A Letter to Youth in Modesto Juvenile Hall

When I knew there was a chance that I could reach out to you young men and women in the Modesto Juvenile Hall, I was ready for the opportunity. You see, back in 1998 and ’99 from age 16 to 17, I was in the max unit, and in 1999 I spent some time in the boys’ unit too.

When I Look in the Mirror …

I see a person who has a lot of needs that have not been met. I see a person who’s been hurt and tossed around. I see a person who is in a deep black hole and is asking for help. She/he is lost up in the hair, the makeup and looking good.

From Heartbroken, Scared to Giving Back

It has been 10 years since he and others raised me and were raising other black, Mexican and Chinese troubled kids. I know the work takes a toll on you, for I’ve been in the field for almost four years now, and it has taken a toll on me.

Speaking from the Grave

Well, we meet again, Mr. Webb, but this time it's under different
circumstances. I'm speaking to you from the grave and you're in the
penitentiary.

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I Miss My Daughter

I know it’s been a while since I said I’d send my story to The Beat Within, but it’s just such a difficult situation. I don’t even know where to begin. I’m so lost for words, my thoughts of sanity sometimes even leave me.

Witnessing Murder: My Life’s Turning Point

It’s cold out here and I’ve been practicing my left hand lay-up for about an hour now. I go up for another lay-up and miss it. It isn’t any help that the rim is slightly crooked. I can hear my brother talking about this girl he used to date and how she was good in bed.

Addicted to the Street Life

I was born on April 5, 1977 in Harbor City, California. I am 35 and I have been incarcerated since the age of 16. I was tried as an adult and sentenced to 15 years to life for second-degree murder and two attempted murders.

A Day and Night Never Forgotten

If only, if only I had continued to tell my friend no when he kept bugging me to drive to Stockton, the night that changed my life in so many different ways.

Let me start from the beginning. I was hanging out that Saturday afternoon with my friends. We went to the mall to buy the newest Jordans.

Cracked Sidewalks

Because we have walked these streets abandoned, without a loved one as a compass to guide and point us in the right direction, we have lost our way as children.

My Truth

The false belief that I had was that I was protecting my block, making sure no outsiders messed with my friends and family. But in reality all we do is lie, cheat and steal from each other and in most cases kill one another.