CSG Justice CenterCSG Justice Center

Fighting for a Second Chance: Reentry Services Work to Provide Opportunities for Ex-Offenders


By Matt Weyrich

Martez Tolbert grew up hustling. “Even as a 3-year-old, I was selling drugs for my uncle and didn’t even know it,” he says. “He was just giving me little backpacks to go up the street.” When he was 11, Tolbert moved with his family from Detroit to Charlottesville, landing in Westhaven. He was raised by his mother and aunt, both of whom struggled with substance abuse, and Tolbert got caught up in using and selling drugs. “I loved the game,” he says. “Loved hustling, loved the streets, loved people in the streets, loved everything about the whole street network because that’s all I was raised on. That’s all I saw.”

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