From age 7 to 33 I was in and out of the juvenile and adult prison systems. I remember a traumatic and lifetime-humbling experience with police officers with our guns drawn and their K-9 dog simultaneously chewing on my ankles. I could have died that day. A police officer could have died that day. I have an appreciation of how difficult it is for everyone in that type of situation, an appreciation that doesn’t come from reading or seeing a video.
Prison allowed me time to reflect on my life and see the results of so many bad decisions I had made. I was able achieve my G.E.D. and an associate’s degree. Even though my family had lost hope in me, I developed relationships with staff and mentors at the St. Louis County Juvenile Detention Center. Once I was released from prison, these were the first people I contacted. They began sneaking me in the Juvenile Detention Center to share my experiences with the kids. Read more here.