PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — In honor of National Second Chance Awareness Month, DC News Now spoke with two returning citizens about adjusting life on the outside, and trying to help others learn from their mistakes.
“A lot of ups and downs,” is how Delonte Kingsberry would describe his journey in life after prison. Kingsberry spent almost 30 years behind bars for murder.
“Nobody really helps you,” said Kingsberry. “If you don’t have no credit, you don’t have life savings, you don’t have anything to put towards anything. So you definitely have to work,” he said.
Transitioning back home was also a challenge for D’quinta Uzzle. He was released last year with the county’s reentry program after serving 25 years in jail.
Kingsberry and Uzzle said they dealt with various challenges after coming back into the real world, including finding and maintaining a job.
“I came home with a bracelet on my ankle, I had to a curfew, I had to take a urine test three times a week, I had to see a judge every week. I had to see my counselor once a week and I still had to keep a job on top of all these other things,” said Uzzle.
With the help of networking and a long search, Uzzle was able to land a job working for the county.
“Being there they understand my background and things of that nature,” he said.
Kingsberry worked several different jobs, and now he’s working on his own trucking business.
“You got to start from somewhere. I built that up paycheck by paycheck,” said Kingsberry.
As both men adjust to life back home, they’re also trying to build up the next generation.
“One crime left me in prison for 28 years, almost 29 years. One mistake, choices are very important. And that’s what I’m trying to give them,” said Kingsberry.
“We have a saying that if my brother went through it I shouldn’t have to go through it. You know so that’s my goal to get them to think different so they can act different,” said Uzzle.
Non-profit F.R.E.S.H is hosting a 10-year anniversary celebrating youth and returning citizens in Prince George’s County on Saturday at Brentwood Fire Department.
Prince George’s County is also hosting its own Returning Citizens summit in Prince George’s Community College on Saturday as well.