Life after prison can be a tough transition, especially without a lot of care and support. The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office wanted to give those who enforce the law a chance to understand that process first-hand.
Many people leaving the incarcerated life come out with nothing. Officials said that the obstacles ex-offenders face, after just one month of post-released life, can lead people back to crime.
“I think we know it's difficult but we don't appreciate how difficult it is,” said Christopher Streba, a field training specialist.
To simulate this transition, parole and probation staff were all handed a packed filled with their new identities. It included their criminal background, current living situation and weekly tasks that needed to be done to avoid being sent back to prison.
“The most difficult thing is acquiring those necessary elements to comply with supervision: the state ID which is what you need to gain employment, housing, paying for those things, the transportation to get to all these locations,” Streba said.
Dana Daughtry, an ex-offender, was able to sit on the other side of the program today to help teach.
“I remember that. I remember how hard it was to do certain things, so It’s my job as a person who's successful this time to give back and be a voice for those who don't have a voice,” Daughtry said. He said it was more than just a reentry program that helped him turn his life around.
“It was my job today to tell the probation officers and law enforcement: don't just make a living. Make a difference. It was the people that believed in me and gave me hope and willing to work with me that kept me out of prison this time," he said.