How Darryl Went from Prisoner to Director

This story first published at Prison Fellowship

The first day Darryl Brooks entered Prison Fellowship®’s Academy at the Carol Vance Unit in Richmond, Texas, he was wearing the standard DOC-issued white scrubs. Today, when he walks through the doors, he usually wears khakis and a dress shirt. It’s the typical attire for the director of the program.

Small Town Highs

Crosby, Texas (a town of just a few thousand) wasn’t exactly a hotbed of excitement, so Darryl and his buddies learned to create their own. At 10, he started using marijuana, selling it to others by junior high.  Dad wasn’t around,
so Mom worked two jobs to support her 12 children. Darryl was the youngest.

“I was practically raised by my siblings,” he explains.

He graduated from high school in 1987, but with no one to help him plan for his future, it was up to him to create it—or try to destroy it.

Darryl still remembers the first time he tried crack cocaine. He and his best friend were cruising the streets of their tiny town, drinking, and his friend handed him his first smoke.

“Anything that was going to take me up, up there, I was gonna try.”

After that, he descended deeper into the drug scene, and eventually found himself in court.

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