Trevor, an African American man born in San Bernardino, came into this world addicted to methamphetamines. His mother, testing dirty, was taken to jail and baby Trevor was placed in the foster care system. He struggles with academics, is considered a discipline problem and bounces through several foster families. Meanwhile, Trevor’s mother finds Jesus, is released from jail and completes her degree and begins working as a Social Worker. About the time Trevor was in his early teen years, he wants desperately to reconnect with his mother. Reaching out, he asks if he can come home. She says “no”. She has a new family and since Trevor is involved in delinquent behavior, she doesn’t want him bringing trouble around her home.
This rejection acts as a major factor in Trevor's downward spiral during his teen years. More drugs, more violence, and gang activity.
In custody, Trevor signs up for the Trauma Recovery and Family Relations course. While in class Trevor is engaging and intelligent. His demeanor starts to shift and he agrees to a one-on-one one session. Being client centered and focusing on the primacy of affect in our interpersonal process, within moments Trevor was in tears. Staff met this vulnerability openly, offering him the support and validation that he had never received growing up. This, Corrective Emotional Experience allowed Trevor to talk about how he felt and share the authentic story of his life for the first time. Trevor told staff about his mother, life in the system, and experiences of living on the streets. He openly spoke about his pain and shared the story of the woman he loves and their son….the reason he had signed up for the class. Underneath the hard exterior and aggression, which were adaptive coping strategies he needed at a certain point to survive, Trevor wants to love and to be loved in return.
Several months later, Trevor is released and continues meeting with staff twice a week at the San Bernardino County Probation Department’s Day Reporting Center (DRC). Developing what would be the precursor to the Life Care Maps, Trevor and staff worked on proximal and distal goals that best suited his needs with other community stakeholders like Probation, Work Force Development, the Transitional Assistance Department, and local community colleges. After finding Trevor housing, staff arranged job interviews and transportation and even assisted Trevor in signing up for college. Trevor developed an excitement for life that showed in everything he did, especially when it came to being a dad, even bringing his son into meetings. Eventually, Trevor met a new woman and the two of them went up to spend a weekend in the mountains. While on the trip, she offered Trevor marijuana. He smoked with her and of course, two days later he had a random drug test at probation. He was going to run. Instead he called a peer with whom he had bonded over fatherhood with. The friend told him to be honest with his probation officer and talk with her. After coming up dirty on the test, Trevor’s probation officer, FAITHS staff, and a manager discussed Trevor’s progress. Because of the tremendous gains he had made with school, work, his son, and overall with himself, Trevor didn’t get a violation. Instead, he was offered a second chance. Fast forward another several months, Trevor is happy, has an amazing and consistent relationship with his son, is going to school, and has started to mend the relationship with his mom. Trevor broke the transgenerational cycle of abuse and incarceration.
In the nearly five years since his release, Trevor has not been back to jail.