JH Artwork

JH Artwork

Writing Exchange 2006-2018

This blog was created to display some of the powerful writing being done by incarcerated youth. Participants currently include juvenile hall facilities in Siskiyou, El Dorado, Placer, Fresno, and Butte County. Students are given journal topics and asked to write what needs to be written. Several entries are handpicked from each classroom site and posted to the blog anonymously. Students at each site then read the material together, discussing the writing and connecting with others.

Planned Exchanges

Planned Exchanges 2018: May 24; June 27; July 25; More To Come!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Entry #1534 
On the Outs to the Ins…
I wake up, shower, eat, and go to school.
I’m happy I see my friends and teachers. Lunch rolls around and Taco Tree is the spot where we all laugh. We share good and bad times. After school, I head home. I wouldn’t call it home really. It’s my dungeon. My aunt would hit me the moment I walk through the door. She would turn me into Cinderella. My sisters would see this but be so scared that they wouldn’t say anything. The moment I get to walk the dogs, I pray on my favorite rock. I pray that I will be safe soon, that my life isn’t this bad. When my sister would walk with me, she would pray too. It’s sad that I have to think that school is my refuge.
Locked Up
Where I am now. I feel safe, better. I wake up, don’t have to worry about my aunt. School is not the same, but it gets me going. I am reminded that GOD is always with me. I don’t have a reason to be afraid. I feel safe.

Entry #1535
Not OK
I remember when I was young and had so many goals for myself. I remember I would tell myself “I won’t turn out like them” when I would see people messing up their lives with drugs or alcohol.
I remember when I would get disgusted by the smell of beer, seeing my folks drink it like nothing, would make me sick.
I remember when I would hear my mom sobbing in the other room after her and my dad got into a fight.
I remember my mom pulling me into her room telling me immigration got my dad. I remember having to move out of our nice home into a two bedroom apartment because the struggle was getting serious.
I remember the numbness in my body alcohol gave me.
I remember loving the thought of “fast money” not caring about anyone’s opinion. I remember telling myself I’m “okay” to drive.

Entry #1536
My Goal
If I could get one thing for Christmas this year, I’d choose to be home with my family. This is the first time I won’t be able to go home to be with my family for the holidays. I’ll miss being around my twin brother and waking up to my family. It really makes my heart ache, especially with my grandpa in hospice care on his death bed. I will likely not get to spend another holiday with him because I’m in here.

It’s for the best I believe. I could possibly be dead right now if I hadn’t gotten arrested that day. All I remember is waking up in a hospital bed handcuffed to the rail and opening my eyes to a cop in front of me. My alcohol level was four times the legal limit; they said if I would have drunk much more I could have died. I needed this wakeup call. It really made me see what I want to do in life. I want to be able to make my family proud of the person I have become, not upset and stressing every day because I’m locked up. My goal is to finish school and do what I have to do for them to be proud of me.

Entry #1537
Guards in my Vision
Guards in my vision,
D.A. got it ****** up. Let my I’llas walk
The shit you take for granted
I gotta ask for permission
Of course I’m feeling pain
I’m on my way to prison,
Choose your own life
Don’t let this life choose you
My life’s full of pain,
but that’s somethin’ I’m used to

Entry #1538
Last Trips
I remember when my family and I went to Los Angeles. We went to Knott’s Berry Farm. It was a good time to bond with my mom. It was one of the last trips we took before I started getting locked up. I just started to slip and started hanging around the wrong group of people. If I never did that I would still be with my family enjoying the trips and holidays. I could be with my family right now instead of being locked up and having to be away from them during a time when my mom was going to get married and my sister went to her first prom and my other sister turned nineteen. Being locked up has made me miss some of the most important times of my life. I turned fourteen in here and I’m going to get out when I am fifteen. Being locked up is just a little roadblock in my life that I have to pass through to pursue the things I want to do.

Entry # 1539
Things my Heart is Afraid to Admit Outloud
My heart is afraid to admit that it is my fault that I’m in here. It was my decisions and actions that led to the consequence that I am serving today. I always put the blame on other people or things. I often dwell on the past and grieve over the wrongs in my life, but deep down I know it’s up to me and only me, to change my future, to make my momma proud, and to hang with the right crowd. The mind is like a net; you can usually pull it up and see that it is full of fish but often don’t realize the miles of water that went through it without sticking; like when I trap all my positive feelings and let the negative ones seep out of my mind’s net because my heart is afraid.

Entry #1540
One Wish for Christmas
If I could get only one thing for Christmas, I would ask for the chance to tell my dad good-bye before he died. I would love to have this chance because when he died I only got to talk to him over the phone. At this time, he was on life support and he couldn't respond to me while I was on the phone. When he died I was nine years old. The craziest part is now I'm locked up at 17 and my release date is December 17th. This year he will have been dead eight years. I have learned to better cope with my grief over all of this time. When he first died I was in the fourth grade and I was depressed. I would turn my depression into anger and take it out on other people because I was so young and had no other way to deal with it. Now that I am older and more mature, I try to talk to someone such as my clinician when I am feeling down or upset. Dealing with grief is hard for everyone, even grown adults. I would like this even if it was the only thing I could get for Christmas.

Entry #1541
I Remember
I remember the day I found out I was pregnant just like it was yesterday. I was upset because I didn’t want a baby, because I am too young and because I knew I wasn’t ready to be a mother. Now that I’m heading towards my due date, I’ve realized what a great blessing it is to have another mini me moving inside me. Knowing that now I won’t be alone but, knowing that she is the reason for me to stay out of Juvenile Hall and be a young successful mother.
When I was four years old my mother passed away due to a car accident. It was a very hard feeling to process. I don’t want my daughter to go through the same feeling of losing a parent just because I can’t behave myself. Now that I am here waiting upon my released date I think about choices I want to make not for myself, but for my daughter. I want to accomplish a lot of things in life and become someone in life so that I won’t have to depend on anyone. I will always remember my past, but I will also remember that I have chosen the correct steps to change my life.

Entry #1542
On The Daily
At Home: I wake up in a comfortable bed around 9:00 A.M. to take a ten minute shower.
In the Hall: I wake up on a two inch thick bed with a stiff back around 6:15 A.M. to my door popping open to work out.
At Home: After I shower I get dressed, and self-medicate before school if I even go.
In the Hall: After I work out I eat breakfast and go to P.E. then I take a three minute shower.
At Home:  If I don’t end up going to school I get on the book and bang my bros line.
In the Hall: After I take my three minute shower I am forced to go to school or I’ll get discipline.
At Home: Once my boy is awake he swoops me and we hit the west or the MC.
In the Hall: After school I use the phone and rec until five.
At Home: When we hit the west we post up on 1st and wait for something to pop off.
In the Hall: At five we eat dinner then go down till six.
At Home: In the afternoon we are usually a couple heads deep and we just smoke dro and bust sales.
In the Hall: At six we get popped out for homework hour and program.
At Home:  Around eight I usually go to the house to shower and get ready for the night.
In the Hall: Around eight we have large muscle then rec at 8:30.
At Home: We usually end up in college town at night to function then usually end up back at the house.
In the Hall: At 9:00 I go down and read till I go to sleep.

Entry #1543
If You Knew Me, You Would Know
Promises are kept
Secrets are never shared
Hearts are never broken
Songs are sung and made
Trees are climbed
People are loved
Money is given
Respect is earned
To be Christian is a gift
Love is a treasure
Giving up is not an option
People have died
Relationships are torn
Responsibility is taken
Education is everything
Success is possible.
You fall before you fly
Life is a challenge
Call yourself what you call others
To use time wisely
Strength is in my heart
Friends are earned
Inspiration is everywhere
Find your own light, be your own star
Your worth of anything
Be yourself
When you’re at your weakest, don’t give up
If you knew me, you would know…….Lead your life

Entry # 1544
Life In vs. Out
Here I wake up every morning and brush my teeth right away.
At home, I wake up late and go on my phone before I get out of bed and then smoke a bowl.
I would eat cereal but here I struggle to eat my breakfast.
I would let my dog out, feed him, and give him water. Here, I don’t have a pet to take care of.
At home, I would watch TV, whereas here I sit in my cell.
I would then make lunch or my dad would get me food. Here I eat slop, then go back to my cell.
Then at home, I would hang out with friends or play video games or smoke. Here, I eat go back to my cell and sleep.
Home I would cook for my dad, and I feed my dog. Here I do the same routine and sometimes can’t even eat the food. I go to my room and sleep.

Entry #1545
Hurt. I have been hurt so many times. Hurt runs through my body. Hurt determines my future. Hurt will never go away. As much as I ask and pray, hurt is here to stay. Friends, family, everyone dam near hurt me every day. What can I do to make this pain go away? I try to forget and forgive, but somehow it comes back to stay. I dwell on pain, hurt, and hate. It’s all I have known. Maybe one day it will change, but for now it is here and won’t go away.

Entry #1546
Making a Difference
I feel very upset and disappointed with myself lately, because I have missed my little sister’s birthday for two, going on three years in a row now. The first year I missed her birthday, I didn’t realize how much it meant to her until she actually told me. It hurt me when she told me, “You missed my birthday.” I couldn’t think of how to respond, so I said, “I love you.” Last year around this time of the month, I was on the run. I was afraid to show up to my little sister’s birthday because I thought I was going to get locked up if I went back home. Now I’m locked up again and will be missing another of her birthdays.

I wish I never missed a holiday or birthday with my family. It mentally eats me alive knowing I can’t go back in time and be there for every memorable moment, holiday, and birthday that I have missed. Now that I have realized how much I have hurt my family, I have finally forgiven myself for my wrong doings. I am going to make a difference in the choices I have made for the past three years. I will finally be home for Christmas this year and I couldn’t be any more excited!

Entry #1547
Making Moves
My old days on the outs I would wake up to the smell of fresh cooked food and the smell of freshness when I hopped out the shower. I’d pop on my new kicks and clothes and bounce out the pad, heading to school. In the hall I wake up to my loud ass door getting popped and some bright lights that strike my eyes. It feels like getting spot lighted by a cop at night. At home I would be able to take a long shower. At the hall it's only three min per shower. I could use as much shampoo as I want and body wash because in here every week you have to depend on your behavior to get canteen. On the outs I just need to go to the store and buy some. I hate causing problems in here because you wouldn't be able to get down with whoever for more than a couple of seconds. On my block it’s on sight, with whoever you messing with, but that's on the outside world. The Juvie world is weak. One day I slipped up on a move and got my ass locked up for damn good. My only wish is to be with my family and my boys. I been here almost a year and it's the same routine every day: the food, clothes, and staff are all the same every day. I'm not with that. The food is nothing like home. My bed and my clothes here are nothing like home. I pray every day for God to give me a better life. I wasn't planning to do time. I was only 14 when I hit 25 to life.  I pray for all my dreams to come to real life.

Entry #1548
Love and Hate
Love Is To Hate As Hate Is To Love
I love the cold rain
But I hate watching it from the window pane
I love a nice breeze
But I hate that time will never freeze
I love to sing
But I hate the shameful pain my father would bring
I love my mother
But I hate that our problems are always unbothered
I love this time when winter is near
But I hate how when I think of death I won’t shed a tear
I love to have fun
But I hate that my version of fun requires me to be on the run
I love to always be out
But I hate that I can never get my point across unless I shout
I love to roll dice
But I hate that my life seems like a puddle of lies
I love to feel alive
But I hate that I’m not quite sure what to do with my life
I love the feeling when I win
But I hate that I only do good when I’m locked in
I love who I have become
But I hate that I gave up all my freedom
Love is to hate as hate is to love
But I am changing my life for the one I truly love

Entry #1549
Not My Favorite Place
I don't want to be locked up in juvenile hall. I want to be free and on the outside world. I want my bedroom, not a small locked up room with the lights always on with a creepy looking sink and toilet in that same one room. The softness and sweet scented smells with the TV playing and my dog to comfort me laying by my side is what I want. Not a stiff blue mattress that lays up on white bricks and cement with raged blankets and sheets. I want to be in a houseful of people I know and love, not in a pod in juvenile hall with a bunch of kids I don't know. Especially not knowing what there in here for. That’s scary. My hour long showers that I usually take in the comfort of my house in my decorated bathroom is a time I wish I could go back to. Now were up to 6 minutes in a weird unsanitary shower that everyone uses. Instead of having a meal with my loved ones, I’m with complete strangers. Is that really what I want?  There are consequences to my actions. I don't want to be locked up in juvenile hall.

Entry #1550
Limits and Rules
I’ve been in the hall for 7 months and I wake up every morning to the sound of a click (my cell door)! When I’m at home I wake up to the sound of my alarm clock telling me it’s time to get up and go to school. In the hall breakfast comes at 7:00 am on hard plastic trays. And at home breakfast is in the fridge, going to get cooked by me, not by other people. In the hall we have to take a 3 minute showers and at home I get to take however long I want.  At home I can eat whenever I want to eat but in the hall I cannot eat when I want. I have to wait until it’s time. Since I’m locked away I can’t see my girl unless I’m on a T.R, but when I’m home I get to see her whenever I want or whenever she wants to see me. In the hall you cannot be who you want to be. You have to be the person the staff want you to be. In the hall I can’t wear what I want to wear. I have to wear a uniform.

Entry #1551
Light Inside Dark Rooms
The five things I’m thankful for today is waking up on this fine Friday morning. I’m just really thankful for my lord and savior to be able to wake me up and give me the strength to get through the day and serve my time. Another thing I’m thankful for is being able to know my release date because before I was just waiting for court. This is my first time being locked up and I was fighting for a few years. My mother was really sad. I’m really thankful I only got 365 days. I just prayed and prayed that I would get out soon and the one year is better than four years. I’m really thankful for everything juvenile hall gives us. The classes, the meals, the shelter and the opportunity to be able to graduate and get certain certificates. Even though it’s not the best food they still work hard to feed me and give me the protein I need. I don’t like being here, but I have to make the best out of my situation. I’m going to graduate in here and get my welding certificate and my fatherhood certificate. I’m just thankful to be able to go home next summer. I’m really thankful my employer is holding my spot so when I get out I have a job.

Entry #1552
Weed and Cigarettes
At home, I am always with friends, in here I am always alone.
At home, I am always awake, in here I have a bedtime.
At home, I can say what I want, in here I get room time for cussing.
At home, I always smell weed and cigarettes, in here it smells awful.
At home, I can leave when I want to, in here I cannot leave at all.
At home, I chose what I want to eat, in here we go by a lunch menu.
At home, I can fight as long as I want, in here, the longest, 30 seconds.
At home, I am home, in here I am incarcerated.

Entry #1553
Downward Spiral
I was 14 and messing up my life pretty bad. Doing drugs and robbing people for anything. Then when I turned 15 I found my first love. I was so in love with her. She kept me from doing bad things. I quit smoking and quit doing pretty much everything. I eventually moved in with her and her parents. We were dating for going on 8 months and we were so happy. I was doing so well. And then out of nowhere we broke up. I started to mess up again. Smoking and robbing people. And at the time I really didn’t care about anything. I was heartbroken. At the age of 16 I stole a car and got locked up the next day. For that I got put on probation. Ever since then I’ve been in out and out of the hall. I am now 6 months away from being 18 and doing 14 months for some stupid stuff. Ever since the breakup I have been on a downwards spiral. It sucks, yeah, but now I’m slowly climbing out of the hole I’ve been digging myself. I’m going to come out a better person, no doubt.

Entry #1554
Bored, But Sober
At home I wake up at or around 10 am and smoke a blunt, eat a bowl of cereal, take my shower and go to my girl’s house.
In the hall I wake up at six, take a piss and go to workouts. We come back and take it down for like 30 minutes and come out after 30 minutes to eat breakfast.  We go down for like 20 more minutes and come back out for school.
At home I’m always doing something dumb like trying to go steal stuff or do something because I get really bored.
In the hall there’s really not that much to do besides playing video games/ cards or basketball.
At home I’m under the influence of all sorts of drugs and drunk and other stuff.
In the hall I’m not under the influence of anything.

Entry #1555
Much Different
This is the clean version of what I do on the outs.  This is how my day starts on the outs. I wake up usually at 8 to 10 o clock and get up and eat a bowl of cereal. After that I usually lay around doing nothing for a while and then sooner or later I take a shower, brush my teeth, and go chill in my living room. After a while I hit up some of my friends and chill with them, bump music and joke around.
My day in juvenile hall is much different. In here I wake up at six o clock and work out for about 40 minutes and then I go back to my cell and wait until breakfast. I eat breakfast and either go to dish crew or go back to my room. After that at 8 o clock I go to PE  when PE is over I go back to my room and take a shower after I shower at 9:15 I go to school and I’m in school until 2:40. This is the same routine every day. It gets old but hopefully I can learn from this experience and learn to stay out.

Entry #1556
My Crazy Life
I have been incarcerated for about three and a half months now and I am starting to realize I’m not getting out anytime soon.  Now due to my charges, I have to put my life on pause and it sucks, but, it is probably the best for me and my health.
I was in an unhealthy relationship, fighting with my girlfriend to the point of violence.  It was really taking a toll on me, plus I was using meth very heavily and it didn’t help.  In fact it got me where I am today, sitting in a 6x10 cell. 
Before I came in here I was at a very low point in my life.  My siblings and I don’t have a very good relationship with each other.  I tried to have a relationship with my family but I couldn’t find a way to form a healthy relationship with them. 
Now while I am in here I am trying to touch bases with my family and get back to my life.

Entry #1557
Bluetooth and a Shower
When I wake up around 9:30am, I smoke a cigarette while I check my phone. After that I throw on my jewelry, a shirt and some music while I walk through the house to the back porch. By the time I wake up my sister, everybody else is usually already awake. I tell her to come outside with me and have a cigarette. Once we’re out there I put another song on because the first song is over, then I start breaking down tree for a blunt. After that I roll one as she usually rolls one and we bond over music and marijuana. I then grab my Bluetooth and shower, brush my teeth, shave and get dressed and go walking or get picked up…
  In here I wake up when they tell me to, to do what they tell me to. The lights come on at six & they’re bright as hell. Then I go outside & workout and sometimes it’s hella cold outside. Then comes breakfast, PE, three minute showers and the school day until 2:45. If I’m lucky I’ll get a nap in until dinner. After dinner we are popped out to go back into the classroom for homework and programing. After programing we go out to the gym for a game of basketball or something and then I’m in my cell for the rest of the night. I wake up and do the same shit, day after day…

Entry #1558
What Was Once Lost Is Now Found
I was hurt and broken but that didn’t bother me.
I remember seeing him smoking a stoggy.
I heard him say he loved me.
I saw him buy a sack and snort it.
I worried I wasn’t good enough. Now I know I never will be. I thought it was my last birthday
But, I want to change.
I am not a “savage” queen snorting green Xanax.
I think life is what I make it. Take one step at a time. I need to go home to my family, I need to see my baby girl.
I try to forget his voice and how lovely it sounds when he said he loved me. I feel happy now that I’m no longer in love with a phony. I forgive myself for thinking he loved me. I look back to the day we met and think of it as some kind of make believe.
Now I can change.
I will graduate this year and smile more when I look at how far I’m going. I choose to ignore the haters; their words could never phase me. I dream that one day the memories won’t haunt me anymore. I hope he knows how much he hurt me. I predict he thinks he really loved me. I know where I’ve been and regret the things I’ve seen but it makes my story, it makes me. I know where I’m going and that’s what makes me proud to tell this story. Like I said I want to change.
I know my mistake was trusting him.
I choose never to let feelings control me.
I hope my daughter knows without her I am nothing.

Entry #1559
Locked Up and Going
When I first became homeless, I was in Chico on the streets smoking dope with my sister and my brother. Then my sister moved in with her boyfriend so me and my brother came here to live with my mom's dad. My grandpa bought a house so my brother and I could come live with him and get off the streets. But then my grandpa son, my uncle, stole all his money so we got kicked out and were back living on the streets again. Now I'm locked up and going to a group home in San Andreas.

Bad Times
My parents split when I was two years old because my dad was a drinker and a meth addict and would beat my mom in front of me and I still have flash backs of running in between them but that didn't stop my dad. My mom left him when I was five. Me and my mom moved in with my step-dad. One time my step dad slammed me on my head when I was five or six and called me a mother ****** and my ***** of a mom didn't do anything. Another time he tackled me and tried to break my front tooth with his finger and I went crying to my uncle and my mom and guess what? They didn't do anything. One time I got so drunk at my house that I ran around naked in a shower curtain and stood on the toilet in my bathroom falling off and splitting my head open and nocking myself out cold. One time I went to live with my dad. I had no way to get high so I started huffing gasoline. My dad caught me. A couple of nights later I went for a walk to the store and stole some 40s. The cops came and brought me to the hospital to sober up. I had to be restrained in the hospital and I was screaming that I heard voices in my head and that they told me to steal. That got me a one way ticket to a mental hospital where I spent a week. Then when I got out I was sent back to live with my mom. One time when I ran away I tried meth for the first time. One time I got a girl pregnant and I still don't know if she's keeping it or not. One time I ran away and went to a place called bear beach with my friends and that's where I did cocaine for the first time. One time when I ran away I smoked pcp laced weed. One time when I ran away I smoked meth and heroin laced weed. One time when I ran away I had sex with a random tweeker. One time I got really drunk and burnt my mom and my stepdads wedding pictures and started five other fires. The end.

Entry #1561
Into a Rut
I just really wish I didn't come back. I was living the great life. I was doing what I loved being with the people who actually care and now I can't even see the girl I fell in love with. It just hurts so much. I know I need to change and be better but it's hard. I don't really have the support to change. My home life was kind of on the rocks and I was trying to stay away. But I ended up running myself into a rut and now I'm stuck in the place I tried my hardest to stay away from. I'm scared of what's going to happen next. All I can do is hope and pray that I can get one more chance and I know I have been being dumb and trying to run from every small problem that comes my way, but now it's time to face it and do what I need to do. Hopefully I can just get one more chance because this time I really won't screw it up. Now I have to spend my b-day and Christmas behind a locked blue door, away from my family and everyone who loves and cares about me. I just have to remember, "You do the crime, you gotta do the time.”

Entry #1562
First Time in the Hall
My days outside of the halls are all freedom drinking with my homies, smoking gas every day. But things have changed since I started crank. I started hanging with the wrong crowd twisting every day. Soon I was so tweaked my family disowned me. I was hurt and mad at myself. One day I was on the trails drinking a gallon of Fireball with my homies. After the bottle was gone I wanted to do stupid shit. I busted a couple of windows of a car and went to Burger King. I had no money so I hopped the counter and started taking food and I was so cocky I busted the cash register and started to take money. I failed and the manager took the money out my hands and kicked me out, but I still had burgers and fries. I started walking down the trails and met up with some friends and smoked out fat. Out of no were someone decked me. I saw cops but it wasn't a cop holding me down, it was my brother. I started screaming and kicking but cops already got my hands cuffed. I blacked out and I awoke in a cell.

Entry #1563
Food, Love, and Mom
I remember when me and my brother were growing up; we would always eat the big dinners Mom would make. She would always have a plate of food in the microwave if we didn’t make it home on time for dinner. My mom always made sure we ate. My mother’s food was the best food to my taste buds. I loved her food more than fast food. I disliked myself when I wouldn’t make it home on time for dinner. At those times there would be a cold plate of food left in the microwave so I could rewarm it.

I’m grateful for my mother being in my life and my brother’s life and always taking care of us. My mother makes sure her loved ones are healthy and always full. I remember when I would ask my mom to cook something specific she would say “yeah” but I had to stay home so I wouldn’t miss dinner. She would say “no” at times but when I came home she would have that specific meal that I asked for made. I’m thankful for the love my mom gave me and my brothers. Because without Mom I wouldn’t know what love is.

Entry #1564
My Life
I was a young innocent kid. I remember being shot with my friend. I heard he was in critical condition. I saw the blood everywhere. I worried we were going to die. I thought I would never see my family again. I want that to change. I am a young gang member. I think I can still be successful. I need to graduate and get a job. I try to stay out of trouble.
I feel lucky to be alive. I forgive everyone. Now everything can change. I will live a good life. I choose to be successful.
I dream to have my own family. I hope I have my own house. I predict I will live in peace. I know I will survive.
I’m changed.

Entry #1565
One Hour
I remember all the loving and fun memories from my childhood, I miss all those good times I just wish I could go back and do all the things I used to do. I’m going to share with you five things I’m very grateful for in my life today. First of all, I want to say that I love and I am very thankful for the people I have in my life (mom, brother, sister), and of course my friends. I’m locked up right now but soon I will be able to be with them making new memories.
Second, I am thankful for all the blessings and the days of life that GOD gives me and all the people around me.
Third, I am thankful for Saturday, Sunday, and Mondays because I get to see my mom. I know it’s just for one hour but at least I get to see her smile and she tells me that everyone back home is okay.
Fourth, I am thankful that I chose to stay away from drugs and all the gangs.
The fifth thing I am very grateful for is having a home, clothes and a loving and caring mom that I love with all my heart. Being locked up is just a little phase but I have a feeling that really soon all this is going to be over and I’m going to be home making new memories with all the people I love. Those are just a couple things I am thankful for in my life; there are many more, but I was just asked to write down five.

Entry #1566
Making a Difference
I feel very upset and disappointed with myself lately, because I have missed my little sisters’ birthday for two, going on three years in a row now. The first year that I missed her birthday, I didn’t realize how much it meant to her until she actually told me. It hurt me when she told me, “You missed my birthday.” I couldn’t think of how to respond so I said, “I love you.” Last year around this time of the month, I was on the run. I was afraid to show up to my little sisters’ birthday, because I thought I was going to get locked up if I went back home. Now I’m locked up again and will be missing another one my little sister’s birthdays.

I wish I never missed a holiday or birthday with my family. It mentally eats a person alive knowing you can’t go back in time and be there for every memorable moment, holiday, and birthday that you have missed. Now that I have realized how much I have hurt my family, I have finally forgiven myself for my wrong doings. I am going to make a difference in the choices I have made for the past three years. I will finally be home for Christmas this year and I couldn’t be any more excited!

Entry #1567
Starting  Over
If you really knew me you would know that I don’t care about what anyone thinks of me or says about me
you would know that my family always comes first
If you really knew me you would know that I love to shop and I love shoes
you would know I hate pig’s feet
If you really knew me you would know that I would do anything for my family
you would know I don’t share my feelings with anyone but my mom, sister, and brothers
you would know when someone tries to talk to me I shut down not just because I’m trying to hide something, just because I don’t like to talk to anyone about my life or problems
If you really knew me you would know that I like old cars
you would know that I love ice cream
you would know that I want to be in the army or the air force
If you really knew me you would know that I lost some of the closest people to me and I started to do bad things like getting locked up and stealing my moms’ car
you would know that I use my childhood experience as something to look at so I can remember that’s not how I want to be and I wouldn’t want to see my kids grow up in that kind of lifestyle
you would know that before my dad passed away I was a good kid, I
would stay on track in school and do what it once took to succeed, I stayed away from all drugs, I used to dream of fighting for our country but as soon as my dad passed away I stopped caring about my life
I started to realize that my dad would love to see me make a difference for him so I have started all over
And if you really knew me you would know that I am going to be successful and my name will be known, I will make a change

Entry #1568
I Hate the Hall
When I’m out, I usually do not wake up super early to sweep my room. I usually sleep in ‘till around 11, 12 or 1. I never wake up early. Sometimes I don’t go to school when I’m out, but I go to school every day in here. When I’m out, I wear different clothes, and I don’t share with people.

Entry #1569
Live Heartless
Shout out to all my girls who left me when I got locked up. They don’t even matter. It’s my own homies who got me mad ‘cause I thought that I had some pretty bullet proof love between me and them. I would kill and die for them and they would kill and die for me, or so I thought they would. Ever since the day I got locked up, I’ve been hearing more and more about my own brothers turning on me. I’ve been in here for months and I haven’t even got so much as a call to see how I’m doing, not from any of my girls, not from my homies or anyone in my family…It’s regular.

Entry #1570
I saw the little blond headed boy. He was the cutest baby ever and was so adorable. His little toes and fingers are the most wonderful sight I’ve ever seen, next to his bright blue eyes. His smile always brightens up my day. The kisses he gives his elephant hair is so hilarious. He’s such a beautiful blessing.

And if you really knew me you would know that I am going to be successful and my name will be known, I will make a change

Entry #1571
Every Day, White Walls
Different names carved in from different periods
Tally marks counting the days until they’re free
Fights, pride, and stairing occurs a lot
Frustration causes violence, adults lacking.
Worst of all, the beginning and ending of my day in the hall.

Entry #1572
That One Day
Everyone has something that they wish they could go back and change, or wish they never did. Well, I do too, but I really wish I hadn’t done what I did, and I know everybody says that, but I guess I’m just another one of those people. I mean like if I could take back any day of my entire life, past or future, it would be that day. The day when I lashed out in anger and hit my father. The one day that I will regret for the rest of my life. I would give up anything to take back that day, to show him how much I love and care about him. I would give up my life just so he would know and understand just how bit my emotions are for him, just to let him know that I love him.

Entry #1573
Sometimes You Have to Smile and Walk Away
At the end of the day you should be able to smile to see TODAY.
It makes me smile when I get a “hey” or a “how’s your DAY”.
I swear I wanted that person to just PAY.
Or what I really wanted was him to STAY.
To tell me everything was OKAY.
To tell me he loves me or even call me “BAE”.
To tell me he will be with me forever and ever like EVERYDAY.
But once he left I just wanted to LAY.
I didn’t want to get up I didn’t want to feel that PAIN.
But I got over that PAIN.
Today I am glad to say I am a new person and I am glad to SAY.
No one can or will break my heart any more or ANYDAY.
Today I can say I am happy and I got me a new BAE.
And I know he won’t break my heart ANYDAY.
All I got to say is be happy to see TODAY.
It’s never good to feel so much PAIN.

Entry #1574
My regret is being locked up and not being there for my family. Hurting my loved ones while I’m in here and hurting everybody else and their families and getting locked up. I regret not listening to ________. My regret is not taking her advice. The thing that haunts me is not being there for my family and not getting to see my brother grow up. I also didn’t get to see my sister grow up. Now my true love is out there while I’m locked up.

Entry #1575
Life on the Outs
On the outs life is lit. I don't have to wake up at 6 in the morning and shower. I don't have to sleep on a hard bed. I can come and go as I please. My shower can be as long as I want it to be. I don't have to have a light on twenty four seven. I eat what I want, when I want. I get to see my son on a daily basis. I get to see my girl and hold her. In here, I have to see her through a slab of glass and talk to her and my son through a phone. On the outs I get to go on walks with the homies and our dogs. I have two pits that I love with all my heart. Their two big blue noses. People say that they look mean, but really they are big old teddy bears. In here, I have to go by the staffs’ schedule. I was only out for like three weeks. It was great. I lived my three weeks of freedom to the fullest because I knew I was going to be coming back. But it's my last time in here.

Entry #1576
Getting Closer
I remember when I was out I would ditch school, get into fights, drink, smoke, and do all other types of stuff. I would do all that stuff daily. I remember one time my friends and I ditched and the school security chased us, then called the cops on us. We were two blocks away and getting inside the homies truck with cops pulling up on us with the lights on. I hid behind the truck and the homie jumped in the back and hid. I took off running and I got away. The reason I really remember this exact situation is because that was the first time I’ve been chased by the cops and that was the first time I’ve been so close to getting locked up.

A Bit Of Fiction

Entry #1577
Fly, Dog and Pig
There is a fly, dog and a pig. These three are best friends. The fly goes out every morning. The pig gets muddy and the dog just sleeps. The fly dies. The pig is going to the Fair to be sold. The dog sleeps. The pig gets sold, made into bacon. The dog wakes up and falls asleep again.

Entry #1578
Rex, the Good Friend
There’s a boy and his pet dinosaur. The boy is Tyler and the dinosaur is Rex. Tyler loves Rex because when he's lonely, they play. Tyler's mom hates Rex because when dinner is ready, Tyler brings Rex with him tracking mud. What his mom doesn't know is Tyler feeds Rex his vegetables when his mom isn't looking at him.

Entry #1579
Prison Bound
Once upon a time there was a little boy named Timmy. Timmy lived in Chicago and he had a good family. His parents loved him very much and his brother too, but his brother was always standing on the block slinging. When Timmy was 14, a group of bad people ran into his house and tied up his whole family and took his brother’s drugs. Timmy was hiding under his bed when he watched his whole family get shot. Timmy couldn’t stay in his house, and he didn’t want to go to a foster home so he ran away. He had little money, but he did what he had to do to survive. One day Timmy was standing outside a gas station when a Mercedes Benz pulled up. The person in the Benz saw Timmy and said he could get Timmy a bank roll. Timmy went back to the guy’s trap house, and he taught Timmy how to break down coke and cut it and weigh it. Timmy started to sell drugs and make money. One day, the man in the Benz picked him up and told him that they were going to rob a house. Timmy told the man his story and that after this lick he was out. The man said it’s good. Timmy picked up a strap and ran in the house and saw that there were people inside. The man ran in and tied the family up and yelled at them for the drugs. They boy got the drugs from the bedroom, and Timmy said, “Alright, let’s go!” But the man in the Benz got greedy and wanted the money too. After the man pistol-whipped one of the people, Timmy realized who had killed his family. Timmy turned his gun to the man in the Benz and unloaded the clip. Cops surrounded the house, and Timmy walked out with his hands up and went to prison.