LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Albuquerque resident Lindsay Waite, 67, will have traveled over 340 miles by bicycle to arrive in Lubbock, Texas on Thursday, April 7 to highlight nonprofit programs that assist those released from prison and jails in leading successful lives.
Waite will be in Lubbock from the afternoon of Thursday, April 7 through Saturday morning, April 9 before she heads to Abilene and then Austin.
Inspired by several years of volunteer teaching at a Maryland prison in the early 1990s and subsequent work as an assistant public defender in Baltimore, Maryland, Lindsay Waite became acutely aware of the difficulties people face once released from prison or jail.
When Lindsay moved to Albuquerque in 2014, she was returning to her home state after living in the Baltimore area for most of her life. Lindsay began volunteering with Wings for Life and the Prison Reform Ministry in order to work locally on prison reform issues and programs that help break the
cycle of incarceration.
Approximately 10,000 people are released weekly from prisons and jails in the U.S. With a criminal record, it is difficult to get work. Often an answer to an initial question - "do you have any criminal convictions?" - disqualifies them from any consideration. In addition, many of these men and women have substance abuse and psychological issues, minimal job skills, backgrounds of inadequate education, and few opportunities to find housing if there is no family support.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, approximately two-thirds will be re-arrested within three years.
For those victimized by the subsequent crimes, these are tragedies that could have been prevented. For the taxpayer, it means paying (again) $20,000-$50,000 annually to incarcerate each person.
For the offender, it means being locked up again with little hope for a decent future.
On April 2, at 10 a.m. at University of New Mexico's Duck Pond Lindsay and a small group began the ride. Right now, Waite is traveling solo but will be joined by other cyclists in various locations along the way.
All funds raised will be divided equally among Wings for Life, Crossroads for Women (both Albuquerque-based) along with Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake and Volunteers of America Chesapeake (both in Baltimore).
More than $2500 has been raised so far.
To follow Lindsay's journey or make a donation you can go to the following links: