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by Harry C. Goodall
I do believe that life is a puzzle. That no matter how many books you read on its improvement, life is always a constant work in progress. I’ve been trying to put the pieces of the puzzle to my life together for the past eighteen years. It’s sad to be currently forty-three years old and can only account for the last eighteen of those years being spent putting my life together. Adding pieces to your life is about rst, the realization that pieces are missing. You can’t do this if you still have an ego bigger than the Grand Canyon.
After years of confusion and alcohol dependency, I had to break down the cycle of addiction that I had grown so accustom to. I had to realize that no matter how many times I thought getting loaded would ease the tension of the day only left me waking up the next day with the same exact problems, yet with a hang over, and the new ones I had encountered when loaded. My missing pieces of my puzzle were numerous to start with. But here’s a few, learning to love myself and except my faults. I know that you may think that you love yourself. But let’s think of how many mornings you stood on a corner with a pistol in your belt feeling you were invincible. Or think of how any shout outs you been in where you could have died. Think of how many times you were in a gang ght and could have been seriously injured. Think of how many people you seen killed in your presence. Yet you couldn’t wait to place yourself in harm’s way the next day. Heading right back to the same exact location. Is that loving yourself? Did you value your life?
Why I write is because I have to,
because that the only thing that brings me peace.
Why I write, because it brings me joy,
happiness and a passion to just keep writing.
Why I write, because people say I am a very quiet person,
but very lethal with my writing and what I write about.
Why I write, because I’m motivated by my parents
and they love to see all my writings.
Why I write, because it’s very fun writing on a blank piece of paper, and it reminds me of the friends I couldn’t talk about my problems to. Why I write, because I can write anything
and never be judged by this piece of paper, never.
Why I write, because through this pencil,
it produces a sound to me with a symphony of possibilities. Why I write, because of this unit,
and all the times I’ve been in jail,
and just to relieve the stress that all of this comes with.
Why I write, because in my mind I’m a free man,
but it’s my body that’s locked up.
Why I write, so I can prove to my teachers
who told me I couldn’t write.
Why I write, because this pencil and paper
have become my truest friends ever.
Why I write, because I can write down all the mistakes I’ve done, so I won’t do it again and come back to juvenile hall
and graduate to jail or prison.
Why I write, because it put a smile on my face,
knowing I lled this paper with my feelings, thoughts and what I have to say.
by Michael Arreygue
All of us during our lives as children, adolescents and eventually adults need some encouragement. As the individuals we are we tend to learn differently, have different perspectives and take risks on different levels. For those like myself words of encouragement were really needed in my life to ful ll my true potential in the activities that I engaged in. Always being in juvenile hall and camps as a kid I did receive a lot of encouragement to break out of my shell and try to think differently. It took a long time for me to grow, but I hope for you it comes quick.
Knowing that many of you in detention centers may possibly hear or read these words gives me the feeling of talking to myself when I was a kid. Many thoughts enter my mind, what would I tell myself? What have I learned since? What has impacted me? Was it worth it? Regardless what your ethnicity is I was you in juvenile hall, I was you in camp, I was you possibly going to the California Youth Authority, and I was you charged as an adult.
Just when I thought my life was going to be easy! It only seems to get harder. I am just really over being in here. They think this would teach us a lesson but they don’t understand that this is a very traumatizing situation for our young minds. I understand that some of us don’t act young, or stay in a child’s place. At the same time people need to understand the life we live and the fears, struggle, and pain we go through and overcome every day by ourselves. There is nobody by our sides. They should understand and think about what we go through because it’s not easy. If they were in my shoes they would really get a great understanding about my life.
If we could just switch shoes for a day they would bow down to me and beg me to switch shoes back.
Me being them, would just say no so that they could be locked up all day like a caged animal. They would eat when I say eat and sleep when I say sleep. I wouldn’t switch lives totally; I would just switch for two weeks to give them a taste of their own medicine. That way they can feel the pain I feel every day I am in here. Then I wonder how would they act toward us? Would they still try and give us juvenile’s life? Would they still want to put us in 23-hour lockdown facilities? Would they still let us wash up in cold water with a sock that was on somebody you don’t even know the day before? Would they still have us eat food that we are not happy about? Would they still let us get an OC warning and then all our points taken away? Maybe then the staff wouldn’t be so petty.
by Harry C. Goodall
I’ll never forget the rst time I saw my daughter. I knew her mother was pregnant but never knew whether she actually had the baby or not. It was a woman I met while selling drugs in another state. I was told that she left Washington and moved to Kansas. That was the end of what I knew about the pregnancy. My stay in that state ended with me coming back to California and getting a parole violation and another year in a California prison. The next time I heard of her was when my friend told me that my kid’s mom had a daughter that looked just like me. That I should go and get her as the woman was addicted to drugs and doing bad. That she was putting my daughter in harm’s way. I called her and we talked brie y and she said that she would send me photos of my daughter. The crazy part was after I gave her mother my address to send me photos and info about my daughter a Marshall showed up at my door with a paternity test.
Having your freedom taken away is not a very happy feeling. In fact, you live with a feeling of hate at yourself and others if you feel they put you in here, but you are the one that had your freedom taken away. It’s not nice waking up early in the morning to sit up and see four brick walls and a bright or dim light and having no privacy whatsoever.
This is not a place of happiness. This is a place of hate and sadness. These walls do close in on you and everyday someone tells you when to get up when to take a shower, and when to go to bed. Please do not come to a place like this. Keep your freedom. Freedom. Freedom!
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