Lonnie grew up in a single-parent home and was the middle child of three siblings. Because of his upbringing and the lifestyle to which he was exposed, he turned to the streets and got involved in criminal activities at a young age. By 13 years old, Lonnie was arrested and sent to a juvenile detention center for possession of marijuana/Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS). He continued going in and out of the detention center throughout his teens, making a name for himself as a drug dealer. Lonnie was arrested a total of 12 times on charges for manufacturing drugs and CDS possession with intent to distribute.
Desire to Change
During his last arrest and facing the “kingpin” charge, one of the most serious drug-related crimes and facing up to life in prison, Lonnie decided he needed to change. “I wanted to be a present father, not a continued ‘in and out’ one,” Lonnie said. During his last sentence, he was transferred to a reentry facility, where his desire to change was matched by compassion, empathy, and support from the staff and peers alike. Lonnie was among the center’s first group of state inmates to come through the program, becoming part of the first Alumni group.
Grateful for a Second Chance
Lonnie now works at a reentry facility, where he has been employed for over 10 years. He also opened his own business seven years ago offering tech support and repairs. Lonnie is happily married, has reunited with his children, and will soon become a grandfather. He still participates in alumni activities and enjoys helping others. Reflecting, Lonnie says, “I’m ever so grateful for the opportunity to get a second chance at life.”