a private citizen interested in lifer success stories
After 25 years, Wes walked out the gates on April 4, 2006. Within the first three weeks he had three job offers and accepted a position as a welder. He has been working at that same job since then.
Wes met his life partner the following October. He says they were a perfect fit from day one. On Valentine’s Day 2008, they signed their domestic partner papers and were married on June 18 of that year. They live in a small town not far from Folsom.
Wes says that one of the things that stood out about being on parole happened about three years ago. He was supposed to attend a parolee outpatient clinic as a condition of parole but his parole officer told him not to worry about it. One day he got a call from a new parole officer who told him that he had violated the terms of his parole and he heeded to turn himself in. They took a look at his file and discovered that he hadn’t refused to go, that he was told not to worry about it. Wes spent about a week in county jail waiting for them to get things straight, then walked out for the last time.
What was the most difficult thing about getting out?
The world was very different. I discovered that you can’t just step right back into society. It takes time. It took me about two years to feel really comfortable out here.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I enjoy spending time with my two daughters, aged 24 and 14. I go to as many of my 14 year old’s softball, basketball and volleyball games as possible. I also attend her back to school nights. My partner and I enjoy taking day trips on our motorcycles. We enjoy going on toy runs too.
Does any particular ride stick out in your mind?
Once when we were on a motorcycle run, we rode past a prison. I remember going through a whole range of emotions in the span of a few minutes. There we were, 14 or so bikers riding past the prison and I had tears rolling down my face.
Are there any goals you have that you are looking forward to accomplishing?
Once I am off parole and I can leave California, I would like to visit Hawaii. I would also like to go back to Indiana to say goodbye to family that passed away while I was inside. I was able to accomplish one of those goals recently. My mother passed away while I was in and her ashes had been scattered off Monterey. My partner and I took a trip to Monterey to say goodbye.
Wes has 12 more visits to his parole officer and then he will truly be a free man.