Where’s my second chance in Gov. Dannel P. Malloy‘s Second Chance Society?
It’s been about 30 months since I got home from serving a three-year prison sentence for driving under the influence. As I went from prison to a halfway house and then to parole, I’ve received absolutely no help along the way in getting my life back together.
This wasn’t my first time in prison, but it took me until the last time to really see things differently. All the times previously weren’t long enough, but the three-year go-round was like a nightmare. Even when I became eligible to leave, I had to wait two months because they couldn’t find a re-entry program for me.
Now, at 34, figuring out where and who to turn to is like living a real-life “Mission Impossible.”
It’s almost like the agencies and government programs for ex-cons are deliberately hiding from me. I still have trouble getting a job with a felony record.
My sentence, even though I didn’t realize it at the time, turned out to be a death sentence. It follows me everywhere I go and makes my survival day to day extremely hard. I paid my debt with prison time, so why am I still paying years later?
I’ve been in community college for the past 21/2 years, including two summers. I’m in the Drug and Alcohol Recovery Counselor program with the goal of eventually working with at-risk youth. My grade-point average at Capital Community College is a 3.5 and at Manchester Community College it’s a 3.0. And, guess what, I still a struggle to find any job — no second chance and no break.