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Making the most of an opportunity

At least 95 percent of people incarcerated in state prisons will be released into their communities, according to the National Reentry Resource Center.  To put it another way, about 9 million people are released from jail each year.

Think about that. Most people who go to jail in their life usually spend time back in society. Of course, many of those sentences are on the short side, so it’s not a big adjustment, but others spend weeks, months or years behind bars and then are released back into the world.

That wouldn’t be an easy transition for anyone. The world keeps moving and doesn’t care that people locked up aren’t playing a part in everyday society.

Many learn a lesson behind bars, and one bad decision doesn’t necessarily have to define a person’s life in the long-term either.

We shared David Mixon’s story in our weekend paper, and we appreciate the time he spent with us discussing his past and how he’s turned his life around.

We can’t say we know David personally, but we know how others in the community feel about his status a role model.

Mixon spent more than a decade in jail after being involved in an armed robbery. He said he made a bad decision that night, and he paid a big price for it.

He also made the most of his opportunity. He asked to be transferred near Atlanta and got moved to Troup County Jail, where he was assigned work in maintenance at the LaGrange Police Department. The relationships he formed through that work have helped him earn his job at the LaGrange Animal Shelter.

Many others have made similar mistakes in their lives, but haven’t bounced back as well or gave up on themselves. Mixon’s story should be an example that others can use to turn their lives around.