06/21/17 — GPAC hears from former criminal

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GPAC hears from former criminal

By Rochelle Moore
Published in News on June 21, 2017 7:59 PM

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Lisa Tindal tells criminal offenders Tuesday they can turn their lives around during the Goldsboro Partners Against Crime call-in at City Hall.

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Lisa Tindal tells criminal offenders Tuesday they can turn their lives around during the Goldsboro Partners Against Crime call-in at City Hall.

Lisa Tindal has lived a hard life.

A former street criminal, she also knows what it's like to live after leaving her past and working toward a better future.

Tindal shared parts of her story and urged some of Wayne County's most hardened criminals Tuesday to make a turnaround -- before it's too late.

"I was good at being a criminal," she said. "A lot of people think that if you're smart and you've got your stuff together, that you won't end up being one that spends a lot of years in prison but that's not the case.

"I've been to prison 10 times, so that means I've spent more time inside than outside."

She told the 18 offenders, who went to the Goldsboro Partners Against Crime call-in at City Hall, that authorities are watching, watching for their next criminal move that could send them to prison for years, if not decades.

The GPAC call-in is a program that requires people on probation and charged with repeated violent crimes, involving drugs or weapons, to hear warnings from local, state and federal law enforcement officers.

A panel of officers spoke to the group, including a federal prosecutor who warned many they would head straight to federal prison if they continue a life of crime.

"We know who you are, and we know exactly what you're doing," said Goldsboro Police Chief Mike West. "If you test us, you will face an immediate response from the criminal justice system.

"Make no mistake about it, my primary job is to put bad people in jail and I, along with everybody up here, is committed to that job. Change won't come unless you want to change. Tonight's about change. It's about fairness. It's about our youth in our community."

The 18 offenders were mostly men, several women and people ranging in age from 19 to 50.

The event was also an attempt to connect offenders to area resources, whether it be jobs, skill training or financial help to leave a life of crime. It was also the final warning call from authorities, who would play a much harsher role if another criminal charge is filed.

Tindal told the men and women that they can make a change before it's too late.

"By these people watching you, at the level they're watching you now, you're one decision away from being me," Tindal said. "It is not fun being me. I'm the most recognized, known felon in this room.

"I really hope that after this meeting, you decide that prison is not for you. There's no right way to do the wrong thing."

Tindal was one of two adults who spoke about life in prison, out of an interest to offer help and hope. Neither were required to speak.

There were also two parents, both who lost children who were killed before they were able to live out their adult lives.

Craig Doubt Jr. held up a T-shirt with his son's picture. His 18-year-old son was shot and killed by a friend at Fairview Homes in 2008.

"This is how I spent Father's Day," Doubt said. "I don't know why you're here. I don't care why you're here. I care about one thing, that you don't end up like me."

Teresa Cox also lost her son 13 years ago after he was mistaken for someone else. Her teenager had a 94.7 grade point average and dreams of becoming a physical therapist.

"Having a child killed is the most traumatic thing anyone could go through," she said.

Cox also said it continues to be difficult every time she hears of another killing in the area.

"I'm tired of it," Cox said. "It's got to stop."

She then lifted up her fists and told the group they need to go back to the old-school way of handling problems.

"Go back and start using these," she said. "That way you'll live to fight another day."

The offenders were provided with a list of area resources to help them rebuild their lives apart from crime. Resources include counseling, education, job training and placement, housing and substance abuse services.

The Rev. Marvin Alexander, senior pastor at New Spirit Church Ministries on William Street, told the group if they needed money, a job, training or anything else, he would work to provide the help.

Some of the offenders listened closely, several interacted with one of the speakers and two women stayed after the event seeking help. One was in tears.

Goldsboro Partners Against Crime, which holds regular call-ins throughout the year, has brought in 278 offenders since the program's start in 2013, said Capt. Theresa Chiero, GPAC coordinator with the Goldsboro Police Department.

Chiero, who continues to track all of the offenders, said only 78 of the 278 people have re-offended and faced stiffer penalties in the criminal justice system.

"I have 200 that did it," she said, of those making it out of the cyclical path of crime. "I think we've done very well."

Officers are developing a survey that will be sent to the previous call-in felons, in an effort to determine how successful the program has been.