There weren’t any blaring sirens when Sissy’s daddy got arrested. Just the rain, a lot of flashing lights. Then an eerie stillness.
“Thought you might want this,” her brother said. Handing her a bear was the first kindness he had shown her since he had discovered girls. “Don’t worry. It will be over soon.”
She knew that. In her short life, Sissy’s daddy got arrested a lot. It’s not that she got used to the attention, or the “there, there” looks from sympathetic teachers who saw both her potential and her pain. She just knew how it went.
The police would bang on the door.
Daddy would get arrested.
Mamaw would put up her farm.
Daddy would claim to never do it again as Mommy said she was leaving.
Then he would end up drunk and doing it again because he just couldn’t catch a break.
Sissy doesn’t believe in second chances now. After all, a second chance doesn’t mean anything if you haven’t learned from your first mistake.
First things first
It’s safe to say that many of us know a Sissy. Her story is true, and she lives right here in Knox county, though she wishes to remain anonymous.
What if Sissy’s daddy had learned something in prison other than being better at what got him busted?
Criminal justice needs reform. Even politicians can agree on that.
Knox Circuit Judge Michael Caperton sees its benefits.
So does Governor Bevin, “You don’t win political points by doing this, but it’s the right thing to do,” he said at the White House recently.
President Trump was signing legislation that day called the First Steps Act, designed to use common sense when sentencing those convicted and help existing federal inmates rejoin society.
One day at a time
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