LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Barnard Hale’s day starts at 6 a.m. inside of a van as he drives people to and from work.
“We have to ensure they can get there in a timely fashion,” Hale said.
Hale works at the Hidden Creek Quapaw Reentry Center as a van driver. Before working at the Little Rock facility, he used to live at it. It’s a place where men come to serve out the rest of their prison sentence and help reenter back into society.
“I didn’t know what reentry was or anything of that nature,” Hale said. “Coming here, a person can get a job, you can get your own place to live, you can get a vehicle, stuff you wouldn’t be able to do from in prison.”
There’s a 56 percent likelihood of an inmate returning to prison within three years of being released in Arkansas. Hale used to be part of that statistic.
“It was called insanity because I was doing the same thing, expecting different results,” Hale said.
Thanks to Hidden Creek, Hale has been a productive member of society for the first time in his life.
“I credit this place, ACC, along with Quapaw and Mrs. Bearden because had she not given me a chance, I don’t think I’d be the success story that my life is,” Hale said.
He has been drug and alcohol-free for four years, has been at his job for a year and has inspired others going through the program.
Hale will speak at the Arkansas Community Correction Reentry Rally on Friday, April 19th. The event will be held at the Little Rock Church from 11 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.