Derrick, 21
Derrick, 21

Meet Derrick…

…My big brother in here has been hard on me, but I knew it was to help me find the “better me”. So for all of you dealing with big problems, smal problems, ups, downs, obstacles, heartache and pain, remember that you are not alone. God is always there.

Incarcerated: 1 year of Life sentence
Housed: Cummins Unit, Arkansas

I was told to knock on a door, which almost caused him to lose his life, for drug money. This was my life, starting when I was eight. Not because my mother and father weren’t good parents cause they were, it was just my life. I went from stealing from my own family to stealing from others, to car hopping, to breaking into people’s houses, taking what they worked so hard for, to robbing drug dealers, stores and then things got worse. Each crime I’ve committed was for the same reason, to provide for my people and survive.

I was addicted to the “Powder” since the age of eight. I’ve spent my life in and out of the system. At 14, I moved in with my grandmother. I thought my problems would slow down, only to realize they followed me and got worse. At 15, I ended up getting this female pregnant. She was 14. I was addicted and used to messing around with older women. I left her to get my mind right. Only to be locked up again.

My son’s due date was on my birthday, February 14th. Eight days after he was born I was released. That day I was completely done with the life I was living, I wanted to provide for the lil one. Nothing fell in line. I gave up and started back hustling. I committed a crime that caused a police officer to be killed. It was three years in county jail before I finally said forget it and took a deal for 20 years with 17 on a “YO” which means class Y felony to keep my other homeboy from doing the time.

I wasn’t the one who pulled the trigger when the officer was killed. I took the deal to keep others from getting locked up. My family and many others fought me on it, even my child’s mother. My parents gave up on me which made me give up. I started to feel there wasn’t anything in life left for me. I started causing problems here in prison. My big bro in here Rufus has been a big influence, he’s been tough on me but I know it has helped me find the “better me.” Recently he’s tried to keep my mind off my worries and on the positive. He’s also pushed me to get educated which I accept and respect. For all of you going through the struggle, through problems, situations, ups and downs, obstacles, heartache and pain.

No matter what it is, always remember you ain’t alone. I encourage you always keep pushing and striving no matter how long it takes for things to get better. Keep faith in God and in yourself. No matter what time you got. Whatever dream or goal you are chasing. Keep pushing cause one thing is for certain, anything is possible. I gave up on so much over the years. Even now, I’m trying to rise and better myself. I haven’t given up on chasing my dreams, my music and starting a clothing and designing business. Everything I do, I do it for my son, my number one. NEVER GIVE UP.

 

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