DISPATCHOutside The Wire, part 3
Lance Manning | November 2009
Only a week after graduation, Craig was on the outside. But his first day was full of logistical problems and negativity. A trip to the wrong transitional house made everything more difficult than he'd planned. Temptation from his old life returned, and his new life commitments were in jeopardy. The PEP re-entry staff quickly intervened and got him to a safer environment.
With PEP's ten driving values as the foundation of their new lives, the harsh realities of life outside the razor wire of the prison unit are more manageable than before. At graduation, Craig won both the Servant Leader and Execution awards. This capped-off a day which has become his most favorite memory of being in the program.
Prior to the tassel-turning ceremony, he pitched his business plan to a crowd of 100 peers and executives and received a standing ovation. Instead of the praise he felt as a finalist in the competition, Craig points to his greatest PEP success as learning to be trusting of others.
He now recognizes that prison life causes one to be on guard, but PEP helped tear down those walls. This realization helps him know that people really do care and the exposure to love helps him love and accept himself to a greater degree. He calls this process “finding connectedness.”
Stories like this one about Craig are just a glimpse of what PEP participants and graduates are experiencing every day. The commonalities help to reveal PEP's tremendous power for good. Skills for success and self-reliance are built on a foundation of changed hearts. The burdens of past crimes, darkness, and sorrows are cast off. Trust, empathy, and love connect them to a new brotherhood, already strong in reputation for positive societal impact.