Dear The Beat Within

by Cody Ladd

My name is Cody Ladd, and I’m an inmate incarcerated in a California State Prison. Born and raised in Humboldt County. A fellow friend/inmate told me about The Beat Within.” I’ve read and highly enjoyed it, and would love to be a subscriber, please.

I love to read, writer and draw, so I am most interested and can truly relate and connect to The Beat Within. Please do let me explain: I love how the Beat supports the youth, and those who are incarcerated, locked away in jail or any other facility, state- or nationwide. I can relate because I am a youngster myself, currently twenty one years old and serving a four year sentence. I got locked away when I had just turned eighteen and have been locked up since then. I started out real young.

I made many mistakes. Thought I was cool, selling drugs and committing crimes, making the fast money, and thinking I never would be caught. It was just my mentality, and the way I was thinking. I never had no real guidance to show me the correct way; all I knew was the streets, never had no real support. Now I realize my mistakes and see how much I’ve hurt myself as well as others, “emotionally.” But now I see my faults, and I’ve got to take responsibilities for my actions. I’ve grown and matured a lot over this period of time. This is a lesson well learned. Life is so grand. There are so many different opportunities, jobs, schools for all the young ones. Listen to your elders, obey the laws, and keep striving. Keep your heads up. One love, one heartbeat. Do the right things and make the correct choices, and remember that family always comes first.

Since I’ve been locked away I’ve lost my grandpa. Rest in peace, grandpa. It’s not a good feeling. I couldn’t be at the funeral. To have to pay my respects and send my love from a distance, that is the worst pain I’ve ever endured. So to all the young ones, prison is not the life. Believe me, freedom is everything: love, joy, happiness, support, family.

I want to say thanks to The Beat Within for your time and patience. I will most definitely stay in contact, both when I’m here in prison and when I parole. I’m about to parole and be released from prison on March 2014, so wish me luck. Here’s a poem from my heart. Hope you enjoy, and maybe publish, it. I have many more and will write again.