“The Jail wanted me to come back and talk to men and women. Whatever you want to do with your life, you can make a change.”
I come from the streets. My whole life I was selling narcotics and alcoholism. I also had a little son in the midst of that. I was in and out of the county jail, and in 2007 I got sentenced to five years. While I was doing my five years, I decided that I needed to change my life. Not just for me, but for my son. I figured out who I was without the alcohol or drugs. I wrote several books.
I wrote a book in the first nine months I was incarcerated. After I wrote the book and after my family and my son started to come see me, I realized I wasn’t the only person that was doing time. That made me want to change even more. I also obtained an optician certification. Being in there for the five years actually got me on a better page, and they let me come home a year early. Life did show up.
I published Twist of Fate (by Nikki Flowers). The book opened a lot of doors for me. That’s how I got into Pittsburgh Mercy, a behavioral clinic that has a contract with Allegheny County Jail, and within that contract we facilitate relationship groups. They wanted me to come back in and talk to men and women and let them know that you can change no matter what you’ve done, no matter how many drugs you sold, no matter how many guns you toted, and DUI’s. Whatever it is that you want to do with your life, you can come home and make a change if you’re willing to put in the work.
My goal is to get back into the jail and start a publishing company to help generate revenue for incarcerated people. My major goal is to get back into the prisons to help the people. Especially the lifers. There’s a lot of lifers behind the walls. They don’t have any more family. They don’t have any more people to take care of them. I want to help them generate revenue so they don’t have to ask people, “can I iron your clothes?” So they can actually pay their little cable bill in prison, or eat, or have extra money on their books. I want them to see that even though you are in a hardship, people do care. People will be here to tell your story.