She’s recovering at MTC’s Lockhart Facility and now she’s helping others

Melissa Kappus was convicted of multiple DUIs. Her life was a mess, but she’s recovering at MTC’s Lockhart Correctional Facility.

“I’m very grateful to be here at Lockhart. It’s a lot different than the previous unit that I was at. The staff is different; very motivating, very inspiring. Instantly, when I walked in the door, I knew it was different.”

Melissa participates in four hours of direct treatment every day on top of other services and programs that are helping her understand and overcome her addiction.

“We come from different walks of life. We’re people that would not maybe normally mix all thrown here together—but we have a common problem and what we found is we have a common solution.”

Incarceration hasn’t been easy, but Melissa knows the rehabilitation process is vital to her future success.

“Would I rather be at home? Yes. But what I do while I’m here is try to live a different way that’s conducive to recovery and sobriety. And I’ll carry what I’ve learned in here and from all the other women to out there, so I can be a better wife and mother to my family.”

She says the staff at Lockhart are genuinely concerned about their well-being.

“They’ve helped me tremendously. You know, when I first came to prison, I had a little bit of sobriety under my belt, but I was emotionally a wreck. You know, being separated from my family and my loved ones. When I got here, like I said earlier, it was instant relief. The color on the walls. The ‘yes mam’ and ‘no mam’ from the staff. Just a little bit of compassion goes so far, especially for us women when we are suffering so much emotionally.”

For Melissa, recovery comes with a responsibility to help other people struggling through similar challenges.

“There’s life after prison. This does not define us. And another thing: I think it’s personally my responsibility when I go out there to share my experience with others that maybe I can help somebody else. Don’t let this experience be in vain. I think we have the responsibility to carry the message and help somebody else.”

About Gregory S. Coleman Unit

Gregory S. Coleman Unit is accredited by the American Correctional Association achieving over 99% compliance for both mandatory and non-mandatory standards in its most recent audit. Other accreditations and certifications include the Correctional Education Association and the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).