Little chance for starting over here

Little chance for starting over here

There are 29 comments on the Lebanon Daily News story from Nov 29, 2008, titled Little chance for starting over here. In it, Lebanon Daily News reports that:

Our names are Wanda Colon and Ashley Crawford. We are 20 and 21 years of age. We are currently incarcerated at Lebanon County Correctional Facility.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Lebanon Daily News.

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Jamie Gardner

Ossian, IN

#1 Nov 29, 2008
You're not unemployable, but if you think it's going to get handed to you just because you walk into a place and fill out an app, you have another thing coming.

I'll put myself out there, I have a felony conviction. Happened when I was 16, over a decade ago, and it still holds me back. I'm working on 30 now. If I could go back and do things a little differently I probably would, but I have no regrets nor do I hold ill will. If I were an employer I wouldn't go out of my way to hire felons either.

I sympathize. I've lost a few good jobs because of it, either being passed over or fired. Still, ultimately I made my own decisions and that's part of the punishment. Trying to portray yourself as a victim isn't going to get you anywhere. Nothing personal but if your career path was that important to you, you wouldn't have pulled the shit you did to get yourself into the situation you're in. The sooner you start taking responsibility for your life and working through the obstacles you've constructed for yourself, the sooner you can get past them. Nobody made it difficult for you to get hired but you. Stop blaming everyone else and do something positive to get through it.
Fred

Ephrata, PA

#2 Nov 29, 2008
You had a chance, and you blew that chance. Why wouldn't I hire someone with a demonstrated record of good decision making over you?
Smart Jamie

Philadelphia, PA

#3 Nov 29, 2008
Jamie,

That is by far the most intelligent, well-reasoned and well-written post I have ever read from you.

I applaud you for your honesty as well and wish more people took personal responsibility.

America is indeed a land of second chances and many good people who did bad things have paid their debt, pressed on and became successful. None who did made excuses or blamed "the county" for holding them back.

It will be a tough road for those women and even tougher if they don't "get" what you just explained to them so eloquently.

You should be a counselor!
The Truth is Out There

Lancaster, PA

#4 Nov 29, 2008
Dear Wanda and Ashley:

As a member of the community with children, I would like to apologize for the hardship that you are now facing. However, allow me to provide you with a mirror into which you can look...

Wanda Colon
- 2 counts of felony drugs (possession with intent to deliver)
- Simple Assault (reduced from Aggravated)
- Simple possession, underage drinking and driving without a license
- Riot with intent to commit a felony, failure to disperse and disorderly conduct

Ashley Crawford
- Theft, criminal conspiracy, drug paraphernalia
- Forgery, Theft, Receiving stolen property
- Forgery, theft
- Theft, criminal conspiracy

Let's be a little more realistic about your situation. You both demonstrate an inability to "get it" and now you want to whine and cry about how tough things will be. You have been given opportunities to reform and remain productive members of society and have chosen not to.

I have no idea why the Lebanon Daily News is publishing a letter from you two without doing a little research on your history. No employer in their right mind would trust you in the respective fields you want to go into!

Clearly, what some of the folks in the prison need is a reality check and some sense of accountability. What these to "women" need to do is leave our community and never come back. Our businesses, friends and loved ones will be the better for it. They are the ones that got caught. What about their little friends that didn't?

Get a mirror, accept responsibility. There are consequences for your choices.
The Truth is Out There

Lancaster, PA

#5 Nov 29, 2008
And by the way, this is only their record since they turned 18... Juvenile records are not subject to public inspection...
Dave

Philadelphia, PA

#6 Nov 29, 2008
They committed those crimes with children at home to put icing on the cake! Does Lebanon High promote contraceptives to their students? It's a sad story with no good ending with those criminal records! They will be living off of welfare!
onewhocares

AOL

#7 Nov 29, 2008
It cracks me up that people are so quick to judge. Yes these ladies made a bad choice. They're doing their time. Where does it say that they don't deserve a second chance at life? You all act like you've never done anything wrong in your life. You live every day perfect. Last time I checked we were all humans and made mistakes. Think about the felon who is still on the loose and living a "normal" life, possibly making lots of money. You all know who I'm talking about, the person who took Peggy Reber's life. You all can't tell me that you never did anything wrong at all like speeding? I can't imagine that you can drive exactly the speed limit. You just never got caught. I think it's time you all get down off your high horses and step into reality.
ChooseTo Change

United States

#8 Nov 29, 2008
Jamie... very well said. And congratulations to you for getting yourself through bad times.
I hope some parents see these posts and realize that they need to be involved with their kids from the start, not after it's too late. There is so much out there that can turn a kid to a bad decision and they need to realize that bad decisions now can have lifetime consequences.
What people need to realize is they make the decisions. You DECIDE what your future is. If you think you are going to fail, chances are pretty good that you will. Make a decision to turn your life around and make sure the places and people you CHOOSE to be around support you. If you are incarcerated, do something good with the time that you have. Read, educate yourself. Instead of blaming the community for not giving you a chance, look at yourself and the things that got you where you are and CHOOSE to change.
I work hard, have never been arrested and there are certainly jobs that I've applied for that I didn't get, chances I was never given. That's the way it goes for everyone, felon or not.
The Truth is Out There

Lancaster, PA

#9 Nov 29, 2008
I don't believe that Wanda will qualify with a felony drug charge...
lanc lanc

San Jose, CA

#10 Nov 29, 2008
good luck on welfare.theyll get back at society by living off taxes like every other trashy person on welfare.i cant wait until the day they get rid of welfare and make people work for once.pieces of s*&t
Please

Manheim, PA

#11 Nov 29, 2008
onewhocares wrote:
It cracks me up that people are so quick to judge. Yes these ladies made a bad choice. They're doing their time. Where does it say that they don't deserve a second chance at life? You all act like you've never done anything wrong in your life. You live every day perfect. Last time I checked we were all humans and made mistakes. Think about the felon who is still on the loose and living a "normal" life, possibly making lots of money. You all know who I'm talking about, the person who took Peggy Reber's life. You all can't tell me that you never did anything wrong at all like speeding? I can't imagine that you can drive exactly the speed limit. You just never got caught. I think it's time you all get down off your high horses and step into reality.
You have got to be kidding me!! You want to compare speeding to drugs and theft?! I know Wanda Colon, I know this isn't her first time in jail, and I know it won't be her last. This is a person who cannot clean up her life. She has made these cries before and people actually gave her the benefit of the doubt. She's had her 2nd chance, and third and fourth. How many more chances should she get? I have no pity for those who expect everyone to give them a freebie and a hand out when they are degenerate lowlifes. When she gets clean and stays out of jail for more then 12 months then maybe she is trying to better her life. Until then, Thank God she's in jail and not running the streets.
And don't you worry about Peggy's killer, his time is running out and he knows it.
onewhocares

AOL

#12 Nov 29, 2008
Please wrote:
<quoted text>
You have got to be kidding me!! You want to compare speeding to drugs and theft?! I know Wanda Colon, I know this isn't her first time in jail, and I know it won't be her last. This is a person who cannot clean up her life. She has made these cries before and people actually gave her the benefit of the doubt. She's had her 2nd chance, and third and fourth. How many more chances should she get? I have no pity for those who expect everyone to give them a freebie and a hand out when they are degenerate lowlifes. When she gets clean and stays out of jail for more then 12 months then maybe she is trying to better her life. Until then, Thank God she's in jail and not running the streets.
And don't you worry about Peggy's killer, his time is running out and he knows it.
I don't know these women. I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Therefore this is the reason I don't judge people. People do make mistakes, sometimes they don't learn the first time. Doesn't mean they are bad people. As for the person who did that horrible thing to Peggy Reber, I will worry. I myself or even you could be the next victim. So until that person is behind bars I will worry everyday. Also one other thing, before you walk the day in a prisioners shoes you shouldn't judge them. I know a few who are in prision for things they DIDN'T do. Now they have a record and won't be able to get a good job because of it.
The Truth is Out There

Lancaster, PA

#13 Nov 29, 2008
onewhocares wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't know these women. I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Therefore this is the reason I don't judge people. People do make mistakes, sometimes they don't learn the first time. Doesn't mean they are bad people. As for the person who did that horrible thing to Peggy Reber, I will worry. I myself or even you could be the next victim. So until that person is behind bars I will worry everyday. Also one other thing, before you walk the day in a prisioners shoes you shouldn't judge them. I know a few who are in prision for things they DIDN'T do. Now they have a record and won't be able to get a good job because of it.
I agree completely that people deserve a second chance. Look at their records and tell me how many chances they deserve? Or is it how many do they need?
Ironic GOP

Philadelphia, PA

#14 Nov 30, 2008
onewhocares wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't know these women. I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Therefore this is the reason I don't judge people. People do make mistakes, sometimes they don't learn the first time. Doesn't mean they are bad people. As for the person who did that horrible thing to Peggy Reber, I will worry. I myself or even you could be the next victim. So until that person is behind bars I will worry everyday. Also one other thing, before you walk the day in a prisioners shoes you shouldn't judge them. I know a few who are in prision for things they DIDN'T do. Now they have a record and won't be able to get a good job because of it.
Nope, it doesn;t mean they are bad people, I agree. But one thing is for sure: If they are unable to take responsibility for their actions, whcih this letter clearly states they are not ready to do, then I am sorry to say they will return to crime and/or be unable to overcome the hole they dug for themselves.
Dave

Philadelphia, PA

#15 Nov 30, 2008
Wanda Colon
- 2 counts of felony drugs (possession with intent to deliver)
- Simple Assault (reduced from Aggravated)
- Simple possession, underage drinking and driving without a license
- Riot with intent to commit a felony, failure to disperse and disorderly conduct

Ashley Crawford
- Theft, criminal conspiracy, drug paraphernalia
- Forgery, Theft, Receiving stolen property
- Forgery, theft
- Theft, criminal conspiracy

Another above person mention these ladies had criminal records before they turned 18! I hope Lebanon County forces these young ladies to stay in town and collect welfare! The rest of PA does not want them in our communities!!
lanc lanc

San Jose, CA

#16 Nov 30, 2008
oh before thier released lebanon will hand them pmphlets and let them know every benefit thier eligable for.theyll say well help you with housing food job etc etc like every other trash that wont work around here.its time for some welfare reform!!if welfare had a 1 year cap we could insure every american in the usa.
Lebanonian

Corona Del Mar, CA

#17 Nov 30, 2008
Dave wrote:
Wanda Colon
- 2 counts of felony drugs (possession with intent to deliver)
- Simple Assault (reduced from Aggravated)
- Simple possession, underage drinking and driving without a license
- Riot with intent to commit a felony, failure to disperse and disorderly conduct
Ashley Crawford
- Theft, criminal conspiracy, drug paraphernalia
- Forgery, Theft, Receiving stolen property
- Forgery, theft
- Theft, criminal conspiracy
Another above person mention these ladies had criminal records before they turned 18! I hope Lebanon County forces these young ladies to stay in town and collect welfare! The rest of PA does not want them in our communities!!
No we don't want them either, that's why we're trying to make it impossible for them to get a job!
Jamie Gardner

Ossian, IN

#18 Nov 30, 2008
lanc lanc wrote:
oh before thier released lebanon will hand them pmphlets and let them know every benefit thier eligable for.theyll say well help you with housing food job etc etc like every other trash that wont work around here.its time for some welfare reform!!if welfare had a 1 year cap we could insure every american in the usa.
Actually they don't give you anything of the sort. You get a letter telling you how much money you owe for your stay, the property you came in with and a list of said property and that's it.

Welfare has nothing to do with it, and there are a lot of working poor making up the difference with welfare. And really, released offenders do need the help with getting work because of the concerns they outlined, so I don't understand what your problem with that is. Either you want them to get a job or not?

They _should_ take advantage of the help available to them. There are lots of programs available to help ex-convicts become productive members of society through job placement, job training programs, college assistance, child care help. Better that they utilize the help and get to a point where they don't need it, rather than continuing to offend and bouncing in and out of jail, setting their kids up for the same outcome.

They have to want it enough to actually work for it though. Hopefully they will, but I didn't get that impression from their letter. Ultimately their downfall will be their entitlement mentality. They think because they placed themselves in a bind, the world owes them something. Although the programs are out there, they don't get a list handed to them, and the assistance comes with expectations. That same mentality will either keep them from getting the help because it actually requires effort, or turning their nose up at the jobs available because they're not easy jobs with great pay and benefits. You can tell they just want a cushy job waiting for them when the gates open, with no strings attached.

Sorry ladies. There's no easy path from the gates of the jail to the corner office in a Fortune 500 company. You've got work to do.
Jamie Gardner

Ossian, IN

#19 Nov 30, 2008
Smart Jamie wrote:
America is indeed a land of second chances and many good people who did bad things have paid their debt, pressed on and became successful. None who did made excuses or blamed "the county" for holding them back.
It will be a tough road for those women and even tougher if they don't "get" what you just explained to them so eloquently.
You should be a counselor!
Having a violent crime in my past means it would be very difficult for me to get into that kind of work. Short of getting a pardon, it's impossible. Disappointing really, because if I could be doing anything right now it would be working with troubled youth, but that's life I guess. There's always volunteering, which is on the agenda once some of the time constraints of a young family and college are gone.

These girls say there's no opportunities, but that's not true. I'm working on getting degrees in engineering and computer science, which wouldn't be possible otherwise. Being an ex-con means you've got to prove yourself more than the average, have to work a little harder to get what you want, but so what? Adversity is good for you. The fuel that keeps me going is not allowing myself to be a stereotype.
Please

Manheim, PA

#20 Nov 30, 2008
onewhocares wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't know these women. I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Therefore this is the reason I don't judge people. People do make mistakes, sometimes they don't learn the first time. Doesn't mean they are bad people. As for the person who did that horrible thing to Peggy Reber, I will worry. I myself or even you could be the next victim. So until that person is behind bars I will worry everyday. Also one other thing, before you walk the day in a prisioners shoes you shouldn't judge them. I know a few who are in prision for things they DIDN'T do. Now they have a record and won't be able to get a good job because of it.
yes, EVERYONE in jail is "innocent"!! haha, OH my! then why did a judge and or jury find them guilty? It must have been a mistake. Also, don't defend a person if you don't know them, or their background. Silly, it makes you look stupid and naive.

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