Two Portland men who turned lives around behind bars encourage o - KPTV - FOX 12

Two Portland men who turned lives around behind bars encourage others to do the same

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Sang Dao and Noah Shultz (KPTV) Sang Dao and Noah Shultz (KPTV)

Two men, who spent years behind bars, were able to finish college while incarcerated and turn their lives around. Now, they are encouraging others to do the same.

The two men gave speeches on Friday as part of Portland's Community Peace Collaborative.

Community Peace Collaborative is a bi-weekly forum that is run by the Mayor's Office and Office of Youth Violence Prevention.

Former Governor John Kitzhaber granted one of the men clemency, which let him get out of jail almost five years early.

Sang Dao was sentenced to twelve and a half years in prison at the age of 17 for involvement in multiple shootings.

Dao made an incredible turn-around, graduating from high school and earning his Bachelor's in Criminal Justice while in custody.

"We're just trying to look for a new and innovative way to just look at a holistic, healthy criminal justice system, a healthy juvenile justice system. I've been out for a year now and every day is just truly a blessing, I mean, there's times I wake up and think 'wow, am I really here.'"

Dao wants those incarcerated to know it's never too late to change their lives around.

Dao is now working on his Master's in Public Policy and works for the Multnomah County's Department of Community Justice Juvenile Services Division.

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