Hallie Miller was just another statistic in the long line of African-American women incarcerated in the Dallas community.
To society, Hallie was seen as just another person using the tax payer’s money and not contributing to the good of humanity. Hallie has been imprisoned twice for a total of 2 1/2 years. Like most individuals in prison, Hallie dreamed of her freedom from prison and starting her life over on the right side of the law. She realized very quickly that those were just dreams and the reality was almost near impossible to obtain. Upon her release, Hallie was shunned by society. It seemed that no one would lend her a second chance. She started to believe that her life in prison was better than her freedom.
After being released, Hallie applied for over 20 different jobs. Even though she received positive feedback from 14 of those employers, she was denied employment because of her criminal history. Despite all the rejections, Hallie was determined to survive the right way. With the help and support of her family, she worked many odd jobs that most people would consider inhumane. Six months had gone by and Hallie was still out of a steady job. She was on the verge of losing all hope, and contemplated turning to drugs to help her cope with her reality. Throughout this difficult time of trials and testing of her faith, she knew that God would not forsake her. She knew her heavenly Father would eventually turn things around if she would continue to keep her trust in Him. She had reached out to many organizations in the Dallas area to ask for assistance. That’s when she happened to hear about the Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative (TORI). When she became a client of TORI, Hallie changed her life around. She completed the TORI program and graduated. With determination and a desire to assist other incarcerated individuals in finding hope, she realized that she had a passion for people and decided to use her gift to touch people’s lives and assist them in finding resources to provide them with hope for a better and safer future.
She has been instrumental in the success of the TORI program, and is no longer viewed as “just another statistic.” She has proved that she is a vital part of the Dallas community and is very involved in contributing more than her share to the well-being of our society. Hallie has tirelessly worked to assist the TORI clients obtain clothing, emergency assistance, and basic necessities for their survival. Hallie has developed many contacts and partnerships within the community to assist ex-offenders in meeting their goals. She passionately speaks about the TORI program and the need for greater assistance for the ex-offender population at community meetings. She has appeared on television and radio to advertise the program and she has distributed TORI brochures to local community organizations as well as parole and probation offices. Hallie has worked throughout the community in various ways, including hosting and teaching mentor training classes, developing and maintaining an organized emergency clothes closet, and organizing many service projects that require TORI clients to give back to the Dallas community.
Hallie is an extraordinary individual who has affected so many TORI clients’ lives. She continues to go above and beyond what is expected of her. When she’s not assisting with TORI, she enjoys her other passion, art, and hopes to one day write a book.