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'It’s hard to get used to': Ex-felons putting incarceration behind them

U.S. Capitol
Posted at 4:22 PM, Oct 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-12 19:20:02-04

BALTIMORE — Facing 22 years behind bars, Christopher Sanders claims he’s innocent.

He copped a plea to rape and served two and a half years.

Now comes the hard part.

“Starting over again is always hard and difficult, especially changes,” said Sanders, “So when you try to change your ways and your actions and thinking, it’s kind of new, so it’s hard to get used to, but you have to fight through it if you want to change.”

That change is not easy when finding housing. Work, healthcare and food are all difficult as well.

“A guy who is coming home after doing ‘x’ amount of years, you want to be on your own,” said Harry Locks, who also recently gained his release, “You want to feel that source of independence.”

The one-stop re-entry resource fair in Baltimore’s War Memorial Building provided returning citizens and justice-involved persons with a chance to fill some of those needs.

Depending upon which numbers you look at, at least one in four people that have been incarcerated will end up back behind bars.

By providing them with resources, the goal is to help them get back on their feet and overcome any stigma tied to their time behind bars.

“A lot of people think that a person that has been justice-involved has a certain type of look or attitude or demeanor, but that could be any person walking up and down the street,” said Tholyn Twyman, a re-entry specialist with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore.

A person committed to succeeding in their second chance at life.

“It can change for the better so anyone can do it,” said Sanders.