Happy New Year’s Eve!

Hello all,

We are honored that our friends over at The Crime Report have posted and have featured a wonderful and an important read from our publication.  What a wonderful way to end the year with this must read…  On behalf of The Beat Within we thank you for your support and friendship.

Read and share…

Happy New Years! See you in 2015!

Volume 19.49/50 – 2014 year end issue!

From that one little night,
Lives were changed.
Decisions were made,
And there was no going back.
Thought people could be loyal,
Held them at standards far too royal.
Then the whole things started to foil.
Got into a position you’d never be.
Thought, “No way can’t happen to me!”
But you couldn’t have been more wrong,
This isn’t a movie or song.
Things aren’t so simple.
So now you’re stuck with what you have.
Your situation is real bad,
But it could be worse.
What made you make the decisions you did?

-Conner, San Francisco

Please contact Lisa Lavaysse if you would like to purchase the full PDF or a printed copy of this latest issue.

The San Quentin News

Hello all,

We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Kid CAT – the juvenile lifers housed at SQSP.  We had our initial workshop back in October and just recently our workshop was featured in the San Quentin News. Take a look at the link or the attachments. We are thrilled to include these important voices in The Beat Within. We will resume workshops in early 2015.


The Beat inside The Crime Report

Here’s a fantastic piece that came out of our weekly writing and conversation workshops. To our surprise the piece was picked up by The Crime Report, based in NYC.

Source: The Crime Report

The Signs

By Miguel Quezada

Seventeen years ago, at the age of sixteen, I sat in a juvenile hall holding cell waiting to be booked in on first-degree murder charges, three attempted murders, a gun charge and gang enhancement.

In writing this, I had to think about how I ended up in that holding cell.  What advice could I give that would help you avoid some of the mistakes I made? How could I put into words the destruction I caused in so little time to myself and so many other people in a way that could be lesson?

I asked myself, what went wrong?  What did I miss?  Why did no one stop me?  What I realized is the people did try to stop me.  Things did happen that were the lessons I needed to put my life back on track to avoid that holding cell.  There was plenty of advice but I did not care to hear or see them for what they were.  They were signs telling me to slow down, to stop, that I was moving too fast.  So I will sum up my life lesson, using the signs I missed along the road. read more

Volume 19.47/48

I woke up this mornin’

To their wake up calls Of this depressin’ Juvenile Hall.

I get up and get dressed

And wash my face

What I wouldn’t give

-Pencyke, Alameda
Please contact Lisa Lavaysse if you would like to purchase the full PDF or a printed copy of this latest issue.

The Beat Within Fundraiser

Update: We Did It! Our Booster campaign has closed.Thank you all!

You’re in luck! In honor of the holiday season, The Beat Within has launched its SECOND t-shirt fundraiser! Our first fundraiser was an incredible success thanks to the loyalty of our supporters. Due to a high demand for t-shirts after the fundraiser’s closing date, The Beat has decided to re-launch! Donations will go directly towards the printing and distributing of our publication (which comes out twice a month). By donating, you will help insure that each young person who participates in our weekly writing workshop receives our 60 page publication. Help these youth and spread the holiday love by getting yourself and your loved ones a t-shirt for the holidays. Buy one here.

Volume 19.45/46

I feel like I need to keep my emotions to myself and deal with my struggles on my own because everyone around me has their own problems to deal with. That can make you feel very alone and at the end it seems like that’s how it will always be.

– Anakarina

Please contact Lisa Lavaysse if you would like to purchase the full PDF or a printed copy of this latest issue.

19.45/46 Editor’s Note

Greetings Beat lovers. It’s an incredible honor to Though I now understand how to deal with what sometimes have this sixty-page publication in your hands and these words being read by you today/tonight. It is hard to believe this is issue 19.45/46! Wow, what a fabulous issue to share with you all too. There are so many solid contributions to read and be inspired by, as well as pieces that simply strike a nerve of sadness and pain. We cannot thank you contributors enough for the love you share with us each week in our workshops and those of you who write to us independently, how fortunate we are to have you in our circle. We appreciate you, thank you.

This editor is struggling with guilt, given the backlog of writings and letters sent, in need of a response this past year. Time is not working on our side. This tiny little program, that may appear to some to be a big ol’ organization, does so much beyond our resources, but in the end, it is never enough. One thing for sure, we certainly wish we could keep up with all the requests. Speaking of requests, tonight as we were working on this latest issue, this amazing letter, which was typed early in 2014 came to our attention. The sad part, the person who wrote this letter, we no longer have his address. Ugh. No, we do not have his CDC # either. The address and original writings were lost, but we are determined to find an address for this writer. read more