Jan Drtina

Honza: I just know I won’t do anything what would get me back to behind the bars

On high school Honza was a normal kid and athlete. Later on he tangled himself into drug addiction and criminal activity. He served a three-year prison sentence. Today he has a decent job and he never wants to go back. Together with his mum Víťa last year he ran a Yelow Ribbon Run relay. When Honza was in prison, Víťa didn’t deny him and she supported him on his way back to the life.

 I know you finished high school? What was your specialization?

First I attended sport school, I used to play basketball a long time. Then I switched to hotel school and I graduated there. I wanted to go to College, I wanted to teach, but that didn’t work out. That time I used to work as a keeper for National basketball team and I enjoyed it much, so I didn’t regret that I don’t continue in my studies. But now I see it differently.

And what did you do after high school?

I worked as a receptionist in 5* hotels, for example in Hilton. And I also went to Cyprus to get some experience and to learn English. I spent a nice time there.

You got into jail for drugs. When did you get in touch with it?

Quite late, after graduation. Earlier I wasn’t into it. I would say I had plenty of free time after graduation and I didn’t know what to do with it. I fooled around hard drugs even before my stay in Cyprus. When I worked there I wasn’t on drugs. But then I came back and everything changed.

How did you live then?

I used to go to work every day, but it’s true that in any of the hotels I didn’t stay for a long time.  Every morning after night shift I went straight to club and I spent a whole day there, then I took a shower and I went back to work and so on for three days in a row. I stood it for a couple of years and it was really crazy.

Why did you quit your job?

I started to be late to work and I was short on money. That time I was already drowning in it. And it came so far that now and then I took something from the cash box. At that time I was living alone, it is possible that if I lived with my mom it wouldn’t get that far.

And then you went to jail.

They burned the suspension I had for robberies. I got four years. I was released after three with six years suspension.

Can we say that the prison was kind of your rehab?

Probably yes. At the beginning nobody took care, I was on common department. But then I got to special one where they took more care of us. I had a chance to attend community where we talked about drugs. That was good.

“If I didn’t go to prison, maybe I overdosed, quite possibly my prison sentence saved my life.„

What was the hardest thing in prison for you?

Nobody takes care, it’s a different world. You just give your fellow a strange look and you pay for it. Prison taught me to take the person how he is now and not for what he is imprisoned.

Aren’t you afraid, that if you will live alone it may end up wrong?

No. I have my past settled. I don’t have a need to start with drugs and ruin everything. I am 35 and I still have a chance to live a normal live and I don’t want to waste it. And I have my principles too, for example that I have to work.

You will run a relay with your mom as a part of a Yellow Ribbon Run. Do train together?

Not really. My mom is definitely more passionate runner. But I am looking it Mom says that the most important is to run slowly and not to overload the start. But that is so hard when you see the group in front of you moving away.  But she is right.

What do you like about your mom?

I like her as she is. I appreciate a lot how she supported me when I was in prison. Without her everything would be much harder for me. She She went through hell with me…Well she started to run because of my troubles, so that she doesn’t go crazy. I am not proud of that at all.

How many chances should one get?

I guess more than one. But it shouldn’t be infinite. It will sound blasphemous, but I got more than enough. Maybe they should lock me up earlier, sometimes the prison is helpful. But that’s for sure individual.