Reginald T.

Re-Entry Project Alum

Since age 14, Reginald T. faced the harsh reality of growing up in foster care, bouncing from home to home with no real stability. As a young adult, his behavior led him to a pattern of incarceration. “At the time, I didn’t have the right structure, right guidance or right tools to be a better person. I was always prepared to go back to jail,” he admitted.

While serving 10 years of a 30-year prison sentence, Reginald enrolled in Fathers & Families Support Center’s Re-Entry Project at the Algoa Correctional Center in Jefferson City, Missouri. “I was desperate for change in my life, and I knew I couldn’t make those changes without outside help,” he explained. Through FFSC’s Re-Entry Project, Reginald began a process of transformation with FFSC Class Facilitator Charles Barnes. “The fact that Mr. Barnes drove down from St. Louis to meet with the men incarcerated at Algoa meant the world to us,” he said. “Mr. Barnes helped us change our thinking and our lives. He gave us hope.”

Through FFSC’s Re-Entry Project, fathers and men participate in classes covering topics like employment readiness and retention, survival skills for healthy families, parenting and problem solving, communication and conflict resolution and much more! At the time of his incarceration, Reginald was the only father figure to his then 4-year-old stepdaughter who would visit him in prison along with the mother. “The program taught me that I was a father figure, and how important it is to be a better father,” he said. “I didn’t have any biological children at the time, but to me it was important to learn to be her father and love her as my own,” explained Reginald. The program taught him how to be more open, affectionate and caring with his stepdaughter. He also learned how to communicate more effectively with the child’s mother.

Due to his participation in FFSC’s Re-Entry Project, Reginald’s 30 years was reduced to a 10-year sentence, and he was eventually released. To support his family, Reginald established his own detailing and commercial window cleaning service. He continues to stay in contact with Mr. Barnes. “I call him for everything,” he added. “Mr. Barnes gives me the best advice. Honestly, I’m not sure where I’d be without him and FFSC.”

Today, Reginald is the father of three children ages and remains in the life of his now 17-year-old stepdaughter. “I’m the oldest of seven children and have always cared for my siblings. My own kids keep me humble and focused. They taught me how to be a better version of myself,” said Reginald. When he’s not working, he enjoys family time at the park, road trips and playing games with the kids.