Since he’s been released from prison, Corey won custody rights of his 3-year-old child who is autistic. Now he is trying to get visitation rights with his 12-year-old son. He doesn’t want his son to be “a statistic”. He wants him to have a father and help break the cycle of crime in his home and community. He and a group of felons in his community do public service projects like getting bookbags and Christmas toys for kids and doing hygiene drives for the homeless. “If we’re doing right, kids see us do right and they’ll do right.”
Corey began his criminal life as a drug addict at age 13. At age 17 he got involved with some guns and robberies and ended up in jail for 2 years, prison for 5 years, and probation for 3 months. He doesn’t regret prison because otherwise he would be dead or in worse trouble. Unfortunately, he suffered heroine withdrawal several times, alone in the jail but in detox in prison. In prison, he completed his GED, took an electrician course, got involved in a Bible program. When he was there, he got to the place that he was determined not to get back on drugs because of his son, and never to go back to prison.
“Being a felon is not a barrier when you get out,” he states. He settled far away from his hometown, in Kenansville. He knew he needed a change in his environment. He found new friends, got married and had a place to live. He found work pretty easily with a temp agency, in construction, electrical work, and retail. Then he got his CDL (The Unemployment Office pays for you to get your CDL.) and worked for a second-chance company, Western Express making $800/week. He was a good employee—no accidents. He was hired on for more money at Howell’s Motor Freight. There he made $1500/week but was away from home 3-4 months at a time. Mr. Howell helped him start his own trucking company, Triple S Transport. He bought his first truck and hired a team driver. Today he has 4 trucks and 3 employees. He only hires felons. Last year he brought in $292K, but he is still paying off $53K in restitution for his crimes.
Corey offers some solid advice for people making the way in the world after prison. Change your environment. Realize you must WORK HARD! Persevere! DON’T GIVE UP! Hang on to the mindset that you will NOT GO BACK to prison. Find relationships and work that will help keep you out of trouble. Do what you can to break the cycle of drugs and crime in your community.
Now at age 30, Corey Parker is a family man, a second-chance company owner, and a public servant. He continues to work hard to take care of his employees and his family.