DECATUR, Ala. – The Alabama Division of Corrections has one of the vital distinctive inmate reentry applications within the nation, providing full technical levels to prisoners earlier than they’re launched.
Among the many 1000’s of inmates who’ve graduated from the Limestone Correctional Facility’s reentry program, ADOC says one former inmate is a shining instance amongst their many success tales.
“I’m a person who’s mom was murdered in entrance of me after I was 10 years outdated,” mentioned Christopher Watford, a former ADOC prisoner. “Once I was 14 years outdated, I used to be shot in my face and in my again. Once I was 20 years outdated, I buried my daughter. She died in her sleep.”
In 2006, Watford was convicted of tried homicide and sentenced to 12 years in jail.
“I began the method of bettering myself and reorganizing my considering,” he mentioned. “Jail type of handed actuality to me. I began to comprehend that there was one thing I needed to do inside myself.”
Watford earned a technical diploma whereas he was on the Limestone Correctional Facility, and began working inside days of his launch in 2017.
Different former inmates who fear about their felony historical past, Watford says, ought to concentrate on what they will do to enhance their lives, not what they will’t do.
“Eleven days after I bought out, I used to be working at an $8.30 per hour job washing dishes at Golden Corral, however I used to be decided to get some type of employment in order that I might be capable to begin the method of rebuilding my life.”
Watford finally used his technical diploma and now makes $19 per hour at an industrial facility in Decatur.
When requested if jail inmates are victims of their atmosphere, Watford gave this response:
“It was all about my mind-set. It had nothing to do with my atmosphere. My sister has been by the identical issues I’ve been by. She don’t even know what the within of a police station appears like.”
About 800 inmates graduate from Limestone Correctional Facility’s reentry program every year.
Watford says it’s humbling that the ADOC identifies him as a mentor who may help others change their lives round.
“I contemplate myself successful. I’m very pleased with myself.”
He was about to start out mentoring present inmates when COVID-19 occurred.
The previous inmate’s long run objective is to journey the nation, sharing his experiences to encourage folks to keep away from jail.
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