Fifty-two inmates at Durango Jail are celebrating a big accomplishment. Dressed in their new jail uniform, wearing the American flag, they graduated from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office substance abuse program, called ALPHA.
Among the graduates is Kahlil Hill. He was living the dream as an NFL football player when his life came crashing down.
“I left the league addicted to pain killers,” Hill said. “It caused me to do things I didn’t want to do.”
Hill said that the drugs took over and that he turned to breaking into homes as a way to support his drug habit. He was convicted of burglary and spent one year behind bars.
“When they close the doors behind me, it took away one of the most important things, and that is time -- time away from my kids and family. So, if there was a rock bottom, that was it,” Hill said.
For the last four months, Hill, along with 52 other inmates, worked together with counselors to overcome their weaknesses to addiction.
“There are so many other ways to heal your body than through narcotics,” Hill said.
In the 20 years that ALPHA has been around, it has helped 6,000 inmates. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said it has had a 70 percent success rate.
“I’m hoping to take what I learned and help people on the outside who are struggling like I was,” Hill said.