Ramon, 59
Ramon, 59

Meet Ramon

From the freeway I saw at the distance the huge yellow building of San Quentin and asked my wife whether or not the yellow building was a hotel or a mansion. She said it was a prison facility and I thought how miserable it would be for anyone to be caged and chained like an animal.

Incarcerated: 30 years 

Immediately after I was convicted, I was transferred to await execution at San Quentin State Prison, Death Row. As soon as I entered the prison gates I was escorted by guards to the Adjustment Center, stripped down of my clothes and left there. I guess it was their way to shame me. While I was in the holding cage, my mind traveled to the time I was driving to a beach in San Francisco. I had no cares in the world, happy and content for having accomplished my dreams. I was married, blessed with three daughters, a well paying job, roof over our heads, and two days off a week to do what I liked.

From the freeway I saw at the distance the huge yellow building of San Quentin and asked my wife whether or not the yellow building was a hotel or a mansion. She said it was a prison facility and I thought how miserable it would be for anyone to be caged and chained like an animal.

People can lead positive lives while doing time behind bars that will transform them, such as enroll in educational programs, be a mentor or role model to fellow prisoners or youth, attend church service, study the Word of God, and seek Christ. True transformation comes when you are able to repent and accept Christ in your life as your Lord and Savior, show remorse toward those you have hurt, and learn to forgive yourself.

My daughter from my second marriage was seven years old when she learned I was incarcerated, and yet, she has not left me to eat out my shame alone. Instead, she came to support and love me. She brought me hope despite my misery. She is without a doubt instrumental in my transformation and has guided me to joy in the midst of my troubles.

God can transform the life of the worst of us sinners. For me it took prayers, patience, keeping myself away from prison write ups, and allowing God to perform the miracle that would let me meet my daughter in person. None of this could have been possible if I had continued living life in the path of evilness, darkness and self-destruction. This is the first time in the 30 years of my imprisonment that I have taken the steps to share all of this with you in the free world.