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“a neglected weed in the asphalt and concrete”

February 20, 2005 9:50 am by

The RTD profiles the Intensive Treatment Unit, a new state-funded program run by the Virginia Department of Corrections aimed at assisting women whose lives have been shattered due to drugs, violence, prostitution, abuse, etc.

The first profile in the article is Tori Swann, who ” grew up a neglected weed in the asphalt and concrete of Church Hill”.

The story goes on to say that

“The 25-year-old longtime crack dealer was 14 when she was first arrested. Her mother is in jail, her father’s whereabouts are unknown. They, too, are convicted drug offenders.

Pregnant again, the mother of two fears her children will repeat the cycle.

She fears little else.

Early on the morning of Jan. 6, armed robbers — all since arrested — wounded her brother and boyfriend. A gun was pointed at her head and the trigger pulled, but nothing happened.

“I was standing there thinking, ‘Damn. I hope I don’t get shot.’ But I wasn’t scared. Sometimes I think I’m sick,” Swann told the group. “I grew up in a neighborhood where people get killed every day.”

Swann, a middle school dropout, said her wants are simple: a job, her children and a place of her own.

With a long criminal record, little formal education, no job experience and a history of drug abuse, the odds of her achieving her goals are slim. Worse, her 10-year-old already has been arrested and taken his first steps down the road Swann has traveled.


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