or stupid. But then again you could be innocent.
2 people like this
@Ravenladyj (22992)
• United States
2 Sep 07
"But then again you could be innocent. " and thats the key right there..that and lets face it, ppl make mistakes EVERYONE makes mistakes in life..so why should a person who made a mistake but regrets and is remorseful etc NOT be given a chance..What if it was a case of wrong place wrong time wrong ppl...
2 people like this
• United States
4 Sep 07
YES "wrong place wrong time" Someone finally said it other than me. Seems like a lot of people who have loved ones in prison on this discussion are just like my friend. They do deserve another chance IF they show they can change and or are willing to change. Maybe even if they don't. Just a matter of opinion. Thank you for taking the time to post.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Sep 07
Yopu just contrif=dicted your own arguement you said that then again you could be innocent. there are alot of people in prison who are innocent. How do you think all these people were exonorated when DNA evidence first came out. Believe me our criminal justice system is not foolproof.So my first point is that everybody in prison did not do something cruel. and my second poind is that even idf a person is in prison for a crime they committed that doen't make them deserve to be looked down upon. If you did something stupid you may deserve to be punished for what you did but you do not want to be considered less than human. I suppose you never accidently ran a red light if you haven't you should be commended. If you have then you should know that it is a crime in most states and even though it would probably never happen you really could go to jail for it it is just that most cops would rather write you a ticket than take you to jail it is within their desrition to take you to jail tho. People are way to quick to judge other people than they are to look at themselves I am sure if all of us looked at ourselves as hard as wee look at others we would find that we are all unfinished works. My grandma used to say be careful when you point a finger there are 3 pointing back at U.
2 people like this
@paychecks (104)
• United States
2 Sep 07
I have a friend that is in prison and I do write him as well but I do not look down upon him but I do not feel any remorse for him. He did what he did to get him there. There are some instances where I would look down upon someone depending on the particular crime, some people deserve to be in jail.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Sep 07
Some people do deserve to be there, but what do you think they should have as far as benifits, and second chances? What happens when he gets out will you give him another chance?
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Sep 07
I believe most ex convicts do deserve another chance after they are released but I think a lot of our prisons fail people as well. Prison is meant to be rehabilition for the people that are in there and I do not think it serves its purpose for that most of the time. I currently work in the public defenders office as a paralegal in my city and most of our clients are repeated offenders. It is sad but most of these people do go back to doing the same thing once they get out. So it goes both ways, yes they do deserve another chance, but what should happen if they screw that chance up as well. I know most states have the 3 strikes and your out penalty but I think that can be unfair as well. So either way it can be a no win situation.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Sep 07
I agree with the fact that the prison system is failing a lot of people, they do not get the same treatment as most which cause them to do crime on the inside. I feel that is where most of them mess up.
• Canada
2 Sep 07
I really believe it depends on what they are in prison for . I don't believe anyone should be looked down upon but don't beleive that they should deserve the same benefits as us because they are there for something they did that was wrong . They had the same choice as us in life to follow the law and didn't and so therefore should have consequences in life to face meaning they should not be entitled to all the comforts in life we have . But I also don't see what harm could possible come of you wrighting to someone who you knew in the past and therefore had a relationship . Just because this person is in prison doesn't mean that he should in anyway be forgotten and ignored . Even people in prison still have family and friends that care about them and just because someone made a wrong choice in life doesn't meant they should lose their humanity by not having any contact with people . We all need someone to show they care about us in life , even those in prison . If not I believe this would make a person feel there was no hope and that nothing in life mattered anymore and this could make someone and even more dangerous person then they were before .
2 people like this
• United States
4 Sep 07
But what about those people who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time? What do you think about them while they are fighting to prove their innocence? Anyway I am going to continue to write him, and thank you for the advice.
1 person likes this
@iamtetet (44)
• Philippines
2 Sep 07
i believe they do. most of the time, there's this stigma attched to there personality because they're convicted of a certain crime. people do change in prison, and sometimes they dont. i believe we should be able to discern who these people are, those who we believe should have the same chance as those who are not in prison.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Sep 07
I believe that some people do deserve a second chance, and as far as the stigma, yes it is attached. They are so many times looked down upon, just because they have been convicted of a crime, and not even because they spent time in prison.
1 person likes this
@beckish (565)
• United States
2 Sep 07
I work in a prison. Most of the people in there have very low self-esteem and have never learned to live in socially acceptable ways. When they have good community support; people who stand by them and want to help them make better decisions, they have a much better chance of succeeding when they get back into society. There are many who have been completely abandoned by everyone. The only life they know is prison. I had one such inmate ask me, the day before he was going to be released, "What do I have to do to come back? Do I have to commit another crime?" For many of these people, the only time they have had three meals a day and a roof over their heads is when they have been in prison. If society doesn't find a way to help these people make positive change and learn that they can live productive, crime-free lives our crime rate will continue to go up. It is a very sad situation. For those of you who are standing strong for your loved ones in prison, good for you. You are going to make a difference in that person's life. It is important to hold them accountable for their behavior, but abandoning them will not solve the problem.
• United States
4 Sep 07
I agree, and some places like around here they do help. If you reach your max out date they don't but if you are paroled, they find you an apartment and a job. So I mean they have to see some sort of light, but if they max out, they have nothing to go to if their families and friends desert them. My husband never spent any time in prison, but has been convicted of a felony, and I see how hard it is for him to get a job and fight to survive. So yes I will be there for my friend no matter what it takes and try my dam*dist to help him out when he is released.
1 person likes this
@nancyrowina (3852)
2 Sep 07
If he's your friend things shouldn't change because he's in prison and it's not a reason to look down on someone. Unless he does something to you personally keep supporting him and you'll be a good friend to him.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Sep 07
I will and do, my mom is just one of those ignorant people who think that if they are in prison or have been no matter what the srime they are a bad apple and don't deserve to be given a second chance. But hey even growing up I had a hard time listening to my mom. LOL
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Sep 07
no I dont since they gave up that right when they commited the crime that put them there!
2 people like this
• United States
4 Sep 07
Okay so even if it was one of your family members or god forbid one of your children you would just completely write them off and not talk to them anymore?
1 person likes this
• Philippines
2 Sep 07
I think it depends on their case. If the person is a criminal, then you should not mingle with him or be close to him but if what he did was a simple offense then it's ok, There is nothing wrong about it.
2 people like this
@tuffy999 (794)
• Philippines
2 Sep 07
i personally beleive that evrybody should be given a second in life, in prison or not. how do we expect them to join society and be better individuals if we look down and turn our backs on them.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Sep 07
I agree, but how many chances is too many chances?
1 person likes this
@4ftfingers (1317)
2 Sep 07
I think it depends on their offences and what level security they are in. I have a friend who was in for 2 years for having lots of extasy pills in his posetion. Even though they were only for him and his mates, in the law's eye's having so many is intent to sell, so I don't think it was such a bad crime, compared to murderers etc. So yes in some cases I think people who have been sent down do deserve a chance, depending on what they have done.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Sep 07
I agree, and I guess that it something I forgot to mention. He is in level one which is a minimum security or "honor program" And he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got blamed for recieving stolen arms.
1 person likes this
• Egypt
2 Sep 07
Of course people in prison must enjoy and desrve the same chance and the sane deal as normal people. If you have any friend make any mistake and gone to prison ,you should write letters to him and visit him from time to another.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Sep 07
Finally another one with some compassion. LOL I write to him faithfully and visit every two weeks on Saturday. I do ot send any money because I do not have it to help him out, but I am deffinately there for him emotionally and any other way he may need it.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Sep 07
I Can answer this Question for you. My Husband is in prison and I love him more everyday. I know that he is a good man. There is nothing in this world that would ever make me leave him. There is nothing that would make me be unfaithful to him. This is what For better or worse means. Even if the person who is in prison is just a friend, you should write as much as you can they need that. Remember you really can't judge a person. There are many innocent people in prison and then there are some who committed crimes in while they were young (Basically made Dumb decisions). Then there are some who are hardened criminals and will never change. If you think about it people in the free world are exactly the same. You just can't say a person is no good because they are in prison. God forgives us each day for the sins we commit. My Husban is good to me in spite of his circumstances. He was a good kid. I remember once in school because he had such good grades the Teacher had him teach class. And they constantly had him grading papers. He was hanging with the wrong crowd. These "friends" of his asked him for a ride to the store and these friends robbed the store, My husband was covicted of a crime he did not commit because he gave the people who committed it a ride. My point is people in prison are human beings and the deserve to be trated as such. It is horrible for a person to say that a person in prison does not deserve to be cared about. Who knows you never know how you might touch a person and change their life.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Sep 07
Wrong place at the wrong time, that really sucks, and is exactly what happened to my friend. I do agree with you just because they are in prison does not make them a bad person, it just makes them have different circumstances. I also agree with you when you say people on the outs are the same, most of them never get caught. THEY ARE humans and deserve to be treated that way.. Thank you for taking the time to post read my discussion.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Sep 07
I would like to say that yes write your friend although some people are guilty of what they're in there for some are not. and it really doesn't matter either way they are still human beings and deserve to be treated as such. Prison is one of the lonliest places in the world even though you are packed in there like sardines,it's lonely for the soul. Letters are the only contact besides visitation that an inmate has with the outside world I encourage you to keep writing your friend you may end up saving his life.
• United States
13 Sep 07
He says that to me all the time, that I am his link to the outside world.. So true so true.