Melissa Benton looked like a candidate for a career in crime. Her parents divorced, and her stepfather was accused of abusing her and her sister. She got pregnant in high school. Then in a dispute that got out of control, she stabbed and killed her mother. She spent eight years in prison.
But Benton found a way to avoid the revolving door of more crime and a return to prison. Her story is instructive in light of the nation's 3 million inmates. Two-thirds of them go back to prison within three years after their release. Benton's reentry into society was an exception because she found a family and community of support. She also never embraced a victim mentality by blaming others. Above all, she committed her life to Christ.
She could have made plenty of excuses growing up on Indianapolis' Eastside, seeing her parents divorce when she was 3.
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