Megan, 35

Megan, 35

Meet Megan…

“It’s ok to take life one day at a time. It’s ok to make mistakes. My mistakes and choices are what brought me to prison, but if it wasn’t for my mistakes, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Without my mistakes, I would not have a testimony.”

Megan, 35

Incarcerated: 7.5 

Housed: Anson Correctional Institution, Polkton, North Carolina

My entire life revolved around drugs and destructive relationships. It wasn’t long, I dropped out of high school and moved out of my parents’ house. I was 15 years old. All I wanted to do was find comfort, and I tried to find that in the wrong people and the wrong places. I never thought about what my life was going to be like 10 or 15 years down the road. My life consisted of using drugs or being around them. If people weren’t contributing to my drug use, they weren’t a factor in my life. I gave up on the true meaning of life. I gave up on my daughter and on myself. I pushed everyone away due to the pain I was holding onto. It was only causing me more damage than what I already had inside of me, including the ones around me. I’ve had my ups and downs these past 7.5 years, but I have never felt more free or more at peace in my entire life than I have these past few years. I only have God to thank for that. When you finally find yourself after feeling lost for so long, you start to see things much clearer. You no longer want to take life for granted, you see the bigger picture in life. It’s ok to take life one day at a time. It’s ok to make mistakes. My mistakes and choices are what brought me to prison, but if it wasn’t for my mistakes, I would not be who I am today. Without my mistakes, I would not have a testimony. My mistakes are what saved my life. I now know how to be a mother to my daughter. I’ve overcome my drug addiction, that was the biggest demon I ever had to fight, and I did it alone. I want to continue to be here for my daughter. I want to live! The first lesson in overcoming our pain is forgiving ourselves, and forgiving others. Without forgiveness, there is no moving forward. I want to make a difference, one day at a time. There is life after drugs. There is life after a life sentence. We can be set free inside these walls. What we achieve at our best moments doesn’t say much about who we are; it all boils down to what we become at our worst.

Ray, 42

Ray, 42

Meet Ray…

“I’m grateful for this God given gift of being able to draw and create what’s on my mind, more so what’s in my heart”

Ray, 42

Incarcerated: 23 years

Housed: California State Prison, Vacaville

Art is Life. Art is wonderful, soothing, the great escape, but I must mention the golden aspect: art is open for interpretation and all interpretation is valued! As an artist I get asked a well known question, “How long have you been drawing?” My response, since I was five. But as I reflect back on some of the artwork that captivated my attention, it came from prison. My cousin’s boyfriend sent her a hand-made Mickey Mouse card. Mickey had a tank top on, Jacky’s and some Nike Cortez’s on his feet, looking and standing banged out… and that card was drawn in ink pen. Another piece of artwork came from my uncle, he sent my aunt a hand-made card with a car drawn on a piece of filing folder, and the car was a “Monte Carlos” with a tent on the windows and Dayton wire wheels also drawn in ink pen. These pieces of artwork motivated me to keep drawing over and over until I reached some resemblances. Throughout my childhood I’ve had my fair share of getting in trouble and the majority of the time being on punishment, I spent drawing. Now as аn adult being on punishment (incarcerated), my time is devoted to working in the Delancey Street Restaurant, in groups, painting, drawing creatures and practicing with other mediums. But overall I’m grateful for this God given gift of being able to draw and create what’s on my mind, more so what’s in my heart.

Angela, 52

Angela, 52

Meet Angela…

When I started my sentence in 2021 I felt all alone. Now I have a companion always with me.

Angela, 52
Incarcerated: 1.5 years
Housed: Avoyelles Women’s Correctional Center, Cottonport, Louisiana

Since my incarceration I have become a new creature in Christ Jesus. I never sat down long enough to get to know my savior. Now, I was baptized in the water here inside these prison walls. Now I take my 15 year sentence and devote my time to studying the word… No drug, no amount of money can compare to the freedom I have been given by the Holy Spirit. When I started my sentence in 2021 I felt all alone. Now I have a companion always with me. I learned that no matter what situation you face it is important to have peace and joy. Joy must remain because Christ suffered for us, and we share in his suffering. One thing prison or man can’t take from me is my attitude of being thankful, loving, gentle and humble. Never let anyone take your peace and joy. My motivation is in Jesus, knowing I messed up in life but I have been forgiven by just asking God to forgive me and turn from sin. Now I know when my time is done on earth I’ll be with my savior. (Eternal rest) Theology (Study of the word) is the highest education anyone may ever get… I encourage everyone out there to find freedom inside prison walls. God’s word will set all captives free.

Whitney, 33

Whitney, 33

Meet Whitney…

I was on drugs and alcohol which led me to a fatal mistake. I started hearing voices and seeing things that weren’t there.

Whitney, 33
Incarcerated: 3 years
Housed: McPherson Unit, Newport, Arkansas

I was on drugs and alcohol which led me to a fatal mistake. I started hearing voices and seeing things that weren’t there. Some things seemed real, like the TV began to talk. I was going back and forth between men. All of my relationships were raunchy. I was so lost and caught up in sex and drugs, that I couldn’t see what was happening. I was so ashamed and hurt by my actions that I tried to commit suicide. One day my old case worker asked if I would like to try and talk to my kids. I said no, I was sure they didn’t want to speak to me. I have four kids and one is deceased. My oldest was upset with me for a while. The other two were not upset as much. I look back with regret everyday on the choices I made. I’m still talking to my kids. It’s been rough for all of us. I can’t sleep at night sometimes because I question myself. The guilt consumes me. After I came to prison I got my GED. I didn’t think I could do it. That’s the way I’ve felt all my life,  like I couldn’t accomplish anything. I love to write poetry about how I feel. God has changed my life and is still working on me. I look at these prison walls and think this is what I left my kids for. I miss being around them so much. They are so smart and funny.

Receive more inspiring stories and news from incarcerated people around the world.