LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Former felons who are transitioning back into society are now able to get some much needed help.
A shocking statistic shows that one in three American adults have a criminal record. That’s why one local group is working to help people who were once in jail or prison deal with their trauma.
“I was diagnosed in the late age of with schizoaffective disorder and that’s been real traumatic incidents for me,” said Steven Bondy, a participant of the A.R.R.O. Program.
Bondy says it’s something he really needed.
“Police knocked on my door and arrested me for drunk driving,” said Bondy.
He says that moment was one of his most difficult and since then the whole experience has been tough.
“It was really hard on my family and hard on, you know, it’s just something people don’t understand and I got that psychotic label,” said Bondy.
Like Steven had to do, Grace Haley’s son is serving time behind bars.
“All of my son’s life, I looked for programs that would help him out,” said Haley.
She says before A.R.R.O., she didn’t know where to turn for help.
“Nobody knew how to help him or nobody is helping him,” said Haley.
The group met tonight to talk about ways to deal with trauma to help those getting out of the criminal justice system to get back on their feet.
Mia Dawson is an intern with the A.R.R.O. Program and is passionate about criminal justice reform. She says everyone deserves a second chance at living a good life.
“These people are humans and these are people that need help,” said Dawson. “So just punishing them for the things that they go through isn’t going to be enough. We need to rehabilitate them and help them.”
For Bondy and Haley, they plan to keep on pushing forward.
“So far everything’s been pretty good you know, just sticking to a plan that I made and that’s about it,” said Bondy.
“I wish that I had it then because he wouldn’t be where he is now,” said Haley.
If you or someone you know has been in the criminal justice system and needs help getting re-established, head over to Seen on 6.