Trying to start life afresh after being in jail can be quite challenging. There might be instances when you feel demotivated. At such times, it is the inspirational stories of ex-felons, who managed to turn their life around, that would make sure that you do not lose hope.
Thus, we are going to provide you with a brief insight into the lives of those ex-felons who did not let their criminal past shadow their future and made sure that they leave the darkness behind. This will teach you to have faith in yourself.
1. Kevin Mitnick
There was a time when Kevin was on the FBI’s List of Most Wanted Criminals. Once a computer hacker, he went on to launch his own security firm. Kevin had a flair for running an enterprise ever since he was young but as he grew up, he ended up taking the wrong path.
When he was 16 years old, he hacked into the Digital Equipment Corporation’s computer and absconded with its software’s reports. He was arrested in 1995 following which he was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment.
After serving time, he launched his company, Mitnick Security that serves to assist the companies in finding the lapses in security present in their computer systems.
2. Frank William Abagnale
Resorting to the life of crime as a teen, Frank wrote as many as $2.5 million in fraudulent checks. This is not the end of his crime list. He also posed as a college professor, attorney, pilot, and physician successfully in different instances.
He was thus sentenced to five years of imprisonment in a French prison. He was subsequently released on the condition that he would provide advice to the US government on fraud-related cases.
He now owns a fraud consulting company that provides assistance to corporations and law enforcement agencies on matters related to security and fraud. A movie was made on his life, titled Catch Me If You Can starring Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio. It was directed by Steven Spielberg.
3. Kweisi Mfume
Despite spending time in jail, Kweisi enjoys a successful career as a Congressman. He has also served as a president of the NAACP.
He was a high school dropout who managed to give his life a fresh start by enrolling in a college and attaining a graduation degree from John Hopkins University.
4. Junior Johnson
Once an alcoholic smuggler, Johnson has managed to rise above his felony history to become a NASCAR driver. It was his fast driving skills that enabled him to transport illegal liquor and thus he made use of his skills in the NASCAR circuit.
He has managed to win 50 out of 313 NASCAR races that he participated in while finishing among top 10 in the rest.
5. Judge Greg Mathis
Not many are aware that the popular TV judge was once a gang member who has served time in prison for his criminal association.
He was a teen when he joined a gang based in Detroit. It was after his mother was diagnosed with cancer that he decided to make sure that his life makes a transition. He received his GED and then attended the Eastern Michigan University for studying law.
6. Larry Jay Levine
Larry was sentenced to serve 10 years in federal prison for the felonies ranging from security frauds to narcotics and obstruction of justice. Possession of weapons was also among his crimes.
After being released from jail, Larry decided to give up on his life of crime. He instead decided to make use of his experiences to become a prison consultant and provide legal services to felons and attorneys.
7. Michael Vick
The quarterback star served 18 months in prison. The charge against him was to operate a dog-fighting ring for which he was charged in 2007 when he played for the Atlanta Falcons.
After pleading guilty, he was sentenced to prison. However, this did not deter him. After being released from prison, he played with Philadelphia Eagles.
He also endeavored to make his story more well-known for which he was involved in making a documentary on his life after prison, titled “The Michael Vick Project.”
8. Danny Trejo
Now an actor, Danny has served time in prison for drugs and robbery. After serving his time and deciding that this was not the kind of life he wanted, he went on to pursue a career in acting.
To date, he has starred in around 200 movies where he has mostly played the role of a tough guy. According to him, there is no penitentiary in California where he has not served time.
9. Stephen Richard
He is another felon who has managed to make sure that prison imprisonment does not come in his way of getting a better life. Once a felon, he went on to become a professor of criminal justice. He has served nine years in prison for selling drugs.
Stephen received his bachelor’s degree when he was in prison and then graduated from the University of Wisconsin. He went on to do his Ph.D. from Iowa State University. The professor has also written several books on criminology.
10. Charles Colson
Charles served a year in prison owing to his involvement in Watergate. He later founded the Prison Fellowship that is the world’s biggest organization for prisoners now.
Thus, it is apparent that if you truly want to bring about a change in your life, the prison time would not come in the way. There would be difficulties that you will have to encounter. However, if you are determined, nothing will be able to stop you.
These stories tell you that it is possible to turn your life around once you put your mind to it. Therefore, do not let your past come in the way of your future. Endeavor to make the most of the second chance that has been given to you to make a life filled with dignity.
Whenever you feel hope abandoning you, it is the stories of these ex-felons which would manage to light the flame of hope in you again.