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The High Cost of Juvenile Detention

I've been in prison for almost 24 years and yet I'm only 38 years old.  I was convicted of several crimes in the Richmond area at the age of 15 and I was sentenced to 78 years, with 28 suspended.  In 1995, I was one of the first juveniles to be convicted of a crime and unfairly sentenced.

 

Never in my wildest dreams would I be removed from the family and friends for so long.  The mistake I made as a kid has hurt everyone I know.  My best friends cry when we talk on the phone.  My sisters and I do not have a strong relationship because of me being in prison.  My youngest brother, who I have not seen since he was seven years old, was killed in 2011 at the age of 24.  Do I feel like it was my fault?  Yes!  Yes, I do because if I was there, he would still be here.

 

Since being in prison, I've had heart surgery and I had to have a defibrillator placed in my chest and I'm doing everything that's asked of me and more.  I would like to say "thank you" for all your help [in working] to end mass incarceration and to bring back parole.

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