Welcoming home 400th client graphic

A Milestone … and More

Parole Project Marks 400th Client, Still Counting

On Wednesday, May 10, we welcomed Stacy home as he became the 400th Parole Project client released since 2016. As our organization has grown and matured, we have worked to foster faith in second chances in our communities and for those who have experienced decades in prison. Stacy’s personal journey is a testament to redemption and our organization’s mission to consistently prove that our successes are everyone’s successes.

Stacy was sentenced to life without parole in 1988 at the age of 19. During his 34 years in prison, he said he experienced “tremendous growth.” He cites other lifers and long-termers he met while incarcerated as being a key to his growth. “They helped me straighten myself out. I had already aged out of what I had been doing,” he said, “but they helped me grow out of those negative habits as well.”

Stacy studied carpentry and used that skill in his hobbycraft as one way to re-train his thinking and build some savings should he ever have an opportunity for release. As he developed his skills, he took on the role of mentor for his younger peers who took an interest in the trades. “I was able to do for them what others had done for me. I helped them figure out not only how to survive, but how to build themselves into better men,” he said. “It was rewarding, feeling like I was paying it back, but it also helped me realize I have a responsibility to be a leader for others. I knew I had to keep doing everything right because I was telling them to do that too.”

In addition to his woodworking, Stacy earned his high school equivalency degree and a CDL license. He began planning to one day drive trucks for a living once he was released. His is excited for all that his new future holds.

After his release he spoke about the feeling of coming home. “This is just breathtaking. I can’t describe the way it feels to finally be free after being told I never would be.” Stacy said it took several days for the reality to fully sink in, but once he knew it was real he made a promise to himself to never risk his second chance. “I’ve waited so long for this, worked so hard for it, that I couldn’t imagine anything being worth jeopardizing the rest of my life.”

As Parole Project’s 400th release, Stacy represents a tremendous milestone for our board and staff, our mission, and our work. His story is but one of many second chances who are thriving in their new lives. But there is still work to be done to help so many deserving men and women still waiting on their second chance.