Keith, 31

Keith, 31

Meet Keith…

I haven’t heard from Corey, but I talk to his mom and his sisters. I thank him for showing me true friendship, and installing a passion in me to help others.

Keith, 31
Incarcerated: 10 years
Housed: Sussex Correctional Institution, Georgetown, Delaware

My cousin and I walked onto the bus and immediately started acting like fools with this quiet, real chill kid in the back row. A couple days later, I’m walking down the street and the kid from the back row talks to me. He invited me into his home. I ate crabs along with his family. I met my best friend that day. His name was Corey. We hung out everyday after that, and stayed at each other’s houses. He knew he could do whatever he wanted at my house, and being around his family was a breath of fresh air for me. His household was one I’d only seen on TV, two parents, two sisters and dinner at the table every night. When my fridge was empty his mom welcomed me in and fed me. He never judged me for being dirty, wearing messy clothes, or my mom smoking crack. When I was down he always lifted me up. He showed me the real definition of friendship.

What I learned from him I carried into adulthood. He taught me to literally take the clothes off my back for others, to feed the homeless, and to pay for families to be housed at hotels. I was still out causing people harm, killing my community at the same time and building it up. I was a hypocrite. Twenty years of my life is taken away for those actions, yet my passion to help people has overpowered me as a whole. I haven’t heard from Corey, but I talk to his mom and his sisters. I thank him for showing me true friendship, and installing a passion in me to help others.

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.

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