Inmate hopes program can break cycle for his 5 kids
A Westchester County Jail inmate is betting on a program to help him get back to his family and keep his young children from following in his footsteps.
Benjamin Patrick, 24, is among the more than 2 million Americans locked up across the United States. Figures show more than half of them are parents, and that their own parents may have served time before them.
The Yonkers man was busted with a gun and then violated his probation. He admits he's been arrested dozens of times, mostly for drug dealing. Patrick believes his problems started at a young age.
"I grew up without my father and my mother," says Patrick. "I basically grew up on my own. I grew up in the streets. I looked for father figures in the wrong places ? looking up to all the people with the money, jewelry and all the cars."
Patrick doesn't want his five kids to go down the same path he took. He hopes that the jail's Fathers Count program will break the cycle. The program teaches inmates parenting, financial and other life skills.
"I thought I was a good father before, but after learning the stuff that I learned, now I got so many tools to be like an even better father," Patrick says.
His children and fiancée, La-Toya Turso, are betting on it. "If they don't have anything else in the world they should have their father," Turso says of her children's need to be with their dad.