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Hello, I was interested in doing this for the purpose of showing that lives can change after being convicted of a crime(s). I started my trips to jail in 2005 resulting from a drug addiction. Once the jail sentencing began it was hard to stop. I was addicted to a substance that I could not control. Probation was impossible for me to comply with due to not having a solution to help me stop using. I ended up getting arrested for stealing to support my habit and eventually received time for the substance abuse. The last time they had given me a choice to go to jail or take a prison sentence. I heard that Parole had better programs that would help me in my situation so I chose Prison. I was in prison for about 8 months and was released to a DTF program. I was able to acquire some info. on Programs that would help me find the reason why I could not stop. I enrolled in the behavioral modification program voluntarily and started my journey of recovery. I stayed for 11 months and acquired a sponsor in a well known 12-step program. I continued to do my steps through the 12-step program as I graduated to a sober living home where I also discharged parole. While going through the steps and helping others like myself, I change with in, sufficiently enough to bring about recovery. I no longer have the emotional pain with in myself, having to pick up and use to feel better. This process does not end here though. It will take strenuous work, rigorous honesty and most importantly it will take dedication to those who our still suffering from this disease of addiction. Since I have improved myself from the inside out I have obtained a job that I have worked at for 2 years. My family is back in my life. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband and I am proud to say I am a part of the positive side of society today. This is my story up to this point. I believe that 7 years for some is too long. This law should be enforced upon a case to case bases. Not everyone that has been convicted of a felony will be a repeat offender. Thank you for listening to my story.

User story by J. Smith in California

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