LAS VEGAS (FOX5) - Friday, Metro Police Department hosted the Hope for Prisoners organization for one of their graduation ceremonies. Hope for Prisoners was started by Jon Ponder, an ex-convict himself, to help people coming out of jail integrate back into society.
"We train folks on things, not only to be able to get a job and maintain it,” said Ponder. “But we come in and undergird them with a foundation to help them build up a brand-new life."
Twenty-two men and women received certificates for completing an intense week-long course meant to serve as a jumping-off point for their new lives.
"I work nights and I had to be at the program so I only got like 40 minutes of sleep the whole week,” said graduate, Ray Fernandez. “I slept like maybe 5 hours total."
Fernandez, cheered on by his wife, said it was all well worth it for a chance to turn things around after serving 12 years behind bars.
"I had to pay a price for all of that. Now, I see a future and I'm joyful."