Good Intentions, Backfired!
November 22, 2011
Over the past few years we have written countless posts about the EEOC and various State governments seeking to be progressive and give those with criminal records a second chance. Their intentions are always good, however, we all know how this story ends. I certainly don’t argue the merits of their ambition to make good for all in the world, but….the old adage; screw me once, shame on you, do it twice shame on me, seems to fit nicely here.
The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) has now come under scrutiny because they hired two men with previous criminal records. Again, a valiant effort to progressively make the world a better place, but, as we have always said, not everyone is suited for every position. Should these men have been placed in this particular job? Should they have been given a second chance? Not our call to make, however, I think the EEOC will have a position or argument if they make future decisions based on this situation. Time will tell!
According to WPRI.com Eyewitness News; RIPTA hired two ex-convicts as drivers for their RIde program, which serves the elderly and disabled. The men had lengthy criminal records and had served time at the ACI. They said the men profiled in the piece are no longer behind the wheel of a RiDe bus, but it is unclear if they were given job placement elsewhere within the agency.
The entire story reminds me of an old quote by Albert Camus;
“The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.”
The head of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority has come under fire after the agency hired two men with criminal records to drive buses transporting the elderly and disabled.
Chief Executive Charles Odimgbe described it as a pilot program that has been discontinued. He said it reintegrated former criminals into society.
Thomas Deller, chairman of the agency’s board, praised the program. But board member Maureen Martin told Odimgbe that hiring men with criminal records raises passenger safety issues.
The Amalgamated Transit Union accuses Odimgbe of undermining bus service through attempted cost-savings.
The board on Monday did not discuss the hirings, first reported by WPRI. Deller says the board will take up the question another time.
The Senate Committee on Housing will investigate.
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