A Second Chance For Ex-Cons - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

A Second Chance For Ex-Cons

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ALEXANDRIA, La. - An Alexandria couple will be recognized in Baton Rouge on Friday for the work they do to improve the lives of others throughout the state. As News Channel 5's Natalie North shows us, their organization is clearly changing lives and making a difference right here in Cenla.

Although Michelle Peterson is back on her feet with a new job, she admits that since being released after serving 13 months in prison, there is still work to be done.

"Back in 2008. I took a charge for four pills so it was possession, and they gave me probation."-Michelle Peterson.

That's when she found herself behind bars, and her life had changed drastically. The single mother of two had lost her house and job as a nurse. But just when she thought her life was over, re-entry solutions gave her the courage to start over again.

"Really the biggest impact was when candy came and spoke to us at Cottonport for reentry solutions. The big question is what are you going to do when you get out and what kind of life are you going to have?"-Michelle Peterson

Michelle has a full time job at Roy o martins Marco plant, and a place she can call home. Michelle is just one of many success stories of re-entry solutions, which help inmates, prepare to return back into society, to be productive, law abiding citizens. Re-entry is run by Andre and candy Christophe, whose goal is to make a difference.

"We just wanted to get out there and do something different, do something to help them succeed. If we help them succeed, then the community succeeds."-Andre Christophe

"It's a very humbling feeling. I know that it's not me, I think that it's just God working through me. I hope that people don't see me, but they see him through me."-Candy Christophe

Candy and her husband Andre will be inducted into the Louisiana justice hall of fame on Friday for their work with improving the lives of people like Michelle.

"Re-entry is the process of properly preparing inmates for a successful rerun into the community. Candy and Andre Christophe are receiving the state's first re-entry award."-Michael Wynne, Director Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame.

And the success can be seen through Michelle, as a great example of how people like the Christophe's and re-entry solutions, can make a difference.

"She had a really major impact I couldn't have done it without her."-Michelle Peterson

Re-entry solutions are a non-profit organization that depends on grants, donations, and volunteers to run. The Christophe's will be inducted into the Louisiana justice hall of fame at a ceremony on Friday night in Baton Rouge.

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