There is a saying - Once a thief always a thief, is this true?

@kiran8 (15398)
Mangalore, India
November 10, 2012 9:15am CST
I know of a couple of people who have served prison sentences for petty crimes like stealing money,chicken ,and other stuff that they can lay their hands on.Now they are trying to look for jobs and try to reform themselves but sadly no one seems to give them a second chance.I got one of them to do some garden work and he was feeling miserable because of the way others look at him full of suspicion. I wonder whether this is the right attitude to be shown? or are other people justified to a certain extent in being suspicious about them and their motives ?
4 people like this
22 responses
@prashu228 (25520)
• India
10 Nov 12
hi, I don't think so,because there are many people who want to change their habits. Even the criminals are released from jail/prison with respect to their behavior after few years. so why cant thief's change? Yes this is the problem with the society , they wont accept the people who want to change and look at then with suspicious eyes all the time. Those poor people ,those who really want to change and are guilty of their doings still suffer because of such people. There is always a second chance for everyone. so why don't they get?
1 person likes this
@kiran8 (15398)
• Mangalore, India
11 Nov 12
Hi prashu,thanks a lot for your response..I agree with what you say,society has its own twisted view which is not actually helpful nor positive for a criminal who wants to reform.Many big criminals in high places get away enjoying life as if nothing has happened while the petty criminals get branded for life..
1 person likes this
@Dominique25 (9475)
• United States
10 Nov 12
Not everyone continues to do bad things. There are individuals who are willing to change. But many people question if they have or win. Which in some ways is understand if they are concerned about them stealing from them. I guess in order to try to trust them again there needs to be boundaries set.
@kiran8 (15398)
• Mangalore, India
11 Nov 12
Hi Dominique, thanks a lot for sharing your views I am sure some do feel bad and want to genuinely reform, but find that they are not given the kind of atmosphere to do that...all the best and enjoy your evening
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Nov 12
Yeah I agree with you. That is the sad part. We should do our best to try and support such individuals when the opportunity presents itself. Hopefully they will continue to keep doing the right thing when they see that they have support.
@kiran8 (15398)
• Mangalore, India
24 Dec 12
In fact, I was talking to a relative who works as a Superintendent in a state run prison here.He feels that once a petty thief has been in the prison and done a sentence of more than a year, there are only two ways to go - Most of them become hardened criminals because of their reputation which will never let them lead a decent life or they end up becoming disillusioned with life often becoming failures ! Really unfortunate !
1 person likes this
@Jotomy (6351)
• India
10 Nov 12
Hi kiran, we must appreciate and encourage those people who really repent their mistakes and become good. We may also do so many mistakes but unknown to anyone may not be like theft or something else but mistakes may be mistakes if it is unknown or known, by the way this person may be known to the public that he did some if those people forgive him and encourage to do some kind of good job then he may become more good than anyone else. We must give those people for a chance. In this life no one is so perfect. See we must not see a person from only one angle there are many, if some one wants to change their attitude or their life to become good we must always welcome them. Suspicious look may give a negative response, we must motivate them so that they may come out with that guilt feeling and become responsible persons. Have a nice day.
@kiran8 (15398)
• Mangalore, India
10 Nov 12
Hi Jo, thanks a lot for sharing your views In many foreign countries small time and petty criminals are put under probation , and asked to do some social service, this with the hope that they would reform themselves and don't commit the same mistake again and they are also found a job so that their previous record does not become a hindrance to their future....So, it is of course very essential that small time criminals be given another chance in life even though they have served a prison sentence , enjoy your weekend Jo
1 person likes this
@Jotomy (6351)
• India
11 Nov 12
Kiran that will be nice giving some probation time, yeah of course social services will be very good they feel some satisfaction by doing so. We can see people change their attitude by doing social services too. Happy diwali kiran. Have a nice time.
@kiran8 (15398)
• Mangalore, India
11 Nov 12
Yes I agree jo, because everyone makes mistakes and some people have it really hard and do take the wrong way out and they should be given a chance.You too enjoy the weekend and Happy Diwali to you as well
@dpk262006 (56599)
• Delhi, India
12 Nov 12
Hi Kiran! Yes, people have tendency to generalize things. They measure everyone with the same yardstick without going deep into a person's character and antecedents. It is not necessary that if a person has been caught for some offence and has served the punishment for the same, he would resort to same thing again. It is possible that he would have learnt something from his past experience and may like to reform himself. If a person wants to earn through a legitimate means (even though he had a shady past) I think he should be given an opportunity. You did the right thing by allowing a person to earn a likelihood through hard work and honesty.
@kiran8 (15398)
• Mangalore, India
21 Nov 12
Yes that is very true deepak, normally people don't bother to go into the history and background of an issue before making judgments!They simply go by word of mouth unless it is someone their own, then of course it really hits where it hurts.We Indians have such double standards ...thanks lot for sharing your thoughts deepak, have a nice day
@dpk262006 (56599)
• Delhi, India
21 Nov 12
You are right Kiran, we (Indians) have a tendency to judge someone on hear say, without cross checking the facts.
• India
20 Nov 12
definitely not, it's always better to have an eye on him but it's not at all fair to deny a job after he has realized his mistakes. now a days the view of the society is changing, it will take time to all of us to get going with them.
@kiran8 (15398)
• Mangalore, India
21 Nov 12
Having an eye is fine but it is not right to shun a person, which is what happens most of the time...The views of the society were I guess the same before , only they were a little more tolerant and patient unlike now...thanks a lot and happy mylotting
@mariaperalta (19094)
• Mexico
10 Nov 12
I would hope that prison time teaches them good. Thats what they say they are for. But I also know a few, who never have learned. One has been in jail for same thing here like 5 times.
@kiran8 (15398)
• Mangalore, India
13 Nov 12
Hi maria, thanks a lot for your response I am not sure if prison teaches anything much except make them bitter and society too does not do anything to help them so the only option left for them is to go back to the same profession..all the best
@Omar1980 (42)
10 Nov 12
I believe if they are given a chance and exposed to the right rehabilitation system they can be reformed. I believe in the positive side of humanity. If a decent man can be corrupted under pressure. A thief can be reformed under the right circumstances. Now how much this is happening in our societies. How much rehabilitation is succeeding. Unfortunately the percentage is very low and this is mainly due to the fact that small criminals are not given a chance to prove themselves when they get out. Plus they return back to the same environment and pressure that pushed them in the first place to choose the crime life. So they are now labeled and still under pressure. What do we expect from them after they. Sure they will find it easier to take the crime path Also the prison system is so messed up that it increases the chances of destroying the young guys
@kiran8 (15398)
• Mangalore, India
13 Nov 12
Hi Omar, thanks a lot for sharing your views in detail In many countries they analyse the crime based on many things, whether it is a serious crime ,also whether it is the first crime committed by the person etc and many a times , they are let off with a minor sentence like doing some social work and paying a fine..all the best and happy mylotting
@mimiang (3777)
• Philippines
10 Nov 12
People change and we should give them chances too
@kiran8 (15398)
• Mangalore, India
13 Nov 12
Of course we must give them a chance especially when people regret and are ready to accept their mistakes, thanks a lot for your response mimiang, all the best and happy ylotting
• Indonesia
10 Nov 12
I think that's true. The thief is the thief, I believe it
@kiran8 (15398)
• Mangalore, India
11 Nov 12
Thats not entirely true, at least not always true since some fall into bad company and do commit a crime r steal because of circumstances and given the right kind of counseling they may reform themselves ..Thanks a lot for your response
@WakeUpKitty (8706)
• Netherlands
10 Nov 12
Generally speaking I believe it's true. Esp. if it comes to those who steal for the kick or out of habit or as a profession. It's an easy way of making money.
@kiran8 (15398)
• Mangalore, India
11 Nov 12
Hi Kitty, thanks a lot for your response, I guess if that is the case then it is more because of a devious mind, but there can be other circumstances and situations which need to be considered before making judgments...I agree that for some crime is an easy way of making money - all the best and enjoy your day
@bhanusb (5709)
• India
10 Nov 12
Hi kiran, most of us are so unsympathetic that we are not ready to give a person a chance to rectify himself or herself. In our society many so called higher class people are doing such malpractices that create harms to whole nation. But they are out of reach. These people are being honored. But who are doing petty crimes are hated and not getting chance to rectify them.
@kiran8 (15398)
• Mangalore, India
11 Nov 12
Hi bhanu, I agree that most people are unsympathetic when it comes to dealing with people who have a criminal record, and like as you rightly said many higher class people do it all the time in a more devious way so that they never get caught.Life is full of contradictions and at times unfair too...have a nice day and happy diwali
@anil02 (3599)
• India
10 Nov 12
Hello Kiran ji, some time person steal because he have not any other way to satisfied their urgent and necessary needs. But some are professional thief. These person after spending enough time is prison join again their original profession. But it is also true that if some wants to quit habit of stealing honestly than it is duty of society to give him a chance. After all he is also a human being and a mistake is possible from him. You done great job. Thanks.
@kiran8 (15398)
• Mangalore, India
10 Nov 12
Yes I agree anil, that it is because of circumstances that people steal but later it becomes a habit since it is easy money.We see such a tendency in small children and unless it is curbed right at the beginning and they are made to realise that it is wrong to do so, the chances are that they would continue to steal even when they are grown up...In my case,the person I helped out was known to me and knowing his background I decided to help him out and this made me realise that there may be many such people who are not professional thiefs bu driven by circumstances and given a chance would reform themselves..
@McCreeper (781)
• United States
10 Nov 12
There is definitely a different set of people who are jailed yet are looking to reform, though what are the chances that a person might go back to being the norm? Some criminals simply go back to doing (likely) the same crime that they have done before.after waiting for a full year.. But perhaps that's irrational thought. Let me know what you think.
@kiran8 (15398)
• Mangalore, India
10 Nov 12
Hi McCreeper, thanks a lot for sharing your views They might go back to doing the same crimes possibly because they were never given a second chance to do something else,if people looked at them with suspicion all the time, they would at some stage feel that there is no hope and go back to their old ways..all the best
@verolop29 (1096)
• United States
11 Nov 12
Hi I just wanted to say that u r a very kind person for giving this man something to do I think many ppl have their reasons for acting and lookin at him the way they do. And it's not really their place to do that. I don't think they understand not fully at least. They might or might not have heard the while story. Like my brother, for example, our father was in prison for a long time and these cops all got together and tried to get my brother in jail too. I don't know y but they hated our family. They all heard from other ppl that didn't know the WHOLE story about how he got there and so other ppl that didn't know him started telling stories and somehow word got to these cops and they felt that they were doing justice by making our family life a living hell. Anyways to set things straight u can,or not make thing right by telling other ppl that what they heard isn't true or whatever or have him tell the story. That way they can understand him and maybe even stop the dirty looks.
@Sindelle (830)
• United States
11 Nov 12
I don't believe that one cannot reform from being a thief. It is possible that in jail they thought about what they did, grew out of a phase, or were just in a situation were they needed to feed themselves or their family. Many people when they serve jail time they have a chance to think about what they've done wrong. It is not uncommon for people to find religion and/or a new outlook on life. It is very possible these people realized the folly of their ways or fear punishment enough to never steal again. I recall when I was a teenager having friends that would steal. They would never steal anything they needed just stupid things they desired. We had one friend who was into stealing and had convinced some of my friends it was cool to do so. Lucky for them none of them got arrested and they eventually just stopped doing it. I think stealing is wrong but sometimes if you have no other choice I am understanding towards it. If you have a family and have absolutely no other way of providing for them then I'd understand why someone would turn to stealing. It still is not right however in my mind there is a difference between one who steals out of greed and one who steals out of desperation. I hope your friends find jobs soon. I don't believe that someone cannot reform from being a thief. Its very possible these individuals had time to think about what they did, depending on their age grew out of a phase, or were in a rare situation of desperation.
• India
11 Nov 12
This attitude is definitely wrong. In my opinion, we should show some encouragement to them for their effort of turning themselves into an honest citizen. The society as a whole should have some framework of reward and punishment. But turning from good to evil is always easy, not the other way. When there are common assumptions that a certain person is bad, then even if he has a sincere wish of being good, he will be under suspicion. Now he has to prove himself several times in order to change the assumption. It's quite natural, though wrong. Once you break someone's faith, it takes some time to rebuild it. Many criminals can't endure this for long. So they return to their old malpractices. If one can have patience and keep on trying in spite of all obstacles, one day he will get his social positions back.
@nitinnair89 (2895)
• India
11 Nov 12
Hello :) it depends surely on the individual how should he choose to live after given a second chance..the society should encourage them instead cursing them which isn't good..
@visavis (5945)
• Philippines
11 Nov 12
Hello, Actually for me there many reasons why people or certain person do some repeated mistakes like being a thief. Okay in the first time and every time you ask a person why they do that mostly answer in a tight situation unable to resist because of needs from family and personal. After that why they are doing again such crime or other crime because people or society never giving a chance those people having records. People treated them as a criminal always, people pushing them to do it again... meaning acceptance of the society or foregive and give a chance is a big factor for them.
@Shavkat (66995)
• Philippines
11 Nov 12
I hope it is not generalized, some people do such a thing because they don'y have the choice. But then, in medical context the term is kleptomaniacs, the condition that they can not resist to steal something. Even though they don't need it.
@06MLam (622)
11 Nov 12
This is because trust takes ages to build but seconds to destroy. Therefore, we should be really careful before we make our decisions for any action.