White Collar Crime – Not So Victimless After All

Posted: 12 February 2012 in Prisons
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Stories about prison and its impact seem often to offer little hope. At Prison Fellowship we know that The Sycamore Tree course has a profound effect on some of the people who have progressed through the course.  One of the students who graduated and left prison last year rang the PF office to say that they felt the course had really changed their lives and would like to now become a volunteer, and her testimony is below:  

I thought I had fully realised what my crime had done and the impact on others.  This was, until I progressed into the 6 week course.   It was only then, when looking at the ripple effect, that I realised the impact it had had on others (the Company, family, friends and the community).   People still tell me that my crime didn’t hurt anybody (as it was a white collar crime – i.e. Fraud), but they are sooo wrong, in some ways it probably hurt more than violence, as the Directors and fellow workers, totally trusted me and thought I was great and totally trustworthy (I was in that I was totally confidential), but over 7 years I was committing Fraud. 

As a Christian, this really affected my Church life, as I knew what I was doing was a sin – and couldn’t face God and look him in the face!!  As for my friends and family in the congregation – I was absolutely terrified that if they prayed for me etc that they would somehow see what I was doing!!!

The release that I obtained on week 6 of the Sycamore Tree was awesome, I had already said sorry to the Company via a letter months before, but on this week, I felt I really had said sorry.  After getting up and sharing with the others in the group, somebody said, ‘really good *Sal*but have you forgiven yourself?’.   I went back to my room, and cried all afternoon. 

That night, I woke to feel God beside me, holding me tight and he said ‘ my Princess, I am well proud of you, you have done good, and now is the time to move forward’ – I felt wonderful.

The course did this for me – and there are no real words to fully describe what it did, just that it was awesome – and somehow managed to put the pieces of the puzzle, into the right places. *Sal* January 2012

*name* changed for confidentiality reasons

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