TROUP COUNTY, Ga. – The United States Penitentiary in Atlanta lost an inmate today as a Troup County man gained his freedom and a family got their father back.
Donald Brooks spent the last 2,447 days behind bars in the federal prison in Atlanta, and Wednesday was his last.
“It feels so good,” Donald Brooks said. “Super good. I’m really happy. Yes, sir. I’m really happy. Thank you.”
After serving time in two federal facilities for nearly 14 years, Brooks is a free man.
“I just can’t hug him enough!” daughter Aldres Brooks said. “It’s so exciting. I’m in disbelief, because he’s on this side of the wall.”
In 2002, Brooks was sentenced to life in prison for his part in a multistate drug ring.
But last month, in a push to revamp the criminal justice system, President Obama granted clemency to nonviolent offenders.
Brooks was one of them.
“Now it’s up to 348,” Jonni Alcanstra, with Strandord Clemency said. “So, we’ve done 100 so far, and Mr. Brooks, I believe, is 101.”
So now the man with 11 children, 28 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren is going home.
“It’s gonna be a great experience,” Donald Brooks said. “An experience I’ve never had before because some of my grandchildren, I’ve never even seen them. So, I get a chance to meet them now, and bring them up in the way they should go.”
“Bye, prison! ” Donald Brooks said. “No more! Ha, ha! Thank you.”