For 20 years, Kory Crossman sat in a prison cell.
He split his decades in state prison and a federal lockup in Florida. His kids grew up without him. They split their decades between childhood and navigating the difficult road into adulthood.
They did it without him. He lives with regret.
“I have a 31-year-old daughter who is currently incarcerated and I’ve missed most of her life. It’s been the biggest regret", Crossman tells us. “I can’t put into words how impactful it was to have my family stick by me and be there for me even when I wasn’t there for myself. When I decided to change my life, and do things differently it was their love for me that gave me the strength to make the changes I’ve made.”
Crossman’s family tree has roots in prison. So does Che Summerfield’s.
“It’s a cycle I want to break.” Summerfield tells us, “I’ve been in prison. My brother has been in prison. When I have my children I want to break that cycle.”
Summerfield’s life has been a series of sentences. His most recent stretch was 23 months long. He’s grown up with that. His dad has been in prison for 37 years. That lack of a father at home shaped his life.
“I’ve never asked for help. This is the first time I’ve asked for help and now I’m knowing how to become a man. My father’s been in prison so I’ve never had that to look to.”
Both men now living the consequences of parenting from a cell and both are at a fork in the road. They are in the Hope For Prisoners program, looking to a future with their families.