Monday, April 27, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

They did their time, now women want to shine

WRAP grad 8_7_14

Shonna Tibbetts hugs her daughter Tiana Jones, 9, during a graduation ceremony for the Women's Re-entry Achievement Program, at the Solano County Events Center, Thursday. The program helps women who have been incarcerated find a smoother re-entry into society. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | August 08, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — Shonna Tibbets’ life began spiraling out of control when a former companion shattered her right ankle with an electric guitar. It ended with six months in jail.

Tibbets took another step Thursday to regain her life. She was one of nine women to graduate from Solano County’s Women’s Re-entry Achievement Program.

In August 2013, she and three acquaintances placed on ad on Craigslist for a threesome. A man responded. The meeting was set for an apartment on Crowley Lane. There, the man was pistol-whipped and robbed at gunpoint.

Tibbets faced prison time.

“I had not even had a traffic ticket (before this),” she said.

The first four months in jail, she wanted to get loaded. Methamphetamine was her drug of choice.

She found hope through the Women’s Re-Entry Achievement Program.

Two months ago, her 9-year-old daughter Tiana was returned to her care. Both are making adjustments.

“We’ve had our problems,” Tibbets said. “The first month was bad. But after she realized I wasn’t the same person and I wasn’t going anywhere, it got better. I had a lot of proving to do to her.”

Tiana was removed from Tibbets’ care two years earlier, when Tibbets was assaulted by her former companion.

“I like that she’s there for me,” Tiana said. “I have someone to cuddle with.”

Tibbets just wants to be a mom and never again see the inside of jail.

“I’m not going anywhere,” she said of her desire to stay clean and away from trouble. “They are going to have to give me more than a certificate to get rid of me.”

Honora Herrington was another graduate. When she was called forward to receive her certificate, she thanked her mother and stepfather for giving her another chance.

“She had lost all hope,” said Dottie Paulson, Herrington’s mother.

She was running with the wrong crowd, said stepfather Mark Paulson.

Herrington was arrested in January on charges of vehicle burglary, possession of stolen property, conspiracy to commit burglary and violation of her post-release community supervision.

The Paulsons refused to give up on her.

“Every time she would take a positive step, I would go with her, I would take the step with her,” Mark Paulson said.

It wasn’t easy. At times, Herrington’s behavior tested their marriage, Mark Paulson said.

Dottie Paulson sees a much different woman now, and also finds comfort in the fact that Herrington still doesn’t say bad things about anyone else.

“I couldn’t be more proud,” Dottie Paulson said after the graduation ceremony. “I knew she had it in her.”

The crowd of about 50 people heard from a past graduates as well as Nebula Quatelbaum, who earned her certificate Thursday.

“I was hopeless, lost, desperate and homeless,” she said. “I forgot about my kids, about myself.”

She went into a grocery store to steal some liquor and got caught after a fight with the security guards.

“I guess I beat them up,” she said.

After she was released from jail, Quatelbaum stayed at Mission Solano’s Bridge to Life Center, then moved to Rosewood House in Vallejo. She said she’s working two jobs.

“I’m a fighter,” she said. “I’m a survivor.”

The Women’s Re-entry Achievement Program is funded through a Second Chance Grant from the Department of Justice. It’s a collaborative effort with agencies such as Solano County Health and Social Services, the Solano County Sheriff’s Office and Mission Solano.

It serves Solano County women in jail and prison. Participants must be pregnant and/or mothers of children younger than 18. Pre- and-post-release services are offered to the women.

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.
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Discussion | 10 comments

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  • gemmaAugust 08, 2014 - 7:57 am

    "In August 2013, she and three acquaintances placed on ad on Craigslist for a threesome. A man responded. The meeting was set for an apartment on Crowley Lane. There, the man was pistol-whipped and robbed at gunpoint.Tibbets faced prison time." So clearly she didn't go to jail when her nasty obese self put an ad on CraigsList to get paid for nasty stuff, and ROBBED and INJURED someone. How much you wanna bet the victim was arrested for solicitation though? She committed a crime, she needs to put in time and effort in jail, and not receive a "silly piece of paper."

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  • Truth B ToldAugust 08, 2014 - 9:03 am

    Yea is that not rich this loser plays a role in a violent crime and gets off with a piece of paper and now they are making her look like she is fit to rejoin society! This woman is an absolute menace and should be serving a sentence in prison not county jail not in a program that helps her establish herself with a stupid piece of paper! THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!

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  • John AndersonAugust 08, 2014 - 9:15 am

    Colossal sociopath. She'll make a fortune on the Jerry Springer show because millions more like her will watch. Keep making excuses for these creeps and featuring them in articles like this...Jerry Loves You.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • John AndersonAugust 08, 2014 - 9:33 am

    Talk about trying to put lipstick on a pig. This article is one of the best examples I've ever seen......

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • ConcernedAugust 08, 2014 - 11:11 am

    No one is safe anymore.... The system is broken, no one I punished like they should be.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • ConcernedAugust 08, 2014 - 11:13 am

    Supposed to say no one is punished like they should be.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • truth'nAugust 08, 2014 - 5:28 pm

    Everyone who votes for liberal democrats is at fault here. Also do not vote to return any current judge. Put them all OUT of the courtroom. If you want change and to return to good sense, vote the uber loser liberals out and let's make a difference.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • truth'nAugust 08, 2014 - 5:30 pm

    Yet another Hug A Thug article in the Daily Republic.

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  • Stevie grahamAugust 08, 2014 - 7:34 pm

    Congratulations to the lovely ladies that graduated WRAP I am soooo proud of you guys! Keep on forward and the blessings will follow.. Move*Nice. I love you guys!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Pat NicodemusAugust 11, 2014 - 9:31 am

    I'd like to thank the reporter for writing this article. It is very easy to criticize but how hard is it to have the courage to face the truth, tell the truth, and then reach out for support to change old ways? I congratulate the 9 women who graduated at this event, applaud their families who celebrated their successes with them at this event, and the county agencies and community organizations who provide the resources needed to reduce recidivism and build healthy communities.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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