A Note From Up The Creek…

by Russ 

Once upon a time, I wanted to be just like my dad. He was an outlaw, a tough guy, and was “running things.” When I was nine years old Dad was killed. He had been out of prison for exactly forty-two hours.

Two days before he was released, I was removed from the only home I’d ever known, Grandma’s. Turns out my mother had regained custody of my sister and me. I was driven five-hundred miles north and delivered to my mother, who I hardly knew at all.

Over the next two months I was notified of not just my father’s murder, but my Uncle David’s as well. Then Grandmamma also died. I was told that my father and Uncle David were both killed in an outlaw biker club war. They both rode with the Hells Angels.

I was to spend the next three years lost and alone, eventually abused by my mother’s new husband. I became full of shame and self-hatred. That was four decades ago. This is the first time I publically shared that fact. I lived with and medicated that shame and self-hatred for 36 years. read more

To The Beat Within

By Cristian Bost

I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart by getting my message out there. When you guys sent me the November publication of The Beat Within with my short message, it made my day.  The majority of these kids are going through the same thing I went through as a child, from feeling abandoned, to feeling nobody cared about me and that I had nothing to lose, but that is why they need to know people do care about them.

I am sending you this drawing I did to show my appreciation for all your hard-work and dedication. This world needs more people like you guys.

The drawing has a lot of meaning to me. I chose to use the word “adversity,” because it signifies the struggle that some of us face with incarceration. The heart to me defines strength. I also chose to go with wings, because to me wings defines the freedom we have.  Whether that be inner freedom or outer freedom. read more