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Pardons and Paroles Bureau commends 33 resilient Tuscaloosa DRC graduates

A group of 33 resilient individuals graduated from the Tuscaloosa Day Reporting Center.

Director Cam Ward and Tuscaloosa Day Reporting Center May 2024 graduating class.
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Statement from Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles:

One main goal of the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles is to celebrate the milestones of our clients who successfully complete rehabilitation programs. These individuals changed their criminogenic thinking and behavior through a combination of counseling, educational training, and close supervision. On Friday, May 24, a group of 33 resilient individuals graduated from the Tuscaloosa Day Reporting Center, marking the start of their new beginning.

The bleachers of the Shelton State Community College gymnasium were filled with proud faces of family, friends, and Bureau staff as the young men and women walked into the ceremony to receive their certificates. Shelton State Community College President Dr. Johnathan Koh gave the welcoming of the ceremony as he also expressed his honor to help provide the necessary space for this memorable event.

Tuscaloosa DRC Administrator Edward Seabron thanked everyone for gathering to celebrate the group and introduced the guest speaker, who was once in these graduates’ position before.

Guest Speaker Dena Dickerson from the Offender Alumni Association told her testimony of how she is a firsthand witness of the challenges and obstacles the graduates faced to reach this accomplishment. From neglecting loved ones to forgetting to love herself, Dickerson gave the uncensored story of how she went down the wrong road. However, she also gave a detailed account of how she rewrote her story and turned her life around. She left the graduates with the following encouraging words, “I’m here to prove to you all, that there is a life after this. Your past does not define your future.”

Tuscaloosa DRC Graduate William Boyd also told his emotional testimony of leaning on his faith to turn away from his detrimental path while being in jail. He said, “By the grace of God, I have not picked up any drugs since January 5, 2023.” The atmosphere was filled with loud applause, cheering Boyd on for this significant accomplishment.

ABPP Director Cam Ward closed out the ceremony reminding the graduates that the road ahead may not always be easy, but they possess the power and necessary tools to overcome any obstacle. “Never underestimate the impact of a positive mindset,” he said. He also shared his HOW acronym: ‘H’ stands for ‘Honesty’, ‘O’ stands for ‘Open-Mindedness’, and ‘W’ stands for ‘Willingness’. Ward said, “Honesty is not just being honest with your loved ones, but honesty is also being honest with yourself. You also must be open-minded to accept criticism and correction. Lastly, you must be willing to do whatever it takes to get your life back on track. Now that’s HOW we get over the hurdles of life.”

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These 33 graduates of the Tuscaloosa DRC have demonstrated remarkable dedication. Each of their journeys are powerful examples of the impact of transformative support, education, and personal commitment. The Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles is proud of each and every one of them. We proudly support their reentrance into society.

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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