“All that playin’ tag and swingin’ on the swing set? All that just faded away. They call it ‘jumping off the porch.’ In the streets, they didn’t care about my clothes. They was more into me. That’s where I got my love from—the streets.” Find out how you can help here.
“After I learned to read and write poetry with Free Minds, I started to feel confident and I wrote my first poem titled ‘Mommy.’ Writing that poem was very therapeutic because I felt like I was actually talking directly to my mom.” Find out how you can help here.
“I remembered I did want to change. I wanted to give back after taking so much from so many.”
“To tell you the truth, I expected to get locked up. My friends and I knew that one of two things was going to happen to us. We were going to prison or we were going to be killed. We accepted that. It was part of the life we were living and it’s all we…
I believe the only way the crime will go down is if we have quality programming on the inside and the outside. We need training to see that ultimately the outcome of good behaviors will be much better than those of criminal behaviors. Everyone benefits from programs like Free Minds.
“The journals you all gave us changed everything for me. There was just so much that I needed to get off of my chest. Things I wanted to say, but didn’t know how before I joined Free Minds.”
“Free Minds keeps me focused on doing better and giving back to the young people who are now where I once was.”—Maurice, age 23
Terrell was arrested and charged as an adult with armed robbery at the age of 16. He joined Free Minds just prior to his transfer to federal prison. He quickly became a loyal and enthusiastic member, writing us stacks of letters, as well as requesting, reading and reviewing more than 25 books during his incarceration.
“Because of books, I have a totally different understanding of my life and the world around me.”
Antwan’s love of books didn’t stop once he left the juvenile block. He remembers how, in lockdown for 11 months in federal prison, books helped him stay calm and focused.