Robby’s Story: Jail or Job?
– Summer 2018 –
Robby* stood in front of the judge waiting for a decision. Maybe he wouldn’t have to go back to jail. Maybe they would believe he was trying. Maybe, starting now, his life would change. He didn’t want to go to jail a third time.
Robby met his Coffee Oasis case manager while he was incarcerated. He was in on a domestic violence charge after being verbally aggressive towards his older brother. Nineteen-year old Robby had been diagnosed with a defiance disorder and struggled to complete goals he set with his case manager.
But one thing motivated him: Robby wanted a job. So when he got out of jail, his case manager enrolled him in Oasis job skills classes. He needed to complete all six before starting a job internship. Robby faithfully attended each class. It was the first time he began following through on his goals!
If he didn’t take the classes he would go to jail.
Then came the call from court. The judge had ordered that Robby attend domestic violence classes, but Robby didn’t have the money to pay for them. If he didn’t take the classes he would go to jail. In court, Robby shared that he was in a job internship program and only had one class remaining. “I’m doing these classes so I can do an internship,” he explained. “If I miss the last class, then I’ll have to start all over again.”
Taking this into consideration, the judge ruled that Robby did not have to go to jail and waived the domestic violence classes! Robby now had a chance to get a job!
I thought about hiring him before the internship is over. He’s a really good coworker!
After completing his classes Robby began an internship with a contractor. It was a great fit. Robby’s case manager noticed he was less defiant and that his family relationships improved. Robby’s hard work impressed his boss. “I thought about hiring him before the internship is over. He’s a really good coworker!”
Robby now has a job lined up with his current internship! He is feeling accomplished and continues to build a more hopeful future for himself.
*name changed to respect youth’s identity