My son got some potentially bad news from his attorney recently. In my last post I wrote about how well his status hearing went, and that the character reference letters that several people had written on his behalf were to be presented to the prosecuting attorney. After the prosecutor reviewed the letters he sent an email to my son’s attorney stating that no leniency would be granted. The prosecutor is known as a “by the book” type of guy so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. But both my son and I had our hopes up after his hearing, so this came as quite a blow. My son admitted to me that after he read the letter he just wanted to say, “screw it all” and go score something to take away his pain. He was able to resist the temptation, but it was a reminder of how near to the surface the siren’s call of the addiction lies. It waits, like a vulture circling its prey, to pounce on a reason to become active again. My son was able to work through it and decided to stay on the path he is on, keep doing the right thing, and hope that the judge will show mercy. I am so proud of his determination to fight this demon.
I understand that there are legal consequences for breaking the law, as there should be. However, if an addict is fighting hard to break the chains of addiction and lead a sober life as a productive citizen, what is the purpose of prison? Will prison help in the recovery process? I think not. Now, I truly do believe that my son’s arrest was an intervention by the Lord to save his life and I don’t regret that he was arrested. Even my son feels that his arrest saved his life. But if the purpose of prison is to rehabilitate folks so they won’t commit further crimes, it would seem to me that it would be defeating the purpose at this point. It is clear from the character references written by my son’s employer, counselor, and people who know him, that he is trying his best to turn his life around.