There’s no doubt that the work of those who work on CSC’s frontlines is difficult. Working with individuals to change their lives for the better and helping them to become law-abiding citizens is a heavy responsibility, and one that doesn’t get all that much attention outside of the organization. That’s why the following letter from an offender named Marc to his Parole Officer, Jessica Farella in Ottawa, is so important. It shows the impact you can have.
To whom it may concern,
I went out on my last Unescorted Temporary Absence (UTA) and these are my thoughts and feelings about it.
When I got to see my Parole Officer, we were talking and she told me that my attitude was not proper, and that I needed to stop talking like convict Marc.
So I went on with my day and the conversation was on my mind all day. I spoke to my mom and staff at Kirkpatrick House, and they were telling me the same thing so I slept on it. When I woke up it didn’t take me long to realize that everyone was right, but most of all my Parole Officer.
On that day I told her so and I also told her that there was no more convict Marc. I said now there is only citizen Marc. She was happy to see that I realized my mistake. We had the best conversation that I have ever had regarding my freedom. She opened my eyes and most of all, now that I’m thinking and acting like a citizen, I can’t stop being happy and smiling. It’s been so long since I smiled for so long that my face hurt.
The next day I went to see the Community Residential Facility (CRF) – Tom Lamothe Residence. The staff was very nice. They asked me to fill out an application and I did. On the same day I also went to the John Howard Society to look into employment programs and jobs. The people were really nice and had a lot of information.
I also went to CRF – House of Hope and spoke with the director. She asked me to fill out an application, so I did. She was very nice and it felt great. I forgot just how nice people are. It’s been so long and I liked it very much.
The next day I went to my sister’s house to spend time with her and my nephew and niece. This was the third or fourth time I saw them in their life. They love me very much and I love them very much too.
Because of the changes to citizen Marc, my Parole Officer approved a six hour pass to visit my mom for my last evening. I was very grateful and so was my mom.
I called my Parole Officer from my mom’s place to let her know what I did that day and to also thank her for everything she did for me and the advice she gave me. I’m very lucky to have had Jessica as my Parole Officer. She explained to me that Parole Officers are able to help me accomplish more things than I ever thought possible. And I will take all the help I can get.
*A note to readers: This letter was published with the permission of Marc, as well as his Parole Officer and Ontario Regional Communications.