The Little Boy Who Lost His Dream

by Michael Webb

Back in the early 1970’s I watched my favorite TV show Emergency. As a child I dreamed of becoming a fireman just like the firemen on Emergency. Every time the bell would ring and the big red shining engine fifty-one would leave the station on a run, I would imitate it with my firetruck. Also, I pictured myself going to rescue a stranded person or putting out a fire.

As I grew older the innocence I once had as a child became lost. That was when my neighborhood became heavenly infested with drug dealers and violent gang members. Living in the neighborhood became an everyday struggle just to survive. The drug dealers began to fight one another over who’s going to control the drugs. Then the rival gang members started to do drive-by shootings and innocent people got shot or murdered. read more

Turning It Around

by Brandon

It is never too late to turn your life around. Through your whole life many opportunities will approach you to change your life around for the better but it will be up to you to want to change your life. No one can make you do anything but it is up to you to realize what’s best for yourself.

Personally, my plan is to graduate high school and then go to college for as long as it takes to become a nurse in the medical eld. Stanley Tookie Williams, a man who was incarcerated for several years on death row and faced numerous counts of racism from inmates and guards, strived to want to better his life, but also the lives of others. He made several youths want to do better, he was told

many times he would be nothing, but chose not to listen.
Every aspect of your struggle is to make you want to do better. You have to realize what you want to be in life because gang banging, smoking and robbing will only last so long before your life is thrown away in a trap called prison. It is never too late to want to do better but it is better to start early because days will feel like seconds. read more

Incarcerated Youth ‘Must Accept Our Mistakes’ / The Beat Within / The Crime Report

Greetings all!

Today, The Crime Report, based in New York City, picked up, posted and is featuring the thoughtful commentary from workshop participant, Daniel.  It is a pleasure to see  Daniel’s hard-work featured today on The Crime Report website. We have been working closely with him this summer in creating this amazing piece, Incarcerated Youth “Must Accept Our Mistakes.’ Daniel participates in The Beat Within from the Solano County Juvenile Hall in Fairfield, CA.

Incarcerated Youth ‘Must Accept Our Mistakes’


If you missed last month’s post, ‘Prison Swallows Your Deams,’ here’s
the link… read more

Believe in Yourself

by Dortell Williams

As I sat in my concrete cage, looking at the massive failure I’ve made of my life, I’ve wondered: “What is the secret to success?”

What does it take to be successful? Over time, I came to recognize that this is where history comes into play. I’m not talking about going back centuries, though you can if you want. But just recent history is good enough. For instance, to see how failure occurs, all I needed was to look at myself: Hanging with the wrong crowd, not listening to sound advice, being sel sh and greedy. All of that eventually leads to committing crimes, doing dirt. I was stealing cars, selling dope, breaking and entering, you name it.

When I started reading, that’s when it all started coming together. I started reading biographies and auto-biographies of successful people. That’s when I peeped certain patterns that all these different people were doing. The rst thing I noticed is that they weren’t looking for shortcuts in life, like I did. The quick money of selling drugs was a short cut; robbing and stealing are shortcuts. In the long run, I was just cheating myself. Now I am doing life in prison, and there is no shortcut to getting out. read more

Who Will I Be?

by Summer

What am I to the world? Nothing but a torn down knock, juvenile delinquent, slut, gang banger, hooligan. I’m not sure. At seventeen I’ve become all the above. I’m afraid I will turn out like my daddy, torn down, gang banger, in prison doing twenty-eight years for a crime he should have never committed.

I love my dad but now all I see is a coward. Why did you have to use a gun? Growing up, all I’ve had are my two sts. I’m angry that he (my dad) would give up raising me for a color, but its a family too. No, it’s father-brother-son-daugther-mother-sister-snatcher, or will I end up like my momma?

Dearest Lord, help her. Will I be like her? Running for my babies, accusing my children of ruining everything, using my body as a gateway to luxury, as her babies scream. Look at me Mommy, but she can’t hear us. read more