NJ Inmates Encourage Students To Be Responsible Citizens - My9 New Jersey

NJ Inmates Encourage Students To Be Responsible Citizens

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Basking Ridge, NJ (My9NJ) - Ever wonder what life is like inside a New Jersey prison? Well, four inmates spoke very candidly to Basking Ridge High School about growing up in New Jersey and how making just one very bad decision can change your life forever.

Basking Ridge High School’s Vice Principal said that one of the biggest problems the town is facing is drug abuse. He said that in the past few years the Basking Ridge community has lost five students to heroin overdoses.

One inmate from Marlton, New Jersey who goes by Allison shared her story of drug addiction.

“I just thought I could handle everything, I could handle anything cuz I’m smart, I do sports, I’m great at this, I‘m great at that so I can handle this,” she said,

Allison said that she grew up knowing that drugs were bad, she had participated in DARE programs in school, but heroin was easy to get so she tried it and got hooked.

“I chose to use drugs to deal with my problems instead and then I got behind the wheel of a car,” she shared.

Allison got into an accident and ended up killing a man.

Another female inmate, Crystal, also spoke. Crystal grew up down on the Jersey Shore and said that she had a normal, happy childhood surrounded by family and loving grandparents. Then, her parents divorced and everything from there seemed to just tumble.

“I know what it’s like to go through certain things and to not ask for help,” she explained.

Crystal said that she lost a friend who was murdered in her community, her fiancé later in life committed suicide, and that led her to find comfort in cocaine, until a fatal car accident landed her in prison.

“I decided that why am I gonna keep hurting myself because of the things that happened to me? I was only hurting myself by utilizing drugs and that I wasn’t making anything better, so that’s why I’m out here to try and prevent kids from making the same mistakes as me and prevent another life from being lost,” she said.

All of these speakers came from varied backgrounds, but they all ended up in the same place because of bad decisions.

The project that these inmates are participating in is called P.R.I.D.E which is a prison education program coordinated by the New Jersey Department of Corrections to spread awareness of the prison system and promote responsible citizenship.


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