Convicted human trafficker says prison has saved her life
MARLIN, Texas -- Jennifer Kelly, 38, has spent the last four and a half years in a maximum security prison in Marlin.
"Sometimes I'm still, 'Oh my God. This is my life!'" said Kelly.
Kelly says while greed got her locked up, prison changed her life.
"I felt like if I wouldn't have came here, I'd probably would be dead."
Kelly was arrested in 2013 in Madisonville. Court records show she trafficked a child younger than 18 years old in her home. Not only was Kelly arrested for human trafficking, but also compelling prostitution.
"It was something that started out small, you know? Renting rooms out of my house just to pay my bills to survive, you know. And it just expanded, " Kelly added.
She went on to say there was no shortage of people willing to buy sex.
"My phone was always blowing up, always blowing up. You would be surprised some of the clientele that was there. That's the last people that you would think would show up at my house."
Kelly says despite her rough childhood and even being placed in CPS custody at one point, she was a good kid who stayed out of trouble. When she was 30 years old she started experimenting with drugs after the end of a domestic violence relationship. Before she knew it, she says meth was taking over her life.
"Meth is a monster. You don't think right when you're on it. You lose all your morals."
Kelly says she's not trying to justify herself because she knows what she did was wrong.
"I want people to know that I'm really not a bad person. I just made a mistake. "
A mistake Kelly is hoping parents may be able to catch early, so their own children don't go down the wrong path.
"A lot of them, they feel like nobody cares. Everybody's given up on them. Just rebellion, anger issues, maybe signs of using drugs or alcohol."
Despite her human trafficking conviction, Kelly craves a normal life. She's become an ordained minister, and has grown closer to her children.
"When I get out it's gonna be a second chance of doing the right thing, I want to make people proud of me for once."
Kelly has already met with the Texas Parole Board and will find out at the end of April if she's be released from prison.
"I promise you, I will never come back. You will never catch me back here."