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Growing up, I watched my father put on his badge and holster and go out to “protect” the town. To me, the concept was easy. Good guys. Bad guys. Justice. I was naïve. For most of my life I was naïve. And then I grew up. And now I know better. Justice to me now is no longer black and white. Justice is flexible and ever changing in definition and application. And at the end of the day, it rarely does anything for those that need it most.
Don’t get me wrong, our ladies and gentlemen in blue are still seen as heroes by me. But sadly, they’re bound by so much red tape and political influence that it becomes nearly impossible for them to do their jobs. There’s so much media scrutiny and public ignorance that, sadly, sometimes the job just doesn’t get done properly. For every rotten cop on the beat, there are 10 good ones. I truly believe that. I do.
That being said, I will never serve in the Criminal Justice field. Not in the traditional sense, anyway. Because I don’t do politics. And I don’t play favorites. And in my studies of today’s system, I’ve learned just how bad things are. Now, they’ve always been bad, sure, but these days, you can’t tell the saints from the sinners. And that’s scary. We claim to have such and advanced system, when in reality we have a system that often restricts itself. Forces itself to become redundant and obsolete. Or at the very least inept. Every day we see rapists, pedophiles, and murderers walk free, while a parking ticket or minor possession charge can land you in prison for some time. And that, for lack of a better term, is fucked up.
And even if I would like to serve in the field, there are virtually no jobs available. In a field that is always going to be needed, there should be something available for any do gooders wanting to serve. Sadly, that just isn’t true. The people who are risking their lives day in and day out are being given table scraps. They don’t have the equipment they need, the training they need, or the personnel they need. And I honestly can’t wrap my head around that one. Congress can sit on their thrones and pass down word on anyone and everyone in this country, or even refuse to work for days or weeks at a time, and they still get paid. But lord forbid our actual service men and women get even a sliver of their fair share in life. No, because that’s not how it works in America.
During my studies, I had to do an internship. I did my service at a local federal inmate reentry program (half-way house). And it was nothing if not eye opening. At the time, I was working 12 hour days, 2 jobs, and 18 hours of classes. I was exhausted, but I walked in everyday willing to do my best for the prisoners under my care. Which, sadly is more than I could say for the people who were actually getting paid to work there. I’m not saying that they didn’t care. Some did. But most were restricted not only by meager wages, but also by federal policies and guidelines. And also by their prejudice against the inmates themselves. And something that I believe more than anything, is that people mess up, but that doesn’t make them any less of a human being. All of this to say, that our system is currently serving anyone properly. Not the criminals. Not the victims. Not the officers. And until we open our eyes and look at what is happening in our communities, nothing is going to change. And that, ladies and gents, is not a “system” I want to serve.