How to Succeed After Incarceration: My Story with Cleve Bell

By July 20, 2020 July 28th, 2020 One Comment

Welcome to the inaugural episode of Inside Job, a show by offenders for offenders. I am Cleve Bell, your host. This podcast is all about adding value to others, guiding returning citizens and their families as well as engaging with returning citizens policymakers. Forget your past, forgive yourself, and get ready for a new beginning!

I have been a Miami resident for over 40 years, I serve as Chief Executive Officer of Riverside House, a non-profit, faith-based organization. Once I was a jailed criminal myself, my story turnaround turned to be an inspiration to many prisoners and community organizations today. I am known for my community activism as a program development assistant and I am a leader and expert on ex-offender community reentry programs.

Key Takeaways:

[:44] My childhood years.
[9:02] Becoming a referee between Mom and Dad at 6 years old.
[10:18] I tried to protect my mom before even knowing what protection was.
[11:12] The tough experience of not having a dad around when I was a child.
[12:55] The most tragic experience I had.
[14:18] Being caught in my own traffic.
[14:33] My experience at school.
[15:40] Starting drinking at 14 years old.
[16:26] My life was all about what I couldn’t do.
[17:03] I developed a liver disease at 16 years old that kept me in bed for a year.
[19:41] Moving to Miami.
[21:17] Meeting Jerry, a drug addict who was able to overcome his addiction.
[23:35] The reason why this podcast is called Inside Job.
[25:25] I received a letter from my brother and that brought back my humanity and faith in relationships.
[26:41] For the first time I really felt at home.
[28:31] I began learning the value of working for what you earn.
[29:44] I took a 16-week Bible study that changed my life and perspective.
[31:25] Realizing the value of freedom and discovering my relationship with God.
[33:15] I am now celebrating 18,600 days of recovery.
[33:38] Every day is a new day.
[35:06] Creating a community.
[36:58] Being released from jail.
[37:50] You are worthy of the effort.


Learn More About Riverside House:

Riverside House is a nonprofit, government, and faith community partner. We have been active agents of change and sustained progress in the Miami area for more than three decades, helping tens of thousands walk a straight path into refashioned, sober, and spiritually upright lives as free citizens.

At Riverside House, we provide a critical relief valve during the transition of offenders from confinement to community. Our teams of well-credentialed and committed professionals support each man and woman who enters our doors in their unique, personal path to rehabilitation and recovery.

We are in the business of second chances, and we know that the consideration we extend to those most in need must be holistic in nature. We address the total person – mind, body, and spirit, attuned to the moral and material needs we all share.

“… Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

To learn more visit riversidehouse.org

Reach out to Riverside House:

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Tweetables and Quotes:

“Forget your past, forgive yourself, start again”

“If you get caught up in your own traffic, life can be extremely difficult.”

“Communities do make a difference, it takes a community to raise a child.”

“The one person you have 100% control over is you.”

“Every day is a new day; I will do the very best I can today.”

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Susan McEntyre says:

    This story of Cleve’s is so inspirational for me. I cannot begin to relate to his life’s experiences, but I do relate to how Jesus can change a heart and focus of person’s life. Thank you for sharing this, Cleve. I look forward to the next episode.

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