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Voices from the Streets Part 3- Can I get a Second Chance?



By Nixon Dickenson

 

I have decided to title this week’s article in the series Voices from the Streets Part 3, ‘Can I get a Second Chance.’


I am hoping to be able address the matter of second chances from the perspective of the young people who willingly shared with us during our street tours.  As I listened to the various contributions, I was moved to engage in personal reflection on how often I too have missed an opportunity to provide someone with a second chance.


In these particular conversations, many persons shared how difficult it was for them to find gainful employment, once they had a run in with the law. Others shared that they felt their pass actions would always overshadow their future ambitions and there were others who felt that they would always be treated with suspicion because they had a criminal record or was rumored to have taken part in negative behaviours. 


Many of these persons owned their negative choices, which led to their loss of freedom; however, they also expressed that after serving their time in prison, they should be given the opportunity to transition into society; they believed they were worthy of a second chance.  Reader, whether you believe it or not, our streets are filled with the talents that are needed for nation building in the Turks and Caicos Islands. 


My question is, what are we willing to do about cultivating these talents and putting them to good use? I began to ask myself what else can be done to ensure that every person is given a second chance at doing good in our society despite a negative past. I am not advocating that there should be no consequence for persons who willing engage in negative behaviours, nor will I ever do so.

What I am advocating is that society find a way to support young people who have made mistakes, and are are truly willing to shift their mindset and work towards becoming a good citizen.


There are so many ways that the skills of these individuals can be used in the government and private sector and throughout the community, as long as there are systems in place to effectively help with the process of integrating the them back into society.


 Today, I am sure we all know of someone who is screaming for a second chance of gainful employment, a second chance of completing their high school education, a second chance to restore family relationships, a second chance to get it right! Seek out that person and give him or her a second chance.

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