We all know a 180 when we see one. Those transformations that literally mean going in the opposite direction, that figuratively mean you have turned your life around. From night to day, from a season of decline to a season of hope and opportunity.
In this day and age predictive crime is what criminal justice is all about. We sentence criminals to a term of imprisonment, which is often mixed with a term of supervised release or parole, to a degree designed to adequately punish them for their misdeeds.
All levels of government should adopt requirements making it clear housing that benefits from government funding cannot be denied to those with a criminal justice history unless there is a legitimate public safety reason for doing so.
The hard fact is, some people commit multiple crimes and serve more than one sentence, before getting it right. Aren't they just as human as the rest of us? How rare it is for humans to make a mistake only once.
When the judicial system that is supposed to protect us continues to fail us and our families, and when we have evidence to clear us of these crimes that goes ignored, it's extremely hard to keep our sanity.
"They don't judge you. The program offers you a feeling of hope. The program taught me what it meant to forgive. If you want people to bless you and move forward despite your past, you have to learn to do that for others."
The promise of a second impression is to simplify the job search for people with records and to leverage consumer power to either support progressive employers or put pressure on employers who fail to adopt more progressive hiring policies.
This past week saw record-breaking weather conditions in Nashville. The snow, ice and frigid temps caused Tennessee's governor to declare a State of Emergency, and our Mayor urged drivers to exercise extreme caution, or, better yet, stay home.
Nashville, like many American metropolises, turned its back on its river for years. Never mind that it was an inextricable part of the physical Nashville make-up, and that it would never leave us. But a fundamental shift occurred. A 180-degree turn, to be specific.
If policymakers are not moved by hungry children and unfair consequences for communities of color, they should at least be persuaded by this: Bans on public benefits for formerly incarcerated individuals are counterproductive.
The mass incarceration of minority communities, and the resulting mass reentry and lifetime collateral consequences have created the "perfect storm" to ensure that criminal record based employment discrimination serves as a surrogate for race-based discrimination.
A recent study issued by the National Sheriff's Association and the Treatment Advocacy Center describes the shocking fact that there are now three times more mentally ill persons in American jails and prisons than there are in hospitals.