Dear Me 

by Ryan

Dear Me,

I really hope you found what you’re looking for: love, happiness, and success. I hope you stay clean and sober. I hope you find a good twelve-step program. I really hope you stay sober, you need to. Your mind works better while sober. You’re a lot smarter when you’re sober.

You need to finish school or go get your GED. You need to study hard and pass. I know you want to get into the coast guard. They wont accept you if you’re not fit and haven’t finished high school.

If you want the home and car of your dreams, you need to work it. Nice things don’t come to those who wish. Nice things come to those who work. Try hard and don’t give up. You can do it! You can replace the nice things you lost. You can replace everything with better things. When you make the money stay focused and faithful, you will get to where you’re going. I promise you, hard work will pay off.

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Ready To Be Released

by JJ Ramirez 

If I was to be asked the question, “Are you ready to be released?”

My answer would be that of, “Hell yeah!”

Reasons being that I have learned so much of myself through my confinement

I have fought my inner demons, which lived beneath my skin, and won.

“Victorious.”

First you must understand I grew up without a father

“like so many behind these walls.”

But I guess I can say without a mother as well.

Mom always at work, so many hours I never really saw her.

Used to come around on payday with a bag of hamburgers, love.

Guess I could say she did it all for us.

So you see, I taught myself how to be a man.

“Growing up on the streets, with other kids”

Or what I believed it took to be one, loyal, respectful, respected, a true friend.

Someone you can count on.

Never aware of life struggles making it out there on your own.

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THE BEAT WITHIN/JJIE

Greetings Friends!

The JJIE (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange) website, has posted another stellar piece of writing from The Beat Within.  We are thrilled to be in partnership with the JJIE which is based at Kennesaw State University near Atlanta, GA.   They are the only
publication/website covering juvenile justice and related issues
nationally on a consistent, daily basis.

Today they are running Lydia’s piece, “Windows to the Soul.” Lydia has been a valued contributor in our weekly writing workshops for the last few months. She wrote and submitted this piece from the Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall in San Jose, CA.

http://jjie.org/from-the-inside-windows-to-the-soul/139745/

If you want to read other entries from The Beat that the JJIE has
posted, here’s the link…

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THE BEAT WITHIN/JJIE

Greetings friends,

We can’t keep up with the JJIE (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange) website, who is posting our pieces faster than we can send them.  We are truly honored to be in partnership with the JJIE which is based at Kennesaw State University near Atlanta, GA.  They are the only publication/website covering juvenile justice and related issues nationally on a consistent, daily basis.

Today they are running Darnell McGregger’s piece, “Consumed by the Gang Life.” Darnell is a first time contributor to The Beat Within.
He wrote this piece from the California Men’s State Prison in San Luis Obispo, CA. He has been incarcerated since age 19 for a gang-related murder.

http://jjie.org/consumed-by-the-gang-life/136797/

If you want to read other entries from The Beat that the JJIE has
posted, here’s the link…

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The Beat Within/JJIE

Greetings!!

Over the last month we have strengthened our partnership with the JJIE (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange) based at Kennesaw State University near Atlanta, Ga..   They are the only publication/website covering juvenile justice and related issues nationally on a consistent, daily basis.

Today they are running our colleague and friend, Emile DeWeaver’s piece, A Secret. This piece came out of The Beat Within’s monthly San Quentin State Prison writing workshop.
http://jjie.org/a-secret/136250/

Last week they ran, Markayla’s powerful poem, My Generation.  Markayla is an outstanding contributor in our weekly writing workshops inside Central Juvenile Hall in Los Angeles.
http://jjie.org/the-beat-within-my-generation/133988/

If you want to read other entries from The Beat that JJIE has posted,
here’s the link…
http://jjie.org/category/ideas-and-opinions/the-beat-within/

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THE BEAT WITHIN/JJIE

Our friends over at the JJIE (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange)
have picked up and posted another thoughtful piece of writing that has come out of our weekly workshops inside juvenile hall and beyond.

This latest piece, by Chapo

From The Inside: Someone Always Will Have It Worse Than Me, is one of their feature stories today on their website.

You can go directly to Chapo’s story
http://jjie.org/from-the-inside-someone-always-will-have-it-worse-than-me/130688/

You can also see the several other pieces JJIE has featured from The Beat Within
http://jjie.org/category/ideas-and-opinions/the-beat-within/

Thank you for your continued support.  We wish you a great week!

Don’t Lose Hope!

by Kenneth Donaghe

By now you have probably heard about S.B.260, “The Juvenile Lifers Bill.” This bill gives Juveniles a 2nd chance. I can be one of those Juveniles.

I was recently found eligible for Parole after 22 years and four appearances before the Board. Since SB.260 became law, Juvenile Offenders have been paroled after their first appearance. Imagine that! This was unheard of before. Don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. The Parole Board will not just hand you freedom because you served the time. Not at all! You must stay out of trouble and show maturity. It was hard for me to stay out of trouble early on. I was hurt, angry, and I lacked any type of direction and focus. I was just trying to survive. Prison has changed since I started out. Today “lifers” are going home. So let me share with you what I know.

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My Window

by Lacey

In my special window I see my family all together for once. Happy, filled with love and laughter.

One day I’ll be on the other side of that thick piece of glass looking out into the street looking at all the gorgeous people smiling. No one knows how they are. No one knows if they are fading away inside. As for me and my happy little family look out the window I see crushed dreams under glowing smiles.

Out my window I see dogs wagging their tails even though their feet are burning. Through my window I see the trees and flowers that were once colorful and full of life now bursting in flames and turn into a distant memory.

I look through my window and see nothing. I see the world turning black before my eyes. The rivers turn red with fear. The smiles I see through my broken window turn tears. I can’t see through my perfect window anymore it’s been through too much pain. Too much to even explain.

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