Hold on to Hope

A story of resilience and hope despite a troubled past and lengthy prison sentence.

Jeremy M., a product of a broken family in Pennsylvania, grew up without guidance or long-term plans. He embraced a life of spontaneity, living only for the present moment. At the age of 19, Jeremy developed an online friendship with a girl from South Dakota who convinced him to make the life-altering decision of relocating there.

However, his hopes of finding a better life in South Dakota were shattered when he was convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to a lengthy prison term. Currently, he has served 22 years of his sentence and is eligible for parole in May 2024.

Although Jeremy is not yet enrolled in a reentry program, he felt compelled to share his story through GEO Reentry Connect in the hopes of helping others. Despite the negative environment in prison, he has managed to endure it by setting small daily goals. Whether it is making a phone call home, receiving a visit, completing programming, purchasing an item from the commissary, or even watching a TV show, Jeremy finds solace in achieving these attainable objectives.

Cautiously, Jeremy warns others about the danger of being consumed by the present moment and losing sight of the future. He implores individuals both within and outside the criminal justice system to hold on to hope. In Jeremy’s perspective, the most effective way to maintain hope is by investing in small, daily incentives.

When asked what advice he would give his 19-year-old self, Jeremy responded promptly, “I would tell myself to plan ahead and not solely live for the present.” He emphasizes the importance of preparing for the future because if one relinquishes control over their destiny, someone else will gladly take charge with less benevolent intentions.

Jeremy has dedicated himself to self-improvement during his incarceration. He has completed construction tech classes, attended substance use programs, and successfully addressed his past behavior through sex offender treatment.

As his parole date approaches, Jeremy’s priorities include obtaining copies of his birth certificates and securing a valid ID. His mother, who has been unable to see him for over two decades due to financial constraints and distance, hopes to connect him with the GEO Reentry Connect mentorship program upon his release. It is her desire that he finally receive the guidance and support he lacked in his early years.

Published On: April 25th, 2024|Categories: Second Chance Stories|

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