40 years of Changing Lives at Baker Industries : Spotlight on participant David Tanner

A letter from David Tanner, who was recently released after being incarcerated for 20 years:


Everyone’s so eager and anxious for us to be re-acclimated into the workforce, but nobody stops to think if it’s going to have negative psychological effects on us if we start too soon.

We want to work, but after two months out of prison after a 25-or-more year sentence, we need time to readjust and get other priorities taken care of before any job opportunity is encouraged. The experience was amazing to actually go to a job interview, however, things happened so fast, no one even stops to ask us what our most important concerns are for our everyday survival and reintegration.

We want to work so we can support ourselves, but some things are more important than a job; Our mental state to being reintegrated back into a world that we are literally unfamiliar with. Our financial affairs, our accommodations. Acquiring the proper documentation such as social security cards, birth certificates, and other forms of identification that allows us better opportunities when we are ready.

Recognizing our necessary needs and wants is very imperative to our re-entry process. Whether someone has 25 years, 28 years, or a commuted sentence, we all require a particular degree of assistance.

Please continue to assist us in the necessary areas in which we require help so that our re-entry is successful (care, custody, and control). It is imperative to us, as well as to society.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely, Mr. David Tanner