Pubdate: Thu, 20 Aug 2009
Source: Albany Herald, The (GA)
Copyright: 2009 The Albany Herald Publishing Company, Inc.
Author: Jane S. Hartley


I have been waiting for the right moment to write about how the
Georgia and maybe the entire country handle felonies.

In 1973, I knew some nice kids; young, foolish, just out to have a
good time, and then, Bam! All their dreams were diminished.

These were not rich kids whose daddies could buy their way out. These
were ordinary high school boys, hanging out doing what boys did back
in the '70s. These boys were herded up like steers, set up by our
finest state boys and local yokels, not to mention probationers
looking for a easy way out; sent to jail for drugs (yes, drugs are
bad, no doubt) but these are kids, not hurting anyone but themselves.

 From county jail, 17- and 18-year-old boys are sent into mainstream
prison with grown men, murders, child molesters, etc. They are charged
with felonies, because it is illegal to sell or be in possession of
drugs (makes sense). What does not make sense is it is almost 40 years
later and these boys, all grown up with families, still have felonies
on their records.

They can't get a decent-paying job because when they apply their
record comes up.

So, please explain to these fine men how Mr. Buie received a job with
the city of Albany, and his felony did not show up! Someone dropped
the ball. I don't care about Mr. Buie, I care about those boys, now
men, and I think it is way past time to clear this from their records.
Anyone can make a mistake.

Jane S. Hartley

- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake