Gregory, 43

Gregory, 43

Meet Gregory…

I am a thinker, a philosopher, an idealist, an athlete and a family man.
Incarcerated: 9 years – Housed: Corcoran State Prison, California

I am not free yet, but I am working on that. My way of the trail has been helped by my cellie, fellow prisoners and my community. By understanding people’s true intent, I’ve learned to get along with every prisoner through good and bad. I am a thinker, a philosopher, an idealist, an athlete and a family man. I am also working on my analyzing methods. Earnestness is my power and strength, giving me time to figure others out. Each individual lives by their own belief. I hope it will be on the right side. 📸 Gregory’s

Sean, 34

Sean, 34

 Meet Sean

I have seen men’s lives changed simply because someone believes in them, and is willing to invest their time and effort.

When I first heard Tim McGraw’s song, “Live Like You Are Dying”, I realized that despite my circumstances, I needed to forgive, otherwise I would destroy myself, and I need it to live.

Over the past 18 years I have found myself in my art, my ability to advocate for the incarcerated population, my education, and in my marriage. Through my colored pencil drawings I find tranquility and bring bright vivid color into the drab world of prison.

I began helping others by tutoring incarcerated men, often men much older than myself and from vastly different cultural backgrounds.

As many of these men earned their GED and expressed their appreciation for my help and support, I realized I had to make a meaningful difference in the incarcerated community.

I have now become an advocate for the incarcerated population I have served as Chairman of the Men’s Advisory Council and currently work as an inside organizer with Initiate Justice to further my own education I am earning my Associate of Arts degree for transfer through Bakersfield College and in my marriage to my childhood friend Emelia, I find the love and support I need to reach my potential.

I will also never forget the moment “Live Like You Are Dying” came on the radio at our first family visit. My wife ran into my arms and we sang every word as we danced together. I was living.

Becoming an adult wrongfully incarcerated in California’s prisons, I have seen the need for justice reform and restorative justice.

Upon my release I will complete my education with the support of Project Rebound at CSU Sacramento. Then utilizing my life experience and education, I will continue to advocate for social justice reform and the incarcerated population.

Keith, 32

Keith, 32

Meet Keith

I was raised in an environment where violence was the only thing that was guaranteed to be respected, so being violent became my first nature.

Incarcerated: 7 years

Housed: California Correctional Institution, Tehachopi, CA

I was listening to a radio show on 103.9 called Real Talk and the topic was “What do you think about inter-racial relationships?” One thing that kept coming up from black women, is they think black men have something personally wrong. 

First of all, I LOVE my Black Queens. The thing is LOVE is color blind in my personal experience. I was raised in an environment where violence was the only thing that was guaranteed to be respected, so being violent became my first nature.

Most black women came up in the same environment, so they have become verbally and/or physically violent with black men. I’m not a verbally confrontational man with a woman, and specifically not with a man.

All I interpret is disrespect that easily can lead to violence. That’s not ok on my part or on the woman’s part.

After having all three of my kids by two black queens, I got married at 23 to a 40 year old Irish woman I had been friends with benefits with since I was 15. This was around the same time my first child was conceived. Now, I’m doing 29 years 8 months for attempted murder of her. Three months after we got married it was clear “Disrespect is real around here!”.

The thing is, it took a lifetime in prison for me to learn violence is never the right answer whether it is verbal or physical. “It’s all fun and games till somebody gets hurt!”. It will always be a lose lose, and it is never acceptable for a man to put his hands on a woman no matter what she does!

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