In 1996, I was convicted of a first-time, nonviolent drug offense and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. I was devastated, and most people might believe the ordeal left me full of rage and resentment. Instead, my experience has left me filled with hope for a transformed criminal justice system that emphasizes compassion and rehabilitation so that more incarcerated men and women can return to their families and communities.
My journey from prison to freedom relied on the community of people inside the prison system who never let me give up hope and those outside who fought for me to have a second chance at life. They were vital to my survival and I pray I have made them proud, as they have inspired me to help others caught in the system to transform their lives by advancing evidence-based programs and reforms that will help