The Criminal Conscience: Mother of 4 turned to drugs to pay bills, finally clean for family

(WFLA) – Three empty walls, One of metal bars. This is the life lived by tens of thousands of convicts across Florida. In this exclusive, you’ll meet a mother who couldn’t escape her life of crime for almost a decade. Angela Williams shares her very revealing and honest life story with News Channel 8.

Williams said she was forced into survival mode to support her family. That’s when she turned to the streets for almost a decade, living a gritty lifestyle – both in and out of jail.

Never expecting to turn to a life of crime, this mother of four did what she had to do to pay the bills.

“I chose to sell drugs, and selling drugs is what caused me to go to jail, and caused me to go to prison…and I lost out on my children’s early years,” she said.

“Crack cocaine, marijuana, that was basically what I sold….I was doing it basically for survival.”

Her first arrest was in 1987. Then again, twice in 1988. All of them were related to her crack cocaine addiction.

“There’s a chemical addiction, because it sets off something in you, that it’s like a desire in you that you want to run, run, run. It’s like the more you get, the more you need.”

Williams said life behind bars is absolutely miserable.

“Some guards come in and they’ve had a bad day, and they take it out on you. It’s like you’re nothing. You’re worthless. You’re a number and just an inmate”

It wasn’t enough to keep her out for good. Back on the streets, she found it impossible to stay straight.

“I was going to church, and people’s lives were coming up roses and Cadillacs, and here I am struggling with my teenagers and my baby, not knowing how to manage all that. That was my biggest regret when I think of all that, because I know my kids needed me.”

She found it nearly impossible to land a job because of her background.

“I had been clean for three years and I was looking around, looking for help and couldn’t get help because I was a felon,” she said.  “Couldn’t get a good job so it was like okay…go back. Go back to the comfort zone.”

She tried prostitution, but soon realized she’d rather sell drugs than her body.

However, these days, Williams has her life on the right track and credits two sources. Her life coach and mentor at PAR, as well as her minister and congregation at Life’s Harbor Church.

“My life is coming full focus and to see my grandchildren look up to me. And with young people it’s ‘Ms. Angela,’ not that crack head, not that dope dealer….but it’s ‘Ms. Angela’ now.”

Angela has been clean for the last 12 years and is working with other women to keep them on the right track.

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