Program established to help younger inmates rebuild lives - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Program established to help younger inmates rebuild lives

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A special unit at a maximum Connecticut prison is giving young men a chance to rebuild their lives.

On Wednesday, Channel 3 got a tour of the T.R.U.E unit at Cheshire Correctional.

True stands for truthfulness, respectfulness, understanding, and elevating.

Younger inmates are learning from those who know the most about prison life.

Who better to learn from than those who have been in and out of prison their whole lives.

These inmates, lifers, as they are called, are giving young men the truth.

There’s an area called the ‘spot,’ or the conversation room,

Governor Dannel Malloy heard what's important to inmates. He was part of a tour at this special unit at Cheshire Correctional.

The inmates are long-term offenders and they are paired up with younger inmates to be mentors.

Young adults are finding out there's much to learn from older inmates, some of whom will never leave prison.

"This is my chance to make it happen. I have been incarcerated since I was 16, so there are no more excuses,” said Jordan Brown, an inmate at Cheshire Correctional.

Brown is now 24, convicted of assault and robbery. He's learning more about himself and the behaviors that got him locked up.

Some of those lessons are coming from lifers. The goal is to keep these young men from coming back.

“My decisions did affect those around me because they were suffering,” said Brown.

Learning how bad decisions hurt others and how to be part of a community.

 “We call them big brothers, they are in our situation or worse situations so they are always guiding us to better than them and not make mistakes that they've made,” said Brown.

Malloy and the Department of Corrections commissioner went to Germany a couple years ago to see their prisons.

T.R.U.E was a program that was having some success.  

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