Kristy Laschober had a thriving business as a wardrobe stylist in Southern California. Born with a rare medical condition, she became addicted to opioids as a child. After nearly 10 years of sobriety and ending a marriage to a police officer, Kristy relapsed. This change in trajectory led Kristy to trying methamphetamine and eventually selling to an individual in Connecticut.
As a first time, low-risk offender, she was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison. Kristy did her time in five different facilities including her last two years at the maximum security FMC Carswell in Texas.
This unique and devastating experience has given Kristy deep gratitude and a thirst for life that comes only from having your freedom taken away. Kristy shares her vulnerable story with grace and dignity, while encouraging other women to do the same.
Released in 2017, graduating summa cum laude from Southern Oregon University was her first accomplishment. Kristy continues to be a fierce advocate for recovery and prison reform, leading the fight to remove the criminal history box on college applications in Oregon and advocating to provide new opportunities for second chances.
Kristy is the founder of The Freedom Exchange Project, where she has audacious conversations with people from all over the country who have used their most painful experiences to fuel their fire in service work.
Kristy is also the Life Coach Lead for Operation Restoration, a certified storyteller, and a board member for the Peace House.
Kristy uses her lived experience and expertise to remove barriers so that people who have experienced incarceration can get adequate support in a higher education setting. Her work as a project design team member for Redeeming Scholars and in OCHEP, Oregon Coalition on Higher Education in Prison, continues to pave the way for others.