Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand;
forget not the afflicted.
Why does the wicked renounce God
and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”?
But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation,
that you may take it into your hands;
to you the helpless commits himself;
you have been the helper of the fatherless.
Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer;
call his wickedness to account till you find none. Psalm 10:12-15.
If you are helpless, poor, and fatherless, and you commit yourself to the Lord, He will be your helper. But if you are poor and fatherless and grow up to be an oppressor who knows not God, you will be a statistic.
The number one thing most incarcerated felons have in common is not growing up with a father in the home. Abandoned and untrained, these men have no direction or positive role model or effective curb on their bad behavior.
When I was in the army I saw a lot of these guys in basic training. Many of them had been ordered to enlist by a judge who didn’t want them in prison. Our drill sergeants were harsh and demanding taskmasters. They fulfilled the need in many young men for the first time. It changed them before it was too late. They were challenged to be men of self-control and obedience, and it worked.