Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education
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Russ
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Author:  Sarah Grzesik [ Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Russ

A few weeks ago in my anthropology class, a man named Russ came to my class to talk to us about his life and the U.S. legal system. He grew up troubled, went from foster home to foster home. Eventually, he grew tired of this cycle and ran away. The brought him back a few times, but in the end the U.S. government gave up on him and just let him run. He was a teen growing up on the streets in LA, and told us some horrible stories. Bodies showing up in allies, men soliciting him for sex, and being jumped were just a few of the examples he gave us. He ended up in jail for a forged check, and got 5 years, compared to the two men who were also sentenced with him who got probation. One of the men robbed old people of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the other was a hard core drug dealer. Not really fair since Russ didn't even get far enough to cash the 500 dollar check. Because he couldn't afford a lawyer like the others, he had to do "hard time". In jail he talked about being checked, which means that the prisoners are trying to ascertain what kind of person he is.
What his talk boiled down to was that if a person doesn't have money, then they are SOL. They aren't treated like a person, and are automatically labeled by society.

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