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Rebroadcast: Ex-Convicts

What’s life like after prison?

As it did for the “As We Our” series as a whole, our show with ex-convicts kicks off “As We Are” week.

We caught up recently with some of the guests to find out what’s happened since the show first aired.

John, who went to prison for sexually abusing a minor, is still working with an organization that aims to help men fight sex addiction. (While he was already working for them when he joined us, the job didn’t come up in the course of the hour.) But he was quick to point that not everyone is so lucky. “If people hear someone with a prison background ended up with a good job they could think that those who don’t get good jobs are just lazy,” he said. “The reality is, I am an extremely rare case in that I not only found work, but work that I can use my skills in.”

John’s spending every holiday minute he can with his family, trying to make up for four years in prison. “I missed them for four years, and now I try to be away as little as possible.”

Charles, who served time for manslughter and drug charges, had only been out of prison for eight weeks when he joined us for the show. Since then, he’s tried with little success to find a job. He’s had one “real job with a pay stub,” a part time job at a gas station, but that didn’t stick. The rest of his work has been temporary and under-the-table: housepainting, moving and a posible new job hauling garbage.

Charles hopes to take business administration classes through Heald College starting in January, but there’s a bit of paperwork standing in the way of financial aid: he was in prison when he turned 18, and never registered for selective service. It’s a small hurdle, he says, but he still has to jump through it.

Personally, he says, life with his family is fine and he hasn’t run into any bad situations with folks he used to know as a gang member and drug dealer. “I’ve seen a few people,” he told us, “but it wasn’t bad.”

You can find out more about this show — and read the original comment thread — here.

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