Fight the Cycle
People talk about cycles when someone lands in the criminal justice system more than once. Something in that individual’s life is out of balance; they make the same choices, and then get the same results.
I have seen so many people stuck in repeating behaviors. They’re angry, lost, alone, and hurting in ways that not many people can even understand. In that place inside their minds, they can’t see a way out, even if it is the thing they want most in the world.
Making a choice to do something different, in the middle of a personal or family crisis is incredibly hard.
Let me give you an example of how a cycle, or a pattern starts: financial need.
What do you need money for? Food. Rent. Clothes. Gas. Supporting your family. Those are simple, and direct, uses for money. When someone is pushed to the point that their ability to feed to feed their family is in danger, doing anything to get cash seems reasonable.
What that is, speaking simply, is fear. Unresolved fear leads to despair. Despair leads to making extreme choices.
I’m sad to say, getting and keeping jobs is hard. Losing work, and not having savings to fall back on…maybe not even having a family you can ask for help…can be like taking a bath in pure terror. Imagine how horrible it would be if you can’t get unemployment or some other kind of financial assistance.
Despair arrives when money is gone. All it does is get worse when your children are hungry, and you’re about to get kicked out by your landlord.
Crime is the dark, seductive, solution to the feelings that are eating at your heart. Money is right there. That man has a wallet. That woman has a purse. That house has jewelry and electronics you can sell. That car can be sold to a chop shop. Prostitution can pay for food. Dealing drugs…well, there’s money there too.
Let me clue you in on something true. Stolen money gets spent. When it is gone, you have to dive into crime again.
Something else people believe is that crime is easy money. Wrong. When you’re a criminal, your life gains obsessions. You need more money. You need to not get caught. You need to not get killed by a dealer, gang, or homeowner with a gun. You need protection (and so violence comes into play) from other criminals. You need to find new victims.
When you watch movies about gangsters living big on their deeds, you have to remember: that’s Hollywood. That’s not reality.
So, you commit a burglary, get caught, and you go to jail for a year or two. During that time you’re behind bars, the problem you tried to fix (getting money) doesn’t improve. Your family might be in a WORSE situation with you gone and unable to help. Your wife turns to crime, and maybe your kids do too.
Despair spreads and negatives cycles of behavior begin in other hearts.
When you’re time is served, you get out, but it is not over. You still need money, and now you have a criminal record. That record means that police and potential employers will look at you differently. That is hard to overcome.
Do you know what is worse? Your opinion of yourself changes. All the despair you were fighting against comes back, and it is even harder to knock it down.
Crime is still there. It is a seductive option. If you take it, the cycle has you. That’s how it begins, when you’re as low as you can possibly go.
Now, maybe you used your time in jail to look deep inside yourself. Maybe you see the cycle waiting for you, eager to chew you up. You can’t change the past, but you see that you can change the future.
Taking positive action is the antidote to despair. Why? Doing something is better than doing nothing. Action always leads to something, even if it takes a while. Working on yourself means you are not a victim.
Now is the time to get your heart right, and pick a new direction. This is when you can be reborn.
To crush the cycle before you are chained to it, you’re going to have to do some things that might hurt your pride.
Ask for help and take it. This is your challenge.
Make no mistake, help is out there. Talk to your pastor, and tell him that you want to change, but you need work and a place to sleep. He may not be able to put you up himself, but he may know someone who can. Keep asking, and you will find.
Take a job that’s “beneath you.”
Why? Money. Why? Working is better than despair. Working makes it easier to find another, better, job. Who knows, you might even work your way up and develop a great reference for whatever you do next!
Keep the faith.
Action will yield results. You are better than despair and crime. Ask God for help if you are a believer. Lay the troubles at His feet, and keep moving.
I promise you that if you break the cycle before that second or third time before a judge your life will be different. You will have fought for yourself, your family, and everything you love. You will know your power and understand how strong you really are. You will have received the gifts that only adversity can give you.
Regardless of your criminal history, you can decide to change at any moment. Take that chance.
Despair spreads, that’s true. Power, confidence, love, and compassion, spread too.
What do you want to sow into the world?
People think of bail bondsmen as people who want to suck your wallet dry. Unfortunately, there are reasons for that preconceived notion. We want to tell you the things you might not hear from anyone else.
We don’t want to see you go to jail a second time.
We feel the pain, and we know the cycle.
We want you to fight it and not be a slave to crime.
We believe in you.
You can fight despair and win.