Mimesis Law
21 July 2019

This Affects All Of Us: Convicts Can (Maybe) Get A Leg Up Once They’re Out

September 6, 2016 (Fault Lines) — Only the cynical may say that the United States is very good at only two things: bombing the tar out of a country, and locking up its bad boys for a very, very, long time.  And the U.S. is way better than its sworn enemies at shackling its wicked ruffians.  Hell, most foreign criminales will fight tooth and nail to stay outside the grasp of the U.S. Bureau Prisons.  That’s why it’s a breath of fresh air to see an effort to help out those who’ve been through the “system.”  From the New York Times:

In early August, Mark Eason was released from the Charleston Correctional Facility in Maine, where he had served eight months for drug trafficking. Given that it wasn’t his first felony incarceration, he knew his employment options would be limited.

The last time he had gotten out of prison, in 2005, the only work he was able to find was so low-paying that he couldn’t support himself and his family. So he went back to selling heroin.

“I had to survive,” he said. “If I have nothing, then I’m going to do what I know. And unfortunately, that’s dealing drugs.”

But his experience this time has been entirely different. Three days after emerging from prison, he was making $11 an hour loading trucks for a window company. It’s a job he loves, and one he says he wouldn’t have gotten without the Portland-based temporary employment agency MaineWorks.

All of MaineWorks’s 70 workers have committed crimes “directly related or derivative of substance use disorder,” said its founder and owner, Margo Walsh. The agency specializes in landscaping, industrial construction, and highway, bridge and road construction projects.

Thanks to “MaineWorks,” Mr. Eason will get a leg up after leaving his hellhole prison cell and he will do his best to mind his P’s and Q’s. But he’s a rarity in that sense, as most ex-convicts who are released back into circulation – pardon the expression – without any assistance, won’t mind getting some new business.  And an ex-con like Mr. Davies, as we can tell from the picture, is ready and willing to work.  But forget about Mr. Davies, let’s go to the state of Virginia.

Gentlemen like Davies are losing their civil rights, including their right to pick the next moronic leader president of the U.S.A. And that principle reigns supreme in Virginia, as per that state’s Supreme Court.:

A divided Virginia Supreme Court on Friday overturned a series of executive orders issued by Gov. Terry McAuliffe that had restored the voting rights of more than 200,000 convicted felons.

The court, in a 4-to-3 decision, disputed the governor’s assertion that his clemency power was absolute under the state’s Constitution. “We respectfully disagree,” the majority justices wrote. “The clemency power may be broad, but it is not absolute.”

The court ordered that the state’s Elections Department and its commissioner delete from voter rolls all felons who may have registered as a result of the executive orders, which were issued on April 22, May 31 and June 24. More than 11,000 felons registered to vote under the orders, The Associated Press reported.

So while we may forget about Paris Virginia, the state of Florida and the rest of the United States reign supreme when it comes to losing one’s rights after a criminal conviction.

The majority opinion, written by Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons, noted that none of the 71 preceding governors had issued a clemency order of any kind — including pardons, reprieves, commutations and restoration orders — to a group of unnamed felons without considering the nature of their crimes.

“To be sure, no governor of this commonwealth, until now, has even suggested that such a power exists,” the majority opinion said. “And the only governors who have seriously considered the question concluded that no such power exist

We can back go back and forth, between Maine, Virginia, Florida, and one’s favorite home state.   We may choose to follow the U.S. Department of Justice and no longer use the words “felon” or “convict” when referring to those who’ve had the misfortune to don an orange jumpsuit.  But, in the trenches, programs like Maineworks may actually work to help those coming out of the can, and to give them a boost back into what we plebs call society.  Hell, it’s worth a shot.

3 Comments on this post.

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  • Richard G. Kopf
    6 September 2016 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    Mario,

    As someone once said, “What the hell do you have to lose?”

    Great post. All the best.

    RGK

    • Mario Machado
      6 September 2016 at 5:06 pm - Reply

      Thank you Judge. I figured since corrections does a poor job in housing inmates/preparing them for the outside, the least we could do is try to give them a leg up upon their release.

      The best to you & yours.

  • Past Performance Is A Good Indicator? | Simple Justice
    7 September 2016 at 9:27 am - Reply

    […] from those fortunate enough to have loving families to support them on release, or fall into one of the handful of employers who will give an ex-con a break, there is little else for them to do to survive than commit […]