Tonight, one Bibb County leader is encouraging criminals who have served their time, to take back their lives.
Pastor and Bibb County Commissioner, Lonzy Edwards, held a workshop aimed at ex-convicts who are ready to cash in on the pursuit of happiness and restore their civil rights. Edwards says it starts with expunging criminal records and getting back out in the workforce. "What good does it do if they fight the battle to become literate, to get their GED's, to get into these technical programs, only to find when they get out, doors are slammed in their faces because of mistakes they made 5, 10, 15 years before," says Edwards.
The dilemma is a reality for some. Oznerol Brookins is still paying for what he calls a juvenile mistake. At age 18, he was charged with theft by taking a motor vehicle. He served 14 months in a detention center. He's now 26 years old. "I can't get no job, that's my struggle," says Brookins.
Edwards is urging that employers take a closer look at the people who already paid the price for their actions. "Sometimes they'll find that some of these young people have good possibility, they have good work ethic, and all they need is a chance."
Pastor Edwards says, anyone who needs helping making the transition out of prison or jail should reach out to a prison ministry. For more information on the program at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, you can click here to visit their website.