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Continued: At Dakota County jail, volunteers are helping inmates get a second chance

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  • Last update: April 19, 2014 - 2:11 PM

“They laughed at me, said nobody comes back without handcuffs on, Mr. Wynne,” he remembered.

Wynne received the 2013 Community Hero Award from the American Red Cross for his work with inmates.

Shane Lloyd, 35, has been in prison six times since 2006. In the past, he waited until the last three months of his sentence “to make this miraculous change.”

Now, although he’s facing a possible five-year prison sentence, he knows “if I don’t start now, I’m not going to do it.”

Michael Dorman, 27, has spent nine years and 11 months of his adult life in jails or prisons. He was out for 21 days before he landed in the Dakota County jail in September for auto theft.

Last week, he sat grading GED pretests and assessments for Gaby Postiglione.

“It’s about time I start doing something for someone else,” he said. “I do things like this, it makes me feel good.”

Dorman has finally begun to realize that there might be a life outside of correctional facilities, and he credits people like the Postigliones, Wynne and jail staff for that.

“You can see the care. And people who care? In a jail?” he said incredulously.

Dorman’s dream is to go into a residential program such as Teen Challenge or a halfway house when he gets out of jail. Someday he’d like to reopen a bait shop that his foster family owned for years.

“I ain’t never had dreams coming out of jail before,” he said. “I had dreams of ‘I’m getting out for a little while, I’ll be back.’ I didn’t know no other thing. Now I may not know no other thing but I gotta do something to learn something else.”

Bill Postiglione got tears in his eyes when he showed his class a newspaper photo of Michigan State basketball star Adreian Payne, who developed a special friendship with an 8-year-old girl with cancer.

“If you have the opportunity to do the right thing, do it,” he told the men.

“Do it,” one inmate echoed.

“Amen,” said another.

The Postigliones make it a point not to know the inmates’ crimes. They don’t want the bad to take away from the good.

“Our students, they made a mistake, but if we don’t give them an opportunity, some hope for an opportunity, they’re going to be right back in,” Bill Postiglione said.

“We believe in second or third or fourth chances,” he said. “I’m going to do this until I die. My goal is to have them carry my dead body out of here.”

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  • Bill Postiglione, 76, left, and Gaby Postiglione, 53, not pictured, taught fractions and decimals to inmates at the Dakota County jail in Hastings. The father-daughter team come to the Dakota County jail three times a week (Bill comes in a fourth day, too) to teach GED and college prep classes to inmates.

  • Every week, a dozen or so volunteers pass through the doors of the Dakota County jail to tutor inmates, help them learn basic social manners and more.

  • Bill Postiglione, rear right, and Gaby Postiglione, center, come to the Dakota County jail three times a week (Bill comes in a fourth day, too) to teach GED and college prep classes to inmates.

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