My Story

By Chapo

I grew up really fast for my age because I didn’t have any other choice.  Let me just tell you a little bit about my situation,  in my midteens, coming up in the war zone I call home (Vallejo, CA.).  It was hard for me at a young age. I was pretty much bouncing around city to city due to my family’s situation.  Really, I’m not making this a sad story or make it sound like some dumb movie.  All I’m trying to do is share my life experiences with anybody younger or older who wants to change and still has a chance to turn their life around.  So if you don’t want to hear what I’m saying, I understand.  Don’t read this through.

I grew up over there in Vallejo. I used to play a lot of sports.  Then I started smoking weed.  When I was younger I played Pop Warner football for 7 years and little league baseball for 5. read more

My Life Story

by Darnell McGregge

First, I want to say that I take full responsibility for murdering Ms. Washington and wounding Donald Sheppard.  In no way am I attempting to minimize what happened. I feel it’s important I share my story with you so it can help someone not to make the mistake that I made.  Again I take full responsibility for what Id did and I am really sorry!

My mother was a single parent, and we lived in the Nickerson Garden Housing Projects in Watts.  I was the last of four children. Even though my mother did the best she could to make sure we had what we needed, she let me go live with my father because of how dangerous the neighborhood was.  At one point the Los Angeles Police Department and the L.A. City Council declared it to be one of the most dangerous places in Los Angeles, County. My father was 58 years old, self employed, married, and wasn’t no disciplinarian. What should have been a normal transitional period for me did not go very well.  I had a strong attachment to my mother and I craved the love, affection and attention she gave me. read more

Alcohol and Drugs Destroyed My Life

by Ung Bang 

At the age of sixteen I made the decision that would result in the deaths of two innocent human beings. I have agonized in prison for the past twenty-one years and would often wonder about the decision that I made that lead me to this destructive life style that I lived.

It is still painful today when I do recall my childhood memories of being physically and emotionally abused at home and at school. How does a child deal with feelings of being unwanted, unloved, and abandoned by his own family and peers? Knowing nothing else I chose to run away from it all. What else did I know to do but try to escape from the constant yelling and beatings that wouldn’t stop no matter what right or wrong I did. At the age of thirteen, I ran away from home for the first time hoping to find something and anything better. I started to hang out with and sought the acceptance from the neighborhood gangs and took to alcohol and drugs to escape from the torment I felt inside. read more

Meaningful Conversations With My Teacher 

by Frank

The last time I had a real meaningful conversation was with my teacher, Mr. Cannister. Cannister made me realize that I had to get my life on the right track. Being here in juvie makes me angry with myself for being a mess up in my past.

Talking with my teacher gives me motivation to want to do better. Not only for me but also for my family and those around me. I know I messed up but I can choose to correct my wrongs and myself. I can keep messing up, but so far that hasn’t gotten me anything but trouble.

I wasn’t expecting to pay attention to what he was saying. I hate being told what to do. At times, I can be defiant but hearing him makes me realize a lot. I like that he does not sugar coat things when he is speaking to me. He really is preparing me for the worst. Although I wish it didn’t take me coming to jail to realize life isn’t all fun and games. I am grateful to have someone like Cannister to not paint things colorful. He doesn’t tell me everything is going to be okay because we both know its not if I don’t decide to make a change for my wellbeing. read more