Cassandra, 61

There are many things about my past that I wish I could change but, I probably wouldn’t be the strong, black woman I am today.

Incarcerated: 5 years
Housed: Lockhart Correctional Facility, Texas

I have been on drugs for over 30 years and in and out of jails and prisons. Every time I am before a judge, I was never offered rehab. When I asked for it, it was denied. What? Was I not good enough for rehabilitation?

My addiction has caused me to do things that were against my nature. I’ve done things that were against my parents values that were instilled in me. But nevertheless, I know that my life does have meaning. There are many things about my past that I wish I could change, but then I wouldn’t be the strong, black woman I am today. Today, I have been able to forgive myself for some of my choices, disappointments and hurts. More importantly, I understand the larger forces that have affected me and my entire family and this has led me to want a better life.

I now fight for my right to be the best I can be. I know that I can not do this all by myself. With God as my leader, I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. I know that I must go through this valley to get to the mountain top. God has my life in his hands and very soon He will release me to freedom. I will soar like an eagle. Thank you for listening and most of all thank you for this organization. You will be hearing from me and my family again.