Friday, May 24, 2013
Convicted Felon Speaks Out To Help Others
An Anchorage woman is speaking out about her time behind bars in hopes of inspiring other women that there is life after prison.
For the first time in 10 years Anchorage resident Darlena Fritzler, 37, is speaking out about being a convicted felon in hopes of inspiring other women to continue moving forward with their lives.
Fritzler was convicted back in 2001 for embezzlement, and was sentenced to nine years behind bars. She served 5 1/2 years at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River and was released in 2006.
“My crime was 10 years ago and I’m just now starting to kind of be comfortable with who I am,” she said.
When she found out she was going to prison, she said she was devastated. Fritzler recalls the hardest part about serving time was having little support from loved ones, and being away from her daughter, who was just a teenager.
“It’s being away from your family and the pain you caused them, and the pain you caused the community and your victim,” she said.
She also said she regrets not apologizing to the family right away, and as the years went by, she felt it was too late to express how sorry she was.
After more than four years behind bars and countless job applications, she was able to land a job with the Anchorage YWCA, a non-profit organization that helps empower women with a variety of resources.
“It’s a new beginning in doing the things that I love,” she said.
Fritzel is now remarried, working, and trying to move on with her life with her family by her side.
She is also reaching out to convicted felons by engaging with the community.