He was arrested on a Montgomery County burglary charge in late 2007, and in July 2008 was handed a four-year jail sentence. He was incarcerated for a total of 25 months, spending 15 months in the Montgomery County Jail and 10 months in an Indiana Department of Correction facility.
On Nov. 17, 2009, Terry, 24, was approved for transfer to house arrest. He moved into his mother and stepfather's Greencastle home, ready to put his past behind him and move on with his life.
He had paid his debt to society.
Or so he thought.
Terry, who is a certified agricultural mechanic, had every intention of getting a job and paying his way. But he has found that to be a much bigger feat than he ever expected.
"I've always had a job," he said. "I have 10 years of welding experience."
Terry began pounding the pavement as soon as he was released from prison -- only to find a lot of doors were slammed in his face. He has applied with agencies such as Work One, Employment Plus and Spartan Staffing. He has contacted factories, restaurants and fast food establishments.
"One of my old bosses said he'd be happy to give me a job when I got out," Terry said. "But now his company's not doing well. I knew if he couldn't hire me, getting a job would be nearly impossible."
In many cases, he is told it is "policy" that felons cannot be hired. Many large corporations allow potential employees to apply for jobs online -- but if those who have been convicted of felonies answer the questions on the online application honestly, they are knocked out of contention immediately.
For instance, when an applicant checks "yes" in answer to the query "Have you ever been convicted of a felony," a screen pops up that reads "Information provided does not satisfy the minimum requirements for this position, and we are unable to consider you for employment at this time."
Phil Slavens, assistant superintendent of reentry at the Putnamville Correctional Facility, said not being able to find work often leads to recidivism.
"If they don't get employment soon after they're released, there's a good chance they'll be back," he said.
Putnamville inmates are required to do through a reentry curriculum three to six months before their release dates. Business owners, bankers and other professionals come speak to the inmates, giving them advice on resumes, body language, interview conduct and dress and other issues.
"We also have someone from the BMV come in to talk to them about how to go about getting a valid ID," Slavens said. "They don't realize how important that is when you're trying to find a job. Everyone wants to see your ID. And a lot of these guys, whether it be because of a lack of insurance or because of their driving record, can't get a driver's license."
Slavens said there are several fields of work in which felons can be hired.
"A lot of fast food places will hire them," he said. "Also, there are companies that do office building cleaning in the evenings, and constructions crews will hire in the summer."
Slavens said the economy has made things rougher for job-seeking felons.
"Right now it's hard for anybody, much less for someone with a felony on their record," he said.
Tips for felons looking for work are available at www.indianajobsinfo.com.
"Most felons will find that it's not easy to find a job, though it is not impossible," the site said. "These jobs do exist, but you will have to pound a lot of pavement, make a lot of phone calls and fill out a lot of applications to find them."
Terry said he has done all of that.
"It kind of hurts a little," he said. "But I know where people are coming from. I was convicted of burglary. Who wants me working a cash register?"
There are companies that are paid incentives by the government to hire convicted felons. Work One, a state employment agency, hires employment specialists who work to find or persuade companies to hire felons in Indiana -- and in 2005, helped 150 felons secure employment.
"Keep in mind that small companies are more likely to hire a felon as the owners are more involved in the day to day business, and can see firsthand the ability of their hires to perform the tasks involved in the job," the site said.
Terry pointed out that as a condition of his house arrest, he is required to submit to drug tests.
"I would be the perfect employee right now," he said. "I can't mess up, or I face going back to prison."
Terry doesn't only have himself to support. He and his girlfriend of eight years have two daughters, ages 3 and 4. Terry was ordered to begin paying child support again, and was already $3,200 in arrears.
"So now I'm technically behind $3,700," he said, a look of defeat creeping onto his face. "When I do get a job, I'll start right out with getting my paycheck docked $60 a week ... $50 toward the current, $10 toward the arrears. But I want to get it paid. I'm willing to take any job."
Because he has no job and no vehicle, Terry doesn't get to see his daughters, who live with their mother in Lebanon, as much as he would like.
"I'd like to see them more," he said. "I'd like to have my own home and be living with them."
He also feels bad because his parents are supporting him. Not only does he live in their home; they also pay his house arrest fees.
"It sucks," he said candidly. "I watch my mom and my stepdad struggle with the bills they've already got, and I know if I would just go back to prison it would save them $7,000. I've been telling my mom that as soon as I get a job I'll start paying her rent. This really bothers me a great deal."
Terry takes full responsibility for the choices he made that led to his current trouble. He had been arrested for petty and juvenile crimes, but his 2007 arrest was his first major offense. He was involved in the burglary of a Crawfordsville business.
"I was strung out on drugs," he said. "I've been an addict for six years."
Terry began smoking marijuana at 14. By 16 he was doing meth, and at 21 was hooked on not just meth, but cocaine as well.
He attended Southmont High School, and for the first couple of years was an A-B student. He played baseball, basketball and football.
"I was planning on going to Harvard for my law degree," Terry said. "I wanted to be a criminal lawyer. That was my big dream ... besides playing professional sports."
Then the drugs took over. He quit sports, and eventually dropped out of high school his junior year (he has since earned his General Equivalency Diploma).
"I was young and I wanted to live the fast life," he said. "I was totally addicted to money and drugs.
"I started out young in the drug lifestyle," he continued, casting his eyes downward and letting out a heavy sigh. "I got old quick. I feel a lot older than 24."
Although he gets discouraged, Terry refuses to stop considering the possibility that things could turn around for him and his family. He has been sober since his arrest.
"It feels good to be clean," he said. "I've thought about going back and getting certified in welding, maybe getting an associate's or bachelor's in business," he said. "I'd like to start my own business."
But as quickly as the optimism comes, the nagging sadness returns to take its place.
"I get depressed a lot," Terry said. "I'm stressed out all the time. My mind races."