Former South Carolina inmate returns to prison to help

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — More than a decade ago, Dana Mallette of Columbia — a mother, and a drug addict — was facing prison time for passing bad checks.

Now, thanks to a prison-sponsored program that helped her kick her drug habit, Mallette has returned to South Carolina’s corrections system. She’s now a therapist helping women who are battling some of the demons she once did.

Mallette was addicted to cocaine when she was arrested in late 2003 for passing bad checks and ended up in a special South Carolina prison unit where inmates with addiction issues live and work together, attending intensive group therapy sessions.

Mallette graduated from the program, returned to school and is now a therapist in the prison system. She says she understands the women’s problems in a unique way.

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