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Social condemned people are humans too, who made some very poor decisions. Maybe befriend one of us. You may never meet a more loyal friend.

Jarel, 45
Incarcerated: 16
Housed: Monroe Correctional Complex, Washington

One of the biggest trials was becoming introduced to a wheelchair. I have not let this disability let me down. It has strengthened me mentally more than anything. I was young – 19 when I was incarcerated for the first time. I learned to grow up quickly. Drugs and prison gangs became second nature. Three years later I was released with a drug addiction and a big chip on my shoulder. After four more prison sentences, I ended up committing a heinous act of violence to where someone lost their life. I ended up in the place I hated the most, the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. I was sentenced to 30 years and lost everything I ever held close. My family, the woman I loved and my freedom. It took me several years of going back and forth from solitary confinement to intensive treatment units to finally pull my head together and search for a positive meaning in my life. Then, I started the very long process of mending all the broken fences. The first – myself and my addiction. For a long time I hated myself and was bitter. I pushed everyone away, especially the ones that tried to help. As a “socially condemned” person and incarcerated I started to build healthy relationships and take self-improvement classes. The teacher for a redemption class changed my life. I jumped in fully and after graduation I was invited to start the process of taking the classes needed to start facilitating the same class I took. It was an eye opener and showed me how to connect back to becoming a good person.

Besides self-improvement I have found a new love in my life as well and that was accepting God fully and placing my life in his hands. I have found the strength to walk away from prison politics and to start mentoring younger people.  I have had blessing after blessing fall into my lap, as well as trials and tribulations. I now know how to deal properly with these trials. I have been clean and sober for over 13 years and have built a beautiful reconnection with my family, my beautiful fiance that I lost years ago and we are due to become married very soon.

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