The Power of Second Chances: Susanne Manning’s Story

August 16, 2018

Susanne Manning

Susanne looks like everyone’s grandma. She bakes cakes. She dotes on her family. Which is why most people are surprised when they discover that she was convicted, more than 25 years ago, of embezzling money from her employer. In prison, she became a law clerk and helped advocate on behalf of her fellow inmates. In fact, she did so much good work that she was released in 2011 for good behavior.

Like most returning citizens, Susanne struggled to find housing and reintegrate into her community. Hard as that was, she has no illusions about what she did. “I was 100% wrong... I think that I thought that I was a good person, that I had maybe just simply made a mistake, when in reality I was a greedy person who needed to change who I was.” She did. In prison, she realized that helping others was the thing she was best at and most passionate about. Upon her release, she spent time helping the homeless and eventually found a job that allowed her to help other returning citizens navigate the difficult journey back to full citizenship.

“I think that Amendment 4...means everything right now,” she told us. “I broke the law in 1992, and as part of my punishment...did the court order me to be punished for the rest of my life and not have a say in my future? Or do we believe in second chances?”

We believe in second chances. Watch Susanne’s full story: