Richard, 22

Meet Richard…

They have shown me what unconditional love and forgiveness look like. They have accepted me for who I am today.

At the age of 18, I drank, drove, and robbed my 19 year old girlfriend of her life. She was a daughter, sister, niece, and friend to so many in our community. Not a day goes by where my heart does not feel the weight of guilt and shame for my actions. 

However, they bear a different kind of weight in my life today. Thanks to the program opportunities here at San Quentin. Prior to the pandemic, I had learned to share my feelings, accept them, and use them as my motivation for staying clean and sober, getting and staying out of prison, giving back to the people I’ve hurt, and not allowing her death to be absolutely in vain. I undeservingly have the rest of my life ahead of me, but I live everyday gratefully in honor of my girlfriend’s life.

I’m also very grateful for my mom, dad, sisters and friends who have supported me in my recovery and rehabilitation.

Everyday in here, especially during the pandemic, I miss them and daydream about being with them when I’m released.

I’m including a picture of me and my niece Serenity from January. It was only our second time together and I have had to watch her grow up through pictures. It is quite depressing to think about, but I’ve made my bed, so now I have to sleep in it.