CHAPTER 1 . Numbers Never Lie
While writing this book LeBron James just did the impossible by coming back from being behind in the series for the NBA Finals. I am not a huge basketball fan, but to watch someone go through that and prevail is historic. I can appreciate the dedication, hard work, pain, sweat, and tears, both emotionally and physically. The process shows the world that anyone can do anything no matter what the odds are.
One game at a time, one quarter at a time, one hour at a time, even one minute at a time. Having the drive to do anything one step at a time and understanding the process is what will make it special.
We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more people under some sort of department of corrections control, than there were under slavery in 1850. Now don’t you think that is absurd and crazy! How do I know this? I was, as of the writing of this book, still under the thumb of the U. S. Court system. Jail and prison is modern day slavery.
At one point in time the ideal job in Hawai’i in many people’s opinion was to work for the City & County of Honolulu or the federal government. Job security was important and doing freeway landscaping, road repairs, trash pick up, and maintaining community parks and recreation centers meant job security. Today, many city employees have been replaced with prison workers doing the same work either for free or pennies on the hour. How do I know this? I have done it. Despite state funding cutbacks those jobs still needed to be done and the cheapest way was making prisoners work!
Work detail was actually a privilege because you felt like you were getting things done and not sitting in your cell 23 hours a day. Most of the time you would work in the jail or prison with correctional staff or go out on outside detail. I have done both for the state and Federal Bureau of Prisons. If you were fortunate enough to get an outside job you had it made. Even though you did manual labor, the prison staff usually would treat you well. They knew you made mistakes but did not treat you like a caged animal. Yes, I have weed-wacked the side of the freeway, cleaned up beaches, and cut down trees. Having the freedom out of your cell and out of the facility was all worth it!
These facts result in people being forced to do whatever it is they need to do in order to survive. Look up and read the facts on hunger. Here is the bottom line!
Research has shown that poverty is the single greatest threat to a child’s well being. Poverty is the beginning cycle that leads into children not getting basic needs, not getting the attention required as they grow up, committing petty crimes, involvement in gangs, and many other numerous societal ills.
As stated previously, there are more people under correctional control today then there were in the 1850’s. My friend who I modeled this book after puts an emphasis on black men, but that is his opinion. They are simply more people period incarcerated or will be incarcerated and it is sad to say. The truth is I have lived it as well.
In October 2013, the incarceration rate of the United States of America was the highest in the world, at 716 per 100,000 of the national population. While the United States represents about 4.4 percent of the world’s population, it houses around 22 percent of the world’s prisoners. Corrections, which includes prisons, jails, probation, and parole cost $74 billion in 2007 according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
You can do your own homework and search the facts. You will be astounded by it all. Here is another press release from March of 2016:
This report offers some much needed clarity by piecing together this country’s desperate system of confinement. The American criminal justice system holds more than 2.3 million people in 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 942 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,283 local jails, and 79 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, and prisons in the U.S. territories. In addition, there are convicted and not convicted people locked up in local jails.
Before we get into solutions, I promised my friend, Marquel Russell, who let me model his book that I would share information on being fatherless. Although I had two fathers in my life, since I came from a broken home and confused sometimes in reality or in my head, I really felt I was fatherless also.
Now these are just some of the statistics you can find out there. I can copy, model or write a book on it but, here are some other things to think about when a child’s father is not in their lives’.
Now if you look at those staggering multipliers, within the next three year, it is sad. I am not perfect and here is a confession. I have made my mistakes with my two daughters and writing this book is part of my confession to what I have caused. Let’s end this with a quote to move on.
“The human father has to be confronted and recognized as human, as man who created a child and then, by his absence, left the child fatherless and then Godless.” – Anais Nin