Amber-Rose Howard: Convictions in the “land of the free” carry lifelong consequences which bind people to stagnant living. People are locked up and then set free, only to be locked out of society altogether.
This is a collection of articles from incarcerated men who were arrested as juveniles, yet were tried and sentenced as adults. In light of recent legislation in California (SB 260/261), some of them will be given a second chance through the possibility of early parole.
In the meantime, it is their desire to share their stories with the public and with each other. and so we have this Juvenile Offenders Series and other articles. Their stories reflect their own individual experiences--of people who have had to “grow up” in prison because of their crimes.
The stories in this series are real and personal. They also illuminate long overlooked questions regarding our legal system: How did these souls get there and what really happens to them once we’ve locked them up and thrown away the key? What are the effects of long-term incarceration on these adolescents?
Anthony Andrew Ferguson
Mark Vigil: The minute I stepped out of prison on April 21, 2016, I was greeted by my uncle David who drove me to a nearby IHOP to eat my first meal in society since 1980. I couldn’t believe I was eating pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs, orange juice, and coffee and not prison food.
Karen Heil: I have been sponsoring self-help groups with the inmates for the last 10 years–my true passion for continuing to work at the prison.
Juan Moreno Haines: I challenge you to come up with a curriculum that would show youngsters how to stop from developing the habits that send them to prison.
Juan Moreno Haines: The program, Code.7370, teaches inmates how to develop apps based on their inspirations that have a socially conscious component.
Juan Moreno Haines: This year, 11,000 children will be reunited with their parents in the visiting rooms of seven men’s prisons and three women’s prisons across the state.
Anthony Andrew Ferguson: Am I a threat to society? It probably depends on whom you ask. That is the million-dollar question. . . which the California Board of Prison Terms is tasked with answering during the parole suitability process.
Steve Grant: I would rather be a homeless man than to live where I am now, incarcerated for life in prison for a crime I could never consider inflicting on any human being for any reason at any time. I repeat and cannot stress enough, I am an innocent man!
Eved Romero: Where I was from, people who were “soft” simply didn’t make it, so I adapted to my situation. I put on a mask to guard my true self—the mask I would wear for many years, a mask of toughness, heartlessness, and ruthlessness.
Juan Moreno Haines: Can you believe that some people on their websites have even declared that maybe Legionnaires’ Disease at San Quentin is actually doing the public some good by killing off criminals who are worthless anyway?
Mark E. Vigil: I was not seeking to break my “keepers,” many of whom could care less about our concerns, but I wanted to achieve a personal victory—a stand I could take on principle.
Ronald Patterson: I am here, sitting in prison when I should be out, following the inspirational teachings and high expectations of so many of my teachers who recognized my potential and believed I would accomplish many good things.
lease allow me to share with all the women out there (and the men who interact with us) about the impact of domestic violence. I am talking to the women who are in the midst of or have gone through such abuse. I am also addressing my comments to those women who have not […]