Home > community development, non-profit, nonprofit, social entrepreneurs > Lessons From Trial, but not What You Might Expect.

Lessons From Trial, but not What You Might Expect.

Happy Friday, all. I took this photo yesterday. It seemed a lot of people were enjoying Rosa Parks Circle.

 

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Today, after a 5 hour trial, I was waiting for the Judge to render his verdict.

 

The Judge took the bench and, before telling the parties his decision, he conducted a video arraignment – someone charged with a crime who was sitting in jail.

 

 

The young man was 18 years old.

The Judge asked the young man a question: his question and the young man’s answer stuck with me.  (Even after the Judge rendered a decision on my case.)

 

The Judge asked the young man: “do your parents know you are in jail?

 

Answer from the young man: “Yeah, she knows.

 

I will state the obvious: The fact that this young man when speaking of his parents makes no reference to a father in his life is both telling and heartbreaking.

 

This reality is simply not how the world should be.

 

And, unfortunately, this story is typical.

 

Fatherless Generation

I took these statistics from the Fatherless Generation

  • Father Factor in Incarceration – Even after controlling for income, youths in father-absent households still had significantly higher odds of incarceration than those in mother-father families. Youths who never had a father in the household experienced the highest odds. A 2002 Department of Justice survey of 7,000 inmates revealed that 39% of jail inmates lived in mother-only households. Approximately forty-six percent of jail inmates in 2002 had a previously incarcerated family member. One-fifth experienced a father in prison or jail.

    Father Factor in Crime – A study of 109 juvenile offenders indicated that family structure significantly predicts delinquency. Adolescents, particularly boys, in single-parent families were at higher risk of status, property and person delinquencies. Moreover, students attending schools with a high proportion of children of single parents are also at risk. A study of 13,986 women in prison showed that more than half grew up without their father. Forty-two percent grew up in a single-mother household and sixteen percent lived with neither parent

 

In the fall I will begin once again again mentoring an elementary aged student.

Each of the students that I have met with over the years has had a lack of a father figure in his life.

I look at these statistics, and ask myself:

is it worthwhile spending one hour a week during the school year with a boy who needs a positive male role model?

The answer every time is “Yes.

I wonder about this  young man that I saw on video arraignment today – how would his life be different if he had a different answer to the Judge’s question? “Yes, they know”

 

My question for you – “who are you pouring into?

 

E-mail: Jeshua@dwlawpc.com

www.dwlawpc.com

Twitter: @JeshuaTLauka

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