An irresponsible person can attempt to counsel another person on how to be responsible; but this just isn’t likely to end up successfully. How can anyone teach someone to be something if that person doesn’t even practice what he preaches? This is very true, especially if a person wants to teach values to another person.
Most people think that criminals just can’t possibly teach other criminals to be better people because they can’t even do that for their personal growth. This is true in a sense, because teaching someone to be responsible even if you are widely known for being an irresponsible person would be considered some sort of hypocrisy. Who would follow you if people knew that you don’t even follow your own teaching?
The teacher, in order to be effective with his goal, must be a good example of his teachings. This does not, however, mean that “ex-offenders” or people who have criminal records cannot become counselors to effect changes in society. Ex-offenders have firsthand experience of the hardships in prison life. They have every right to teach criminals how to change their lives for the good – in many cases, they have first-hand experience with the same troubles that others are currently experiencing.
Criminal counselors can actually share their personal mindset for change. Criminals can’t just change their mindset in a split second. They go through a rigorous change process. They need all the help they could get in order to turn their lives from a criminal lifestyle into a responsible one. They need to be taught how to be accountable for the things they do. They have to work through life’s challenges and financial problems without turning to criminal acts.
People who abandoned their criminal life and chose to contribute to society by living responsibly are very much qualified to counsel current criminals to mend their ways. If trained with the tools necessary to professionally help criminals, they can more effectively help because of the life lessons they can personally share. Just like anything else in life, it is easier to meaningfully do something if you truly care about what you are doing. A reformed criminal aims to be a better version of himself; imagine the changes he can do to help someone else reach the same goal.
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