Are juvenile prisoners paying for the sins of their fathers? That is the number one question that keeps coming to my mind whenever I work with juvenile prisoners. Last Friday, Sister Bertina visited Diamond and has agreed to find a school for him. All we have to do is find a place he can call home so he can be freed from prison.
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“Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
– 2 Corinthians 5:17
Are Juvenile Prisoners Paying for the Sins of their Fathers?
The juvenile prison is filled with brilliant people who seem to be paying for the sins of their fathers. Sadly enough, these boys will one day have children who will find themselves in a never-ending vicious circle of imprisonment. I meet boys whose parents who were once imprisoned. Some of them were even born while their mothers were in prison. This reminds me of the lions at the Nairobi National Park Animal Orphanage.
The attendant taking us around shared beautiful stories about each animal held in captivity. At about 3 pm loud roars rent the air. Suddenly, everything activity came to a standstill. You could tell that the lion is indeed, the king of the jungle. However, there is a sad twist to all of this bravado and chest bursting roar.
“What is the most interesting thing about lions?” I asked.
“Lions are not wired to function well after being released back to the wild,” our guide explained. “They lose their natural instincts to hunt, fight and protect their territories. This being so, we castrate them to stop breeding.”
“That means they leave no cubs behind to take their place?” I asked.
“Sadly, yes!” he replied.
I have been in forums where an image of a cat whose shadow is a lion is used to motivate youths. While that image can spur someone into pursuing their dreams and goals in life, I doubt whether it can produce the same result with juvenile prisoners. In fact, I strongly doubt whether Diamond, who has been told he is free to go home and has nowhere to call home, will find inspiration from such an image.
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With Sister Bertina having guaranteed to find a school for Diamond, the ball is on our court. Lifesong Kenya has to find a place where Diamond will stay when he is not in school. It is a tough call and a hard nut to crack. By finding a place for Diamond one boy will be able to exit prison and successfully reintegrate into the community where the rehabilitation and reconciliation process will continue. And by doing so, I hope to provide an answer to this question:
Are juvenile prisoners paying for the sins of their fathers?