MPW.71 / 2019 Old Dog, New Tricks by Bing Guan
Photographer
Bing Guan New York, N.Y.
Team Chapnick

Story Summary

With over a decade spent in Missouri state prisons, Timothy “T.I” Hoosier, 42, is counting down his final days of incarceration before he becomes a free man. Born and raised in inner-city St. Louis, Timothy ran with gangs and battled a heroin addiction. During a failed bank robbery, he was nearly mauled to death by a police dog. He left with two shattered heel bones and three felony convictions.

Hardened by years in maximum security, Timothy's self-directed rehabilitation eventually saw him overcome his addiction and a phobia of dogs, in part through vocational education and restorative justice programs like the Heavy Equipment Operators class and Puppies for Parole, which helps find new homes for “unadoptable” shelter dogs. As a newly-certified heavy equipment operator and animal trainer, Timothy has become a inspirational role model to other inmates as he gears up for release on October 5th, 2019.

With mere days left before finishing out his sentence at minimum security Boonville Correctional Center, a hopeful Timothy prepares for the challenges of post-prison readjustment that await him on the outside.