Sholonda's Story

Posted on

Sholonda’s Story: “A Remarkable Turnaround”

Sholonda-1920x2032

On a recent morning, Sholanda Jackson dropped off her 8-year-old son at drum lessons before heading into work at an Oakland nonprofit.

It sounds like a routine day for a mom — and it is. But for Jackson, it’s also a remarkable turnaround: She spent her 20s addicted to crack and in and out of prison 13 times.

Her mother gave Jackson her first taste of the addictive drug when she was a teenager. On Christmas Day when she was 18, Jackson went to jail for the first time — and she cycled in and out of the system until her early 30s, when a public defender asked if she was interested in drug treatment.

Now Jackson has been sober 11 years. She’s married, living in Hayward, has earned her bachelor’s degree in social services and hopes to pursue a master’s degree. She works at Operation Dignity, which aids homeless veterans, and volunteers with Oakland Communty Organizations, helping tell people about Proposition 47 and other programs.

“People said I was hopeless, right? The parole officer, the parole board, when I was in prison. They said, ‘She’s hopeless.’ But that’s not true. I don’t think there’s such a thing,” Jackson said recently as she recalled her turbulent past.

Many of the changes Jackson has made are thanks to her sobriety and hard work. But she’s also getting help from a California ballot measure passed last November by state voters. Proposition 47 reduced many nonviolent felonies — such as drug possession and theft charges — to misdemeanors, and it allows people previously convicted of those crimes to petition a court to wipe those felonies from their record.

For Jackson, it’s an opportunity to literally wipe the slate clean, something that could allow her to pursue career opportunities once out of reach. Read the Full Article via KQED Here

Sign Up for Updates

Connect With us

Watch: How Prop 47 Has Impacted California!

@safeandjust

  • #AB972 the Automatic Record Change bill will automatically provide relief for over a million Cali...

  • "Excited to champion #AB972 to remove barriers in housing & employment caused by outdated felony ...

  • #SB375 would repeal the current 3-year time limit for a victim to file an application for victim ...

  • When someone living with a conviction who has served their time is restricted from jobs, housing ...

  • "I Am More Than My Criminal Record" People with convictions on their record who have paid their d...