Llewellyn King, Host, White House Chronicle
Kilroy is now a lawyer and assistant city solicitor in Providence, R.I.
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA, November 7, 2017 /EINPresswire.com
/ -- Noah Kilroy's life was following a usual story line: Abandoned at birth by a drug-addicted mother, shuffled from foster home to foster home in Rhode Island, dropped out of high school, and served time for various drug felonies between the ages of 16 and 23.
But the life of this African American, 37, took a storybook twist: Released in 2003 from a Florida prison, Kilroy is now a lawyer and assistant city solicitor in Providence, R.I. And its twist happened because of a book he read during his Florida incarceration.
“I had earned my high school GED in 2000 while at the Adult Correctional Institutions [ACI], but a book I found in the Florida prison library, 'Know Thy Self,' changed my life,” said Kilroy, who appeared on “White House Chronicle,” which airs beginning Nov. 10 on PBS.
Kilroy said reading the book led to his taking a “moral inventory” of himself.
“The premise was that without knowledge of self, you cannot have knowledge of anything else because you have nothing to compare it to,” he said.
“I really tried to look at it as to why I was selling drugs. The admiration, the power I gained from selling them, I thought, sustained me and gave me my identity. But I took a step back and realized I was this vapid, empty vessel.”
Reading the book also led him to an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and a degrees from two Rhode Island universities: a B.S. from Salve Regina University and a J.D. from Roger Williams University School of Law, a school which initially rejected him.
“Noah Kilroy found redemption and responsibility in prison. While not every prisoner has Noah's resilience, many do,” said Frederic G. Reamer, professor at Rhode Island who appeared with Kilroy on the episode. Reamer served for 24 years on the Rhode Island Parole Board and paroled Kilroy in the state.
Kilroy said access to education and quality books in a prison library can put prisoners on the path to rehabilitation. “I knew my key to upward mobility was education,” he said.
Kilroy co-founded the Transcending Through Education Foundation with Andres Idarraga, a Rhode Island ACI graduate who went on to graduate from Brown University and Yale Law School. The foundation grants scholarships to people in prison or recently released.
Llewellyn King, executive producer and host of “White House Chronicle,” said, “I've always believed in the 'power of one' in one's life, be it one person or, as in Noah Kilroy's case.”
This week's episode is the third in a “White House Chronicle” series this year on the redemption and rehabilitation of prisoners, from nonviolent offenders -- especially those caught up by tough sentencing laws for drug crimes -- to murderers on death row.
Linda Gasparello, co-host of “White House Chronicle,” said, “Noah Kilroy's success could serve as an inspiration for prisoners, the criminal justice system, and the public's general view that all offenders lack redeeming qualities. If given a second chance, many could live redeemed lives, ones of service and value to others.”
“White House Chronicle” airs nationwide on PBS and public, educational and government access stations, and on the commercial AMG TV network. It airs worldwide on Voice of America Television and Radio. An audio version airs three times weekends on SiriusXM Radio's P.O.T.U.S., Channel 124. An interactive list of stations which carry the program can be found at whchronicle.com.
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