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Eric, 52

Eric, 52

And you know, I like to get A’s. I’m an A student. I work hard and I started having this pride about submitting my work, I’m eager to know how I did. I say, “I know I perfected, I got this, I aced this.” So now I understand why the recidivism rate is lower. You develop character, you change your thinking. And you’re escaping, like I said earlier, the ills of prison and you’re removing yourself from that environment. And you become mature.

Eric, 52

And you know, I like to get A’s. I’m an A student. I work hard and I started having this pride about submitting my work, I’m eager to know how I did. I say, “I know I perfected, I got this, I aced this.” So now I understand why the recidivism rate is lower. You develop character, you change your thinking. And you’re escaping, like I said earlier, the ills of prison and you’re removing yourself from that environment. And you become mature.

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Joseph, 68

Joseph, 68

I have always been a proponent of pro-choice; and if anyone ever asks me what my feelings are on the abortion issue, I’ll firmly tell them that; but I’ll also have to tell them about the love I have for the girl who never was and how very much I miss the times we never shared together.

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Leonard, 35

Leonard, 35

This situation can take your lust for life away, what I use to like or intrigue me, I find myself despising. The person I used to be thought of love as something real, almost tangible. To view human nature in this form from within prison I now believe people as a majority don’t care about people. Because the prison I am at is such an attack on human nature- love of any type, form or meaning almost doesn’t seem real. Grim reality.

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LaShae, 35

No one cared about me and the hollowness I felt. No one cared to stop and listen to my story. No one cared because I am an African American woman who was treated unjustly.

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James, 74

James, 74

One of my greatest regrets is missing my grandchildren growing up. I was thrilled to be a grandfather, I would have been a great one. I missed it all.

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Antonio, 47

Antonio, 47

Most of my family, friends and kids turned their backs on me. I felt abandoned. I decided to put my trust in God. I made a conscious decision not to let my wrongful conviction define me.

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William, 36

William, 36

As a father of a 14 year old boy, I find myself having to answer questions that I have no idea how to answer. When my son was seven years old he said, “Dad, do you know when my birthday is?” I said, “Yeah boy, I helped make you.” He said “How did you help make me, when God made me?” I answered “Good question, put your mother on the phone.” So just imagine what a conversation with him is like as a pre-teen. I do my best considering my situation, But I guess only time will tell.

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Kenneth, 69

I want people to read my introduction to know I am not my past. That I am constantly evolving.

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Rebecca, 33

Rebecca, 33

I always try to be optimistic. When they told me I would never walk again, in my mind I told myself I could. I’ve always had a habit of going for things people say I won’t achieve.

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Danny, 33

Danny, 33

Upon my release I want to have my own youth ministry. I can empathize with the youth because of what I lacked and experienced growing up. I just wish there was a program like mine that could have reached out to me and shared their experiences so I wouldn’t have come to prison.

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Albert, 55

My son died when he was 16. He was playing football and was hit in the head, three days later he died. I was in Salinas Valley State prison at the time, man that was the ugliest feeling in my life. I knew I had to change my lifestyle and I had to start caring about myself and the impact I was having on others.

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