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by Destiny

I have learned that being disrespectful gets me nowhere. I have learned to respect and love my parents for what they have done. I don’t want to live life hating them for all that they weren’t and lacked to do. I want to live life loving them for all that they did do.

I thank God for them. I have a mouth, and before I got locked up I did not give zero to one hundred shhhh’ about how I talked to my elders. Now I know that shhh talking them gets me nowhere. Communication will get me farther than what I would have thought. I had to learn the hard way.

When I get frustrated I tend to punch into my hand, walking back and forth. I slide my hands down my face as if I was about to tear it off. Then after, I try to smile and tell myself it’ll be okay. Most of the time a beer sounds good to calm the nerves, but not always will it be the solution. God has me though, I will be okay. read more

Where I Went Wrong in Life!

by Anthony “Aemys” Young 

Where I went wrong in life, I made the choice to become a follower and be a part of a gang. I was always the type of person who didn’t care what the next person was doing, I did my own thing. When it came to school I loved it. I was a wonderful student, I also played sports basketball, football, and baseball. Through out my whole life gangs were always around me from family to friends but I always look passed that part of my life.

I was born June 10th 1992 in Gardena, California, my mother and father were strongly involved in my life, I have two older siblings and one younger brother and we all lived together in Compton, CA. My father was my best friend he was my baseball coach, and a supporting father, even though my father sold drugs and was a gang member he kept then thing from the household due to the respect of my mother and due to his family. My older brother was a gang member but I didn’t find out till I got older. My sister was a sport and school nerd as myself and younger brother. My family was a very close family until things went down hill due to a few deaths in my family. read more

Dear Beat

by Silent

My name is Jesus C. I would like to first thank my family for getting me get through these hard times. Melianna, Anthoni, Jessie, Daddy’s coming home soon!

I was introduced to The Beat by my brother Tolo who’s also a writer for The Beat. I’ve been in prison for a couple of years and I have two months left before I go home. It’s been a long rough road, but I’ve learned a lot and became well connected with myself. I’ve lost a lot, but me coming to prison was one of the best things that has happened to me. I needed this to slow down and pay attention to life and everything around me. I am no Angel but I have become a better man!

I would like to give some hope to everybody behind these walls. We’re already here so why not make the best of it. Always remember to always keep your head up! Never forget where you came from and what you’ve been through. Our past is the key to a better future. I am who I am today because of what I’ve been through! Take control of your life, stand up and dominate. Every time we fall down we become stronger! Never give up, fight for what you want, fight for what you believe in. Take responsibility for your actions because the only one to blame, is yourself for your mistakes. The sooner you accept your wrongs and mistakes, the sooner you can move on. A lot of us always go back and say, “I wish I would have taken that left instead of that right or I should have done this or that.” If you were supposed to take that left you would have taken it. No matter where we find ourselves today or tomorrow, that’s where we are supposed to be! read more


by Adriana

I would have to say the dumbest thing I have ever done was start- using meth. Now I crave it every day. When I was on it I would act erratic and out of control. Now that I am sober it really sucks, since I started at such a young age I don’t really know what life is like or how to act. I struggle with more simple tasks because of the constant drug abuse. I am behind in school because I was such an addict that I would just get on one and nothing else.

My eating habits suck because I never got used to my body actually getting hungry. The two most difficult challenges for me would be staying sober and coping because of how much drugs took from me. It took money, time, just valuable things in my developing life that I will never get back because of this stupid monster. I shouldn’t have ever done it, I wish it didn’t exist, but I can’t change the past. Just take what I know, all the terrible situations it got me in, and move forward. read more

Stuck In The Shell

by Hd

The real me is hidden in the dark. Stuck in my shell, never wanting to come out, afraid to be judged, scared not to be good enough. No one sees the real me.  Fake smiles and laughter.  Scared to feel scared to want and not be wanted back, curious of what people think.  How could they be so blind? So unaware.

Maybe they just don’t seem to care. They act like they do, but if they did they would see that something is really wrong inside of me. Not crazy, just different.  Not like the rest.  When I feel feelings, my heart jumps out my chest.  But this is why I hide and I stay in the dark. I’m afraid of the silence and afraid of the dark.

I wonder if anyone will ever care enough to realize the sad darkness in my eyes or hear the cries that I cry.  Maybe it’s not worth it because I know I’ll just get hurt, left in the dust, left in the dirt. I can’t bear the hurt.  I have too much. I don’t think I can physically handle it.  I just sit here and wait for someone to realize.  Who will it be?  But I’m so sick of waiting.  It’s like I’m a fish stuck in the sea.  Like people say there’s too many fish in the sea.  Maybe one day things will change and the darkness and sadness wont’ be in me and things can rearrange. read more

Juvenile Life

 by Tony Farrell

“The Truth is Always the Best Argument” – Sophocles

Who am I… I am but only one of thousands of people who was a child prosecuted as an adult – then sentenced to rot inside a living tomb until I die. My name is Tony Farrell, and I am fighting for my life. Just a chance to even experience what “life” is or may be. I could easily say that I was failed by the system. An under-privileged kid who fell through the cracks. But that would give the false impression my situation is an isolated case.

The truth is, our justice system is inherently flawed and broken when it comes to our children. Who wants to live in a society where children from broken homes are punished for being vulnerable? Falling victim to the negative influences preying on them; for being impressionable, immature, and ill-equipped to discern between those who mean them well and those who mean them harm. read more

Dear Child

by Michael Russell

I open this letter and greet you with honor and respect. I’m addressing you as child because I want you to know and understand that you’re not yet an adult even if you feel that you are. Your childhood and teenaged years are a special time, and you should enjoy it and not waste it doing things that are counterproductive. See I was you once.

By the time I was thirteen years old I was sexually active, a drug-dealer, a car thief and out on my own. I swore I knew it all and I had an answer for everything. So less than two months after turning seventeen years old it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that I was tried as an adult for the murder of two men and sentenced to two consecutive terms of life without the possibility of parole.

More than twenty-one years later I’m still in prison. I’m now thirty-eight years old. I have four adult children and four grandchildren that I don’t get to see very often. Four children and grandchildren that I didn’t and can’t help raise. I lost not only my youth when I came to prison, but I also lost my family too. Someone else raised my children. read more