Santa Clara County, Justice, Health

Destiny Reentry: Acceptance and love on the outside

A convicted felon’s life of faith, failure and resilience

Alex Senegal has spent a total of about 26 years behind bars. Now he helps others who have been released stay out of trouble as a mentor.

Life on the outside is never easy for people who’ve spent years behind bars. Alex Senegal Jr., who served time for trying to kill a peace officer, is no different.

When he got out, he was fortunate enough to find a community that accepted him: the Bible Way Christian Center in San Jose. He even helped found a Santa Clara County-funded reentry services program at the center. Destiny Re-Entry Faith-Based Resource Center helps people like himself adjust to life on the outside. Senegal kept his nose clean for 12 years before his faith wavered, he made a mistake and found himself back in prison.

But the church never lost faith in him. He humbled himself and rejoined the church community after he was released again.

“There’s no judgment,” says Bishop Oscar Dace, talking about the congregation’s attitude toward Senegal’s fall from grace.

With the help of the faith-based Destiny Reentry program that he helped to found before he went back to prison, Senegal says he has finally, truly accepted his own destiny.

This is a tale of tragic human weakness and struggle, the power of faith and Senegal’s final recovery with help of an accepting community. Hear the story in Senegal’s own words in the video above.

Bible Way’s Destiny-Reentry Faith-Based Resource Center is a program of the Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Department. They are developed to offer hope, compassion, forgiveness, trust, and accountability together with immediate and long-term resources. Call 408-535-4274. The County offers secular re-entry services as well. For those, call 408-535-4299.

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More about adjusting to life on the outside

January 16, 2019

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