Coming Home Clean

On June 17, 2019 Tera Crowder, 33, will walk out of Fluvanna Correctional Facility in central Virginia for the first time in three years. And for the first time in her adult life she will have a significant amount of “clean time”—three years off of heroin. Outside of prison, a lifetime of  responsibility waits for her. Four sons, raised by their grandmother, are guarded about the possibility of having a relationship.

Tera started her path to recovery in the Heroin Addicts Recovery Program, an in-jail, peer-to-peer recovery group at the Chesterfield County Jail. She is anxious. She’s not sure the coping and life skills she learned inside will be enough to sustain her recovery on the outside. What will keep her from returning to heroin, prostitution, and jail? What systems are in place to rehabilitate people from incarceration to life full of immense responsibility? Have the prison parenting classes prepared Tera to raise her sons?

Tera’s experience highlights the struggles to reintegrate after incarceration and—hopefully—provides an example of one successful route to lasting recovery. 

A Clean Start

At one Virginia jail, the Helping Addicts Recover Permanently (HARP) program has improved inmates' lives. Tera Crowder is one of them.