Joseph “King Chuck”, 37
Joseph “King Chuck”, 37

Housed: Fort Stockton, TX 

I must serve 30 years flat before being eligible for parole. My story is not too different from many but yet still my own.

I grew up raised by a single mother with four older sisters and a little brother and two more brothers on my Dad’s side. I was introduced to the street life at an early age and started using drugs at the age of nine -nothing hardcore-weed, pills, alcohol. At 13, I was initiated into a gang and started causing all kinds of trouble. I saw how it was taking a toll on my mother, but I didn’t care because I felt she didn’t want me or love me and my father wasn’t around.

My father’s oldest son hurt me one day and I told my mother. She called my father who said it would be taken care of. Nothing ever happened, so I blocked everyone out and went on a rampage.

Years later, I was heavy in the local music scene. I was supplying drugs and doing them. One night, I was pulled over with crack cocaine in my possession and swallowed it to avoid going to jail. To this day, I wish I was arrested that morning. That crack cocaine I swallowed caused me to make the biggest mistake of my life and now I’m here.

When I was arrested I had two children on the way by two different women. Today, my son and daughter are about to turn fourteen. I’ve never been home with them. The struggle of being a father behind bars runs deep when you aren’t present. How do you father from prison, how can you provide for them, how do you love them, why do they love you? If something happens to them you blame yourself, if they’re misbehaving you feel it’s your fault, anything they struggle with, you shoulder the blame. I don’t understand how or why they still love me. In here, I’ve been mentoring kids, dads, moms and young people about the dangers of drugs, prison life and the value of life. I would like to just continue to spread my voice to help.