BESSEMER, Ala. (WBRC) - A new re-entry and success center in Bessemer is planning to give ex-offenders a second chance like no other.
“You end your sentence. You get $10 and a bus ticket to your county of conviction,” said President of Alliance Re-entry Centers, Inc., Scott Frye.
Frye heads the Alliance Re-entry Centers, Inc. of Bessemer. The group purchased a building on 5th Ave N. from The Foundry, a faith-based re-entry program.
ARC is a separate entity and not faith-based according to the creators. Frye said the program focuses on getting ex-offenders educated, employed, being better parents, and gaining financial stability.
Frye is a former investment banker who spent time in the Department of Corrections for securities fraud. He says his time at the DOC helped him change his life and he hopes to change the system for the better.
"When I was in prison I saw what was going wrong. What can I do to make this better," said Frye.
Overcrowding and very few resources upon release, nearly half of people freed from prison go back, according to the Department of Justice.
"Nobody is being rehabilitated, for the most part, in the prison system," said Frye. "When somebody is sentenced, they should have their re-entry program right there."
21-year-old Benjamin Braxton's sat on his neatly made bed, with matching new sheets and pillows. It's usually two to each freshly painted room but Braxton has room 210 to himself.
Rooms also have their own bathroom.
"They try to make it feel more and more like home," said Braxton.
Braxton is two weeks into the six-month program after facing a felony charge and 10 years behind bars.
He said he planned to make his second chance count.
"Growing as a man, independence is a key factor... you really have to take initiative," said Braxton.
To learn more about ARC, Inc. visit their website.