Wednesday, December 28, 2011

He is 11 Years Old: Will He Become a Career Criminal?

Getting in the trouble with the juvenile authorities is never a good thing. And that is especially true if you are only eleven years old.  It is not a good way to be voted must likely to succeed a few years down the road by your classmates.  But Jimmy (Not his real name) found himself in trouble at age 11.  But things were about to turn around.

A gentleman who held an important supervisory position at the FBI signed up to be a volunteer with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program in the state they lived in at the time. Jimmy’s big brother invested two or three hours of his time with him every single week for about three years.  Of course Jimmy was enthralled with the idea of hanging out with a man that worked for the FBI!  But his big brother quickly pointed out to him that a career in law enforcement would not be an option if there were any additional infractions on his record.  Criminal offenses as an adult in particular would totally exclude him from consideration for a job in law enforcement. 

Jimmy and his big brother went their separate ways.  His big brother retired after a long and successful career with the FBI.  After retirement, he relocated to Texas.  He never heard anymore from Jimmy.  That is he did not hear anymore until a Christmas card came in the mail last week.

Jimmy’s mother tracked her son’s former “big brother” down and told her son’s story in the Christmas card.  Jimmy did not get in any more trouble. In fact, he enlisted in The Marine Corps. After completing active duty military service, Jimmy found a good job with a lot of promise for the future.  He went to work for the FBI.  As a matter of record, he went to work for the FBI in the same unit where his big brother served as a supervisor prior to retirement.

I wonder if someone working with Jimmy when he was eleven years old worried that he would become a career criminal. I wonder if there was an alert juvenile probation officer that tried to get him some help. He had gotten in trouble at a young age.  His father was abusive. There were several factors that pointed to him becoming another statistic.  But there was a man working for the FBI willing to sacrifice 3 hours of his time every week to mentor and encourage a vulnerable young man. And that is how troubled kids keep from becoming career criminals. 

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