Convicts are people, too

Published on Friday, 20 June 2014 23:38 - Written by Rebecca Hoeffner rhoeffner@tylerpaper.com

There’s nothing better than a good redemption story.

This week, NBC reported a story about an ex-convict in Georgia who rescued a baby from the side of the highway.

Bryant Collins spent 10 years in prison for manufacturing cocaine. When he got out, he decided to turn his life around and began work as an auto repairman. He said he’s been living an honest life for five years.

When he saw a 15-month-old girl dangerously close to the highway he was driving on, he pulled over. He picked up the little girl and called 911. He said he played Gospel music for her on his phone to keep her from crying.

Officials believe the toddler was left with older siblings who lost track of her.

“She crawled away from home and 300 yards through the woods before tumbling down an embankment and then making her way to the highway, where she could easily have been run over,” according to the story. “Fortunately, aside from some superficial injuries, the baby was fine.”

“‘Honestly, that’s almost a miracle,’” said Madison County Sheriff Kip Thomas.”

People are widely suspicious of ex-cons. They are a group of people who often find it difficult to get jobs or be trusted by society once they’ve paid their dues, no matter what the crime was. And when no one trusts you even though you have the best intentions, I could see how it would be easy to give in to bitterness and do the bad people expect of you anyway.

So it was nice to see that Collins, who easily could have reverted back to his old life once he was released, was given a chance to redeem himself — and boy, did he ever embrace that chance with open arms.

“‘It made me feel good, that I could be in society and do good,’” he said.