How A Typical California Parolee Tries To Rebuild Life


How does a typical parolee get used to life on the outside? The Sacramento Bee reports on Ronald Eugene Williams, who was paroled from California’s San Quentin prison to a halfway house for drug addicts and alcoholics that he will call home for the next six months. Last week, he checked in with his new parole agent and shocked her world. “I was pleasantly surprised,” agent Magdalena Cardona said. “Because when you look at his bio and his track record, it’s not good. But he had a really good attitude when he showed up.”

Williams, 44, will be on parole for about three years. Stacked against the backgrounds of the 370 parolees who walk out of California prisons every day, his record is typical – and horrid. It sports 31 arrests, nine felony convictions – most on drug or domestic violence charges – and 11 parole revocations. He’s addicted to methamphetamine and takes lithium for bipolar disorder. This time, Williams tells the Bee: “I have a plan. This is the first time I’ve ever paroled with a plan. It’s a plan I know is going to work.” His ticket to drug treatment, at a cost of $90 a day to taxpayers, makes Williams think he can make it.


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