SACRAMENTO — Adjusting to life on the outside isn’t easy for former prisoners.
As Maurice Caldwell works to get back his old life, he’s getting some help from Strawberry Creek Dental Group in Sacramento.
“They’re giving me something in my life that’s very meaningful and beautiful,” Caldwell said. “You know, in prison, you don’t get this type of dental work.”
Caldwell spent 20 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit.
“There’s no other feeling but anger. It left such an impact on my life that I don’t feel complete,” Caldwell explained.
Back in 1991, Caldwell was convicted of murder based on eyewitness testimony later found to be inaccurate.
A judge overturned his conviction in 2011 after another man came forward and confessed to the crime.
“I come back into society to where there’s computers, there’s technology,” Caldwell said. “You know, there’s a lot of stuff that I missed out on.”
Adjusting to life on the outside hasn’t been easy, but the Northern California Innocence Project has been by his side every step of the way — hooking him up with programs, like the Smile Generation.
“It’s the day that we get to pick some members of our community and our clinicians come in and donate their time and dentistry to them,” Strawberry Creek Dental Group Office Manager Kimberly Robinson said.
The donation is a simple gesture that makes Caldwell all smiles.
“I’m like a thousand pieces of a puzzle and everyday people are helping me put things together to where I’ll be a complete puzzle,” he said.