Maron, 33

Meet Maron…

Those memories reminded me of how I almost gave up and lost my humanity, and a little tenderness, love and care from some good old girls nursed me back to sanity, so I could develop into the human God wanted me to be.

Incarcerated: 12 years

Housed: Ramsey 1 Unit, Rosharon Texas

My family was murdered when I was 20. I was charged and convicted with the crime. Now before I went before the court and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, I was sent to a mental hospital for evaluation. Everyone despised me and I was treated like a leper. The things they said and did to me, made my heart grow hard, filled me with hate. I turned my back on the world and everybody. Excuse my language, I just didn’t give a f— anymore. During my stay there, I started having daily dealings with a middle aged white woman named Patty. She always wanted to play dominoes and cards with me when she came to work. She was the only one who wasn’t afraid of me or treated me like a monster. Somehow she knew I was innocent, and told me she knew I wasn’t a murderer. My dealing and friendship with Patty brought my humanity back. Eventually, I was able to get a job working in a paint store with two girls. I had a soft spot for Erin and Keely. Eventually, people started warming up to me. I almost made a girlfriend, but it wasn’t meant to be. I got sentenced to prison for the rest of my life. I don’t talk to people about my experiences at the hospital and in the store, but I keep it in my heart, and the people who cared for me like Patty, Erin and Keely. Those memories reminded me of how I almost gave up and lost my humanity, and a little tenderness, love and care from some good old girls nursed me back to sanity, so I could develop into the human God wanted me to be.

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.

Dante, 35

Dante, 35

Meet Dante…

With her passing, I feel like a part of me died with her. I wish she could see me now and the man I am becoming because of the morals she ingrained in me. Big Mama, as we all affectionately called her, left an everlasting impression on us all.

Incarcerated: 15 years 

Housed: Texas Dept of Criminal Justice, Rosharon

19 years ago, I went through the most traumatizing pain I’ve ever felt in my life. At 17, I lost my great grandmother, Ms. Louise to a major stroke. She was our family’s backbone. The pain was overwhelming for everyone. Especially me. She migrated from the deep south to where most of my family still resides, Fifth Ward, Houston, Texas. Being the first born, she spoiled me to death and  as I got older she gave me a lot of insight on where I come from, the value of family, responsibility and discipline. I actually believe if she hadn’t died, I wouldn’t be in this penitentiary. With her passing, I feel like a part of me died with her. I wish she could see me now and the man I am becoming because of the morals she ingrained in me. Big Mama, as we all affectionately called her, left an everlasting impression on us all. I give thanks for the wisdom she layed on me as a child and I appreciate the time I had with her. Today, I have a close relationship with my mom. No one has my back like my Mama does, especially in this penitentiary. Salute to the queens out there. Remember ‘The hour of calm is the hour of restoration.’

 

My-Linda, 54

Meet My-Linda…

Nowadays I just wanna chill, be free and enjoy life. I want to sit on the front porch, drinkin’ cold ice tea and watch the kids play in the yard, free, happy and content.

Incarcerated: 2 years 

Housed: Hilltop Women’s Unit, Gatesville, Texas

I’m here on an eight year sentence, God willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll be home next year. I have no children, but I do have some beautiful great nieces and nephews who I love and miss everyday. I can’t wait to be free and spoil them ridiculously 🙂 I’ve lived the life of a “Hard Head” and being here shows that completely. Nowadays I just wanna chill, be free and enjoy life. I want to sit on the front porch, drinkin’ cold ice tea and watch the kids play in the yard, free, happy and content.

William, ‘Peedie Weedie’, 35

Meet William, ‘Peedie Weedie’…

Truth be told, I’ve never been anything more than just a pothead.

Incarcerated: 20 years
Housed: Mark Stiles Unit – Beaumont, Texas

I’ve never been anything like a real big and bad serious gangster or anything like that. At 19 I got caught up dealing and messing around with a guy that meant me no good. I had lost my job, out of desperation for money, I let him talk me into hitting up a restaurant. Truth be told, I’ve never been anything more than just a pothead. Real deal – I haven’t been with a woman in over 15 years. I was a dad before I left. If a man was able to be intimate with his wife at least once a year, it just might lower the divorce rate or motivate a brother to stay out of trouble.