In this first episode of Inmate Diaries, we asked our friends behind bars what they have done to better themselves while being incarcerated. The answers may surprise you! These inmates are dedicated to being a better person when they get out. Many have focused on their education, their faith, and their future.

The inmates we questioned are a mix of states, races, religions, and education level. The one thing they have in common is their wish to succeed and to be better people. Instead of wasting their time behind bars, these incarcerated individuals have made it a point to make changes in their lives and the lives of their community. Listen to their stories, listen to their accomplishments. Each inmate is someone’s son, someone’s brother, someone’s partner.

Michael Shepard

Skip to: 00:09   Michael Shepard

“…this this mission to make the world a better place to contribute to humanity in a positive way to you know, to make people’s lives better. You know, there’s a lot of sufferers out there. Today the governor in California was saying, you know, they have a 30 $31 billion surplus and don’t know what to do with it. What should we do with it? I mean, what about the homeless? I haven’t heard anybody say anything about the homeless. But so, you know, incarceration has opened my eyes…”

Maurice Harris

Skip to: 01:16    Maurice Harris

“…I have returned to college where I got a few units from receiving a degree. I have received a paralegal certificate from Blackstone Career Institute, and became a member of the National Lawyers Guild as a jailhouse lawyer….”

Robert Mejia

Skip to: 03:01     Robert Mejia

“…Since been incarcerated, I have worked on some goals and resolutions, I am focusing on some therapy and self help and I am doing some reading, writing exercise and taking different classes that will help hopefully help me further my education and stuff..”

Jake Ritter

Skip to: 03:42    Jake Ritter

“…Hey, this is Jake Ritter. Since I’ve been incarcerated. I’ve used my time to better my mental and physical health, mentally and started opening my Bible and getting closer with God and establishing relationship with Him…”

Damion Thomas

Skip to: 05:02    Damion Thomas

“…I finished it right at the beginning of COVID. In got my certificate and so we got to take some pictures in the cap and gown and stuff. It was through Edmonds Community College out here in Washington State. But it basically teaches us the fundamentals of electric ELECTRIC, PLUMBING, carpentry, and a little bit of drywall and stuff…”

Lynn Green

Skip to: 07:22    Lynn Green

“…I started to practice my virtues. I grounded myself in my spirituality and also jumped into a lot of correspondence because education was hard to come by being in maximum security.,,”

Benny Overton

Skip to: 11:59    Benny Overton

“…Since I’ve been in prison, I didn’t have any kind of education when I came to prison. So since being here I’ve gotten my GED, that in 2011, I got my GED. After my G D, I took corrective thinking classes, which consists of like MRT and RDAP, I believe, it’s like moral, moral recognition classes, drug counseling classes…”


Skip to: 15:40    Daniel Irons

“…what I’ve done to better myself to stay focused at auto travel, educated myself from being a kid to being a man. And I decided to do an auto motivational techniques that needed to be done is all about staying positive different circumstances and situations…”

Roger Hull

Skip to: 16:30    Roger Hull

“…I have started doing college classes with western Nevada College. I’m currently enrolled now and doing quite well. The other thing I’ve done is taken a bunch of classes that the prison has to offer…”

Marcus Carter

Skip to: 17:06    Marcus Carter

“…But I’ve just I want to be more of a role model than did a negative role model. So I facilitate groups here. ADP, alternative providers project, I facilitate them. And just this is actually my whole life. I base my values around alternative to violence and just being positive and witnessing people’s interactive work right direction…”


Posted in: Season 1
Inmate Diaries

Episode 2: What Have You Done To Better Yourself While Incarcerated?

In SimpliMingle’s second episode of Inmate Diaries, we asked some of our clients what they have done to better themselves while incarcerated. We have a mixture of experiences in this episode. Deathrow inmates to inmates getting ready to leave prison behind for good. Give a listen, get to know these incredible guys. Our past does not define us! Inspirational stories from those who chose to do better and to be better.

Posted in: Season 1
Inmate Diaries

Episode 1: What food do you miss the most?

This weeks’ question centers around food. One thing we are all familiar with is when we are away from our family, our hometown, or our cultural background…we tend to miss certain foods. It might be a dish your grandmother made when you were little, or something special your partner made when you were having a bad day, food just brings back memories and a sense of home. We asked outr incarcerated friends what food they missed the most and here are their answers!