William Kirkpatrick has spent 11 years of his life behind bars. “I was running amok to be honest. I didn't care about myself. I didn't care about hurting people. I didn't care about the choices I made whether they were good or bad and most of them were bad.”
Kirkpatrick spent his childhood bouncing in and out of foster homes until he landed in prison at 16, committing crimes fueled by the desire to feed his drug addiction. He says this recovery program has saved his life.
William Kirkpatrick - its helped me begin to see who I really am without addiction and without things like that in my life and its good because this is a stepping stone onto the next chapter of my life.
“We all make mistakes, and if we think its the end then why get up in the morning. So everybody deserves a second shot.” said Susan Thomas of the Craig and Susan Thomas Foundation.
The medium security correctional facility offers inmates who come from prison, the opportunity to complete an intensive one year substance abuse treatment program.
“They learn about themselves, they learn about their addiction, they learn about their criminal lifestyles and how to change it. We work on all these core areas so we get them ready to go back out into life.” said James Piro, Deputy Director of Treatment at The Casper Re-entry Center.
These men credit the support from each other, counselors, and alumni for their success in the program.
“They're out there on the right road and they're doing the right thing and they're willing to help the other guys who are coming out.” said Kirkpatrick.
For most teenagers high school graduation is just another hurdle to jump through... But at twenty-eight years old, Kirkpatrick is graduating for a second chance.
“I'm just really looking forward today to be able to walk out the doors with my family, and we get to go eat and everything, and that's something I've never really done before, and its just something I'm really looking forward to.” said Kirkpatrick.