Free Dusty Turner

In spite of the daily hardships that prison life presents, Dusty continues to believe that life should have purpose. In the time that he has outside of his cell, he has been a model prisoner and makes every effort to help others as well as try to improve his surroundings

Accomplishments, Achievements, Certifications
and Positive Works During Incarceration

1996 October 10

Enrolled in Basic Nutrition correspondence credit class through Indiana University.

1997 March 14

Completed Basic Nutrition correspondence credit class.

1997 March 18

Transferred to Southampton Reception Center

1997 May 21

Transferred to Buckingham Correctional Center

1998 June 10

Enrolled in Elementary Spanish correspondence credit class through Indiana University.

1998 – 2000

Worked as a teacher’s aid, tutoring pre-GED and ESL students.

1998 June

Given Most Valuable Tutor Award.

1999 August 23

Completed Elementary Spanish correspondence credit class.

2000 April 5

Transferred to Southampton Correctional Center


Worked as a teacher’s aid, tutoring pre-GED and ESL students.

2002 May 7

Transferred to Augusta Correctional Center


Worked outside on the recreation yard organizing equipment.

2006 November 8

Transferred to Powhatan Correctional Center


Granted the opportunity to learn leatherwork in the arts and crafts department and created many handcrafted items for friends and family.


Mentored at-risk youth as an associate member of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #682 (the only incarcerated chapter in Virginia).

2007 April

Enrolled in the Brick Masonry vocational course

2008 January 14

Graduated Brick Masonry vocational course.

2012 February 7

Transferred to Keen Mountain Correctional Center]

2012 April 23

Transferred to Pocahontas Correctional Center

2012 May 11

Began volunteer work with the recreation department to help with the photography project and referee to sports games

2012 May 30

Enrolled in the AutoCAD vocational class

2012 June 27

Hired as a barber.

2012 July

Transferred to Green Rock Correctional Center

2012 August

Restarted the AutoCAD vocational class.

2012 October

Developed and submitted “Turning Green Rock Green”, a proposal for various recycling and sustainability projects specifically for the institution, some of which were adopted.

2012 November 19

Wrote and submitted to the institutional chaplain and administration: “Religious Diversity,” an article espousing the rehabilitative benefits of religion in the correctional environment and the need for greater spiritual opportunities for the incarcerated population.

2012 December 15

Because of exemplary behavior, accepted into Green Rock’s “Honor Pod” living area.

2013 January 17

Achieved the “OSHA 10” certification.

2013 February 25

Given the first recycle job at Green Rock, helped to organize and implement the program, and created recycling posters utilizing CAD software, which were posted in the institution.

2012 May 14

Co-created and submitted “Dogs on the ROCs,” a proposal to bring rescued dogs into the institution to be trained by inmates and later adopted. This proposal was adopted. Worked as a lead trainer for nearly 3 years, during which dozens of dogs were successfully adopted to their forever homes.

2013 July 11

Co-created and submitted “Charity Fundraiser Proposal,” to raise money for a local domestic violence shelter by selling doughnuts to the inmate population. 

2013 August 23

Graduated the AutoCAD vocational class 

2014 March 26

Co-designed “Bridging the Gap,” a graphic poster with detailed description for the Crime Victims’ Rights Week Poster Challenge. 

2014 March 26

Co-designed “Bridging the Gap,” a graphic poster with detailed description for the Crime Victims’ Rights Week Poster Challenge. 

2014 May

Launched “RJBehindTheWire,” an organization and website developed to help bring restorative justice programming into juvenile and adult correctional facilities. 

2014 June

Co-developed “Mending Fences,” a 26-session victim oriented offender rehabilitation program, based on the principles and practices of restorative justice. 

2016 March 7

Organized for representatives of RJBehindTheWire to attend the 3rd Annual Conference on Restorative Justice at the University of Wisconsin. A copy of Mending Fences was presented during the keynote address. 

2014 April 4

Graduated Virginia Tech’s “Victim Advocacy” course. 

2014 June

Co-created “Discovering Restorative Justice: A Convocation for Community Action and Offender Accountability,” a one-day event featuring guest speakers and integrated workshops, designed to bring community members and offenders together in correctional centers. This was presented by RJBehindTheWire representatives at the VADOC headquarters in Richmond, Virginia 

2016 June 23

Was selected to participate in the first dialogue with the Victim Services Unit regarding the Victim Impact program (Listen & Learn) at Green Rock. 

2014 July

Co-deveoped and submitted “Bags for BARKS: Turning Waste into Cash For GROC’s Favorite Charity,” a recycling program using discarded items which generally end up in the landfill. 

2014 October

Developed the first revised curriculum of the “Mending Fences” program. 

2016 November 8

Completed the Victim Impact program “Listen & Learn.” 

2017 May 12

Completed “Thinking for a Change.” 

2017 June

Transferred to Greensville Correctional Center, specifically to work in the dog training program, however the program was terminated prior to arrival.] 

2017 August 14

Began the Horticulture vocational class. 

2017 – 2019

Was given the rare opportunity to facilitate a pilot for the “Mending Fences” program. During which approximately 15 inmates participated, most of whom have since been released from the DOC and none have recidivated. [See letter from Mr. Keck dated January 24, 2019.]

2019 March 1

Developed and submitted “BARK Behind Bars: A Proposal For Rescued Dogs and Offenders at Greensville.” 

2019 April 4

Graduated the Horticulture vocational class and was invited to continue into the Advanced Horticulture course. 

2019 May

Designed and constructed a large, 3-section, compost bin, which, incorporating some scraps from the kitchen, produces many cubic yards of soil per month. 

September 2019 – February 2020

Took initiative to complete various improvements for the horticulture department, to include the following: designed and installed an irrigation system; fixed the pond and waterfall; rebuilt and stained the pond deck and tool shed; installed a sink in the greenhouse and developed a drainage system; sectioned off flowerbeds to be assigned to each student; designed, fabricated and installed new flowerbeds outside the front of the Greenhouse; created monthly preventative maintenance checklists; compiled SDS forms for each chemical substance; helped to order supplies; kept track of the budget; and tutored over two dozen students in landscaping, horticulture, floriculture, greenhouse operations, as well as in basic life skills that I have gained over the years. 

2019 October 3

I was asked to give the Commencement Speech at the 2019 annual educational and vocational graduation ceremony. 

2020 January-June 

Propagated several thousands of plants and helped to sell them to the institution and staff members. 

2020 March

Officially became the teacher’s aid for the Horticulture vocational class. 

2020 July

Helped set up the horticulture course for social distancing and sanitation in preparation for the students’ return. 

This list does not include the many inmates, correctional staff, as well as friends and family who Dustin has helped and whose lives he has enriched in various ways over the years. The above list does show, however, that Dustin has stayed very busy throughout his incarceration with many positive acts. His deeds were not motivated by a possible parole consideration, as he was not parole eligible until the 2020 (Fishback) legislation, but instead reflects his genuine character. 

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