Sam wanted to change, or at least that is what he told his parents. When in prison, he would have visits from his parents and a friend John Musgrove who used to teach Sam Bible verses as child. As much has he may have wanted to change, as soon as he was released from prison, he would go back "into the Dragon's mouth".
Drug use, violence and drive-by shootings were his recreation. Then one day he realized his girlfriend from Jr. High had never given up on him.