Inmate's advice to students: Stay in school

Inmate's advice to students: Stay in school

GREENE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - One Region 8 inmate has some important advice for the students in our area.

"I wish I could take it back. I wish I could start over."

Those are words of regret from Tim Hopkins, an inmate at the Greene County Jail.

"Hopefully, I'll get out someday," Hopkins said. "Ten years is what they gave me."

The stint Hopkins is serving now at the Greene County Detention Center is for a drunken beating of a man in a bar fight.

Alcohol and getting drunk is not what has put him in jail for a seventh time, but it's what got him started.

"I started drinking when I was about 14, 15," he said. "Thought it was cool to be out on my own, not having to listen to anybody. One thing led to another and before you know it I'm in trouble; in jail."

Hopkins, now 42, said the last 20 years of his life are dead to him.

He said he has plenty of regrets, one in particular.

"Maybe stay in school a little bit longer," Hopkins said. "Listen to my mom and dad. I would have got a better education. Maybe kids out there can find a better place than this to call home."

A home where, even as a jail trustee, he has few freedoms and plenty of time to think about mistakes of the past.

He has a message for young men and women who may think they can make it outside the walls of a school.

"This ain't no place to live your life, for one," he said. "It may be hard sometimes for them, it's gonna be the end and I can't do it. But they can if they really want to and stay in school. Stay in there and stick around a little bit longer. Listen to your older crowd, your loved ones. Stay in school. Get a good education. This is for real."

Right now, Hopkins has been in jail for so long he told Region 8 News jail is the only thing he knows as home.

If you think his story is unique, you're wrong.

According to the National Education Association, 80% of people incarcerated in this county are high school dropouts.

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