Reasons for Redemption

When Sarah Andrews learned she was pregnant with Suzanna, something changed. It was the moment she knew she needed to take the first step down the road to redemption.

     The 38-year-old, who lives in Eugene, said she was determined not to fall into old habits— specifically, an 18-year methamphetamine addiction. Her first two children had been taken by Child Protective Services 9 years earlier. She’d been in and out of homelessness and abusive relationships. She was wanted on a two-year warrant for failing to appear in court for a drug charge.

     “With a face flushed with tears, I dropped to my knees, and I cried out, Lord, please take my life and make it yours,” she said. “He took my addiction, he took my depression, my self-hatred, my fears, and he gave me a new will to live.”

     Three weeks after her baby was born, Sarah voluntarily visited the probation office to turn herself in. She spent six months at Wilsonville’s Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, without Suzanna. She qualified for early release and a year-long program with Sponsors Inc. “But now, I had a mountain to climb,” she said.

     That mountain is particularly steep for women like Sarah. According to the National Institute of Justice, 76.6 percent of Americans who spend time in prison are arrested again in five years. Sarah is determined to overcome what the statistics predict.