Tomorrow John goes to court. He has violated his probation by not attending a class he was supposed to attend. Otherwise he has done pretty well for him. ANd so when his probation officer thinks "We'll throw him in jail for 30 days and this time he'll learn his lesson" I don't think that's quite the way it should be.
John still believes that he will be able to convince them tomorrow that things really didn't apply to him. Part of me wants to hope that they will listen to him. For the first time in his life this week he is scheduled to work full time. He is proud of himself for getting the job, making it through his trial period, and finally having full time hours starting on Saturday. He may go back to jail tomorrow.
I see things from both sides. The members of the judicial system think< "we gave him a chance to prove if he could do what we said. He didn't do what we want, so he needs to be taught a lesson. If we throw him back in jail that will do the trick."
But John thinks, "Hey, I only missed a few classes. What's the big deal? I am doing better than I ever have in my life. I have a job. I'm going to get full time hours. I have a girlfriend. We're going to have a baby. I didn't do anything really bad."
I don't know what the judge will decide tomorrow. I don't know how it will go. But I'm not really sure that if he goes to jail for 90 days that he would learn a lesson. The lesson he may learn is that the judicial system is not about redemption or rehabilitation, but about punishment and consequences. And sometimes that isn't the best lesson to learn.