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Jailed demons turned angels should fly free! - A Student's Stand

Monday, October 7, 2019

"But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins" (Matthew 6:15).

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People change over time; it is the most constant among everything. Everyone makes mistakes; take a life, take advantage, take pride, take money, take a knife. However, an individual cannot stay rogue all the time, there will and always be a chance to change and a realization of an epiphany. Because even a horrid worm can turn into a beautiful butterfly, metamorphosis. 

Metamorphosis, conceptually, is the ability of an object or a living thing to change. Oh wait, yes we are! We are living. And that applies to us all. 

Yes, free criminals turned angels. God is moral, he is indeed the most moral in all living. And he sees every one of us equally, stained or not, he forgives. He sets us free of evil. Who among us does not want to be forgiven? Who does not want freedom?

Freedom is the right to speak, act, and think, to not be imprisoned or enslaved, to not be restricted. However, as freedom stands, there is morality, responsibility and democracy. Freedom stops when an individual pursues to deprive other individuals their right. 

In a study of Benson, she stated that there is a massive literature documenting the importance of child abuse, poverty, early exposure to substance abuse and other risk factors for criminal behavior. The findings suggest that individual-centered approaches to crime prevention need to be complemented by community-based approaches. Researchers have also found that the pessimistic "nothing works" attitude toward rehabilitation that helped justify punitive prison policies in the 1970s was overstated. When properly implemented, work programs, education and psychotherapy can ease prisoners' transitions to the free world, says Haney. Finally, researchers have demonstrated the power of the prison environment to shape behavior, often to the detriment of both prisoners and prison workers. (, 2003) 

In connection, prisons have four major purposes. These purposes are retribution, incapacitation, deterrence and rehabilitation. Retribution means punishment for crimes against society. Depriving criminals of their freedom is a way of making them pay a debt to society for their crimes. Incapacitation refers to the removal of criminals from society so that they can no longer harm innocent people. Deterrence means the prevention of future crime. It is hoped that prisons provide warnings to people thinking about committing crimes, and that the possibility of going to prison will discourage people from breaking the law. Rehabilitation refers to activities designed to change criminals into law abiding citizens, and may include providing educational courses in prison, teaching job skills and offering counselling with a psychologist or social worker. The four major purposes of prisons have not been stressed equally through the years (, 2009). 

The State published the Good Moral Time Allowance Law, known as RA 10592, that works as a sentence reducer provisioned to prisoners who show kindness or is reformed to change. Citing a 1908 decision, the Supreme Court said the law served a double purpose. First, it is to encourage convicts in an effort to reform. Second, to induce habits of industry and good conduct in the person beyond one’s sentence to aid and discipline various jails and penitentiaries. In May 2013, then President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III signed RA 10592, amending Articles 29, 94, 97, 98, and 99 of the RPC, which sought to expand the application of the GCTA to those under preventive imprisonment or those detained prior and during criminal trial, who are deemed too dangerous for release; increase the number of days that may be credited for GCTA; allow an additional sentence deduction of 15 days for each month of study, teaching, or mentoring service; and expand the special time allowance for loyalty and make it applicable to those under preventive imprisonment. Inmates who display good behavior and have no record of breach of discipline or violation of prison rules and regulations may be eligible for GCTA (, 2019). 

However, the GCTA law has stirred controversy after initial news about the possible early release of convicted murderer-rapist Antonio Sanchez broke (Gavilan, 2019). And this matter does not apply to every prisoner inside the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa. If you analyze the statement, the controversy started because of Sanchez and not of other prisoners. We cannot generalize the whole situation just because a convict criminal gets his sentence reduced. Remember the fact that the New Bilibid Prison hosts 26,887 prisoners and not all of them live in luxurious hidden cells inside the penitentiary. There are also prisoners who mourn every day and repent for the heinous acts they made.

Second chances are given to those who deserve it. After all, we commit mistakes in life, and we deserve to be forgiven. Both the Old and New Testaments bear witness to a forgiving God. Think of Moses, who murdered a man (Exodus 2:11-15); Jonah, who fled from God's command (Jonah 1); David, who committed adultery and had a man murdered (2 Samuel 11:14-17); Rahab, who was a prostitute in Jericho (Joshua 2); and Peter, who denied even knowing Jesus after spending three years with Him (Matthew 26:69-75, Mark 14:66-72, Luke 22:55-62, John 18:15-17 and 25-27). Each of these—and dozens of other men and women like them in Scripture—stand as monuments of God's grace (Hebrews 11). And that's exactly what we see when we examine Jesus' life. We see how He redeemed and elevated people others convicted and condemned. We see that He professed the unfaltering power of redemption in their lives (, 2019).

If God, the creator can forgive, what and who are we to not. Extending a formerly incarcerated person a second chance is not the same thing as reconciliation. Giving someone a second chance does not erase their crime or invalidate the pain of their victims. A genuine second chance is a declaration that you are not holding someone's past against them, but still expect to see positive changes in their lives.

Justice in the Philippines is far from perfect but with proper implementation of government officials, this can be very beneficial to citizens who are wrongfully accused, putted behind bars, and is reforming for change. And also to motivate those who have sinned and committed grievous crimes to change and to follow the rules established by the Government. 


Note: This is a school output

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