A while back I told you that a parole officer had once said, “Parole’s not suppose to be easy.” At the time—and right up until the other day in fact—I had held the opinion that his statement was the biggest piece of horse shit I’d ever heard. Now I’m not so sure. You see, the other day I read a comment made to my Peaches and Cream post by our very own blogger, Mandy Reynolds. Part of her comment read, “Anyone that wants life after prison has to just want it..you wanted it.”
What does it mean to “want it”? The day we’re put on paper, should we just put on lives on auto pilot and just let things happen? Hope for the best? Or is parole like anything else in life where if you want it bad enough, you’ll work hard for it? Of course a parole officer’s primary job is supervision, but what exactly is supervision? Should he only protect society from the parolee or should he also protect the parolee from society? (If you’ve been out here for any length of time you probably know exactly what I mean.) Now, I will wholeheartedly admit that there are some scurvy parole officers out there who actually enjoy the sound of handcuffs being clicked onto a parolee’s wrist. I’ve met some. But I’ve also met some who will go well out of their way to assist one of their parolees. Most, however, lie somewhere in the middle.
So after pondering her comment for a while, yes, I find myself in full agreement with Mandy. We do have to want it. We have to want it bad. Of course, that doesn’t mean we won’t take every bit of assistance the state can supply us during our transition—if it’s there use it—but that we alone are responsible for our lot in life. Whether it’s homelessness, drug addiction, or parole, we have to want to better our situation. We have to want it bad. We at Futures for Felons hope you want it bad, hope you better your lot in life, hope you never ever go back.