The Struggles of a Second Chance at Life

The story of Duffie Clark and his struggles with re-entering society after over 30 years in prison.

Melvin Haywood

For Melvin Haywood, the wheel of fortune has turned a number of times in his 59 years. Arrested in 1974 for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, he doesn’t deny the gang-affiliated friendships of his youth but insists his murder conviction was a gross injustice. Then, there was the 1979 reversal by a federal judge, which would have vindicated and released him but, for political reasons, never came to pass. And finally, there was the chance overhearing of an inmate’s discussion of information relevant to his own case. With this new foothold on justice, he worked relentlessly toward his release. In 2004—after some 25 appearances before the parole board in 30 years—Haywood went home to renew his destiny.

September 26th, 2010|Inspiring Stories|1 Comment

Ra Chaka

Ra Chaka had two strikes against him before he even got up to bat. Orphaned at an early age and jostled through foster care, he entered the “corrections” system by the age of 10. By the age of 20, in 1976, he was facing a 20- to 60-year sentence for armed robbery. Seemingly defeated, his future prospects dashed, he reached bottom with “why me” resignation.

September 26th, 2010|Inspiring Stories|0 Comments

Nate Sanders

Nate Sanders, 63, spent almost half of his life in prison for murder. One imagines the transition to the outside world would be daunting if not debilitating in such a case, and yet, less than one year after his release, it is as though he never left it. A devoted family man with plans to work well into his 70s, he approaches his new life with child-like curiosity and resolute optimism. By immediately throwing himself into the workforce and embracing his community without restraint, Sanders is the model illustration of how precious a second chance can be.

September 26th, 2010|Inspiring Stories|0 Comments