Participants: Aaron Chancy (Host), Tresa Fletcher
Series Code: TNJ
Program Code: TNJ000066A
00:01 The following program discusses sensitive issues.
00:03 Parents are cautioned that some material
00:05 may be too candid for younger children.
00:08 Welcome to the New Journey,
00:10 where you'll meet real life people
00:11 with real life testimonies
00:13 and real life working ministries for Jesus.
00:15 I'm your host Aaron Chancy, come join us on a New Journey.
00:49 Welcome to the New Journey.
00:51 On today's program we have an exciting,
00:53 exciting story of a woman
00:55 who is involved with parole re-entry.
00:57 Her name is Miss Fletcher.
00:59 Miss Fletcher, we thank you for being on the program.
01:00 Thank you for having me.
01:02 Yes, ma'am, yes, ma'am.
01:03 Let's jump right into our questions.
01:05 Question one,
01:06 you work with the prison system as a PRL,
01:09 what exactly is a PRL and what does a PRL do?
01:13 Okay, PRL is a parole re-entry liaison.
01:16 And as a liaison I work in collaboration
01:19 with the judicial system for clients
01:22 that are going to be released from prison.
01:24 Okay. Making sure that I set up.
01:26 And take assessments for them so that I can see
01:29 what type of treatment referrals are necessary.
01:31 Okay, okay, so to get into this type of work as a PRL,
01:34 parole re-entry liaison,
01:36 what type of degree do you need to work in this field?
01:40 Well, what's needed is a background
01:42 in the criminal justice system,
01:44 they like for you to have a bachelor's degree,
01:47 and I have a master's but that's not required.
01:49 Okay, okay, great.
01:51 Now, you've been doing this for a number of years,
01:53 but what was the motivating factor
01:56 that led you to get into parole re-entry liaison work?
02:00 Okay. Well, actually it was God sent.
02:05 That goes back a little bit to my testimony
02:07 as to where God originated everything for me.
02:11 There was a time when I was down
02:13 for almost a period of one year.
02:15 I had major surgery where the doctor didn't know
02:18 if I would be able to walk again.
02:20 And during that time it was a time
02:22 where I did a lot of self reflecting,
02:23 a lot of prayer and reading my Bible,
02:26 reading other books in preparation
02:28 for what was to come.
02:31 Well, I went back to school
02:32 and it was from that point forward
02:34 that I continued to look to do work
02:36 in the criminal justice system
02:38 in which I ended up landing this job.
02:41 I didn't apply for the job, actually my director,
02:45 she sort me out on Indeed and she said when she met me,
02:49 she said, "I knew I was going to hire you
02:51 when I read your resume."
02:52 Okay. So was it was God ordained.
02:54 Okay, well, that's good news, good news.
02:56 So how many years have you been doing this type of work now?
02:59 Well, actually before I was a parole re-entry liaison,
03:02 I worked for the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
03:05 I did an internship there
03:07 and I was a clinical social worker
03:09 work with clients doing and take assessments there,
03:12 meeting with psychiatrists
03:14 and other social workers to find
03:17 what would be the best possible treatment
03:18 for the client.
03:20 Okay, okay. Great. Now, let me ask you a question.
03:23 Dealing with parole re-entry, you deal with a lot of people
03:26 who come out of prison,
03:28 who end up going back into prison.
03:31 Can you explain to us what is recidivism
03:34 and what have you seen that can help an individual
03:38 stay from going back into prison?
03:40 Okay, it's a relapse in criminal behavior.
03:45 Often times when parolees, they get out,
03:49 they're not complying with the recommendations
03:52 and when they not, they end up
03:54 violating their parole and going back to prison.
03:56 Okay, now, let me ask you,
03:58 you said that they're not complying
03:59 with some of the recommendations.
04:01 What is, what are some of the recommendations
04:04 that a parolee might have?
04:07 If they need treatment, if they have
04:09 extensive substance abuse history,
04:12 we require that they go
04:13 and get an intake assessment at a provider
04:16 and then comply with whatever the recommendation is
04:20 whether it's IOP or residential treatment,
04:22 outpatient treatment.
04:24 Okay, now, have you seen with this
04:27 that people really have to be determined enough
04:30 that they want it bad enough for themselves or is it that...
04:34 Or how much does environment play a part,
04:38 family play a part
04:39 where the person is going back to
04:41 when they get out of prison,
04:43 how do all of these things play into an individual
04:47 going in and out of prison throughout their lives?
04:49 It's significant. Okay.
04:51 One of the things I'm learning, and this is one of the...
04:53 What I did when I started this position,
04:56 I went around to different facilities,
04:58 introduced myself, try to build some relationships
05:01 so that I can assist these guys
05:03 when they get out in finding avenues
05:06 to be able to help them to be successful.
05:09 But one of the things that was very disheartening for me was
05:12 when I approached some of the pastors,
05:15 they all wanted to help initially
05:17 and then when it came down to it,
05:19 I really didn't get a lot of feedback
05:20 as to in what ways they could help.
05:23 And so the Metropolitan Seventh-day Adventist Church
05:26 in Evansville, they really helped out a lot.
05:29 They provided bus tokens for the guys
05:31 that couldn't get to from treatment.
05:33 And so that played a very significant role.
05:36 Let me ask you with a person
05:38 that is incarcerated getting ready to get out,
05:41 getting ready to make their parole,
05:42 they've done X amount of years, they have family members
05:46 who are waiting for them to come out,
05:49 mother, father, loved ones or whatever it may be.
05:51 What role can they play or what can they do to help
05:55 that individual adjust back to society
05:59 or to refrain from going back and being a repeat offender
06:02 and going, getting back incarcerated?
06:04 I think education is key. Okay.
06:07 A lot of times people don't know the resources
06:09 that are available out there, and because they don't know,
06:13 then they don't make good decisions
06:15 as far as helping the parolee,
06:18 you know, be able to get into treatment,
06:19 be able to seek mental health,
06:23 treatment and those types of things.
06:25 But once that information is given,
06:27 usually individuals they try to gravitate to the,
06:31 "What can I do to help myself," a lot of them will say,
06:35 "So that I won't go back in."
06:37 But then you have some, of course,
06:38 that really don't take the initiative to do that.
06:41 But I think if the families would help out making sure
06:44 that they hold them accountable
06:46 when they make decisions that are not favorable,
06:50 I think that would help a long way.
06:51 Okay, you know, I remember one time at a prison
06:54 and I was there, I was incarcerated in Texas
06:57 and there was this parole re-entry program,
06:59 it was called Project Rio and what's Project Rio
07:02 is basically reintegrating back into society.
07:05 And you had different guys who were in the prison
07:08 and, you know, I guess they didn't really
07:10 want to do anything.
07:11 They would just lay in the bunk all day,
07:13 but then you had individuals
07:14 who would get involved with Project Rio,
07:17 get involved with...
07:19 At that prison there was something called home habitat,
07:21 learning how to build homes, get their GED.
07:24 How important is it for an inmate
07:27 while they are incarcerated to get involved
07:30 with as many things they can as possible
07:32 so that things can be better for them
07:34 when they get out?
07:35 I think, it builds a foundation for them.
07:38 One of the things I'm gonna be doing
07:40 is going to the prisons and talking to the inmates
07:42 before they released, sharing with them the resources
07:46 that are available for them once they are released.
07:49 And then sharing how I can help as a liaison
07:52 to be able to help them transition back into society.
07:54 Okay, now, you mentioned some resources.
07:56 What are some of those community resources that
08:00 the family members can tap into,
08:01 the inmates before release, after release,
08:04 what are some of those things that they can tap into?
08:06 One of the things that just started
08:08 in the state of Indiana as recovery works
08:11 and it started in November.
08:13 And when a client gets out of prison,
08:15 they don't have insurance, they can get recovery works.
08:18 As long as they're resident of the state of Indiana,
08:21 age, 18 years of age
08:23 and also if they fall below the poverty line,
08:27 they qualify for the program.
08:29 I get it. Okay.
08:30 Now, let me ask you,
08:31 is it pretty much the same for different,
08:34 for each state in America or I'm sure that each state
08:38 had their little particulars or whatever.
08:40 But how does a family member, how does a inmate find out
08:44 about the different things that the prison may have
08:47 or that the resources that are out in the community
08:49 that can help them, how do they go about doing that
08:51 in whatever state they're in.
08:52 I think the best thing to do is get in touch
08:54 with the social worker that's inside the prison
08:57 and talk to them about what's outside.
08:59 I know for Indiana, we communicate
09:02 with the social worker inside quite often.
09:05 We get a list of offenders that's gonna be released
09:07 within six months and we try to set up
09:09 resources for them upon their release.
09:11 Okay, now, we hear a lot in society
09:13 about repeat offenders.
09:16 People getting out, stay out a day,
09:19 couple months, couple weeks whatever
09:20 and go right back to incarceration.
09:22 But talk about some success stories
09:24 that you have seen over the years of working
09:27 as a parole re-entry liaison
09:29 to give kind of people some encouragement
09:31 because not often do you hear of,
09:33 you know, people who get out
09:35 and they're just, you know, doing right the whole way.
09:37 So talk about some of those success stories
09:39 that you have seen over the past few years?
09:41 I'm gonna share one in particular
09:42 that really stuck with me.
09:44 There was a young lady, I call her Ann
09:46 just to protect her identity.
09:49 She got out, we met and she gave her story to me,
09:53 share with me the struggle
09:54 that she had with substance abuse.
09:56 She lost her husband, he died abruptly,
10:00 lost her children as a result of her substance abuse.
10:04 Her mom would not allow her to see her children
10:06 so she was very distraught.
10:08 But she was determined that she was going to be successful.
10:11 Yeah, okay.
10:12 And so what she did, she got into school
10:14 and she started working very hard,
10:16 she was working a part-time job,
10:18 going to school full time because she knew that
10:20 that's what she wanted, that's the new life
10:22 that she wanted for herself.
10:24 Well, one day she was on her way to school
10:26 and she was hit on her moped by a drunk driver.
10:30 And in the process she had to go to the hospital,
10:33 of course, her face had to be reconstructed.
10:37 She couldn't speak but she could write
10:39 and what she wrote was,
10:41 "I'm a former substance abuser,"
10:43 that's what she wrote for the doctor to know.
10:46 And so she was so determined
10:47 that she was not going to go back to that
10:49 that she wanted him to hold her accountable.
10:52 And when she came into the parole office,
10:54 she had to have a pill count, her pill count was accurate.
10:57 And I had seen her after her accident
11:01 and she said, "I'm going to do this,"
11:02 and she shared with me that her mother
11:05 is now in her life again, her children,
11:07 she's been reunified with them
11:10 and also she'll finish school next year.
11:12 So I feel that that's a very good success story.
11:16 And if she can do it anybody can do it I feel.
11:18 Definitely, you know, one of the key words
11:20 that you said in there with the young lady was
11:23 that she was determined.
11:25 And I know for myself, it took a lot of determination
11:29 because when you first get incarcerated you come out,
11:33 you have this record now,
11:35 sometimes it can be difficult trying to get a job
11:38 and it's almost like you're stuck in a circle
11:40 chasing your tail.
11:41 For me, I first got incarcerated as a juvenile,
11:44 I went through juvenile system
11:46 then I went to jail charged as an adult,
11:48 went to prison at 19 years old.
11:50 I get out and all you see
11:53 is a bunch of stuff on my record.
11:54 I didn't finish high school,
11:55 I only finished the tenth grade, got a GED.
11:57 And so many individuals that I have met
12:00 even while I was out there, it's almost like
12:02 we're just running in this circle
12:04 and we can't get out.
12:05 And it really takes a lot of determination
12:08 for individual to state and say, "You know what?
12:12 I want to do better.
12:13 Despite my circumstances I want to do better."
12:17 What have you seen
12:18 when it comes to these different individuals,
12:20 the success stories versus the not so successful stories
12:24 has been that key factor that has made the difference?
12:27 Certainly, some people we know
12:29 that are in a different place mentally.
12:31 Yeah, definitely.
12:32 And we realize that everyone
12:33 is not going to take the same steps,
12:36 they need to be spoon fed if you will.
12:39 Having someone to say, "I'm going to help you
12:42 through the process," because I have guys,
12:45 they get out and they just, they don't know what to do.
12:48 It's like, "Well, I want to do this
12:52 but I don't know what steps to take to do it."
12:55 And it's very hard where you have society
12:57 that's beating you down that's saying,
12:59 "Well, you know, you served your time
13:01 but even though you've been released
13:02 you're gonna continue to serve your time
13:04 because it's never enough."
13:06 So when you have individuals like that,
13:09 I think the best thing to do
13:10 is try to connect them with good resources.
13:14 And I'm a strong believer in having
13:17 that spiritual component for anybody.
13:21 The success stories that I've seen,
13:23 most people are connected from a spiritual standpoint,
13:27 they allow Christ to lead in their lives.
13:30 And once they have that,
13:31 I think the churches needs to get more involved
13:33 and, you know, what they can do to help,
13:37 find out what they can do,
13:38 if they need to do community work,
13:40 allow them to do community work at the church,
13:43 whatever is needed to be able to meet the requirements
13:46 that the court puts on their stipulations,
13:50 I think that will help them a long way.
13:52 Okay, yeah, definitely.
13:53 I definitely believe that that will help.
13:55 Now let's talk about the accountability if a parole,
13:58 parolee is not in accordance with the recommendations
14:02 that have been placed upon him by the parole officer,
14:05 by the state, what happens with that?
14:08 Well, when I make recommendations for treatment,
14:11 I have the clients to fill out a release of information form.
14:16 And once they fill out that release of information form,
14:19 I can contact the treatment provider to see
14:21 if they've been in compliance with what's been recommended.
14:24 If they haven't been in compliance,
14:26 at that time is when I speak with the parole officer
14:29 and I say we need to do something,
14:31 you know, we need to have another intervention
14:33 because this client is not being compliant
14:36 with what's been recommended.
14:38 And so if we can stop it early on,
14:40 then we can find out what are the barriers
14:42 that are preventing you from moving forward.
14:45 And once we identify those barriers,
14:47 then we can reduce, sometimes that,
14:49 you know, they don't tell us, "I can't get to my treatment,"
14:52 you know, "Well, let's see what we can do to help you,"
14:55 you know, and so we just make sure
14:58 that we in constant communication
15:00 with the treatment provider to make sure
15:01 they're doing what's expected.
15:03 Great, great. Let me ask you a question.
15:04 What is the difference between a parole officer
15:07 and a parole liaison?
15:08 What is the difference between those two?
15:10 Well, I'm a parole re-entry liaison
15:13 and I'm the go between person, kind of, we partner
15:17 with the Department of Corrections
15:19 just to make sure that we can meet the client's needs.
15:24 So a parole officer, what they do,
15:26 they more punitive.
15:28 I would say, I'm more therapeutic
15:31 in terms of trying to find the best possible solution
15:35 for a client to be successful.
15:36 Okay, okay.
15:38 So it seems like as a parole liaison,
15:41 your job is more so to actually help the individual?
15:43 Yes. Okay.
15:45 So for a person that is incarcerated
15:47 or the family member of the one incarcerated,
15:50 how do they connect with a parole liaison,
15:52 because while I was incarcerated,
15:55 I had never heard of a parole liaison.
15:57 I knew what parole officer was, probation officer,
16:00 but I never heard of a parole liaison.
16:02 So how can a inmate's family member
16:06 get in contact with a parole liaison
16:09 so that that individual can step in between
16:11 and be that go-between person for him?
16:13 Again, communication is key.
16:15 I think it's important for the family members
16:18 to reach out to see what services are available.
16:21 And for me I can only speak for the district that I'm over.
16:24 I try to make sure that the family members know that
16:29 I'm there to help in any way possible,
16:32 making sure that the people inside the prison,
16:35 the staff know that we are available
16:38 for whatever needs that needs to be met.
16:41 I correspond a lot with family members
16:43 and past events and that's helped a lot
16:46 as we try to transition them out of prison.
16:50 What are some of the steps as the PRL
16:52 that can be taken to make the proper referrals?
16:56 Well, for one is to make sure
16:58 you do a pretty good assessment.
17:00 And that's just... Assessment on the inmate?
17:02 On the client, yes. Okay. Okay.
17:04 Inmate, yes.
17:05 Just gathering information about substance history
17:10 where they compliant, did they go to their treatment,
17:13 were they, did they complete successfully,
17:16 did they graduate from a therapeutic community,
17:18 is there any mental health history,
17:20 medical problems.
17:22 And I think once we gather that type of information,
17:25 then we can make the referrals as needed.
17:27 Okay, okay.
17:29 What if a parolee gets out, no job, can't afford it,
17:33 what can a parole liaison at that point do
17:36 if this individual has no job, family member no income,
17:40 what can they do for the parole liaison to step in?
17:43 Well, what I do is I gather again, information,
17:48 and then I make, complete the documentation
17:51 for the client to be able to get into recovery works.
17:54 A lot of clients now that's getting out of DLC
17:57 are signed up for HIP, that's Indiana Plan...
18:01 Healthy Indiana Plan for insurance.
18:04 And if they don't have the insurance,
18:06 then they can get into recovery works
18:08 but of course, we utilize the insurance first
18:11 before making the referral for recovery works.
18:13 Okay, okay.
18:14 While the inmate is incarcerated,
18:17 what do you feel are some key things
18:19 that inmate needs to do while he is incarcerated,
18:22 he, she to prepare themselves to get ready,
18:26 to get ready to be released?
18:27 For instance, when I was in prison I went for,
18:30 went before the parole board and in Texas at that time
18:34 I don't know what they do right now
18:35 but they gave me something called the FI-2
18:38 and the FI-2 meant that I was going to be released
18:41 within about a three month period.
18:43 So within that three months,
18:44 I was going to get out at some point.
18:46 And so there were different things
18:48 that I could get involved in while I was,
18:50 while I was in prison
18:51 or before I went before the parole board,
18:54 after I saw the parole board.
18:58 What can individuals do to prepare for that?
19:01 So like me, I got the FI-2, I know I'm about to get out.
19:05 What can I do to really prepare myself,
19:08 okay because you have an individual
19:09 who's been locked up, 10, 15, 20 years,
19:12 now I'm about to go and get out,
19:14 I'm about to step out into the society
19:16 that is totally different, totally different,
19:19 20 years later so many things have changed.
19:22 What can this individual do while he is inside
19:25 he or she to really prepare themselves
19:27 to step outside of those gates?
19:30 I think what's important again,
19:32 the social workers role is so important,
19:35 identifying the client's needs,
19:39 making sure that she's aware of those needs.
19:43 Once the client's needs are met,
19:46 I think that assist them in going a long way
19:48 once they are released from prison.
19:51 A lot of times guys, and you know this,
19:54 they do different programs to get a time cut...
19:56 Yeah, oh, yeah.
19:57 But is their mind really at that stage of change to say,
20:01 "You know, I really want to make a difference.
20:03 I really want my life to change or am I just doing this
20:06 to appease the judicial system."
20:09 So I think it's really important,
20:12 the social work role is so important
20:14 in the criminal justice system and see where the client is
20:18 in terms of their stage of change.
20:19 Yeah, you know, that's very important
20:21 and you said that I would know this.
20:23 And, you know, one of the times that I got locked up,
20:26 it was an older guy who told me,
20:28 he said, "Look, the way to get out is...
20:31 When you get incarcerated, sign up for every program
20:33 that they have so that when you come
20:35 before the parole board, they look at these things
20:38 and say, "Oh, he's the individual
20:39 that's trying to do something."
20:41 And so for me I didn't have the mindset
20:43 of I was going to change,
20:45 but I knew if I sign up for Project Rio,
20:46 if I sign up for Home Habitat, I already have my GED
20:49 but I signed up for the GED program anyhow.
20:52 So if I signed up for all of these things it will look,
20:54 it have that appearance like I'm trying to do something.
20:57 And so I'm sure people play the system so often.
21:01 But I think one of the key things
21:02 is that a person has to be determined that,
21:06 "Look, aside from all of this,
21:08 aside from me trying to play the system,
21:10 I have to be determined enough to want to do right."
21:13 And I think that's where a lot of it starts up,
21:15 starts at is your desire to want to change.
21:19 I know for me, I had to get back in school,
21:22 like I said, I only finished the tenth grade, got my GED.
21:26 While I was incarcerated, I was 17 years old.
21:29 You touched on how important education
21:31 was earlier in the program.
21:34 Speak a little bit more about how impactful,
21:36 how important it is to get an education
21:39 and to be able to get further in society.
21:42 And the reason I'm asking that is because in most prisons
21:45 people can get a trade,
21:47 you can come up with some kind of trade.
21:49 But even sometimes it's hard to get employed
21:51 even with that trade. Yes.
21:54 But with education
21:56 it opens up a career and not just a job.
21:59 So talk about how much important it is
22:01 to actually get an education, a college degree
22:04 and even go on to pass the bachelor's,
22:06 even a master's degree.
22:08 I had a gentleman that
22:10 when I was at Washtenaw County was assigned to me.
22:13 And this young man,
22:15 he will get write up every single day
22:18 for whatever reason.
22:20 So I brought him in
22:21 and I just listened to his story.
22:23 And once I listened to his story,
22:26 I tried to assist him with getting involved with
22:29 because he would use a lot of profanity
22:31 and I said, "Well, how would you like
22:33 to change those words
22:35 and make them something more positive?"
22:37 And so what I did was, I got him connected with
22:41 someone to teach him reading
22:44 and once he started to improve in that area,
22:47 he wanted more and more for himself.
22:49 He was able to see that, "I do this," you know.
22:52 And so, but that's not how I started with him.
22:55 Like I said I listened to his story
22:57 but I found, I said,
22:59 "Why are you getting all these write ups?"
23:01 I asked the question and he said,
23:03 "You know, I get so angry
23:05 and this is how I express myself."
23:07 So I said, "Why don't you write about how you feel."
23:11 So I got him a journal and he started writing
23:13 because when I first met with him,
23:15 you know, he used a lot of choice words
23:17 and he realized that this is not something
23:20 that he should do when around me.
23:23 And so when he came to share his journal with me,
23:27 he said, "Well, Miss Fletcher, I can't use those words
23:30 because I know these are words that you don't like."
23:32 And so as he started writing,
23:35 he started wanting to learn more
23:38 and it eventually decrease the amount of write ups
23:43 that he was getting. Oh, wow. Okay.
23:44 He went from write ups every day
23:47 till we got to the point where one month,
23:49 no write ups at all. Okay, okay.
23:51 And so I think it's important to,
23:53 I know you ask about education piece
23:55 but to fine a person's learning style
23:59 and for him he liked to rap, you know,
24:03 and so he started rapping in his journal.
24:05 He will rap something in his head
24:07 and write it on his journal to the best of his ability.
24:10 But that opened up more doors,
24:12 you know, and he was able to learn more
24:16 and started working on a GED,
24:18 you know, so that was this one step
24:20 and then the next step.
24:21 And so I think it's important to learn people's writing...
24:23 I mean, not writing styles, learning styles,
24:26 learn what can help them, listen to their story
24:31 because if we listen to people's story,
24:32 we can learn a lot about them and then we can,
24:35 if we can make provision for change.
24:39 A person, he or she lives in this bad area,
24:43 whatever state it is, lives in this bad area,
24:45 gets incarcerated, comes from a area
24:47 which drug infested, crime all over,
24:49 gets incarcerated, does a number of years,
24:51 comes out, goes right back to that situation.
24:55 What can that person do in that type of situation
24:58 to really break that whole cycle
25:00 because he's got a record, he or she has that record,
25:03 everything around him is negative
25:05 that's where the person lives.
25:07 What can this individual, what is something simple
25:09 that this individual can do to break that cycle
25:11 because it's very hard to just, "You know what,
25:13 I'm gonna sit in my house all day,
25:15 I'm not going to talk to anybody,"
25:16 eventually you're gonna get tired of that
25:17 and be right back into I think.
25:19 So what can a person do that is in that situation?
25:22 I think it's important to go to meetings.
25:24 Especially most of, I'm gonna say
25:26 a large percentage of people that are incarcerated
25:29 has some type of substance abuse issue.
25:32 And if you can get involved in meetings,
25:35 you know, have a sponsor,
25:37 someone that you can kind of escape
25:40 from your circumstance.
25:41 Someone that you can talk to that can relate to you,
25:44 I think that's very crucial.
25:47 Of course, a lot of times they surround it with,
25:49 you know, bad areas where they live
25:51 but if you go to meetings,
25:52 I try to tap into if my guys are spiritual,
25:56 get them involved in church.
25:58 Okay. Be a mentor.
26:01 Talk to other young people.
26:02 I strongly encourage that, talk to other young people
26:05 about your life so that they can
26:07 possibly take a different path.
26:09 Okay, okay, great.
26:11 Let me ask you this last question.
26:13 What led you to decide to be a parole liaison versus
26:16 actually working directly in the prison system?
26:19 Well, again, I believe it was chosen for me.
26:26 I pray about everything
26:27 and I ask God to lead in my life,
26:30 "Lord, what do you want me..."
26:31 Prior to this job, I had resigned
26:34 from another position
26:35 and before I had anything lined up
26:38 because I knew that that door was closing for me.
26:41 But when God opened this door for me,
26:44 He let me see that
26:45 when I share with you guys about my testimony,
26:48 when I was down for almost a year
26:50 because of my knee injury.
26:52 During that time it was, it was very instrumental
26:55 in learning the path that God has for me.
26:58 And I needed help,
27:00 I needed assistance from people.
27:02 It was a very dark time in my life
27:05 and I believe it was just to prepare me
27:08 for people like those that have been incarcerated,
27:11 those that are in the criminal justice system
27:14 to say, "Hey, I've been through this,
27:16 God brought me through this.
27:17 He can bring you through it as well."
27:19 And the reason why I chose to be outside the system
27:22 as opposed to trying to pursue something inside the system
27:26 was because I want to be that advocate,
27:28 I want to be that voice to go out to the community
27:30 to be able to help people to bridge the gap.
27:33 Definitely, definitely.
27:34 Well, you know, it's a great work
27:35 that you're doing, like I said I had never heard
27:37 of a parole liaison individual while I was incarcerated.
27:41 I know of a probation officer, I know of a parole officer
27:44 but never a parole liaison.
27:46 And I'm just thankful for the work that you do
27:48 because it almost seems like
27:49 you're a motherly figure to a lot of these individuals.
27:53 But honestly that's what a lot of them need.
27:55 A lot of people need that motherly figure
27:58 to steer them in the right direction.
28:00 So we definitely want to thank you for the work
28:02 that you're doing, the work that you will continue to do
28:05 in working with these inmates and as you say clients
28:09 and guiding them in the right direction.
28:10 So thank you, Miss Fletcher, for being on the program.
28:12 Thank you.
28:13 Thank you for tuning into the New Journey.
28:16 Look for you to come back once again
28:17 on another exciting program of the New Journey.
28:20 Take care and God bless.