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/ afft so gratefi^l for evert/ hreatk I take. I thank ^od everif /fiornlng for waking 
me i^p and giving me the strength to keep going, i am grate fni for mtf hiess- 
ings, i'm stiii standing, i'm stiii going, irefi^se to give i^p, ihave made so mantf 
mistakes in mif iife, and l?eing in here has opened mif et/es. 

read the rest of Laura's TOW on page 6 


^irmmmimMW/j^. /// * ////#/ 

^WhcltS up. Beaters?" We love this greeting that begins so 
many Beat pieces. Vile'te not svtte why, but maybe it's because it 
reflects the easy-going relationship between those of us who bring 
our topics into workshops each week (Beat facilitators) and those 
who sit down to tackle those topics (Beat writers). Together, WE 
ate The Beat Within. There ate no formal divisions between vls, like 
there wte between school teachers and their students. Even though 
we all have different roles to play, we Skte like a family (we ARE a 
family) that has its ups and downs (problem children and problem 
parents), but we Skte committed to each other, even when things Skte 
at their worst. It's a relationship that's hard to explain to "outsiders". 
Of course, there Skte some units that make us work harder than 
others, and there skte some writers that we wish would take the 
writing more seriously. Of course, eMet^ family has members that 
can be troublesome {sk% we all can be, from time to time), but that's 
what families ^te all about. 

We were thinking about all this over the weekend, because The 
Beat had the distinct pleasure last week introducing ourselves to a 
brand new set of writers. Responding to an invitation to inaugurate 
this amazing and unique publication in the Solano County Juvenile 
Hall, we made the hour-long drive to this county, located north 
of Contra Costa County. We were asked to make our presentation 
on Friday, pitching The Beat to two different units, including one 
made up of more serious offenders who would have been sent 
off to the California Youth Authority not long ago, but who ^te 
now kept within their own counties, given the unacceptable level 
of violence and corruption at CYA. This was a unique invitation, 
because it originated with the county's juvenile judges who found 
The Beat on line, loved what they found, and told staff at the hall 
that they would like to extend ^n invitation to The Beat to make 
this presentation. 

The day before we went, we had a particularly difficult day 
at the office — the kind of day that families often have where 
verbal fights erupt among people who have to spend lots of time 
together in close quarters. At the end of that, we left the office »% 
low and depressed sk% we've been, wishing we could take a three- 
day weekend and just not face the problems the next day. But, 
we had made this commitment to Solano, and we always want to 
expand The Beat's presence whenever we can. (For example, this 
week founder and senior editor David Inocencio is in our nation's 
capital, Washington, D.C., to present The Beat in their locked units, 
hoping that they can provide local Beat facilitators to establish an 
ongoing program there.) 

So, still feeling the sting of the day before, we set out for 
Solano County last Friday morning. It was the hottest day of the 
year, and — trust us — hell couldn't be much hotter! 

We were greeted very warmly {we're not talking about the 
temperature) by staff, who took us almost immediately to the first 
group of about 30 kids who were still locked up when we arrived. 
They came out of their cells, took their seats, and waited for us to 
explain what we were doing there. It's interesting to watch a group 
of young men and women hearing about The Beat for the first time. 
We can only imagine the number of adults who have stood before 
them and made speeches, while they're required to sit in respectful 
silence, no matter what they're feeling. Their faces looked blank, 
or even hostile. They had "heard it all" before, and couldn't really 
imagine that older people (some with graying hair) would have 
anything relevant to contribute to their situations. So, it was 

particularly exciting to watch them begin to engage in The Beat 
process. As we spoke about the program, answering questions as 
they came up, the energy in the room was soon transformed into 
something radically different from what it was when they first 
entered and took their seats. The anqry or passive faces took on 
eager expressions, as the reality of The Beat became clearer and 
clearer to them. "I have to get this off my chest," one young man 
blurted out. "I don't like older people coming in and telling me 
what to do." We responded that he could take those feelings and 
turn them into a very good Beat piece, and we would publish it. 
As he realized that his "negative" opinion was still suitable for 
our publication, he revealed more and more about himself and the 
things he cared about, and the things he wanted to write about. 
Another young man had actually seen The Beat before when he was 
at a group home, and it had made a big impression on him at the 
time — made him realize that he was not alone in the situation he 
was facing. He was excited that we were there — and that soon he 
would be a published writer in The Beat Within! 

At the end of that first hour, when the group had to return 
to their cells, there was a bounce to their steps that had not been 
there when they came into the room — and their faces and body 
language was as animated and alive as it had been passive and 
unrevealing at the beginning. They were smiling and talking among 
themselves of the things they wanted to write. Without putting 
down a word on paper, they were already engaged in what it means 
to be a "Beater," and looking forward to the first issue that will 
include their writings. 

But the real magic of The Beat is that this transformation of 
energy from negative to positive, from hopeless resignation to eager 
anticipation, is not limited just to the writers; it also transforms our 
own attitudes and moods. We woke on that Friday morning still 
feeling the depression from the unpleasantness of the day before, 
looking for the day to be over as quickly as possible so that we 
could start our weekend. We thought we'd need that time off to 

recover — two days of rest and recreation to undo the effects 
of the previous day's downer. But we were wrong; we didn't need 
that time at all, because by the time these young people were 
walking back to their cells, full of possibilities for The Beat, we 
were also filled with new possibilities, filled with the same hopeful 
energy that now filled the room. We felt uplifted. Our depression 
was gone, replaced by the youthful exuberance and hopefulness 
that makes The Beat what it is. 

From this group, we moved to a smaller group of older, more 
serious offenders — those who might have been sent off to the 
California Youth Authority just a short time ago until the brutal 
conditions there resulted in so many counties making the decision 
to keep as many of their young people as close to home as possible. 
It the previous hour, we had been completely re-energized. We didn't 
need two days off to rest; we only needed one hour with a group 
of young people who had never seen The Beat before, and then a 
second hour with another group to seal the deal. 

Within a very few minutes, this group, too, was completely 
engaged in a Beat discussion. Most of these young people have 
been in the system for a while, and they have been exposed to 
many programs. Even more than the younger teens, they are cynical 
about "new" programs. But there was nothing cynical about these 
young men after they heard what The Beat was all about. They 
asked excellent questions and were ready to start writing as soon 
as they understood that we were not there to "teach them how to 
write," but to learn from what they write about their lives, their 
struggles, their accomplishments, their pain, their joy. Even though 
we had never laid eyes on them before, and they had never laid 
eyes on us, a relationship was immediately established, leaving 
both them and us looking forward to returning in two weeks to 
begin real workshops. 

There is a power to this program that defies explanation, that 
has to be experienced to be understood. We felt this power {as we 
have many times before), but we cannot convey it in words alone. 
We're not even sure we understand it ourselves, but we know it 
when it happens, and it happened. It was better — much better — 
than the weekend we were so looking forward to. Like we said, it's 

This morning, the Solano Juvenile Hall staff responsible for 
taking us around sent us the following email: 

"On behalf of all of us here at the Solano County Juvenile 
Detention Facility I would like to say THANK YOU!!! The minors in 
both (units) were really enthusiastic about the program and can't 
wait to get started. I went to the other pods in the facility and 
passed out 'The Beat Within" and gave a short overview of the 
magazine and the workshops. The kids were really excited about 
it. So, again I say THANK YOU for coming and opening up some 
great minds and imaginations!!" 

That 'Thank you" really belongs to you. Beaters, because you 
are what makes The Beat Within. Anyone who doubts the power of 
this publication should open the issue that you're now holding, and 
read, read, read! 

The first topic we take on is "Being grateful" — It's natural for 
you to write about the troubles in your life, especially when you're 
locked up. But even when things are not going right, there are 
things in your life that you must be grateful for. Were you blessed 
with a good mind that you're thankful for? Do you have people in 
your life that you're grateful to, that have never disappointed you 
and who keep pushing you to do better? Did you catch a break on 
a case that could have gone much worse for you? Did you luck out 
with a decent lawyer, PO or judge? Have you learned lessons in 
your life that have changed your outlook for the better? So, take 
a minute to think about the things you're grateful for in your life, 
and then share them with us. 

The second topic is "Father's Day" — Father's Day is coming up 
next month, so we'd like to know your thoughts about fatherhood, 
in general, and your father in particular (especially since you've 
just written about how important mothers are in your lives). If you 
have had no relationships with your father, tell us how that has 
affected your life — and affected the kind of father you want to be. 
If you know of a man who has been a responsible father (either in 
your life or that of a friend), tell us what makes him responsible, 
what makes him a good father? Tell us what you think the role 
of "father" is in a family, and whether it makes a difference to a 
family's health. Finally, tell us about the father you want to be 
when the time comes. 

And the last topic is "Handshakes," — Do you shake hands 
with everyone in the same way? Or, do you have a different kind 
of handshake depending on whose hand you're shaking — a male 
or female? A homie or a stranger? Someone you're just meeting or 
someone you've known a long time? An older person or a younger 
person? If you shake different hands in different ways, describe 
the handshakes you use, and tell us when you use particular 
handshakes with particular people? Have you seen the forms of 
handshakes change over time since you were a child? How have 
they changed? 

Okay, Beat Family, that's all the words we have. Now, feast on 
the words of our writers. This issue goes out to the juvenile judges 
and juvenile hall staff in Solano County who recognized why The 
Beat is different, and invited this "difference" into their detention 
facility. We're very excited about adding the voices of those young 
people we met last week... who reminded us of why this is such a 

mam ffff/rr/frs 

censor inappr 

To our writers: What you write could be h 
consequences, and could be used to incrim 
feelings and viewpoints without running the 

Co-founders: Sandy Clos 

THe BeStt Within, a weekly newsletter of writing ar 
incarcerated youth, is published by Pacific News Service. 

At The Beat Within, we go through a lot of trouble to censor 
sexual remarks, foul language, and gang references. There is eno 
our commuities already-we don't aim to bolster it. It is in The Be 
promote peace and unity. Our goal is to educate one another. 

The Beat Within publishes the opinions and views expressed by tl 
in our workshops. This is simply the pure voice of the youth. T 
read do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher, editor or sl 
are reserved. Nothing from this publication can be reproduced wit 

-dous to you. Your wc 
te you. Try to illumir 
k of providing ammui 

Senior Editors: David Inocencio 

Assistant Editors: Michael Kroll, Omar Turcios 

Graphics/Layout Editor: Manen Pau 

Staff: Pauline Craig, Carolyn Goossen, Jill Wolfson, Allan Martinez, Patricia 
Johnson, Amanda Abies, Dennis Morton, Sheerly Avni, Jennifer Clarke, Brit- 
tany Bernard, Perry Jones, Brenda Navarro, Samantha Navarro, Victor Peter- 
son, Laura Vitaro, Justine Palefsky, Karla Serrano, Alissa Blackman, Will Roy, 
Angel Ryono, Elizabeth Crawford, Morghan Velez Young, Siliva Mortenson, 
Andrew Barba, Estella Cisneros, Allen Huang, Nic Reiner, Angelica Zabanal, 
Charles Labanowski, Kolby Hanson, Chelsea Sprick, Akima Edwards, Alfred 
Dersidan and Neela Banerjee. 

The Maricopa County, Phoenix, Arizona, Juvenile Probation Department 
Beat Staff: Joe Szulecewski, M.A., Lisa Donsker, M.C., Hillary Shluker, M.C., 
Lisa Karczewski, M.A. The detention staff are: Tammie Utter, Shannon Lech- 
ner, D. Scott Herrmann, Ph.D. Clinical Director. 

Bernalillio County Juvenile Detention & Youth Services Center Beat Staff: 

Steve Serna 

Art: Much props to everyone for the great art this week. 

Spiritual Advisor: Jac 
Special Volunteer: Na 

Book Donor: Marisela Norte 

Beat Supporters: The Beat Within greatefully acknowledges the generous sup- 
port of funders of Pacific News Service's Youth Communications Programs 
- California Arts Council, California Wellness Foundation, Christensen Fund, 
Community Foundation of Silicon Valley, Community Technology Foundation 
of California, Compton Foundation, Creative Work Fund, Cricket Island Foun- 
dation, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Ford Foundation, James Irvine Foun- 
dation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Marin Community Foundation, Morris 
Stulsaft Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Oakland Fund for Children 
and Youth, Open Society Institute, Peninsula Community Foundation, Phil- 
anthropic Ventures Foundation, S. H. Cowell Foundation, San Francisco Arts 
Commission, San Francisco Foundation, Shinnyo-en Foundation, W. Clement 
and Jessie V. Stone Foundation, Stone Circles Foundation, Stuart Foundation, 
Surdna Foundation, The California Endowment, Tides Foundation, Van Loben 
Sels/Rembe Rock Foundation, Vanguard Public Foundation, Wallace Alexan- 
der Gerbode Foundation, Walter S. Johnson Foundation, Youth Justice Funding 
Collaborative, the Zellerbach Family Fund and individual donors. 

Writers: Thanks to all the participants in our workshops in the San Francis- 
co, Maricopa County Arizona, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Bernalillio 
County New Mexico, Santa Cruz and Marin County Juvenile Halls. If you have 
any questions or comments about The Beat Within, or if you would like to 
become a subscriber, contact us at: 275 Ninth St. SFCA. 94103 or call (415) 
503-4170 or check us out at: 


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jpi/ifimm^^wMB/ jy / ' #/// 

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No Creo Perder; Al contrario, Voy A Ganar \ 

Bueno compitas, aqui estoy otra vez, otra semana mas. 
^Pues que les puedo contra? En esta ultima semana, me 
di cuenta que el dia que saiga de este lugar, voy a tener 
que irme a mi pais, Mexico. 

Por desgracia me van a deportar, pero gracias a 
Dios voy a tener la vendicion de poder ver a mi madre 
y hermanos despues de unos afios. Lo linico que me 
preocupa es que cuando me deporten, voy a tener que 
arreglarmelas como pueda. 

Me van a dejar en Tijuana, pero yo soy de Lagos de 
Moreno, Jalisco. No tengo ningiin dolar, no tengo ropa y 
no tengo nade quien me pueda ayudar. 

Gracias a Dios voy a ver a mi mamita y carnalitos otra 

Como es la vida. Tan solo hace unos meses me 
encontraba libre con mi carro, con joyas, con familia, 
y dinero. Desgraciadamente el dinero que agarraba 
vendiendo droga todo lo perdi. Por eso en primer lugar, la 

Tenia una novia y ella tenia hijos y cuando llegaron 
los policies, le quitaron los hijos y me arrestaron a mi. 
Tambien a ella le quitaron el dinero. Me lo quitaron por 
evidencia. Mi carro me lo quitaron y me quitaron mi 
libertad. Ante de todo, le doy gracias a Dios porque voy a 
ver a mi madre y hermanos. 

From The Beat: De unsk mala noticia viene la buena. Por lo menos tubistes 
la oportunidad de darte cuenta a lo que lleban las cosas negativas en 
la vida. Siempre recuerda que de la misma forma como uno obtiene el 
dinero, sk%i mismo lo pierdes. Ahoras MSk% a tu pais, y tienes que portarte 
bien porque alias las carceles no son parecidas aca. Son terrible. Si 
compararas las carceles alia con las de aqui,las de aqui son como un 
hotel a comparacion. Buena suerte! 

I Don't Think I'm Going To Lose; 
Ofl TiiG Contrary, Tii Win 

All right friends, here I am once again, and in another 
week. What can I share? This is my last week. I just found 
out that the day I leave this place, I'm going to have to 
leave to my country, Mexico. 

It's a shame I'm going to get deported, but thank to 
God I'm going to have the blessing to see my mother and 
brothers after a year. The only thing I am afraid of is that 
when I get deported, I'm going to have deal with myself in 
all ways. 

They are going to send me to Tijuana, but I am from 
Lagos de Morenos, Jalisco. I don't have a dollar on me, I 
don't have cloth and I also don't have someone who can 
support me. 

Thank God, I'm going to see my mother and brothers 

Check out how life has been to me. Just a few months, 
I was free with my car, with jewelry, with a family and 
money. Unfortunately all the money I gained by selling 
drugs, I lost it. That's why family should be in first place. 

I had a girl, and she had kids. When the police arrived, 
her kids were taken away and they arrested me. They also 
took her money. They took it for evidence. They also took 
my car and freedom. Before all, I thank God because I'm 
going to see my mother and brothers. 

-Jose, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: From a bad news, a good one always appears. At least 
you had the chance to realize where negative things take you to. Always 
keep in mind that money goes the same way you get it. Now you're 
going back to your country, and you have to behave yourself because 
the jails over there don't have anything in common to the ones we have 
here. They are terrible, if you compare their jails to the ones here, the 
ones here are like hotels room compare to the ones there. Good luck! 

Le Dny Gracias A Esa Persnna 

Le doy gracias a aquella persona quien dias tras dias, me 
ha apoyado desde el momento que yo naci. Ella estubo 
conmigo por nueve meses hasta que naci. Me mando a la 
escuela y fue por mi cuando me suspendieron. 

Ella ha estado conmigo a cada momento, en las 
buenas y en la malas. Ella ha trabajado desde que era 
muy nifia. Nunca tubo el apoyo de su familia. Mi madre 
siempre salio adelante por si misma. Conocio a mi padre 
lo cual fue un error. Ella con todo su sacrificio nos ha 
sacado adelante. 

Perdon madre por todos los disgustos que te hice 
pasar, por todo el dinero que te hecho gas tar en bano. 
Perdon por estar aqui madre. Te prometo que cuando 
saiga de aqui todo va a cambiar. Tu hijo que te quiere. 

From The Beat: A eso es lo que le llamamo ser una persona y madre 
verdadera. Es hora que tu tambien le brindes el apoyo que se merece. 
Como dijistes, ella ha luchado mucho por salir adelante, para que 
tubieras un mejor futuro, unsk mejor vida y fueras todo un hombre. 
Huncsk prometas algo si no lo MSk% a cumplir. Esperamos que uses este 
tiempo para hacer las cosas bien. 

I \m\ Tiiat Persnn 

I want to thank that person who has been there for me 
day by day since the day I was born. She was with me for 
nine months until I was born. She sent me to school and 
went for me when I got suspended. 

She has been with me at all times, through good and 
bad. She has worked since she was a kid. She never had 
the support of her family. My mother succeeded by her 
own efforts. She met my dad who was an error. She made 
many sacrifices that helped her make us succeed. 

Forgive me for all the bad moments I've made you go 
through, for all the money you have to pay for nothing. 
Forgive me for being here mother. I promise that when I 
get out, everything will change. Your son, who loves you. 

-Lil' Chilango, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: That's what we call a real woman and mother. It's time 
for you to give her the support she needs. Like you said, she has fought 
very hard so you can succeed, to have a better future, and to become a 
real man. Never promise something that you won't keep. We hope you 
u%e this time to help you do things right. 

Tiie Beast 

There's someone that acts like a beast and has a heart 

made of tin. 

Someone that stands in a corner, at times looking 

forward to sin. 

He will squash his opponent like a spider and he won't 

regret it. 
Turn him into a ghost and as blood spills, he will spread 

He doesn't loose anything, just makes humans have 

nightmares and fear. 
Turning rivals to history, while loved ones shed tear 

after tear. 
And he stands in the moonlight staring at the same 

grave as he puts down some fiowers. 
A sad expression on his face, he just keeps standing 

there for hours and hours. 
Hope in his mind, wondering when this madness will 

He turns around, walks away and gets ready to sin again. 

-Issac, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: This is a tragic character, Issac. And sk% you know, there 
are real life characters like this. Best to write about than to be one. And 
very good writing it is. 


jpi/ifimm^^wMB/ jy / ' #/// 

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My Story 

My story is about my life. To who ever reads this you may 
want to get some Kleenex for when you cry or some chill 
pills for when some parts make you angry. 

What drove me to writing this was I wanted to let my 
past go, so I decide to type it out when I had some extra 
time in the d-home. 

Today's date is May 7, 2008. I've been locked up in this 
D-home (Juvenile Hall) for about 72 days to be exact. Well 
that's not the beginning of my story well let me start it out 
from when I was born. 

Chapter one - "Unexpected birth to a mother of two 
kids already at the age of nineteen." 

The morning of September nine in nineteen ninety two was 
the morning my mom had me at Chinle Arizona's Hospital. 
My doctor was Dr. Webster. At that point I was seven pounds 
seven ounces. 

My mom was that single mom when she had me but 
guess a little after that she started dating my little sister's 
to be dad. His name is P. Skinner. 

I can't remember much as a baby but as my toddler 
years came into play was around my kindergarten year in 
Chinle. I remember my first day at school because the first 
day of school in my entire life was the worst. I remember 
that I wouldn't let my mom or "dad" go for nothing. I cried 
forever in the principle's office when my parents left me. 
Then I'd say an hour later I went to class with a lot of 
other kids. The teacher made me write a lot she told me to 
practice my ABC's even though I didn't want to do it. But 
then the last bell to go home came and I was the happiest 
kid that day at school I ran outside forgetting my book bag 
and jacket in the classroom. I ran for my mom and then 
came after me was my teacher saying I forgot some things. 
My mom grabbed them and then we started to walk home. 

So even though some kids are excited for their first day 
of school I wasn't one bit because I thought I wouldn't see 
my mom again or my "dad". 

So the next day was a little better but not as much. 
But time went by when I was used to school. Sometimes 
I would go to school because I was scared of staying at 
home because my mom would start to hit me when I did 
something wrong. I remember once I used to many q-tips 
and I hid them in my room under my bed. She found them 
when I was at school, so when I came back from school I 
didn't get a hug for my good report card but I got a smack 
on the face by my mom because she found my q-tips I had 
hid. I think that was the first time my mom ever hit me. 

After that I was getting hit regularly at home because I 
did something to piss off my mom. But I wouldn't want to 
stay home for any of that so I had no choice but to go to 

Chapter 2 - "My mom is missing!" 

As I got older like around the age of seven or eight I stayed 
with my auntie, because we got kicked out of our old house 
in Phoenix because my mom was smoking pot and drinking 
too much. When I went to stay with my auntie my mom 
went back to Phoenix and she said she'd be back in a week 
because she had to try and get the rest of our stuff and an 

apartment for us to live. She came back in a week with 
my little sister. She left her with my auntie and the rest 
of us and said she forgot to do something in Phoenix and 
that she would be back in a week and that we'll be going 
back to Phoenix with her in a week. 

Then a week went by and there was no sign of her I 
started getting scared that she wouldn't come back, and it 
was almost a year that we couldn't find her. 

Until one day my grandparents came to visit us and 
they never visit my auntie unless it's really important, so 
that day they didn't say anything but to pack a bag worth 
of three days of cloths. So we did and that afternoon we 
headed off for Phoenix and we got there at night and we 
went to Paul's sister's house where we used to live before. 
She gave my auntie a piece of paper and she gave it to my 
grandpa he started the truck and we went down the street 
and two more streets to the left and stopped in front of this 
house and waited for a while. 

Then I'd say about a half hour later I saw a figure walk 
up the street in our direction and something told me that 
it was my mom. I got out of the truck and ran to her it was 
my mom and I was so happy because I hadn't seen her in a 
year and I wouldn't let her go. 

I was crying so much my eyes swelled up, but then we 
(my sister and me) went to her boyfriend's apartment. He 
was a white guy and I didn't like him one bit. Then my 
sister and I ended up staying with our mom and her new 
boyfriend in Phoenix. 

Chapter 3 - "This place is hell!" 

As time went by I started to realize I didn't have my real 
mom. This woman who was supposed to be my mom 
was a way different person then I had pictured her in the 
beginning. This woman was starting to get used to doing 
drugs around her kids like it didn't hurt us like there was 
nothing to it. 

I then became scared of my mom and her new boyfriend. 
When they would go and get high in their room me and 
my sister would have to stay in the house at all times and 
never answer the door to anyone. 

Once I called the cops on her and "Rich", her boyfriend, 
and when the cops came she denied everything and told 
the cops that I like to make up lies to hurt her. None of that 
was one bit true. 

After that when my mom and Rich would get high they 
would lock me and my sister up in our closed or their 
closet for days at a time with no food only a bucket of water 
and a bag of old chips. My sister and me would beg them 
to let us out, and we even said we'd stay inside and not tell 
on them again. To this day my mom would still deny this, 
deny locking my sister and me up. I guess it's because she 
and Rich used to do meth, crack, and heroin, but my mom 
would still smoke week and drink occasionally. But this I 
would have to admit was hell! Even though my sister was 
too little to remember sometimes I think she can remember 
some parts of it. 

- Shenee, Land Of Enchantment 

From The Beat: You are skn incredible writer and courageous young person 
in telling this heartfelt story. We are honored to help you share such stn 
important piece of your life, a life that is only going to get better in time!! 
We look forward to reading more in the next installment!! 



jpi/ifimm^^wMB/ jy / ' #/// 

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My Big Scary Father 

Well, where should I start? I've never really met my 
father — to me he's just always been the big scary man 
who lives on the fourth floor of my grandma' house in the 
city. The only time I see much of him is when he goes to 
the bathroom, or if he's in the kitchen, or if he's in the 
living room on the couch, playing one of his video games, 
like he always does, and I've always been the one to speak 
first. I would at least say, "Hi," or something, but it always 
felt weird, because he is the adult and I am the child. But 
I guess I created so many excuses for him that I ran out 
and couldn't. I just had to accept the fact that not only 
has my mom neglected me my whole life, my father wants 
nothing to do with me. 

And everyone needs a father figure in their life. But 
mine just wasn't there, so when I finally gave up looking, 
I met this person who could do more for me — be my best 
friend, my everything, teach me good ways and positive 
things. And I consider him like a daddy and still try to 
maintain a relationship, and it works, and he makes me 
so happy. But when I told him about the situation with 
my father, he told me that his passed away when he was 
really young, and if he was still here, he would have so 
much to tell him, but he's not, and he encouraged me to 
give my dad a call, and I did, for two weeks straight, and 
he kept saying he was at work and that he would get back 
to me, but he never did. 

I did ask him (my dad) what he did for a living, because 
I've always wanted to know, and he works for EA Sports, 
the game company. No wonder he always gave me video 
games and a load of cash for my birthday. But this is how 
I know he doesn't know anything about me, because I 
hate videogames, but, yeah, one day I just kept calling 
him all day because I just wanted to have a conversation 
with him and I woke up the next morning with a message 
on my machine, with him saying, the reason he never 
gave me his phone number is because he didn't want 
me calling him, bothering him, and that I'm just like my 
mom — I only call him when I want something. All I wanted 
was a father. 

-Desiray, Marin 

From The Beat: You sound like you've really tried to be a loving daughter 
for your dad. But is there any righteousness to what your father is 
saying? When you think back, did your mom hit your dad up for money 
and not be very grateful when he gave it to her? Have you ever asked 
him for money and not let him know how appreciative you were? Why 
don't you keep calling him just to let him know you miss and need 
him sk% a father, without ever mentioning money, so he'll learn that you 
really care about him? He'll learn to trust your heart. 

I Am Grateful 

I am going to be honest, before I got locked up I took a lot 
of stuff for granted, my family, work, education, friends. 
Time is something that you will never get back. 

I missed my little brother's birthday and Mother's 
Day. At first, I couldn't even look at myself because I 
know I had caused a lot of damage with my loved ones. 
I miss my mom like crazy. All I could do is think. I feel 
completely empty because I thought I never could feel 
like this. 

Regardless of the odds, I'm not going to keep messing 
up, I refuse to be a statistic. I'm gonna make something of 

I am so grateful for every breath I take. I thank God 
every morning for waking me up and giving me the 
strength to keep going. I am grateful for my blessings. I'm 
still standing, I'm still going. I refuse to give up. I have 
made so many mistakes in my life, and being in here has 
opened my eyes. 

My point of view has completely changed. You can't 
take things for granted. You can lose someone at any 
moment. I'm grateful for my loved ones, I'ma make it for 
them, and most importantly myself. 

-Laura, Alameda 

From The Beat: Your piece made this Beat editor want to stand up and 
cheer! This could be a speech at a high school graduation, at a church, 
at a political rally... You have strength and a great way with words and 
whole lot of life to live ahead of you. 

Grateful For Knowledge 

Something that I'm grateful for is my knowledge. 
I'm grateful for this because an OG once told me that 
knowledge is one thing that nobody in this world can take 
from you once you have it. A cop can take your freedom, 
the bigger man can take your manhood, a thief can take 
your jewelry. But no one person in this world can take 
away your knowledge. So I may not have much knowledge, 
but what I got is mine and no one in this world will ever be 
able to take that from me. This is what I'm grateful for. 

-Frankie, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: You say you may not have much knowledge, but even 
the knowledge this piece proves you have is quite a lot. The OG was so 
right. Knoiwledge can never be removed from your mind. And the other 
great thing about knowledge is that gathering it never ends. The brain 
never stops learning — if learning is what you want. We're so glad that 
you do! 

Daddy Wasn't There 

Daddy wasn't there 

To take me to the fair 

Daddy wasn't there 

To change my underwear 

Daddy wasn't there 

To comb my hair 

Daddy wasn't there 

To take me to school 

Daddy wasn't there 

To show me the good rules 

Daddy wasn't there 

To take me to the game 

Daddy wasn't there 

To give me my first name. 

-Paul, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Do you believe that by your father not being around 
has taken a toll on your life and who you are? Would your life had been 
different if he was around? Well, your old enough to depend on yourself 
now, you don't need him. Now it's time to become a man, 
was needed in your home. 

, the man that 


jpi/ifimm^^wMB/ jy / ' #/// 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,// 

My Thoughts 

Our lives are full of strife and struggle. Even though we're 
locked up away from our families, we endure years and 
months. Time jacks our youth, and when we get out, not 
even work in a tollbooth. Nobody seems to understand 
what a prisoner feels and thinks. The DA isn't the one 
doing the time without their family and loved ones. They 
have no idea how it feels. I think their dumb asses are 
scared to do the time with people that have nothing to 

All the DA and judge can do is prosecute and sentence 
humans to years away from everything, thinking they're 
doing something right. But once those snakes get you 
in the system, they'll keep sucking everything they can 
out of U.S. citizens. They know for sure they'll harass 
and incarcerate us again. It's the way they work. Punks 
never even felt the way we feel being locked up. That's 
why they waste lives by just pounding the hammer and 
stamps. Shhh, they don't know that it only makes people 
crazy and violent. Or maybe they do, so when we go out 
they'll arrest us for the crime you committed before, even 
though you're just trying to feed your stomach. 

We get arrested for small-time hustling. Who's the 
hustler though, really? I'll tell you who is, the Governor 
is. Everybody that has anything to do with the system. 
Even the parking lot outside of court is a friggin' hustle. 
They can't get enough of broke people's money, or just the 
rush they get off seeing brown and black people locked 
up in a little-ass room, away from our loved ones. Plus, 
they act like their shhh don't smell bad. 

Clowns don't even want to see two seconds of an 
inmate being happy or simply smile. They're haters, and 
it makes inmates even worse. But our temporary insanity 
is what's keeping their pockets fat as an obese person. 
Put a judge in one of those rooms even for a week from 
their luxuries and freedom, I bet they'll sympathize. But 
like I said, they've never done time so they don't give a 
damn. So we're damned! 

I pray for every inmate doing hard time, even the ones 
with sentences as light as feathers. Amen. Much love and 
respecto to all the homeboys in the pinta or that are on 
the way. Alrato. Late. 

-Smirk, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Even though we don't really think anyone really gets a 
rush from seeing young people (of any color) in cages, we agree with 
your basic premise, that those in charge of putting kids in cages really 
can't understand the terrible effects it has on them because they have 
never experienced what it's like. But even so, that doesn't mean you're 
damned, it only means that responsibility falls on your young shoulders 
to make the changes in your life necessary to stay system-free. Is it fair 
to ask you to make all the adjustments while those in power just keep 
doing the same hurtful things to kids in trouble? Of course it's not. But 
experience tells u% that if there is to be change, it will come from you 
and not from them. (After all, their hustles are paying off big time for 
them...) And, by the way, skn^one who can write this well and express 
his feelings with such clarity and passion does not need to be doing the 
things that lead here... 

Throuohout My Eyes 

Throughout my blood shot eyes would scare a square to death. 

Poverty, murder, violence, and never a moment to rest. 

Fun and games are few but treasured like gold to me. 

But I realize that I must return to my spot in poverty. 

But mark my words when I say my heart will not exist 

unless my destiny comes through and puts an end to all 

of this. 

-Damani, Alameda 

From The Beat: Your writing continues to grow Damani, and we're 
consistently impressed with your improvement. We think that you can 
put sktt end to the path your life is going down, and make the destiny 
you want for yourself happen. 


I do have different handshakes with different people. It 
al depends on the person! If it's an older person, whether 
I know or not, I'll show respect with a proper handshake. 
But if it's a long-time known homeboy, I add a hug and 
special greeting. Or, if I run into a homie that believes in 
the same cause or other things I do, I'll show some love, 

A lot of people switch up the handshakes to all kinds 
of different movements and finger locking, but either way, 
it is what it is, knawamean? We're all still worth the same 
and all equal. 

I stick with my handshakes, though. They haven't 
changed. And I don't plan to change them. It's who I am, 
and I like myself a lot. 

-Smirk, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We're impressed. Smirk. You have firm opinions and the 
ability to express them very clearly. We like that you like yourself a lot, 
and if your writing is a window into your soul, we like you a lot, too. 
We have only one question: What's a talented thinker and writer like 
yourself doing in a place like this? (Actually, we have another question, 
too: What does this talented thinker and writer hope to do with his life, 
and what's his plan for doing it?) 

What I Want 

I want to be able to live a day in my life when I don't feel 
like I need to smoke weed, drink alcohol or pop pills just 
to function right. I want to be able to tell my parents how I 
feel and that I understand the heartaches they get when I 
don't come home or call for days. I want to be able to kick 
it with the homies without having to hide from the cops 
just for being who I am. I want to change my life. 

-Tim-Tim, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We don't knoiw hoiw long you've been here, but for that 
time, you have not smoked weed, had alcohol to drink or popped stny 
pills. Why not build on that foundation when you're out of here to see 
how long you can go with a clear and sober mind? We think that you'll 
find it easier to accomplish your other goals if you stay alcohol free, like 
telling your parents how you feel. If you have to hide from the cops just 
because of who you are, that's messed up. 

Out Of The 'Hood And On WitlilVly Life 

People are always talkin' about being from the ghettos 
and how hard they are, like it's cool. But even I'm from 
a pretty ghetto place, and I never was proud of where I'm 

Growing up, my grandma and mom would always say 
to get out of there and make something with my life. I 
haven't made nothin' of my life yet, but I got out of my 
home town. The only time I got there is to see my family. 
And when I do go back, kids I would hang out with are 
mean, strung out on drugs, and a lot of them are white 

I feel like if I hadn't got out of there, I'd be just like 
their little armies of haters. And I've never wanted to be 
like that. I don't plan on being some rich businessman in 
the suit and nice car, but I would like to have a landscaping 
or construction business one day because I like to work 
hard for what I got. I like the sentimental value. I don't 
think you have to be rich to be satisfied. 

-Dustin, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We're sure you don't have to be rich to be satisfied 
because we know some very unhappy rich people (and some very 
happy people who are not rich). Even though you say you haven't made 
anything of your life yet, we can't agree with you. What you've written 
here tells u% that you are already making something of your life, because 
it all starts in the mind. You already know a lot about what you want in 
life and ivhat you don't ivant in life, and the things you iwant are iwithin 
your grasp. Have you done landscaping? Where? What are your plans for 
school? Keep moving in the direction this piece indicates, and we think 
you'll make your grandma, your mom — and yourself — very proud! 


jpi/ifimm^^wMB/ jy / ' #/// 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,// 


I Want To Take A Walk With Myself 

What I wanna do is get out of tliis house and get to the 
world. Begin the life that I have, like go to college and 
work. Hopefully I didn't lose my job. Also get my car 
back and keep going with the life I had before I got in this 

I wanna be able to go eat with my parents, and see my 
brother. Also, be able to take a walk with myself whenever 
I want. 

I'm very grateful with my parents' life, where I'm at, 
and for who I am. This is what I have to say: I'm proud for 
who I am and what I'm capable of doing, and for being able 
to see, hear, walk, say and feel. 

This is what I want. 

-Angel, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We admire both your goals and your gratitude for what 
you already have in your life. We're confused, though, about why you 
would risk losing so much for whatever it was you did that you found 
more important (at least for that moment) than your parents, your 
brother, or your dreams for the future. We hope you get out of here 
soon and resume the life you were living — minus the things that lead 
back here! 

Grateful To Be Here 

I'm grateful to be here even though I hate this place. 
I'm grateful to have my own room equipped with my own 
bathroom. I even get to choose what bed I would like to 
sleep on for that night, even though the mattress feels as 
hard as the concrete floor, they're both still mine. 

I'm thankful for my three meals even though they 
may look or smell like Pedigree and Meow Mix, at least at 
times I get my favorite cereal, Trix. 

I'm grateful for my staff even though they may lecture 
me. I just prepare myself to listen to that same ol' CD. So 
I'm grateful to be here, at least no one's beating me. 

-Diamond Girl, Alameda 

From The Beat: You are not alone. Juvy can feel like a safe place for a 
lot of kids. Can you talk to your PO or your lawyer about the situation 
at home? Their job is to protect you and advocate for you. They should 
help you find some resources to protect you from sin abusive home 
environment. We urge you to reach out for help. 

Am I Grateful? How Would You Know? 

Am I grateful or am I cursed to a downfall 

When I first met her it was at Silver Creek 

She was like a legend of goddess beauty 

I know my heart goes out to Mrs. B 

Honestly, it's because of her that I can see 

With one touch she made my heart skip a beat 

And with her it wasn't just about hitting the sheets 

I was and am willing to give up my thug mentality 

When can you truly say you're in love 

Is it when you know she was sent to you from up above 

My love for her runs deeper than the Nile 

Hopefully one day she will walk down the aisle 

The words "I love you" don't begin to describe how I feel 

But with her, nothing can be fake it feels so real 

The world is ours to explore 

But she is the only one I will adore 

Baby, know that I will always love you 

And nobody will ever be placed above you 

(This goes out to that special girl. 

You know who you are.) 

-Brandon, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We hardly ever give POWs to love poems, but this is 
no ordinary love poem. This asks some very profound questions about 
the very nature of love. Plus, you put forward the promise that you're 
giving up your "thug mentality" for the love of her. That is a tremendous 
promise to make, and a sign that you maturing mind %ee% what's truly 
valuable in this life. That, in itself, is stn accomplishment, and we hope 
you follow through. 

Trylog To Keep The Love We Lost Alive 

Time's slippin', but I'm never gonna let it go 

Thinkin' back, memories seemin' so old 

They paint a picture, perfect peace in the past 

The rough times when my dad tried to make it last 

It ain't a crime, trying to keep the love we lost alive 

Sixteen, and all I feel is the pain inside 

I try hard to make these feelings deep inside survive 

To not cry when they ask how my dad died 

I'm at the limit and you can't understand why 

These hard times, all I'm living for is the sky 

I've prayed hard for the chance just to say "Goodbye" 

For my sign, so I know that he's watching by 

But life is messed up and no prayer's gonna save me 

No mercy, no prosperity 

I'm living on the edge, living on the head of a pin 

Thrown off, can't see where to start or begin 

-IVIiguel, IVIarin 

From The Beat: When your dad dies, it can hurt like no other pain, and 
it's so sad if over time, you can't exactly recall his face, hear his voice 
in your head. But now that you're aching so much and are so alone and 
vulnerable, can you do whatever you need to do to get your life off the 
edge and back to normal? Do you have your family to live with? Do you 
go to school? Whatever you need to do to restore your life, will help you 
heal. You totally have our hearts. 

Yoo Hoflor 

Dear Your Honor, 

My name is Grimy Phase. I am writing this letter to 
ask for forgiveness. Today I had court and unfortunately I 
came out positive for THC. I came in today happy because 
I thought I was going to get my E.M. removed and finally 
get to see my father who lives in another county and who 
I haven't seen in over a month. But because of my stupid 
decisions from the past, things didn't go as planned. 
Honestly Your Honor, I don't want to be here. 

This is not only affecting me, but it's breaking my 
mother's heart and affecting my little sister and my little 
3-year-old brother. He needs me more than anything and 
honestly I do too. I also don't want to be here because 
I'm better outside than in here. I'm really a good young 
man, but just committed stupid decisions, and who is to 
blame? Me? 

We are humans; we commit mistakes and learn from 
our mistakes. I personally learned a lot from my first 
mistake which had me end up in here. But Your Honor, 
I'm really not a bad child. I'm good at the house, respectful 
to adults, I assist church every Sunday, I go to school and 
get good grades. Hey, I even scored the 2nd highest in 
my whole school on my Pre SAT test. I'm a very smart 
student and I've been told that I am a bright leader. I also 
have dreams. 

My dreams are to go to college and major in Urban 
Sociology. My chances of reaching those dreams and 
receiving that diploma are really in jeopardy. And that's 
why. Your Honor, I ask for forgiveness. Please give me 
another chance, and if given that chance, I make a personal 
commitment to be drug-free and be a law-abiding citizen. 
Please give me that chance. Your Honor. That's all I have 
to say to you. Your Honor. 

Sincerely, Grimy Phase 

-Grimy Phase, Alameda 

From The Beat: This is a very well thought out and well written letter. 
You know you have a lot going for you, all you have to do is keep your 
motivation going and make it happen. You will get your chance to make 
your dreams happen. It may not be sk% soon sk% you would like it to be, 
you may have to wait for that chance, but you'll get it. We know you 
can live up to your potential and your dreams if you choose to. It^ up 
to you once you get out to make it happen for yourself. 


jpi/ifimm^^wMB/ jy / ' #/// 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,// 


Happy Father's Day, Mom 

What's up with The Beat? This that ninja Mike holding 
it down another week behind these walls. Father's Day, 
huh? What can I say about it? I really didn't have a dad 
while I was growing up. I mean, I had a dad, but he was 
never around. He was the type that just popped up ever 
once in a while. 

I sort of blame him for me being the way I am now. I 
can't blame him for all of it, but I can blame him for some. 
I blame him for me ever experiencin' this shhh. If he was 
there, I would have not been involved in the streets. The 
only reason I started was because I was needing the 
feeling of a older male sibling around. So, since he wasn't 
there, I went out lookin' for it, and I found it in the block. 
That's how it all started. 

But whenever Father's Day come around, I do have 
somebody I say Happy Father's Day to. That person is my 
mom. She deserves the title of father, just as she do of 
mother. When I was out there running the street, who was 
always there for me? My mom. She didn't like the things 
I was doing, but at least she was there tryin' to show me 
that it was more t life besides the block. Even when she 
knew I wasn't listening, she was still tryin' to put it in my 

When shhh was going on and I needed somebody to 
talk to, she was all ears. I'm a goon to the streets, but to 
my mama I'm still her baby. She raised a street ninja by 
herself. She a hell of a lady. The shhh I'm doing now ain't 
got nothing to do with how she raised me. It's killing me to 
know that I'm running my mama crazy. It's coo', though, 
'cause this shhh is over. It was good while it lasted, but 
all good shhh comes to the end. 

That's all I got to say this week. Happy Father's Day, 

-Mike, San Francisco 

From The Beat: As unfortunate sk% it is to grow up with stn absent 
(irresponsible) father, you are so iucicy to have the mother you have! Of 
course, she is also iucicy to have you because you Icnow how iucicy you 
are. When you %«y that "all good shhh comes to stn end," you're really 
just saying good-bye to childhood. Take our word for it, there is more 
"good shhh" ahead, if you folloiw your own wise commitment to change 
the way you've been living and become the responsible man your mama 
raised you to be. 

For The People lo My Life 

I'm thankful for the people I have in my life... my family, 
my girl and my friends. Without them, I'll be lost in life. 
Everything would just fall apart. I'm the type of person 
who needs lots of love. And, yeah, I got love in my life. 
Just sometimes I don't be thankful for the things in my 

That's why when I get out of juvenile hall I'm gonna 
hug and kiss my mom, my dad, my five brothers and my 
girlfriend. My family always tried to keep me on track, but 
I just slip too much. My girlfriend always tries to keep 
me out of trouble, telling me not to do tings that will get 
me in trouble. But sometimes I get too ignorant and hard 
headed and don't listen. That's how I got here in the first 

I love everyone who's been there in my life, and 
thankful to the fullest for everything. One life, one love... 

-Naime, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We're glad we could give you stn opportunity to express 
your gratitude for all the blessings in your life (especially your family 
and girlfriend), and we're glad that you toolc advantage of that 
opportunity here. We hope you Icnow how Iucicy you are to have such 
powerful support in your corner... And we hope you begin to show 
them how deep your appreciation is by listening to their warnings and 
staying where you belong, which is with them. 

Why Me? 

Father's Day. 

I wish I had somebody to 

Celebrate this day with. 

My father's been gone since 

The day I was born. 

Incarcerated for 17, going on 18 years now! 

I pray every night that he's doing alright. 

I wish he would write me sometime. 

But he never did. 

He wrote my sister saying that 

I'm not his kid. 

It broke my heart from what 

I had read. 

I had written him a 7 page letter 

Saying why would you say that? 

It hurt me a lot how he claimed 

My other brothers and sister. 

But nothing I can do but kick 

Back and live my life. 

He's never been there, so why cry now? 


-Kimberly, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: That^ a very sad situation, for all of you. We remember 
now that you've written about this before. To talk about it and to write 
about it is probably the best thing you can do to come to terms with 
it. And remember this: the fellow you've always thought of si% your 
father is in a very tough place, emotionally and physically. He^ doing 
his best to survive. To receive a letter from you that simply expresses 
your affection and concern, whether he's your father, or not, might be 
skn important gift - for both of you. 

Thank You 

Thank you for the letter you sent me. It made me feel 
better . Easy to rip, but hard to break- like a penny. 
Staring at the trees through my window, I remember when 
we used to kick it on the streets. When you were broke, 
I gave you money. You needed a place to sleep, "come 
to my pad, homie". This life of crime, full of ups and so 
many downs. You always tell me that we're waiting at 
home 'til you touch down. 

My advice: stay out of the system. When you see 
my son, tell him that I love him. Stay away from all this 
madness because you pay the price with your life. 

-Sinner, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: A sad and beautiful and heartfelt piece of writing. Are 
you keeping a journal? If not, we'd be happy to get one for you. We 
think you should be writing everyday. Open your heart and let the 
words flow. Thank you for this open letter to your friend, it's full of love 
and good advice. 

White Walls 

Everytime I wake up and see "white walls" 

Everytime I look up and see "white walls" 

If I keep livin' this life I'm gonna always see these "white 

From the decisions that I made I gotta see these "white 


Until I get released I gotta see these "white walls" 

I think of my mistakes when I see these "white walls" 

I gotta do what it takes not to see these "white walls" 

I'm thinkin' of a better way when I see these "white 


-Lil Fred, Alameda 

From The Beat: You've got a good flow with this piece, we can see the 
effort you put into it. All you gotta do now is follow up on it in a real 
way. Make a plan, think of a better way, and just do what it takes to 
stay away from those walls man. 


jpi/ifimm^^wMB/ jy / ' #/// 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,// 

The Lonely Warrior 

I the lonely warrior walk 

Through this land of courage 

Without hope or despair 

Our native land turns to a waste 

This destruction of horror 

For this passion of violence 

From sunset to sunrise 

Forever the screams 

I the native warrior walk 

Through this land with hate, 

Sorrow, passion, and sadness 

I the savage skull walk through 

This land without fear, pain, or 

Knowing that I wont live 

To tomorrow 

My sins shall fade away like 

My enemies in the dark 

-Lonely Warrior, Alameda 

From The Beat: This piece is very sophisticated and we're really impressed 
with it. There seems to be a lot of wisdom in it, but also %skAne%%. We 
hope you can find your hope and rise above the environment you find 
yourself in now. We also hope that if you do write for The Beat again 
you put your name so you can get credit for your work! 

Mama's Boy Nam 

Dear Mama 

I know you see yo' lil' boy growing up 

I was bad as a lil' kid and I'm still cutting up 

But no matter what I do Mama I want you to know 

I want you to be happy not sad no mo 

I want the best for you cause lord knows you deserve it 

Always by my side cause ya love for me is permanent 

And for that Mama I want to give you the world 

And no matter what happens you'll always be my girl 

And when I get out Mama I'm gonna tcike you out the hood 

No more bills no more stress just living good 

And I'm gonna do right by you even behind these locked doors 

I love you Mama please forgive me. 

Sincerely yours. 

-Nam, Alameda 

From The Beat: Nice piece, once again! We like the letter format of your 
rap, and we like your flow a lot. We hope you do pursue this desire to 
treat your mama well, and we hope you do it on the level, and don't 
show up locked up again. We'd like to read a book of your work on the 


To me, writing is probably one of the best things that 
you can do when you're locked up. That's why The Beat 
Within is pretty coo' because the people that come and 
bring us the Beat don't have to do it. They come more just 
to help us out and give us something to look forward to. 
And it really feels good inside to see your piece come out 
in the Beat. 

To others it might not be a big deal, but to us in here it 
really means a lot. It's a good way to express yourself. And 
it's pretty much the only way. But anyway, I'm grateful for 
the Beat. It makes me want to come back to this place! Ha 
ha! Just playing. 

Well, I'm out. Till next time. Much love to all that read 

-Cholo, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: The Beat does more than just help you express 
yourselves, it also helps u% learn about you and the lives so many of 
you are subjected to. To u%, you are The Beat, and we are grateful to 
you. Of course, you don't have to stop writing when you get out of here, 
in fact, you can always write for The Beat, even when you're a free man 
living the life you choose. 

The Depression 

What's good with The Beat? It's just ya boy, Tha Dude, 
located at the Ranch, ready to do it movin' up out of here. 
I got a new original piece fo' the world. 

I know, well... I hope y'all know 'bout the Depression 
of the 1930's. Well, at that time it was so messed up, that 
almost everybody lost their farms and homes. If you didn't 
have long money, you wasn't stayin' at the spot with the 
fam. The bankers and landowners made it to where you 
had to do it pushin'. They turned the small land, tliey 
took it into big ass farms. And during this time people 
was goin' through it and everybody suffered except them 
rich white people. 

Well, we go, go to the current time. Right now we are 
in a depression! Let me break those words down to you 
stupid fools. The USA is broke! But people fail to see the 
fact. Why are prices on everything going up rapidly? I 
know everybody heard about that "free" $600 they 'bout 
to give out. They giving that money to y'all, so y'all can 
spend it on items in the hopes of boosting sales, and they 
hoping to get they money back long, because it's looking 
shorter than Gary Coleman! But they gave out that money 
not knowing that people goin' to spend it on bills. 

I'm going lost fo' words, and I'm go finish this next 
week, maybe. I'm out Beat. 

-Tha Dude, San Francisco 

From The Beat: You're right, many small farmers, of every ethnic 
group, have had to sell their farms to large farm corporations, during 
the Depression of the '30s, and that continues today. There are many 
theories about what's causing the current rise in the prices of oil, food, 
of almost everything-the devaluation of the dollar, the war in Iraq, 
World Bank and IMF loans to poor countries that can't repay the loans, 
the selling of water rights to private organizations, etc. There have been 
food riots in Haiti, Bangladesh, Guinea, Indonesia, Mauritania, Mexico, 
Uzbekistan, and Egypt. Parts of Vietnam and China are rationing rice, sk% 
are Sam's Club and Costco in the US. Truckers in New Jersey and around 
the US are pulling their big rigs off the highway on strike, because of 
the price of diesel fuel. 

My Dad Is a Girl! 

I do not know my father. No, he did not die - he just 
wasn't there. I've met him only two times in my whole 
life. Once when I was little, and the other was at my court 
date. I didn't know he would be there. 

When I see him I didn't even know it was him until 
my lawyer said my father was there. Father's Day is 
something I just don't do. 

I do have a dad though - my mom's girlfriend. She 
has been in my family for seven years. She raised me 
and my two little brothers. Even though I don't know my 
father, she has made up for it. She took care of me and my 
brothers like we were her own. Yes, I call her my "Dad." 
She is the only father/dad I know and love. 

She is locked up now, just like me. It has been a 
year and a half since she as been home. My mom and 
everyone misses her. I'm scared about what will happen 
when she gets home, because we might not get to stay 
together because of legal issues. When I got in trouble, I 
was scared to tell her. I didn't know what she would say 
or if she would be mad at me. But when I told her she 
wasn't mad. She was sad, I think she was crying because 
hen she wrote me it was smudged. She told me that it will 
be ok and that when she gets out she will help as best as 
she can. I can't wait to get out and see her again. So yes, 
my dad is a girl and I love her. If you have a problem with 
it, I don't care. I love her. Late. 

-Monkey, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Monkey, this is skn amazing piece and hopefully, all the 
homophobic people out there will read this and hear the love in your 
heart and understand that love is more powerful than hate. Now that 
your mom and dad can get married, perhaps the legal problems you are 
worried about will be over! 


jpi/ifimm^^wMB/ jy / ' #/// 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,// 

If My Dad Was Here 

Well, my father passed away a month before I was born, 
but I think of a lot of things that could be different. 

If my dad was here, my mom would have not been 
doing drugs. Since he died, things have been hell. My 
mom really don't take care of us, my grans do. I wish 
he was here because my brother wouldn't have to worry 
about my mom doing what she does. That's why I wish 
he was here. I would of never probably been the problem 
child that I am, because I would of had that father figure 
and the mother that I need. 

So I wish my dad a Happy Father's Day, and even 
though he's gone, I still think about him and wonder 
about him. 

I met some family on my father's side and they're cool 
but I don't like them because they never come around, 
probably when I was younger but I don't remember them 
as I got older. They never offered my mom help with me 
and my brother or nothing. 

My bro' got a chance to know him, but he never looked 
into my eyes and saw his daughter and taught her things. 
As I wonder about these things in my life, I would never 
know how would it have been like if he were here. 

-Thesha, Alameda 

From The Beat: We are so sorry that you didn't have a chance to know 
your father and that his family has not made more of skn effort to have 
a relationship with you and your brother. Just remember that you have 
a good heart, and you probably have a lot of your dad's personality 
in you. Maybe, by thinking about that, you can let the future unfold 
with new possibilities, and you can rise up from the 
drug abuse and neglect that your mom has put 
you through. You can make him proud, even 
now. He ivill sk\vtx^% be ivith you, in your 
heart and in the choices you make. You 
were his final gift to the world! What a 
wonderful opportunity to honor him. 


Fatherhood, is it the man that 
makes him love me more, or is 
it my face that brings him joy? 

Fatherhood, I wonder how 
he feels about me. Knows I'm 
getting older now and I know I 
shouldn't be runnin' wild doin' 
me in these crazy streets, but 
he's not here to stop me and my 
tears. Five years and a few more 
to go. My heart is cold because 
he's not here, so is it the man 
that makes him abandon me? 
Feelin' like only my granny loves 
me, or is it a man who doesn't fully 
understand me and feels he can jus 
leave me? 

Fatherhood, it sounds good but 
right now my life is a mess. Sooner or 
later, I'll be wearing a bullet proof vest to 
protect my chest. 

Fatherhood, I can't even get into the 
rest. I love my father, even though he's 
gone I'm still standing strong. 

-Young Daughter, Alameda 

From The Beat: Your words bring tears to our eyes. Not only 
the pain and confusion of trying to figure out your father's emotions 
and motives, but also the isolation you are dealing with on this long 
journey through the juvenile "justice" system. You explore with your 
writing: not just yourself but the minds of other people sk% well. Please 
know that we care about you and are so glad that you write. As for your 
name "Savage," well, you need another name for The Beat, sorry. 

Jail aka Day Care 

I wake up and make my bed open air 
Sometime I'm not aware that life isn't fair 
And sometime I think this is a joke like I'm stuck in a 


I go to court in five days I wish I could save my despair 

'Cause they are trying to send me to a group home out in 

San Jose somewhere 
I need to get rid of my stress and take in a breath of fresh 


But it's hard cause at night I have evil nightmares 

And most of them are about me getting out , man I need 

some prayer 

My moms on the outs stuck on welfare 

Just trying feed my baby sister while my step-dad is having 

a love affair 

And my grandma taught me to never compare each other 

She's the one who taught me how to love my mother 

I was always angry at my mom but I had to get through that 

because it was do or die 
I didn't know why my mom went crazy I just couldn't 


But I learned to rely on my grandma 

So bless her heart and help her to get by 

I pray for my grandma that's an every day thing 

My grandma is my heart and soul and pieces together 


She's the one who taught me how to tie my shoe strings 

And when I was little she always kept me under her wing 

And on the outs my grandma has me living like a 


-Espo, Alameda 

From The Beat: You have so much good stuff to get back to: 

Your loving grandmother, your baby sister, and especially 

your future, which will be so bright if you keep writing, 

working and focussing on your positive talents. We 

hope to see your name in lights one day. Peace. 

Don't Want To Go To Prison 

Could you imagine being in a cell for 23 


Waiting all day so you and the next man can 

share the same shower. 

How about going about your day constantly 

looking over your shoulder 

Don't want to carry protection it's just 

another charge on yo' folder. 

Got to be tough so you show no remorse, 

Caught a murder case so you tell the judge 

you was forced 

Keep thinking about the gun you never 

should've grabbed 

Watch every movement so you won't get 

Can't eat when you want to and when you do 

it ain't good 
Time to change yo life go ahead and leave the 


Got to go back to court to hear a terrible sentence 

Think about the good times as you sit and 


First time in prison now you wish you never did it 

People asking what you bang and you say you 

ain't with it. 
Can't get a visit cause you on lockdown for a fight 

you didn't start 
I bet you never saw this day when you and yo' family 

would be apart 

-Teddy, Alameda 
From The Beat: With this kind of talent, prison is the last place you 
should be. You could be a teacher, you could be a community leader 
- you could be a public defender (not pretender!) out there earning a 
living by trying to help young people like you so they can get their lives 
together. That^ a life worth fighting for, don't you think? 


7 nn 

//// // 

Why Celebrate Father's Day? 

What's up with The Beat? It's your boy Grimy coining 
out of YGC. I'm just talking about your topic of the day 
because it caught my eyes because Father's Day is coming 
up, and I don't have a father to celebrate with and to say 
thanks to him. 

All I could say is thanks for not being there for me, 
and I really appreciate you saying that I wasn't your child 
when I was born. I just found that out last week by my 
mom when we were talking about how you used to act 
when you were drunk. But anyway, that's all I got to say, 
because there really ain't that much to say about him. 

But what I could say is that I'ma be there for my child 
no matter what the hell happens. I don't want to grow 
up and have my kids wondering why I wasn't there. All I 
know is my kids are going to have a role model, and they 
going to be 24 times better than me. 

Until next time. Late. 

-Grimy, San Francisco 

From The Beat: The kind of person iwho can have his fun with a woman, 
produce a child, then deny his responsibility for that child is, himself, a 
child, not a grown man, and certainly not a father. We're sorry you had 
to grow up without a responsible male role model in your life, but we 
are very hopeful that you will reverse this pattern with your own future 
children and be what you say you will be — a real father! 

^v 1 

Father's Day 

Let me tell you guys a little bit about Father's Day. My 
dad has always been there for me when I was younger. 
But when I got locked up, my dad left my mom and I. So I 
haven't talked to him in a while but it's all good. All I need 
is my mommy. But wherever you are Dad: Happy Father's 
Day, Pops. 

Oh and as for me, I wish myself a Happy Father's Day 
'cause I have a 1-year old daughter named Corine that I 
love a lot. So my goal when I get out is to be a good father 
and never leave my daughter again. 

-Mas Firme, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: A Happy Father's Day to you too! The first step to being 
the good father you can be is the attitude you have, which is already 
solid. Now you just have to keep your word. When do you think is the 
most important time for a kid to have his/her father around? Soien 
years old? Fifteen? Three? All of them? 

Some Father's Day 

Imagine having a father like mine. 

Someone who touches girls just like me. 

A boy who calls himself this great man. 

This boy who won't even take the time to understand. 

Imagine having a father like mine. 
All the kids in school get to point and laugh at me, 

they get to call me names that drive me insane. 

Imagine a guy who forces himself onto women and 


who spent most of your life in prison; 

who comes home and tries to run you, 

knowin' this guy knows nothing about you. 

Imagine having a father like mine. 

A guy with thirteen kids, just like me, 

who don't want to know the guy who doesn't want to 

know me. 

-Diamond Girl, Alameda 

From The Beat: Your intelligence burns bright in this piece. Your father's 
actions have been criminal and negligent, but your clear perspective, 
your desire to protect yourself, will %skMe you. Do you worry about your 
other siblings? Are they safe? 

Ill I I I I I I 




Laying in my room 

Feeling like a dog 

Listening to the speaker 

Telling me when to come out and eat 

Trapped in a room 

Smelling like a bathroom 

The bed feeling like concrete 

My back aching 

Drinking out a sink 

Water tasting nasty 

People acting shysty 

Looking out my window 

Looking at the clock 

Time going slow 

Waitin' to go to court 

Taking hecka long 

Hope to get released 

Judge acting up 

Sayn' two weeks 

Feeling hecka angry 

Back to my room 

Smelling like a bathroom 

-Big Head, Alameda 

From The Beat: This is a really great poem, one that gives the readers 
a good %en%e of what you're going through being locked up. It's very 
honest and straightforward. We hope you get released soon too, and 
that you can keep the experience you describe in your mind once you're 
out, so you don't find yourself back where you don't want to be. 

Happy Birthday Ma 


June fourth is my mother's birthday, she getting old. 

I'm in jail because of a great tragedy. 

It's your birthday and I'm putting you through misery. 

Candy light and love in the air. 

Can't forget your last birthday that we share. 

Its not my mom's fault that I'm a bad guy. 

Its just me being a thug and trying to get by. 

She gave me game but I didn't listen, I wanted to grow up 

too fast 

Hang with the thug, missing school and class. 

How reality hit me like a car with 150 on the dash 

It's only one day, your birthday will pass. 

But we love each other and that'll always last. 

Mama I know you gonna live to 100 years old. 

Cause you are healthy and beautiful women that I know. 

The way you care for me is unconditional love. 

You my favorite lady and I place no one above. 

I was in the hall for my birthday but my feeling wasn't 

Somehow today is your birthday, got tear dropping on 

my shirt 
If I have one wish it's mom to stop crying and wipe off 

her tears 

Second wish is her being happy and healthy through 

year and year 

She getting old now losing her is my greatest fear 

I do anything to make my mom's sadness disappear 

Today is your birthday and I'm writing this open or you 

I told you once ma, I love you and I know you love me 

Now blow the candle and imagine I say happy birthday to 

-Vietnamese Chopstick, Alameda 

From The Beat: That's a really good poem. It shows deep expressions of 
love for your mother. We hope to continue to see that amazing talent of 
yours in our next publication. 



7 nn 

//// // 

Grateful Me 

There is a lot of things Fm grateful for. For example, I am 
grateful for my Mom giving me life. If it wasn't for my Mom 
then I won't be here. So I'm grateful for my Mom for that. 
The other thing I'm grateful for is life. I am grateful for life 
because there's many fun, exciting, different people and 
places to meet and experience. 

I am also grateful for all the wonderful and respectful 
people I met. I am grateful for people I met because they 
made my life exciting, not lonely, fun, and most of all 
happy to have life. I am also grateful for The Beat. I'm 
grateful because The Beat lets me explain my problems 
or things I just need to get out. And I thank The Beat very 
much for that. Well this is it for me. 

- R, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We are also grateful to have you sk% our friend. It is 
writers like you that make coming to work interesting for u%. Stay 
grateful that in which you have for your shortcomings can't compare to 
that in which you really have and that^ the breath of life. 

El Sufriemiento Oue Vivimos 

Cuando sali de mi pais pense que la vida era facil. Aveces 
creemos que emigrar es la linica solucion de la pobreza 
de nuestro pais. 

Los riesgos que tomamos desde que salimos de 
nuestras casas y lo que sufrimos no es nada facil. 
Derrepente sufrimos de todo y nos exponemos a muchos 

Aveces Dios nos da la oportunidad y no la sabemos 
aprovechar. Tenemos la esperanza de salir de aqui y 
siempre teniendo fe en Dios. 

Tenemos que recapacitar y tratar de hacer un cambio 
en nuestras vidas. Le doy gracias a mi Dios porque aiin 
tiene con vida a mis padres. Solo tenemos la fe que algiin 
dia el Sefior pueda ayudarnos. 

Aveces pensamos que estamos solos, pero tenemos 
el apoyo de muchas personas que nos visitan como si 
fueran parte de nuestras familias. Aveces en la vida nos 
da muchas pruebas. Solo espero que Dios me de otra 
oportunidad y tratar de cambiar. Le doy gracias a Dios. 

From The Beat: Tienes mucha razon, aveces se nos presentan pruebas en 
la vida, pruebas que pasamos y otras que no pasamos y las respetimos 
muchas veces mas. ^Crees que lo que estas viviendo es como unsk prueba 
para ti? £Has pensado seriamente en algun cambio? ^Cuales son tus 
pensamientos sobre los cambios que haras? 

The Suffering We Are Living 

When I left my country, I thought life was easy. Sometimes 
we think that to emigrate another country is the only 
solution towards the poverty of our countries. 

The risks we take since we leave our houses and what 
we suffer is not easy. Suddenly we suffer a lot in a shot, 
and we set ourselves to danger. 

Sometimes God give us chances and we don't know 
how to appreciate them. We have the hopes to get out 
from here when having faith in God. 

We have to reflect and to try to change our lives. I 
thank God because He still have my parents alive. We 
only have the faith that God will help us. 

Sometimes we think that we are alone when we have 
the support from many people who come to visit us and 
are not family related. Sometimes life set tests to us. And 
I hope God gives me another chance to change. Thank 
you God. 

-Rony San Francisco 

From The Beat: You're right! Sometimes life set u% test, test that we pass 
and fail, and repeat them over and over again. Do you think being here 
is a test? Have you thought seriously about a change? What are your 
thoughts about the changes you have in mind? 



>1 f 

It really ain't a way to be a father when a ninja in jail 

Can't hold him kiss him so he really can't feel the love 

that I give, 

I couldn't see his first breath or his little eyes open. 

And all this because a ninja wanted to ride the dumb 

streets of Oakland 

But I know when I get out, I'm gonna do so much better 

Kristian Dakai his name gone be in my head forever 

He weighed 5 pounds too bad I couldn't see 

I ain't gonna see him in a year, I wonder if he even gonna 

know me. 

But I ain't gonna give up so I really ain't trippin' 

But late night in the room, that's when them tears are 


-Lil' Dougie, Alameda 

From The Beat: Another powerful poem, DJ. The pain is unavoidable, 
but it's all about you not giving up, like you say. That little boy needs 
you, and sk% you know, you need him! 

Grateful For Waking Up 


I wish me and my father can spend time on Father's Day 
because I haven't spent one in a long time because I been 
in jail. I hope me and my father can spend one Father's 
Day with either. 

I am grateful for waking up in the morning. I am also 
grateful for having all the support in the world, but I abuse 
it and do stupid stuff. 

-Jordan, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We hope you get to spend that day with your father 
soon, Jordan. If you have the love of a father at home and "all the 
support in the world," we hope you truly wake up to the treasures in 
your life, and not throw them away for "stupid stuff" that children do. 

This Path Of Mine 

The sun sets into the night. 

I see the devil's bleeding eyes 

With every shade dimming 

Its darkened soul will slowly rise 

With every step down this cold twisted road 

Reality unfolds 

Kickin' back, chuggin' glass after glass 

In memory of the past 

A couple years back, a young jaina jumped in the 'hood 

Loc'd out to the brain 

It's in this flood flowing through my veins 

A passion running deeper than the depth of my soul 

Shackled to my heart so here's no way I can let it go 

I took one too many steps 

And took one too many breaths 

Now I walked too far down 

And risked too much for this crown 

Every wall I ever stained 

Like it was some kind of game 

And every time I set foot on those calles I once cruised 

Got me driftin' on a memory 

That was once the day of tomorrow 

Now I'm lookin' back at my footprints that created this 


-Grumpy , San Francisco 

From The Beat: We're not sure if you're saying that you've gone too far 
in the game to turn around now, or that you've had enough of the "cold 
twisted road" to realize that now^ the time to let the past be the past 
and set your sights on a different future. We hope it's the latter, because 
you're too smart not to know where the road you've been traveling 
leads. You've got skills that many people lack. Why not put them to 
better use than to continue to put yourself in places where all you can 
do is "drift on a memory?" 



7 nn 

//// // 


Being Grateful For My Grandmother 

There is one thing in this world that I am truly grateful 
for... my grandmother. If I was without her I would be 
screwed. She has done so much for me, all my life. She 
took me in when I was 7 years old and has taken care of 
me like a daughter ever since. 

All the trouble I have been in in my life and she has 
never given up on me, never! She's been there every court 
date, every meeting, for everything. As much as she has 
said she's mad and she's gonna stop visiting, her heart is 
too big to do that. She is the nicest, most caring person I 
have ever known. As much gas as it takes to get here, she 
comes and picks me up every OT I got. She does so much 
for everybody, she's the backbone of the family. I love her 
so much, more than anybody in this world. I want to show 
her how grateful I am for her by being there for her now, 
since she was always by my side through the good and 
bad. I'll get her back because she definitely deserves it. 
I love you Grams, you're my everything! I'm ghost Beat. 

-Genevieve, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: You make sure your Grams gets a copy of this Beat. And 
we don't have to tell you how you can really say thankyou to her, in the 
most meaningful way - do we? 

My Poetry 

My poetry is bitter 

I like it that way. 

When it's that way 

You'll never forget the 

Words I say. 

It won't always be that way 

But when it is, I hope 

I get through to you 

I'm here to help you 

Not destroy you. 

Don't you ever forget that. 

I'm less to you than a mother or 

Father but closer than a brother or 

Sister, so you see my poetry 

Isn't really bitter, my poetry 

Is just here to protect you 

To let you see who you really are 

Now you see there is no bitter 

In my poetry just the way 

I express me! 

-Poetically Misunderstood, Alameda 

From The Beat: Great poem. We are curious who you are addressing 
lAfhen you say "you". Is "you" the poetry you feel inside you? Is this 
to a friend? To yourself? To your audience? We like the fact that your 
poems challenge u% and make us think! 

Father's Day 


What up. Beat? This is ya girl. Angel. I'm about to get out 
this week. Happy Father's Day!... Psych! 

I My dad was not there for me. I don't know him, but 

I got love for him. I'm not blaming him for my problems, 
but I think my life would have been a little different if I 
had had that fatherly advice. I ain't seen him since I was 
in diapers, but people know him because he still be in 
these streets, hustling. 

I want to meet him, because I want to know what 
happened to my mama. But maybe he's not in my life for 
a reason. I'ma put it in God's hands. But I do have a desire 
to meet him. I love you. 

-Angel, San Francisco 

From The Beat: It makes u% sad to read so many pieces about absent 
fathers. It makes u% sad because we see so many young men being 
responsible for bringing neiw children into the ivorld and very feiv 
examples of their ability to be fathers. Being a father requires a %en%e 
of responsibility which, clearly, the man you call your father didn't have, 
and which most of the boys here don't have. It^ tragic that this pattern 
keeps getting repeated, generation after generation. If you were able to 

I sit down with him, what would you ask your father about? Do you think 

I he has the courage to sit down with his daughter? 

It's Hard 

It's hard to fill my shoes 

It's hard to pay my dues 

It's hard to be like me 

It's hard out there tryin' to eat 

It's hard to live like I do 

It's hard when people looking for you 

It's hard to change 

It's hard in this game 

It's hard to see my mom cry 

It's hard to see my ninjas die 

It's hard doing time 

Especially when you doing mine 

-Damani, Alameda 

From The Beat: There^ a lot about life that can be hard, and often 
the hardest stuff to do is the most important. The idea of change and 
getting out of the game can be really overwhelming, especially if you 
don't know what you're going to do to accomplish that. We hope that 
while you're inside, and with all the thinking we know you've been 
doing, you can start to make a plan, take some steps to make a more 
positive life for yourself. We so often see a %skAne%% in your writing, and 
want you to know we have hope for you to turn the negatives you've i 
been dealt in life into positives for yourself. I 

My Autobiooraphy 

Well about my life? I can go days and stories after stories 
but to put it simple: I'm a young teen, I come from a poor 
family, my dad left when I was 5 and now I see myself in 
the Santa Clara Juvenile Center. Damn, not only was I in 
shock that I was in here, but my family was terrified. What 
can I do now? I did what I did and now I met my time. 

I regret what I did and think of what I did often. Now 
when my mom comes to visit me, she looks at me a while 
different way. I can't stand being away from her. I've never 
felt so lost and alone without her. Just the other night 
she wrote me, but it was hard for me, but she told me she 
was going blind. 

I cry myself to sleep and pray to God that she'll be 
OK at the same time I feel like it's my fault because I'm 
in here and I can't be there to watch over her like the way 
she watched over me. 

-Cupcake, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Thanks so much for sharing this honest piece. Cupcake. 
Your love for your mother will help her no matter where you are locked 
up, but now that you know she really needs you - you should do what 
you can to get back to her ASAP. 



7 nn 

//// // 


Blessing In The Storm 

I asked the lord how much he loves me cind he Sciid this 


Stretched out his arms and died just to prove his love 

Now it's him I trust with all my heart he lifted me up and 

put my feet upon a rock 

And now I just can't stop lifting up his name 

Man I never been the same since he passed my ways 

And when r£iins and pours and now here comes the thunder 

Sometimes he makes me wonder how I keep on going under 

My brothers if you hear me let me know that you're here 

My sister if you feel me put my name in your prayers 

'Cause there's a demon on my tail and I just can't shake it 

If I get hit one more time I don't know if I'm going to 

make it 

But I'll take it like a man and stomp my feet then more forward 

I thought I told you I'm not a quitter I'm a solder/ 
I got to keep my salutation with the strength of the Lord 
I can't give up now 'cause there's a blessing in the storm. 

-Espo, Alameda 

From The Beat: The blessing is the gift you have for words, and the joy 
it brings you to write them... you will always have this gift, no matter 
what happens. 

My Story, My Life 

I was born in Watsonville, CA in the year of 1990. 

My mom was single so life was really hard. I was just 
a baby when some lady used to take care of me while my 
mom was out working in the fields to make ends meet. 
As time went by, I grew older and soon I had a baby 
sister. I was only six years old but I still remember the 
happiness and the excitement I had when I first saw her. 
That was a happy day in my life because I knew I would 
have someone to play with. 

I lived in many different neighborhoods during my 
childhood but there is one that will always be my favorite. 
I remember it like it was yesterday. Me and many other 
neighborhood kids would gather up and start playing 
different games like hide-and-go-seek and cops and 
robbers. We would also gather up all kinds of apples from 
the trees and throw them at each other. Those were the 
good days. 

Time went by and now I had a little brother. I was 
even happier this time. I couldn't wait for him to grow up 
so I could teach him how to play sports and how to fight. 
When I was twelve he was about four. I was never bored 
because if the boys weren't around, I always had my little 
carnal right there. We would play soccer and sometimes 
go swimming in the neighborhood pool. Everything was 
going good until I started messing up. 

-Issac, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: You can stop messing up. You have many good reasons 
to get yourself together. You are the big brother, the one your siblings 
look up to. There^ still time to show them how to live a good life. And 
do it for yourself. You want a better life. Banish the beast, or at least. 


Damn This! 


It's the homie Frank the Tank from the max, right. This 
place is nothin' in here. They can go ahead and give me 100 
years! Ha! Yeah, right. Chale, but if it happens, it happens. 
I know it'll be for a reason, though, for something I believe 
in. I wanna be out in some cuts beatin', chillin' on the block 

Pack a knife 'cause I don't got a gun 

The only thing I really trip off of is my mom 

I try to slow down and be calm 

When I'm out, I can't keep from drinkin' and smokin' 

Just give me a 30 pack of Tecate 

Get too faded, I don't even make it to the chante (house) 
Damn, I miss the outs. I was out for a month, got out 
the Ranch and was doing hella good. Got caught in some 
buUshhh. Now I don't know what I'm facing. 

I know it ain't life so it's all good 

I wanna have some real food 

Not sleep next to some dude 

This place is hella whack 

I wanna be out sittin' on racks 

I don't even know 

I'm just tryna go with the flow of life 

Tryna do good, but it ain't easy 

Stuck too deep in the game 

What am I talking about 

This ain't no game 

I got people tryna claim my fame 

The work I put in, just 'cause it's in their 'hood 

I shouldn't be writin' about this, but it's all good 

I'm from the block where foo's get knocked out 

Ask about us 

I've been rollin' with la familia, people you can trust 
Damn, life's too short. It feels like I been to a million courts. 
But it ain't just me. Most of the people in here feel the same. 
I remember chillin' with the homie Chicano. The day we got 
locked up, we smoked a pretty coo' blunt, had some liquor 
that tasted hella nasty. Damn, we're innocent but it's all 
good. Hopefully he rides it out like a G. 

Well, I'm tired of buUshhhhing, so I'm out. Still serving. 


-KO, Santa Clara 
From The Beat: Well, this is a long piece, but it doesn't tell u% all that 
much about you. We can't tell if you want to continue down the path 
you've been walking (the one that put you here), or whether you're truly 
tired of this — enough to stop doing what you know leads to trouble. 
You talk about putting in work, about smoking weed and drinking, and 
about doing "bullshhhh" to land you in a cage. But — except for one line 
of concern for your mother — we don't see any kind of commitment to a 
different future. Have we missed something? 

My So Called Father 


Since I was three I've had no relationship with my so 
called father. This has not affected me at all. My life 
without him is as good as if I were with him. I've barely 
met him since I was three and it still feels as if I didn't 
have a father. 

When I talk with him, I don't even call him dad. I call 
him by his name. Not talking with him has hardly changed 
my life at all. With him or without him, my life is doing 

All I need is my mom - that's all. I'm going to be a 
father myself, soon, and I know I'm not going to do the 
same thing that my father did to me. I'm going to be a 
great father to my baby. I'm going to see my kid grow up. 
I'm never going to leave my kid, and that's that. 

-Leo, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: What we hear you saying is that you really do know how 
important fathers are in the lives of their children. We're sorry your dad 
wasn't there for you. 



What's good with it The Beat? It's your boy Phase from 
Oakland and I'm here to get some off my chest. A month 
ago 5-0 killed my 15-year-old patna. What kind of shhh 
is that? Just like that, they shoot him in daylight. And 
what happened to the crooked cops? Nothing! They said 
we didn't want to comply. Not' till after he got dropped to 
the floor by multiple gunshots he received did they find 
a weapon on him. He had a deuce deuce chop. I mean if 
he had pulled it out I understand. BUT HE DIDN'T. The 
biggest gang out there is the cops and the OPD is killing 
people left and right. That shhh needs to stop. 

-Grimy Phase 

From The Beat: It^ true, a lot goes on in the system that isn't right. 
We're sorry you lost someone due to faults in the system, that^ an 
extremely hard thing to deal with, if you can't trust the system that's in 
place to protect you, it's easy to lose faith that you can escape it, that 
you can rise above the system that can sometimes bring you down. We 
know you can escape the cycle of the system, if you make the effort. 

Rouoh Life 

It's a rough life! 

Either kill or get killed when you on that gangsta hype. 

Where I'm from some people will rather die then live that 

hectic life. 

Some gangstas live on the edge trying to earn stripes, 

Go to jail, turn soft when they get put on spot light. 

Cry like a girl when the judge give 'em life. 

But they're man enough to pull a pistol and take a life. 

I can't talk I'm gonna beast but I know I ain't the type 

To act like my shhh don't stank. 

But I know I'm far from being a mark. 

I've been real from the start. 

Always been a home boy and always played my part. 

Never went against the grain, never snitched to be real. 

I'm in for another ninja's lick and still haven't fell under 


That's what happen when you live that life. 

So I'm gone live better cause your homies ain't real 

they pretend in the fleld. 

-Lir New Orleans 

From The Beat: This is a nice piece. Good flow and nice rhymes and 
images that let the reader see exactly what you're talking about. Do 
you think this kind of life is one a person chooses, or is it something 
that is bound to happen? Good for you for planning to step out of this 
world and stay out of the fakeness — but what's your plan to live a better 
life? How you gone avoid getting back into the same stuff you was into 

Bad Father, Good Father 

A bad father is the one that don't care about you. 

A good father is the one that look out for you. 

A bad father beat you until you can't take no more. 

A good father is the one that teach you how to do good. 

A bad father leave you in the cold world. 

A good father try to keep you warm. 

A bad father try to teach you how to drink and how to 

beat your wife. 

A good father teach you how to have a good family. 

A bad father only care about him. 

A good father cares about his family. 

So a bad father don't care about family. 

A good father loves his family. 


From The Beat: You've got a really good sense of what makes someone 
successful at raising a kid, and what doesn't. There are lots of bad 
fathers out there, but lots of good ones too. We hope that if and when 
you become a father, you can remember what you've written here. 
Fathers can have such a big impact on their children's lives, 
sure you already know. 

What's up Beat? We got some babies in our unit. We 
got ninjas throwin stuff at the windows, kickin the doors, 
and they come out of they room like they hard. But they 
sugary. Ain't gonna bust a grape in a food flght but that's 

-Gone Bad Reese 

From The Beat: A lot of people act different in different places. Maybe 
they're acting childish because they're locked up, and when they're on 
the outs they act different. Losing your freedom can make people act 
younger because they get used to being told what to do all the time all 
over again like when you were little 

i I 

! I 

as we re 


Waitii Ti eet Dit 

What's up Beat Within? Man, I'm tired of this shhh, I got 
two more months to go. I'm just waitin' for that release. 
Once I'm out I really can't mess around no more, 'cause 
I'm about to be 18. So you know what that means, next 
time I aint tryin' to be in jail no more and I'm still mad 
that I been here seven times and I still didn't learn my 

I'm askin' for advice from the Beat Within. So, 
hopefully y'all give me some good ones. I'm up in here 
gettin' hella mad, but ain't none I really could do 'bout it. 
'Cause its just going to get worse if I go in my room and 
start bangin'. 

-Lil' Hs 

From The Beat: The truth is, you probably know what you need to do 
to stay on the outs. You know yourself better than anyone, and no one 
can make you learn your lesson but yourself. All we can do is tell you 
what you already probably know - wanting to stay out is not enough. 
You've got to make yourself a plan that will keep you out and stick to 
it, which means changing your life, really. Changing where you spend 
your time, and who you spend it with, so you don't keep ending up in I 
serious trouble with the system. I 

Beiig Eratefil 


I'm grateful for having a mother that cares for me and is 
there for me when I'm in trouble or even when I cry. 

I am thankful for having three brothers who are smart, 
loving, athletic, and have the ability to be what they want 
to be. I am grateful to have a loving family who is there 
for each other when one member of the family is down or 
need something. 

I am grateful for just being me and having God, the 
number one prize in my life, and my soul. 

I am grateful for having my family and friends in my 
life and thank God. 


From The Beat: Having a family that is loving and there for you is 
definitely something worth being grateful for. It's great that you believe 
in your brothers' abilities to do whatever they want. We hope you can 
do the same for yourself - know that you can be whatever you want to 
be. All you have to do is act on it. Make it happen. 

My Father Jost Vaoish 

My real father made me, but he didn't raise me. But it's 
all good. I am cool. 

I have a stepfather, he the best father, he love me, and 
he always care about me. My mom love him. I respect 
him because he took care of me. So he is the best father I 
ever had. My real father left my mom for another woman. 
So it's cool. I love my stepfather. 


From The Beat: Having a solid relationship with your stepfather seems 
to be something that really shaped who you are in a great way. You've 
experienced both a disappointing father, and one who has really been 
there for you. It's so much better to be happy about what you have than 
to be angry about what you don't. 

Getting It Together By Myself ^ 

I'm getting out again soon. I just left on Monday and 
came back Sunday. I leave tomorrow. 

They said I violated my probation because I had my 
boyfriend over, but I didn't tell him to come to my bedroom 

Anyways, I can't talk to my dad about nothing and I 
don't care for his girlfriend at all. 

My mom is feeling too sorry for her self to help and my 
siblings are too busy with their own lives. It's ok though, 
because the only thing I look forward to is getting my job 
and going to summer school. I'm also going to the DMV to 
get my ID and sign up for my drivers ed classes. 

I really only am concerned about one person and 
I'm not allowed to communicate with him (that's what 
the courts say, but everyone knows that's not possible.) 
When I get out, I'm going to get my life together and 
take the steps I just listed, so I can hurry up and get off 
probation to finally get out of the house I'm living in with 
the man that helped create me and partially raised me. 

This is my last time here so I can do what I need to 


From The Beat: Lizzie, iwe don't icnoiw you that iweli, so it^ not our 
place to dish out advice. But something is wrong with this picture, 
and we're gonna asic you to reflect on your piece. All the goals you 
describe are proactive and will help you achieve independence, but the 
situation with your boyfriend does not sound healthy at all. The court 
has ordered you to stay away from him.. .he put you in a situation where 
you violated and wound up back in the Hall... you're communicating 
with him even though you've been told to stop. This guy sounds like 
a huge boulder sitting in the middle of the highway that is your life. 
What is he doing to help you succeed? 

Dit Of Here 


What's up wit Beat? This lil' Roland still in max. This 
is my last time in this Beat, even though I wasn't in it 
that much. Hopefully I'll be in it this time. They finally 
coming to get a ninja to go to CYA, now I could go and 
start programming and doing my thang. 

Yeah though, about the girls I be talking about, I'm 
talking about the ones that be doing ninjas scandalous 
and wrong. So if you're the ones that's solid—this is not 
for you, but for the ones that be fronting and lying and 
shhh, ya'll hella fake! That's why I be saying ya'U not 
solid and ya'll ain't the type to hold a ninja down and stay 
on his side. Y'all rather leave a ninja down and dry. I got a 
couple of solid ones so I'm good. 

-Ro Ro 

From The Beat: Just because you're leaving the hall, that don't mean 
you're Beat reading and writing career needs to end. CYA youth 
subscribe to The Beat every day and so can you. Thanks for explaining 
your previous writings that sounded angry towards females. Now we 
understand that you've had some bad experiences. Maybe you've learned 
something about ladies. Can you ssty what signs you'll be looking for to 

tell the solid ones from the others? 


I am very grateful because God has allowed me to live 
another day and is giving me the strength and putting 
me in my right mind. I am also very grateful cause I'm 
becoming that man I want to become. I know that it ain't 
no real patnas out there. I'm just very grateful I'm alive 
'cause I could be dead right now. 

-Lil' Tone 

From The Beat: People spend so much time in this world complaining. 
What a great thing to hear your gratefulness. How important it is to 
cherish your life! And important to be aware of how fragile we humans 
are, no matter how much we try to pretend otherwise. Take care of 
yourself and keep becoming the man you want to become. Keep yourself 
alive and healthy in body, mind and spirit. 


n0 i 

Being Grateful 


I am grateful that I don't have 25 with an L, behind a 

cold cell. 

I am grateful for my mom being behind me all the way. 

I am grateful that I am still alive, with a heart to strive. 

I am grateful to have arms and legs. 

I am grateful that I have the Lord watching over me. 

-Gone Bad Reese 

From The Beat: These are all big things to be grateful for, a lot of them 
things that we all take for granted. Thanks for your positive attitude 
Reese, and reminding all of us that there are always things for us to be 
happy about, even in the worst of times. 

Being Tiianidui 

Being thankful for being here today, still alive, just to 
make it to see this year 08' in these Oakland streets. 
Keeping my head up, staying strong, holding down mines 
with my own two feet. Watching my walls, looking at my 
steps walking in the dirt, the same place three others just 
walked. But you still can see mine. So it might take 
more than three people just to fill one of my shoe prints. 
Just to wake up everyday knowing that somebody hates 
my guts, and also someone that wants to take my life. 

Just to tell God this shhh ain't right. But I still go to 
sleep no matter how much people hate me. I still go to 
sleep everyday no matter how much they want to kill me. 
I'm still living anyway. 

One day I'm gon' die, but not today. 

To my fallen souljas- Active, Jay Jay, Grid, Ant, Mikey, 
Bruce, B-Bo, Gus, and at last Who Day. 

-Lil' Dirt Laden 

From The Beat: Being alive is something ive can all be thankful for, but 
it^ so important to do our part to hold on to our lives too. It sounds 
like you're always looking over your shoulder, always thinking your life 
is in danger. If you really want to hold on to your life, it's time to take 
action to make that happen. Going through life with a constant death 
threat is not a way to live. 

Being Gratefui 

I'm grateful for a lot of things. Mostly, for having a family 
to stick by my side while I'm behind bars. I'm happy I'm 
alive and wake up every day. I am blessed, and I'll be out 
the system soon. 

-Lil' Nef 

From The Beat: You are blessed to have a family that sticks by you when 
you're locked up. If you can really let yourself see and feel all your 
blessings, do you think that'll help you stay on the outs? Do you have 
a plan to keep you free? 



Beiig Eratefil 

i I 


I'm grateful for having my mom because she's always 
there for me. She always writes me letters and comes to 
visit. If I was her, I wouldn't have nothing to do with me. 
But she still here, and that's why I'm grateful to have a 
mother cause my pops wasn't there. 

I can't blame him cause I made my mistakes and 
when I mess up I just gotta pay the cost for my actions. 

When I get out this time I'm gon' make a change and 
go to school more because if my mom leave me I'm gon' 
go crazy. 

For the past three years I've been coming in and out 
of here and I just want to make this my last time in the 
hall, on the real. That's all I gotta say till next week. 


From The Beat: Sounds like your mom really loves you and wants the 
best for you. She% not giving up on you, and neither should you. If you 
believe in yourself, like she believes in you, you can make the changes 
you know you need to make. Just keep being there for your mom like 
she is for you, and you'll work it out together. 


Just To Get By 

Mentality breaking down 

Just tryna gat by 

Words pilled up in my mind 

Feeling like a lost child 

You push to fall 

And you fall to get up 

Just to get by I only see one flow 

Life style in question 

Loss of words 

My heart begging to race 

As I try to catch my breath 

Just to get by I put on a smile 

Dying slowly inside 

Feeling confused 

Losing my mentality 

Tryna keep positive 

Just to get by. . . 


From The Beat: Sometimes the struggle isn't visible to the outside world, 
it's in our hearts. 


Father's Day 


Being lirateful 

Being grateful for who I am . . . 

That Fm alive everyday breathing... 

Just blessed to be able to be grateful. For my 

grandmother. . . 

Celeste James, the best mother ever! 

Grateful for being the golden star. Teasa. 

For my Lord and savior. 

Knowledge strength and power to be a strong, 

intelligent, black woman. 

Being grateful... 

sometimes that's not hard for me to do... 

happiness, love and my boyfriend... 

grateful to see him, 

everyday knowing God loves me grateful for being who I 

beautiful and proper. 


From The Beat: These are all things to celebrate and feel good about! 
Did it feel good to write this piece? When you count your blessings, 
what direction do you contemplate for your life in the future? It sounds 
like you have a great foundation. 

Hell No Ii Father's lay 


Man, on the real I just need to get out of here. Too much 
stuff been going down and too much negative vibes been 
floating around me and I really am about to flash the next 
time someone get out of pocket wit me! 

Anyways, I know I got somebody to agree with me 
when I say screw Father's Day. My birthday was the same 
day as Father's Day last year and when I called my father 
to say " Happy Father's Day!" he said "thank you", but 
forgot to say Happy Birthday to me. He could be cool, 
sometimes, but always try to step up and be a father at 
the wrong times. What's the point when you ain't been in 
my life for twelve years? Anyways I ain't got nothing else 
to say but I'm tired of being in here. 

-Nani Boo 

From The Beat: That must have been very disappointing when you 
called your dad to wish him a happy Father^ Day and he completely 
forgot about your birthday. You have every right in the world to feel 
angry and let down because he hasn't been there for you while you're 
growing up. It sounds like you are dealing with a lot of negativity and 
disappointment from the people around you. We hope that you won't 
let it frustrate you too much. Even though it's hard, try to look for the 

Every Fathers Day I see no man but myself in the mirror 
washing my own two hands. 

I got a mother that's like my father, that feel where 
I stand, and that will help me in life and doing anything 
she can. Buy me what I want, she my joy, even though 
every Mother's Day I spend time with my boys kicking it 
all day, hanging with my folks. 

Mama keep me up when I don't got no hope. Stay 
well, sleep bright even when I'm locked up. I can feel my 
Mama saying "good night". 

-Dirt Laden 

From The Beat: Sounds like you love your mother, but don't always 
show her how much you care. You easily read off a list of what your 
mom does to be there for you, but where is the list of what you do to 
show her how much you love her? Hopefully when you get out you can 
be there for her just as much as she is there for you. 

Why Does Love Hort So Bad? 

How is it that every time we try to break up with each 

other it never works? 

When everything is going good someone tries to break 

us up? 

Either my dad or the courts get in the way of our 


Sometimes whenever we get into a stressful situation we 

find someway to pull through. 

I feel like our relationship is similar to Romeo and Juliet 

because it's so hard for us to be together, but we never 

seem to give up. 

In a few months we can put all of this past us. 

We both have jobs now, I'm going to school and he's 

getting his G.E.D soon. 

When we get all of our stuff together we can forget all of 

this drama 

we've been going through the past year. 

Things can only get better because we've been through 

the worst of times already. 
Just how much more will we have to go through to be 

Why does it hurt so bad to be away from each other? 


From The Beat: It is painful to be separated from someone we love, but 
only you can decide if this relationship is healthy or not. Why does your 
dad want you to stay away from him? Do you think your dad has your 
best interests at heart? How did the courts get involved in the first 
place? You are romanticizing this relationship, but it sounds like it is a 
huge burden in your young life. We hope that you will do everything 
you can to preserve your independence and take things slow. Please! 



I'm grateful for still being alive 

can eat 

have a step-grandpa that loves me 

that's all I got, seems like. 

Happy the judge 

is just letting me out on probation for until July 


To be sixteen 

Wishing I was one hundred 


I'm not handicapped 


From The Beat: Your reflections are deep and thought-provoking. Taking 
a minute to reflect on gratitude definitely makes us contemplate far 
more difficult situations. By the way, we would love to see you write a 
piece about what you'll be like when you're one hundred years old! We 
think you'll be a wise and kind old poet. 



Sl^/ ////// i 

r # 


^^x^y.-/rA/v#>^v mimim 


■///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. //i 

^ ////// 

^^^^ ^^^f 

I'm Tired \ 

Man Fm tired of this shhh. 6 more months to go and 
Fm out this place. Fm tired of coming back to this place, 
and doing the same thing over and over again. Man, Fm 
tired of this shhh. I can't wait till I get out and go back 
to school. But really I don't know if I'm bein' real wi't 
myself. But I want to get out. 


From The Beat: We hope you are being real with yourself. You need to 
be to stay out. If you just iceep saying you're tired of the hall, but don't 
do anything about it, you know where you'll keep ending up. 

Have A Good life \ 

The only thing I have to say to my father is have a good 
life, because I don't need him. He don't get no "Happy 
Father's Day" from me because he is not no father. That's 
what I have to say, because I don't care about no fake ass 
ninja that thought he was a father. 

The reason I'm so mad at him because I never seen 
him before, I never know him. I wanted a father, so I had 
see my friends wit their fathers. It makes me sad and mad 
at the same time. Knowing that I am getting older, that I 
don't need him no more, is good. So have a nice life, so 
wit that I will let you go. 

-Lir Sosa 

From The Beat: It is a very painful thing to not know your father. It 
must've been really hard, sk% you have grown up, to see others with 
their dads. What can you offer someone else in a similar situation that 
can help make %en%e of not having a dad around? Got ^n^ advice about 
how to get support from other male role models? And now you are a 
dad yourself, right? How do you think not having a dad in your life has 
affected you sk% a father? 

Faithful \ 

Fm true to the hood and I'm faithful to the block... 


From The Beat: Sorry we can't publish your piece. You're a good writer, 
but you know we can't publish pieces that glorify the life, and especially 
not if they are going to incriminate you or others. What you rapped 
about, is that all life has to offer? Or is there something else for you 
when you on the outs that will help you stay out? If not, maybe it's time 
to reflect on the big picture: How important is your freedom, really? 
Not just freedom to be a thug, but freedom to eat a home cooked meal, 
spend time with those you love, and not have somebody telling you 
what you can and can't do every hour of the day? 

^ 1 1 « 1 i ------- 

It's Yoo \ 

The things you do to me make me crazy 

The way you talk, the way you touch, oh, I'm so in love. 

It's you that kisses me so passionate 

I'm wondering, "oh, how much I want to marry this 

It's you that call me from Y.A telling me you love me 

almost everyday 
It's you that make me smile in my dream saying "Oh 

God, this man is so good to me." 
It's you baby that I love. Sometimes I think, "why this 

man got me so wrapped up?" 

Sometimes I wonder would it only be you that got my 

mind wondering out of control, but I know you're the 

only one I love. Just me and him together for eternity. 

My man is the one in my dreams. 

It's you and you only. 


From The Beat: Very romantic! It sounds like you are really in love. 
Have you and your man discussed marriage? Since you are both locked 
up, it might be a tough road to get on a path to being together and 
having a stable life. What do you think? 

Always In My Heart X 

What do you do if you had to let go of someone and you 
want to let go of them too, but then your heart won't let 
you? How do you break promises to someone that never 
broke any they made to you? How can I break two hearts 
especially if one of them is you? 
I'm sorry. 


From The Beat: We live and learn, and when we're young, some of the 
hardest lessons are in love. Can you talk to him? Maybe he'll give you 
another chance. 

My Fatiier's Day \ 

Well I'm going to write about how a Father should be. 
A father should be able to provide for his family, and be 
responsible for his actions. He should be smart, tough. 

■ kind, and respectful. A father should never give up and 

ill 1 1 

stay there for his son/daughter. A father should be a 

-Lil' Snoopy 

From The Beat: You've got a solid idea of what you thinic maices a good 

when you have a child. We hope that if and when you're a father, you 
are able to be there for them the way you want to. 

Cnnl Relationship \ 

Fathers day, I wish I could be out I give my father some 
money and tell him to enjoy his self. Also I'll buy some 
food of his choice and let him make it and just let him 
enjoy his self. I got a cool relationships wit him. He came 
see me every Sunday, and I just got a cool relationship 
wit him. 


From The Beat: There's a blessing in the relationship you two share. 
There's a lot of young men that don't have this with their fathers. 

1 I 1 1 1 

Shaking Hands ^ 

I shake hands differently with a baby than an adult. You 
see, because with a baby's hand, his/her hand isn't big 
enough, so I let the baby hold on to my pinky finger, and 
with an adult, both our hands are big enough to shake 


From The Beat: That^ nice that you have different techniques with 
handshaking for different folks and different size hands. When and 
where did you first learn to shake hands with a baby? 

I'm Grateful Fop \ 

One thing I'm grateful for is my mother, father and 
brothers and sister. 

Rest in Peace to all my homies. RIP Dash, AxRx, Goofy, 
Dre, Clayton, lyrell, Ms. Guadalupe, and Mr. Reeder. I 
miss all ya and I always will have y'all in my heart no 
matter what. 


From The Beat: Sounds like you appreciate the family you've got, which 
is not something everyone is lucky enough to be able to say. We want 
to see more writing from you next time - tell u% more details, more about 
what you're thinking and feeling so the readers can better understand 
you and where you're coming from. 


No Hand Shake \ 

Man, me and my ninjas don't do no hand shakes 'cause 
we're I'm from I love my ninjas!! I give my ninjas a hug. 


From The Beat: That's how it's suppose to be, nothing but love. 






Feeling low, imprisoned 

In my own mind... breathe 

Til that last breath you cannot 

catch... sigh... all you do is cry 

You look around and see plain walls 

Death will come soon escape is 

A must. . . I'm alive on the outside 

But it's plain to see I'm no longer 



From The Beat: Is your freedom the piece that's missing? When you get 
out, wfill you be complete again? 



Ninjas I'm shining 

Just like the sun 

Outside shining 
Ninjas on the block 
Ninjas still grinding 

Off these stacks 

Ninjas I'm back 
Ma squad ready to 

Attack that ain't 
Fiction that's a fact 

-Lil' Tone 

From The Beat: It's hard to believe you are the same writer who can in 
one moment feel grateful to be alive and become the man he wants to 
become, and in the next moment write a piece talking about his gang 
attacking others. Is that the man you want to become? Is that any way 
to keep yourself or your community healthy and stay out of the lock 
up? Think about it. 

I'm An Artist 

My hand is moving 

A color scheme in my mind 

Wanting to paint 

I'm losing my mind 

Art is a gift 

Something from the soul 

Little do you know 

I could put on a show 

My talent will amaze you 

I'm one of a kind 

Man I'm an artist 

This kid will shine 


From The Beat: It is a huge drag that there are few opportunities to 
create art while in juvenile hall. It sounds like painting is a big way in 
lAfhich you express yourself. 

Hnpino To Be Out Sonn 

Was up Beat this is young Capy. Well I'm still up here in 
max. Well this shhh hella weak. I'm just looking forward 
to my court day so I can know what's gonna happen to 
me so I can see how much time I'm gonna do. And I heard 
hella homies I know is back in the hall, but it's cool, 
when ya'U get out just come holla. I'll be out in a couple 
of months, hopefully. 
Well I'm out! 

-Lil' Capy 

From The Beat: When you look back on the time you did, how much did 
it really bother you to be locked up? If you don't want to experience 
what you are currently going through in the future you gotta remind 
yourself of the actions that led to your current situation. Do you think 
you'll be able to change for the better in an environment of your homies 
and friends? Or do you think you'll also make a solid plan about how to 
stay on the outs and be able to stick to it? 


J I 


Fatliers Day 

I am very grateful to have my father in my life. He's 
not with my mom but he is still in my life. He's been 
in my life since I was born and he still is. He loves me 
unconditionally and even though my situation isn't the 
best my dad is there for me. He comes to all my court 
dates and he comes to visit me every time I can have 

I love my dad for always being in my corner no matter 
what. So on fathers day I hope he knows that I love him 
unconditionally too. And when I grow up I hope to become 
a better father than my dad. 

-Young T 

From The Beat: You love your dad — he supports you and has your 
back even though he's not still with your mom. That^ pretty rare and 
sounds really good to us. Still, there are some things you'd like to do 
differently to be a "better" father than he was. What things would you 
do differently? What would you tell your kids to keep them from the 
path you've taken that's gotten you locked up? 

No Worry 

Right now I ain't worry about nothing. I'm trying to 
do good in here so I can get better privileges. I'm on 
top citizen and they get to do more stuff. We get better 
treatments. We get seconds on food. We also stay out of 
our room longer. I been here for six months and I been on 
top citizen for like five months. When I get out I'm gonna 
get back on my feet and stack my money. 

-Lil' Kev 

From The Beat: It's nice to have extended privileges in a place designed 
to take all of your privileges away, but there's nothing like being free 
and having top citizenship on the outs (just from being out!) On the 
inside, sounds like you have a plan to keep the good privileges coming — 
trying to do good in there. When you eventually get out, what is your 
plan to maintain your freedom? What is your version of doing good on 
the outs? If there's no counselor watching over your every move, how 
are you going to make sure you stay on the right path? 

>w I 

A Loving Family 

I am grateful for having a loving family, to still have a 
mother and father that come to visit me on Saturdays and 

I am grateful to still be alive also that I will be able 
to get out of this place. Because some kids in max unit 
aren't even going to get out. So I'm grateful to get out of 
here so I can graduate high school and get my first job, 
apartment so I can be able to change my life around, so I 
don't have to be here any more after this time. Well I am 
out beat. 

-Lil' S 

From The Beat: You have a lot of wisdom. You are able to see that which 
others will often take for granted. It seems as if you have a loving and 
supporting family, remember to always cherish them. 


Handshakes man, different ones for different people. 
I don't know if everybody does a certain handshake for 
certain people, but I do. If you are a person I just met I'll 
shake you're hand with a tap and don't close. If I don't 
respect you, you get da same kind. If you a close patna 
I'll shake your hand, close it, and bring you in close for 
a hug. 

-Baby Rambo 

From The Beat: So we'll assume handshakes mean a whole lot to you. 
You know a lot about what you do and why, and it's clear this is not 
the first time you ever thought about this topic. So we got one more 
question for you? If you shaking hands with a female, do the same rules 
apply? Or different? 

/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mammmmmEm ^/// // 


X f 

Q-vo Beat, you know who this be, the one and only 

Well today I talked to my cousin and she told me that 
my Primo is gonna go to the same program I'm gonna go 
to. It's cool, so we could be kicking it together. But I'm 
still here, that's the bad thing. And I'm just waiting to 
go to court in August just to see what's gonna happen. I 
hope I get out on the same day. 

I've seen people coming back and forth to (JJC), I 
guess they just like being in here, shhh I prefer to be 
on the streets with my homies smoking hella blunts and 
having fun with my Jaina (lady). But there's hella people 
who trying to hate on our relationship. But it's cool, 
they could hate all they want on us, me and my girl been 
together for hella long and I love her to death. 

And to all out, keep your head up, just do your time 
and get out. I'm out, Alratos Beat. 


From The Beat: We hope you're able to get out of there sk% soon sk% 
possible, but if getting out means hanging with homeboys and smoking 
a gang of blunts sk% you would put it that may lead back to your current 
predicament. What is it that you believe you have to do different to 
stay out? 

I I 

I Iniw SimetDlj 

I know somebody who know somebody who mobs to 

the fullest. 

I know somebody who know somebody who empty those 

big bullets. 

I know somebody who know somebody and he move 


I know somebody who's writing this poem and he 


I know somebody who know somebody who don't talk 


I know somebody who know somebody who hung wit' 

the homie but now he's deceased. 

RIP my cousin Weez 

I know somebody who know somebody who stayed getttin 

dough, and he was my cousin RIP D-Scrilla, 

-Lir Al 

From The Beat: it seems like you know a lot of people and have a nice 
team put together but the program with knowing a lot of people is a lot 
of people know you and when the wrong person want to know about 
you it may be just sk% easy sk% picking up a cell phone and dialing info. 

My Daughter: Due Any Day \ 

What's driving me crazy is that my girlfriend is 9 months 
pregnant and she could be due any day. We are having a 
baby girl named Juliana Zamora. 

What's driving me crazy really bad is that I'm not 
going to be there when my little queen is born. I also 
missed my mom's birthday and the sad part about it is I 
couldn't even hug my mom or kiss her, and I had to say 
happy birthday through a thick window. 

What's next, meeting my baby girl in jail through a 
thick window? 

It makes me want to go crazy very wild I can't even 
call my lady because the staff trip. There's really nothing 
I could do in here for anybody but pray -- pray that if my 
baby girl comes out before I get out of jail that she comes 
out healthy... and for mommy to kiss her for me and say 
daddy will be home soon. 


From The Beat: When will you be released, and what are your plans now 
that you have a neiv family to love and be loved by? 

I I 

I I 


Grateful For! 


I'm grateful for living! I thank God for that because with 
out God we would not be here and I thank God. I thank 
my mom for raising me to be the young man I am today 
and I thank my brothers and sisters for being there for 
me through my ups and downs. That's what I'm grateful 


From The Beat: It shows that you were raised with a good value system 
and it also shows that you for the most part can be a respectable citizen 
out here among the free. We hope you are released soon and one day 
stop by the office to help touch more youngsters around age to respect 
and do the right things in life. 


Being Grateful 

I am Grateful for my existence on this earth. 

I'm grateful that I'm not lying six feet in the ground. 

I'm grateful that I'm leaving juvenile hall tomorrow may, 

28, 2008. 

I'm grateful that once I step foot out of this I'm not 

coming back. I'm only coming back to go to court but 

not to do time. 

Being bored locked up in a jail cell 

Sitting on a hard ass bed reading my mail 

Slowly falling asleep 

Listening to my roommates weep 

Laughing at them the next day 
Because that's when leaving, Yay! 

-Lir Sp 

From The Beat: It shows that you at least partially value life when you're 
a grateful individual but never take the blessing that has come upon 
you and throw them in the face of someone that^ unfortunate such sk% 
your weeping neighbor that may cry at night and every night because 
he doesn't know if he'll ever be given the opportunity to go home. Feel 
and try to be understanding of his pain and know that's the only way I 
we're going to be able to come together out here. I 

Lunglug Fur Duuie 


I wish juvenile hall would burn down and everyone had 
to evacuate and go home. 

I been in here for a month for something I didn't do. I 
get charged with robbery, assault, and fleeing the police 
because I ran, of course. The only thing I will admit to 
doing is running but other wise all I was doing is watching 
the robbery. 

I didn't know it was the law to help stop the robbery. 
The only reason why I didn't is because I didn't want 
anything to do with it, but I had to get dragged in anyway. 
I'm lucky I had a nice judge because she dropped all my 
charges and charged me with grand theft person and 
made it a misdemeanor. It's way better than all those 
other charges being put on my record if you ask me. 

Well after I flnally did the month and had my 
disposition hearing I would've got a release but my P.O 
told me I got a bench warrant in another county for a 
burglary. So I been in here almost another month for that 
and this is hella weak. I don't think I'm going to ever get 
out. This whole experience has developed inside of me a 
new hatred for police and law enforcement especially the 
heartless judges. 

-Young And Angry 

From The Beat: When you think about being locked up is there a 
particular reason that comes to mind? Do you feel the law is unjust or 
do you support its entirety? If you were on the outside looking in and 
someone was telling you the story that you are sharing with u% what 
are some of the things you'll say to that person or what are some of the 
things you'll do for that person? 



Going to ROP 

What's up Beat, well Fm going to ROP. They are going to 
try and give me 18 months but they say that if I do good 
and don't get into trouble I could end my program in 9 
months and I'ma be able to get home passes. I'm a pimp 
my program and be free again, so I can be with my love 
one's because I miss them. That's one option or Y.A. for 
2 years straight, shhh, I prefer R.O.P then Y.A. At least 
in R.O.P I get home passes, in Y.A I don't get shhh! Well 
that's all Beat. 


From The Beat: You know what you got to do to get back to that in 
which matters most to you in life. Do your program, reach for higher 
learning, come home and have a choice of never having to go to jail 
ever again. We hope you are also reunited with your father soon. 

X' f 


Eariini Respect . 

If I just met someone new they don't have my respect yet 1 
so they would get a slap on the hand. But if you're one of 
my boys I'll usually give you a hard hand shake n bump 
shoulders. It's different with a female, I'll give a female a 
hug cause she's a girl. 

when I was younger I really didn't pay attention on 
how other people shake hands so I don't know how they 
used to shake hands back in the day, but with some of my 
boys they got their own shake so w/ their it's their hand 
I shake I do it they way cause they don't shake hand no 
other way. 

What I'm grateful for is not much because there can't 
be too many things to be grateful for but I am grateful for 
waking up everyday and also for go. 

-Young And Grateful 

From The Beat: If you're grateful for waking up in another day that^ 
everything to be grateful for. A man will give his whole fortune up for 
breath. Life is our ultimate present! 

A Jailbirl Tryini te Get Free 


I am the boss, I run my own stuff, a one man band. When 
you are your own boss, you can't get fired. Right now I am 
a jailbird that's trying to get free. 

But when I get out I want to run my own business.... 

Naw, I am just playing ...I don't know what I want to 
do, but I would like to run my own business one Day. 


From The Beat: Running your own business would be great (so long as 
it's legit.) In the meantime though, what are you doing to expand your 
knowledge so you'll have the accounting, business, and administrative 
skills you'll need to get started? What about getting a job that teaches 
you how a business runs, like working in a store or an office? 

A Lir Something-Something 


What up Beat listen I wake up to these all white walls, 
blue t-shirts and county draws I can't wait until I get out 
so I can show ya'U what I'm about to save me Lord is what 
I shout in a time of need until the day I succeed but I 
ain't gonna get nowhere selling cracks or weed one of my 
patnas told me to pop a pill I said naw brah that's a bad 
deal my patina said all he do is pop and kill. I woke up one 
night and my patna got hit man I get tired of this shhh. 
Well Beat I'm outs I hope to see you on the outs. 

-Lil' J 

From The Beat: That's the best thing to do is to stay solid out here and 
remember to always stand your grounds. Yeah, life can some times 
that you know what, but don't let it take you out of your groove 

Hand shaiie 


I use to shake hands with my enemies in a disrespectful 
way. But when I read the BIBLE God told me to love my 
enemies and love all people the same way. 'Cause when 
you love people different ways, people will act like you're 
disrespecting them and start shooting at you. Then it's 
war on these streets, that's how life is now cause people 
shake other people's hands differently. That's why it's 
gangs shooting at gangs. People need to shake hands the 
same way and love people the same way like God put us 
on this planet. 

- Lil' J-tuda 

From The Beat: We didn't know a handshake can have such a impact out 
there in those hardcore streets. You say you use to shake your enemies 
hands in a differently way, would you say you shake everybody hands 
in the same way now days because you desire to live in peace? Do you 
believe the word of God is your shell to keep all harm, hurt and danger 
away from you? Have you ever seen a person hurt who were heavy into 
God or a religion? 


Missing Ynu 

Man I used to kick it with you tough. We did hella stuff 
and it was never boring with you. When we was out we 
had it good, I used to kick it at yo' house or out on the 
block. We hit every party and we did our thang. You had 
that gold scraper and it was hella fun. Now we locked up 
and it is hectic. We on top citizen and we doing good, we 
ain't got no write ups or nothing but we gone make it. 


From The Beat: Remember the things that you miss now; and this iwill 
help make sure what you miss don't get taken away again. Valuing your 
life helps you avoid taking it for granted. Stay cool in the lock up, yeah. 
Now how you gonna stay on the outs? Sorry we had to cut up some 
identifying parts of your piece, but as guests of the system, we can't 
publish letters to specific people or shout outs. 

Where Wnnld I Be? 

In ten years were would I be? 

Man I hope I would be free. 

Man have a good payin' job. 

And not messin' with the mob. 

Trying to stay out of trouble. 

Getting paid makin' double. 

I want to be a veterinarian and take good care of animals 

And I might have one though 

And still get dough 

Man I already know where I'ma be in ten years though... 

In a nice crib in the Oakland city. 


From The Beat: Some of us know where we're going to be and some of us 
just know where we want to be. Is there any way you can demonstrate 
your plan to give those who are reading this writing a little more 


I I'd Rather Get Mnney the Right Way 

In ten years I see myself with a good job, a big ass house 
and two kids. 

I see myself ridin' on a chevy box on '24s with hella 
slap, ridin' through the barrio, 

I ain't with that robbin' shhh no more, it ain't worth 
going to the hall over a couple hundred dollas. 

I'd rather get money the right way, so I won't have to 
worry about none of that stuff. I'm gonna help my mom 
and dad out, you feel me, but them a house for everything 
they done for me. I'm gonna have a good life. 

-B Slips B 

From The Beat: "Some things you must leave behind in order prevail 
in life." Giving the fact that it's a recession (failing economy), do you 
think it'll be wise to ride in any barrio on some 24inch rims for too long 
without draining some kind of the wrong attention to yourself - in some 
kind of yvay? 




What's good with The Beat? Well today Fm gonna write 
about what you should do when the staff in the hall be 
doin' hella shhh... like if they got problems on the outs 
and they come to work and they bring them problems j 
with them and they take it out on us! I 

Like if someone is doing something that they are not 
supposed to be doing, and the staff want to take it out on 
the whole group. That just ain't cool, but most of the staff 
be on a power trip anyways. But the only reason that I'm 
writing about this topic is because today I came out of my 
room with a good attitude and a staff had promised me 
something but he end up cattin' it and that shhh got me 
hella mad. 

Why tell me something if you ain't gonna follow 
through with it? And then another staff want to make me 
eat in my room for not following directions when I didn't 
even hear her direct me 'cause I was mad and I was just 
tryin' to go to my room! 

But we can't let that little shhh get to us because we 
got other stuff to worry about and if you go bad you only 
gonna make it into something worse. So when you in a 
situation with staff just let it go 'cause the next day you 
wont even remember that shhh, and don't make it into 
something bigger. 

-Lil' Nightmare 

From The Beat: You should be proud of this piece. Why? Because you 
could have gone bad, or you could have let the anger build up inside 
you till you blew up over something else, instead, you expressed it 
by getting it off your chest and onto the paper. On top of that, you 
dropped knowledge based on your own experience, letting people know 
how important it is to let that stuff slide off you so you don't make it 
lAforse. That^ behaving like a man. 

I Am My Own Person 


Look To The Sky 


I'm tired of being locked up in a cage 

To me life is a difficult maze 

My moms tell me its just another phase 

In my future I'm trying to make more than minimum 


Every day at night I look to the sky and thank the man 

I know he the one that's gone really understand 

How I feel and the way I actually think 

I'm tired of seeing four walls, a toilet, and a sink 

Everyday I tell myself to be stronger and stronger 

I pray to god that my life never ends but gets longer 

I'm just tired of being in this facility called jail 

To me this is just an early hell!! 

-Young Art 

From The Beat: You should be tired of it! Get so tired, so tired that 
you decide to make a change. Get involved with a program - Street 
Soldiers, Youth Alive, Youth Uprising, The Mentoring Center - and ask 
them to help you get a job, get counseling, get support. Get stronger 
and stronger, like you say. 

Three Strikes 

Three strikes and you're out of the game 

Shhh it's a damn shame 

Ninjas getting killed like every day 

Damn these ninjas don't play 

'Cause you either going to jail or you diggin' a grave 

Damn I can't wait to leave this place 

'Cause this shhh ain't cool 

Alright I'm gonna end it right here... 

But I'm gonna tell you this I'm gonna stay a true bear. 

-Lonnie Bo 

From The Beat: You're too good for the grave, too good for jail/So how 
you gonna change when you get out of this cell?/Stay true to you, it's 
the best you can do/And tell The Beat how you gonna come through! 

Who am I Antjaun, my own person. I'm not a follower ...I 
like looking good for school and for myself. I like being 
myself The love of my life is my Mom. 

I She is the star of my life, and my family is my heart 

The streets is a game ...if you lose you just in for it. 


From The Beat: Since your family is your heart, the streets are what 

L break your family up, which means the streets break your heart. What 
are you doing to make sure your heart doesn't get broicen? 



What's up Beat, well I am here in the hall waiting to go 
to a group home. 

My PO lied to me and said two weeks ago that I was 
suppose to get two interviews, now I'm just waiting here 

I can't wait to get out of here because it sucks in here. 
I have been in here for at least two months. This is my 
fifth time in the hall, but my first in the new hall. 
I -Lil S 

I From The Beat: You must be wise with the decisions you make in this 

I world because it is those choices that determine the path of your 

I destiny. The wrong decisions give your enemies a present and invitation 

I of the chance to control your life. 

My Successes in Ten Years 

Hey Beat in 10 years I want to be out of Oakland doing 
some successful thing. 

First I'm going to invest my money in different 
shops and businesses so that I can be paid the rest of 
my life. And I'm going to have a family., that's one thing. 
But I really want to play football, go to college and get a 
scholarship to a good college in the south, because I got 
a lot of family out there and I'm going to find them and 
build a relationship with them then come back home to 

I One day when I finish my schooling on the game 

I'm going somewhere in my life I don't want to just be 
in California feel me I want to go place like the south or 
east or the west. I'm going and I'm gonna take my family 
with me, so we can meet new people and see new things, 
'cause the hood ain't gonna get it. 

I'm trying to go places now ... I just got to survive 
to see it. RIP Whoday I'm gonna make it for you big 

-Baby Whoday 

From The Beat: Powerful piece. You've got some good plans here, some 
serious ones that we hope you make good on! What can you start doing 
- TODAY - to get yourself ready to win a scholarship? Have you asked 
your teacher in the Hall to give you advanced material to study? 

I'm Just Me 


Me I'm just me! 

What can I say? they call me a criminal but to me I 
can really give a shhh what the system say 'bout me. Who 
the hell are they to say they know me, or what I'm about. I 
just do me and I'm going to keep doing me no matter what 
they do to me. 

I'm a very good person and I do a lot of good things for 
my family, and I haven't always been a criminal. Like they 
say I'm just me. 


From The Beat: You DEFINITELY haven't always been a criminal. We 
know you've worked hard to get and stay straight - but there's always 
that temptation... have you got a good strong plan for your future, so 
you can prove the system ivrong? 


Reporting From My Hood 

In my hood youngsters are up to no good. 

They totin' on big thangs to small thangs and they wish a 

ninja would. 

Almost getting killed that shhh ain't fun 

Them youngstas be actin' like they can't get hit with that 


I was 9 yr old when I first seen that thang cock back 

And my cousin let me hold it 

And when I was 12 that's when I went back to the block 

And seen Lil Gotti get active with that all gray 40 glock. 

It's hard to say when you get out you gonna do right 

But growing up in the hood and moms telling you that you 

ain't shhh 

And keep arguing with her and she telling you that she will 

kick you out 

So you just say ef it and go on your own 

and feed your stomach and would do anything to get it 

so don't think you can't be the that can't get robbed 

...because anybody can get it. 

-Lir Rich 
From The Beat: This is exactly the icind of 'news' that needs to maice 
the papers, so more people will understand just what it's like growing 
up in violent spots. Like staff says 'There's too much talent in jail." You 
should be out reporting for the national papers, letting everyone know 
what you see!!! 


The day I lost you bra 

Was the day I lost my sanity 

They took from me my role model 

My ninja, my brother 

I love you to death. 

If I could take 

Yo' place six feet deep I would 

With no thought 

You were like my idol and still is 

Lately I've been thinking about joining you 

But that just another one of my 

Crazy thoughts at least I know 

Thug heavens crankin' with you 

You always as and always will 

Be the life of the party 

At least you in a better place 

You will always be the light 

Of my life 

I love you & miss you RIP Weezy F. Mac 

The day I lost my brother is the day I lost my sanity 

And the day I started to hold my grudge against 


But it's starting to get worse. 

-Anonymous Brother 

From The Beat: It can't get worse if you keep holding to your heart, your 
hope, and your belief that you can make things better if you try. But do 
you truly believe that? 

My Fantasy 

A place where I can be free 

With loved ones especially my family 

A place without problems and people stressing me 

I want to live a life without enemies 

A place I can fly high on good memories 

And not have to deal with any more tragedies 

A place with bright days and not gloomy days 

This place is what I call my fantasy 


From The Beat: This deserves to be more than a fantasies.. .this should 
be the goal we are all working towards. You are a part of that war as a 
soldier for peace. 

My Father 

Q-vo Beat, today I'm gonna talk about Father's day. I'm 
just happy because my father's been there for me on the 
good and bad things. Also, he's a good father to me. 

I Well, when I grow up I'm gonna be a good father, or 

should I say, when I get out I'm gonna go see my ex-girl 
because she says she's pregnant. But I still don't know 
if she's playing or not, but I know I'm gonna be a good 
father even though I'm a cholo. My children gonna get an 
education. Well Beat, I'm out. 
I -ChikiUo 

I From The Beat: By your father being a good parent to you- would you 
say that instilled fatherly values in you? It's always respect coming from 
The Beat for any man willing to stand up and put it down being a father 

I to his child. If you were wondering the make-ups of being a man, you 

I have accomplish one of the most important. 

J I 

J L 


Man this shhh hella weak being locked up for the second 
summer in a row second birthday & Christmas. But damn, 
it's how that stuff plays out. My brother and squad out 
there mobbin', you know what it is. I Got a baby at 15, 
this shhh is crazy. 

I got to do what I got to do on both sides of the game. 
Man '09 my time to shine, you ninjas gonna see me. Come 
through sittin' high for these girls. 

Bout to go pimp this, lil' Norman go hard '08 ain't 
gon' be shhh without Norman. 


From The Beat: Norman - we wish you'd answered the question about 
where you'd be in ten years, because you deserve a better life than what 
you've got right now. But you won't find that life by 'mobbin' or by 
fighting for a street rep. Do you believe there is more to life than what 
you've seen so far? We do - and so do a lot of people who could help you 
get back into schooling, working, and trying to get out of the game. 

I Have To Cliange 

I'm the greatest basketball player, the greatest football 
player. I'm an A student, and a billion dollar man. 

To you I am a robber, a menace to society, a good for 
nothing person. 

Yes I messed up and robbed a man with a strong arm 
robbery case, with three months at camp. I have got in 
five fights and got sent back here. 

So now when I get out I have to change. 


From The Beat: Man, sorry to hear about all these fights, especially 
when you have so much going for you. Are you trying to get into less 
fights, or figure out how to avoid them? Because there's no better time 
to change than today! 

Not Good Efloogh 


What's up Beat? This is your Dopey from Hayward. 

I'm still up in this daycare call Juvenile Hall. I'm just 
trying to do my time because I get out in a few weeks on 
my straight release. I'm ready to get out this place, to see 
my family and females. I'm gonna get my own apartment. 
I have been down for too long. 

And these weeks are not going fast enough. I don't 
even know how it feels to be able to walk down the street 
because I was watching out for the police. I was on the 
run. Things are going to be different this time. 


From The Beat: We are so happy to know that you'll be getting out - 
and getting a chance to live the way a human being should: Free and 
unafraid. But there's drama out there waiting to catch you - if you go 
back to the life you were in... you might lose that freedom. So what are 
you going to do to make things different? 


Things Change 

Things change but not for better for worse 

I try and do some good 

But I end up getting hurt 

Things change but not for better for worse 

How could I finish last when I want to finish first 

It's shady how the judge keep me from my son 

But it is what it is and what's done is done 

I try to move on and I try to do it quick 

I try to ball but fall and slip 

Looking for a switch to the day I get rich 

I got this grip of O's looking for killer 

So I don't I hit up my homey fresh out of Chino 

Only want the green though 

Fresh on the scene though 

Trying hold on to this stack full of G-notes 

Keep a stiff eye on every single person 

Never thought a crime could turn out like this 

Went to Camp Sweeney but I got dismissed 

Now my baby mama all she is pissed 

Switched up on me 180 degrees 

Never on my knees an' I'll never ask please 

So I'll remain here putting it down for my boy 

He'll stay joy and I'll never avoid. 

-Lil' Noey 

From The Beat: Another great flow Noey, and it does flow too - from 
hope to despair, from anger to love. In the end you say you are "holding 
it down" for your son, but what does that mean? Holding down a job? 
Holding doivn a corner? Holding down for a set? Tell what it means to 
hold it down, now that you have a little boy looking up to you? 

I am a strong African- American Black male. 

I am to the law a person who deserves jail. 

I am to the county just a check in a cell. 

I am to my teacher someone who should fail. 

I am to the staff a person that's crazy as hell. 

I am a strong African-American Black 



From The Beat: With all these different ideas of ivho you are, ivhich is 
the one you truly believe, in your heart of hearts? You know there is 
strength there, so tell us how and when you trust in your own strength 
- enough to ignore the ideas of who you are that come from all these 
other points of view? 

I Mt) 

Fear Of Being Here! 



My fear of being here. I try my best not to think of it. 
Sometimes I can't sleep and sometimes I don't feel like 
eating. Cause when you do think of it, it hurt. Deep 
thinking cause you to lose your mind. Sometime you 
will cry and sometime you just think and ask why! Have 
you ever woke up and wondered where your family go? 
Yes, you will miss your family and friends. Praying to 
get out! 


From The Beat: You give the readers a very real sense of what it's like to 
be locked up. It^ honest and heartfelt. Thanks for sharing that. Now 
the question is, do you dislike being in the hall enough to make sure 
you don't end up back here? 


The face of war is my face 

The face of war is your face. 

What color is the face of war? 

Brown, black, white, your face and my face 

Death is the broom I take in my hands to sweep the 

world clean 

I sweep and sweep then mop and I mop 

My moppin' blood and blame you for this because you 

are my enemy. 

It's hard to blame me because I'm here so I kill you and 

you kill me 

My name like your name is war. 

-Lil' Damani 

From The Beat: Seems like you have a lot of anger behind this piece. 
Do you think there^ a way to end a cycle of violence, or once a war is 
started it doesn't end until someone is crushed or killed? You've spoken 
of violence before as something you don't want to be around. We don't 
want you to be around it either, and hope that you can find a way to 
end the cycle of violence in your life. 

Hard Life 

It's a hard life we living 

It's day by day drama 

We earn stripes from killing 

Attack like piranhas 

'Cause in the streets it's not a game home boy 

It's not the NFL 

I'm speaking for real they send us to jail 

To try to make us tell 

But all we yell is it's HARD LIFE 


From The Beat: This poem makes us sad, probably because it's so true. 
What's worse is that there is so much talent, and so many other ways to 
earn respect: Like with musical skill, taking care of family, having pride 
in oneself, going to school. Instead people get "respect" by hurting 
themselves and each other. It is a hard life - what can we all do to 
make it better? 

I Learned My Lesson 

Hey what's good Beat, this yo' boy Snoops. Well, I'm still 
here up in these halls trying to do good, because I learned 
my lesson. 

Besides, staff be trying to set me up and get me in 
trouble when I didn't do nothing. I be getting blamed for 
stuff that people in my table did, but I don't ever snitch 
so I get in trouble. I learned my lesson! So when I go to 
the block I'm not getting caught on mommas, because I 
learned my lesson. 

When I get released I don't know what to do. I have 
two choices, change or be the same. 

-Lir Snoopy 

From The Beat: You're right Snoop, you do have these two choices. We 
hope you choose to change whatever it is you're doing to get yourself 

Lin the hall in the first place. That's the lesson we hope you've learned 
from your experience on the inside. 

Sittin Down 

J L 

Mad you're home 

I'm going through stress all alone. 

But you're there when I call, 

I don't blame you not at all. 

You're my baby and I miss you. 

Just wish I could kiss you. 

Really sad, waiting for your loving touch 

Your voice is not enough. 

Dreaming of you, your curves. 

Your hip, them sexy pink lips 

Remembering us dancing, my hands on your hip 

Them sexy and special kisses on your lips. 

Sittin down in my cell dreaming, saying what the hell. 

-Gone Bad Reese 

From The Beat: Sounds like you've got someone on the outside that 
you're missing. It also seems like she's there for you, supporting you 
while you're locked up. What do you think you can do to be there for 
her either while your inside, or more importantly, when you get out? 


.-/rA/v#>^v mffwmmmj! ^/^/.^^ff 

f/ISf fS 

Grateful 'Til The Next Day Comes \ [ 

I feel so grateful to be alive, to be in this world full of pain 
and hate. It may sound crazy, but I just feel so grateful of 
the way this hellish life been treating me. It hurt to go 
through it, but all those hurt times have show what real 
life is about. Some of these life times have made of this 
lir kid the man I had become today, 'cause what didn't 
kill me just made me stronger. I'm still here tirando pa 
delante (moving forward). Living day by day is how I do 
it today. 

I feel grateful of bein' where I'm at today, and that's 
not going to stop me from being me and from going on 
and on with my teary eyes and my lungs full of smoke, 
and make the other days just pass and go... until the next 
day come. 


From The Beat: Being grateful for life and what you have is so much 
nicer than always resenting what you don't have. When you get past 
this little set back, we hope you continue to move forward in a positive 



Deep inside is so cold 

I feel like I'm 'bout to fold 

I reach out, but there's no one to hold 

It's just me inside this lonely cold cell 

All I can think about is how people told me I failed 

No tears, no remorse 

Now I'm considered psychotic... 

Meds, therapy, it's really unclear to me 

One day I'm doing what I was raised to do 

Next minute, I'm enslaved to what's considered insanity 


From The Beat: Who considers you psychotic? Can you describe what 
makes someone think of you that way? Were you really raised to do the 
things that lead you here? is that what's driving you crazy? 


The Beat? I'm 

Anna write about 


What's good with 

Yeah, his ya boy Rocket, ya dig. When I see the thugs, 
I give them the 'hood dap. But everybody else I shake they 
hand, but I usually don't shake hands with no outsiders 
'cause that ain't me. 


From The Beat: After we removed the questionable lines from this piece, 
there's not much left over... Do you make judgments about people based 
on how they shake your hand? 

When Times Are Hard 


When times get hard, you gotta push your way through 
Even when it feels like its burning its way through 
Through your heart, through your chest 

Maybe even through your bullet proof vest 

All of your worries and all of your stress 

Really need to get put to rest 

When it seems that no one cares and life is unfair 

Always remember someone cares 

Just look up to the sky 

Now close your eyes 

And envision yourself on God's television 

And when you feel like you really don't care 

Then it's time to turn yourself into eternal affairs 


From The Beat: What do you see when you envision yourself on God's 
television? Are you giving God the show he wants to see? How do you 
get through the hard times? 

Being Grateful 


1 1 

I'm grateful for many things in life. First of all, I'm 
thankful for still being alive. And I'm also thankful that 
the Lord has let me keep a level head and stay focused 
on my dreams. And hopefully, I can be grateful for being 
blessed with a good lawyer and a great probation officer. 
I'm not sure yet! 


From The Beat: Well, we hope you have some luck in the lawyer and PO 
department. But you're already creating your own good luck by having a 
positive attitude and knowing what you have to be grateful for in life. 

I I I I I I- 

I I I 

A True Father 

A real father to me, is a man who will never let his kids 
do without. I'ma be real, I want a son so bad right now. 
I know off top my lil' dude ain't going to worry about 
nothing. If I have a daughter than it's the same with her. 

To be real, my dad wasn't always there for me, so I 
promised myself that when I found that right one, that 
real ride-or-die chick, and we make that move, that I'll be 
a better father to my son than my pops was to me. I really 
don't care what I have to do to provide for my child. I'd do 
without before I let my child do without, ya dig? 

Oh yeah, and I most definitely refuse to let my child 
call another man dad. That's what ain't happening. 

Seriously though, a lot of females these days ain't 
really ready to be with that type of movement. That's why 
I said when I find that right one, ya dig? Yeah, though, 
that's how I feel about the father thang, though. 


From The Beat: The real truth is that if you're really thinking about 
what^ best for your "son," then now is not the time to have one! Doing 
what you need to do to "provide" for your child is important, but much 
less important than simply being there for him (or her). First, you have 
to be there for yourself, which means you have to find a way to stay 
free when you get out of here. Until you do that, you're not ready to 
be a father. Making a baby is the esk%y part. Being a father is a life-long 

I con 



My Handshake 

What's up with The Beat? Yeah, this Jigg 'bout to let 
you know how me and my dunnies tap, dawg! Me and my 
homies do the special tap. Everybody go be like, "Naw, we 
don't do that." But they just haters. 

Every time I see one of my dawgs, we gone tap it up. 
My homie Roach started it, and he gone. So we gone keep 
it going, dawg. 



I Fron 
I hav( 

From The Beat: This is skn interesting way to remember Roach. How long 
have you been tapping this way? 


M]f Samean Pnps 

I'm going to tell you about my stupid-ass father. That 
nasty-ass ninja have not been around my life. This one 
time I was in the old halls in B2. Me and my brother 
V-Gutta went to Samoa. My mom sent me to Samoa to 
serve one year down there, and had me stay with my 
dumb-ass pops. 

When I seen my pops, I didn't even care about him. I 
ran away from my pops to stay with my uncle. That ninja 
was so happy to see me. But I was not even happy to see 
his shady ass. I don't know why my mom still talk to him. 
He haven't been around for us in nine years now, so all I 
have to say is to hell with my pops. Peace. 

-Lil' Hennessey 

From The Beat: What did your pops do when you ran away to your 
uncled house? Is he still in Samoa? Does he know that you're locked 
up? What does he think about that? If you go back to Samoa, where 
will you stay? 



When I Get Out 

What's good with The Beat, though? Shhh, I wasn't 
feeling the top three topics, so I'ma talk 'bout what I'ma 
do when I get out this thang. 

I'ma go to the house, take a fat 20-minute shower, 
ya dig? Then take a lil' nap on that bed, ya heard me? 
Then I'ma get up, make something to eat, then be out the 
house to the block, ya dig? 

I'ma shoot dice with the squad, hold the block down, 
but I'ma be on my shhh. Ain't go let them peoples wrap 
me up again. Check it out playboy, I'ma still exercise 
when I get out. Ninja like me can't afford to be lazy, ya 

I'ma stack that dough, get mo', pull females, an' get a 
whip on 24's, yeah. Man I also gotta get my shhh together 
up in here, 'cause ya boy done messed up and shhh. So 
for now on, I'ma try not to get in no trouble no mo', ya 
heard me? 

Oh yeah, I'm 'bout to go back to school fo' real, dog. 
A ninja need a diploma instead of that phony-ass GED, ya 
heard me? 

I'm bored right now dude. I'm out. Chea boom! 

-Lil' Canon 

From The Beat: There's nothing phony about a GED, but a diploma is 
even better. For all the "big" things going on out there, and for all the 
things that lead you in here, what you miss the most are the simple 
things of daily life — a shower, sleeping in your own bed, making your 
own snacks. So, don't risk all that by "holding down the block" in a way ■ 
that lets the system hold you down! I 

Wait Fir Me 


I never had feelings like this before 

I made you my one and only for sho 

Come with me, I take you wherever you wanna go 

Either paradise, heaven, the Bahamas, or snow 

Little mama, so special, treat her like she gold 

That will never be sold, I need her 'til she old 

Whoever said thugs don't fall in love is a fool 

In bedroom, do shhh that I don't normally do 

Thinkin' 'bout you 24/7 as time pass by 

Knowin' that the day I get out, you still by my side 

All I wanna do is make this missin' time up to you 

So, whatever you need me to do, girl, believe I'll do 


From The Beat: One thing for sure, you can't treat her like gold sk% long 
sk% you're separated from her. So, we hope that this special love is all the 
motivation you'll need to stay away from the things that have taken 
you from her in the past, and can only take you from her again in the 


Wliile The World Turns... 


A Big Cycle 

This is just one big cycle 

One minute your free, next minute discipled 

Whatever happened to the Bible 

Where God was the judge, not a person 

They say this is justice, and this country is fair 

But when has a white man ever took the electric chair 


From The Beat: Well, even though you raise good questions here, we 
have to tell you that more white men have been executed on death 
row than black men. Currently, about 55% of those condemned to die 
are white, and 45% are Black and Brown. California has executed 13 
people. Two were Black... 

What's poppin' with The Beat? It's Doddie up in the 
units, chu feel me? I been here two months. Don't get 
me wrong. I'm not complaining. It's people that been here 
longer. But this shhh is base 'cause while we sit still, 
the world keep spinning, chu feel me? And ninjas still 

You can lock me up, cracker. I'ma get out and do the 
same thang. 


From The Beat: if you think you can get out and "do the same thing" 
iMfithout facing the same consequences (that you call "base"), then you're 
in for more lock up at the hands of the "crackers." Your choice. I 

Made For The Game? 


I ■ ■ ■ 

M]f Father 


In my life my father was there for me, but my mom was 
my father to me. But back about my father, he can be cool 
sometimes. He come there sometimes and play the game 
with me. And sometimes I will go to his house with him 
and he well come to my house with me and kick it at my 

-Young Toody 

From The Beat: How does your father get along with your mom? What 
kind of games do the two of you play together? Does he live nearby 

What it do? This is Enano. One thing I'm 'bout to say 
is that if you ain't made for the game, get out! Don't be 
crying in the halls, talking about you want to change your 
life, 'cause you got locked up. You knew what you was 
doing, but you wasn't ready to handle the consequences. 
But all the gangstas out there that still thugging and can 
handle the game, keep on doing your thang. I'm almost 
out this hole and back to the block. 


From The Beat: You're right to advise youth of any age to accept 
responsibility for whatever they do, but even if you've resolved to your 
stay in juvy, what about all the youngsters, some way younger than 
you, who are overwhelmed, frightened, and lonely being locked up, 
some for the first time and have no homies in there with them? if you're 
serious about continuing being "in the game," sk% you indicate, what 
will stop you from ending up in state prison? You also will have known I 
what you are doing. I 

J I 

Ninja's Model 




Man, 'cause I'm grateful for hella shhh. I'm grateful to 
have some OGs to teach me, since I ain't have a dad. I'm 
grateful to always have money in my pocket. I'm grateful 
for a lot of stuff, even if it is negative way of getting' it. 
There's almost always somethin' positive in it. 
Holla at ya ninja. Gone. 


From The Beat: It's good to recognize what's good in your life, and to 
be grateful for it. One thing, though... you don't have money in your 
pocket at this moment, so if you want to continue being grateful for 
that one, you'd better find a way to stay your sk%% free! 


Where I'm from, you can always find thugs on the corner. 
It's ninjas model, mayne. YGs never sit down or roll. 
Everybody know snitches' life get taken. If son was real, 
he woulda got his little time and took it, chu feel me? 

We in the middle of merkin season. You can get caught 
slippin' and die for no reason. Scream, please, man, but 
can't nobody save you. Betta say a prayer and hope God 
let you in them gates, dude. 


From The Beat: There's only one thing in this piece that interests us, and 
that's your view of God and the gates to heaven. Why would god allow 
those who destroy what he has created (and every murder is such skn act 
of destruction) to enter his kingdom and live in paradise? If you truly 
believe in God (we don't really care if you do or not, that's up to you), 
then can you explain what his role is in the world and in your life? 



f/ISf ^s 

Being Grateful 

rm grateful for being alive and making it to see sixteen. I 
have my own family that I take care of. I believe everyone 
has a great mind, but people just make the wrong 
decisions. I have lots of people I'm grateful for in my 
life that care for me, and that helps my family when I'm 
down, like my mother. I'm really grateful for her 'cause if 
it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be here. 

-Lil' Duce 

From The Beat: When you %x^ you wouldn't be here except for your 
mother, you must mean that you wouldn't be in the world (not that you 
wouldn't be in the hall!). How far does the gratitude you have for your 
mother go? Does it go far enough to stop doing the things that lead 
you here and lead her to cry for you? Don't you think it's time that you 
showed her how grateful you are, rather than just tell her? 

I am \ 

A Rapper's Mind 

I get respect everywhere 'cause I don't be lyin 
Knock a girl in every state, once they see ho fly 

Squares talking hella shhh, but I ain't replying 

Forget the law; I try to express what I saw through a 

rapper's mind 

You think it's a game 'til flre rain from the sky 

You think I'm insane, this a message from the god 

And I ain't been the same since I been grown, mane 

Should've got a education, only got myself to blame 

Getting older every day, trying to smoke away the pain 

I just wanna murder something, robbin' an' my gun, 


I rememba every day being dipped in butta 

Having all the things in life God took from us 

Young ninjas on the block, soon they will become us 

My ninja never snitched, just took a crazy number 


From The Beat: We had to take out a couple of lines of threat from this 
rap, Gotti, but we get the point. You bring god into your poem twice, 
but we're still not sure whether you believe there is a god or not, and if 
so, what your relationship to him/her is. What has god taken from you? 
What has god tried to give you that you have not taken seriously? We ■ 
don't think you're insane... do you? I 

I 1 II I 1 

Alioiisli Fatlier's Day! 

There shouldn't be one! My mama been ma father. Ma 
mama been there all my birthdays and all holidays. 


From The Beat: You can do MUCH better than this, Alexis, if your 
mama means so much in your life, then you can devote more than three 
sentences to her! She deserves a full page! 

Mj Circle 


In my circle, there is nothing but dedication. We all are 
dedicated to get money any way we can. If hat means 
tightening up some loose screws, then that's what we 
gonna do. If one of us disagree on a situation, then we i 
all disagree. But if we all agree, we all going to put our ' 
all in it. 

I trust everyone in my circle, and they trust me. It's 
some people I hang with, but I know when it come down 
to something, they gonna freeze up and get stuck. Lots 
of things and people changed during my stay in the halls, 
but my circle never gonna change. 


From The Beat: Well, at your age, it^ nice to have such a tight circle, 
even if that circle gets you and them in trouble from time to time. But 
one thing we know for sure (but which you don't yet believe) is that 
your circle will certainly change sk% you mature and begin to see a bigger 
world than the one you've limited yourself to. We're not sure how you 
or your circle will change, but we are sure change is inevitable. We hope 
you take control of that change instead of letting others take control 


for you. 


I Can't Respect Him 


I might be premature, but I ain't no foo' 

I rather call this ninja pops 'cause this ninja ain't coo' 

Grown up in the world, I done seen a lotta shhh 

Independent lil' ninja, I might need a lotta shhh 

I learned to get it on my own an' stop dependin' on ninjas 

Only nine years old, I stopped dependin' on ninjas 

The ninja asked what I wanted, but ain't get shhh 

Straight lied to the thug, I can't respect 'im fo' shhh 

Now I'm 17, same thang with the same results 

I see the ninja as a punk and not a damn adult 

Left me like anotha ninja at the end of the rope 

It's like tryna clean up my act an' ain't got no soap 

Like being stuck on a island an' ain't got no boat 

I can't say too much... one man, one vote 

-Young Dunny 

From The Beat: We're not sure if you're writing about your real pops 
or not, but whether this is your biological father or just the man you 
called pops, he sounds more like a kid than a man! Do you ever imagine 
your own relationship to your future children? How do you see that 
unfolding, and how will your own childhood experiences help to define I 
the father that you want to be? I 



I give different handshakes to different people. It 
depends on who it is. If I don't like the person, they not 
getting shhh from me. If I'm cool with you, you get a good 


From The Beat: is your handshake always the same, or do you shake 
hands in different ways? 

liratefui For God 

m I 

Me, I'm grateful for having God in my life, and thank him 
for al that he has done for me. And I'm grateful that God 
is always with me, and that God is allowing me to try and 
redeem myself and purify my soul so I may have a chance 
to step foot into heaven. So, I just am tiying to spread 
the word of the Lord and repeat the message to all my 
brothers and sisters. 

-Play Joseph 

From The Beat: (We're not sure we got your "first" name right, but that's 
what it looked like to u%..J\ In what ways are you trying to redeem and 
purify your soul? Since you want to follow God's laws, what about your 
life do you plan to change when you get out of here? 

Didfl't Kflow My Pops 

Wha's up with ya? It's ya boy, T-Mac. Today's topic about 
Father's Day... Well, shhh, I ain't really know my pops for 
too long before he got killed. But I had a step pop that was 
in my life for a little while. It's all right having a father. He 
had my back through a lot of shhh. 

I can't really tell you how he was a good father because 
I only knew him for two years, but he did put me up on 
gettin' money. So I can always have a place to stay and 
look like a million bucks. 

Last but not least, when I become a father (soon) I'ma 
be there for my son. No offense to the ladies, but I ain't 
tryna have no girl. But I'ma let my son choose his life, 
unlike my pops, and I'ma be there with him 'til I die. 

But I'm out. I'ma holla at ya next week. 


From The Beat: We're not sure what you mean that you "ain't tryana 
have no girl." Does that mean you don't want a girlfriend, or that you 
don't want a daughter? Either way, we're confused... You may be "up 
on gettin' money," but if this is skn example of you having a place to 
stay "and look like a million bucks," then we suggest you need to find 
another way of gettin' your money... 


Insights On Grateful 

X f 

Man, I wanna say when people are grateful, they see 
life in a whole different perspective. Most young hungry 
thugs don't give a bleep about being grateful, so we don't 
think about giving thanks about shhh, for real. 

Most of the goons be drugged up, lurkin', so we too 
busy to say, "Thanks, I appreciate that." Basically, our life 
moves too fast and we don't want to stop and be grateful, 
because most people wasn't grateful to us. 

When a ninja slow down and start being grateful, they 
start to cherish little things that they didn't at first, but 
most of the time it's too late for change. 

-G Thang 

From The Beat: You always have an original perspective on whatever 
you write, if you want to, why don't you write an essay for The Beat 
that focuses on how youth are not appreciated? Do you mean adults — 
parents, teachers, police, older kids, who fails to value young people? 
Who has neglected to be grateful for and to you? Please explain more. 
You may be very right. 

lather's Di) 


Father's Day? I don't know when that is. But I had a coo' 
pops, fo' real. He was here for like 16 years of my life, until 
I decided to shake his spot. He thought I wasn't messin' 
with him no more, so we got some distance between us. 
Now he be coo' and all, and sometimes we chill. But he 
work hella much, and be super tired when he off. So now, 
we just chill every now and then. 

But our relationship ain't how it used to be. He only 
came to visit me once out of 60 days. Base, screw that 


From The Beat: it's too bad that your relationship with your father 
soured so badly. Why do you think he seems to have cut you off? When 
you chill with him now, what do the two of you do together? 

Father leve 


I love you. Daddy, with all my heart. The last talk we had, 
you told me, "Always fight fo' what you want in life. Don't 
give up." 

I miss when we played ball at the park. I remember 
when me, you and mama was dancing in the house. When 
we used to ride in the car and you used to tell me, "We 
gone ride far away, me and you." But we never did. 

I love you. Dad, but I hate that you left me. I tired of 
death. Dad, but I know you told me, "Life too short to be 
sad. Keep yo' dream. Go to college." 

Love you. Pop. Wish you never got shot. 


From The Beat: We are sorry that your father left you because he was 
clearly giving you very good fatherly advice. We hope you keep his 
words in your head to achieve your dreams, to go to college, and to live 
your life as he hoped you would. How did he "leave" you? Did he pass 
away or walk away? At least he left you with some sweet memories (like 
dancing in the house with him and your mother). 


What Up. Beat? 

It's this boy I know who got shot when he ain't nothin 
but seventeen. He was sixteen when it happened. He 
thought he was so hard. Used to think he was so tough. 

One day he was on the street and some dude ran up 
on him. He was drunk, so he didn't run. He got shot in the 
face, then he walked away. Then he shot him in the back 
three times, but he doesn't look like he got shot. 


From The Beat: Do you mean he got shot in the face and the back and 
he% still all right? if so, then he's had the biggest wake up call of his 
young life. What about you? Does this make you want to wake up, 

Hard Life 


My life ain't easy. My life hard, dog. Man,. When I be 
hangin', I get shot at, I wanna shoot back. The thing 
about this world, when you in the beef, you can't hold a 
gun 'cause you gotta worry about the police. But if you 
don't have a gun, you might get killed. I never think it's 
right when someone in my family or friends get killed. My 
friend T-Weez got killed. I can't even express how I felt. 


From The Beat: We are sorry about T-Weez, and so many others who 
have lost their lives to this senseiess violence! We don't think carrying a 
gun really protects you, because when you're packing, you think you're 
invulnerable, and that can lead you into trouble you wouldn't have 
gotten into but for the gun. Of course it's not right when someone in 
your family or a friend gets killed. But everyone who gets killed has a 
family and friends, and it's no more right for them than for you. 


Once again writing to The Beat. You know who this is, 
but you feel me? Today I'm gonna talk about authority, 
including counselors in facilities to police officers on the 
main streets. This authority shhh ain't poppin' how these 
so-called police officers are here to protect and serve, 
when the only thing that's really happening is causing 
more problems on the streets? Hearing about police 
officers gun down young youth, and hearing how the 
police just raided the homie' house, and how they getting 
robbed from the police. 

The government ain't helping nobody, they just 
making our situation worse. They think from us being 
in a program for various months, sometimes years, gone 
change how we is and how we act. They can't change who 
we already are and our reputation on the street. We just 
gone be who we be. "We stay solid to the bone." 


From The Beat: You may be right when you write that many of you 
in juvy and at the Ranch already are who you want to be. But many 
youth have all kinds of skills and talents they've never explored and 
don't yet have confidence in, that if they developed could provide them 
with a whole 'nother life. Some young people want to gangbang for 
life, but others see that as a dead end, that will send them to prison or 
the grave, eventually, and in their hearts they are really searching for 
another way to make a living, beyond the streets, now or when they're 
grown. Part of the juvenile justice system should be to offer them job 
skills, education, and experience to make it once they return to the 
outs, don't you agree? 

Different Handshakes 

If it's a stranger, I'm going to give him a soft handshake 
or with the left hand. People or homies that I met before 
would get a normal handshake. If I'm going to shake an 
elder's or business or teacher's hand, I do it with a strong 
grip and make it real. 


From The Beat: What does a "normal" handshake look like to you? Do 
you think it makes a difference to people whether you shake with a firm I 
hand or a soft one? I 



I'm grateful for my life and my family. I love my mother 
to death. I cherish my family. I would like to make 
something outta myself, to make my mother and family 
happy. I love my family. I love my motiier because she has 
been through a lot of struggles and she still manages to 
still stand strong. 


From The Beat: Do you love your mother enough to stop doing the 
things that lead you here and bring her to tears? We bet she'll stand a 
lot stronger when her daughter comes home and stays home. 

//// // 

Getting Used To It Here 

X f 

What's crackin' with the Beat Within? This yo' boy 
Sopo holding it down fo' the block. I'm still up this shhh, 
waitin' to get out so I could start doin' what I was do' on 
the outs (get money). I'm really getting' used to this shhh, 
and I don't think that's a good thing. 

I should try to stay away from this damn place. 
But they is always somebody that's gonna push me to 
do something I don't wanna do. And, every time I do it, 
I always end up back in this shhh! But you know me, 
you can take me outta the ghetto, but you can't take the 
ghetto outta me. 


From The Beat: If people are pushing you to do things you don't want 
to do, then you need to find some courage inside yourself to be able 
to stand on your own and say, "No," when that^ what you feel. If you 
keep following (letting others control your life), then we're afraid you'll 
have to get used to places much worse than this! Don't wait for that to 

On Being liratefui 

I'm very grateful for being alive so far, and at least having 
a mom to be there for me. I'm also grateful for having 
a house when I get out to go to. Also food to eat at the 

I don't celebrate Father's Day because my dad left me 
and my moms when I was little, and I no longer talk to 
him. It doesn't really matter about my dad because I got a 
mom there for me all the time. 


From The Beat: From now on, Steve, we want you to write about only 
one topic, not all three. When you write on multiple topics, you can't 
really give u% the details we want. (After all, what can you say in just 
two or three sentences? Not much...) We want you to write a full page 
on just one subject (next time). We combined two of your pieces into 
this one. 

Money Rules Tiie Wnrid 

Money... Money... Money... Something that everyone 
wants, but can't have, because of this word, "poverty." 
That's the reason why us young ninjas be out there in 
them streets, putting our lives on the line to get that 
small amount of change. Doing all means necessary to 
stay above the water. Everyone wants that spotlight. That 
superior position. 

People who don't have money, don't let the rich person 
fool you. People with a large sum of money can act like 
they are livin' the life in front of the camera, but behind 
the scenes, their life is miserable. The reason why is 
because they have people attacking them from all angles, 
trying to get a piece of their pie. Don't get me wrong, you 
can have a wonderful life, but how long is that going to 

Our world is like a huge bucket full of crabs. You see 
someone trying to get to the top, and somebody under 
you will snatch you back into the poverty society. Some 
people with low money or average money, don't let the 
rich person fool you. Remember, money don't bring 
happiness, it brings problems with a capital P.... 


From The Beat: You're very wise, especially when you write that rich 
people can be miserable. Happiness and misery are no respecters of 
poverty or wealth. Do you think that it matters how someone acquires 
their money, to determine whether they can enjoy it or not? If it's 
accumulated on the backs of workers or the poor, stolen or acquired by 
selling drugs to people who are addicted, is the money somehow "dirty" 
and the owner cursed? Maybe you can write sin essay for The Beat about 
the psychology of money. How do you earn your money and how do you 
feel about it? 

I I 

i I 


i I 

Beiig tratefil 


I'm grateful for you. You mean the world to me. If I didn't 
have you, I wouldn't know what to do without you. You're 
like a beat that has lyrics; you're like the water in the sea. 
You're like the ground under my feet. Without you there 
is no me. That's why I'm grateful for you being with me. 


From The Beat: We wish you'd written more about the person you wrote 
this to. Why is he (or she) so special to you? And, if this person means 
this much to you, why did you risk losing the relationship by handing 
your freedom over to the system? 

Beino Gratefnl 

ns I 
ng I 


It's ya boy, Lil' Rob, up here at the Ranch, boring ass 
shhh — same shhh every day. Well, I'm grateful for my 
family and grateful for the lenient ass 'Frisco judicial 
system! Well, Beat, that's what I'm grateful for! Until I 
touch down! 

-Lil' Rob 

From The Beat: It's wonderful that you have a family that supports you 
and that you're thankful for them. But we wonder, why do you describe 
the Sstn Francisco County judicial system as being lenient? Do you mean 
it's been good to all the youth it deals with or only you, specifically? Do 
you think youth have benefited from the system's leniency or do you 
think it's a set up so youth will think getting arrested and sent to juvy 
isn't really that heavy, and that they'll get in more trouble when they're 
free again and end up in state prison? 

I I M I I rTT 


llDvelim, lot... 

Yeah, this Tray. My pops ain't the best dad, but I can't 
say he haven't been there for me because he has for the 
amount of time he was in my life, and I am grateful. 

But me and my pops ain't the best of friends. I still 
love 4m, but I don't think he should be doing me like this. 
He have his own family, and I think he stay up even when 
I'm down. But he my pops. 

I'ma talk to y'all later 


From The Beat: How long was your pops in your life? Does he stay with 
his second family now? Do you ever tell him how you feel? What does 
he say? 




I Lnve My Fatlier 

Yeah man, this ya boy Vernon out here. I'm going to talk 
about Father's Day. I would spend time with my father on 
Father's Day, and he will be proud of me because he will 
know I love him very much, I will buy him a gift. 


From The Beat: We hope you know, Vernon, that the best gift you could 
give your father to show him how much you love him is to be with him 

I instead of doing the things that give the system the power it needs to 

I take you away... 

Ciiinese 'Hnnd 

I'm from the Chinese 'hood 

The Chinatown corner is where I stay 

Smoking every day, drinking every night 

Gambling in alleys and playing Chinatown tag 

Attacking older heads, that's what the little ones do 

On July 4, shooting fireworks and making a mess in the 



From The Beat: lt% one thing to make a mess in the 'hood with f ireivorks, 
but a very different thing to make a mess out of your life by smoking, 
drinking, gambling — and coming to the hall. Is this ivhat you want for 
your future? If so, keep doing what you're doing. If not, what are you 
going to stop doing? 

r/r A/v#>^v mmMmjum. /-//// 

//// // 


X f 

What's up Beat? This is ya young Stackz from San Jose. 
I got something to talk about with you guys, at first I 
didn't want to talk to ya'U but I think I wants my words to 
be read by young adults like myself. 

Anybody can feel what I'm saying. I got a special girl 
in my life, her name is Hannah, she's real lo, she been a 
positive influence in my life but for some reason at flrst I 
had second thoughts about our relationship but as time 
went I caught more feelings for her and now that I'm in 
here I can't see her. I think about her everyday I'm in 
here. When I get out on house arrest I'm gonna spend 
more time with her 'cause that's all she wanted from me. 
Now I think about what she tells me from time to time. 
She cares for me a lot. But I was not thinking about it in 
that way. 

For anyone out there that doesn't think that girl 
doesn't feel the same way you do about them, get to know 
them flrst and try to understand their personality on your 
own time if you know what I mean. 

If you got any advice to me, so I can be a better person 
to her and my lil brother, I would appreciate cause when 
I get out this time I'm never coming back 'cause I don't 
want my lil' brother growing up knowing I was locked up 
half of my life cause he's gon' think it's cool and it's not. 
I want to be a role model to him and also an influential 

I don't know if I'm gonna be here when you give out 
the pamphlets to see if you put this in. So just shout to 
my loved ones in my life. 


From The Beat: Between a little brother and a girl, you have a lot of 
good going on in your life. That also mean you have a lot to lose. It's 
great that you want to be a role model to your younger brother, and 
you probably know that's a 24/7 job. He^ watching you all the time, 
and like you said, whatever you do he is going to think that's cool. You 
know how to speak from the heart, and that is a valuable talent, so if 
you keep your mind focused and on the right things, you will be that 
"influential person" you want to be. 

Father's Day 

I wish I could have one more Father's Day with my dad, 
but I can't 'cause he's gone out of my life forever and I'm 
here without a dad. It hurts me a lot. Now I know how 
people feel to not have a dad. So to all that don't have 
dads: keep your head up! Stay strong. I'm out. Late. 


From The Beat: Ronnie, thanks so much for sharing this loss with u%. We 
are very sorry to hear about your father and hope that you are doing 
okay. Your father sounded great and that last conversation you had 
was important - you knew that he loved you and you will know that 



To the Beat: I have had a bad life as a kid. My father 
flgure was a wife and child beater, he was also a raper, 
pothead and an alcoholic. He always beat my mom and 
little ones. He also beat me so I started running away from 
home. When I got older I went back and got stronger and 
smarter then him. I fought him and then got my family to 
a safe place so he would never hurt them again. 

-Lil' Man 

From The Beat: What does having a father like this make you ivant to 
do for your family in the future? Does it motivate you or does it not 
have much of skn effect? You're already a hero to your family. How are 
you going to build on that it the future? 

Beino Grateful 

I think what I am grateful for having a mom, a dad, and 
two little sisters that care about me. It's because they 
care for me, but also because they love me. That's what is 
most important in life, your family. 

Also, I am grateful to have a very flrm girl. Her name 
is, Itzel. I love her with all my heart and she is helping me 
to make good decisions. 

-Elvis Morales 

The Beat Within: You have a nice family, something that many envy to 
have, if you have it all, what's making you end up in this place? If you 
care for them, be there for them sk% they have been for you. 

Love Is In The Hall - My Romeo? 

Dang mami, I'm hella stuck on you. 

You got me sprung like PB and J, damn. 

Dang, I want to top you off like the cream fllling on my 


I want to suck on your lips like I savor my Now n' 


Ya flU me? 

I'm hella sprung on you. 

You got a girl all hypnotized. 

Damnit Love, all I wanna do is caress you, 

make you all mine 'cause I'm so lost without you. 

You're my sweet thang, 'cause whenever I see you - 

dang , I wanna kiss you... 
BOOYEAH, I found my Romeo! Te amo! Con todo mi 
-Your Cupcake With Rainbow Sprinkles 

From The Beat: This fake love letter is making u% quite hungry. ^Nsk% that 
your intention? Cute. 

My Ditfereit Handshakes 

X r 

I have a lot of different handhskaes for all different 
kinds of people, for someone I'm just meeting, I make eye 
contact and shake hands friendly. With a female I would 
do the same thing but a lot softer. With someone I know 
for a long time, I give more a hug than a handshake. 

When I was little I didn't shake hands a lot, but I'm 
more mature now. I now know just by shaking someone's 
hand whether they're a gangbanger, this sider, that sider, 
a school boy, a gay guy, or if he's going to be a cool 
respectful person. You flnd out a lot about someone by a 

-Lil' Man 

From The Beat: That's quite a talent being able to tell so much about 
someone from so little. Do you ever worry that your quick judgments 
might be wrong and you may have missed stn opportunity to meet 
someone worth knowing? So tell us how you got such a talent: was it 
by necessity or did it just come to you? 

I I 



I was in the 7th grade in a small town called Milpitas. 
This white boy bumped into me and told him watch 
where you walking and he told me screw Mexicans. So 
I squared up with him and the principle seen and heard 
what happen. He told me not to do anything, that he'll 
handle it, but still I couldn't let that slide and I gave him 
a one-hitter quitter and I got kick out. Shhh happens and 
rn stay solid 'til I die. 


From The Beat: it's unfortunate to hear something like this, because 
even though you may have gotten back a little at this guy, you're the 
one locked up and he's the one getting stn education, improving his life, 
it's unfair that he said something so ignorant and then gets the last 
laugh, but that is just what happens when you let your "pride" get the 
best of you. in reality pride would not be hitting the guy; pride would 
be lAfalking away, knoiving iwho you are, confident, understanding that 
people that hate are losers. You made the opposite, decision, got thrown 
out, hurt your future. Maybe you'll realize that you are just sk% ignorant 
sk% him if you think that having pride means punching someone. 


r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

To All 

X f 

Well, I went to court like a few weeks ago, and I got 120 
days instead of the Ranch. — ^^Well it's not all too great, 
but at least, I know when Fm getting out. 

You don't know how sick and tired I am of being in 
here. It sucks and I can't wait to get out, so I can move 
on with my life and not have to spend one more second 
around these sorry low life so called gang bangers. 

These cats are fake. They need to realize there's more 
to life than running the streets, using rookie drugs like 
weed. That was hella back in the 6th grade when I used to 
smoke that crap. 

Well before I close this up one more thing to all you 
wannabe's- GROW THE HELL UP before you end up 
getting packed in prison!! 


From The Beatilt seems like your mind is getting mature enough to 
icnow what^ good for you and others. What do you planned for your 
life? In a few months, you'll be going out to the real world. Are you 
prepared for this? Keep your positive thoughts active for your best. We 
hope you the right thing and live happily. 

Oi The Feice 


Ever since I was 12, I used to be a gangster. Then at 
the age of 16, I started to doubt their cause. A couple 
new friends of mine started talking to me about, the other 
side, so I switched it up. Now I just don't want people to 
think I'm a leva (punk). 

If they find out, these retards might think they're all 
hard, pack each other, and do what they call "putting in 
work". Well, bye. 

-Confused and Young 

From The Beat: Why switching from a negative thing to another 

Lone who might get you into more trouble? What do you really see in 
gangs? What's so attractive about them? Why not switching your life to 
something positive that can help you and help others in need. You just 
made another bad move! Sorry for that. 

He Wasn't There 

What's up Beat? Today's topic that I'm writing about is 
Father's Day. 

My father was really not there. Now he is starting to 
be there and came to my court date to visit me. No matter 
what, if my dad is not there or here, he will always be my 
father. Even though he was not really there, and I really 
had no one to look up too when I was little, he's my dad. 
So that's it. Until next time. 


From The Beat: Everyone deserves a second chance. You also need to 
give yourself a chance to accept him and start over. It^ never to late. 
Like you've said, he's still going to be your father no matter what. 

A Hard Father's Day's \ 

Father's Day's are always hard because my father never 
really showed a lot of love to me. He has done his job for 
staying at home with my mother, but never really paid 
much attention to the family. All he ever did was drink 
beer, eat, sitting on the couch, always watching TV, and 
yelling at me constantly, at least five times a week. 

If I ever needed a favor, he'd probably ask for some 
weed. I brush it off though, 'cause I know he'll always be 
my pops. After he kicks me out the house, I'm still gonna 
give him props. 

-Young Tito 

From The Beat: It seems like all he was, was more like a picture placed 
on the wall. Would you be like him when you have your own kids? Or 
would you be different? What type of father do you think you'll be? 

He's A Great Father 


My father is a great father, even though he's not my 
biological dad. He has been there for me all my life and I 
love him for that. 

My relationship with my dad has affected my life in a 
huge way. He's taught me how not to make a big deal out 
of nothing. 


From The Beat: You're lucky to have a stepfather like him. He has been 
more a like father to you, and you should consider that. It's time to start 
showing some appreciation to him. He deserves it. 


Depends On Whnse Hand 

What's up Beat? As for myself just chillin' in JH. They're 
trying to send me to the Ranch this time for 6-8 months. 

Well anyway, handshakes, it mostly depends on 
whose hand I'm shaking. If they're my homeboys, we do a 
different shake. 

If I'm shaking hands with family it's basically a palm 
to palm and then a hug. I usually don't shake homegirl's 
hands. I just give them hugs. 

When I first started shaking hands it was a simple 
handshake and hug. Now that I became involved more in 
gangs, they're different. We throw up our gang number; 
I'll throw up one number while the other homeboy throws 
up the other number. I like shaking hands because you 
meet a lot of homeboys that way. If they don't, I simply 
don't respect them. Late Beat. 


From The Beat:: Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this topic. 
How nice and proud would your parents be if you, after having a good 
education, could shake the hands of lawyers, doctors, architectures, or 
other important people in life? " Can't stop, won't stop" will be your 

J I 

Fatter's Da) 

»ur I 


Hey what's up Beat? Me? Not much just doing my time. 
Well, today's topic is Father's Day. Damn, I'ma be in the 
Hall while Father's Day goes by. I don't know. I hope he 
comes to visit me that day, so I can tell him, "Happy 
Father's Day", and give him a card or something. 

Well that's my plan for Father's Day. I'm gonna cut it 
from here, late. 


From The Beat: We also hope you get the opportunity to chill with your 
father and have a true father to son relationship. For next Father's day, 
do your best to be out for him. 

People Regrets 


One thing that I hate is when people regret. First, why 
do you do some shhh and then tell your roommate, or 
whoever you're telling, "damn I regret being there that 
one day? I should have just left home." 

That's some weak shhh. Stop trying to act hard, and 
then cry about what you did. The other thing that I also 
don't like is when staff here, at the juvenile hall, always 
say, "damn if that was me, I would have beat his ass." 

Also, like today, a staff said, "I don't like going to that 
flea market 'cause there is a lot of cops there." Why in 
the funk do you trip if there are cops? Damn, you guys 
are like cops without cop cars. STOP TRYING TO ACT 


From The Beat: You got good point; on the other hand, what people 
thinic, say or do is affecting you in some way. There are other things you 
should be focusing about. Your current situation can be one of those 
things. Getting out, stay free, getting stn education, and stay at home. 
What% so hard about doing this? 

r/r A/v#>^v mmMmjum. /-//// 

//// // 

Grateful For Plenty 


I am definitely blessed to have my family. They have 
always been here to support me, especially my mom. She 
visits me 24/7. She has never disappointed me and keeps 
me striving to do excellently. 

Also, for my case, they went kinda light on my 
sentence, and even though I received a strike for armed 
robbery, they only gave me 6 months hall time, 1 month 
ankle monitor, and 1 year probation. 

I prayed to God because it could've gone worse. But 
the thing that helped me change is my suga bear. He's 
always been by my side no matter what, and also my best 
friend, who just left to the ranch. She was my girl 4real. 
I just met her, but we bonded real good. I hope she's 
grateful that she can finally get her time started. But 
yea, I'm so thankful for God and my mom. They help me 
through everything. 

And my suga bear, I love so much. Suga is always there 
for me. We will live together when I get out. I hate being 
away from my Bear. I miss kissing and cuddling with my 
Suga Bear. But most of all, I'm thankful God introduced 
us and took over for us to be soulmates. But yeah, to my 
best friend, do good. 

To my mom, keep visiting me, and to God, keep 
blessing me. And Suga, I love you and I'll see you soon. "I 
can't stop missing you." 


From The Beat: Considering the hot water you could have been in, 
you do have a lot to be thanicfui for. And we're glad that you are. We 
icnow that best friend from the hail, and we're glad she's talcing care of 
business at the next stop along her way. We send her our best wishes, 
if you are in touch with her, please say hi for us. 



I'm from a little town in central California called 
Woodlake in Tulare County. I liked it down there, but 
when I moved here to San Jose, everything was so much 
bigger and different. 

One thing that's always different is the handshakes. In 
Woodlake, I only kicked it with one gang, even though I 
wasn't a gangster. 

Handshakes down there were the slap of the hands, 
then knuckles, fist to fist. But here in San Jose, they 
do it different. They do the classic handshake hand 
squeeze. I will always remember one thing everywhere I 
go. Handshakes are always different. 


From The Beat: Thank you for sharing your ideas. Now, we hope you u%e 
this time you are here for better thoughts that can guide you to a better 
future. Being in gang won't take you anywhere. Use your intelligence! 


What's up with it. Beat? Well, I'm just doing my time in 
Santa Clara and I'll be out soon. It sucks being in here 
-not too much freedom and the outside is hella better. 
I'm grateful for my family 'cause they're hella cool with 
me and I'm proud that my Dad is always praying for me so 
that nothing bad happens to me up in here. 

I hope everything goes well on my court date and they 
let me go with house arrest so I can be with my family and 
hyna and the homies up in there. And hopefully be good 
and not step into the wrong shoes and blocked up in here 
again. Well, late. Beat. 


From The Beat: That's tight that your dad prays for you and how you're 
doing. It's a sign of how much he cares for you. The shoe analogy is a 
good one — we hadn't heard that before. We also hope that you don't put 
the wrong shoes on again. Keep them right shoes on! 

* I 


Life's Too Much to Be Tliankfol 


I can't think too much, my brain's hard as rock 

I love my familia and postin' around chillin' on the 


Serving rivals up real nice 

Crime leaves people toe tagged in bags 

My life is the only thing I'm thankful for 

I don't got no plaques 

Life's like a football, grab it 

You might fumble, but you gotta knock the weak in 


And truck through problems like skilled running backs 

You might make it to the goal or lose with no but one 


I feel like an underground and lost king that ain't been 


So be thankful for your life, even if you think it's not 


'Cause by the time you ain't got nothing 

That dance with the devil might not be worth it. 

Young Goofy, I'm out. Alrato! 

-Young Goofy 

From The Beat: This familia that you love, is that the one postin' with 
you on the block, or the one you leave home crying every time you get 
locked up and fearing every moment of your freedom that you won't 
make it home? If love is about shoiving and not telling, then iwho is it i 
your really love? I 

liniig II More Meiiinitul life 


I've learned not to take things for granted, to live life one 
step at a time, to love life and live it to the fullest extent of 
my abilities, all the while striving to educate my mind and 
expand my abilities to live a more meaningful life. That is 
what I would do, have been doing, and will still be doing. 


From The Beat: It's clear that you have a strong mind and goals that can 
make your life so much better. But if we have stny criticism, it is that 
you didn't give u% example of how your living life to the fullest, or what 
you're doing to educate yourself, or even what a "more meaningful life" 
would look like to you. You packed a lot into just two sentences. Next 
time, try writing skn entire page. There^ no doubt you can do it. 

Father's Day 


I wish I had a father around to say "Happy Father's Day' 
too. So, I just say "Happy Father's Day" to all my homies 
who have kids. 


From The Beat: Where is he? Whatever your situation might be, 
sorry. For the next time, give u% more details, 
your feelings. 

so we can understand 



Beiflo Grateful 

What's up? This is that Chicano comin' at you with 
today's topic. I am grateful for my two lil' boys and my 
family that are there for me. 

I'm grateful for seeing another day and knowing that 
my stay here is temporary, and that I made some changes 
so when I get out, I don't end up another CDC number, 
stuck in the system. 

So, when I get out it a completely fresh start, with 
no probation. When I get that GED complete, I'm going 
to shoot for a good job and support my kids. Yeah, I am 
going to cut this short. 


From The Beat: Good positive ideas! It was about time for you to realize 
what^ better for your future. You have a family waiting for you. A kid 
is a huge responsibility and you have two kids, so that equals to double 
responsibility. It^ time for you to be there for your family. Don't wait 
for later. Do it now! 

r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

Forever Together 

I want this relationship to last 

a lifetime. Me and you babygirl can 

do whatever. Til that day I'll be waiting 

for you to come in my arms. 


From The Beat: Strong, short poem, Indio. I think your girl ivouid iiice 
this if she read it. Hopefully SHE'S waiting for you to come into her 
arms. Do you think the relationship is damaged because you are locked 
up? If so, what can you do to repair it? 


M) Music 

Fm grateful for music. Music helps me everyday. When 
Fm mad, I listen to music. When Fm sad, I listen to music. 
When I skate, I listen to music. 

I started listening to punk music when I was 7-years- 
old. A song from Operation Ivy came on this skate video, 
and I fell in love with it. 

I think that music had a great deal influencing who 
I am today. I think the reason most people are the way 
they are is from music. Music is a great way to express 
yourself too. 

-Born To Skate 

From The Beat: What other kind of music do you listen to besides punk 
music? Is there skn^ other kind of way that you express yourself besides 
music? Is there any particular music that soothes your soul? Have you 
thought about becoming a DJ? 


Life is a bumpy road 

So Fm always in a bumpy mode 

In a world where right now Fm on hold 

Where every soul is cold 

Where people struggle and try not to fold 

Fm in a world where money rules 
And where the poor try to keep their cools 

It's hard growing up trying to manage 
But as you grow, you become more savage 

-Richard M 

From The Beat: The problem with alloiving this world to make you bitter, 
to make you "more savage," is that you are the one who pays the price. 
The system is designed to "tame" %xyisk%e% (by keeping them caged). 
What the system can't deal with is calm intelligence. Which means that 
if you want to regain some measure of control, there have to be some 
changes in your life, and they have to come from you. Without that, 
the system will only repress you and hold you down. If you think you 
can continue doing what led you here without facing the same — or 
worse — consequences, then you're still thinking like a little boy and 
not a grown man. Don't wait until you're locked up for years thinking, 
"If only..." 

What I'Di Gratefol For 

What's up Beat, how you guys doing? 

Fm very grateful for my son, Manuel Isaiah, and for 
my family. My family always wants me to do good and 
they don't want me in here. I'm thankful I got a family 
that cares about me and wants to see me do good with 
myself. I hate that I'm away from my son because he's 
getting big and a lot of his teeth are coming all out. I ain't 
there for these things and I need to be. I can't wait to go 
home - only 12 more weeks. Cheeah! Well Beat, that's 
what I'm grateful for, and also for you guys coming all the 
time. It gives me time to express myself. 

Well Beat, till next week, I'm out. To everyone, do your 
time and keep your heads up. Late! 


From The Beat: We're glad to give you the chance to express yourself. 
And even happier when you take advantage of the opportunity to share 
your experiences with others, via the written word. 

, We need a lot more 

Forget Aboot My Father 


I don't even have any respect from my dad. He's trying 
to funk my mom over by not helping her out with money. 
I feel like smashing on him every time he comes to visit 
me. He just talks shhh, so the hell with him and the hell 
Father's Day. 

-Pee Wee 

From The Beat: Maybe you should tell him how you feel and how his 
presence is affecting your life and your mom's. For the next time, don't . 
generalize. Not all fathers are the same. Some deserve a lot of respect. I 


Wtat I Am eratefil Fir 


One of the things that I'm grateful for is that even though 
I got into a fight in the Ranch, and I'm going back. This 
times it's for good, no more fighting, I'm just going to do 
my time and get out. 

I got better shhh to do in the outs. To all stay up, keep 
enjoying your life, 'cause I'm enjoying mine. Cuidence 
alrato. (Take care) 


From The Beat: Sounds good to vl%\ What skte your plans besides behaving 
better in juvi? What are those better things you got in mind doing on 

I the outs? Are they positive? One more thing, how are you enjoying life 

I in the hall? 


Beiig Eratefil 

f I 

What up. Beat? It's your boy Julio once again chillin' up 
in this unit. Well, I'm grateful for getting chances! Damn, 
I am lucky for being here still but I wish I was just out and 
about! Feel me?! But I'm just thankful that they always 
give me the benefit of the doubt and that's cool! Well, now 
I'm looking at life skills for three to six months. I want to 
get sentenced already. 

I'm focused and determined to do my program for my 
family and myself. I'm tired of putting myself in the same 
predicament and I'm expecting my baby on December 
9th or so. So I need to stop being selfish and take all my 
loved one's feelings into consideration. I'm going to be 
eighteen soon also and that's a whole new level and that's 
cool with me. I'm going to be a good father and that's all I 
got in my head right now. Keep your heads 

up! Well, that's it for me 'til next time! Much love to all 
who know me! 


From The Beat: We like that you %siy you are lucky to be here. We all are 
luclcy to be alive. It's cool that you acknowledge that. With that attitude, 
a day is a precious thing. Have you ever been close to death whether 
with illness or violence? What do you think it will be like to die? 


Being Grateful 


honest communication in this world. 


I am grateful for a lot of things. One thing I'm grateful for 
is my momma because I put her through a lot this year yet 
she is still there for me and still loves me. Out of everyone 
in my family she's the one that's been there. When I got in 
big trouble, she was there. I knew she would be hella mad 
but I know she also hella loved me. She can't do nothing. 
I'm her son. She's got to be there for me. 

I also put her through hella tears this year and you 
ain't ever supposed to put your mom in tears. But deep 
down she loves me 'cause I'm her one and only son. 
That's why I'm grateful for her 'cause she's there for me 
no matter what. Through thick or thin!!!!! 


From The Beat: We agree that nobody^ supposed to put their mom in 
tears, but most of us do. We bet she's just sk% grateful for you sk% you are 
for her. How does she show you she^ there? Through visits? Do you have 
skny homies whose moms are not there for them? 


r/r A/v#>^v mmMmjum. /-//// 

//// // 

stress Out 

Damn, I've been hella stressed out. I mean, I have court 
coming up and I've been thinking of my Pizzy. I've been 
hearing hella shhh that he had haters and at all times I 
always believe him, but this time I don't. It's crazy because 
we have nothing but trust, through thick and thin, but 
this time it's crazy cause he don't even know how much 
I love him, or what I go through with him. I put up with 
all his problems, but I love him with all my heart. Hynas 
- tell me that's some shhh if I go back to someone who's 
going to do me like that. But it's funny because they don't 
even know how much we love each other. Na, they're not 
even a part of our relationship, but all I want to know, if 
he reads this, is would you even think of what you might 
have done, even when I'm locked up? 

Shhh, don't guys know they put their ladies through 
hella shhh? Sometimes they don't even see our point 
of view. They only want to see and hear what they want, 
unless you got that one! But with my man, I have to tell 
him more than once, hahaha, he has problems. But I love 
him for so many reasons. I'm going to make this short. 
But what he puts me through is funny, 'cause I will always 
love his pikachu a. . . He would never find another person 
that would put up with him like I would. 


From The Beat: We aren't sure why you have such strong feelings for 
this guy. Your piece is full of what you're worried about, but you haven't 
given u% any reasons to understand why - only reasons to doubt the 
wisdom of your choice. So asic yourself - why are you so stuck on 
this guy. There may be very good reasons. He could be a real Prince 
Charming. But maybe it's time to consult the score card and see if he still 
comes out a winner. And for good measure, apply the same standards 
to yourself. Do you pass. 

11 ; I I :i [ , II II i I I L i V I I 

Always Grateful 

I'm forever grateful for many reasons with a blessed 
family. I want to be out one more time. That day will 
happen, lil' bro. Just remember who you are, and where 
you came from. I will be with you the whole way. Don't 
have to worry. I will go out my way to have things done 
for us. Believe me when I say tliese words. If you realized 
what I was trying to tell you before you'd understand. But 
I love you lil' bro and our family does too. 


From The Beat: This is a powerful piece written to someone you love 
very much. We hope that if you see this piece, you show it to your 
brother when you get out. We know he will appreciate how much you 
care about him. How old is he? is he one of several? What do you like 
about him? 

Not Eratefil 


What's up. Beat? Well, today they are talking about being 
grateful and right now I'm not grateful because I've been 
locked up for twelve-months. 


From The Beat: We appreciate the honesty. Dopey. We're all ungrateful 
sometimes — maybe even most times. Thank you for verbalizing it. Still, 
is there absolutely nothing you are grateful for? 



Love your family no matter what. 

Who's there for you when you run out of luck? 

Family comes first - 

No matter what. 


From The Beat: We suspect you momentarily forgot that when you put 
yourself at risk. We hope you don't forget again. 

I'm Back 


Welcome back. 

Welcome back. 

Welcome back. 

Damn it I'm back. 

I'm mad, I'm about to 

Be 18 years old and I'm back. 

What the hell! Are you 

For real? I'm mad that I'm back 

But it's just like, damn. Nothing 

I can do, just sit in my room. 

Stare at these walls and say WTF. . . 

I'm mad, 

I'm mad, 

I'm mad. 

That I'm back in the hall 

And being told what to do. 

I can't stand this. 

I miss my lady 

And my baby bruh. 

I miss my mom and 

Sparkin a blunt, that's why I'm here, 

Cus of all them trees I was blowin... 

Damn weed see what you did! 

Got me back in the hall and about to go to 

The Ranch. 

Damn it, I'm mad 

That I'm back. 

I'm about to go to the Ranch. 


From The Beat: Blaming your intoxicant of choice is like blaming a car 
for running a red light, it's the driver - isn't it? Or have we missed 
I something all these years? 


Havino My Mother Alive 

I'm grateful for having my mother alive, 'cause I know 
she loves me and always would stand by my side, and 
never would let me down. 

That's why I'm grateful. She is a good person and 
would never leave me in the streets even though I deserve 


From The Beat: She seems to be a good mother. Are you a good son? in 
order to give, you need to receive! ICeep that in mind! 

J I 

wmt's I Fatker 

What's up Beat? 

Allow me to extend my utmost love and respect. I'm 
still waiting to go to the Ranch, trying to get this lil' year 
stretch out of the way and move on. 

Today's topic is Father's Day, and to tell you the truth, 
I never celebrated it 'cause my Pops, so-called Pops, 
was a punk. He got my mom pregnant and couldn't take 
responsibility. He got scared and ran away. He had his tail 
between his legs. But my older bros and my big homeboys 
showed me the ropes and were my role models. 

When I'm a father, I'm gonna stay there, regardless 
cause I want to be loved and not hated by my kids. 

Well Beat, I'm out, too all who know me, stay up, this 
little time ain't nothing compared to those in the pen. I'm 
signing out just how I started ... with my utmost love-and 


From The Beat: Mister Tiny, this is one of the most heartfelt pieces you 
have written in quite some time, it sounds like your father taught you 
a good lesson by not being around - namely to be a good father when 
your time comes. 

r/r A/v#>^v mmMmjum. /-//// 

Mi Jefe |My Dad) 

Q-vole Beat? Well it's this vato back again to write about 
mi jefe (dad). Well my dad wasn't there for any of my life. 
He's been in jail for more than a decade and he got two 
more years to go. 

I tJiink that not having him has been a major part of 
my life, because I never had him and never had anybody 
to look up to. That's why I am how I am, and why I do what 
I do. 

But I ain't even trippin' about him because he wasn't 
there for me. Now I know that I'm gonna be there for my 
kids. If there is any thing they ever need, I will get it for 
them, no matter whatever it takes. 

Well Beat, I guess this is it for now but not for long. 
Keep your heads and it will get better. 


From The Beat: We like your enthusiasm in becoming the type of father 
you never had. We hope you be one of those good role model type of 
father. But, when your father is finally released are you going to allow 
him to play a fatherly role in your life if he happens to come around? 
Everyone deserves a second chance in life. Right? What is it that he 
needs to do to bring reconciliation between the two of you? 

//// // 

In My Mind 


Baby, I'm stressing over you, 

I know you're stressing over me, too. 

Baby, I miss your kiss, 

I know I'm the one you miss. 

Baby, you're the one I love, 

you were sent from the angels above. 

I miss the way I kiss your neck, 

together you and I connect. 

Baby, I want you in my arms, 

I will protect you from any harm. 

Baby, you're my earth angel. 

Our love will never tangle, 

our bond is too strong, 

our love will forever go on. 

I know we fought a lot in the past, 

but I promised you that our love will last. 

- Pnuc 

From The Beat: Hopefully, whomever you are writing this for Icnoiws the 
way you feel. Love poetry is important, but keeping promises is even 



more romantic. 

Taking lir traitel 


Being stuck in this place really bites. I miss my son 
and my man. It's the worst thing when what we take for 
granted is gone - for the moment. It's even worse when 
it's gone forever. People never really think about it till it 

My time in here will hopefully go good, as long as I 
know my son's okay. I really think life is going to change 
for me and only for the good. 


From The Beat: We're on your team. We hope so, too. Maybe you will 
learn not to take too much for granted, sk% a result of this unpleasant 

Grateful For Mom 


I'm grateful for my mom always being there for me. Even 
though some times I'll act like a bratt, my mom still treats 
me like a princess. 

My mom was the father and mother. She had to play 
two roles. Even if she had her last 2 dollars, she would 
give it to me. She would try her best to take care of me 
and my bro. I feel so bad. I should have gone to school 
instead of skipping. But now I'm here. I could have made 
her proud. I love her so much. I just want her to know 


From The Beat: You tell her. That's the best way. That's the way it will 
mean the most. You may not be used to telling her something that 
simple, but do it. Tell her how grateful you are, and how much you care. 
Nothing could mean more to her than that. 

Grateful To Jose 


I am grateful for my cousin Jose. He helped me a lot 
when I got released. He hooked me up with a job at Direct 
TV to keep me out of trouble and get some money in my 

He also gave me a car, so that I could get to anywhere 
and school. 

So that is one person that I am grateful for. To all in 
here, stay up and stay strong. Alrato. 


From The Beat: it's cool to rely on someone like your cousin. He must 
have tried very hard to keep you on the right road. Right? You should 
listen to him and those who want the best for you. Not to those who 
help you come back here. 


The Usage Of Marijuana 

When you smoke weed, you smokin' with death. 

He'll give you happiness, bring you girls, 

and also sadness... You'll end up in jail or 

with death, your gamblin', your life and 

death playin'. 


From The Beat: Can you be more clear in what you're saying when you 
say " when you smoke weed, you smoking with death." Who is he? 



Sometimes I wish I could change him. Then again, I 
wouldn't do it for the world. He messed up a lot, but from 
him messing up, it taught me. Then I started to mess up 
myself after I saw him mess up. So he let me and I learned 
from my mistakes this time. 

Now I look forward to being a father so I can actually 
stop or try to stop my son or daughter from messing up, 
like me and my dad. I'm going to be the best I can be and 
if that ain't enough, then I can't say nothing, but you're 
gonna learn from your mistakes then. If you don't listen 
to me, I'm still behind you no matter what. 

- J Stunna 

From The Beat: Allowing someone you love so much to "learn from 
their mistakes" can be really difficult because we want to protect our 
children, but it seems like it is the best way to grow up. 

Grateful To lioil 

>m I 


All that I'm grateful for is my mom and my family, but it 
is to God that I am grateful for the life he gave me to live. 

I accept and understand the situation. I'm grateful 
to known that I'm equal with everyone, just 'cause I'm 
locked up don't make me no different from a free man. I 
just got caught. 

Anyways, being in here for the fourth time and this 
time I am older and much stronger in my mind from the 
last few times. I realize all this shhh I choose to do just 
throws my freedom away, incarcerated or not. My dignity 
is lost, my image is torn. So now I understand I need to 
be grateful for all I have and just play by the rules. 


From The Beat: Tell u% the rules you must play to get back on track? 
We're pulling for you to stay on task! 


r/r A/v#>^v mmMmjum. /-//// 

//// // 

Non Shaker 

X f 

What's up Beat readers? It's that one and only one 
coming out that M£ix Unit. Well today I've decided to write 
about handshakes and the effects it leaves in different 
ways. Toward a fellow companion, the shakes mean a lot 
as well as toward some one important. 

But then again, I don't shake no one's hand. Too 
many germs out there and I don't wanna get sick. I hate 
germs and to me shaking a person's hand is disgusting. 
I don't even kiss or hug my girlfriend. Well I'm out Beat, 
much love. 


From The Beat: What about daps, do you give friends or family 
daps sometimes? Have you ever become side from giving someone a 
handshaice or hug? Where is the intimacy if you don't even give your 
own girlfriend a hug? 

Mi Musica 

don't I 
't know 

My favorite music is gangster rap. My parents 
know anything about this music because they don' 
what they are talking about and they can't relate to it like 
I can 'cause of the every day life we livin' and the lifestyle, 
'cause they talk about the things we go through and the 
stuff that happen. It all because of the lifestyle I chose 
but it's all worth it because that's the way we like to live. 


From The Beat: Gangster rap is certainly becoming more and more 
influential with young adults every year. Do you think that %sk^% 
anything about society? About the youth? if your parents asked you 
to try to explain gangster rap to them, how would you try to do it? We 
want to hear more about this relatively new kind of music from a true 
fan like you. As for you lifestyle, damn, don't be a fool, wake up now, 
before you truly kick your self in the sk%% for this choice. 

I'm In Love With Mary Jane 


Dear baby girl: 
I miss the lovely smell of your red hair, 

when I do waterfalls up my nose. 

I love it when I rip those thighs apart, 

when I roll you up in them sheets while in bed, 

high dreams. 

Gonzo, can't keep off your green eyes, 

spark a red cherry with a zippo 

while I'm feeling down, 

you got me lit up, 

higher than a kite. 

Orange kush, every week, 

I buy Os of your special green. 

MJ, your perfume is the smell of swisher sweet grapes, 

you're the purp. 

No swish? 

I'll buy a pack of Backwoods. 

I love it when I go down on you, 

and suck you up, fat hit. 

When I can't have you, I'll smoke a cancer stick. 

You're like an angel 

shining from heaven 

with your crystally glitter. 

The homies want to train you 

cause you're that train wreck. 

Since I'm locked up and on probation, 

you and me just gonna be homies, 

we can't get down like that no more, 

but I will never forget you, Mary Jane. 

-Bay Husalah 

From The Beat: This is quite a love letter but you certainly have a way 
with words and you seem to come around at the end at understand that 
you have to cut this relationship short for now. 


I Wasn't Dreaming 


Q-voze Beat (what's up)? It's that por vida cholo comin' 
at you from the max unit. I ain't feelin' the topics, so I 
want to share an experience with you about one of the old 
ladies and homeboys. You know how that is, good times 
and bad times. 

I had this girl who lived in the East Bay 

She used to come see me all the way in SJ 

Her name was Cilly... Yes, that was her name 

But she wasn't that Cilly when she was calling my name 

She was 18; I was barely a teen; we used to get it on in 

her beat down blazer 

Or was I dreaming 

No, it's the truth, now I remember 

Like when we were at the park and she stroked me 


But now I'm away for not thinking of my actions 

But when I get out I'm going to do good for mine and 

your satisfaction 


From The Beat: We liked this little poem, even though we had to take 
out the X-rated part of it... But, to be honest, the thing we like most 
about it is the promise you make to "do good" when you get out. If you 
don't find a way to stay out of places like this, you'll have nothing but 
memories while surrounded by nothing but boys... 



What I'm grateful for is for always having my mom on my 
side, telling me to always better myself growing up. I feel 
bad not even paying attention to her. Now that I'm older, I 
got more mature attitude that will get me ready for when 
I receive my freedom once again. 

Well Beat, I'm in the m£ix Unit with 76 more days to 
go, and a job soon to come my way, hopefully. 

Well, to all, until pencil meets paper again this sick 
vato out. 


From The Beat: We all make mistakes in life, but at least you're still here 
today to show your appreciation and thanks to the one who has helped 
you. Your writing tells u% that are thinking mature enough to do the 
right thing when you get out. We are hoping that you stick with your 
thoughts and ideas and make them a reality. Get your job, help your 
mom, and keep your freedom. 

Father's Day Is Special 

)ur I 


Yeah, Father's Day is special to me because this Father's 
Day I will be a dad. I am expecting a baby this month, so 
this will be my first Father's Day. I love my lady so much, 
so that's why I love Father's Day. 

- Gary and Ruby 

From The Beat: Well, Happy belated Father's Day! Maybe by the time you 
read this you will have become a father. It sounds like you are getting 
it together in your head to be a good dad. 

Being Grateful 

ng I 


I'm grateful right now that everything is going well for me 
in court. I'm getting out to finish my community service 
and graduate through high school. I'm really grateful for 

I also know that God is watching over me and that He 
wants the best for me. So, I'm just going to be good and 
see what happens on the in the beginning of the month. 

For now, I'm just chillin' right here in the Max. 


From The Beat: You and we see a positive road heading your way. 
Continue going towards that direction. Finish your school, get your job, 
and stay out free. What are your other plans? 


r/r A/v#>^v mmMmjum. /-//// 

//// // 

Being Grateful 

I am truly grateful that God has blessed me with such 
a wonderful mother. She has an amazing heart, she's a 
beautiful person inside and out and she's truly been there 
for me through everything. She's my best friend. My mom 
is my ride-or-die. I've always been close with my mom. I 
love her more than anything in this world. 

God gives my mother the strength to come visit my 
little brother every single day - since we're both locked 
up. And bro, if you're reading this, I love you so much and 
miss you I just want you to be good, please. I promise I'm 
gonna be a better role model for you. BE GOOD Please. 

Back to my mother, she's everything, my backbone. 
Without her I'm nothing. I love you mommy with all my 
mind, body and soul Thank you so much. Your babygirl! 


From The Beat: This piece really expresses the love you have for your 
mother and brother! Hopefully your brother will get this message and 
hear it ... you should follow your own advice, too. 

Chronic Illness 



I What up Beat? It's your homegirl, India. Back in this piece 
I keeping my head at level, shoulders square, maintaining 
a solid composure. I would like to extend my utmost love, 
honor, respect, and sincerest loyalty to The Beat and all. 
Pues, the topic I'm going to write about is Handshakes. 
Everybody has different handshakes. I keep it simple but 
my handshake is a strong one. My homies say I shake 
hands like a vato, that's because I carry myself with lots 
of pride and that's the way I've always shook hands. I have 
a couple handshakes I do with my close homeboys. 

Handshakes, too, have changed a lot over the years. 
I see people doing some off the hook ones but everyone 
has their own ones. 

Pues Beat and Beat readers I'm gonna cut this one 
short until next time your homegirls out the same way 
she entered. To those looking at time - stay up. Also, 
remain SUCKAFREE!! Gone... poof... GHOST. 


From The Beat: This is awesome because you really focused on the topic 
and addressed the issue. You are a good writer, India and I could see you 
becoming stn excellent lawyer. Think about it! 

If I could just hit it once while I'm locked up I'd be cool. 
Being in here without my bud is driving me insane. Not 
being high's been messin' with my brain. When I get 
out I'm staying out. I've got the chronic illness, I'd give 
anything to hit it. 


From The Beat: Do you think the chronic illness is a good one? is it I 
something that can be cured? Do you want to cure it? I 


' My Bahy Mama 

Beat, I just want to write about my baby mama Carrisa. 

I love her to death. I met her when I was on the run from 

my group home. When I get out, she will be seven months. 

You know, I hope I have a little boy. But even if it's a girl, 

I'm going to love her with all my heart. 

Well Beat, I just want my baby mama to know that I 
love her with all my heart and I love my unborn kid. 

Alright Beat, keep your heads up. All right, then much 
love and respecto! 


From The Beat: Hmmm Bugszy, what can we %x^. You seem to have a lot 
going on in your heart. Good luck with figuring it all out. 

Being Grateful 


I'm grateful for being alive. 

Having a wife to be, and a great, wonderful, and loving 


I'm grateful for God's blessings. 

He had blessed me with the greatest gifts and I had 

mistreated them 

but I'm still grateful because it had made me realize and 

learn from my mistakes. 

I'm grateful for having a wife to be 

because, without her I don't know what I would do or 

how I could live or breathe. 
She fulfills my needs and is my need whenever I am in 

need of anything, 

so I am grateful for having these lovely gifts from the 

lord in heaven. 


From The Beat: These are really good and powerful things to be grateful 
for. Does your wife sing too? Perhaps you guys can start up a family 

First Time 


As I lay on my bunk reminiscing about the days I was out 
chillin' with the familia, drinking a 409 of OE, thinking of 
how I will be away from all that for a while, it sucks to be 
locked up! This is my first — and, hopefully, my last. It's 
not that it's all bad in here. I mean, you get to chill with 
the homeboys all day. But it gets old. 


From The Beat: Yes, it gets old very quickly, especially if you start 
making return trips. If you icnow what got you here, then you also know 
what you have to give up doing in order not to come back. Hoping that 
this is your last trip to the hall is not enough. You have to make a plan 
that avoids the things that could risk your freedom. 



I ain't feeling these topics so I'm gonna write about 
kickin' it in my varrio. When I was out, I used to kick 
it at Mike's Pizza, just chillin, smoking, and patrolling 
the hood - just watching who drove by or who walked by. 
After, at night, we would go shopping to make that money 

I and come home late every day. 
-Lil' Bones 

From The Beat: It is interesting to hear about your daily life in the outs, 
but how does it sound when you are reading about it from being locked 
up. Surely you miss you freedom, but what more could you be doing 
with your days? 

I witi 

r You're On My Mind 

I Eh, what's up? Watch out watch out, this that special 
someone a couple doors down, ha ha! But nah, this that 
Smiley once again dropping a couple lines. 

Well, I wasn't going to write but I seen a lil' Beat entry 
that made my night, so I got to write. 

Damn, I'm intelligent, huh? Well that's only half of 
me, and the other half still needs to be filled to make me 
whole, like that song "I Need Love." LOL. 

But yeah, damn, I don't know what to say. I hella want 
to meet that chick so I can just kick back and focus on 
her and making fetti the right way instead of robbing 
stores. If you out there, make yourself seen, you know 
what I mean? But anyways, stay your fine self up and 
outta trouble. Much love and respect. 


From The Beat: Smiley, we miss you on the unit, and hope that you are 
doing well wherever you may be. Keep writing and we'll keep up with 
you in the pages of this publication. 

r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

rm Grateful 


One thing Fm grateful for is my life. I love everything 
about it. The best thing I have is my baby's mom. I love 
her with all my heart and I am grateful to the fullest for 
what she is doing for us. 

-Johnny Boy 

From The Beat: We are glad you are grateful for what you have, especially 
your life. In four concise sentences, you gave u% a clear picture of how 
pivotal the ones you love are in your life. Can you tell u% more about 
what your baby% mom is doing for your family? 

I I I I I I I I I 

rm Grateful 


Fm grateful for life. 

Fm grateful for my moms and dad. 

Fm grateful for The Beat. 

Fm grateful for getting four months instead of the 


Fm grateful for getting letters and sending letters. 

Fm grateful to be alive. 

Fm grateful for love. 


From The Beat: Right on, Eddie. Keep up that positive attitude - it 
will get you further in life than you think. Look, this counts sks a letter ■ 
doesn't it? Just pretend it came in the mail. I 


Pop's Day 

My Pops is the biggest G in the world 'cause he been 
there for me when I get locked up for doin' dirt for the 
hood. Ya dig! Well, all I got to say is that no one can top 
my Pops, ya dig! Well, to everyone in the cages, back 
straight and yo' chin up! 


From The Beat: We think each of our Pops can top your Pops. Braggin' 
aside, it^ tight that you show love for your pops because we think some 
people don't appreciate what fathers can do for sons. Do you think you 
lAfant to be like him iwhen you have children? 

f I 


Beiig I Fatker 


Being a father depends on me. My father was never there 
for me so I don't really know how to be a dad. So I hope I 
could be the best father I can be. 


From The Beat: We know you will be the best father you can be. From 
most pieces we've %een over the years, a great father is one who is 
simply around. So we think that you have the power to become a 
solid loving father for your child. When do you want to have a child 
(hopefully long time from now)? What do you think is a key ingredient 
to being a sound, strong father? 

Girl Of My Dreams 


Damn I thought she would miss me but I guess not 

But after all I miss her so much enough to feel her touch 

Although at night I dream of when we were together 

I though it would be forever 

But I guess it will be never forever again 

It was a fairy tale but now it's just a nightmare 

Nothing more than a deathful dream 

It's like you're putting me down to sleep 

You have taken my life away, she was the one whom I 

was gonna make her my wife 

My life, my everything 

But I guess she just the girl of my dreams. 


From The Beat: She's maybe the girl of your dreams but there are plenty 
of women out there looking to be the girl of your vision. Don't let 
nothing slow you down from your path of happiness out here not even 

I I 


My Goals 

You always see me write about my man, you know who 
you are baby. But today I'm writing about the goals I'm 
going to accomplish when I come back to California. 

I'm going to an out of state placement where I'll be for 
12-18 months, hella long, all for my baby. I hope he feels 
the way I do for him. 

Well, I'm 16 and I'll be coming back home when I'm 
18. When I get there, I'm gonna get a job and I've never 
worked before so I'm hella nervous but it's all good 'cause 
I know I can do it. I'm gonna finish school so when I get 
back I can enroll into college. I want to learn how to do 
things on my own so I don't have to depend on anyone. 

When I turn 17, I'm gonna go into transitional housing 
so I'll be able to live on my own. I'm gonna be there for 
my family, especially my mama cause she needs me the 
most. I just picture me on that plane coming back home 
and moving on in life because all this is temporary. I been 
here too long, but I became close with all these females 
and they've told me shhh I need to hear. I've opened my 
eyes and realized so much. I just wish I would of realized it 
sooner and have done all the things I needed to do on the 
outs but it's alright cause I've leaned from my mistakes 
and know what I need to do. 

I love all of you and you all know who you are, I'm 
gonna miss you so much and to my baby - I love you so 
much and you'll always be in my heart! I love you, I hope 
you keep your promise babyboy. Much love and respect. 


From The Beat: Wow, this is so confident and heartfelt. We are all rooting 
for you and know that you are going to do well. So, keep setting goals 
and achieving them. You can do it! 

ng I 
als I 

Father's Day 

What's good Beat, not having a father has affected a lot 
of people in the world because when you have a father in 
the house things are easier for the mother, especially if 
you have like two boys and one girl. Boys need a father 
figure to keep them in line and show them how to be a 
man and always respect women. Because if you got a 
girl and just one parent, like a mother, and she has two 
boys also, she's gonna favor her little girl more because 
she's the only girl and the two boys are gonna be mad and 
always want stuff too. 

And if that mother doesn't have enough income, the 
boys aren't able to get them things they want so they go 
out in the streets and start robbing people for some money 
or whatever they want. And then they start smoking and 
drinking and trying do shhh on their own. 

Where I come from (East Palo Alto) we got little ninjas 
on the block holdin' chops slangin' rocks' cause we get 
it how we live and ain't no turning back once you in the 
game. We getting money 'cause we do whatever we gotta 
do to get money. We'll run up in yo residence or hit ah 
store quick cause we never have a father in our lives to tell 
us what's right from wrong. And our mothers are working 
or are at home doing whatever they can, like cooking or 
doing what they can, or trying to get what they can for us. 
But what I'm tryin' to say is a father figure can affect a lot 
in life but if you ask me. Forget a father. 


From The Beat: Do you believe if you would have had a father in your life 
your life may of tuned out different? Do you think not having fathers is 
the reason why you have so many youth in the city streets today? How 
would have your neighborhood turned out different if there were more 
fathers for the youth? 


r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

I'm Grateful 

^' f 

rm grateful for my family and my home. My family has 
been and always be there for me. And I will do the same 
for them. 

Even though I'm locked up, they don't look at me any 
differently. And that's what makes me grateful for them. 


From The Beat: We like the confidence you have when you %«y your 
family will always be there. It is that kind of confidence that can keep 
a family united. It is also the kind of attitude that you will need when 
you have children. You say that they don't look at you any differently 
for being locked up. Do you look at yourself differently? 

Wkat I'D Gritetil lir 


Hey, what it do? Today I'm gonna write about being 
grateful. I'm grateful for being alive, for having a beautiful 
daughter and a cool-ass carnal named Mario, and I'm 
grateful that I got to see him today even though I didn't 
get to talk to him. But it's all good. I'm also grateful for 
my moms and my whole family. 

LWell Beat, stay up, much love to all out there. 
From The Beat: It is good to see good friends even in the worst of 
circumstances. Your positivity shines through you words here. Thanks 
for lAfriting! 



Very Grateful 

What's crackin' lackin' Beat? Well I'm grateful for so 
many things in my life. I used to think life was about 
getting high. I used to say to myself who cares about life 
lets all get high, forget it we all gonna die. But since I came 
to j-hall I learned that I don't want this life anymore. 

Even though life sucks in here, I learned so much by 
many adults here, I been beaten by my step dad for five 
years straight when I was little. I also lost a lot of people 
in my life. I even lost the girl of my dreams. But after all 
this I leaned to be grateful I'm still here in this world. 


From The Beat: We're sorry to hear about your step dad abusing you for 
all these years. That's not coo. And we hope you don't have to return to 
that kind of life. We are glad however that you see life differently now. 
We all have choices to make in this life. And depending on the choices 
we make, we can make our life better or worse. You're in the driver^ 
seat in life, and \t'% up to you to know what you want to do. 

I I 

What up Beat Readers it's Outlaw once again! Well 
everyone I meet has a different handshake I give them. 
Well when I meet some new male that don't bang I give 
them a firm regular handshake. And every time I meet 
a new female I give her a soft handshake because I don't 
want to hurt her! But if it's a homie I know I give them a 
homie shake, or if it's a homeboy or homegirl I know for a 
long time I give them a hug or a handshake with a hug. 

Or with my family I use the enemies handshake 
because to them it's ordinary. The way I decide what 
handshake to use is on how long I know a person and 
how much I trust them. For me everyone I know gets a 
different handshake. If I don't shake your hand then 
you'll know don't talk to me and if I give you a hug then I 
see you as a person that I enjoy being around. 

Well Beat I'm out, much love! 


From The Beat: It looks like you're saying that handshakes are a kind 
of ID badge for someone. That's really interesting. So why do you 
think lAfe, sk% human beings, switch the way we shake someone's hand 
depending on iwho it is.? If you think about it, it's kind of weird. From 
what you're saying it^ all about our differing systems of treatment for i i 
different classes of people, which is a very interesting take. I I 



The way I handshake every people different, well older 
men I try to shake their hand strong because the way I see 
it is that if I shake their hand hard it lets them know that 
I'm a young adult, and the way I shake a lady's hand is soft 
because its nice to shake their hands soft I really don't 
know why, and also I do handshake the parents of my 
girl different from my homies because the reason why is 
because when I'm with my homies it doesn't really matter 
and for the parents of my girl, it's a matter of respect. 

Well Beat I don't have much to say but I'll write more 
next week. Later. 


From The Beat: A good firm handshake is a great simple way to let 
someone know you are serious. But like you said, easy on the ladies! 
Why, though, is it a matter of respect? Have you ever thought about 
it? It certainly is a matter of respect these, days but how do you think 
something sk% simple sk% a handshake came to symbolize that? 

M]f AutoBlography 

Hey what's up Beat, well let's talk a little about my life. 
There are a lot of things that had happened to me in the 
past. Well some things that has happened was that for 
some reason I grew up in a gang neighborhood and for 
some reason I don't know why it just never caught my 
attention until now once I got locked up. I start to meet a 
lot of new friends that are in gangs and they ask me when 
are you going to join in a gang and I tell them that I'm not 
because it's not worth it. 

I met this girl one day at my mom's wedding and 
she wanted to dance with me and I told her that I can't 
because I have a lady and she got sad and then later I met 
her again on the party line she had told me to go to her 
house to meet her and I did and the first thing she told 
me was I never thought I would see you again and then 
she asked me again do you have a lady and I told her no I 
don't anymore and that's when I asked her if she wants to 
be my lady and now here I am in here again and she's out 
there pregnant, three months. 


From The Beat: Being able to say no to gangs is something that takes 
skn amount of courage that is rarely %een these days. To hear this is 
nothing short of amazing and inspirational. You mention that you don't 
why you grew up in a gang neighborhood, which mirror s one of life's 
greatest mysteries: why we are born where we are, at what point in 
time, and to whom. This is without a doubt one of the deepest pieces 
we have read in a while. Keep writing and keep living, Jose, you 
the right track to being someone special. 

This SpeGial Female 

re on I 


There's this female in my life who is kind of special to 
me. When we're together we have fun and laugh a lot and 
when she's away I think of her a lot. But on the other 
hand, this female hurts me a lot. She talks down to me 
when she's mad and makes me feel like s — . But I have so 
much love for this female. She has a lot of other females 
but whenever she asks for me back, I always take her 
back... I guess it's special love for that special female! She 
tells me all the things I want to hear, but I'm scared she's 
gonna hurt me again. 

I find myself walking to my door just to see her face. 
I find myself getting jealous when she's around other 
females. When we touch, I melt. It feels good in my heart. 
I just pray she could feel the same thing I feel, cause I got 
so much love for this female. 


From The Beat: This ongoing saga is very dramatic. But it makes for 
good writing in this publication. Hopefully you two will work things 

/^y.-/rA/v#>^ msWMMMim^ i^ if / 

^mammmmmEm ^/// // 

What I Am 

rm a lion, Fm a bear, 
rm a shadow who's always there. 

So look out, beware, 

I might pop out of your underwear. 

I'm an animal. Call me whatever. 

I'm a mouse that's really clever, 

a mouse that you will never find. 

Beware, I might pop out from behind. 

Go ahead, insult me. It makes me stronger. 

And as I get stronger, the anaconda get longer. 

If you don't like my poem, go ahead, diss it. 

But don't hate on it and don't spoil it. 

If you do, I might come out of your toilet. 

I'm telling you ninja - don't ask me why. 

If you do, my poem will end up in your eye. 


From The Beat: Ooo... you are many things. Too many things for iwe 
simple Beat Within folic. We are shivering in our boots and we sure don't 
iwant your poem in our cye%. So we'll appease you, O Many Things, by 
printing it. Have mercy on u%. Please.... 

I, I, I J . 

I Don't Know 


I don't know what to write about. Sometimes I don't 
have anything in my mind. Sometimes it's hard to 
make choices because you're not thinking, or you just 
want to have fun. That's why so many people pay the 
consequences - for having a little bit of fun. 


From The Beat- These are accurate observations. Having fun without 
thinking of the consequences can cause trouble. Recognizing that is the 
first step to making a change. Think about what you are doing before 
you do it. How will it affect other people? How will it affect your life? 
You can have fun. Just make sure it's not the kind of fun that you'll 

One Time 

One time I stole something from a store and they caught 
me. I admitted that I stole the candy and I told them I was 
sorry. I paid for the candy and they told me it was OK. I 
didn't stop at that store any more. 


From The Beat: Admitting a mistake sometimes sets things right and 
can help to minimize the punishment. You're on the right track. Next 
time, think before you act. You lucked out this time. But don't press 
your luck. Do the right thing. 


It's ice. 

It's next to stars. 

Its haze, its kiss, is like fire knowledge. 

All in one, a sparrow in a tree. 

Feathers fall slowly 

Because it is dragon season. 

Heart like stone, 

A flock of possibility in the night's glow. 

-Solja Boy 

From The Beat: You're good Solja. You must be the shepherd of that 
flock. Keep writing. We want more. 


I am grateful for my parents because they are there for 
me when I need them. They always cheer me up when 
am down. They always come visit me when I am here. 


From the Beat- A loving family is truly one of the most valuable things 
in life. Not everyone is sk% fortunate. Think about your love for them 
while you are in the hall. Get out. Go home. Don't come back here. 


Beiog Gratefol 


I am grateful for my family and for being alive, because 
most of my friends of my age are doing time in prison. I 
am grateful for my family because they are always there 
for me. So that's what I'm grateful for. Peace out. I will hit 
you up next time. 


From The Beat: We're hoping that this is sk% close si% you come to being 
in prison. Thanks for your piece. Keep writing. 

This Lifestyle 


Well, I think you should appreciate life for what it is 
because you only live once. So live life to the fullest. 
Heck with what other people think. Don't ever let anyone 
stop you from what you want to do. You should do what 
you want in your life. 


From The Beat: We understand why you might feel the way you do. 
When caregivers and others that you trust disappoint you, you may 
want to rely only on yourself.. .do only what you want to do, regardless 
of consequences. Living life to the fullest - having fun and pursuing 
your passions - is a great thing, sk% long sk% you respect those around 

Tiiougiits On Fatiier's Day 

My thought about my father is that he's the perfect role 
model of a father. He is always supportive. He is also 
cool because he is always there for me. He is the one that 
I can talk to about anything. I can always tell myself that 
he loves me no matter what. I will also love my dad no 
matter what because he is my dad. 


From The Beat: You are very blessed to have such a great dad in your 
life. Many people do not have fathers in their lives, let alone one who 
is so supportive. You'll want your children to have such regard and love 
for you. Make sure to learn from his role model and live your life in 
way that iwill make him proud. 

Had To Admit It 

ve I 



I had to admit about the gate that got kicked in. My 
aunt beat me, saying that I did it, but I said that I didn't. 
She said that if I didn't admit to it, I would be grounded 
for a month. So I said that I did it. My aunt made me fix 
the fence with a hammer and nails. Then the subject was 


From The Beat- We're sorry that you were blamed for something you 
say you didn't do. Unfortunately, that happens sometimes if we have a 
history of getting into trouble. You can rebuild the trust of your family, 
and others, by making good choices. They will see the changes in you 
and be back on your side. Gaining that trust can become a great source 
of pride - something to look forward to. 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ msWMMMim^ i^ if / 

^mammmmmEm ^/^/ // 



^' f 

When I get out of the hall Fm going to try to do better. 
Fm going to go to school every day and try to get a part- 
time job. I am going to stop doing drugs and alcohol. Fm 
going to start checking in with my probation officer every 
week. I am also going to start helping my mom around 
the house and not make her mad at me all of the time. I 
am going to keep myself busy at home so I won't back in 
this place. 


From The Beat: This sounds like a great plan. We are proud of you for 
wanting to get your life together and knowing how to do that. All 
skn^one can do is try. That is the first step. Keeping yourself busy with 
school, helping at home, and a job is important also. Good work! Now 
put these plans into action. 

It's Him 

His tongue is useful. 

It sets boundaries. 

It blows bubbles with gum 

And never rusts. 

Also speaks sorrow. 

A bee's honey it tastes. 

Talking about silver he sees a ghost. 

He runs into fire and takes a chance. 

-Solja Boy 

From The Beat: Fascinating and mysterious. That^ the blood of a poet 
in your veins, Solja. Your only weapon should be a pen. You u%e it so 

Against The Wall 

I fell in love with the fast living, the ways of my family 
tradition, getting letters from people in prison. For some 
people a vacation is a violation. But it's all part of my 
generation. I feel like my city is paradise, with my back 
against the wall, on a lonely night. I close my eyes and 
this is what I see: juvy, the pen, and county. Now all I got 
is my word. And my dioughts to The Beat Within. 


From The Beat: There^ skn excellent book we'd like to recommend to you. 
It's called Finding Freedom. The gist of it is that much of what we call 
freedom is a state of mind, stn attitude, and that the sense of freedom 
can be earned, wherever one is - even in prison. We're very glad that 
you are taking advantage of the opportunity to communicate, through 
The Beat, what it's like to be in your shoes. 

Sliine Brioiit \\\i a Star 


It was love season. 

We were a perfect match. 

When you walked up, you shone bright. 

My memories of you and me always stuck in my mind. 

I'm locked down far from town but you'll always be 


Your face and your name- 1 see them when I close my 


I'm feeling mad wondering what you're doing. 

I'm feeling lonely in this place, stuck in the struggle, 

but I'm never giving up my future. 
Trouble's always coming my way, pain's heavy on my 


I miss your kiss and that look in your eyes. Can't you 

see girl, you are my world. 


From The Beat: Patience, Sinner. There's much to work out. And you can 
help yourself by using this time wisely. Unless we're mistaken, you were 
asking u% some pretty good questions, for a while, and we were trying 
to supply you with information you could u%e to answer your questions. 
Read yourself through this situation. Put that brain to work. 


A Letter To God 


Dear Father from up above. I feel as if I'm a fallen angel. 
When it rains, angels cry. Millions, billions of people ask 
for favors. And I wonder what makes me so special. 


From The Beat: There's never been another you. There never ivill be 
again. You are the only you. That makes you rather special, we'd say. 

Nd lather 


Hey, what's up Beat Within? 

I'm just here to say there's no father in my life. Before 
I was born, my father abandoned my mother, leaving 
her to struggle with me on her own. Ever since that 
happened, my mom has been everything to me. She is 
like two parents to me. I love her. She feeds me, gives me 
a roof to live under, and more. The only thing I get from 
my dad is child support. But why do I want his money 
when I don't know who the guy is. I ain't even trippin'. 

I'm thankful for having a stable home, and most of all 
for my mother and little sister. 

-Eduardo, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: You have a wonderful mother. She has sacrificed a lot 
for you. You can show your gratitude for her love and support by taking 
care of yourself. More than anything, she'll want to know that you're 
on the right track. You can't help her while you're in the hall. And she 
deserves your help. In a few years, you'll be out of the nest. She wants 
to know that you can fly right. And she wants to enjoy your company, 
in the meantime. She can't do that while you're in juvy. 


Thinking about my homie while staring at my cell wall. 

He graduated from here to the penitentiary. How we 


Some say my mind is flawed 

because I only believe in the cause. 

But I've gone too far to retreat, 

to live life on my knees. 

I'd rather die on my feet. 

And one day I will be in paradise. 

Maybe one day - if I could only close my eyes. 


From The Beat: Here% iwhat iwe're thinking, B. We're thinking that you're 
way too smart to believe "in the cause" - at least the 'cause' we think you 
mean. You're not a masochist, are you? You don't actually enjoy pain, 
do you? Because pain is where you're headed if you persist on the path 
you're on. You don't have to retreat. You have to find a new path and 
move on. Call your own shots. Be your own person, not the thoughtless, 
just following orders kind of guy who goes to prison for stupid things. 
Wake up, B and find a real cause, not this b-s cause!! T^ust u%\ 

My Moods 

White mood- Bored cause I'm in here. 

Red mood- Feeling passionate when I'm with some girl. 

Black mood- Feeling angry at the staff 

Brown mood- When I see it, reminds me of my 


Yellow mood- happy, bright and smart. 

Bright green mood- Artistic, colorful... and I think of 

nature being cool. 

Blue mood- It's a sad one. 

Purple mood- Being funny and silly. 

Orange mood- Feeling embarrassed. 

Pink mood- Feeling loved by family, friends, and 


Gray mood- Thoughtful and decision making. 


From The Beat- This is great! You are very creative. You express your 
feelings well. Keep learning to express yourself in healthy ways and 
many doors will open for you. 


n^^^m MMMi/m 

//// // 

The Best Lady In The Universe ^ [ Dad, You Were Always There For Me 

My think it's these: I want to be with you, but I can't. 
All my time I got in my life to livin' for my family and my 
daughter, and I feel sick, because my brother is not here. 
And my mother, I love her. She is the best lady in the 
universe, des why I love her. 

Hi, brothers and sister, how you been? I hope so good, 
because you guys have the best mom. I don't say, "Hi," 
because I don't know who or how is my father. 


From The Beat: You must be hurting to be away from your mother, your 
brothers, sister, and daughter. Even though Mother's Day is past, why 
don't you send this tender ivriting to your mom and family? Let them 
icnow you miss and love them. 

\ I 
J I 

Hiie-We Need lo Ge 


Roses are red 

Violets are blue 

I need to go home 

And my baby needs to go, too 

-Queen Bee 

From The Beat: Yes, you need to go home and stay there! Get your 
young life together, get into school, get some work. What parts of your 
life do you plan to develop, once you're free again? 


I mess with it 'cause I love it, 'cause the streets is 


In the cuts with me, banger, is where you find me 

On like shhh wit' my eyes real huge 

Need to get mines, forget the next dude 

Bullets get to flyin' when my ninjas at war 

My crew give a damn about beezies 

Bo got me slow 

Pills keep me mad 

But it keep money comin' and it's comin' real fast 

All gas, no brakes 

Heads up, forget fakes 


From The Beat: Your life's got you going real fast, but what is your 
destination? Your goal? Look where you are now, is that where you 
want to be? Seems like you're stuck on stop, at least for a minute. Why 
don't you u%e that minute in juvy to think about what "getting mines" 
really means? What are you giving back to this life — pills? Bullets? What 
are you going to do with all that money you write about if you're in 
juvy, state prison, or the target of one of the bullets in your wars? 

The Terrific Lawson Family 

I have never had a father because he left when I was two. 
Mom took care of my little sister. 

We were all taken away when I was five. I moved from 
Concord to Pittsburg all iDy myself. The oldest moved to 
her own apartment; my brother and my two other older 
sisters went to a foster home and then were adopted; and 
for my little sister, she went to an elder family, but three 
weeks later, she came to live with me. 

After three weeks, she came to me and we were living 
with the Lawson family. I lived with this family for six 
years. They supported me, welcomed me into the family, 
gave fair ways on how to deal with life. For that I thank 


From The Beat: Are you and your younger sister who also moved in with 
them on your oivn now? How are you doing? Hoiw is she doing ivithout 
you? Do you stay in contact with the Lawsons? Do you hang with your 
older brother and sisters? Can you stay with skn^ of your older siblings 
if you need some security, family guidance and affection when you get 

Hi, my name is Ashley, and I just wanted to tell my dad 
about how much he means to me. He means a lot to me, 
more than my life, more than the world, and more than 
my heart. Dad, without you, there's no more time in the 
world for me to keep on living. I can't keep on thinking 
how my life would be without you in it. Dad, you were 
there for me when nobody else was. 

Daddy, thanks for everything. You're very special to 
me. Without you, I wouldn't be here in this world today, 
and I wouldn't have a three-year-old daughter. Happy 
Father's Day! Love you, Papi. Feliz dia de padres. 


From The Beat: Beautiful letter to your dad! Why don't you send it to 
him, so he'll get it for Father's Day? Does he take care of your daughter 
while you're in juvy? How does your dad feel about you being in up in 
there? Does he come visit you? How can you show him how much you 
appreciate him, when you're free again? 


Papl Chulo 

I have a daddy and he's locked up, too, but it's all good 
because when I get out I'm gonna write to him every day. 
Can't wait 'til he gets out so we can spend some good 
quality time together! It won't be long — he gets out on 
his birthday, June 30, '08. I know that's not 'til almost 
August, but I'm a very patient ladie who is willing to wait 
forever for her daddy! I wanna let him know that I miss 
him and I think 'bout him every night. I can't wait to see 
you again, Papi. 

-Ladie Butlers 

From The Beat: Is the Papi you're referring to your father or your 
boyfriend? Is stny part of the reason you're inside is because your Papi 
Chulo was into some mess and is locked up? How does he influence you? 
Does he encourage you to stay in school, get a job, stay cool? How do 
you affect him? Being in love is terrific, but it^ really important that you 
keep each other out of any mess and free. 

Father's Day 

ou I 


I haven't seen my father since I was, like, four or five, 
but he still keep in contact with me. He found out that 
I'm locked up again, and I'm going to placement for a year. 
He is sad, but then, again, I really don't kind of care. He's 
still my dad and all. Don't get me wrong. Anyways, this 
piece is getting too personal. So, yeah! 

-Queen Bee 

From The Beat: Would it help you if your father were in your life more? 
If so, why don't you let him knoiv? Call him, invite him over, tell him 
you love him and need him to be there more than he is. Even though 
he's the adult and should be able to be the father you wish he were, 
sometimes dads, moms too, feel un%ute whether they're wanted, so why 
not let him know...? 


When I first meet a girl, I shake her hand the old- 
fashioned way, but from then on I hug her when I see 

With guys, I usually do a handshake where I shake 
the top of the hand, slide, interlock fingers, let go and 

If the guy is my boy, though, I will pat him on the 
back and bump shoulders during the first part of the 
handshake. With older people, I generally shake hands 
the old-fashioned way, no matter what the gender. 


From The Beat: Sounds good and friendly. You've thought this through. 
When you first meet someone, do you ever let him/her initiate the 
greeting s/he proffers? Sometimes it's fun to let the other person be 
spontaneous and just go with it. 

agn^^^m mmm/m 

^mammmmmEm ^/^/ // 

Bangin' On Paper 

If you bangin' like me and my homies, just think about 
it first. Think of your future, then, if you want to, then 
that's your choice. I've been in and out of the halls. It ain't 
no fun, but I have that mentality. I've tried to change, but I 
can't, so maybe you can. I do it because life is too boring. 
I like breaking the law and getting the adrenaline rush. I 
like the money, girls, color, and respect. I am the one who 
really believes in honor, respect, and loyalty. 

-Johnny Boy 

From The Beat: So you go out and gangbang to entertain yourself and 
impress your homies, your ladies, whomever. What does it say about 
you that you bully, traumatize, hurt, whatever it is you do to those 
unfortunate enough to cross your path? How can you respect sinyone 
who would respect you for the bling bling you acquire from your 
gangbanging? Is there skn^one in your life who would be righteously 
horrified if s/he witnessed whatever it is you do? 

M]f Father's Good Help For Me Now ^ 

Father's Day is coming up soon, an' I want to thank him 
for everything that he's done for me. I mean, he hasn't 
been with me through everything, but he supports me 
whenever I need him by my side. He's a good father when 
he wants to be. Ever since I got locked up, he's been 
nothing but good help to me. No matter what happens, I 
can always depend on him to be there for me. 


From The Beat: It^ really wonderful that your dad has come through for 
you when you seem to have needed him the most. Maybe when you're 
free and home again, you two can hang out together just for the fun of 
it, when there's no crisis, and get to know each other. Maybe you can let 
him IcnoiAf hoiv he can depend on you. 

My Father Was A Zero 

A father is a daughter's first love 

And a son's first hero 

Mine was never there 

So he's a zero 

When he finally came into my life 

I was, "Damn, there on my way to be a wife" 

Looking at him I made me not feel right 

Like a man stabbing me with a knife 

A father who's always there 

Helping me when I'm in fear: 

Famous, amazing, teacher, healer, excited, respectful 

Guess my father is God! 


From The Beat: It's hard for someone who has grown up without a 
father to suddenly have his/her father trust upon him/her when s/he's 
almost grown. How has he integrated himself into your life noiw? Is he 
welcome? Now that you're in juvy, how is he reacting? Is he helping you 
out? Are you serious or are you being facetious when you write that you 
guess he is a god? 


Le jour que tu as fuis, je vaudrais mourrir, 

Parsque tu as fuis, je croiat que ma vie etait enfin fini 

Mais j'etais tres depresse, je croiat que tu m'aimait pas 

Mais maintenant je vols en une different sense 

Tu voudrais me defender de moi... 

Moi, je suis le reason que tu ma oublier 

Et je comprends pourqoui 

Et je te dis, sil vous plait, est que tu veux 

Accepter mon apologie et m'aider a 

Sortir de le trou que j'ai cree? 

In the End 

The day you left I wanted to die 

Because you left, I thought my life was finally over 

But I was really depressed; I thought you didn't love me 

But now I see in a different way then I did 

You were defending me from myself. . . 

Me, I am the reason that you want to forget me and I 

know why 

And I want to tell you please, will you at least accept 

My apology and help me to escape from the hole that I've 


From The Beat: Sjg it is good that you have accepted responsibility for 
your actions, and now its time to turn your life around to better yourself 
so you can get out of, sk% you %«y "the hole that you've created". 

Moo fils 


Mon fils, il est ma vie 

il est ma vie parsque il est mon sang et mon coeur 

il m'aime toujours, meme si il ma pas vue 

pour longtemps 

pour lui je sacrifice tout parsqu'il est 

mon fils je I'aime 

pour tout ma vie 

My son 

My son, he is my life 

He is my life because he is my blood and my heart 

He is innocent, he does not know right or wrong 

He'll always love me, even if he hasn't seen me for 


For him I'd sacrifice everything because he's my son 

And I love him 

For all my life 


From The Beat: You mention that your son does not know right from 
wrong? This is understandable if your son is at least five or younger, 
but if he is older he does Icnoiv right from wrong. A parent should never 
make excuses for the wrongs of their children, but help them under 
stand the wrongs they are done to correct the problem (s). 


I sta 


.-/rA/v#>^v mmM/wmM^M /^ 

//£/ // 

En linos Alios 

X f 

En 10 afios a lo mejor voy a estar trabajando o voy a 
estar vendiendo drogas. A lo mejor tengo unos cuantos 

A mi me gusta reconstruir carros y mini bikes porque 
a mi me gusta hacer eso y usarlo todos los dias. Eso es lo 
que hago. 

Tamiben me la paso fumando mariguana y tomando 
licor, teniendo parties todos los dias con mis compass. 

From The Beat: Entonces ^ras a estar preso muchas veces y por largo 
tiempo. Esto es lo que predictamos de tu lectura. 

In A Few Years 

In 10 years from now, maybe I'll be working or selling 
drugs. Maybe I'll have a few kids. 

I like to fix cars and mini bikes because I like to do 
that and then use them everyday. That's what I do. 

I also spend time smoking marijuana and drinking 
liquor, and having parties with my friends. 

-Francisco, Alameda 

From The Beat: Then you might get locked up many times and for long 
times. This is what we predicted from your writing. 

El Dia De los Padres 


El 12 de Junio es el dia de los padres y me siento mal 
por no poder felicitarlo porque estoy encerrado. Me duele 
mucho no poder decirle, "Feliz Dia De Los Padres, le 
deseo felicidades" El fue un buen padre. El se eforzo por 
darnos lo que mas pudo para que no nos faltara nada. 

El era un campesino que se dedicaba a la siembra 
de maiz, y de sandia. El trabajaba sol a sol. Yo quisiera 
salir pronto para ayudarlo y decirle que lo extrafio y que 
quisiera reunirme con el. 

From The Beat: Entonces deberias de hacer lo que este en tu alcance 
para demostrarle a tu padre que el efuerzo que hizo por ustedes si valid 
la pena. Sigue para adelante y alejate de las cosas que te traigan a este 
lugar. Haz las cosas bien si es que realmente quieres ayudar a tu padre 
o a tu familia. 

Father's Day 


June 12th will be Father's Day and I feel bad for not 
congratulate him because I am locked up. It hurts me so 
much not being able to say, "Happy Father's Day, I wish 
you happiness" He was a great father. He made a big effort 
to give us all she could so we won't need anything. 

He was a farmer who dedicated his time cultivating 
corn and watermelon. He would work sun by sun 
(everyday). I wish I could get out soon, so I can help him 
and tell him that I miss him and reunite each other. 

-Manuel, San Francisco 

From The Beat: So, you should do whatever is in your reach to show 
him that the effort he has done for you v/9S v/orth it. Continue coming 
forward and get away from things that can bring you back in here. Do 
things right if you really want to help your father or family. 


Per Lo Oue Estoy Aqoi 

Estoy aqui porque tenia problemas con una persona y 
esa persona me hablaba bien. Llegamos a ser amigos. 
Despues conoci a una amiga mia y ella siempre me decia 
que le ayudara a salir con ella. Le ayude. Esa amiga es 
como mi hermana. 

Despues de meses, le hable a mi amigo y me dijo que 
ya no le hablara. Le pregunte porque y me dijo porque le 
habian dicho que le queria bajar a su novia. Le dije que 
no era sierto, que no le haria una cosa asi a un amigo. 
Le dije que un amigo siempre esta ahi para ayudar. No le 
importo y se me lanzo a golpes y me queria matar y no me 
deje. Por eso me arrestaron. 

From The Beat: Entonces estas aqui por defensa propia. Esperamos que 
todo se aclare y que puedas salir tranquilamente. Siempre ayuda a tus 
amigos como lo hicistes y nunca te sientas mal cuando hagas lo correcto. 
Cuidate amigo y suerte. Ese no es amigo tuyo. 

The Reasofl I Am Here 

I'm here because I had problems with a person and I used 
to talk to this person before. We became friends. Later, I 
met a girl friend. She asked me to help her get out from 
where she was stay. I helped her. She's like my sister. 

After months, I talked to my friend and he told me 
not to talk to him. I asked him why, and he told me that 
some people told him that I wanted to get at his girl. I told 
him that it wasn't true, and that I would never do such as 
thing like this to a friend. I told him that a friend is always 
there to help. He didn't care and threw a few punches at 
me, wanted to kill me, so I didn't let him. That's why I got 

-Daniel, Alameda 

From The Beat: thenm, you're here for self-defense. We hope everything 
get clear in your case and to get out soon. Always help your friend 
when they are in need just like you did, and never regret it when you 
do the right thing. Take care my friend. He's not your friend. 


.-/rA/v#>^v mmM/wmM^M /^ 

//£/ // 

Por Lo Que Estoy Agradecido 


Estoy agradecido de estar vivo y no haber acabado muerto 
por un balazo en la cabeza. Estar encerrado me hizo ver que 
lo que estoy haciendo no esta correcto. 

Me duele ver a mi madre Uorar y matarse su espalda 
cuando trabaja por mis malos actos. 

Estoy agradecido que tengo una madre que pase lo que 
pase siempre esta ahi por mi, en las buenas y en las malas. 
Cuando saiga de este lugar, le voy a agradecer a mi madre por 
no haberme dejado abajo. 

Otra cosa por la cual estoy agradecido es por tener una 
hermana que me quiere y me hecha porras. Eso no me deja 
que me aguite. La vida es corta y hay que saber agradecerla 
en una manera positiva. 

From The Beat: Tienes a personas especiales en tu vida que han estado 
contigo siempre. Deberias de haceries caso a lo que te dicen. Eiios solo 
quieren lo mejor para ti. Como dijistes, la vida es corta y tienes que 
aprovechar lo mejor que puedas y hacer lo mejor de la vida. ^Entonces, 
cuaies son tus planes? 

For What I am Thankful Of 

I am thankful for being alive and for not being dead from a 
bullet in my head. Being locked up, has made me realized 
that what I am doing is incorrect. 

It hurts me to see my mom crying, and to see her killing 
her back when working for my bad actions. 

I am thankful that I have a mother who is always there 
for me through good and bad when anything happens. 

When I get out from this place, I'm going to thank my 
mother for not letting me down. 

Another thing why I am thankful is for having a sister 

who loves me and motivates me. She prevents me from 

getting sad. Life is short and we have to learn to thank in a 

positive way. 

-Luis, Santa Clara 
From The Beat: You have a few special people who have been there for 
you when you need them the most. You should listen to what they say. 
They only want the best for you. Like you said, life is short and you 
have to take advantage of the best and do the best for your life. So, 
what are your plans? 

Mi Padre 

El padre es una persona muy importante para el hijo 
porque uno necesita de el cuando anda en malos pasos. 

Cuando uno tiene el apoUo de sus padres, uno se 
siente seguro por el calor que le da a sus hijos desde 

Yo me crie desde pequefio con mi padre y siento aquel 
apollo en el. Me siento orguUoso por el maravilloso padre 
que Dios me dio. 

From The Beat: Que bien que hayas tenido un padre ejemplar. Son pocas 
las personas que tienen padres como el tuyo. ^Crees que seras igual de 
padre cuando tengas hijos? £Se siente orgulloso de tu padre de ti, como 
tu de el? 

My Father 

A father is a very important person in a child's life because 
we need him when we are in wrong paths. 

When you have the support of your father, you feel 
safe because of his warmth that is given. 

I was raised with him since very young and I feel his 
support. I feel proud for the wonderful father God gave 

-Cabrera, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We're happy that you have such as exemplar father. 
There are not many fathers like yours. Would you be like him when 
you had your own kids? Does he feel proud of you like you feel proud 
of him? 


! I 

i I 

! I 

Agradecido De La Vida 


Yo estoy agradecido con la vida porque al saber donde 
estubiera o que me hubiera pasado. Estubiera muerto o en 
las calles y por eso estoy agradecido con la vida. 

Claro que no es bonito estar aqui, pero lo bueno es que 
cuando saigas, Uebo mejores pensamientos que los que traia 
y tambien aprendes la leccion. 

Tambien estoy agradecido con mi hermano que me ha 
ayudado mucho que lo que pensaba. 

He tenido compafieros que ni su familia los apoyan. 
Aunque yo he cometido muchos errores que no se pueden 
perdonar, mi hermano siempre ha estado ahi. 

From The Beat: Es verdad que siempre hay que agradecer por tener otro 
dia mas de vida. Esperamos esos pensamientos que corren por tu mente 
te ayuden mucho con tu vida y te hagan ser una persona deferente. Que 
bien que tengas un gran apoyo en tu vida. No lo desepciones. Tienes 
que estar por el como el lo ha estado tambien. Pare recibir tienes que 
aprender a dar. 

Grateful To Life 

I am grateful to life because who knows where would I be or 
what could have happened to me. I could be dead or in the 
streets, and that's why I'm thankful to life. 

Of course, it's not cool to be here, but the good thing is 
that when I get out, I leaving with better thoughts than the 
ones I cam with, and you also learn your lesson. 
I am also thankful to my brothers because my brother has 
helped me so much than what I expected. 

I have met inmates that don't even have the support from 

their families. Even though I have committed many mistakes 

that are hard to forgive, my brother has always been there for 


-Juan, San Francisco 
From The Beat: We should always be grateful to have another day of 
life. We hope these thoughts that are running over your head, help you 
with your life and make you a different person than what you are. it's 
cool that you have big support in life. Don't disappoint him. Be there for 
him like has been for you. To receive, you also have to give. 

Ei Padre Es Mi Padrasfro 

Les voy a contar una parte de la historia de mi padre. Mi 
padre los dejo a mi madre y a mi. Yo solo tenia un mes 
cuando me dejo y ahora tengo un padrastro. 

Desde que el se junto con mi madre, me ha tratado 
bien, me ha dejado trabajar, y me ha educado muy bien. 

Gracias a el y a mi madre tengo todo lo que tengo. 

Se que he hecho mal estar en este lugar, pero tii sabes 
como son las cosas. Les doy gracias pore se hombre y esa 
mujer en mi vida. 

From The Beat: Padre no es aquel quien engendra sino el quien cria, 
educa y da el amor de padre. Ese es el padre real. Tienes suerte porque 
no es facil encontar a una persona quien te de el amor de padre no 
siendo padre biologico. 

My Father is My Stepfather 

Fm going to share with you a part of my father's story. My 
biological father left my mother and men when I was one 
month old and now I have a stepfather. 

Ever since my stepfather and my mom got together, 
he has treated me well, he let me work, and have educated 
me well. Thanks to him and my mother I have it all. 

I know I have done wrong by being in this place, but 
you know how things are. I thank that man and that 
woman for having them in my life. 

-Luis, San Francisco 

From The Beat: A father is not that man that breed but the one who 
raise, educate and give the warmth of a father to a kid. That's a real 
father. You're a lucky one because it's hard to find a person who can 
provide the love of a father not being your biological father. 



n^^^m mmMMmmg / ^ 

Un Padre 

Hola Catrachos! Mi nombre es Ernesto. Mi vida no ha 
sido tan facil porque yo me crie mas con mis abuelos 
porque mi madre no tubo el apoyo de mi padre. Nisiquiera 
lo conoci porque el me abandono a mi madre y a mi 
cuando solo tenia 7 meses de haber nacido. 

Mi madre tubo que venirse para aqui a los Estados 
Unidos cuando yo tenia 6 afios. Ella queria lo mejor de 
mi y asi ella pudo pagar mis estudios alia en Honduras y 
terminarme de criar. 

Lo importante es que estoy en este pais y mi madre la 
tengo en Honduras gracias a Dios. Mi deber es cuidar de 
ella como ella cuido de mi cuando yo estaba pequefio. 

Mi mayor deseo es ser papa. Yo se que estoy muy 
pequefio para ser padre porque solo tengo 17 afios. 
Cuando mi deseo se cumpla, voy aconsejar bien a mis 
hijos para que el dia de mafiana, no conozcan este lugar. 

From The Beat: Nos parece buena idea que quieras ofrecerle a tu madre 
las atenciones que ella te ha dado. Ella se merece eso y mucho mas. Pero 
de la manera como llebas tu vida, no MSk% a llegar muy lejos. Tienes que 
buscar la manera de hacer las cosas bien y buscar lo mejor para ti. Nos 
alegra que pienses en ser un buen padre, uno que nuncsk tubistes. Tener 
un hijo es muchas responsabilidad. Primero deberias de ayudarte a ti 
mismo, tener unsk Buena educacion y tener un buen trabajo y despues 
pensar en un nino. Haz las cosas bien.Haz las cosas correctas como 
deberian de ser. 

A Father 

Hi Catrachos! My name is Ernesto. My life hasn't been 
easy because I was raised with my grandparents because 
my mother didn't have the support of my father. I didn't 
even meet him, because he abandoned my mother when I 
was 7 months old. 

My mother has to come to the US when I was 6 
years old. She wanted the best for me and because of 
her decision she paid for my studies in Honduras and 
supported me to grow up. 

The most important thing is that I am in this country 
and my mother is back in Honduras, thanks God. My 
responsibility is to take care of her like she took care of 
me when I was younger. 

My mayor desire is to become a father. I know I am 
very young to be a father because I am 17 years old. When 
my wish comes true, I am going to advise my kids so they 
can't be here the day of tomorrow. 

-Ernesto, San Francisco 

From The Beat: It sounds good to u% that you are willing to give back 
to your mother the attentions she has given you. She deserves that and 
more. But the way you are guiding your life, you won't get far ahead. 
You need to start doing things right and search for what's convenient 
for you. It maices u% proud of you to think about becoming a great father 
you never had. To be a father is a lot of responsibilities. You should help 
yourself first, get a good education, a good job and then think about 
having kid. Do things sk% right sk% they are supposed to be done. 

//// // 

Estar Ayradecido 


Quizas estar agradecido es un signiflcado muy especial. 
Como cuando una persona a otra le hecha la mano en 
el momento que uno mas lo necesita. Por ejemplo: 
cuando uno esta metido en problemas con las drogas, y 
viene aquella persona y te habla de que lo que nosotros 
hacemos esta mal, te envita a la iglesia, Y tomamos el 
consejo de ir a la iglesia. Al ver un cambio a los meses 
en la vida y ya no andar en malos pasos, eso se tiene que 

Por eso agradezco aquella persona que va por el buen 

From The Beat: £Te ha salido alguien quien te ha llebado al buen camino? 
Si %\, siguelo para que tu mundo cambia. No lo dejes para tnskhsknsk. 
Gracias por tus palabras. 

To Be Grateful 

Maybe to be grateful is a special meaning. Like when a 
person helps another one when one needs it the most. 
For example: when you're into drugs problems, and a 
person talks to you about what you are doing is wrong, 
and invites you to go to church, and you take his propose 
to go to church. Later in months, you see changes and 
stop walking bad roads, that's when you have to thank 

That's why I thank that person who is going towards 
the right direction. 

-Cabrera, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Have you met someone who tried to guide you to a good 
road? if you find someone, fallow this person so you can change your 
iMforld. Don't iwait until tomorroiw. Thanks for your words. 


Estar Aoradecido 

Yo quiero darles las gracias a Dios por haberme dado 
la vida y mas que todo le quiero agradecer por tener con 
vida a mis padres y hermanos. 

Tambien quisiera agradecerle a Dios por haberle dado 
la fortaleza de trabajar a mi padre y haber podido Uebar 
comida a la casa. 

Ahora quisiera darle las gracias a Dios por haberme 
dado la oportunidad de salir de mi pais y de haber llegado 
aqui a San Francisco. Tambien por haberme cuidarme en 
esos dias que anduve en el tren en Mexico. Quiero darle 
las gracias a Dios por tenerme con vida hasta el dia de 

From The Beat: Y nosotros queremos darles las gracias a tu Dios por 
tenerte con vida aqui y port u% escrituras que han estado ayudando a 
muchos. Siguenos escribiendonos. Eres un gran escritor. Tienes a una 
familia esperando por ti, que no se te olvide. 


To Be Thankful 

I want to give my thanks to God for giving me life and 
mostly for having parents and brothers alive. 

I also want to thank God for giving my dad the strength 
to work and be able to bring food to the table. 

Now I want to thank God for giving me the opportunities 
to leave my country and coming here, San Francisco. 
Also, for looking out for me during those days I wan in 
the train in Mexico. I want to thank God for having me 
alive until the day of today. 

-Bairon, San Francisco 

From The Beat: And iwe also wrant to thank your God for having you 
alove and for your writing who has helped many in here. Keep writing 
u%. You are a good writer. You have a family waiting for you. Don't 
forget it. 



Missouri's Humane, Sensible Apprnacli tn 
Juveniie Justice 

At younger and younger ages, children and teens who go 
through the juvenile systems of many states are condemned 
to long terms at large youth detention centers and adult 
prisons only to languish in cells surrounded by thick walls 
and razor wire. 

Too often they are locked down for long periods of the 
day with no real opportunities for rehabilitation, treatment, 
or education. Many youth become more hardened criminals 
while incarcerate and at the end of their sentences they are 
often released into communities that don't have adequate 
resources to reintegrate them. It is a disgrace that what I've 
just described is largely what passes for so-called juvenile 
justice in many states and municipalities throughout our 
nation. But there is a better more proven way. 

Mark D. Steward, founder and director of the Missouri 
Youth Services Institute, and his colleague, Pili Robinson, 
are lights on the horizon of urgently needed nationwide 
juvenile justice system reform. Mark previously served 
as director of the Missouri Division of Youth Services for 
over 17 years before retiring in July 2005 after 35 years of 
service in this field. 

His approach to youth development is a sharp departure 
from most conventional methods of incarceration, instead 
using a rehabilitative and therapeutic youth program. 
Missouri's juvenile recidivism rate, with only 8 percent of 
those incarcerated coming back into juvenile custody and 8 
percent going into Missouri's prisons, has been one of the 
best success stories in the country. 

As a result of the state applying new thinking to its 
approach to juvenile justice and overhauling its system, 
Missouri has been copied by other jurisdictions for its 
success in rerouting troubled, adjudicated children and 
teens onto successful life paths. First it eliminated its huge, 
rural detention facility that purely warehoused 2,500 young 
people. In its place, Missouri established 33 residential 
facilities and 11 day treatment centers in five regions. These 
aren't just smaller prisons; they are designed to provide 
a dormitory atmosphere for groups of no more than 12 
children and teens. Under this system, no one is more than 
two hours away from their home and community services. 

The key to Missouri's success is its focus on the 
development of each individual child or youth in a positive 
environment. We were all impressed when Pili Robinson 
described their methods at the Children's Defense Fund's 
(CDF) National Cradle to Prison Pipeline Summit in 

Herbert B. Schweigert is writing to u% from Crossroads Correctional 
Center in Cameron, Missouri. Herbert doesn't need much of ^n 
introduction ^% he regularly and proudly always put it^ down in The 
Beat! Herbert is a spiritual individual and also a political thinker. He 
addresses \%%ue% that affect each and every one of u% regardless of what 
situation we find ourselves in. 

September 2007. "When you walk into a Missouri juvenile 
detention facility, there are no hard cuffs or shackles, no 
cells, no bars; there are no isolation rooms and no correction 
officers. What you find instead are youth counselors and 
team leaders in a dorm-like environment with bunk beds, 
pillows, couches, and carpets, and young people wearing 
their own clothes," explained Robinson. "We allow the kids 
to be themselves and take them back to being kids," he 
said, noting that many children are forced by their harsh 
environments to grow up too fast. 

Education and job training are essential components of 
the program. Instead of being locked down and locked in, 
the youth throughout the system participate in community 
service projects at nursing homes and food banks and take 
field trips to places like Washington, D.C. and Boston. They 
sponsor Career Days, Multi-Culture Festivals and their own 

Much of the rehabilitation involves working through 
youth peer groups and does away with the mode of adults 
preaching down to them. The youth are taught leadership 
skills and how to facilitate group sessions. Staff members 
are trained to facilitate teams of 12 and are prepared to 
meet the needs of each individual youth, making referrals 
to family therapy and substance abuse counseling generally 

The Missouri Division of Youth Services also has 
created a seamless case management system so that once 
a youth is adjudicated, one case worker follows him and his 
family throughout his entire stay in the system facilitating 
the eventual reentry of the youth back into his community. 
Significantly, this system also comes with a considerable 
cost savings. The actual annual cost for detaining a youth 
in Missouri is less than half of what other states pay. 

One should stop spending a fortune on large traditional, 
non-therapeutic, correctional facilities and then releasing 
youth back into our communities with little done to 
address their rehabilitation, treatment, and education 
needs. It makes infinitely more sense to support juvenile 
rehabilitation programs like the Missouri Division of Youth 
Services, which have high rates of success in turning 
troubled children into productive citizens. I hope that more 
states and municipalities get that message soon. 

Twinkles and Rnntbeer 

One day a little four year old boy decided he was gonna go 
and visit God. He assumed he had a long way to travel, so 
he packed his suitcase full of Twinkles and rootbeer. After 
traveling about six blocks, he stopped to rest in a park and 
sat down on a bench by an old man who was looking at 
some birds in the grass. The little boy was thirsty so he got 
out one of his rootbeers to drink. He looked over at the old 
man and thought the old man looked hungry, so he gave 
him one of his Twinkles and the old man, upon accepting 
it, gave the little boy a smile. The little boy enjoyed the 
smile so much that he also gave the old man a rootbeer. 
They spent the better part of the day eating and drinking, 
never once even speaking one word. The little boy noticed 
it was getting late, so he got up to leave and walked away. 
Suddenly, after a few steps, he turned around, ran back to 
the old man, and gave him a big hug, and got even a bigger 

smile from the old man. 

When he finally got home, his mom asked him, 
"Son, what did you do today to make you so happy?" His 
response was that he shared Twinkles and rootbeer in the 
park with God! And before his mother could respond, he'd 
also said, "And you know he's got the most beautiful smile 
I ever saw!" 

When the old man got home, his son met him at the 
door and asked, "Dad, what did you do today that's given 
you such a great and loving smile upon your face?" His 
response was that he'd shared Twinkles and rootbeer with 
God in the park! And before his son could reply, he said, 
"And you know, he is much younger than I expected!" 

When you see someone in need, help them. The Lord 
said, "What you do unto the least of these you do unto 

And, hey, "Have lunch with God!" 


A Storm, Then a Crime Against Humanity 

The Burmese people, with tens of thousands already dead 
and uncountable thousands more clinging precariously 
to life, are cursed by the further evil luck to be ruled by a 
gang of secretive and uncaring thugs. 

How else can one possibly describe the junta in the 
capital, Yangon? 

When cyclone-driven water swept over that poor 
Asian land, carrying whole villages away, the outer world 
was prepared to mount a massive effort to relieve the 
suffering from a natural catastrophe of numbing scale. 

The horror of the storm's aftermath is yet to be 
known. The scant details that have made their way out 
of the reclusive country have come from the very few 
Western newspeople who've managed to make their way 
across the frontier. 

As many as 100,000 people, if not more, are thought 
to have perished. The survivors, many in remote and 
isolated districts, are without shelter, nourishment, 
medicine, or even drinkable water. And what has been 
the regime's response? The tyrants have denied visas to 
international aid workers, forbade relief shipments to 
even enter the country. And when finally a trickle of food 
did begin to find its way in to these needy people, the 
army stole it! 

So for many days after the storm, stockpiles of 
desperately needed supplies were stalled outside the 
closed borders. Eventually around two weeks or more 
after the storm, the first U.S. cargo plane loaded with 
relief goods was allowed to land in Myanmar. Even now 
at this writing the fiow of aid is inadequate. Given the 
difficulty of getting to some of the worst stricken areas 
and the delay in organizing a distribution network, it 
remains to be seen how much of the aid actually will even 
reach the victims in time. 

The corrupt and inhumane behavior of Myanmar's 
rulers is worse than merely shameful. In plain words, as 
was a similar situation by the U.S. government during the 
Katrina storm, it amounts by any reasonable reckoning 
to a crime against humanity, an offense for which the 
guilty deserve to be prosecuted. 

When fragile societies are overwhelmed by immense 
natural calamities, the helpless victims look to great 
nations for their salvation. 

At the first sign of the regime's determination to block 
humanitarian assistance from the outside world, the 
U.S. should immediately have set about organizing an 
international force to deliver aid by whatever coercive 
means necessary. 

So the first question is why in hell didn't that happen? 
Why were precious days allowed to slip by at a probable 
further horrific cost of people's lives? 

The explanation is clear. At least in part, we failed 
to act for the very reason that Osama bin Laden and his 
terrorist cohorts are able to operate with near impunity 
out of Pakistan's border region and that the Taliban 
threaten to nullify what once looked to be a decisive 
victory for freedom in Afghanistan. And for the same 
reason that, on a different continent, this country has 
played what can only be described as a timid, halfhearted 
part in attempts to end the genocidal nightmare in Sudan, 
and because deep down inside, they don't give a crap. 

That reason is because our military is stretched 
almost to breaking and our collective will has been 
sapped by the cost and the heartbreak of our exhausting 
and unending ordeal in Iraq. 

When great crises present themselves, great nations 
are obliged to respond. When they do not respond or even 
in a timely manner, the tragedy is compounded. 

A Gnnd Way nf Puttino It 

A man one day was in the examination room with his 
Christian doctor. Just as he was preparing to leave he'd 
asked, "Doc what's on the other side of the grave after we 
depart?" The doctor's response was that he didn't know. 
"What," said the patient, "you a Christian and you don't 
know what's on the other side?" 

Suddenly, they both heard a scratching sound on the 
outer door and a whining sound. The doctor opened the 
office door and his dog ran into the room and leaped upon 
his leg, happy to see his master. 

The doctor then said, "My dog has never been beyond 
that door before; he didn't know what was on the other 
side." Then he told his patient, "I know one thing for 
certain that's on the other side of death. I know my 
master, Jesus, is on the other side and that's all I need to 


I'm inside looking out 

Trying to figure what my life's about. 

TEW—I'm a sea of emotions 

Tangled in webs of thought. 

I struggle to break free 

But yet I'm caught. 

There's no escaping; like there's no way out. 

The harder I struggle. 

The tighter the grip; 

Until I surrender and nearly pass out. 

I find myself attached to things 

But nothing's attached to me. 

All I had to do, TBW, was let go 

And then I'd be free. 

In the late night prison silence 

It became so perfectly clear. 

That instead of counting my blessings, 

I was captivated by my fears. 

I still have trouble letting go 

This is one thing that I must. 

Yet, the more I learn, TBW, of God 

The more I know I can, in Him, trust. 


amasm// • r/r/et/ 

'^nTHnn¥ /phchm' 


Dear Beat 

Hello. Well, like all my letters, I would like to start this of by 
wishing that it finds the many eyes that read this in the best of 
health as well as in God's tender loving care. Well, as the sun has 
set and the moon is shining through my cell window and the TV 
in the dayroom echoes throughout the cell block, I sit here in my 
four corner cell and think back to the many, many wrong decisions 
I've made and given for a five-letter word called PRIDE and a seven- 
letter word called RESPECT. Now how immature is that? 

How stupid does it sound to come to prison for the last nine 
years in and out to earn that respect and pride that I thought I 
needed or deserved? Not realizing till now that what I deserved 
was to be free, to be with my family and to raise my kids and be 
the father that I need to be. I deserved to be happy and so does 
my family. But that's no one's fault but my own. For I made the 
decisions that had the consequences of sending me right back to 
prison over and over. 

I'm 26 years old. First time I came to prison, I was 18 years old, 
and as hard as they come, so I thought. Ha ha ha. Another stupid 
way of thinking. Blaming everyone but myself and my so-called 
homies. Thinking no one understands us, or the bond we shared. 

I loved every part of that 'hood life. The Game. The barrio, the 
homeboys, the home girls, the parties, and the riding. Couldn't 
get enough of it. Sometimes I think that I still can't. But I know 
I'm just lying to myself. Because the best pride that I've ever really 
felt was when I had that job in the oil-fields making good money, 
clean money, and I would come home all dirty, full of oil, and my 
daughter would say "Hey daddy you're all dirty." So I would tell her 
to give me hug and go to give her a hug, and she would run from 
me. "No dad, you're dirty!" Ha ha. 

I would take my daughter with me to cash my check and buy 
her what she wanted. That was the most respect, highest respect 
and pride, I ever felt in my life. Nothing else could compare to how 
good that felt. Nothing in the 'hood, nothing, nowhere. But I still 
caught myself going back with the homies and I let everything else 
make me forget about how happy I was. I made the same mistakes 
and got another ticket on that goose to CDC/Prison. And once again 
my kids find themselves asking their mom, "Where's Daddy? How 
come I can't see him?" 

And once again when I get out I'll have to explain to my 
daughters why I was gone, and once again they'll be even older 
than they were when I left. One is eight years old; the other is four 
years old. When I get out they'll be ten years old and six years old. 
And to them, I'm their hero. Even though I ran the streets and did 
the things I did, when they called me, "Dad, I want to see you. Can 
I come over?" I would stop whatever I was doing and it was the 

It was all about them. And I never brought another woman 
around them. They never seen me with no one other than their 

Our next writer is writing to u% from a Wasco State Prison in Wasco, 
Ca. We haven't heard from Anthony in a while, but he is a long time 

Beat Writer. - ■ " " "■ " " 

the real truth. Anthony is a very raw and uncut writer. He's been there 
and done that. Without bragging about it, he maices it very clear that 
what made him really happy in life was his kids. So please welcome 
Anthony ^% he comes at you readers out there with some real talk, and 
knowledge about life. 

moms. So I think they respect that a lot. I asked my four-year-old 
one time, "Can daddy have a girlfriend"? She said 


I said "Why not?!" 

She said, "Cause you got me. Daddy. You don't need no one 
else." It felt good to know my kids loved me and they seen me in 
that fatherly way. 

I know this prison crap needs to stop. It is like I said before, I've 
finally let go of the 'hood and put my daughters first for a change, 
and I'm standing on my own two feet saying forget the 'hood. I'm 
gonna do the things I need to do and go to school so I can learn to 
be that productive citizen I need to be; to provide for my kids. And 
yes, it won't be easy, but it will be reachable to prosper and be that 
man and that father that I'm destined to be by birth. Everyone can 

You're never too young or too old to achieve your goals. You 
can do it. So don't let no one lie to you or don't lie to yourself. It 
won't be easy but it will be there for the taking. All the efforts and 
motivation you put into the hood, try putting it into something 
positive towards your lives and it's guaranteed to improve your 
life and open doors for a better future. Everybody wants a better 
future. Yeah, some people get it handed to them on silver platters, 
but that's what makes us more unique. We'll shine more because 
we've earned it so we deserve it, and know that the only one that 
can take it from us is ourselves — giving it away to fall back into 
our old lifestyles. 

We can do it camaradas (homeboys) and homegirls. We just 
got to keep our heads up towards the sky, for it will get better, and 
remember this world ain't shhh without our touch. We make this 
world go 'round shaaaa que-no. So let's make a better future for 
ourselves and give our kids, our family, but most of all ourselves, 
something to be proud of. We have nothing to lose, only much to 

My respect goes out to you all and to our fallen street soldiers 
as well as my son Jr. that is resting in heaven and will forever be 
looking down from heaven waiting for us to enter into those pearly 
gates so we can reunite and share our remembered memories of 

Remember, only the strong survive, but we will rise together 
with our heads held high as we are freed from these gates of hell 
called prison that we'll never have to see again. Much love. Much 

0-Vo Beat? 

First off, my highest respect goes out to you and everybody doing 
time as well as anybody hurting out on the streets that is doing 
time with us. Well, as I sat here in my cell locked down 23 hours a 
day I was reading "The Beat" when a few things I read kind of got 
me. So I figured I would write another letter coming at The Beat 
straight up, but with my highest level of respect hoping that it hits 
home being that I can relate to the readers. And I mean everything 
I say with love and with respect to all the homies and homeboys 
and homegirls. 

Check it out straight up; for a person to say, "I can't do it... The 
'hood's all I know... No one wants to give me a chance... I've been 
doing good for a week... I deserve trust and a pat on the back..." 
Dispensa, but you're WRONG. You've got to earn trust. You ain't 
gonna get it overnight. And saying you can't do it, the 'hood's all 
you know, no one wants to give you a chance... I've been there, 
done that. 

Stop your crying! You just want attention and want things 
handed to you. Come on now. You don't talk to your homies like 
that. You don't want your homies to feel sorry for you. Come on 
now. Yeah, some might get mad at my statements, but if anybody 
does it's because the TRUTH HURTS. 

I'm only being REAL and coming at my people straight up if 
you really want to do good. So stop saying, "I can't do good because 
I can't get out the 'hood. "More bull shhh. Excuses. You just got to 
say, "Enough!" and grow up. Stand on your own two feet. And when 

your homies come around, MAN UP-WOMAN UP, and tell them 
you're good, you got other stuff going for you. You're trying to 
do good for yourself and for your family. You want to help your 
family and they'll respect it. 

And if you say your homies will trip, you are a liar. I'm from 
one of, if not the biggest, gang in the nation. Worldwide. My 'hood 
started in the gang injunction and is very respected. And my 'hood 
has accepted the good that I'm trying to do. And even if they didn't, 
oh well. I'm my own man. But if you are who you say you are, 
then why wouldn't they respect it? If you got so much respect in 
your 'hood, why wouldn't they like that you're trying to do good? 
Because they will like that you're trying to provide the right way for 
your family. They'll give you props and your family will appreciate 
you and be proud of you. And they'll trust you. 

So, if you're really tired of coming back, then stop wasting 
people's time that are really wanting to help. Because if you keep 
wasting their time, when you're really tired and really want the 
help, no one will be there and you'll be wondering why no one 
wants to help you. You'll be mad but blind that it's you own fault 
and not even realizing that it's your own fault for using people. You 
don't understand that you locked yourself out and it's no one's 
fault. Blame nobody but yourself. 

My highest respect goes out to you and all our fallen street 
soldiers. Stay up, stay shining. 


Tu Camarada 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

^I^I^^^^^^^ ^Wti/ , l^Ll/JJJrL 

'H/PX^n ^. ST^F-F-n/?D' 


Today I was reading a book and in it the author was 
giving his definition of the word "Love." I thought about 
how he had said that love is a deep and tender feeling 
of affection for or attachment or devotion to a person, 
and I felt that his definition was wrong, or at the least an 
understatement. So I decided to tell you what love means 
to me so that you would be able to understand. 

Love Is Passiofl 

That look in your eyes when we talk to each other 

The way that we miss each other when we are apart 

The desire that we share to make each other happy in all 

that we do 

The smile that we wear when either of our names are 


That warm and tender feeling in our heart once we are 


Knowing that we will always be there for each other 

through both the good and bad times 

Knowing that I will forever be in your heart, just as you 

will always be in mine 

I guess one could say that my definition of love is you 

Because with you I have found myself experiencing all of 

these things 

And I wouldn't trade the lessons which I have learned 

with you for the world 
A wise man once said that only a fool says that he has 

nothing left to learn in life 

And I feel that each day that we are together I stand a 

chance of learning something new 

I hope we will forever be together 

I want to thank you for this, another of life's blessings 

Because to me you are truly a gift from the heavens 


I will continue to love you as long as you are willing to 

receive only my love. 

Our Fall From Love 

This morning I woke up to watch the sunrise and as I 
sat and watched I refiected back on the things that I had 
once planned to do. The more I thought about it I began 
to realize that a lot of the plans that I once had revolved 
around you. I then began to ask myself what can I do on 
my part to make this relationship a success? I began to 
search my soul to see if I had been doing the things that 
I am capable of. 

I thought back to how and where we met. Things 
were normal, I guess. I went a little further in time and 
I saw our first kiss. The problem wasn't there. I saw 
the time when I held you in my arms in an attempt to 
comfort you and all I could feel was your pain. That's 
when I realized that the destruction of our world and life 
together began. I don't know how I could change the 
things that happened between the two of us, but I find 
myself wishing that things could have been different. I 
cannot go back in time, although I wish that I could, if 
just for a brief moment to stop your pain. In my heart I 
feel that is where our downfall from love all began. 

I will close leaving you with this one last thought. 
Time nor distance will ever keep the two of us apart 
because you have found a very special place here deep 
within my heart. 

Our next writer is writing to u% from Corcoran State Prison in 
Corcoran, CA. Brian Has been a writer for The Beat Within Magazine 
for a long time. We haven't heard from him in a while but he reached 
out to u% and blessed u% with some of his talented writing. So without 
sm^ more delay open your ears and indulge yourself in some classic 

.' 1 

''ijJia/- MJ 






1 1 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

^I^I^^^^^^ ^^WiLi I f,LL i£LL 

'SHf7u/n MnnTnnMB/?¥' 

Lovino Each Other 

Why are we so afraid to commit ourselves to loving each 
other? This is about love, tenderness, compassion, caring, 
sharing, and relating — the most vital of human behavior. 
Without these qualities, life is empty, though we may have 
the best of health, the most comfortable of homes, the most 
impressive of bank balances. 

Even knowing this, we spend so little times developing 
these behaviors. In fact, we are living in a society in which 
such words as love and commitment have been relegated to 
sentimental old-fashioned nonsense. Skeptics are only too 
ready and capable with quick wit and stinging phrases to 
ridicule those who continue to speak of broken hearts, of 
devastating loneliness and the mystical ways and power of 

If you love, you are considered naive. If happy, you 
are considered frivolous and simple. If generous and 
altruistic, you are considered a suspect. If forgiving, you 
are considered weak. If trusting, you are considered a 
fool. If you try to be all of these things, people are sure 
you are a phony. This flippant attitude has had much to do 
with the breeding of a society of detatched, noncommittal 
persons too sophisticated to admit to their confusion 
and unhappiness and too caught up in ego to risk doing 
anything about it. It has perpetuated isolation and devalued 
basic human values — in spite of the fact that over the past 
years there has been amassed a vast scientific literature 
which proves that relationships do matter, that intimacy is 
necessary to sustain a good, productive life, that a loving 
touch or a hearty laugh can heal, that positive relating 
brings physical psychological and mental well being. 

Such contemporary philosophers and scientists as 
Ashley Montagu, Elizabeth Keebler Ross, Desmond Morris, 
James Lynch, Theodore, Issac Rubin, Margaret Mead, 
Norman Cousins, David Viscott, Clark Moustakas, William 
Menninger, Melanie Klein, C.S. Lewis, Nathaniel Branded 
and others have persisted in their writings and research, 
in spite of their critics, in affirming that a society devoid of 
these basic human needs is doomed. 

Our growing inability to relate one with another is 
reaching frightening proportion. Soon, the two-parent 
family will be considered the exception. Notions of marriage 
considered outmoded. Meaningless sexual promiscuity 
is accepted as the norm and even being advocated useful 
behavior for solving problems in failing marriages. 

Emotional detachment, maintaining our distance from 
others, is being prescribed as a solution for avoiding pain. 
Neglect and a rise of children and the aged is a growing 
problem. Social and religious institutions, which in the 
past helped to set standards of behavior and brought people 
together in companionship, are actively downgraded. 

Our next writer is writing to u% from Union Correctional Institution 
in Raiford, Florida. Shawn Montgomery has been a long-time writer 
for The Beat. Shawn comes through with some powerful information 
for you readers out there. Equipped with nothing but knowledge, 
Shawn spills the secrets on how to live a better positive life. So without 
any more interruptions, give it up for Shawn! 

Individualism, independence and personal freedom are 
values above love, commitment, and cooperation. 

Examining the complex nature involved in loving each 
other (the dynamic and ever changing nature of two of more 
unique and while individuals agreeing to emerge and blend 
in long-term commitment) is not an easy task. Nevertheless, 
that is the purpose of The Beat Within. It seems to me vital 
and necessary, since material dealing with the dynamics of 
loving each other is sure. Without this knowing we end only 
by living together in hate, fear, loneliness, and continuing 
to hurt each other in ignorance. Happily, the choice is still 
ours to make. 

Like everyone I know, my life, too, has been a long series 
of interwoven relationships, both good and bad. I value 
them all. For it was mainly through these relationships that 
I survived my infancy, completed my childhood, ended my 
adolescence and moved toward a dynamic state of growing 
to maturity. They have been living lessons in meeting defeat, 
letting go and overcoming fear. They have helped to free my 
spirit and eradicate my fear of loving. My relationships are 
still my major source of stimulation, causing me to remain 
open, curious, eager to learn and challenged to change. Now 
I understand more than ever, "We must love one another or 

Isn't it time that we forgot our petty egos, give up our 
fear of appearing sentimental or naive and come together in 
our universal need, one for the other? Why is it so difficult 
for us to embrace each other fearlessly and with passion 
and to say: Human being, take my hand?' 

There is a wonderful tale that tells of a young girl who 
is walking through a meadow when she sees a butterfly 
impaled upon a thorn. Very carefully she releases it and 
the butterfly starts to fly away. Then it comes back and 
changes into a beautiful good fairy. "For your kindness," 
she tells the little girl, "I will grant you your fondest wish." 
The little girl thinks for a moment and replies, "I want to be 
happy." The fairy leans toward her and whispers in her ear 
and tiien suddenly vanishes. As the girl grew, no one in the 
land was more happy than she. Whenever anyone asked her 
for the secret of happiness, she would only smile and say, 
"I listened to a good fairy." 

As she grew quite old, the neighbors were afraid the 
fabulous secret might dies with her. "Tell us, please," they 
begged, "tell us what the fairy said." The now lovely old 
lady simply smiled and said, "She told me that everyone, no 
matter how secure they seemed, had need of me!" 

We all need each other. 

Whenever anifone asked 
her for the secret of happi- 
ness, she wou/d ohI^ sift He 
and saif, 7 listened to a 
good falrif. " 


amam// • #////// 

'SH^u/n MnnTnnMB/7¥ nanT. ' 



I am continually amazed by the ability of words to 
expand the human mind and open new doors for mental 
consideration. Everything that we think and know is a 
result of the information one informs the perspective 
through which we view reality. It also determines how we 
function within society, and how others respond to us. 

To inform means to form or shape the mind or character 
through study, learning experiences of instruction. The 
mind, like any computer, is only capable of responding to 
the information which is in its memory. If the information 
is not there, you cannot draw upon it. If the information 
is incorrect, your responses will also be incorrect. The 
equation is simple; if limits are placed on your thinking, 
then limits are automatically placed on your ability to 
view reality and act intelligently. 

Educational systems are designed to control the 
thinking of people through the control and manipulation 
of image and information. We all are a product of the 
education that we have received in school, at home and 
in society. But sometimes, traditional education is not 
enough, particularly if key elements essential to this 
education process are omitted. 

Many years of my life have been dedicated to re- 
examining information, which was not a part of my formal 
education. Needless to say, I have learned more about 
myself and reality that I could have ever imagine. I have 
come to understand that whatever a person believes, with 
feeling, becomes the sum total of their existence. I believe 
that absolute knowledge of self is the ultimate objective 
of my life. 

I'm often asked "How do you know all that 
information?" Ususally I reply by saying, "Rather than 
asking me how do I know all of this information, you 
should ask yourself why it is that you don't know it." 

The feelings of powerlessness and misinformation, 
which pervade us in the African American community 
have simultaneously created, in one segment of this 
community, a real sense of urgency for obtaining accurate 
information of self. The lack of specific information 
denies you the opportunity to make intelligent decisions 
about your life. 

BiGSSino Fathers 

Dear Fathers: 

Within your hearts there is a desire to guide and 
nurture children and to let them be all that they were 
created to be. Bless you for your willingness to be there 
for children and for your encouragement as they explore 
life. Through your guidance and example, you show them 
how they can open themselves to a world of possibilities 
that await their acceptance. 

I pray, affirming that each child in the world has 
someone like you in his or her life. Children need someone 
who loves and cares for them, someone like you in his or 
her life. Children need someone who loves and cares for 
them, someone who believes in them and cheers them on 
in meeting their accomplishments. 

I envision you blessed in your roles as fathers and 
blessed by your whole lives through. Blessed are you, 
fathers, in blessing the children of our world. 


A Letter To God 

I understand that it all starts with me 

So I ask for wisdom as I bend my knees 

Lost, I give my battle up for you to fight 

And I open my heart to your guiding light 

Father you've brought me through the storm 

But still my life is far from the norm 

So I keep praising, for you have saved me 

And promised to love me for all eternity 

You have given me another chance to live 

And my broken spirit you have healed 

So in return I will sacrifice to save another 

And share your glory with my sisters and brothers 

As long as I am here 

I will be used 

And as long as you shine down on me 

I will give all praises to you 



When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving 


You have not done what I asked 

When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me 


I shouldn't feel that way 

You are trampling on my feelings 

When I ask you to listen to me 

And you feel you have to do something to solve my 


You have failed me 

Strange as that may seem. 

Perhaps that's why prayer works for some people 

Because God is mute and he doesn't offer advice to try 

to fix things 
He just listens and trusts you to work it out for yourself 

So please, just listen and hear me 

And if you want to talk, wait a few minutes for your turn 

And I promise I'll listen to you. 


amam// • #////// 

'MnTHnn¥ n^/Pi^^B^' 


The Beat Within Topics 1&2 in Voiume 13.19 

What's the biz and what it do young playboys? It's ya boy Ant 
with some real talk. It is what it is pimp, and I know many 
of you are consumed into the same deception I was caught 
up in all my life. Ya see, I'm feeling "The Beat Within" and 
their goal to reach you young playboys before it's too late. 

With that said, let me get to the topics in issue 13.19. 
I'd appreciate all of you bearing with me. I'm new to this 
and I know I'm addressing topics that you've already seen. 
However I'd like to give ya a piece of my mind. 

First the world has changed since I was brought into 
it 30 years ago on October 8, 1977. Yeah, I've seen it all 
unfold before my eyes. From the low riders to the big bodies 
rollin on 13" and 14" inch wire rims to the spinners and 26 
inch blingers. The pearl white teeth to the gold, platinum, 
and crushed diamond grills. Ya see, we had places of 
entertainment on the weekends. The roller skating rinks, 
movies, kick backs, with out stickings and gun play. 

Now all you young playboys got is the 'hood and ya got 
to keep it 'hood to be a figure. I know the biz, I've lived it. 
Slangin' dope at 12 in the East Bay Area, packin' heat. I got 
caught with my first pistol at 12. 1 went to Alameda County 
Juvenile Hall having to rep my 'hood that I was jumped into 
two months before. 

Being young and with it, in my stay I believe I was in unit 
1. Was short. I wound up in boys control and then kicked 
out to B-unit. The six months I did I got into more fights, 
and when I hit the streets I was back in three weeks. Yeah, 
it's been a revolving door for 18 years of my life. Arizona 
boys ranch, CYA, NRCC, 3001 Romana Ave. Sacramento at 
16... I still remember the address. Preston was my first CYA 
line with the castle to remember. Six and a half years later 
to see me in prison state blues in mule clothes. 

Ya see young playboys, I was still with it, a functioning 
gangster. My story unfolds and deception sets in. It's more 
than a dozen years of my life that got overlooked all over 
me, stackin' paper and females chasin'. Yeah, I was smutted 
up and my name was drug into the dirt. And ya know what, 
pimp, it hurt at first and I couldn't accept it. I was still me, 
not a coward nor a punk, 

I made a decision to lay the politics to the side and do 
me, in 2003. I'm around hitters and killers that do what 
they choose to do. Never will another man dictate their 
program. All of us want the same thing — to see our young 
gente (people) break this cycle of falling into the deception 

Our next writer is writing to u% from a Correctional Facility in 
T^acy, Ca. Anthony is new to The Beat Within. He really respects the 
work that we do, and we really respect Anthony for taking the time to 
write and to try to reach out to all you young readers out there. As you 
will read, Anthony has been through the street life, juvenile system, 
and now in the adult system. And his goal now is to try to steer some 
young adults away from the street life. But enough stalling on our part, 
and read about with Anthony is all about! 

of being dragged into lies. It is all propaganda, and for those 
who have control to gain, you'll be utilized and disposed 

So young playboys, don't fear doing you, the first 
thing, in hanging up tiie red and blue. Then in time, you'll 
change, ya way of thinking, ya way of acting. Ya grow to be 
ya own man. Set that pride aside, do it for you first, and 
all those who love you will naturally see the change. Trip, 
pimp I'm not one to preach. I am one who wants to see 
change in the young. I'm caught up in this place for the love 
of money, transportation of meth for sales. The root of all 
evil, "money!" Didn't even need to take this route. However, 
greed and material wants, took me on a short roller coaster 

I was working fuUtime for two months. I didn't stay out 
longer then that for 8 years. I was about to start getting paid 
$30.50 and hour for spraying and fertilizer injections. I was 
training for my license. At the time, I only got paid $13.50 
an hour. Well, I got myself involved with the dope game, and 
I started using. Stopped seeing my parole officer and quit 
working. Three months later, I'm back with charges, and 
now I'm doing three years with 1/2. 

Look pimp, I got tattoos all over my body and a record 
that's long. I still got a good job and people don't look at me 
like a bad guy. It's 'cause I wanted to live a real life. You can 
do it too, young playboys Strive to better ya education, and 
work on changing your ways. 

You don't want to see these steel bars and concrete 
walls. I don't want ya to, either. So if The Beat Within finds 
my poems and letters are for you readers out there in them 
facilities, keep and eye for Ant from the city by the Bay, 
Newark, California. 'Cause I'd like to see the young better 
their lives. 

I'm signing off with this: change comes when ya ready 
to do it. Do it for you first, then all will come to be. Life is 
a journey and the paths that you take can wind up being 
ya last. So I encourage you young playboys to "Just Do It." 
Change" before it's too late. 

»».chaHge comes when if a readtf 
to do it, Do it for tfOM first, 
tlieH a a wiii come to he, 

She Is 

Who is she? What is she? 

That many men try to deceive her with smooth words 

and sharp tongue 

To try and break up her and the man she loves 

She is good-hearted, bright, beautiful inside and out 

Heavenly I recognize by grace 

She lent a personality that many men fetch their entire 

life time to never get, a beauty that attracts jealousy 

from her same sex, the same beauty that her opposite 

sex dreams to obtain and never let it get away. 

Convict Music 

Behind these walls a convict needs music to keep him 

Yadada music in my mind that plays when time tries to 

do me 

Music brings ya face clearly in my thoughts 

I remember making love to you 

The music continues to play and I lay with my eyes 


The closeness of you spiritually near makes my heart 

skip beats 

It's my comforter with you physically absent 

For now it'll be convict music that gets me through 

And when I hug, kiss, caress and make love to you real 

It'll be music we do it to 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

^7/?7wn7mmm BKm/i / r- # / ^/ Jf'^ 

'^nTHnn¥ n^^^i^f^s^ canr. ' 

Ant, Reppin' The Beat Within 

Talent is what it is 
Have you got it? If so let it show 

Every week publications of writing and art will be shared 
with many 

Because I find this as a way to share real game, release 
the pain and be a part of the many talents I've seen the 
Beat Within 

Everyone will get a dose of what I got and bet to see 
me from time to time 

Anthony Narvaer Jr. a Libra, 30 yrs of age, Puerto 
Rican and Spanish, 6'1" 187, toned brown complexion, 
aka Ant from the city by the Bay — the East Bay's Newark 

This here is an intro-notation to the Beat Within and 
all the many that are with it 

While I know many may get curious as to how long I'll be 
wit' it. let me medicate your curiosity. 

It'll be 12 months of incarceration I got left to do on a 
three-year term, caught for being a fool 

Tracy state prison reception center awaiting transfer 
to finish this temporary stay 

Here comes my punchline — I'll stay dedicated and 
focused on bringing all I can to the Beat Within and for it 
to be published for all to see who choose to read 

In many ways you'll find my mind to be far and 
beyond these walls though. I've spent many years of my 
life locked away as a youth in CY. and graduated to the 
State Penitentiary 

Now this number T-09289 is the one that has held 
my life incarcerated for the past eight years in and out 
this revolving system known as CDC And 1 locked the 
talent away. Now the plan is to set the record straight. On 
June 22nd 2009, everything will change — the day I hit 
the gate. 

To Love ATliog 

To love a thug lil' ma you must surrender ya' life to the 

hands of time 
Know that sometimes a thug may seem to treat ya mean 

and then blow ya mind away when he treats ya nice 
There may come that time as a thug where he's cornered 

behind steel bars and concrete walls 

Lil' ma the only contact maybe letters and collect calls 

Will you play games with his head not answering the 


'Cause in a thug's mind reality be ya not home alone 

Can ya keep it real, write a letter or two 

The choice is yours on what ya choose to do 

Will it be real when you say how much it means to you 

Will you let a thug starve or will ya provide and send him 


Because ya' know lil' ma behind these walls time is 

never funny 

Will you visit a thug or at least try 

Will you always give some type of assurance he's ya only 


Ya can do it lil' ma, it's not hard 

On his birthday make him smile by sending him a card 

It's all about you staying true and be by a thug's side 

Will ya ride or will ya fail and say ya tried 

Will you love him like he loves you 

Will you help him see the loneliness through 

Trust this LOL ma, it'll pay off in the end 

'Cause from a thug develops a life-long friend 

And when it comes times for a thug to be released 

Happiness it'll be and ya loneliness will then cease 

To love a thug all ya gotta do is heed to these lines 

And ride wit' a thug until the ends of time. 


Vaiues in iife 

The longer my eyes are open, the more I see the transformation 
in a world that is changing rapidly. I'm coming to the realm of 
an understanding that the world is no longer like I knew it. 
Personalities and attitudes are those of unknown and familiar 
characters I no longer associate with. Sometimes it feels like I 
have become all alone in a world that used to be so crowded. I 
guess I have become so in love with life, that I'll never abandon 
its existence. 

Despite the reality of death, something in me tells me I'll 
never die. If you were looking for true belief, there it goes. 
Confidence provides my red carpet and the pathways for my 
steps are golden. I no longer have to remind myself to smile 
and my every thought is my invested happiness. Sometimes 
I wonder why is it so hard for one to hug a life that births 
one everyday. And sometimes I wonder why a man loves a man 
more when he's dead than when he was awake? 

It saddens me to see that life is worth nothing more 
than pennies in other's eyes. It makes me wonder that those 
individuals must be made for being awoke from their sleep of 
death at birth. For every day I see or hear about a man being 
murdered, and it is at that time and moment that I see the face 
of true hate. Have the dirt that keep us afloat lost its value? 
Have life's oxygen become impossible to breathe? What is it 
about this world that make one look for an early exit? 

If you were looking for something to hold onto in life, you 

Our next writer is writing to u% directly from The Beat Within office 
in ^^n Francisco, Ca. Our long-time friend and Beat Within colleague 
has been donating masterpieces for the past ten years. Eric doesn't 
need much of stn introduction, sk% he paints a clear word picture on his 
thoughts about life. Everyone should take the time to really reevaluate 
what^ going on in their lives. Life^ just too short and too precious. Kick 
back and enjoy the piece! 

should choose love. It is there- new values are formed and it is 
there- life takes on a different definition. 

It's hard for one to feel out here with a hardened heart. 
The ability to connect with the institutions that surround you 
is how you stay in tune with reality. We must understand that 
life's materials are secondary to breath. All the currency that 
exist can not buy one natural breath, but a natural breath can 
sustain a soul to accomplish all of the currency in the world. 
We must acknowledge our uniqueness. "A man that knows his 
worth isn't looking to be short changed in life." 

I never understood one that'll commit suicide. He/she must 
be truly out of touch with life. For a man or woman's thoughts 
to create the concept of being no more is a mind that indulges 
in weak activities. One must keep a grip on his/her thoughts, 
for it is there that determines your value of life. It is there the 
world exists. What kind of reality have you painted yourself? 

Life is beautiful for those who doesn't take advantage of 
their blessings and within every day a rose further blossom in 
their garden." We must live like we care. Tomorrow does exist! 
For your present actions determine your life's destiny!" 


amasm// • #////// 

'STBi^BH UMB/?' 


What's Up Beat 

I really enjoy reading your magazine and the insights 
from different prisoners across the country. So much 
wisdom, so much talent trapped being these walls. Like 
Sinful! He is off the hook with "My Angry Poem" Flows 
like this: 

And all these freakin' poverty 

All those freakin' crooked police 

All these teachers who don't teach anything 

The man is on fire. Many others, too. It's a trip to see my 

words in print, especially with some exceptional talent 

in your magazine. 

A lil' about me. I'm a 24-year-old bank robber from Fort 

Myers. Yeah, it's glamorous, until you get caught. To all 

the people out there, people in prison, please don't take 

that route. You wind up losing way more than you ever 

stood to gain. At 21 and a first timer, I caught seven years, 

most of my twenties. And I took all the precautions: 

gloves, ski mask, take plates. You will get on drugs and 

start talking about it, which is how most bank robbers 

get caught. 

The system's got me way up in the panhandle of 
Florida, where rednecks and extras from "Deliverance" 
hurl abuse at prisoners. It's a nasty place to do time, but 
there's worse (or so I'm told). It's tough to keep a positive 
outlook, but things like The Beat help. Where are all the 
programs to keep us busy and improve ourselves? 

In my poem, "America: Land of Prison," I tackle some 
of those issues. Why does the government have unlimited 
money to lock us up, but no money to change our lives 
for the better once we're in here? Rehabilitation would 
lower recidivism, saving money. 

As I said in my last piece, some people don't have a 
great deal of choice over what got them to prison in the first 
place. Our actions must not be excused, just understood 
in the context of what is going on in out society. Seen 
in this light, rehabilitation becomes mandatory, and the 
state has an obligation to all of its citizens. 

Well that's about all so.... I'll say peace for now. Keep 
up the good work Beat. Free Mumia 

Step Right Up 

Number Y29632, step to 

the front 

Visions blurry 

Thoughts sporadic 

As I get my bearings 

Just another day in the 

chain gang 

Thought I heard some 


But it was just some static 

Or maybe 

The drone of the TV 

I'm standing in a line 

For the twentieth time 

And a man just cut me 

Oh lord I wish I was free 

Never finding purpose 

Never lading purpose 

I see my memories clearly 

And in their joy they 

haunt me 

Stay to myself 

Try to keep my health 

'Cause this place of 


Will turn your world to 


You should run away 

Is what I hear you say? 

But there is razor wire 

And after that gunfire 

Never pledge allegiance 

To the new republic 

Never let our leaders 

Wash their hands of it 

Holding the masses 

Is it's main objective 

Could you call it racist? 

Or just the new collective? 

Our next writer is writing to u% from Apaiachee Correctional 
Institution in Sneads, Florida. Steven is a first time writer for The 
Beat Without. Like all of u%, Steven has made some mistakes in the past 
that he regrets. But the only way to move on and make some positive 
changes in our life is if we learn from the mistakes we made. And maybe 
others can learn from the mistakes we in life also. Steven has a few 
pieces he would like to share with the readers out there pertaining to 

and hopefully he will keep these great pieces coming to our hands. 

Lookin' Back 

What was, or what could 

have been 

Every day I look back at 

what could have been 

The tears fall like rain and 

sound like thunder 

Shattering the desperate 


My heart aches for a 

minute of what was 

Or what could have been 

A world where dreamers 


And life is what you make 


Never have to fake it 

Just pray for it every 


Like Coolio I'm an 

educated fool 

With money on my mind 

That's got me on the grind 

Remorse spills from 

my conscience 

Showing me no one 

should have 

To live like this 

The right path was 

shrouded by mystery 

Throughout my infancy 

Devoured by misery 

And codependency 

Never could get on my 

own two feet 

And now I see that life can 

never be complete 

But still I forge on 

And act like my life has 

Though sometimes I feel 


I still must make the best 

of this 

Try to enjoy the rest of 


Until the end. 

America: Land of Prisons 

America, where are you? 

Where were you when I couldn't find my way? 

Where was your help in my darkest hour? 

Your cold demeanor and gun towers 

Make a mockery of freedom 

I tried to make it in your land but couldn't 

Your priorities were elsewhere 

Fighting made-up foreign wars 

Never seeing your own shores 

Victims of your cruelty 

Cry out from the penitentiary 

You'll be okay, as long as you're wealthy 

Others face prison or tJie infantry 

Bullies in brown suits don't care about you 

They spit on you and call you ugly names 

Still you feel no shame, it's true 

That we are all just numbers to you 

Take all my assets and lock me away 

Forget a job and a place to stay 

It's easier this way, trust me 

For those with the moral authority 

To be the judge of my criminality 

Two thousand days of senseless banality 

Have taken my peace and all of my sanity 


Silence our voices 

Strip all our dignity 

Take us from our family 

Just don't call yourself "Land of the Free." 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

^l^^wjEimmM/i^mu r-^/rj^ff/ 

'DunTB nu/prnn' 


As I emerge from the tomb of ignorance, unconscious 
to the true fact of who I be, or where I came from, while 
all was taken away from me. Miseducated by a system 
that wants me to believe that it is designed to help... how 
foolish was I to fall for that trick? 

Now we have to re-educate ourselves to the truth of 
who we are, and what's really going on. The awakening 
process has began. It's time for the re-education of a 
fallen nation. 

School, teach, truth mixed with lies. Like Columbus 
discovered America. A truth mixed with a lie. He only 
discovered America for white people, a truth, which I 
can't deny. They tell us that slavery ended 1864, and no 
longer exist. That's a bunch of buUshhh. Slavery just has 
a different form. It has went from the cotton fields to the 
jails. Jail is nothing more that modern-day slavery. When 
slavery ended in 1864, the 13th Amendment was proposed 
in 1865, which allowed slavery for being convicted of a 
crime. And they tell me slavery is over. Ha! 

I am a first-hand witness, a manifestation of their 
fraudulent claim. Blacks are the minority in the country, 
but the majority in jail. A lot of people want to deceive 
themselves into believing that slavery and racism no 
longer exist. I refuse to allow myself to fall back into an 
unconscious state of being; where I am hoodwinked into 
seeing the truth, but believing it to be something other 
than what it really is. And this is a lot of our people. But, 
no longer will this be the state of me, for I have surpassed 
the realm of darkness of who I be. For I have awakened 
the conscious being in me. 

Donte Burton, writing to u% from a Correctional Facility in Somerset, 
Pa., is a first-time writer for The Beat. He's a very smart dude that 
has love for all the young people out there. He's a youth advocate, 
and he would like to share his story and give out some advice in hopes 
of reaching out to somebody. He shares with us his feelings, opinions, 
his advice, but most importantly his passion and devotion on trying to 
change some lives. So give it up for Donte! 

A Little Aiiout me 

My name is Donte, and I got this address from a friend 
that's in jail with me. He told me that he would write 
poems and send them to y'all, and young people that are 
in jail just like we are would get to read them. This is 
what I like to do. I was a youth advocator. I'm only 28 yrs. 
old and I can offer a lot to the youth. I hope they really 
take heed to the poems and learning something. 

Peaceful Being 

Are you at peace with yourself? At times I believe that I 
am at peace with me, but then something happens that 
disturb that peace within me. I often question myself as 
to why I let something outside of me destroy the peaceful 
realm, which I happen to occupy. The only answer that 
I could come up with, is that I'm truly not at peace with 
me. For to truly be at peace with myself is to live in a 
world where everything that happens does not disrupt 
your peaceful state of being. 

Whether it appears to be bad or good, your state 
should remain the same. Now this is a peaceful being 
truly at peace with oneself. It takes a lot of hard work 
and practice to reach such a state. You have to cleanse 
yourself of all vice and bad habits, which you have in you. 
Then you start to refill yourself with good. Change the 
way you think, start to think more positive, and do good 
things for others, even though you may not know them. 
Stop worrying about all the wrong going in the world. 
Everything happens for a reason. Let go of all your hatred 
and anger; never can you gain peace when bitterness lives 
inside of you. 

To be at peace within is to be at peace with all, 
back into an unconscious state of being; where I am 
hoodwinked into seeing the truth, but believing it to be 
something other than what it really is. And this is true 
for a lot of our people. But, no longer will this be the 
state of me for I have surpassed the realm of darkness, 
and transcended into awareness of who I be. For I have 
awakened the conscious being in me. 


As I shot out of my father's body into my mother's 


I found a place of rest for nine months 

Until I emerged forth from the place which I called home 

Doing that time I spent in the womb 

Me and her shared secrets that no one knows 

Except for God 

Now I emerged from the womb into a new place 

With all this movement and space 

As I began to journey along my path 

Growing, learning, and experiencing new things 

I began to grow into a child, then a teenager, a young 

adult, and last but not least 

I emerge into a man whole and complete 

This is life's cycle the path we all have to take 

To emerge into who we are today. 


KnowlGdoe is Power? 

I've heard someone say that "Truth is born in arguments." I 
don't know — it can also be beaten to death in arguing. But 
a good discussion with a friend on a difficult topic is more 
than a typical verbal tug-of-war. In this case, it helped me to 
understand the other side, and eliminate some of my own 
false understandings. 

The topic is that of EDUCATION, and the reasoning 
behind it is nothing new: since fear and ignorance are at 
the root of most confiicts, the best resolution is to educate 
people, open up their worldview and expand their horizon. 
Understanding life beyond one's immediate existence, the 
theory goes, will enable us in dealings with others, and 
will eliminate much of the understandable confiict and 
ridiculous confusion that takes place behind the wall of 

This basic logical conclusion certainly has merit, 
but is it that simple, and is EDUCATION (in our modern 
understanding) the key to conflict resolution? It's clear 
that the 21st Century is "the information age" with 
more information swarming around than we are able to 
digest. With the trumpet call, "Knowledge is power!" the 
accumulation of information is not a privilege of the few, but 
a necessity for all, great and small. This is how it is on the 
most basic level in a society that has rules and guidelines 
for everything. 

Elsewhere, people are telling us to "stay informed", and 
not just on a political level. Because history is so replete 
with examples of "the ignorant" being manipulated by a 
small, powerful circle of "the informed", we also are told to 
beware lest someone shoves down our throats a package 
of lies, foibles and fairy tales. This is nothing new, except 
that the lies and the foibles have become more clever and 

More so, we're told, because we are busy "building a 
better and brighter world," it's important to get educated 
and informed about others, to understand others, and 
everything else that dispels prejudice and folly, right? 
After all, after we become informed about everyone and 
everything, how could anyone who is "different" fail to see 
our "superiority" and resist to exchange their view for our 
"better and brighter world" where everyone drinks Coca- 
Cola, holds hands, and still gets to do whatever they want 
to do... Hey, how can it be otherwise? 

Before I proceed with my babble, it's important to 
note what EDUCATION isn't. It isn't a magic wand that 
automatically and magically solves all of our problems. 
It has no inherit power in itself, but is only a tool — and a 

Our next writer doesn't really need much of in intro sk% he's been 
contributing to The Beat Within for a long, long time. Mihkail 
Markhasev is wise beyond his years, with a lot of food for thought. 
He constantly gets readers to reflect on themselves instead of blaming 
everyone else for their own faults. In this week's piece, Mihkail really 
demonstrates how powerful knowledge is and what it can do for you. 
Mikhail shares his knowledge with u% from Corcoran State Prison in 
Corcoran, Ca. So without anymore lagging soak up some knowledge! 

neutral one — that can be utilized for either good or evil. It's 
the same with anything: power can be a triumph of justice 
or a tyranny of the unjust; religion, the Christian Faith in 
particular, has the potential for the highest good, but this 
trust can be (and often has been) manipulated and misused 
to wreak destruction and devastation. Medicine, science, 
any sphere of knowledge has the potential for good or evil, 
to save and help, or to damn and be abused. In this sense, 
evil is simply a perversion of good, a phantom of what it 
should be, but without substance in itself. 

All of this is "paper talk," theoretical mish-mosh, but 
which is a foundation (whether we realize it or not) for what 
takes place in the real world. For example, look at the French 
Revolution, which was also termed "The Revolution of the 
Philosophers". The brains and visionaries behind it were 
not village ragamuffins,, but the creme of the philosophical 
crop of Enlightenment Europe. It looked good on paper and 
in the philosopher's study — a bright new tomorrow was 
only a skip and a hop away. 

Out with King Louis XVI, and in with the "General 
Assembly" of educated and scientific brainiacs who... 
instead of a bright tomorrow, brought about a bloody one, 
turned the country upside down, and washed it with blood. It 
was called "The Reign of Terror," enacted by "civil" officials 
and philosophical elite, who suddenly discovered that the 
easiest way to change backward thinking is by killing all 
the priests, old thinking opponents and anyone else who 
stood in the way of a bright new tomorrow. This blood bath 
prepared the way for the coming of Napoleon, who took 
French blood and with it drenched all of Europe... 

What's the moral of the story? EDUCATION and 
knowledge are more than information or sciences. 
EDUCATION, contrary to its' modern concept, has to begin 
in the heart — not the head — and in life, not on paper. If we 
mistake "factual awareness" for true education, then a 
super-computer is more human and more complete than a 
small-town villager. 

"Knowledge is power" only when it is used for the good 
of others. Otherwise, knowledge becomes dangerous, even 
criminal. Remember the philosophy of Spiderman: with 
great power comes a great responsibility! More on that next 

So Be It 

I'm in Twin Towers, some call it home 

It's only me, I came alone 

Accepting time that life has lent 

I spend my days in here content 

I keep "God" and prayer very near 

That makes each moment sweet and dear 

It's jail to me no castle grand 

And yes I hate, where I stand 

Each damn day, I'm up before dawn 

The dark of night is never gone 

I hate it in this damn yellow and blue 

Where dope fiends, killers, idiots are few 

'HBf^HB/PT uf^c^snn' 

Our next writer is writing to u% from TWin Towers County Jail 
in Los Angeles, Ca. Herbert Jackson is a first-time writer for The 
Beat. Here, he shares a powerful piece for all you readers out there, 
describing the realities and consequences that come with leading the 
life behind the bricks. So give Herbert a moment of your time and mind 
and read this heart-felt piece. 

My moments are felt with vengeance in time 

The rage, the cage, the fades are mine 

The sun, the moon, the stars, and clouds 

They give the joy that I'm allowed 

I find I'm really all alone 

No friends, no family, no freedom, no home 

Better off dead. Ex-con. 


amasm// • #////// 



It Was Me 

The smell is like no other 

I'll never forget it 

A smell of dead sorrow 

and loneliness 

I ignore it 

Maybe a skunk 

Or even a dead rat 

As I continue walking 


To the closet 

The smell becomes more 


More intense 

What can it be 

And a trail of bleach on 

the floor 

Leading strait to the closet 

What the heU? 

I think to myself 

I open the door 

The smell was out of this 


It smelled rotten, a smell 

of decaying 

On the floor lay a box 

Big enough for a large 


It looked overstuffed 

And disturbingly messy 

What had leaked thought 


As I begin to think the 


What could possibly be in 


I open the top 

But can't make out of what 

I see 

Or what it can be 

Holy shhh! It's an efflng 

His body mangled, every 

bone broken 

I can tell it was a kid by 

its size 

Wrapped up in sheets and 

Drenched in bleach 

Left behind, an awful 


Who could have done this 

Why was this so horrible 

to see 

Then I realized the kid in 

the box was me. 

Muneca writes to u% from a Correctional Facility all the way in 
Niantic, CT. Muneca is no stranger to The Beat Within. Over time, 
we've had the pleasure of seeing our dear Beat friend mature through 
her writings. She writes about several topics but most or her writing 
is personal and she's never afraid to express her feelings — even when 
challenging the very notion of God. So give her a read folks! 

My Livino Well 

When I die 

I want to be buried in a pink casket 

The color soothes my soul 

When I die 

I want to be buried with pictures of my son 

And loved ones 

Their comfort won't allow me to feel alone 

When I die 

I'd like white roses all around my wake 

White represents pure and eternal peace 

When I die 

Everyone should have a photo of me 

See when I start to rot away 

My smile in their memory will not 

When I die 

I want my son to know I loved him 

That I changed for him and fought to get him back 

When I die 

I want to be passed on 

An inspiration 

For when women in my shoes 

Get discouraged 

They know I've gone thought it too 

When I die 

I want my people to get bent 

With a forty to my name 

Because life moves on even 

With my death 

When I die I want my precious belongings 

So I'll have beautiful memories 

Of those who loved me 

When I die 

I want to be set free 

And when I die 

Will be the only time 

I'm at peace. 

Who's God 

Everybody wants to talk 

Everybody wants to preach about God 

Everybody wants to act like they were good 

When in all reality they're a bunch of criminals 

I believe it's too late to put up the holy front 

Who's God 

Why wasn't he there 

You can't make me believe 

In something I don't see 

If God was real 

He would set me free 

Everybody wants to talk 

Everybody wants to preach about God 

Who's God 

What difference does he make 

He can't bring the dead 

Back to life 

If so why won't he bring my loved ones back 

He doesn't care 

If so life would be fair 

You can't have me love 

Something that has given me 

Such bad luck 

So hurt, I can't get up 

I hate God 

Those who even speak it 

Who's God 

To me there's no such thing. 

Abusive Love 

I was laying on my side 

My back hurt 

I've been sleeping on the floor for months now 

My stomach growled I wasn't eating much 

If so it was probably leftovers 

I made myself forget his name 

His voice used to put a smile on my face 

Now it sends shivers down my spine 

I've been sick for a few days now 

My head was pounding 

I haven't had decent sleep in forever 

I was hungry hoping he would let me eat 

I slept in a closet, not much space 

I can see the shadow of his feet 

From under the door 

He was awake but I didn't dare 

Ask him to let me out 

It was dark where I laid 

But the rays from the sun 

Crept under the door 

When was the last time I enjoyed the sun 

I was pale 
I don't remember how long I layed there 

That is before I fell asleep 

Slipping back into my only escape at life 

Where nothing nor no one can hurt me 

Not even him! 


amam// • #////// 

'SH^u/n L,^' Afnnr D^i^xs u/?.' 

The UnacGOunted Of Our Nation 

Those that feel left out of the voting process, feel bound by 
the laws of the land and think that they can't make a difference, 
are gravely mistaken, because you're still accountable and still 
important and can make a difference. But instead of being passive 
and taking a defeat, be active by changing the nations by moving 
heaven through your prayers in the name of Jesus Christ. 

Prayers change our nations, especially if directed to your 
nations, especially if directed to our father in heaven in the 
name of his son Jesus. Enlist in his army and become an active 
participant in bringing change to our broken homes, jails, 
government, cities, and communities in Jesus name. 

Just because we can't bubble in on a scantron doesn't mean 
we can't be heard (prayer). Everything that goes on in or outside 
these walls (laws) is affecting us - all of us! Our input makes a 
huge difference and impact, no matter how big or how small. It's 
a law. It's a government official. It's a prop or a bill. We can vote, 
speak up out of there. 

Prayer is bigger than a simple bubble paper that most of 
the time gets looked over or miscounted. But prayers... they all 
count, and no matter what you hear besides all of the above, pay 
it no mind 'cause Jesus Christ says your prayer matters and he 
answers them. 

Amen to that! 

Oeep Wounds, Oeep Healing" 

A caring relationship in which one person tries to help 
another deal more effectively with the stresses of life. This 
is the perspective we take here; we live in an emotionally 
damaged and damaging world. "We" need deep-level 

Prayer for deep-level healing frequently leads to 
the greatest freedom, aside from salvation.... And the 
transformation the holy spirit accomplishes in a person 
when he sets that person free from these inner torments is 

Tiiat "Wrung" Chuice 

To live and love that life of gang banging 
But the deeper you get, the more you begin to choke; 
Narrowing in size like a punk rocker's choker chain. 
Could have been in a circus. 
You are a bunch of animals doing tricks for the master. 
Uncivilized, cold blooded, cut-throat in human people. 
The clash of the Titans huh? 
That would cause combat fatigue- 
Befouled in your characteristic 
But kept coming back to a fake addition like a chain- 
Y'all got Contrite choking.... 
As if I was inhaling chloroform. 

Warriurs Heart 

The rules of engagement for the spiritual war zone 

No one can be a bystander 

Everyone's involved, yep. Christians and all 

Wall rages and forces so enter the war zone 

Even out the conflicts within your own souls 

This warfare is real and knowing how to combat your 

enemy is vital 

And that eye-opening manual is what ya boy Contrite calls 

that Bible 

Yeah, it's the Biblical keys to victory refined in you a life of 


So equip yourself 

To be a good soldier in God's army 

God has picked you as a choice recruit 

Dare to move forward with a heart of a warrior 

Bernardino, Ca. Shawn has been contributing to the Beat Within for 
a while now. He's shared his poems, personal stories, sk% well sk% advice 
for all readers out there, young and old. Shawn, aica Contrite, is also a 
creative and versatile writer. So without smy more delay, we present to 
you Contrite! 

Tlie "Rigiit" Clinice 

I accomplished the unthinkable... victorious in my So- 
Called Downfall! Took my life back [but, not given to me], 
The correct way. In reality though, they say I'm still just 
another... statistic. But, but who are "they"? 

Ask yourself that important question like I did 
'cause, as I found out, so will you, too! The only authority 
"They" have in our lives is what we give them; that's their 
steadiness... us! "They" [Whomever] live, feed, breath, 
and make off of what we give. But, what will "they" have 
to live and our work for if we take that authority over 
our lives? Uh? Our, no... we as the next generation and 
the next [all races, not just one] are always consistent to 
blame everyone, but ourselves and, that's a whole lot of 
blaming because, we first have to convince our own mind 
to think that we're right to blame everyone else. 

Why not be consistent in transforming your ways, so 
you won't have to blame others? We need to start seeing 
our wrongs and understand them. Therefore we'll be 
able to see them, prevent them, change them, and take 
a whole different approach. Eventually, you'll know and 
understand your position in this life and see that you're 
way much more than "they" say and see what's in store 
for you found the Lord Jesus [Christ]. 

We (all) play a big role in life, regardless if we can 
understand it or see it yet. But don't let that trouble 
you. No, not at all, because, as doors close, many will be 
opened for you. That's a promise, not from Contrite but, 
from the most high. 

As my fellow pupil [as in Christ], brothers and sisters, 
we need to be more bold in our calling to preach the will 
of God to those in need [we all are in need]. No one's 
not in need of him and his truth. Plant seeds and allow 
the Lord to water them. Believe in yourselves and stop 
passing the buck 'cause, at the end of the day; whatever 
is done in the dark, will always come to the light. 


Keep it pushin' lil' momma 'cause I'm sick of 


To still be a contender in the heap of your 

unsympathetic hocix 

My kind genre is rarer than a flyin' saucer shortie 

Contrite 's in the building; so scarf yo'self up 'cause, you 

mad scant 

Scandalous she is, I remember when I used to love her 

But it was all just part of the scheme even though she 

was a seductor 

You intensed my loathe but at the same time, hauled my 

heart away 

A love-lore, lower than the loyalty I had for your love 


Hurt I might be 

But your fakeness just humbled me 

Opened my eyes from being blinded and now that you're 


I can rise to the occasion [love] 

Thank you for all the wrongs 'cause now it's all right 

And now after all.... you weren't a worthless night 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

^j/^ywj Eimmm^mu r - i^/JJJJl^ 

'^ns n^/?^¥' 

Thoughts of You 

Thoughts of you fill my mind 

Having you kills my time 

I know I've caused you lots of pain 

Just your mail alone drives me insane 

I wish I had you, mind, body, and soul 

But as long as you are still married, I got to let you go 

It's going to be hard and make you sick 

But in my last letter, we've got to make it stick 

I know I'm in the wrong 

But remember me like a song 

I will stop by to say "hi" 

'Cause now I've lost my high 

I thought we were perfect and would last forever 

But you never even answered my last letter 

I tried hard to make you understand 

Even though I was not your only man 

If I write you any more it's for the kids 

I love them all 

Day by day they get big 

I don't mean to push you away 

But it's hard in here every day 

Especially at night when I go to sleep 

I wonder in my mind who's this creep 

I know you don't deserve all this mess 

So I'm going to stop making you stress 

I'm going to go and leave you alone 

Your heart is still with mine 

But I've got to do my time 

I'll be out in a couple of months 

I hope you're not all caught up in a bunch 

Day and night I pray for you all 

Angelina, Johnny, June-bug, Annette, and your dog 

So good-bye and take care 

Maybe you will see me somewhere 

Writing to u% from Deuel Vocational Institution in T>acy, Ca., Joe 
Garay, aka Nightmare, shares his very deep expressions of unrequited 
love and confusion in his poems. Joe is a regular contributor, and a 
great writer. His topics always vary, but this week he's gonna be hittin' 
y'all with the love Jones. So take a peek at his writing people and 
picture some of his thoughts! 


I sit here every day 

Knowing in my heart you would not stay 

Missing you so much it's driving me crazy 

Damn, I wish you could have my baby 

Yes, I was married before 

But to me she was just a prison whore 

The day I met you, I fell in love 

You stood out like a beautiful white dove 

I asked you to put an end to your past 

So you can carry my name at last 

I was proud to talk about you 

Now I sit here without you 

Our hearts used to beat as one 

Now I'm left with the bruised #1 

My insides are black and blue 

'Cause I know someone else has had you 

I'll never forget your beautiful face 

But I got to give you your own space 

I think about you every day 

I don't want to let you go away 

I think you're better off alone 

'Cause all I got is this bag of bones 

This bag of bones is hard to carry 

You'll be the last woman I'll ever marry 

Seiteiced to Death 


Your law, our law, it can sentence to death 

The very soul it wishes to grant one last breath 

A mercy it acknowledges, yet does not know 

As if an embrace, this embrace it has let go 

Leaving calmly a soul to torment in a cell 

A soul accepting fate, a fate of unprevail 

Though, its faith is of almost being home 

What a way out our cell we spiritually roam. 

As we acknowledge the Lord, we ask to be saved 

Amidst this world, which has not forgave 

To take the life of one who's taken a life 

Is to have killed with the same knife 

Though, that last stage is our final earthly death 

We've both died, when you decided to take our last breath 

Writing to u% from California Correction Institution in Tehachapi, 
Ca., Clarence Reese has came through with a couple poems about the 
system. In his first poem. "Criminal to Society," Clarence explains that 
he shouldn't be judged only by his mistakes, even though the system 
labels him sk% a bad guy. In his next piece, Clarence gives everyone a 
piece of his mind on the Death Penalty. So give Clarence a read, peeps, 
and check it out his pieces! 

I realize nttf str toggle alone I can't win 

Born ofpovertif, 

tfet I patf taKes for nttf povertif 

Is this the American Dream 

of soverelgntif? 

Criuiiual To SoGiety 

Constantly, they say I'm a criminal to society 

To be honest, society mainly lied to me 

Never once was I given an option I could keep 

Tormented and abused does history run deep 

Forced from my own land and held captive 

Amidst hearts of ice and minds destructive 

Told of laws in which I'm told to abide in 

I realize my struggle alone I can't win 

Born of poverty, yet I pay tcixes for my poverty 

Is this the American Dream of sovereignty? 

Given consequences which pay their bills 

Once more I labor free with my skills 

Yet, they say I'm a criminal to society 

When society robbed not only me. 


amasm// • r/r/et/ 



Where Did I Go Wrono? 

As I sit here in this cage at a supermax controlled prison unit 
in Central Texas, beginning the 10th year of a 75 year sentence 
for murder that prohibits me from being reviewed for parole 
until 2029, I wonder, "Where did I go wrong?" 

Is it a possibility that I went wrong at birth? Born into a 
drug-infested ghetto, to a mother that would disappear and 
never return when I was only four years old; being forced to live 
the rest of my youth with different state schools and juvenile 
facilities, it was only natural for me to turn out the way I did. 
I'm a product of my environment, a hustla, God's son. I was 
born into wrong; I didn't choose this path for myself. I'm only 
doing what we do in the hood; "I'm getting how I live." Birth set 
me wrong. 

Then I remember my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Smith, an old 
white lady whose breath always smelled like coffee. Mrs. Smith 
would stand over my desk and tell me in her most stern and 
motherly voice, "Ismail, you are too clever to be involved in 
some of the foolishness you get involved in. It's such a shame 
you let all that great talent you have go to waste." I would 
dismiss Mrs. Smith's encouragement because there was no way 
for her to know what life required in my world. I'm a product 
of my environment, God's son, I get it how I live, what's foolish 
about that? Maybe in my rejection of Mrs. Smith's advice I went 
wrong. After all, she was only telling me, "Ismail, you can grow 
up to be anything you want to be if you put your mind to it." 

Maybe I went wrong when I didn't take the time I spent in 
juvenile hall seriously. I knew they would have to eventually 
let me go, whether or not I applied myself in the groups or 
classes I was forced to attend. What did them counselors know 
about my hood? What did they know about "getting it how 
you live?" I'm a product of my environment, God's son!! I was 
born to hustle. The block is my spot and the homies are my 
family; that's just the way it is. What is this stuff that I'm being 
taught in these groups and classes good for? What does being 
"mature and responsible" have to do with keeping it 100 in the 
hood? Now I think I went wrong when I rejected the groups and 
classes in Juvie Hall. 

After all, they were only trying to teach me that I am a 

Housed at Michaels Unit in Tenn. Colony, TX, asks a very deep 
question. Can we ever really know? Does it even matter at this point 
in our lives? As Ismail says, the important thing is to make those 

changes now. Isi " '-^- ^ " " "' 

story, not too different than a lot of you readers out there. So without 
skny more delay let u% introduce to you Ismail Rahman. 

product of my environment, but I have the power to select 
the environment that I keep, that there's nothing wrong with 
getting it how you live, but if you want to get it right, you must 
live right. Just because you were born in the hood doesn't mean 
you have to inherit the hood's wicked ways to be 100. You are 
God's son; that means being responsible for your actions and 
making wise decisions. You know that hustlin' comes with a 
price, just as all life's decisions. So when I chose to go to the 
trap and hustle when I could've chosen college, that's perhaps 
where I went wrong. 

I've pondered this question over 10,000 times the last 
ten years as I've sat in this cage 23 hours a day with no T.V., 
no group recreation, no privacy, no nothing but constant 
loneliness and lots of time to think, "Where did I go wrong?" I 
have located many of opportunities I had to alter my path, like 
when Mrs. Smith told me, "You can be anything," or when the 
groups and classes at Juvie Hall were trying to teach me to be 
more mature and responsible, but I was too hip to listen and 
too weak to change my corrupted ways. 

I'm 31 years old now and I'll be 52 years old when I come 
up for parole. I would have spent 30 calendar years in this 
hole by then for refusing to let people explain to me the true 
meaning of being God's son, a product of my environment and 
getting it how I live. That's the foolishness Mrs. Smith would 
tell me about. 

If I could rewind time, I wouldn't be that foolish again, for 
it's not worth spending 75 years in this hole. We begin new 
every day. I could've gone right in Juvie Hall; my decision not 
to has caused me years and years worth of hardship and pain 
with at least 20 more to go. Don't be a dummy like me; ask 
yourself now, "where did I go wrong" 

and begin to make the proper changes to prevent from 
going wrong again. 

''UBSSTB unnxi^i^ff' 

Our next writer is from Corcoran State Prison in Corcoran, Ca. 
Jessie is not new to the Beat Within. In this piece, he gets a little 
personal and writes to all you young men who are about to become 
fathers. Maybe I 

and how he really wants his dad to be there for him. I know some of you 
readers out there can relate so give it up for Jessie! 

Please Don't Go Dad! 

Please don't go! 

I am sad, I need a dad 

Please, don't be mad that you are not my true dad 

Please, accept me as your own, 

I promise, I am not just a loan 

I need you in my life to raise me right to hold me tight 

Please, dad don't put up no fight 

Mom made a mistake 

I know she put everything at stake 

But we love you 

We ain't trying to rob you 

I want you to see me take my first steps 

I want you to hear my first words 

I want you to be there to pick me up when I fall 

Most of all I want you to see my grow 

Please, dad don't let me go! 


amam// • r/r/et/ 

'AfXCHMBl^ Mn/<xnnB¥' 



Discipline and self discipline is something I did not have 
when I was growing up. For some reason I hated discipline, 
but at that stage in my life, I did not understand what 
discipline was and how it was so much needed in my life; 
I did not know any better. For a long number of years I 
lived wild and out of control, but all around me discipline 
was being taught. At that time I thought discipline was 
something bad. My mother used to discipline me in many 
ways when I did wrong because she loved me and she 
wanted me to be better. 

I always notice that a person who has a lot of self 
discipline is well respected. Here in prison, many inmates 
do not see discipline for what it is really worth. Discipline 
is a form of training that should be learned by everyone. 
Discipline and control go hand in hand. Having discipline 
in my life helps me to be in control of my thoughts and 
actions. Having discipline means being able to take a 
tough and unfair situation without showing anger or rage 
or reacting out of anger and rage. Prison life is the life 
I have grown up in and I had to struggle so hard with 
disciplining myself. 

I learned from the old time convicts; I watched 
them and I saw how easy they made doing their time for 
themselves by having a lot of discipline. 

Michael sends these pieces of observation and sound advice from 
Union Correctional Institution in Raiford, FL. Michael is a regular 
contributor to the magazine sk% he always comes with knowledge 
and powerful insight for all the readers out there. Aside from being 
religious and political, Michael is a smart man and you might learn a lot 
by reading some of the knowledge he pours out for the The Beat! 

Never Give Up 

Life at times gets rough, but never give up. Being in 
prison at times gets tough, but never give up. The key to 
the struggle is to never give up. Hard times will always be 
there. Storms will come. Adversity will always be around, 
but never give up. No matter what your thoughts and 
feelings may be at the moment, never give up. 

Throughout my life there have been times when I had 
thoughts of giving up. There have been times when I had 
been feeling like giving up, but there was something within 
me to always overcome these thoughts and feelings. It 
was just not in me to give up even though I had seen so 
many others who gave up without showing any kind of 
willpower. I had a strong will that kept me going through 
some of my worst moments. God was with me and my 
family through it all. 

My brother Sedrick has a strong will and he has faith 
in God. He's been locked up in the Feds prison system 
for over 16 years on a 20 year bid and he has not given up 
because he knows he has so much to live for; his sons 
and his family. 

My sister Tiffany has done 11 years on 15 years for 
murder and this is her first time in prison. She did not 
give up even though it is not easy being away from her 
kids while they are growing up. She has turned her life 
over to God and she did not give up because she knows 
God is on her side. 


Energy is good only if it is being used in the right way. 
I am locked up in prison and have been for the last 
twenty years. When I first came to prison on this bid, I 
was young and full of energy, but I did not know how to 
use this energy to my advantage. I was full of anger and 
this was nothing but energy; I used that energy in a very 
destructive way, always fighting and being wild, wasting 
so much energy that could have been put to good use 
learning law and working hard at fighting my case in the 
courts. I may have been out of prison by now. That's why 
it doesn't pay to waste energy. 

Many old time convicts, who were very wise, used to 
point out to me and pull my coat about all the energy 
that I had and how I was wasting it in a very unsmart way. 
Florida State Prison, where they house close management 
lock down and have all one-man cells on 24 hour lock 
down, is full of young inmates who have so much energy 
and they don't know what to do with it. They talk and 
yell all day at their doors and out of their cell windows 
about nothing but nonsense, wasting all that youthful 
energy when they could use this same energy to study 
and learn about the Bible and God's plan for them. They 
could use their energy to study the dictionary to enhance 
their vocabulary and grammar. They can use this same 
energy in studying and learn all about themselves. 

,„aM O^ oMce told me that knowledge Is o^e thl^g that 
Hohodif M this world can take from tfOM once tfOM have It, A 
cop can take ifot^r freedom, the higger man can take tfot^r 
manhood, a thief can take tfonrjewelrif, Bntno one person 
In this world can take awatf if our /knowledge. 

read the rest of frankle's TOW on page 6