Speech on discrimination against released prisoners

Essay by cafedeglamourCollege, UndergraduateA-, April 2004

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What comes into you mind when you encounter a released prisoner?

It seems only natural to assume that they are dishonest ad lazy people. That they will rob you of everything when they have the chance. That having one in your company is like putting a wolf in a sheep pen, planting a suicidal bomb in the house that will go off any minute. That they are those who ruin their own lives and depend on legal aid, eat out of the taxpayer's hard-earned money when they can easily choose to get up and find themselves a job. That released prisoners are pest of the society and deserve to be rejected.

The truth is, released prisoners are in despair. They come out of prison, hoping to be able to rejoin the society, correct their mistakes and be a person who is responsible to themselves, friends and family; only to be rejected everywhere they go.

They suffer from low self-esteem, guilt, and shame of being a released prison. The people think they are good for nothing, better off dead. None seems to be willing to give them a chance. There seem to be no one who can help them.

This group of people are in fact suffering from discrimination lead by the government against them. The government was the first to require applicants to fill in their criminal records in application forms. Many private companies then follow suit. Many employers, seeing there is a criminal record, automatically reject the application. This cause widespread discrimination.

Finding a job is already very difficult for them when employers prefer people without criminal records. To make things worse, everything needs money. They will not employed in large companies because of their mistake in the past. Most released prisoners therefore seek out jobs...