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Paroled: First Day Outside of Prison

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What really happens to a paroled inmate on his first day outside of prison. In the typical prison movie or television show, a car is waiting outside the prison entrance for the paroled inmate filled with his friends. If not friends, you will see a woman waiting anxiously for her man. The truth is a far cry from the actual harsh reality facing an inmate after many years of imprisonment.

Many times, there is no one waiting for the paroled inmate outside the prison walls. Often the inmate is released with little help from the Department of Corrections and the state’s parole agency. Colorado Public Radio has reported on one such case. After being incarcerated for almost thirty years, Kevin Monteiro was released on June 14th in Colorado. He was convicted of 2nd degree murder involving a drug deal.

A prison van transported him to a Greyhound bus stop in Denver. He had $100 and a box of his books to start his life over again. He was 56 years old. After 30 years, their were no friends or family for him. Christie Donner, the head of the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, says it’s a typical story, of being released with $100, and no preparation for a job, shelter, transportation, food, and clothing. For inmates who have served decades, they are facing an unknown modern world.

Monteiro was required to meet his parole officer on the first day of his release. The agency was 10 miles from the bus station. Montiero benefited from a random act of kindness. He met an elderly couple and asked if he could use their phone to call his parole agent. The couple even drove him to the parole office. They waited while Montiero requested from his agent, the voucher for a short stay at a motel. He was promised a voucher from prison officials. First, the agent indicated there was no voucher, but after he cried,” I’m not going to leave here to fail. You can just go and cuff me back up and I’ll go back now… it’s been 30 years. All I’m asking you is to help me.” Someone else in the office arranged for a temporary stay at a motel.

The kind couple bought Montiero some clothes, dinner, and drove him to the motel after giving him their cell number. This was his first day and he was extremely fortunate to ask the one couple out of ten thousand couples who would actually give this parolee help. The state of Colorado certainly did not provide Kevin Montiero the basic tools of surviving in the outside world for even one day. There are thousands of stories like Montiero happening every day in the United States.

By: Bradley Schwartz
Founder of prisonpath.com

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4 Responses to Paroled: First Day Outside of Prison

  1. PrisonPath March 23, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

    im sure its not easy…our prison system has some faults but ultimately they do a very good job….violent defenders need to get help too…not WANT them on my streets..but some..most people I believe are a product of their environment…yes we ALL have a choice….but sometimes someone doesn’t. ..shouldn’t we b more aware of this…??? Try and help them….i see so many horrible things everday….but everyone is different. ..thats why we have our great judicial system in the world! We have a GREAT unique system…to all the military, police, firefighters., homeland security, border patrol….sorry if im leaving anyone out….I think we all get the greater picture. ..God bless all that protect this GREAT country we live in…wow! Too much..lol….just gotta away from me…we can go round n round….just keep open minds!…thank you again to everyone that protects our country!
    By Penelope

  2. PrisonPath March 23, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

    It is important to keep in mind that more than 50% of inmates were imprisoned for nonviolent charges.
    By Brad
    Founder of prisonpath.com

  3. PrisonPath March 23, 2015 at 5:14 pm #

    Our prison system is broken. The United States has only 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of the world’s inmates. Our prison system has inadequate rehabilitation and re-entry programs are poor in many local communities. If we had effective rehabilitation and re-entry, then the United States would have a low recidivism rate.
    Brad
    Founder of prisonpath.com

  4. bridgette April 9, 2015 at 3:56 pm #

    Prison is a demoralizing, dehumanizing experience perhaps best suited for those that commit truly heinous crimes For the non-violent offenders, usually drug addicts, prison makes all the bad things in life 1000 times worse. There is ZERO rehabilitation in prison, ZERO counseling – especially for the short timer (to be released in under 48 months). It is my opinion that intervention with the short timers makes the most sense when it comes to stopping the revolving door of the justice system. Instead people are released to the same bs they were in before serving their sentence except now with a felony they are both unemployable and turned away as tenants leaving them desperate. What do desperate people do? Anything they can to survive! I also believe that there needs to be a system in place to assist person’s with one felony or maybe even 2 felonies to seal their records and get their rights back. As it is now prison ruins – RUINS- peoples lives! We all only get one trip here on earth why RUIN someone’s life???? How does that help the individual or society as a whole? It doesn’t!

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