Rolando, 37

Rolando, 37

Meet Rolando…

I’m working on furthering my education. I am also in self help groups to better myself and to find my way out of prison.

Rolando, 37
Incarcerated: 18 years
Housed: Valley State Prison, Chowchilla, CA

I’m in prison on a murder charge. I like to stay busy and out of trouble. I love to play soccer and listen to reggae, oldies and rap. My favorite movies: Fast and the Furious, Titanic and Twilight. I like to cut people’s hair.

When I started my time, I didn’t know anything about prison. One day, I was standing next to three people fighting in the yard. When the officer came to separate them, he thought I was fighting too. I told him I had nothing to do with it, I saw a commotion and walked away. He then asked the officer in the tower what he saw, he said I had nothing to do with it. That was one of the scariest incidents I’ve been through. Another time an officer dropped something while talking to a sergeant. I waited for him to finish talking, and told him he had dropped something and that he could get in trouble. He was proud of me, because he said there are not too many people like me. He told me to keep up the good work. I felt proud. I’m working on furthering my education. I am also in self help groups to better myself and to find my way out of prison.

Samantha, 30

Samantha, 30

Meet Samantha…

Being covered in blood and bruises was “normal,” but my boyfriend had beaten me to the point that I miscarried our baby.

Samantha, 30
Incarcerated: 1 year
Housed: La Vista Correctional Facility, Pueblo, Colorado

I was going to college for mortuary science when I met a guy. We had a very toxic relationship involving drugs and domestic violence. In February of 2013,  I woke up in my backyard in the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. Being covered in blood and bruises was “normal,” but my boyfriend had beaten me to the point that I miscarried our baby. A part of me was thankful that I wasn’t going to be stuck with him forever. After I recovered, I left. I got a restraining order. I moved to another town. I got a job and was doing fine until he showed up at my job and wouldn’t leave. Countless times he would be removed in handcuffs and eventually I was let go due to the unwanted attention it was bringing to the store.

I moved a couple more times and changed my number. I didn’t feel I was able to get a job since he was stalking me. I was in the kitchen at a friend’s house when he showed up and started throwing me around. I got free from his grasp and locked myself in the bathroom. I crawled out the window and ran down the street to the first car I saw. Driving was a 52 year old man. I asked for a ride anywhere. Here most 22 year old girls would be nervous getting in the car with a stranger, but I was willing to take the risk. I came to Colorado with him. He let me stay in a spare room, helped me get in contact with my parole officer and get my legal stuff taken care of. He brought me back to Oregon to do a jail sentence for absconding, then picked me up and came back to Colorado where he helped me get a job and get back on my feet. 

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