Kyaleah, 26

Kyaleah, 26

Meet Kyaleah…

This experience has given me an entirely renewed outlook. The pessimistic person I once was, has been destroyed a thousand times over.

Kyaleah, 26
Incarcerated: 10 years
Housed: Cummins Unit, Arkansas Department of Corrections, Grady, Arkansas

Since the age of five I’d been highly educated in lying, cheating, stealing, and violations of various degrees. As a child my mother would always tell me and my only flesh and blood brother, Jamarco, that she couldn’t save us when we went to the pen. She told me this for over sixteen years. My brother, Jamarco overdosed last year, he was 21. I’ve met many people that’ve made me want to lead a better life. I’ve met many more people that have assisted me in developing traits that have exposed me to failure. After a decade in prison, I’ve faced dilemmas that have forced me to properly communicate and redirect my intentions. Now the majority of my motives are good and instead of a lying tongue and a cursed language, I produce convincing truths. I am proficient in the language of love.

This experience has given me an entirely renewed outlook. The pessimistic person I once was, has been destroyed a thousand times over. I have to be diligently active in my disciplines for renewal to give me unrestricted access to public authority. I possess the gift of discernment, bestowed on me by the Architect of the Universe and his Council, being able to withdraw some of the most precious resources from the most horrendous embodiments on this planet and beyond. I stand as a carefully developing human being, constantly renewing. I’m not just positive actions, but an eternal work that’s never finished. I’ve learned we aren’t products of time, but producers of time and like time we should be constant in change. Being able to adapt to infinite climates, for this invites inevitable attainments. 

Derrick, 22

Derrick, 22

Meet Derrick…

I was locked up again during the birth and was not there to see my son come into the world. Ever since the day that I got out, I knew I had to provide for the little one.

Derrick, 22
Incarcerated: 6 years
Housed: Cummins Unit, Arkansas

This is something I’ll never forget. One night I was walking to the store when I was picked up by some dudes I knew for a blind mission I didn’t expect. My actions that day caused someone to almost lose his life over some drugs and money. This destructive behavior started when I was just eight because it was the life I had adapted to. I went from stealing to car hopping, to breaking and entering, to robbing drug dealers. I have had to complete every mission I was assigned in order to provide for my people and to survive.  I became too adjusted to this life and too addicted to drugs, so things just got worse and worse. At one point, I did believe that I had escaped my problems, however they followed me. I tried to follow a different path, but my past choices had already defined me and it was at this point I felt that I had thrown away my dream and given up on those that needed me the most. After one visit to DYS, I got one of my friend’s sisters pregnant and learned that I had to accept my responsibility for the baby.

I was locked up again during the birth and was not there to see my son come into the world. Ever since the day that I got out, I knew I had to provide for the little one. That realization caused me to commit a crime that got a police officer killed. I was locked up and took a deal for 20 years in order to keep my other homeboy from doing the time as we were both there that day. I started to feel like nothing good in life was meant for me. I have problems communicating and dealing with people, a problem that I have been trying to overcome. This is a challenge I’m battling with. My big brother in here has been hard on me, but I know it is to help find the “better me.” When you feel like everybody has given up on you, I encourage you to keep  striving no matter how long it takes. I have given up on so much over the years. But now, I am trying to rise, better than I was. I am not done chasing my dreams of music and starting my own clothing design business. Everything I do, I do for my son. I am just another person in prison trying to make a living. So stay strong and NEVER GIVE UP.

Derrick, 22

Derrick, 22

Meet Derrick…

I went from stealing from my own family, to stealing from others, to car hopping, to breaking into people’s houses, taking what they worked so hard for, to robbing drug dealers and stores.

Derrick, 22
Incarcerated: 6 years
Housed: Cummins Unit, Arkansas

I went from stealing from my own family, to stealing from others, to car hopping, to breaking into people’s houses, taking what they worked so hard for, to robbing drug dealers and stores. Then things got worse. Each crime I committed was for the same reason: to provide for my people and survive. I’ve spent my life in and out of the system. At 14  I moved in with my grandmother, thinking my problems would slow down, only to realize they followed me and got worse. At 15, I ended up getting my sister’s friend pregnant; she was 14. I was addicted to the powder and messing around with older women, so I left her to get my mind right, only to be locked up again. My son’s due date was on my birthday. Eight days after he was born, I was released. That day, I was completely done with the life I was living, wanting to provide for the lil one. I soon gave up and went back to hustling. I was told to knock on his door, which almost caused him to lose his life, all for drug money.

This was my life, starting when I was eight., not because my mother and father weren’t good parents, but just because it was. I caused a police officer to be killed. I was in county jail for three years before I finally said forget it and I took a deal for 20 years with another 17 on a Y felony to keep my other homeboy from doing the time. I wasn’t the one who pulled the trigger. My family and many others fought me on it, even my child’s mother.  My parents gave up on me, and I started to feel like there wasn’t anything left in life for me. I started causing problems in prison. My big bro in here, Rufus, has been a big influence. He’s been tough on me and helped me find the “better me.” Recently, he’s tried to keep me focused on positive thoughts and pursuing education. For all of you going through ups and downs, obstacles, heartache and pain, remember you ain’t alone. Keep pushing until things get better. I gave up on so much over the years, but now, I’m trying to rise and better myself. I haven’t given up on chasing my dreams:

Detric, 25

Detric, 25

Meet Detric…

I was taken away from my mother by the Department of Human Services at the age of 11, due to an unstable foundation. It never stopped me from loving her.

Incarcerated: 2 years
Housed: Little Rock, Arkansas

It was a burden I thought I could never lift off me, facing 20 years at the age of 22. I prayed night and day for answers on how I would make it through. The more I prayed the more things seemed to get worse. My mother used to visit me, but eventually stopped. Then, I received a letter informing me that my mother was in jail with me. It hurt me deeply to even imagine my mother in the same orange jumpsuit I was in, eating from the same county jail trays I was eating from. I was taken away from my mother by the Department of Human Services at the age of 1, due to an unstable foundation. It never stopped me from loving her. Neither does her drug habits or mental illness. I also never stopped praying and keeping hope. I encourage everyone out there to never give up. I’m now facing less time incarcerated, with a mother who just graduated community college and her drug treatment program. My mother has been doing great and staying healthy, and soon we’ll be together.

Montreal, 52

Meet Montreal…

I got myself right with God, I help to steer the youth and everyone in the right direction. I tell them, no matter their past, they can change their futures.

Incarcerated: 23 years
Housed: Cummins Unit, Grady, Arkansas

I am doing a life without parole for murder. I went to Hall high school until the 11th grade. My father was a minister and my mom was a school teacher. I have one daughter who is 32 years old. I moved to Oklahoma in 1998 after I did five years in AOC. That’s where I caught this charge I’m on now and got a life sentence. I am doing my time here closer to my family. I got myself right with God, I help to steer the youth and everyone in the right direction. I tell them, no matter their past, they can change their futures. I do a lot of positive things with my time. I have three projects doing good at the moment. One is a published book called ORIGINAL PLAYER. My other projects include a co-ed magazine, and a book about the true heroes of the pandemic. I feel they will all do great if they get seen. I love my family, thank them for their support and I do what I do because they inspire me to do good. 

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