Dion Shepherd Jr. a 25-year-old Detroit native talks about his time in jail and how he plans to make a difference not only in his community but the world around him. Dion’s ambitious personality have gotten him far in just a short period of time, working with Dog the Bounty Hunter his senior year of college, to being a participant on A&E’s new original series 60 Day’s In.
Shepherd obtained his undergrad degree in Criminal Justice from Western Michigan University. There he was a counselor for troubled youth and did all kinds of work outside of his internship with Dog the Bounty Hunter in his field of criminal justice. Becoming bored and wanting more for himself, Shepard moved to California to pursue bigger opportunities. He went to graduate school at the University of California Irvine getting a masters in Criminal Law and Society, but first making his appearance on the show 60 Days In as a part of his master’s thesis project.
Dion at the turning point for himself on 60 Days In. Photo still taken by: A&E digital production team
Being from the city of Detroit, Shepherd thought that jail wouldn’t be so bad based upon the things he run into on the streets from day to day. “The main goal was to stay focused and not crack, the living conditions in jail is nothing like being on the outside,” said Shepherd. “This went from being an internship I was looking into on the website, to them asking me if I wanted to be a part of the show and it worked for me because of my master’s thesis.” A project rejected twice by the university became a learning experience for Dion and others around him, often people take advantage of their freedom, or are not aware of conditions that people go through in jail, the amount of security and even the hygiene issues.
“I am very proud of my son, there are many other things that he could have done, or many other paths but he chose this. I was not sure what he was getting himself into but being his mom all I could do was support him, now the jail thing I thought was a lot, but seeing how it has motivated him now and where he is, I am just so happy and proud to be his mother,” said Kendra Grier.
Dion Shepherd Jr. Photo taken by: Thomas Pierson Photography
Along with starting his own consulting company Elaio Properties, Shepard is currently studying for the graduate record exam so that he can become a post-graduate student at Stanford University. He is also starting a panel discussion series called Millennium Surviving and Thriving which will focus on social justice issues among millennials. “I was able to find a great mentor in Dr. Waymen Rodgers and I want to be that for other young men,” say’s Shepherd. Dion’s season of 60 Days In has ended but it is available on A&E on demand.