Inmates meet the man behind inspiring story |

Inmates meet the man behind inspiring story

Derek Franz
Eagle correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

EAGLE, Colorado – Orange-clad Eagle County Jail inmates rose from their seats and clapped for one man as he walked to the front of the room in the new detention facility Wednesday night.

Their applause was accompanied by many others, including kids on probation, recovering substance addicts, court staff members and citizens in general.

The ovation was in response to the story of Normand Cartier – a 50-year-old man who had lost everything to alcohol abuse and lived in a tent in the woods for four years before a miraculous recovery that began almost randomly in 2005. Now, Cartier is a “movie star” and tours the country speaking to celebrities, politicians, jail inmates and most importantly, addicts who want to start new lives.

Eagle County Judge Katharine Sullivan worked with the Sheriff’s Office and probation staff to get the film, “Lost in Woonsocket,” and Cartier to visit the Justice Center.

After the tearful and inspiring documentary, a faint gasp rippled through the audience as Cartier surprised the room with his presence.

“You saw me meet my kids [in the film],” he said. “You witnessed my surrender … I got my GED. I got my driver’s license back – I never thought that would happen because I had so many infractions.” Cartier went on to encourage those struggling with substance abuse.

During a question-and-answer session, several inmates shared their problems. One man said he’s been in the jail for more than a year and when he gets out he won’t have any money, which will make it difficult to get the help he wants with his problem. That is the kind of issue Cartier and Lost and Found in America ( are campaigning for all over the country.

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