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Reentry Success Shared Over Open Waters

Tags: DOC
January 26, 2020 12:00 AM
By: DOC Staff

PA Coat of Arms

Dave Roberts, a former DOC employee, was on a cruise in January 2020. He shares his recent experience while on that cruise:

"I was on a cruise this past month and had a Penn State shirt on which caused a man to strike up a conversation with me. He told me that he was a roofer and asked me what I did. I told him I was retired from the state prison system.

He told me that he had done time in SCI Rockview in the mid-80's. He further stated that he had gotten clean in prison and that he had taken the bus back to Philadelphia the day he was released from prison.

In the bus station he saw this really big guy with a gold chain on his neck. He asked him if he had played for Penn State, and the guy said he did. He also asked him if he could talk to him, and the guy agreed, and they talked on the whole trip. He told the guy about his addiction that started as a teenager and that he always wanted to play football.

In the course of the trip, the player pulled his game jersey out of his bag and said he was going to give it to his nephew, but gave it to him instead. He told him when he felt like using to put the jersey on.

Today is the 34th anniversary of him being clean. So, I would like to give a huge congratulations to Danny M. and thank you to Mike Russo, starting defensive tackle on the 1986 National Championship team, for your concern and kindness to another human.

It gave me another reason to be proud of my university and the dedicated men and women of corrections and parole."

Dave Roberts started his Commonwealth of Pennsylvania career as a parole agent with the PA Board of Probation and Parole. He then transferred to the Department of Corrections, where he served as a counselor, psychological services associate, unit manager, inmate program manager, director of the then-Bureau of Inmate Services (now Treatment Services) and finally as deputy superintendent.

Editor's Note: While writing this article, we reached out to Dave Roberts about how he is not only proud of Penn State, but also how he is proud of the DOC and parole. He said:

"Absolutely! He (the former inmate) said that you guys helped people. Recovery is complicated, as you know. He said prison helped him reach rock bottom. He also said that there was a terrible thunderstorm and that it felt like the prison was going to explode. He said he got on his knees and prayed to get over his addiction and made a commitment to stop using."

Finally, Dave said that he posted this information on "Nittany Nation," A Penn State Football site. So far, more than 1,500 people viewed it, with 140 comments being posted.

We wish Danny M. continued success!

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