Meet Jose…

The passage of time has given me the opportunity to mature and become more knowledgeable, empathetic and compassionate. It has taken many years of self-analysis and reflection for me to be able to reach inside to my very soul and reveal my true self.

Jose, 53
Incarcerated: 31 yrs
Housed: Sing Sing State Prison, New York 

Not once, not twice but many times I’ve fallen victim to making bad decisions, mistakes and unwise choices. The errors in the early course of my life led me to many emotional places. I have been to high highs, and to extremely low lows. The way I perceived life was molded by the life style I lived as a young man. It was all about me and my survival. Nothing or anyone mattered. Capitalizing and profiting from others shortcomings and weaknesses was what I thought survival was all about. I did not care if I could make a dollar off of someone else’s misery. Who I hurt in the process did not matter. The blinders were powerful. On the sidelines were families, mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters all defenseless against poverty and addiction. In my misconstrued mindset and way of thinking, I’d sugarcoat my actions with phrases “if they don’t get it from me, they’ll get it from someone else.” Families to this day are suffering from my actions. During my incarceration, I have witnessed firsthand the long-lasting effects of being a destroyer of lives. I live this every day. I have met family members of the people I used to sell poison to and met the children of past customers. The stories I have heard are heartbreaking to say the least. I have heard stories about being left alone at home or on the street while a drug addicted mother ran around doing unmentionable things to quench the insatiable thirst for crack. Time has given me the opportunity to mature and gain knowledge, empathetic and compassion. It has taken many years of self-analysis and reflection to be able to reach inside my soul and reveal my true self. My transformation hasn’t been a flick of a switch but a slow and gradual process. I write this with a tear in my eye and in my heart. I am truly sorry and ashamed for the destruction I caused. Continuing on my path to do better and help others do better is not easy. It has been a struggle to stay the course; however, I’ve been blessed to have crossed paths with a person that would help me arrange my thoughts, develop my potential and guide me on this road to redemption.


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