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Instilling Change: Lanelle Griffin

Updated: Jul 6

Always be looking forward. “You can never plan the future by the past.” —Edmund Burke


A life of privilege and comfort seemed almost too good to be true. Lanelle Griffin was living in the suburbs with her fiancé and four children. Her environment was stable, and she enjoyed a job that she truly loved. Life was great, until one bad decision cost her everything. Valentine’s Day of 2014 was the day her world would take a turn for the worse.


Lanelle recounts the events of that night, remembering having a wonderful evening of love and celebration with her fiancé. They unfortunately had too much to drink, and she regrettably got behind the wheel. Sadly, her fiancé did not make it home and Lanelle would face the consequences. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison, serving eight before seeing a parole release.


Although facing incredible trauma and loss, Lanelle gathered herself as best she could and refocused herself on self-improvement. While incarcerated, she completed her GED and then acquired a Communication Arts associate’s degree with a focus in Business. Focused and dedicated to change, she enrolled in several classes including a parenting class called PATCH, a class called Impact of Crime on Victim’s (ICVC) and an intensive drug treatment program. In addition, Lanelle enrolled in a cognitive development program called Pathways to Change. She found this program very beneficial as it helped to prepare her for a new life on the outside. Lanelle was released from prison in 2022 and hit the ground running.


Lanelle heard about the Second Chance Program from her parole officer. She took a leap of faith and contacted Second Chance for an opportunity at a new beginning. A few of the things Lanelle had been struggling with was employment and finding housing because of her past charges. “People just didn’t want to give me a chance,” she recounted. Second Chance provided the support and guidance she needed to move forward. With intensive case management, she found the focus to reach the goals she had for her life. Lanelle is now able to hold herself accountable. She has accomplished the task of reinstating her driver’s license lost from the accident in 2014 and is finally moving forward sober. In addition, a good cause waiver, a state issued certificate in the health care field, helped her become stably employed. Lanelle is pleased with the new life she is building.


Lanelle Griffin is proud of how much progress she has made post-incarceration. She is currently sustainable and fully present as a mother and as a grandmother. Her family means the world to her. When asked what she would tell someone in her position, she said she would remind them that life is too short, “Be productive and stay on the course. Don’t allow negative people, places, and things to hold you back from accomplishing your goals.”


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