Rosanna, 40

Rosanna, 40

Meet Rosanna…

No one can take away the peace and joy I carry within, because today I can see all the blessings around me. Prison is not fun, but it has shaped me to be a better mother, daughter, sister and friend.

Incarcerated: 11years

Housed: Texas Department of Criminal Justice Hilltop Unit, Gatesville

I have come to realize that everything in life happens for a reason. Growing up I was raised with lots of love from my Mommy. My father wasn’t around much because he chose the lifestyle of being a drug dealer over us. But, I was still cared for and cared about. However, somewhere along the way I got on a sidepath and it led me to question “Why” things happened the way they did. I became rebellious and soon after was sentenced for dealing drugs. I realized that I needed to change for the better, do right, and not let the cycle of imprisonment continue. I see the reasoning of why I’ve been here so long. I received my California Driver’s License and am blessed to be gaining experience on the road, as a truck driver, working for the prison. This in turn will help me get a good job once I’m released. I know that I will succeed, focusing on the fact that no matter what, I matter to my family and God. I enjoy life and all it’s beauty. No one can take away the peace and joy I carry within, because today I can see all the blessings around me. Prison is not fun, but it has shaped me to be a better mother, daughter, sister and friend.

Christine, 44

Christine, 44

Meet Christine…

…As the years have gone by, I know with more and more certainty that the state of Texas is what God used to discipline my stubborn butt. I needed correction and humility. I also needed healing mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Incarcerated: 9 years
Housed: Hilltop Unit-Trustee Camp, Gatesville, Texas

I was a college student working at Goodwill and trying to make it after divorcing my husband. I know now that I shouldn’t have given up on my marriage so fast, but some things become clearer with hindsight. It felt like my life was over. I was given a 20 year aggravated sentence and had to serve at least half before I could see parole for the first time. I wouldn’t be going anywhere until I was at least 45 years old. The worst part, I was leaving my three kids, Mathew (9), Luke (4), and Sofia (2). I’m not there to raise them. I decided years ago not to let the circumstances of my charge make me bitter. Instead I am using this time to make myself better. I’ve stayed positive, took every self-help class offered, earned an associate’s degree and now I’m in truck driving class to get my CDL. Quite literally, it’s been a wild ride recently. I’ve formed a strong bond with my fellow CDL classmates and we help one another, build one another up rather than tearing each other down. We teach the new girls as they come in by giving them helpful hints and tips that our teacher may not think of. I’ll admit…I practically hated the state of Texas at first – as I was done very dirty by the prosecution. As the years have gone by, I know with more and more certainty that the state of Texas is what God used to discipline my stubborn butt. I needed correction and humility. I also needed healing mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I’m so much better that I was before, no more brokenness. And now I’m sober to boot. My life isn’t over. I was wrong. It’s just beginning. One more year of prison, then I can go home. But I’ve been “free” for five years now. Praise God. 📸