Non-profit aims to give a second chance to former inmates

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 6:36 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - As someone who served time in prison himself, Ben Castro knows just how hard it can be to transition back into society.

Most people who get out of jail don’t have a car to get them to and from their job. That often leaves them with no other choice but to rely on friends for a ride. But Castro warns you can’t trust everyone.

“Guys got use to that lifestyle, the culture, they had warrants out so the last place they want to go to is a DMV or state police headquarters. And when they get out, they continue that program...I wanted to put an end to that program,” Ben Castro says.

That’s why he started Freedom Rides, a new organization with the goal to give a car to people seeking a second chance.

“For the last 5 months, the Parole Project had been giving me to the places that I need to be. Sometimes it can be tight because there are other clients involved that need to get to places,” Alisha Disotell says.

Alisha recently had her 30-year sentence for manslaughter commuted by Governor Edwards. During the 19 years she served in prison she worked as a mentor for inmates in need. She’s currently working two jobs and eager to help others like her finding freedom for the first time in years. That’s why Castro saw her as the perfect candidate.

“My first goal was to get me a vehicle, so I was saving up money. Yes, I work two jobs, I just started selling Mary Kay and I do some other things as well so all I do is work. Because I want to establish myself, not just establish myself I want to affect my community just like I did when I was incarcerated,” Disotell explains.

“This is something that came to my head while I was behind bars and now to see it happen in the parking lot of the place, I was a trustee at...I can’t even...I can’t even,” Casto adds.

Freedom rides is a non-profit funded through donations. Their next goal is to provide 1 vehicle each month to someone in the system that deserves a second chance. If you want to donate to the organization, CLICK HERE.

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