In this episode of Inmate Diaries, we wanted to know what they would say to their 16-year old self. Think about it. Even if you were never incarcerated, I’m sure there would be a few things you would like to go back to whisper in your younger self’s ear. Imagine what the incarcerated would want to say. Being a teenager is tough, no matter what generation you are a part of.
These inmates give us an insightful look into their thoughts and feelings. They’ve done some internal work, you can tell by their answers. Some of the stories you will hear here are heartbreaking but you can also hear the optimism I their voices as they understand what went wrong and hope to not repeat those actions.
“…So I would tell myself, I would try to take people who didn’t want to, which also made me feel like they didn’t have faithful belief in me, but now understand that I don’t have to believe. I only need to believe in myself as long as I believe I can make it happen and get things done….”
“…man, life is a lot better in the end. If you just leave all the bull, all the stuff that’s going on right now, no gang bang drug, they leave that all alone. There’s a lot of better people out there that you could meet…..”
“…It takes courage to grow up and be who you really are always be yourself and express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for someone else to duplicate…”
“…If I could go back with you, wake up in the bed alone, surviving in this world. Isn’t your mistakes are all minor. You are a teen. I wish I could have done more for you…”
“…find a different kind of family that will give me a strong support system so that I could have a change that changed my life around because I feel like that’s what I never had. You know, as a child, I was always physically abusing, moving from different foster homes until I landed myself in the youth and the division for youth…..”
“…not following his father’s footsteps in the dad because dad made some bad choices along the way. And then now you have to pay the consequences of the choices he made in.ognition classes, drug counseling classes…”
“…So I was, um, homeless at the time as well. So what I would tell myself, just be careful with the paper you were wrong and pay close attention because, um, it was a relative that started the abuse and all of that…”
“…Maybe listen to mom, maybe listen to my mother because if I would’ve did those three things, I wouldn’t be serving life in prison….”