An Inspirational Quote

An Inspirational Quote From J.C. Riley
by J.C. Riley #288310

WHAT A MAN LOVES HE DOES

What a man Loves
is Displayed by how
his Time is spent.

A man who loves to Lie
will speak Falsehood
in the simplest of Conversations,
and will deny the Truth,
even in the face of Fact.

A man who loves Chaos
will spread Disorder
in the most serene of atmospheres,
and will fan the flames of Panic,
even where there is nothing to Fear.

A man who loves to Steal
will Take from whatever
his fingers can Touch,
and will rob even the Blind
of whatever he can see.

For what a man Loves
he does even in his Sleep.
While his mind sows the Seeds,
the Deeds his hands will Reap.

My Voice

I was raised by my mother with six other siblings. We didn’t have a lot growing up, at times no heat, no lights, or food, but we still made it through all those times together. The first time that I saw violence was inside my home and at first, I was scared because I was only like six or seven years old. But I got used to it because it started happening all the time. My mother would have her friends over all the time drinking and smoking so the crazy became the norm. Then a few years later I watched my mother get abused by her boyfriend and for a child that is very traumatizing. No one talked to me or my siblings we just had to witness it and hope for the best. One time I tried to go and help her, but it didn’t turn out good for me, her boyfriend ended up slapping me to the ground, so I ran out the back door and got my mother some help.

With no father and living in the conditions that I lived in, I was an angry child with so much hurt in my heart. By the time I turned 13 I ran away only to find myself getting involved in a gang. It seemed like they cared, so I was very loyal to them and did whatever just to let them know I was down. I thought that I was grown, and no one could tell me anything because I was getting my own money and buying my own clothes, but I was so lost. I grew into that lifestyle and every piece of hurt, anger, and frustration that I felt I took it out on everybody else. The more I stayed in the streets the worst I became, and I felt like I had no one. I wasn’t trying to find help I was just existing. Then I started robbing people and that led to me coming to prison. So, in the past I was a broken child that wanted help but didn’t know how to open my mouth because I thought that meant that I was weak.

Today, I am Frank Lewis Adams Junior, a free-spirited warrior that is one of a kind. I am creative, passionate, driven, strong spiritually, a leader, a person that never gives up, a Father, a protector, a teacher, an Author, a good friend, and a man that stands for the right thing. I no longer live like I used to because I recognize how I grew up wasn’t right. My favorite thing to do today is encourage people because when you encourage someone with truth it has a lasting effect.

In the future I would like to get a degree in communication so that I can have a career as a motivational speaker. I also plan to be a best-selling Author in the future. I believe that if you can see it in mind then you can do it in time. Well, I hope that I have given you enough about my life that will motivate you in some type of way. Have a good day and use your voice to bless.

Truthfully,

Frank L. Adams Jr. #427391 @Jpay.com.

My Voice – C. Jackson Bey

My voice is not often heard beyond the ears of these walls and many individuals of my past may think I speak the same language I once spoke. Which was the language of ignorance, the streets, a thug, hate, which was the voice of a boy mentally trapped. Now the voice you hear spoken is of a man who has been freed mentally & spiritually and sees life as a rare stone found in the middle of Egypt buried within the burning sands of an open desert. The voice you hear is of a man who has sought forgiveness from those I betrayed from my lack of respect at one hour for human life, my life, friends, family, and the community I resided in. As many have blessed me with the opportunity to make right for my wrongs, I ask Allah to touch the hearts of those I cannot reach at this moment and in due time that they will see & hear me for who I truly am. I have learned that in order to be a changed man one has to first realize that change is needed. Because if not we find ourselves stuck in the madness! We profess to have left behind and become the very definition of insanity doing the same thing expecting different results. I had to ask myself the one question many don’t take time to reflect upon within these walls. Which was: What do I live for? and as I contemplated to myself for many years! It finally hit me! I LIVE TO HELP THOSE IN NEED OF SAVING IN ORDER NOT TO MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES I HAVE & TO UPLIFT FALLEN HUMANITY. Now I use my voice to bring forth the truth to the unenlightened minds that a person can change! But only if they think their condition can be better. I use my voice so you all can know people such as myself do exist within these walls and that one bad apple doesn’t ruin the whole bunch because you pick the one bad apple out & save the rest. I use my voice to change the narrative for the forgotten men & women behind these walls who deserve another shot in society to show we can be productive members to our community as well as mentors to trouble teens who’s following in the footsteps of destruction. I know many can care less to hear my voice due to my past and the crime I committed which is murder, but it is my voice telling you I’m not that person! I am a human being that made a bad choice that I will regret for the rest of my life. I cannot change the past but if I could rewind the hands of time, that person would still be alive! and this voice you would know nothing of. As I have become transformed into the man who has found his voice & purpose in life, I am now dedicated to healing those who have been harmed from crime through using Restorative Knowledge I have obtained. As a transformed man who once committed violence now as an ex-offender will work to prevent violence by promoting Restorative Justice Principles because I have valuable experience & first-hand knowledge in this field. Being a transformed man who has aged within these walls have made me become more knowledgeable and I will continue to demonstrate Restorative Justice Principles through community/victim outreach, education, and societal reintegration along with sharing my voice with you all about the important matters at hand. I pray you who are readers of this take into consideration the famous saying: Not To Judge A Book By Its Cover! Because You Never Know The Read. So I ask the same for me and the many men & women behind these walls! Because you never truly know who an individual is if you refuse to hear our voice and to know us for who we truly have become. Remember Hearing is Believing! and one must learn from others mistakes because we won’t live long enough to make them all ourselves. Peace & Blessings!!!

Feel free to contact me through: J-pay.com Charles A. Jackson Bey #600271 Or write to Thumbs Correctional Facility 3225 John Conley Dr. Lapeer,Michigan 48446

My Voice – D. Brasher

HAMJAMBO WATU WAZURI! (Swahili for hello my beautiful people) My name is Demetrius Brasher a.k.a. Muhammad The God. I am 49 yrs. young and quickly approaching 50. (11-23-70) I am the second oldest of six children, and the father of two girls, one being deceased. I have one grandson who is my pride and joy. I have been incarcerated for approximately 28 years come December (1 year in the county jail, 27 years in prison). There are 4 life altering events that I will discuss to give you an idea of who I was, who I am, and who I strive to be. When I was thirteen years young, my parents separated. My mom insisted that she needed me to step up since I was the man of the house now. I vowed that I would, but I never anticipated that this responsibility would change the trajectory of my life. With no father figure or positive role model, I was destined for trouble. This was my first life altering event. I began a life of crime that ultimately landed me in prison. I did everything from selling drugs to armed robberies. I used to tell my friends that if I ever went to prison, it would be for murder. Truthfully, I never wanted to kill anyone, I just thought it made me look tough. If I’d only known that I was speaking it into existence, I would’ve never formed those words to come out of my mouth. At the young age of 22, I was charged with 1st Degree Felony Murder (as an aider and abettor),and was sentenced to life in prison even though my codefendant (the shooter) was found not guilty. This was my second life altering event. In the year 2000, during a Black History Month celebration at St Louis Correctional Facility, a woman name Gayle was the guest speaker. After introducing herself and explaining what Black History meant to her, she asked this question. How far back can you’ll trace your history? I began to review my genealogy and could not go beyond my grandparents on either side. She said, I stand before you with African/Native American blood flowing through my veins, and I can trace my roots all the way back to the Native Americans standing on the seashore when Christopher Columbus arrived here in 1492. That was very profound to me. That sparked in me the desire to get to know myself, where I came from, and what my purpose is here on this planet. This was my third life altering event. In the year 2000, i was introduced to a book entitled, ‘As A Man Thinketh’, by James Allen. This book changed my life! My understanding of the power of thought became absolutely clear to me. We are what we think. Our thoughts become our words and our words become our actions and deeds. What we focus on grows. Our reality is manifested through our thinking. We truly do create our conditions. Therefore, we control our destiny’s. My mother named me Demetrius. The streets called me Nutty D. Now the world calls me Muhammad The God. Mpaka Halafu (Swahili for until next time). Respectfully Submitted by Demetrius Brasher A.K.A. Muhammad The God!

HAMJAMBO WATU WAZURI! (Swahili for hello my beautiful people) We just witnessed the most important election in U.S. history. What’s sad about it is the fact that it was more about removing Trump than electing Biden. The truth is, every election is important, but we tend to only focus on who we put in the white house (especially poor people). We must become more educated on how we vote on the state and local level, because that’s where the damage is being done at. There are many positions that are filled by people who don’t have the best interest of the communities they’ve sworn to serve. (District Attorney, Judges, Commissioner, Police Chief, Aldermen, State Representative, Senators, City Council. etc.) We shouldn’t concern ourselves with a political party unless we’re starting our own. We should be putting candidates of our own on the ballet to ensure that our issues are addressed. Politicians for years have procured our vote without fulfilling their promises to us. Politics have been politricks for Black, Brown, and poor Whites for far too long in America. They are more concerned with their party and their own agenda. When you turn on the news, all you hear is, the left, the right, the democrats, the republicans, the liberals, the conservatives, the red, the blue, the donkey, or the elephant. WHAT ABOUT AMERICANS? In my humble opinion, we must start putting ourselves first, and take control of our lives since the government is busy gang banging. Our communities have suffered because of it. We can’t keep depending on someone else to do for us what we can do for ourselves. We have the intelligence. We have the skills. We have the bodies (labor). We have the resources, and we have the finances. But the two things we lack as a whole are unity and organization. Most poor people never get to move out of their communities. Therefore, we must entertain the idea of rebuilding our neighborhoods one block at a time. We can do it! I’ll leave you’ll with this quote; ” DO FOR SELF OR SUFFER THE

CONSEQUENCES”. Respectfully Submitted by Demetrius Brasher A.K.A. Muhammad The God!

My Voice – I. Bowling

By: Isaac L. Bowling #292438 My name is Isaac Lawrence Bowling, I’m 20 years old. I have been incarcerated since I was 15 years old for Conspiracy to commit home invasion 1st degree and I am due to be released in 2028.

Growing up in a low-income household was tough, my mom and stepfather were heavy into drugs for a short time and money was very hard to come by. I felt that it was my job to try and make money and get food for the house even if it was just a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk. Why I shouldered this burden is beyond me, I guess it’s just my nature to protect the ones I love. But this feeling started at a very young age. I was maybe only 9 years old, I used to stand up at admiral gas station on Ballenger Highway in Flint and pump people’s gas for a dollar, or sometimes I would cut grass or do miscellaneous yard work around the neighborhood for money. But as I grew up the feeling to make money for my family turned to self-greed and that instant gratification that as a young man I so craved for. I started to steal from the store which soon turned to breaking into cars which then turned to breaking into houses. During all that I never really knew too much about myself, and that may sound unusual but I never really paid attention, it was just get money by any means. But after being in prison for 4+ years and doing a lot of mental calibration I realized that I have a good and caring heart who always wants to help regardless of the benefits, and I realized I have a talent to learn things quickly and quite easily. When I was in school, I learned to play the Contra Bass and the Bass Clarinet and was pretty good at both. I got my GED in less than a week and I never even completed the 7th grade. I am currently studying Real Estate and Contracting through Stratford Career Institute and that’s also going great. All I want is to succeed in life and strive for greatness. I don’t want prison to be the definition of my life, just a bump in the road to greatness. Although prison has played a big role in me becoming the person I am today, I want to move past this part of my life and never look back. Some people may read this and feel that I’m using my past struggles as a young man as an excuse to break the law or be in this position, in fact that’s quite the contrary. The choices I made as a kid could and should have been avoided. I take full responsibility for my actions, and I hope that my story may inspire other kids going down the same path, to change their direction because there is much more to life than what they are experiencing. I will work harder and harder every day to make sure that my life story can become a source of hope or inspiration to others, that there is more to life than what may be portrayed through their environment.

Just go get it! Whatever you want you can get, if you plan for it and apply action to your goals! Prosper in life, because life is about living not surviving. Thank you for reading!

My Voice – S. Brown

My name is Shukur Brown #945408 I am 24yrs old currently serving a 20yr to 40 yr sentence for accidentally killing my bestfriend when I was 16yrs old.

I grew up poor, with hand-me-downs, no lights, no gas, no electricity, no food nor water, or having one and not the other. I can remember coming home from school and the lights are off and me flicking the switch to no avail or going to the refrigerator to get something to eat, but the fridge was empty then coming back 30 to 45 minutes later knowing its nothing in there but just hoping, just hoping that my mom or dad had brought something to eat. We were evicted and stayed with this family member and the next one. At one point we lived with my grandmother and there was 16 people in one house, but through it all I was still the light of the family, always smiling and trying to help. My family loved to be around me because I always had a good heart and kept everyone laughing but seeing other people with things that are a necessity like good clothes, food, water and lights struck something in me and made me angry at life, but ultimately at my parents. I asked why so many times. I didn’t understand how the family down the street was living better than us or why my aunt’s kids had all the nice clothes and were never hungry. So, at 13yrs old I told myself that I had to get money for not only me but my 3 siblings. I started selling drugs, smoking weed and hanging in the streets more with my cousin who is 5yrs older than me. I started making “good” money from selling drugs I was able to buy food and eat when I wanted. I was able to get them new shoes and clothes to go to school in and support my weed habit. I even helped out with a few bills. I still went to school and actually got good grades when I wasn’t kicked out for fighting or acting out. I had a bad temper that never received the right treatment. Then one day when I was 14yrs old I got robbed for my phone some money and my product. That hurt me to the core. How was I going eat? What was I to do? it was a turning point for me. After that I was in the fast lane. breaking and entering, robbing, stealing, shoot outs, you name it. I was doing any and everything to get money and wasn’t thinking twice. That was the immaturity in me not thinking about the consequences and the effect I was having on other people’s lives. It was a way of life for me. I was heading down the wrong path with no one pushing me down the righteous one. I could have been anything; a basketball player, football player and even a boxer. I enjoyed doing all of them, but I had all the wrong influences around me pushing me to do negatives instead of positives. I always looked at myself as a good person. I helped people out when I could, I always wanted to brighten people days, give them something to smile about and just be that shoulder to lean on.

Then at 16yrs old I accidentally shot and killed my best friend Gianni. I heard of people playing around with guns and accidentally shooting each other but I would have never thought that this would have happened to me in a million yrs. When this happened, it changed me. They locked me up, charging me with 2nd degree murder. How could this be? It was an accident; we were just playing. I cried for what seemed like a hundred nights, replaying the incident in my head; waking up in cold sweats with blood on my hands. I had his family asking me “Why?”, my family asking “Why?”, but I didn’t have an answer other then I didn’t mean to do it, it was an accident, we were playing. I went through a depression. I didn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I didn’t talk, I didn’t want to play basketball, I didn’t smile or laugh. I became antisocial. I wished I was dead and that he was here instead of me. On visits my mother seen it too. I could see her hurting because I was hurting. She saw that I wasn’t the same smiling, loving, talkative, humorous kid I once was. I was broken and traumatized. I blamed myself every day. I hated myself for being so stupid and reckless. Over the years I learned to cope with my pain and started writing poems, reading my bible, getting closer to God and slowly but surely, I started coming back into myself. I learned that I got to live for Gianni. not with him. I’m still sort of stand offish. sometimes i get in the mode where I want to just be alone with my thoughts, but I’m back to laughing, joking and playing around, making other people’s day.

I have a different outlook on life now. I realized that I can’t become who I’m supposed to be until I eliminate the person, I thought I was. I want to help instead of hurt. I don’t want my legacy to be that I was a thug, savage or hoodlum. I want people to remember me as the good hearted, ambitious, humorous, loving, helpful, respectful, family oriented and sincere guy that I am. who made mistakes but didn’t let his past define him. I don’t want to be a statistic and die in prison or make it out and come back. I’m more understanding of life now. I like to see the glass from both aspects: half full and half empty. Prison helped me to learn about myself; I know my buttons. I’m also a chess player. I think before I react or speak. I observe before I make a move, and more importantly I think for others. I’ve successfully received my G.E.D while incarcerated. I look forward to enrolling in college to obtain a degree in business/entrepreneurship; to one day own a construction business. I’ve recently just started my own T-Shirt line with a friend. I’m going to help the youth out by being a mentor and telling my story, so they won’t make the same mistakes I did. Thank you all for taking the time to learn a little bit about me.

My Voice- T. Davis

MDOC INMATE: Toby R. Davis MDOC #: 234179 AKA: Naeem Nusaga AGE: 45 LOCATION: Thumb Correctional Facility PASSION: Writer/ Poet/ Published Author ALL COMMENTS WELCOMED @: Jpay.com ——————————————————————

Today, the Michigan Department of Corrections house roughly 34,000 inmates in its warehouse facilities throughout the State of Michigan. For the majority of these convicted felons, they will one day return back to their respective community after paying their dues to society for the crime(s) to which they were convicted and sentenced to a term of years.

When I first entered into the prison system in 1995, quite noticeably were the various educational programs and vocational classes that were available to each individual prisoner, who had the fervent desire to use their time wisely by furthering their education and engaging themselves in some kind of trade that he could potentially utilize upon his release to be better equipped to thrive in the outside world. Fast forward to the year 2020, and now we’re talking about a whole different ball games without a free-throw line! The MDOC have since abolished most of these programs in the system that once were available and have more or less made it even harder for certain inmates, particularly the ones who are serving Life Sentences or Long Indeterminate Sentences. Unfortunately, the programs that’s available in the system today, one has to be at least within 6 to 7 years to their earliest release date, which means if you’re serving 20 years in prison, you’re prohibited from taking any college courses by mail, Builders Trades, or even Culinary Arts until you have served two thirds of your time. Even then, one can only sign up to take the class and the waiting period could be another 2 or 3 years prior to entry.

I learned early on that the prison institution can be one of two things for you: It can be your tombstone; or your steppingstone. Luckily for me, I’ve chosen the latter. Even though they have made it more difficult to participate in these programs, I believe we must educate ourselves and further our mental cognition by any means necessary. And I try to be an example of that by way of my actions. Being that I’m serving a long indeterminate sentence behind a wrongful conviction, I still have faith in God and opted to not allow anything to obstruct me from becoming a better man through spiritual elevation. Since I been in prison, I have achieved my High School Equivalency Certificate (I thank God for my teacher, Mr. Brown, who had convinced me at that time that I was much smarter than I thought) and from there I achieved Custodial Maintenance Technology, Blood Bourne Pathogens Program, Introduction to Computers, Tech Math, Keryx Program, and I have penned three books so far. My latest book is a self-help guide that’s geared towards helping young Black American youth avoid cultural pitfalls and strive to be positive role models in their community by leveraging their mental state of mind. The mind is the most difficult thing to open, but once it is, it knows no bounds!!!

In conclusion, we (the forgotten) shouldn’t be completely abandoned by American society. After all, we simply reflect of that which needs to be corrected in it, such as fractured homes, poor education, gang initiation, drug infiltration, gun saturation, mass incarceration, and lack of opportunities that’s rooted in social oppression. Therefore, we’ve all have fallen short at some point or another in life, but yet deserve a second chance to get it right. After all, we are not simply a prison number to be counted during count time, but more accurately human beings – descriptively someone’s beloved son, brother, uncle, or father who long to be healed by the power of love, compassion, and understanding. [If] we could only re-imagine a world that set out to truly “correct;” instead of condemning its citizens by providing the necessary tools required to open the door to greatness. [If] we could only re-imagine a world that set out to see the best in each person; instead of the worse, I will argue then, and only then, will America begin to live up to its biggest promise that’s anchored in justice, equality and freedom for all.

My Voice- Nathaniel Gilbert

Before corona I wore a mask, socially distant first. I wanted my space–antisocial and introvert. Battling inner demons, without exposing my hurt. Silent begs for help, too prideful to say the words. Boiling with anger, I rolled up to suppress it. intoxicants didn’t do it, still the problems were present. Heard a voice in my head that encouraged aggression. Acknowledged an evil presence and knew I had to be better. Turning to God I prayed, “Help me I’m lost.” Father, I tried everything except give You my all. Please forgive me I’m a sinner, heart opened for you to enter. I surrender, and through Christ I know my position. Now I’m living like a king is supposed to live, and I’m focused in. Speaking outside the box, my thoughts beyond the wall trend. Heavyweight, trained by the invincible. Hoping for the future that my quote become a principle. Everyday I’m better, planning for that to continue. Took the past out the present and adjusted for the future. Mind over matter cause the mind is what matters. This was just a piece of mine broken down into letters. By: Nathaniel Gilbert #618518

My Voice- R. Green

My name is Bobby X, but this was not always the case. Why is this relevant in introducing myself to you? It is relevant because the “X” on my name has significant meaning and value; it is relevant because that “X” announces to the world that, like a Phoenix, from the ashes of life of unconscious behavior patterns that compromised my freedom, my liberty, and my happiness; it is relevant because it signifies that I am no longer those things that those behaviors labelled me as, but a man of God Allah.

In my youth, I was a socially awkward person who never really fit in with any particular group. Taller than everyone else, I was ridiculed; smarter than most, made me a target. It’s ironic how we begin to devalue one another in our youth, which leads to adults who have no value of one another later on in life. Suffice to say, I was (and still am) an introverted person.

At eleven, something happened in my life that left me with the thought process of never being a victim again. And this is where my life’s journey took a trajectory that led me to squandered opportunities, faded goals and dreams, disappointment, and prison. A trajectory that has nurtured, encouraged and sustained the hurt, anger, disappointment and betrayal that was produced in the heart and mind of my eleven-year-old self.

I’ll be 49 years old next month, and it has taken me nearly 34 years to identify and seek help for that hurt, anger, disappointment and betrayal. Why so long? Fear. Fear of ridicule, fear of rejection, fear of mockery, fear of giving life to the trauma that I held hidden within me for so long. Combine that fear with the warped societal view that Black men don’t cry, and that we’re taught to suppress our emotions, and it’s easy to see why it took me so long to seek resolution to these issues. I had to first recognize them, then realize that I could no longer allow them to enslave me.

This self-evaluation led me to take some classes that were instrumental in my “breaking those chains” of fear and understanding that I could (and needed to) ask for help. It also led me to the Nation of Islam, for I had a desire for self-discovery. Both mediums allow me to learn a lot about myself, as well as being able to use my intellect for the benefit of others. With the knowledge that I have gained, and continue to gain, it is becoming easier for me to recognize that I can be the effective member of society, of my community, that I was created to be.

Which leads me to this moment, and this state of mind. I feel that I not only have a lot to give to the world but that I am becoming increasingly knowledgeable enough to properly do so. I am a man who is overprotective of those within my circle, and commit myself to their success and happiness. I desire to be a family man, for I relish being depended upon. And I’m loyal.

I desire to own a restaurant one day, and I pray often for the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of some o the youth who have given up because they think that no one understands or cares. To this end, I want to start a non-profit community centre.

In closing, I offer this. I’m a man who is…
Proud, yet humble;
Outspoken, yet respectful;
Introverted, yet loving;
Focused, yet open-minded;
Adaptable, yet determined;
Flawed, yet perfect…

…a man who is striving today to be better than he was yesterday as he walks towards tomorrow.

Thank you for hearing my voice!

As-Salaam Alaikum
Bobby X

Robert Green (#210296)

My Voice – E. Hall

When you were a child, did you fear being murdered every time you stepped out of your house? As a child, did people always remind you that you “ain’t nothin’, and you ain’t never going to be nothing?'” As an adolescent, did you have to learn how to be violent to protect yourself? Well, those are only a few pitfalls that I faced as a child. Although my inability to deal with those pitfalls caused me to spend 32 years in prison, I have used that time to self educate and establish better morals unto myself. Hopefully, one day I will be able to live a productive life in society and help others.

Growing up on Puritan Avenue, in the ’70s, danger stalked me. Walking to school I had to sidestep drug needles that littered the cracked pavement, and I had to keep my eyes peered at vacant houses peppering the neighbourhood to make sure that a “stranger” didn’t snatch me inside to inflict unthinkable sadistic acts, which was a problem in Detroit at that time.

As a teen, crime saturated my neighbourhood. Consequently, a large percentage of older teens whom I came in contact with were already breaking in the house, stealing cars, and robbing people. Needless to say that peer pressure had a huge influence on me.

I remember the first time I broke into a house; I was thirteen. Fear caused every bone in my body to vibrate. An older dude named Tank burst out the back window of a house, which sent a pain through my heart. I felt my knees buckle when he told me to climb through the window and go open the back door for him. I bucked my eyes at him and said, “Man, you go in there, I ain’t ’bout to do that.”

He frowned and said, “You coward little b*tch, you can’t be acting like a hoe if you goin’ hang wit’ me.”

To make a long story short, I climbed through the window and opened the door to prove myself. Tank took everything and didn’t give me anything.

Homelife was painful too; my grandmother saw that I was going down the wrong path, so she degrade me to try to influence me into changing. “Ernest, you ain’t nothing and you ain’t never gonna be nothing,” or “You’re a low down good for nothing nincompoop.” From the age of six to thirteen, I didn’t know what a nincompoop was, but I knew it was something bad.

Whenever I got tired of listening to grandma, I would say something real sassy, like “Shut up!” I realized that it was a severe mistake to say that, because I knew my mother would beat me half to death with an extension cord as soon she found out, and grandma always told on me.

As a result of getting beat half to death and being verbally assaulted, I searched for a haven in the ghetto streets. By the time I was fourteen, I had been moulded into the lying, cheating no-good thief that my grandmother had assured me that I would become.

My crimes landed me in five different juvenile facilities. After I graduated from juvenile, I attended MDOC University. At first, I didn’t take prison seriously. I would serve a few years, get out, then start committing more crimes.

My mother always told me that I didn’t have the personality of a criminal, and I didn’t. I was too friendly and considerate. I got used and manipulated a lot. It wasn’t until I served time in prison and became a bodybuilder that I was able to defend myself. Because people used to beat me up all the time when I was young, I vowed that I would never beat up people smaller than I was. I prided myself on preying on predators in prison.

After serving fifteen years in prison, I went home as a super criminal.

At the age of thirty-five, all of that came to an end when a judge sentenced me to twenty-five years in prison for armed robbery. Although that amount of time seemed like a death sentence, I must admit that prison saved my life.

What’s ironic is that every time a judge sent me to prison, someone would murder one of my partners in crime. This time, eight of my partners were murdered.

After being sentenced to twenty-five years, I felt like I had nothing to lose. I began to gamble, making wine, selling drugs, and get into knife fights with other prisoners. (Business as usual.)

However, my life changed when I was serving four years in solitary confinement for bad behaviour. Having a lot of soul searching and realized I had been indoctrinated with a criminal mentality. That is when I began my journey toward change. The first thing I did was to memorize an English book. Then I ordered a book on how to write novels. As of this date, I have written four books, and I am searching for a publisher.

After I left solitary confinement, I struggled to stay on the right path. I made many mistakes along the way, but now I’ve gained control of my conduct. I don’t gamble, use drugs or commit crimes any more. I even stopped eating meat, and I practice yoga.

Now, I have eight years to serve in prison, unless I get an early release.

At the age of fifty-one, I am focussed on keeping my life in order. I hope to become a successful novelist. My main goals are to come home, settle down, get married, and start a family.

In addition, I have studied government, politics, and law. I plan to become a social activist, with a goal of motivating the underprivileged to educate themselves and participate in politics.

I have learned that nature uses pain to teaches us what not to do. When we stick our hand in fire, it burns. Through that pain, we learn not to stick our hands in fire. I have experienced enough pain to know not to commit crimes.

God has saved me because I have a good heart. As a child, I never wanted to be a bad person, and I’ve always felt remorse for commuting crimes. I had to learn everything through trial and error. To anyone who has ever been a victim of crime, I apologize, and I promise that I will spend the rest of my life being a part of the solution instead of a part of the problem.

Written by:
Ernest K. Hall #196363
Thumbs Correctional Facility
3225 John Conley Drive
Lapeer, MI 48446