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Getting out and going straight is difficult for offenders — 12 Comments

  1. I know of a family almost like the one you mention. But while there are similarities, there are also differences.

    This family- the mother won’t hold a job. She has learned to work the welfare system. There are so many wasteful things about this woman and it all just irks the ever lovin’ carp out of me. People like her wasting the resources that could clearly be put to use to help people who not only need them but appreciate them too. While she sits around soaking it up, another family suffers.

  2. Pixie, I know what you are talking about. These people actually are actively seeking work, even the most menial and dirty work possible, in the most horrible heat…but they also don’t have the skills to effectively manage the money they have, or take advantage of ways to save money on food or groceries. The cell phone they have costs more because it is a pay as you go phone, and they don’t have credit to get a regular cell phone. The food they by bit by bit comes from a deli store and is more expensive than if they could go to town to a shopping mall or grocery store.

    Keeping their old car running is almost impossible and gas is so expensive that driving to town uses us the majority of what they earn at the junk yard.

    They need case management by a social worker but that is not likely to happen. I have been trying to help them without taking them on a “pets”–letting them haul off my scrap iron etc. but they are in worse shape now than they were before they hauled off my scrap. I had an old building on the edge of the farm that is rotting down, needs to be bull dozed and buried, and I told them they could go get the copper wire out of it, and someone had beat them to it and had stolen it. LOL

    I let them borrow my generator to use for electric fans, but actually it burned more gasoline than would have paid off their past due electric bills, and I picked the generator up today as they had no gas to run it anyway and I’m afraid it may get stolen by some of their son’s friends. So it is difficult when you are utterly poverty stricken and your assets and resources are about given out. The man who owns the junk yard is exploiting them and they know it, but it is the only source of income they have other than picking up cans on the side of the highway.

    The one medical clinic they could use h ere on a sliding scale, they still owe money to so that’s out even if they had a way to drive the 25 miles to get there. Once you reach that tip over point of no resources or friends who can help you, and you’ve borrowed more money than you can ever repay, you just about have no way out of the hole.

  3. The woman of which I speak is living in town in govt. subsidized housing and food stamps. The grocery store is less than a mile away and there is a mall a few miles away. I fixed her bycycle not too long ago so she is mobile and could get a job there if she wanted. She also has a car, but several DUI’s as well… In spite of her not supposed to be driving- she does anyways. Add to that- no insurance.

    Instead of getting a job, she knows every place available offering food boxes, takes up each clothing donation as if they were naked and if something doesn’t suit her, she throws it away rather than leave it there to begin with, donate or recycle it.

    She got married in Las Vegas and kept her name so as not to alert social services there was a) another able body in the house b) an income when he manages to get a job and c) so her housing payments don’t change. If she has a job her rent is around $300 a month. If not it drops to $11. She went back to school for a while (cosmetology) and her rent was free while she was enrolled and attending.

    She is trash on so many levels and the odd thing is- she has a college degree in something, I’m just not sure what. She could easily get a job if she were so inclined.

    I see that things are hard for the family you know of and sometimes it seems like life kicks you all the harder when you are down. While I know things vary by state and by area, they may look into social services and what they have to offer. They may end up having to move, but if it gives them a chance to turn things around, it would certainly be a move I would make if I were in their position.

  4. The unfortunate part is if they had to move it would be into a short term shelter for the homeless because that is the point they are at now. No one would rent to them and they couldn’t come up with the money for rent or a deposit and they have chosen to have two huge dogs so finding a place to live isn’t going to be easy even if they had the money.

    Their credit rating is shot too… so it is a combination of poor choices and ignorance. I think they are trying but just don’t know how and the deeper they get the worse it is. It is supposed to cool off tonight and be in the 80s instead of the 100s for a few days so maybe that will give them some relief at least.

    The welfare queens make my blood boil. If you KNOW she is breaking the rules, call and turn her in. You don’t have to even give your name. My step son was living with and had a child with a welfare queen and when they were living in my rental unit for free and h e was supporting her she wanted me to say he wasn’t so she could get aid for dependent children and food stamps and I refused, but she got an employee of mine to say that was the case, but the welfare office called me and I told them the truth, and when she moved out of state Arkansas’ welfare office contacted the office in the state she was in and she didn’t get it there either because she had a man supporting her and her kids.

    I have no problem turning in someone who is cheating the system, however they are doing so.

    • Yes the dogs are a problem and seems to be a major point for a lot of us. I can see how having one pet (a small dog or a cat) to help your sanity is beneficial in a way, but when it is a struggle to survive day to day, it becomes more of a burden.

      One of my friends was in pretty dire straits and then taa-daa and $1200 later she gets 2 large breed puppies in the middle of it all. I asked her before she even got them WTF? Are you just NOT thinking??? My animals mean a lot to me as well and I am in the process of rehoming several at the moment to ease the burden. They deserve better as do I. I always vowed to myself that if I couldn’t afford to care for them properly- I don’t need to have them.

      Welfare queen is a nice way of putting it. I have also heard it phrased another way and far more deragatory, which in some cases it certainly fits. I can’t stand people like that leaching off the system while others who have worked and paid into it cannot receive help when they need it, because ‘funding is just not there due to budget cuts…’ while the WQ’s are living the easy life, meanwhile crying Woe is me.

      This woman has been turned in to the proper offices a few different times and the responses we got were, for the most part- “There’s nothing we can do about it.” Oh BS there isn’t! You can deny the benifits, get off your tuckus and look into things for starters.

  5. Joyce,,,,,,now there is a choice in your post that i take exception to. The dogs? These people can’t even take care of themselves? They have NO BUSINESS owning one dog let alone two dogs. I can tell you right now, if something were to happen to me that prevented me from properly caring for my four legged friends, I would get them placed in a qualified home pronto.
    Eddit Addition: I think what I said here sounde too “tough” on them but my basic point is that people in general seem to acquire things, children, pets, that they can’t take care of and the children, pets, etc suffer. I know how hard it would be to part with any pet I’ve ever had and through death I’ve parted with many. I love my pets and would never want them to suffer though and If I couldn’t care for them properly I would want them to be with someone who could care for them properly. I have many options in that way because almost everyone I know loves animals. I’m sure they would be in good care to live out the rest of their days. I would also hope that if it was due to illness that I had to place them in someone else’s care that they would see to it that I would be visited by them as long as possible.

  6. Joyce, this article makes me feel so sad – and desperate for everyone involved.

    “Rehabilitation” is a word that we use to make the general population feel better about prison systems, but it is hardly accurate in discussing those who are diagnosed with a mental illness like paranoid schizophrenia. This condition requires medication and very close monitoring and the “class” of people that are typically diagnosed either don’t have access to proper medical care, or they can’t GET to the medical care that they need. They also frequently go off their medications which causes extreme episodes.

    In the State that I just vacated, last year, a newly graduated Prison Guard earns $65,000 per year, plus overtime, health benefits, vacation, and administrative days off. Some of these people work their way up the ranks to earn nearly 90K, per year. Prison Administrators earn obscene salaries well over 125K per year and have literally NO contact with the inmate population. State and Federal funding for programs to “rehabilitate” and “train” inmates can run into the hundreds of thousands, per year, especially when there are additional Prison Guards required for security purposes.

    Once inmates are released into the populace, they’re given a ride to the nearest bus station and less than $100 to go somewhere (anywhere) and start their lives over, again. There are some programs that pay businesses to hire ex-cons – some fast-food restaurants, car washes, etc., but these places are a HOTBED of criminal activity because the greater majority of ex-cons who are working at these places have no intention of turning their lives around. They are interested in creating new and more inventive ways to run a scam.

    THEN, there’s the welfare queen who was on YouTube who has 14 children and was screaming about who was going to “….take care of these kids…” Here are some figures to consider:
    * each child under the age of 4 is eligible for WIC – breastfeeding mothers are also eligible for WIC who are nursing a child under the age of 1….the WIC program adds food packages that average over $100 per month in additional food benefits
    * adults on “food stamps” or the SNAP program receive $5 per day in food benefits for low-to-no-income assistance…..minor children receive a higher per diem
    * cash assistance can range from $200 to $600 per month, per child
    * low-income housing is typically owned by a private entity and NOT by the government and the rental cost to welfare recipients run approximately $10-15 per month to be paid from monthly cash benefits or employment income
    * low-income housing includes heat, hot water, electricity, sewer requirements, cooking, and cooling
    * although the cost for benefit recipients is below $20 per month, the average subsidized housing rental paid by local/State/Federal programs is $1200 per unit, NOT including heat, hot water, electricity, sewer, cooking, cooling, and property taxes
    * medical benefits for recipients can range from basic preventative care to comprehensive medical care that would typically cost upwards from $600 per month IF the recipient were actually paying for private health care – this includes dental, mental, and eye-care
    * recipients of assistance are also eligible for free breakfast/lunch programs for minor children
    * recipients of assistance are eligible to participate in Head Start programs for daycare/preschool at little-to-no cost
    * recipients of assistance are eligible for grants and funding for education to complete college degrees
    * welfare-to-work programs pay local businesses to hire recipients – those participating businesses receive tax breaks as well as funding to “pay” recipients
    * job placement and training programs are available to recipients, along with initial transportation and one-on-one “coaching” and supervision for up to 2 months
    ~~~~strict aside, here: foster families receive similar benefits packages that can increase cash benefits from $600-1200 PER CHILD, per month, depending upon disabilities, etc….~~~~

    So, as a completely OFF-TOPIC figures to consider, the woman with 14 children that is demanding the government to “take care of,” she will receive a MONTHLY total of cash AND benefits in the following:
    * housing: $4200
    * cash allowance: 2800
    * food allowance: 3500
    * medical coverage and Rx costs (average 400 per child, per month): 5600
    * assuming 5 of 14 children are in Head Start program, average value 400 per week: 6000

    The monthly cash value that this woman receives in cash, food, housing, medical, and education/daycare benefits totals approximately $22,100 PER MONTH. This estimate does NOT factor in the salaries of all of the people involved who are PAID over 35,000 per year to supervise and oversee this woman’s brood’s progress, health, and well-being. If just ONE of those children is diagnosed with a disorder or is learning disabled, you can add on another 300 per month in benefits.

    Ex-convicts who have ANY intention of going straight do not have the same types of resources available to them. Sure, there are “programs” available that are basically government kickbacks to “hire” ex-cons, but the support simply is not funded for those who intend to change and become productive members of society. It just isn’t there for them.

    I’ve been impoverished for 2 years, now – I’ve lost everything that I had worked for and I am hard-pressed to be eligible for any assistance, at all, because I simply don’t meet the “requirements.” I “should” have a sound and stable career at this point in my life, and assistance offices are not interested in HOW I got to the point that I did, whether I’m physically or emotionally impaired to find and maintain employment. I cannot describe how defeating it is to “do the right thing” and just SURVIVE, financially, let alone get over being ruined because of another person’s deliberate choices. I cannot imagine how a truly contrite and remorseful ex-convict must feel in such a situation – it’s so much easier for them to fall back into a life of crime, I suppose, than fight their way OUT.

    Sorry for the rant.

    • It’s all HORRIBLE Truthy. I want to help somehow! I was at an intersection yesterday and there were two men sitting in a door way who were CLEARLY not mentally right. It was horrible. I want to DO something for people like this. I want to help. I know I wouldn’t have been safe approaching them but I wanted to because I wanted to know what there story was. It’s all so overwhelming and I don’t know what can be done.
      I saw a piece the other day, a week or so ago on youtube about the mental health situation world wide and it was horrifying. Other countries, impoverished countrys……OMG. These people are kept like animals and if they were only slightly mentally ill when they went into these facilities, they are stark raving mentally ill now.
      It was just unreal. It just seems like reality keeps beating down the door on top of this whole experience with the Spath.
      Im so sorry for your situation Truthy, I truly am. It makes me feel like a whiny little crybaby in comparison. The only way this has affected me financially is in therapy and Psychiatric bills which are HUGE. But I am fortunate enough to have insurance and the means to support myself. for me it’s on a whole other level of destruction which you and everyone else are experiencing as well. 🙁
      I honestly can not wrap my head around the seeming fact that these Spaths can destroy someones life with no concern or remorse for the damage it causes. I JUST CAN”T get it through my head that this is the truth! This is what they DO!
      {{{HUGS}}} Truthy.

    • Truthy, How are you sustaining yourself? Do you have employment at all? Maybe I should already know this from your posts but they absolutly all run together at this point. Some details i am able to keep with certain people but some get lost in the group dynamic.

  7. Truthy, we had a family with 11 mentally retarded children receiving what is locally known as “crazy checks” for the kids, about $400 per month with no stipulation on how it is spent. So they were lilving in a shack but getting AT LEAST $4400 a month in crazy checks, with food stamps, welfare etc. and the mother worked as a nurse’s aid, the father didn’t work at all.

    The kids roamed the country like little robber bandits and got into everyone’s barns and shops and hauled off stuff.

    I saw an information folder at the doc’s office the other day, if you have a kid who is NOT potty trained by age 3 you can get $125 a month for DIAPERS. if you are on medicaid that is, along with everything else you get.

    I don’t have a problem with CHILDREN and truly disabled people getting assistance in anything, but the way it is administered it is simply a “welfare train” and the people who need some help many times don’t get it. But that’s a speech for another soap box. LOL

    My miini donkeys have escaped into the woods and I have walked as much as I can, thank goodness it is a cooler day today, and drive over as much of it as you can get a vehicle through, but have not seen them. sooooo off with the posters to put up where they are most likely to come out of the woods and hopefully someone will see them.

    • Well the little rotters showed up on the runway, not sure how they got back on to the runway from where they went over a fallen tree holding down the fence. Whew, I’ve got posters all over the place at each house and the local store….but they are safe and they’ll come back into the yard when they get thirsty.

  8. Pixie Oh, I agree with you totally about if you can’t take care of yourself why have a yard full of poorly fed and cared for animals?

    My little jack russell was from an x wife of a former cell mate of my son’s she couldn’t support herself much less the dog and I took him. It is expensive to care for animals properly and it is inhumane to not give them shots, wormer etc. and to let them get heart worms but these people don’t take care of their animals, but it isn’t illegal, the dogs are not obviously “starving” but I did notice the big old lab has lost a lot of weight lately (she needed to) but it is probably because they can’t feed her as much. I saw a pan of rice sitting out for the cats and dogs last time I was there. The cats pretty well feed themselves though, and I saw one bring in a big rabbit for her 8 young kittens.

    I think a lot of it is ignorance and falsely placed emotional attachment. Sometimes people are animal hoarders too. They take them in to “rescue” them but can’t care for them.

    My friend who has sheep had 58 head killed by dogs people who “rescued” dogs too in and then let roam the country. He trapped and shot several dozen dogs, and the man who owned them said “why don’t you fence your farm so my dogs can’t get to your sheep!” LOL Never occurred to that “do gooder” that he should have confined the dogs so they didn’t kill the sheep. Even with guardian dogs there to protect the sheep, two guard dogs can’t handle 10 or more dogs at a time.

    I finally broke my neighbors from letting their dogs run loose and harass my livestock. They no longer take in packs of stray dogs and let them run loose. I hope my friend has done so with his neighbors who have built houses surrounding his farm and t hink because they are in the country and there is no leash laws they can let their dogs roam free. Well, if they do, “Fluffy” is liable to come up shot.

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