RVA labeled a "fatherless" town by CNN

Published: Oct. 22, 2015 at 3:42 AM EDT|Updated: Nov. 1, 2015 at 10:56 AM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - CNN has labeled RVA a "fatherless town" – with a large number of fathers behind bars. Lisa Ling visited the Richmond Justice Center and produced an hour-long show about a new program that is turning lives around and saving families.

A devastating house fire changed Pavel Moseley's life. His family was left homeless. His mother and younger siblings were sent to live in a women's shelter.

"So at that time right there, I was forced out into the streets," said Richmond Justice Center resident Pavel Moseley.

Moseley was 13 years old. He ended up turning to a life of crime.

"Some would say it was a curse," said Moseley. "But some form another it was like a gift. The neighborhood drug dealer came to my rescue."

Moseley spent the years that followed in and out of jail. He is now 37 years old, and he's being featured in a CNN hour-long show on jailed Richmond fathers.

"And then you ask yourself, 'do you want them to live the same way that you lived?'" said Moseley. "'Do you want them to go through the same trial and tribulations?' No."

Mr. Moseley shares the pod with more than 60 residents. He says the REAL Program (Recovering from Everyday Addictive Lifestyles) changed his life.

"You have to help those who want to help themselves," said Sheriff C.T. Woody Jr. "They are going to come back in the community, and we want them to be better citizens instead of better criminals."

CNN notes the program teaches everything from job training, to parenting skills and even etiquette skills. Moseley learned how to tie a tie for the first time. It was just in time for the father-daughter dance.

"It was great," said Moseley's daughter. "It gave me an experience to dance with him, and show him some of the moves because he can't dance for nothing, but it's okay."

Sheriff Woody says the program should be a model for other jails.

"Most definitely," said Sheriff Woody. "You cannot arrest the problem away. You can build bigger jails, and sure law enforcement is going to fill them up, but that is not going to solve the problem."

Moseley says his daughter is a source of inspiration. He was just approved for work release. He hopes to have a job when he leaves the Richmond Justice Center in just over a year's time.

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