Leaving prison after 24 years was like landing in another country with nothing but the clothes on your back…minus the clothes on your back. I was terrified that I’d forever be judged based upon my worst moment; that I’d never be accepted back into society. It felt like I had a tattoo on my forehead that read “Excon.” Out of fear, caution, and a bit of hope, I enrolled in The Program. In retrospect, it was one of the best decisions I made. I was teamed up with a Mentor, Keith, who has helped me in so many ways. Keith listens to my concerns, lends invaluable advice / guidance, and connects me to resources I didn’t know existed. I’ve been out for nine (9) months now, and am doing great. I am employed, compliant with all the rules of parole, and have a strong support system. If not for The Program, I may have fallen into the cycle of recidivism that sends 75% of offenders back to prison. Because of The Program, I am proof that successful reentry is possible with adequate resources.
Life can be hard. It’s all about the choices we make. Sometimes we make bad choices, and sometimes we have to deal with the consequences. I used to be a lot of things, but my God meets me where I’m at. The Program believed in me when no one else did, and for that, my family and I are forever grateful. Thank you so much for your love and support.