The Second Chance or Else (SCORE) program provides nonviolent street-level drug dealers in prime hotspots an opportunity to rescue themselves from a lifetime of crime. Upon accepting this one-time offer of help from the Mobile Police Department, the selected individuals receive guidance and support from community leaders as they complete their education, support their families, and end their drug use.
The opportunity is strictly at the discretion of the Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste, Commander Curtis Graves of the Office of Strategic Initiatives for the police department, and James Dixon, administrator of the Fatherhood Initiative at the Mobile County Health Department. Candidates receive a letter from Chief Battiste if they are deemed qualified. The safety of the public and the record of the individual are the top considerations.
Once accepted into the program, Graves and Dixon work with the candidates on behavior change. The candidates must stop using drugs. They must stop selling drugs. They must complete their high school education, work full time and support their families. Most candidates complete the one-year program successfully and their arrest is waived. Some may need additional time and help after the one year, and that is provided.
Candidates are also guided through the program by citizen panels from their neighborhoods. These volunteers — many of them pastors and business people — agree to supervise the individuals and give them feedback on their progress. They meet regularly.
All SCORE candidates are treated with respect throughout the program and admired when they graduate, serving as examples that every human being is valued.
Graduation from the program is a joyous time. The graduates earn a future. Without the program, most of the candidates would have gone to jail and then likely prison.
SCORE is now being offered by other law enforcement agencies. For more information, call the Office of Strategic Initiatives at 251.208.6384.