Like many today, the day after Christmas, I have worked very had at doing absolutely nothing. My autoresponder in my work email account is on, my cell phone is in the other room, and I have read most of January's the Atlantic. So, other than farm chores (thank you Lord for thawing that frozen water line today!) I have accomplished my goal. That doesn't mean I didn't have an "oh my goodness" moment.
Over breakfast I logged into YouTubeTV and caught an episode of Bonanza. It's important to note it's episode eight from season 3, which aired on November 12, 1961 according to IMDB. As the episode unfolded I kept reminding myself that this was 60 years ago - yes, 60! The subjects of reentry, rehabilitation, connection & community, the effects of trauma, and recidivism were all addressed in it. So, the "oh my goodness", and worse, feelings came because I realized all these things were not new; not by a longshot.
The guest star, Dean Jones, plays Danny Kidd. Danny was incarcerated at age 13 and had been in for 10+ years when he saves Little Joe's life. The Cartwright family was able to petition to take charge of Danny in a community corrections type arrangement as repayment for saving Little Joe. The writers do a fantastic job of describing all that Danny needs to learn and relearn, what traumas have done to him, and most importantly how hard it is for Danny to transition to this new life. I won't go into much detail in case you want to watch the episode. I will share this. Little Joe is Danny's advocate from the beginning and there are times and situations where he has to stand his ground against even his family; these are people clearly of a mind to give Danny this chance.
The Cartwrights do all the things Living in Transition Effectively (LITE) works to accomplish. Connecting those leaving incarceration with mentors, create community for them, help with training, being empathetic, and creating a safe place to live and work. Danny of course faces a crisis of belief in this new situation and it prompts Pa Cartwright to say as the episode closes, "There go two wealthy young men...they have something money could never buy - true friendship". Indeed we would all be wealthy with true friendship.
Dean Jones as Danny Kidd in Bonanza's "The Friendship" episode.
Here's the link to the IMDB page of the episode. It's worth your time to watch it if you care about the subjects mentioned above.