An estimated 1 million people in North Carolina have criminal convictions. The vast majority of these individuals are genuinely dedicated to living as responsible citizens, contributing to their communities, and providing for their families.
However, these people suffer from the collateral consequence of their criminal convictions. They are excluded from many of the privileges, opportunities, and resources essential to productive citizenship.
These are the faces of those who would benefit from reforms that reduce barriers to reentry—
A mother trying to provide for her children
A parishioner leading a new life and persuading others to do the same
A veteran who has struggled with PTSD and wants to rebuild his life
A young man ready to make the most out of the rest of his life
Share Your Story
On this page are several of the faces of reentry. Please share your own reentry story and become a face of reentry by using this audio recorder. We will provide these faces and their stories to legislators to demonstrate the genuine need for reforms in the law that provide better reentry opportunities.
Please put your name in the Message box!
If you don't have a microphone on your computer or simply would rather type your reentry story, go here.
Faces of Reentry Stories
My name is Janay Baldwin and I am a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina’s School of Social Work. I chose the field of social work because I have experienced first hand the struggle that life may bring after one has been convicted of a criminal offense. As a social worker, I have the ability to touch the lives of thousands of people by sharing my story and maybe assisting others as they began to create their own.
My story is as follows: In December of 2006, I was employed at Lowe’s Home Improvement. I was 17-years old at the time that I discovered a Lowe’s credit card in a shopping cart. Instead of doing the right thing, I foolishly used the card a few days later to purchase a few house hold items. In February of 2007, I was charged with a Felony Larceny by Employee. I went to court for an entire year. By the time I had turned 19, my mistake had taken a permanent place in my life. On January 9, 2008, I was convicted of a Misdemeanor Larceny with a Prayer for Judgment.
This charge alone, was the reason I would get hired by various excellent employers, but then denied a start date due to my criminal background. As a single mother of one, I was caught in the struggle of life. I worked dead end jobs to make ends meet. I was committed to turning my life around by getting involved in church, volunteering in the community, and going back to school to pursue a higher education. Still, it seemed as though my efforts to right my wrong went unnoticed.
Now as a social worker, I use this story to relate to other troubled youth so that they may see that anyone can learn from their mistakes and live a better life than that which includes trouble. I am now a mature, grown individual with great integrity and wisdom. I am in pursuit of a Master’s in Social Work to continue to learn, make a difference, and give back. I am confident that those who truly desire to change their lives can do the same with support from the community and a second chance in society.
Bobby’s story told through the lens of Duke Divinity School student Thomas Hargis and Duke University student Phil Watson
Lynn Burke - mother of four, attorney
Thomas E. Hockaday - suffering collateral consequences despite having a clean record for the past 20 years
Daryl Atkinson - an attorney who was formerly incarcerated