Helping break the ‘Jailhouse mentality’

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Former death row inmate John Thompson left a Louisiana prison in 2003. Many people consider him to be lucky. John Thompson was supported by family and numerous lawyers who had worked for more than a decade to prove his innocence in the 1984 shooting death of a hotel executive from a prominent New Orleans family. Eventually he was released and proven innocent and within six months of his release, he was married and holding down a steady job.

By 2005, he had a brand new house, a car and a dog which he payed for. John Thompson and his wife obtained their money by running their own sandwich shop in a busy hotel in downtown New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina soon came to hit New Orleans and wiped out his home, his business and the life he had been struggling to build after almost two decades locked up. Mr. Thompson looked around after the hurricane had taken everything from him and realized he was not alone in his struggle to ease back into society. He constantly wondered where the resources were for people like him who didn’t know how to use email, find a doctor or apply for a driver’s license and social security card to apply for jobs.

Thompson aimed to find answers but soon found out there was not much to be found. Months later Mr. Thompson started the Resurrection After Exoneration program, which is an education and outreach program that helps exonerated and formerly incarcerated inmates rebuild their lives. The program also helps reconnect ex-convicts with family or friends who can provide a support system then the ex-convicts start job training by learning computer skills and building resumes. They also go through a long mental health checklist to ensure that the ex-inmate possesses the self-awareness to deal with lingering effects of prison. If needed, counseling referrals are provided.  YOU can read more about this article HERE

I personally think that the things Mr. Thompson has done are extraordinary and really has made a difference not in a state level but a national level.

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