Group works to help recently released inmates adjust to freedom - KCTV5 News

Group works to help recently released inmates adjust to freedom

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A local group aims to help inmates who’ve recently been released from prison get back into the community.

It’s no easy job and on Saturday they welcomed someone who knows a thing or two about what it feels like to get back out there after being on the inside for so long.

“It feels great,” said I can’t even describe it…I always have a reason to smile

Lamonte McIntyre spent 23 years in prison for a crime both he and the victim’s family said he didn’t commit.

Locked up at the age of 17, McIntyre was just released from prison last year.

Gloria Smith created One Stop Ministries to help former inmates deal with life on the outside and the forgiveness she said they should strive for, no matter their circumstances.

That’s why she asked McIntyre to speak.

“We have a problem with forgiving, you know?” Smith said. “Different things may come up in life and this is one of those things that it’s very hard for somebody; to spend so much time in jail and then have to forgive.”

For McIntyre, it was not an easy thing to do and getting acclimated back into life has been tough. However, he wants others to know they can make it.

“It can only get better,” he said. “I found myself in the worst possible situation I could be in, right? But there was something on the other side of that that was great. My freedom was on the other side of that.”

It is freedom he’ll never take for granted.

“You find yourself going through hell, you just got to keep going, and I think that’s the overall message I want to always convey wherever I go,” he said. “You got to keep going.”

Studies show that inmates who get counseling like what this group provides are far less likely to return to prison.

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