As a former high-ranking member of the infamous gang, the Crips, Mr. Roderick Crowe started a life of incarceration at age 21.
After serving 18 years for possession with intent to deliver and burglary of a habitat, Mr. Crowe enrolled in TORI July 2007.
Mr. Crowe is not your typical TORI client. Unlike many of TORI’s clients who stem from dysfunctional environments, Mr. Crowe grew up with a great family. He was raised by two parents who gave him an opportunity at a nice life. It wasn’t until he started college that his life changed. That’s when he picked up his first case, and in 1988, prison became a revolving door for Mr. Crowe — a lifestyle that would last until he turned to TORI.
When Mr. Crowe entered the TORI program, he admits his intent was to “get over” on the program. He planned to go through the motions just to take advantage of TORI’s housing assistance opportunity. However, to his dismay, TORI demanded a lot of Mr. Crowe’s time and energy before the program would release its resources. After a couple of attitude adjustments, Crowe finally gave in and let the Lord lead him.
After his reality check, Mr. Crowe became very involved in TORI and has been employed for over a year. In addition, he has received stable housing and has dedicated his life to service through mentorship in the community. Mr. Crowe takes pride in who he is today as a father, grandfather, volunteer, mentor and leader. His most recent joy is living in his very own three-bedroom home— something he thought he’d never be able to do.
Even though life seemed to be going well for Mr. Crowe, he was facing another obstacle. Crowe was looking at a 5-20 year sentence on a case he picked up prior to enrollment in the TORI program. The district attorney wanted to sentence Mr. Crowe 15 years behind bars, and she was not negotiating. On Friday, Nov. 7, 2008, Crowe’s luck with the DA would change. Crowe’s family, alongside TORI staff, went to support him as he faced trial for this case. Supporters were able to testify on Mr. Crowe’s behalf as to his rehabilitation. As a result, the judge sentenced him to five years of deferred probation and continued community service through TORI. This was a great feat, considering that probation was previously not an option offered by the DA. It was a sight to see Crowe’s parents, brothers, aunts and uncles all crying as they thanked the TORI staff for giving Mr. Crowe the resources he needed to turn his life around.