By Sasha . . .
Hello all and I hope everyone is staying safe.
I am writing this for someone because his story fits this category.
He finished serving over a decade behind bars for various offenses against a person under the age of 18. Despite factors showing that he would be little to no risk, he was given the highest level (3).
Within four years while on parole(since 2015) he demonstrated good behaviors without incident, held full employment, volunteered in his community and even, during a natural disaster that struck his community (tornado which killed 3 people) he served his community above and beyond what a parolee should do by volunteering his time to provide food and needed items to his community and in the aftermath or the disaster he engaged in community service by providing logistic and communications to emergency services. He was even acknowledge by a high ranking person who worked for the city he resided in.
Despite doing well and going to an online college to earn his degree, he was given a new parole officer who violated him for accessing the internet even though he was granted permission to attend an online college, and for owning a smart-phone and an internet device. This was a technical violation.
The judge who held the parole violation hearing was not impressed with his good behaviors and reasons for his devices and internet access and remanded him to 12 months in total disregard to the facts of his situation.
He has now finished parole in early 2020 and is having problems reintegrating back to society because this parole violation took everything from him, however, he is trying to make some attempts of trying to move forward.
Fast forward to today and during this posting there is an National and State Emergency going on and where he lives the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading like wildfire. The top officials called an all hands on deck on anyone who has medical certifications or had medical backgrounds to volunteer to assist working health staff or anyway they can.
Because of the loss of employment due to the violation and the pandemic that affected his new employment. He responded to the call for assistance because he held a former EMT certification that expired and other medical background and other experiences that would translate to provide assistance during the emergency.
He informed the person in charged of a volunteer medical program that would be able to volunteer his time, however he had background issues and would be interested in assisting to be assigned anywhere they needed him such as phone service, driving ,administrative, background work and, if needed, he would do front line work and only if things were so bad, there would be no other choice but to call upon him. He was allowed to join.
When I saw him he was happy because he was doing something positive and freeing up medical people who were needed to do other work as he was manning phones at the time. He wanted nothing more but to help others.;He placed himself in harms way because he meets the criteria for the most likely to die from the virus because of his age and hiss pre-existing conditions.
He was first assigned to answer/screen phone calls to augment the health department. He was professional and was thanked for his services.
THEN THE OTHER SHOE DROP.
One day due lack of staff personal to cover a front line position, a call was sent out for volunteer staffing positions to take temperatures of staff members and screen people for signs of possible symptoms of the covid-19, who may come into or are working at a facility. He volunteered for this because only one other person volunteered as many spots were opened. All of this while the number of people testing positive was climbing, as well as the death rate in his state and locale.
He set up a station in the lobby of a facility and relieved a nurse who was working the station for several hours and needed to be back at her former location to continue work in dealing with the virus.
He worked for several hours screening incoming staff and other persons. He was professional, caring, friendly and represented himself and the organization well.
Unfortunately, someone noticed him and his legal status and a call was made to the volunteer supervisor of his program and by the end of the day, after he turned his station over to a nurse who was needed elsewhere, was terminated from his volunteer position permanently while being cited -because you are on the registry- and when you get off you can come back.
He told me that his supervisor was very understanding for him and knew that he had done nothing wrong in the performance of his duties and did not want to let him go, however, the matter was decided above him. (BTW I believe the Governor of the state was aware of him and was monitoring him.)
It is a shame because he did not have to lose his volunteer position. He could have been re-assigned to another area. He is now in a sort of depression and at a loss of understanding. Rome was burning and he had skills to assist to help put the fire out and he was told do not bother we do not need YOUR KIND.
One morning I stopped at a store and met a nurse and we spoke about some of what I informed you and she was taken back. She stated that we are at an emergency here and need everyone who could help and at this time he is needed if he could provide assistance. People were dying!
He attempted to join another volunteer private organization that put a call for assistance for volunteers. To make the story short, he was denied again due to his current legal status and that organization wanted him to explain his status.
I am beginning to understand why many formerly incarcerated or those who have records and who try to change for the better somehow gets slapped on the face by society to remind them of who they were and a person on the registry seems to have very little chance of being acknowledge of doing anything good, are upset and do not trust the system. Also how many cannot properly reintergrate back to society. This system would rather let the city burn down before a registered person could extinguish the fire.
I listen to the Governor and the mayor talk almost daily of how they need to learn from the disparaging and bias that occurred during this pandemic and how they must learn from it or how they must not let this happen again, however, once again, they allowed a bill to be passed that was suppose to offer small businesses funds for paycheck, however, in the bill was a question asking if the applicant had a criminal record or was convicted of a crime. If so, they finds were denied money assistance This would close many businesses in the minority or poor communities and sends a message to the formerly incarcerated that the government has no interest in including them. I have little faith in the government to learn a lesson and make amends and changes.
From what I see the registry is nothing more but extended punishment. What was occurring to this person was more like because he is currently on the registry, he cannot do anything, as he is currently a danger now.
Just wanted to inform you that many unspoken heroes are also in the background trying to offer assistance, but will never be recognized due to their status.
Take care !!