When Fernando arrived in prison, he felt his life was beyond repair.
He had grown up on the northwest side of Houston, selling drugs and committing robberies. At 17, he was convicted of aggravated robbery and began his 15 years in prison.
Behind bars, Fernando continued to run with the reckless crowd, drinking and getting into trouble.
But then Fernando had the opportunity to join Prison Fellowship’s InnerChange Freedom Initiative, an intensive faith-based reentry program at the Carol Vance Unit in Houston, Texas. The program staff and volunteers introduced Fernando to his Heavenly Father, and to a group of young men who were living for the Lord. These men showed Fernando that he could still have fun while honoring God.
The classes he took brought him closer to God and to his family, and he began to sense peace in his heart. Through your support, God used Prison Fellowship’s reentry program to instill in him core values, like responsibility and accountability, which have helped him live a successful life on the outside.
Upon release in 2008, Fernando chose to relocate to Fort Worth—where other program alumni live—rather than return to the temptations of his old lifestyle in Houston.
Fernando is now married with a three-year old son and manages four resort hotels. He is a part of a local church body and returns to the unit often to share his story with incarcerated men.
“The program works,” he tells them.
A recent study of the reentry program in Minnesota revealed that prisoner participation decreases the risk of re-incarceration by 26 to 40 percent.
Thanks to Prison Fellowship partners, men and women like Fernando are experiencing bright futures!