METAIRIE, La. (WGNO) — A Louisiana man who was formerly incarcerated for more than twenty years in state prison is getting a new start.
The Baton Rouge native was granted parole last month under Act 122, a new law that allows offenders sentenced to more than 30 years in prison to apply for parole after serving 20 years and reaching the age of 45.
Eric Calvin walked out of the Louisiana State Penitentiary Friday after being incarcerated for 25 years.
“I’m very excited to be free and being able to enjoy life again,” said Calvin. “So, it’s a good, emotional thing for me, and it’s been difficult, trying to find the right word to explain it.”
Because of a drug addiction, Calvin says, he began hanging out with the wrong crowd.
In 1997, he was sentenced to 170 years in prison on armed robbery and first-degree robbery charges.
“I needed a way out, just didn’t know what that way out meant. Just so happened it was prison, which pretty much saved my life because I was in a downward spiral,” said Calvin.
Calvin believes his accomplishments in prison regarding his rehabilitation and his faith in God secured the parole board’s approval.
He’s excited for what’s to come while he begins his new life in Metairie.
“I’m actually able to pursue my passion, and that’s to help other people, struggling addicts, people who just don’t see that the decisions that they may be making at the current time can lead to a detrimental situation,” said Calvin.
He’s hoping to be a part of the prison reform conversation in Louisiana.
“We, those who transition from a prison, such as myself, and others that are already out in society and those that are currently incarcerated, appreciate all the support and love and tireless effort put forth to make some necessary changes,” said Calvin.