Second Chance

By: Courtney Lassiter
By: Courtney Lassiter

The Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville is the home to 850 convicted felons. All of them are considered dangerous. Most of them will return to society. But how willing are you to give them a second chance?

According to the Department of Corrections Web site, in 2005 more than 1,700 convicted felons served the minimum time in prison. Only 34 served their entire sentence. In this story, you'll meet Carl Allen who is in prison until 2022 for murder. But he meets The Parole Board in just three years. If he's found eligible, he could get out early.

Ending up here shouldn’t be a surprise for anyone who runs with a gang. It shouldn't, but it is for Carl Allen.

"Never crossed my mind I was so caught up in the streets where this part of life didn't even come to mind."

Carl Allen was heavily involved in gang activity like robbing stores and dealing drugs.

"Again, I wish it never happened. A friend of mine tried to rob me so I ended up killing him."

According to the Fayette County Commonwealth Attorney's Office Carl shot his friend eight times and he was stabbed in the face with a fork. As a result Carl's lost 34 years of life to Kentucky's only maximum security facility.

"I know things are gonna be rough. I'm aware of that."

He's not talking about behind bars but outside these prison walls. Carl's up for parole in three years and he's making plans.

"The first step coming in was finishing school and getting my GED."

Since he's been in prison, he's earned his GED and is three months away from a Vocational Degree.

"Anything to better myself to keep me from going back to my old ways"

And anything to get him out of here sooner like taking character building classes that could help him get parole.

"Someone who can make a difference. Just because I committed a crime such as murder I don't want people to always look at me with their nose up like "oh he's killer"-- I'm a human."

And one day he plans to buy a house, get a job, and live in a neighborhood.

"This is the situation I put myself in. Society? No doubt I'm coming back."
The best Carl can hope for would be parole in three years. The worst is that he serves out his entire sentence until the year 2022 which means the parole board denied his case indefinitely.


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