Success Stories
Client Ronald Reynolds with his step-daughter


WHEN THE SUN SETS IN ALEXANDRIA, LOUISIANA, Ronald Reynolds will often stop for moment to admire the view and appreciate the feeling of calm. Ronald has been practicing small acts of mindfulness since he was released from the Louisiana State Penitentiary in January 2020. Even when he was living in Parole Project’s transitional housing in Baton Rouge and life felt like it was moving so fast, he made the effort to occasionally stop what he was doing, come to a rest, and take it all in. Reynold’s need to make the most of his time in any given circumstance has always served him well.

During the 28 years and 9 months he was incarcerated he earned his GED, completed a vocational program in carpentry from Louisiana Technical College, and earned a certification as a sign language interpreter. Rather than let time pass him by, Ronald chose to improve himself each day and took advantage of the opportunities afforded him in the institution. Today he is embracing his second chance at life and all it has to offer.

Ronald looks back on his time in Redemption Homes with gratitude. He sees it as the perfect place at the perfect time, giving him the housing security,reintegration support, and time needed to take the next steps in his life.   “I didn’t want to leave,” he chuckled, “but I knew that I couldn’t be selfish and I had to open that spot for someone else coming out.” 

 Ronald’s first job post-prison job was as a sign language interpreter making $20/hour. He began learning sign language 16 years ago to help a hearing impaired inmate. Now, he uses his skill to help better connect the non-hearing world in the midst of a pandemic.  “Different groups and organizations require sign language interpretation, so I’m doing that from home right now to supplement my income.”

Now living in central Louisiana, he puts his carpentry education to use at Pat Williams Construction. The best thing about Ronald’s second chance has been the opportunity to reconnect with a former flame. While that fire burned many years ago, the two found a way to rekindle their love for one another. “She was my girlfriend when she was 12 and I was 13 years old,” said Reynolds.

The two are now engaged and recently purchased some land with plans to build a house. They will be married later this year. When asked what his greatest joy has been since being granted parole, Ronald said, “being with the person that I love. I was afforded the opportunity to spend the rest of my life with her.”

Ronald attributes much of his success to his time spent with Parole Project. “I took what I learned in prison and applied it to the world outside with the help of the Parole Project,” he said. When he communicates with friends who are still incarcerated, he always advocates that they reach out to Parole Project and take the opportunity if afforded it. Without the support that Parole Project provided, Ronald unsure where he would be today. 

“If I was just thrust out of prison on my own I might have been depressed and struggling with money. I really don’t know if would have made it.” he said. “Parole Project definitely altered my life and set me on the right course. Those guys have a real heart for helping men and women. They’re beautiful people.”

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Barry went to prison at 16 and was incarcerated for 27 years before receiving his second chance in March 2023.

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