Misty’s Story of Rehabilitation
Today’s story is about a woman who overcame tremendous challenges to become a walking success story.
“My prison sentence was a blessing,” says Misty Campbell. “Because I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without being in these walls.”
Misty was a nurse a few years ago, raising a family and living a happy, successful life. Then she hit a rough patch which left her with a prison sentence and a heart full of regret. As part of that experience, she lived nearly three years at the Gregory S. Coleman Unit in Lockhart, TX. A facility with a difference she noted right away.
“Until I walked through the doors, the gates of this facility, I was just a number. And that day is where my transition started, my healing started. I was addressed as Misty Campbell, or Ms. Campbell. And that was the start of my healing. And just the respect given to the ladies here from the staff is a big deal.”
Misty applied herself at the Coleman Unit, taking programming classes at the facility, getting involved in PAWS in Prison, and becoming a mentor in peer education. She became the model resident, determined to change and overcome the challenges that led her to prison.
Released in 2019, Misty now works for Austin Community College in Austin, Texas. Her job involves aiding women freshly released from prison to get set up with housing and other basics and helping them take steps to build a stable, productive life.
Jennifer Brown was the warden of the Coleman Unit. “Misty Campbell,” she says, “I’ll tell you what. She is a rock star and she represents the women of the Coleman unit. Just to see her, to represent what we do. It is so important for the women who leave here to represent the women who are still here and have a voice for them. She excites me.”
Her daughter Callie has supported Misty through the whole process of conviction, sentence, incarceration, and release.
“Callie went from seeing me being fulfilled, happy, succeeding to being broken and in despair. She never left my side. I put her through a lot more than I should’ve ever put her through, being a mother. And she still never left.”
“It definitely makes you grow up a lot quicker,” explains Callie, “I did have to grow up faster than most kids. I went through a lot growing up, and a lot of people tell me that I’m so strong and everything, but it’s nothing compared to what she’s been through.”
“But she never gave up on me,” reflects Misty. “Never doubted me. Always knew that, at some point, Mom would come back.”
“Just the way she has come out on top and changed for better,” Callie says, “after so long of being down, that definitely makes her one of my heroes in my book. I’ve been through a lot, but to see her as high as she is now, it makes her a hero to me.”
“All I can do is say ‘thank you’ to MTC,” says Misty, “for having the motto ‘BIONIC’, Believe It or Not I Care, and making sure that the staff understands that. Because it’s huge in the lady’s and men’s lives that you touch. Knowing that actually, really, people do care. So, thank you.”