This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Delano.
Dear UCI students,
Whats up! Now I would like to take the time to introduce myself. I have been incarcerated for 17 years now. I was a young man when I lost my freedom, and I am now 41 years old.
I still continue to be on the main line and continue to fight and hold on to what I love and have inside of me. Hoping one day times will change so that I could be set free.
So I have received your message in your letter, and I would love nothing more than to share some stories of my life and those within prison. Of those men that have changed, and those men that are deserving of redemption, for they walk among us as well.
With that said, there will be no favoritism here. I will also be honest within my writing. All I ask is for a copy of all that I have written, for parole and self reasons.
I am hoping to one day get out of here for I truly believe I did the time that fit the crime, but was sentenced to 45 to life in a case where not one soul was hurt. They could have been, but the fact is, they weren’t. That’s a story for another time though.
As for now, I exit as I came. With all due sincerity for you and all those within the PrisonPandemic project.
We were all watching it closely, each and everyone of us. As we sat on our respective bunks, watching the news on the dumbox (TV). We call it that here, ’cause if you sit there all day watching it that’s what you’ll become. We watched as it began in China, then spread into cruise ships scattering about.
It was all like something that you would see in a zombie movie. It extended, reached out to continents. Some here were saying “We’re next, it’ll be here soon.” While others, like myself, were much more skeptical.
I remember saying, “It won’t happen here, never.” And then we all heard the terrible news. It’s here, in California. Some believed that it would be put under control since this is the United States. “We are ready for this, right?” Then, it began to spread and we became worried.
Worried for our families, and those that we love and hold dear to our hearts. And then we heard about lock down, not just for us incarcerated. But lock down for those in the free world as well.
I can’t help but think “what if this would have been the zombie apocalypse, or an even more stronger and deadlier disease that would have just ran through this country. Then what? What would have become of us, us behind these walls. Would we have been forgotten? Left in our cells to perish?”
It was possible that this could have been my concrete tomb. My imprisonment till the end of time. Say perhaps, if guards were worried about saving themselves and those they love in the free world, would anyone have thought of us? Think about it, I’m sure you have come to the answer: no.
But yes, we have been worried. Worried for all those we love out there. Worried about my mother, brothers and sisters. My son and my daughters, worried about all those that we love. And now glad a lot of us are still here, including yourself reading this.
But light seems brighter at the end of all tunnels. And good things to have and continue to come out of this dark period in our history. One has seen how it feels to be confined, to be isolated. To be kept away from those we love. To forget how it feels to be held.
It has shined the light on us. Of us men in here capable of change. Of us that were once barbaric in our ways. But with education, one gains knowledge, and with knowledge one gains wisdom, and with wisdom one can become civil.
Thank you for your time, I hope to hear from you soon.