During my drive to the office yesterday the station I was listening to suddenly went to static. Rather than doing the smart thing and flipping on the XM, I started surfing around the FM dial. What a mistake.
I happened upon Elliot and his crew of mensa rejects already in the middle of talking to some fellow on the phone. From jail. I have no idea what he was picked up for, but mid-call someone else called in from some local restaurant saying they wanted to take all the prisoners food. Okaaayyyy… Then at the end of the call Elliot rambled about wanting to give the guy a job, though when they turned to joking about how he’d already done something like that by employing one of the other clowns yattering in the background it became clear this wasn’t a very serious desire.
The real moment that drove me off the channel was the two or three minutes these knuckleheads spent going on and on about how this guy was still in jail pending his hearing rather than being out on bail. “I mean, how pissed must you be with your family that nobody would pony up the two hundred and fifty bucks to bail you out?” When he asked the dude on the phone this question the fellow pretty much verbally shruged and dodged the question, but that didn’t stop them from going on and on about it at the end of the call once the prisoner was off the phone. $250! Only $250 and he’s still in there. How do you not have one family member who cares enough to come get you for just $250?
Let me clue you in on something, Elliot and Cretins. Listen careful now.
There’s a lot of people for whom $250 is a tremendous amount of money.
If you need a little insight, John Scalzi wrote a good essay called Being Poor. If you’d like to put your actions where your sheltered mouth is, a lot of people would appreciate it if you got involved in ex-con employment. Recidivism is a big problem for all of us, not just former prisoners who now can’t get employment (or food stamps, family welfare benefits or federally subsidized housing if it was a felony drug conviction, thanks to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996) – 43% of the murder victims in DC in 2003 had been released from the D.C. jail or a federal prison within the preceding two years, a clear sign that a lot of people get out and right into a bad situation. Not to mention the 30% or so who are back in prison within 6 months, costing us all money to warehouse them.
So pick up the phone and call the Baltimore, Maryland office of America Works, Elliot. The Manhattan Institute, a conservative organization, identifies their program as a successful one that saves us all money.
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs