ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY)– From behind bars in Angola for over 30 years to now working side-by-side with the sheriff, one Sunset man is giving back. The former criminal is dedicating his life to helping kids in St. Landry Parish.

Arthur Castille was only 28 years old when he was sentenced to Angola. At the age of 61, he stepped outside those prison walls for the first time in 32 years this summer. While in Angola, Castille made a friendship with St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz that would change the course of the rest of his free life.

“Arthur Castille has been my friend for probably 17, 18 years,” Guidroz told News 10.

Castille plays News 10 a video from his time on the Angola football team. In the video, he says, “My name is Arthur Castille. My sentence is second-degree murder, and I have a life sentence.”

Looking back at his time in Angola, Castille and Guidroz recall their first meeting.

“I said, ‘I need this guy,'” Guidroz said.

The Sunset native worked in the warden’s house in Angola. Over the years, the unlikely friendship between Castille and Guidroz grew when he’d visit for work.

When the sheriff was looking for someone to spearhead a new community outreach program for kids this summer, it just so happened Castille was being released from prison on parole.

“If I can get Arthur out there talking to these kids, maybe, just maybe, if he saves one, I’m thankful. But, I know he’s going to do more than that,” Guidroz said.

“I just want to help the community and give back because I took something. I want to give back more than I took,” Castille told News 10.

Castille now works as the community outreach coordinator for the sheriff’s office. It’s a volunteer position but one Castille fully embraces. Accompanied by a commissioned officer, Arthur will go to local schools sharing his story with kids and teens.

“I can tell them, ‘If you go down these roads, this is where it could lead you, and the choices that you make in life can decide what your life is going to be’. Until I die, that’s what I’m going to do,” Castille said.

Castille said he wants most is to prevent young people from going down the same road he took.

“It’s all the would haves and should haves I should have done in my life, and I think about that. It’s the things that I should’ve been,” he said.

“I’m proud to have Arthur Castille working for me,” Guidroz added.

If you’d like Castille to speak at your school or organization, contact the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office.

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