BY TOBY R. DAVIS #234179

PRIOR TO ENTERING the prison system back in the mid-90s, I was one of million subscribers who carried and used a small device known as a pager or beeper. Fast forward to today, these small gadgets have since became a thing of the past. Globally, there have been major technological advances that has given rise to iPhones, iPads, Apple watches and the World Wide Web (www) that include social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter that have paved the way for a cyber-culture.

Due to MDOCs strict regulations and policies, inmates aren’t permitted to have cellphones or internet access. It was only a decade ago when MI prisoners were still watching black and white KTVs and listening to portable Walkman that played cassette tapes. In 2017, mainly due to these appliances becoming obsolete and certain parts no longer manufactured, the MDOC was compelled to compromise to now allow inmates to purchase 13″ flat screen color TVs and JP5 tablets but still without internet access as it is deemed a security threat. I was full of excitement when I called home and boasted about my new JP5 tablet that had various Apps for music, photo gallery, games, etc. It was my first time enlarging a family photo by using my thumb and index finger and swiping the screen. In 2021, we were allowed to purchase the new JP6 tablet which has a larger screen, more gigabits, and extended battery life.

According to Moore’s Law, technology doubles every eighteen months. With that being the case, the prison population remains far behind the times and deprived of access to information. Nonetheless, it appears that change is finally on the horizon! Just recently through a company called Securus (the same company who provides us with the new JP6 tablets) allowed us to download ten (10) FREE podcast videos. These podcast videos are called “Sec2nd Acts” with Andre Norman. While seated in front of a microphone, Andre gets up close and personal when he interview each guest to better understand how they turned their small setbacks into major comebacks and internal pain into eternal purpose. Having been moved by these poignant stories I began encouraging my fellow inmates to download them onto their own tablets to take advantage of the powerful information shared. Providing prisoners statewide with positive content like this I believe will only help to inspire individual change and emotional healing because even inside the darkest mind is a spark of light and it is only light that can surely illuminate darkness.

Allowing MDOC prisoners to have access to new technology will not only prompt new thought and can be used as a tool to help change the narrative of mass incarceration, but it will also humanize them. The main culprit that continues to fuel crime in every community is the lack of quality education, accessibility to opportunity and quite frankly… understanding. Understanding that no one is without flaws. No one is immune to making a bad decision. No one is unaffected by social pressure. And no one deserves to be deemed hopeless. For many lives have been shattered by deep, emotional trauma somehow at some stage in life.

Finally, I’d like to tip my hat to Securus for allowing prisoners (such as myself) to have access to “Sec2nd Acts” podcast videos. In order to invoke change in someone’s life, he/or she needs to be introduced to new ideals and new examples to make them believe that others things are possible. Because at the end of the day, it shouldn’t be about condemnation and punishment, but having understanding that it is wise to have a person reintegrate back into society better, not bitter. So, let’s move forward and imagine a better world that doesn’t recycle humans into better criminals, but one that’s centralized on fixing the problem, rather than simply managing it!

Stop & Think About Others

I could remembered back when I was little. I probably was around 10. I was on a depression drug called Ritalin.

Ritalin was a drug that professionals subscribe youth who was hyperactive.

During the time I was taken this so-called medication, I contemplated committing suicide on many occasions.

I was lost as the Ritalin made me depressed and made me wanted to end my life altogether.

I tried setting the closet on fire with me in it. I tried electrocuting myself by sticking two metal forks into an electric socket.

Thankfully, I didn’t succeed.

After seeing the effect this drug had on me, my grandmother took me off of it and gave me some help by taking me to see a psychologist.

Since then I began to love life, and I’ve began to understand that depression can lead to serious mental problems and can lead to death. This month [October] is breast cancer awareness month as well as depression awareness month.

During this month, I go out and give strangers hugs and tell them that everything going to be alright, and also listen to them and try to understand what they are going through.

To the people who are going through the pain to losing someone to breast cancer or any kind of cancer. I feel your pain. I lost the love of my life to brain cancer. She was my grandmother.

August 29th is her birthday and on that day and the month of October I celebrate her life and the ones who are going through cancer treatment as well as the ones we had lost to this deadly disease.

Late last month, I wrote a post about a brother in the struggle we had lost in here to cancer.

Sometime it is alright to stop and think about others. There’s people who are going through worst problems than u, so if u see someone down on their luck, don’t be afraid to lend a helping hand.

Peace and love to all. Jerome Aka Don’Jay

“Never Free”

Hello (world)!

Spill #1)
“I’m not ashamed, because I’m human”….
…A lot of people have done things they wouldn’t do again, along with doing things others wouldn’t approved of. However, being human allows us not to be perfect from a thinking standpoint, but it doesn’t allowed error thinking in the moment to be the excuse for not correcting the incorrect thinking. What this mean, ones shouldn’t never be ashamed of what they did, because for one they are human and the other one say imperfection come with being that. Therefore, anything an individual did should be willing to tell someone if asked. In doing so, this act allows an individual to live “free of the mind”, which is the healthiest way to live. Because when the mind is freed in being relaxed, it’s during that process were the mind can be reconnect with the universe. The ultimate purpose outside of obedience!

Spill #2)
“Never Free”….
… Everybody want something, and most would say that something is FREEDOM. A freedom that consists of no worries toward the mental and physical aspect of life, but the truth is, as a human ones cannot nor will be free in this matter while alive. So the next way in being free is, to be free in obtaining what an individual mind and heart desire. The price tag for freedom like this come at the cost of one’s identity, because it promotes unity to be broken among fellowship which ultimately make ones slaves to their needs. To be free is not to be alive! Because, as long as a person walk on this earth they will forever suffer from the need of want, which is explained on so many levels in any religious text you pick up that exist.

By, Shytour (Signs Of Hope)..

Falling Stars


Falling Stars
By. Joseph Green

This quote by the great W.E.B Dubois was so profound to me. As I was reading his book “The souls of Black folk” I seen this playing out today in our society. Remember this book was written in the 1903. Since then we have seen great men like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Tupac Shukur, Notorious B.I.G to name a few, die before the world could fully gauge their greatness. They were killed early in their lives many before the age of 30. Their deaths showed their brightness and power. They were vocal about black pride and unity. Justice and Equality.

Statistics show that black men remain far more likely than any other race to come to prison. The black imprisonment rate at the end of 2018 was nearly twice the rate among Hispanic’s and five times the rate among whites. In 2018, black Americans represented 33% of the sentenced prison population, that’s nearly triple their 12% share of the U.S adult population. Granted these rates have been on the decline since the late 2000’s. However according to the bureau of justice the women’s prison population is declining at less than half the rate of the men’s population. Between 2009 and 2019, the men’s prison population declined by 1.2% per year, while the women’s population has declined by 0.05%

I make references to these statistics to show that our deaths are not just physical in the sense of no longer being alive. Many black men come to prison by the age of 24. Hence dimming the light and potential of many young men. This is before they even realize their greatness and true potential. Many young black men show natural leadership skills however this energy is not being guided in the right direction. As I have stated before in many of my post that we lack mentors in our communities. I’ve heard countless men say that if they had a father or male figure present daily in their lives they wouldn’t be here in prison today.

No longer should we allow our bright stars to fall. Only to let them die or be encaged behind bars never to share their brightness with the world. Mr. Dubois also said this, “In the history of nearly all other races and peoples the doctrine preached at such crises has been that manly self-respect is worth more than lands and houses, and that a people who voluntarily surrender such respect or cease striving for it are not worth civilizing”! Teaching self-respect helps our stars from falling victim to this system and cemetery!

I want to thank you for visiting thoughts beyond the wall!

Never Forgotten

If I could sit down and have a conversation with anyone no longer alive, who would it be and why?

It was a tight fight between Malcolm X, 2PAC, and my cousin Mon’tezo (Double O) Williams. I decided to go with my cousin. This is the reason why I would talk to him, because after his death the family unity changed for the worse, and it is hard for those that loved him to communicate with me especially my auntie, because it is my belief that I bring her pain and memories of him. His murder remains unsolved. I miss him and he was my best friend/brother. We would literally finish each other’s sentences. When you mention him you automatically think about me and vice versa. He introduced me to my son’s mother. Titus and Tezo double trouble the black sheep’s of the family. I would first explain to him how much I love and miss him, I would also thank him for watching over me, because I have experienced a few things over the years after his death that I know for sure he had to be a part of (Guardian Angel).

I would let him know that everybody that knows me know about him, also his Name, Legacy, and Dreams live on through me. He will be immortalized through pictures and chapters written by me. I will make sure that he will never be forgotten. I would explain to him how much I think about, what if he was still alive and here. I would share with him the man I have become all the trials and tribulations that got me to this point in my life. Last but not least, I would ask him if there’s anything he needed me to do for him besides making sure his children, mother, and siblings are good and I love him for life and beyond (TRU STORY).

O’yeah I am a granddaddy now bro with a beautiful granddaughter (Sepharee Summer Rain Banks).


Our 2pac playlists (These are some of the songs that we loved to listen to):
1.) Never had a friend like Me
2.) I ain’t mad cha
3.) Ambitionz Az a Ridah
4.) Life goes on
5.) Blasphemy
6.) Lord Knows
7.) Made Ni**az
8.) So many
9.) From the cradle to the grave
10.) How long will they mourn me


Be Mindful in Being Honest

Hello (world)!

Today’s conversation was centered around the question, why do people choose to lie to their children about what they did in life? The majority felt that they business shouldn’t be shared with their child, because like the slogan say, “do as I say, not as I do”. Personally, I feel that’s another one of them confessed moments for a child in the process of progressing, because its asking the child to figure out what they feeling verses what they seeing without any explanation to the “WHY” that’s in the room. This confusion is like a gateway for a child in allowing outside influences the chance to explain something acceptable (or not), that might go contrary to the beliefs of the parent or what the parent is trying to teach the child. Mindfulness is one of them life lessons that’s asked from the matured mind to perform more frequently than other lessons, so when ones not able to raise up to that occasions, life has a way to show the parent(s) what they missed by not being mindful (of the child).

So the message today is, to be mindful in being honest when life challenge you not to be, because life is given you a chance at shaping or modeling a soul.

By, Shytour (Signs Of Hope)..

The Power of Prayer

If I could renew or reinstate a law, what would it be? Undoubtedly, I would allow public corporate prayer and worship back in all schools!

In the book of 2 Chronicles 7: 14-15 in the N.I.V. Holy Bible, Elohim (Creator) gives His children sound advice when He says, ”If my people who are called by name, would humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from there wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayers offered.”
It seems like an eternity has passed, however, not too long ago, along with the pledge of allegiance prayer was mandatory in schools!

Prayer changes circumstances and the atmosphere! For millennia, God has illustrated that there is nothing new under the sun. However, we as a nation have been stubborn. There’s a time to vote against a law and there’s a time to vote in agreement with a law. By our own actions, God has allowed this law, to remove prayer from schools I believe, so that we may ascertain how much we need prayer in schools! More importantly, how much more we need to speak to Him and bring all of our appeals, petitions, and requests before Him continually! Not only in schools, but also at work and every area of our lives. Battlegrounds! Our nations learning institutions have morphed from safe havens into dangerous and unsafe environments with innocent men, women and children dying daily!

Prayer unites mankind under Adonai (Sovereign Lord). The Apostle Paul teaches fellow believers in Ephesians 6:18, ” And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Just Imagine, if Police Officers, Fireman, Doctors and the like prayed in unity before each shift. Not just a few stations. Not just a few people, but everyone. Not out of obligation. Willingly! Imagine if parents and students and staff humbled themselves and prayed in unison before class each morning. Sincerely, I believe if the corporate and business and the military and private sectors humbled themselves and prayed together every morning and at different times throughout the day, there would be less shootings, less corruption, less suicides! There would be less hate and more love! More love for the planet and more importantly more love for each other. Visualize the world’s leaders such as Vladimir Putin, Kim Jung Un, and Joe Biden on a phone or video conference call praying for each other and the nations of the world. Less carnal and more Spirit!

Finally, prayer brings us closer to God! Moses encourages men and women of God by asking, ”What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to Him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today? Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live teach them to your children and your children after them (Deuteronomy 4: 7-9 N.I.V.).” Christians are taught, ” Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6 N.I.V.).”

Today I can say as a nation, we have slipped. We have neglected to educate our children on communicating with and depending on God! We have neglected to call to remembrance what He has done for us and brought us though from generation to generation. Public corporate prayer has been eliminated from schools. As we view the statistics, bullying, suicide, school shootings, and teen pregnancy are more prevalent now than in times past. We’ve grown numb and desensitized to these issues. God was more of a foundation in our schools a century ago. Even a bicentennial ago Why? Because as of today we fail to communicate with and acknowledge God together, as a whole, as a nation, as a people. My belief is this continues to happen because prayer has been strategically removed from schools.

So, what course of action must we take? I’m glad you asked! It is imperative that we reinstate prayer in schools and also in every workplace! We as a nation have the power to do this! As a nation we have eliminated public communication with God from our schools. This nation must follow God’s promise through the Prophet Jeremiah, ” Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to me, and I will listen. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:12-13 N.I.V.).” Let us remember to follow the prescription King David wisely presented to us in Psalm 32, therefore let everyone who is godly pray to You! Pray for peace in Jerusalem, The United States, and The World!

Our children, loved ones, and friends shouldn’t have to wait to hear gunshots, hide in closets, and huddle under desks to start communicating and speaking to God! It should be early in the morning and throughout the day! Together!

Larry D. Cowan
Muskegon Correctional Facility
2400 S. Sheridan
Muskegon, MI 49442

Happy Momma Monday!

Song: “BestFriend”

Artist: Brandy

A Mother’s Love is…
being unapologetically you
being humbly confident
being true to what is real to you
being everything that you’ve built yourself to be
being sincere in your actions; word and deed
being your very own peace
being the inexhaustible energy of your spirit
being there
being here
being alive in every letter of love and life
being solely your portion, of God

Noble’Ju sheldonroyce
mo’luv: a mother’s love innately becomes the best friend ever (;

L o v e. I s. F. o. r. e. v. e. r…

If there is an image of what the expression of what God is, feels, or where a Divine entity will reside, all that I can see is, love. In the most challenging of life’s moments, we result to love. Whether we would love to exact some form of retribution or perform a most grief stricken rising, the feeling of wanting to prove how much we love life is prevalent. For the greater use of this significant energy/power source, we maintain a course of betterment. At times, there are occasions where the discernment to go on with or without new experiences, must be lived. I have lived the result of; the coldest thing, is to lose someone, who is still alive, from so many, seemingly unfulfilled relationships. I used to believe that was such a terrible thing. Still quite painful, and that tolerance has birthed, awareness. Now, reality teaches that these things happen. And reality also defines that, you never ever lose anyone that you love. That experience, that love, remains, in use, in you, and working. Just as those that have fulfilled their journey, and have ascended, still remain. Experiences are constant, we are ever becoming anew. I have absorbed the beauty of living every experience which are now my allies, which is now strength, which is now comfort. We must all live in our own space, in our own truth we will reside. I live in the love of all of my experiences and I am blessed and thankful for each one; however permanently, however fleetingly experienced. No matter what level of love you have or are experiencing, you feel so much life in those moments of love. I believe, where love is God is also. Therefore, since there will never be a syllable of God that does not exist, in every element that represents God, love lives. It is always alive in you…Love is forever… real/love

N o b l e. f i l e s *******R e a l l a. J o u r a l s
Keep your eyes wide mind wise while ballin thru it all

spiritual motivator: Noble’Ju
Sheldon Royce March

Questions for Grandma

First I want to thank you guys for allowing me the opportunity to have an outlet for my passion for creative writing, I have always had a love affair with words and the impact once put together that they have on people’s lives. I have written spoken word for Hamtramck you can log on and hear and read some of the works I have provided for them. I chose the topic If you can speak to anyone that is not hear anymore and why. I hope that you like my entry.

I would love to talk to my Grandmother, my father’s mother, she passed when I was six years old. Her name is Roberta Hudson. First, I would like to talk to her about her childhood. Second, I would like to talk to her about how she came to live in Detroit, MI, and lastly I would want to know how she felt I was raised and the impact of not knowing her side of the family impacted me. Although there are many more topics that I would love to talk to her about, her love and care is something I sought in every woman that ever came into my life, this is a small sample of what I would have said to my muhdear :))

My Grandmother is from Little Rock, Arkansas, I never knew when she was born. I want to know what was your mother and fathers names. I want to know how many brothers and sisters you had, and what was your family life like, and what, if any, relationship that you may or may not have had with your other family members like. What level of education did you obtain? What was the community like that you lived in? Did you work while she was there? Who was your first male interest? What were your dreams and goals? Understanding the time you were raised in was very racially charged, I would want to know how did that impact your life. Did you see or know of anyone that was active in the civil rights movement? Lastly I would want to know what made you leave your home where you were born and relocate to Detroit.

I recently learned that my father was raised on the west side of Detroit in a tough neighborhood now known to most as the number streets. I want to know what made her choose that section of the city. I never knew my Grandfathers real name. I was shown it one time on my uncle’s birth certificate and I saw one picture of him and I learned from my dad that he was from Cartersville Georgia. I would ask my grandma how did she come to meet him. What was there life like before you had my dad and my uncle. Did you want more than two children? Did you want a girl? Did you love my grandfather? Were you ever married to him, and was he a good father? Did he physically abuse you and were my dad and uncle ever witness to it. Why did you two break up? What made you move from that location to the projects on the eastside and then to the home that I spent most of my childhood in. How did you earn money? Why did you love drinking hot Colt 45 and drinking pal mals. How did you feel when you found out uncle Charles was addicted to heroin? What did you really think about my mother? I met your sister in 2000, it was the last time me and my uncle Charles was together in the street. Grandma I touched her face and begin to cry cause she was your twin. Grandma she held my daughter and my baby looked at her and smiled, grandma I never went back to see her. You had a legacy a family that for some reason my father has yet to tell me was withheld from me and my brother and I often wonder was it this missing piece of information that may have led to how my life has turned out thus far.

Like my dad and his brother, me and Mike were the only two children your son had by my mother. Now he had Charmaine later but her mom didn’t really know how to be a momma to two children that were to that point pretty much raising themselves. While me and mike managed to graduate high school and I even attended college while Mike went to the military, it was in no way because of the love, care and guidance that we received from our father. We were forced to care for ourselves in ways that no twelve and eight year old should have to. I wonder if you would have allowed my dad to put me out at 12. I wonder would you have allowed some of the brutal ass whippings he gave me and Mike. Mike was a baby when you passed, I often wonder would you have spoiled him like you did me, or did the first have that coming. Grandma I wonder if you were alive would I have been more aware of the traps and pitfalls that life can often capture talented young men in before they have the chance to mature and become successful. Grandma I really wonder what you would have thought of my child’s mother. I know you would have just went crazy about Kennedy, your great granddaughter. Grandma I know this talk was supposed to be a conversation but it truly would have been me just listening, like I used to do in the kitchen as you cooked the family meals before everyone came home.

In conclusion, I would give anything to see your smile again, to feel your hug. For my daughter to be able to see what true unconditional love really looks like. I promise that I will have this talk with you again cause you are not dead to me, you’re just as much alive in my mind as you were 42 years ago. I love u grandma.