WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Every year, thousands of people are placed on parole and probation.
Within two years, a quarter of them are back in jail.
Pitt County prosecutors want to see the number decrease. They say one local man is the perfect example of how you should treat parole and probation.
“At least six days a week I’m here,” he said, referring to the kitchen at GK’s Café and Catering.
Six months ago, Brenton Grice was in prison.
“The penitentiary is not living,” Brenton Grice said. “That’s not a life for anybody.”
Grice served just over seven years for armed robbery. Now the 26-year-old is out on parole and never wants to go back.
“Not want to go back,” Grice said. “I never will go back.”
He says it’s easy to fall back into old habits and most people do. He’s on a mission to show people you don’t have to be a statistic. You can change your life around. And there is a thing called second chances.
“I had to make a conscious decision to change people places and things in my life,” said Grice.
Thanks to a number of people and his own personal will, Grice has moved to Greenville, found a place to live, and a job.
“It’s all in how you think,” Grice said. “Change your thoughts, you change your life.”
Prosecutors say Grice’s outlook on life, probation, and parole is admirable.
“He used it as, and still continues to use it as, a way of bettering himself,” said Jarrette Pittman, Pitt County ADA. “And I just I wish more people would take advantage of probation the way he has.”
“It’s very paramount that you use it as a tool, instead of looking at it as something that’s holding you back,” said Grice, who’s not only changing himself, he’s changing others.
“I’m hopeful that, those people that we find guilty in court do have a future and do have tomorrow that they can built upon,” explained Pittman.
Grice is now a student at Pitt Community College and is in the process of getting his associates degree.