Monday, June 3, 2013

Hope after prison

Priest's Dismas House program helps ex-offenders start anew

The original Dismas House on Music Row was purchased by Father Jack Hickey and friends in 1972. (Photo by: Vanderbilt View)
 A story by Theresa Laurence talks about the Dismas House program in Nashville, Tenn., founded by late Father Jack Hickey in 1974.  The Dismas House provides released prisoners a safe place to live in and employment opportunities, in which they generally stay for half a year until they are able to secure an independent life. Whereas the national recidivism rate in the U.S. is at 60 per cent, for former Dismas residents, it has been significantly lower.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CNS) -- Last fall, Dwain Adkins was about to be released from prison after serving a six-year sentence for aggravated assault. He had no family to return to on the outside and had not been accepted into a halfway house.

"My biggest fear was being homeless," he said. "It was hard for me to fathom that. It tore me up."

Finally, one week before his release, Adkins got word from Dismas House in Nashville that he would have a place to stay.   
For full story, visit the Catholic News Service website.

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