Actor Lillo Brancato, Jr. has vowed to help steer at-risk youths away from a life of crime after his release from prison last year (13).

The Sopranos star was sentenced to 10 years behind bars in 2009 for his part in a bungled burglary, which resulted in the death of an off-duty police officer.

Brancato, Jr. was granted early release from a New York correction facility in December (13), and now he is determined to stop kids from following in his footsteps.

During an interview with local New York radio station Wnym-Am on Sunday (27Apr14), he said, "Here I am, I get the opportunity, I get the shot and then squander it, and do what I did, and get addicted to drugs and just make horrible decisions."

The 38 year old explains that he has been reaching out to young people to tell them how drug addiction destroyed his life.

He adds, "At least, see the person that I am today, see the person that I've grown up into. I definitely had to learn the hard way, but I am no longer that person who was present that night (of the burglary)."

Brancato, Jr. played young mobster Matthew Bevilaqua on the hit Tv show.