I joined the ICAN team in 2003 as I was beginning to serve a 40 year sentence at Rockville Correctional Facility. I had made bad choices to get where I was, but I was determined to do everything I could during that time to become a better person. When starting this new adventure I was pretty quiet and still trying to get used to my new surroundings. My self-confidence was nonexistent at the time because I was still suffering from feeling as though I had let my family down by coming to prison. The other handlers welcomed me and just being around the dogs made life seem a little better.
As Director of Training, I provide my knowledge of training and behavior, and I am an example of both sides of the mission statement. I work with the handler's directly and they know I have been where they are. They see there is success after incarceration and that the bad choices of the past do not have to define our future.
I feel my story reflects the advantages of the ICAN program on the offender's life. ICAN's benefits extend beyond prison, and into the hardest part of a felony conviction, which is not prison life, but returning to society afterwards. This would have been impossible without the skills and training I received from the ICAN program.