Voices of Ex-Offenders: The Road to Restoration
Ross grew up with an alcoholic father who would often leave for days or months at a time. When he would return he would expect to walk back in and have everything be the same. Ross hated his father’s actions but eventually followed the same path. He also started drinking and eventually became addicted to cocaine. He lost custody of his son. To support his habit he began committing robberies. Eventually, he was caught and sent to prison and at that point he surrendered. He got involved with as many programs as possible. He is now out of prison and serves as a mentor to inmates.
Andrey’s path to prison began in childhood. His father left the family and his mom was left to raise him on her own. Because his mother had to work he was often left alone. He was sexually abused at age 8 by a friend in the neighborhood. He began a life of crime and drug use during his teenage years. Between 1989 and 1996 he was arrested 37 times. In 1997 he set out to rob a convenience store as he had done many times before, but this time a man tried to stop the robbery and was injured in the process. Andrey was apprehended by the police who told him the man would likely die and the charges would be changed from aggravated assault to murder. Andrey began praying the man would live, but he died two days later. He later felt convicted that his prayers were offered up out of his own self-interest, rather than for the man he had killed. It was at this point he saw himself for the first time. In prison he found support through an intensive reentry and aftercare program.
Clemmie was sexually abused almost daily by men in her neighborhood. She got pregnant and had a child at age 13. Not knowing what to do with a baby, she left him with her mother and grandmother and pursued a life of drugs and crime. Her son went on to join a gang which eventually led to this death. Clemmie takes full responsibility for her role in setting him up for a life of crime and is now on a mission to save other kids.