These 2 Famous Criminals Turned Their Lives Around; You Can, Too!

Posted on: 9 July 2015

Everyone makes mistakes. For some people, the mistakes are more serious than others. While turning your life around may be difficult, it is possible with hard work and dedication. Regardless of the crime you've been arrested for, or what issue has caused you to seek the help of a bail bond agency, your future choices will have a direct impact on your overall success. Need inspiration? Learn about five famous criminals who managed to turn over a new leaf for the better in the article below.

Frank William Abagnale

There's no questioning it; before Abagnale turned his life around, he was a dyed-in-the-wool conman. Through his teens and his 20s, he racked up an amazing list of crimes:

  • Cashing and writing $2.5 million worth of fraudulent checks
  • Impersonating an airline pilot
  • Acting as a lawyer
  • Fraudulently acting as a college professor
  • A variety of other petty crimes

Simply put, Abagnale knew how to work the system. His incredible ability to work the system and dodge police was even the source for a very popular movie, "Catch Me If You Can."

Abagnale's charismatic personality and skill at social engineering made him difficult to pin down, but he was eventually caught. After serving in a French prison, he set his mind to turning his life around and using his strengths for good.

Shortly before his release, he was offered a deal: work with the U.S. government, and you'll be released immediately. He said yes. Today, Abagnale provides fraud and security consulting to a variety of companies and the government itself.

What You Can Learn From Abagnale

While you may never become as famous as Abagnale, his story has plenty of teaching moments. Anyone who gets into trouble with the law has the ability to make a choice to use their experiences for good, instead of bad.

Think about the skills you used to commit crimes--very often, these skills can be used in a positive way, too. If you handled money, you might be naturally good at math. If your crimes were related to theft, providing information to security companies can help you to give back to the community while protecting others. There's always a way to focus on the positive, rather than the negative.

Judge Greg Mathis

You've seen him on television--but did you know that Judge Mathis was once a hardened gang member himself? This is likely where he gained his hard-nosed stance towards lying, fraud, and manipulation. 

The majority of Mathis' crimes took place prior to the age of 17. As a child of inner-city Detroit, he struggled to stay away from gang culture, and eventually succumbed to the temptation of belonging to a "family", too. Eventually, his gang affiliation landed him jail time, most of which was served in juvenile jails. After several stints in the facility, his mother was diagnosed with cancer--something that would turn out to be both a tragedy and a blessing for the man at the same time.

Seeing his mother decline was the inspiration Mathis needed to turn his life around. Although he was now a bit old to attend a regular high school, he found a way to get an education: first, he got his G.E.D. Then, he pursued a law degree. Eventually, Mathis was awarded the famous reality television show he continues to host today.

What You Can Learn From Judge Mathis

Mathis came from a place of very little privilege in life. Living in inner city Detroit, especially as an African-American man, placed him at a significant disadvantage in 1970s America. Coming from a poor family and being surrounded by crime meant that struggle was likely a fact of life, at least some of the time. However, Mathis didn't let this take over his life--he used his love for his mother to spur him on to greater things. 

Mathis also managed to overcome his disadvantages by leaning on supportive, strong members of his community. Despite how far he had to climb, he stayed true to his goals and managed to become a strong, independent member of his community, too. Today, he gives the empowerment he received back by running a youth empowerment center.

History serves an important role, and not just in academic education. Even if you've spent most of your life dabbling in crime, creating a stable support network and working towards becoming a better person can help you to move forward with your life in a positive way. If you've recently been arrested or a loved one has been charged with a crime, start by talking to a reliable bail bond agency. Not only can they help to provide bail, but most are also networked with supportive resources that can help people in trouble with the law turn over a new leaf.