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Shirley Lamarr: Former Felon Unlikely Heroine

Shirley Lamarr is an unlikely heroine. But the former felon feels a connection to the unique program she runs in San Mateo County, California. Lamarr runs Choices, a program at the Maguire Correctional Facility in Redwood City. The program teaches almost 200 inmates “social survival skills” through parenting classes, workshops and GED preparation.

Lamarr stresses to the prisoners that their actions and behavior must change before their lives can significantly change.

“She runs a very tight ship. She probably does more yelling at inmates than we do,” said Correctional Officer Michael Shanks.

Lamarr is committed to the program and thanks the Lord for the second chance she was given years ago.

“This is a critical thing that people need to understand,” Lamarr said. “Drug-related crimes can range anywhere from stealing some meat out of Safeway all the way to attempted murder or murder if you get into a bad situation, because that whole scene, that whole life, that whole environment is horrible.”

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