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The Making Of Prisoners

Who Were They Before Prison?

Image by Denis Oliveira

While there is a wide variety of people in our prisons, there are commonalities. There is a diversity of crimes committed, yet all have broken society’s laws. There are significant differences in personal development, yet all prisoners have had severe lapses of judgement and wisdom.


While some prisoners come from stable homes and backgrounds, most do not. Some prisoners are entrenched, hard-core perpetrators, others are hungry for transformation.

Meet some of the prisoners who have contacted PrisonEd. The quotes are not representative of all prisoners, but rather those striving for personal improvement. 


All quotes are authentic. All prisoner names have been changed.



Mr. Tyree: 

“My mind-forged manacles were a complete sense of hopelessness for life and a healthy future. I believed I was scum with no hope of redemption.”


Ms. Elena: 

“I was in a prison without love. My father was a drug addict. Every time I’m out of prison, I’m still in prison in my mind.”


Mr. Alex: 

“No matter what phase my life was in, I’ve been filled with a sense of hollowness for years. I’ve lived in a self-inflicted hell with no meaning at all. Who Am I? It’s a scary question; bottom line, I don’t know who I am.”


Ms. Sophia: 

“I don’t remember when I had self-esteem. I’m the girl who was never liked. I’ve never quite fit in. It’s always felt like I fake it to make it. I’ve never had affirmation. I left home at 12, becoming an adult, a lot of drinking, a lot of drugs. I’d make myself numb without even knowing what this was. My crime is burglary. My sorrow came when I realized I had forgotten my true self. I am learning how to rediscover myself. I’m striving to gain the personality traits I had before. I do have children waiting for me.”




It is easy to judge all prisoners as evil or malicious. More accuately, many are lost.


Mr. Jacob: 

“I was an Eagle Scout, a minister for my church, a healthcare professional, born to goodly parents, from a good stable family, religious upbringing. What have I forgotten that I once knew or promised? That a Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. I pulled that out of my memory after 45 years. I must incorporate these values back into my life. Please help me.”


Mr. Ricky: 

“In a sense, we are soldiers fighting a war, usually within ourselves. Sometimes we lose ourselves, and mostly it takes a tragedy to open our eyes to realize we’ve only been battling our self-created prison. I’m tired of being my own prisoner.”


Mr. Kyson: 

“I forgot what I wanted to be when I was a kid. I wanted to be a guardian. I wanted to keep people from harm and help those in need. It was my unspoken vow. I still have that good, though it has been ignored more than two decades.”


Mr. Jared:

“I can grow into my life and become the person I am supposed to be. I can become the man I have searched for all my life! I can be so much more than the number they make me out to be.”

What can become of these men and women? Keep Reading

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