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Oo/d and alone Is how I feel 

HMning with pain that's Intense and real 

Living through the datf with fear 

Sleeping the nights awaif with tears. 

Tired of running to escape the hate 

I4nsi4re of whether I shonid still have fate. 

read the rest of lacKle's piece on page 4 

^imimmimmw/ j^ . /// * ////#/ 

Hi all, welcome to issue 13.30! The editorial this week comes sk% profile 
that was recently done by folks over at the Whitman institute. We hope 
some of you that do not know the whole story will appreciate this 
perspective of The Beat Within. 

Every week The Beat Within, turns out a 60+-page magazine packed with 
the writing and art of young people. The contributors are incarcerated 
youth, students in the program's conversation and writing workshops 
held in Juvenile halls, and the magazine is the forum that links them to 
one another and to the outside world. The staff barely finishes printing 
the last issue, called The Beat Within, before more stories, poems, and 
drawings flood into the office. 

The magazine had its genesis in the death of the rapper, Tupac 
Shakur, in 1 996. At the time, David Inocencio was the education director 
of Youth Outlook Magazine ('YO!"J, a publication of the Pacific News 
Service and running a writing class in a Juvenile hall. The news of 
Shakur's murder triggered an outpouring of student anger, grief, and 
despair, which Inocencio directed into their writing. Moved by what 
they had written, he typed up their work, and distributed the four-page 
handout to the Juvenile hall in San Francisco. With that, Inocencio had, 
unwittingly, published the first edition of The Beat Within. 

7 had talked a lot about words and images being more powerful 
than weapons, "says Inocencio. This was a chance to show the kids that 
they had something important to say and that others needed to hear 
it. " 

Inocencio and the Pacific News Service established The Beat Within 
as a separate project and Inocencio as its director and founder Since 
then, Inocencio has expanded The Beat Within's reach to Juvenile halls in 
the greater Bay Area and added a paid internship program for interested 
students after they are released from detention. 

When he started the writing workshops, Inocencio had more far- 
reaching goals than merely getting troubled kids to write. For him, the 
class was a chance for the students to reflect on their lives, develop 
trusting relationships with a reliable adult, find their voices, and open 
doors to the outside world. 

Each week Inocencio and his small staff generate three topic ideas, 
written in English and Spanish, which a team of 25 facilitators, including 
Inocencio, take to the 50 workshops offered weekly. Conversation is as 
integral to the workshops as writing, and the facilitators spend about 
half of the class engaging the students in dialogues about the topics 
before they start to write. Sometimes the kids balk at the topics and 
want to write about something else, which is fine with Inocencio as long 
as they adhere to The Beat Within's few rules: no foul language, nothing 
sexual, and no gang references. 

"We remind the kids that the purpose of their writing is to educate 
others about what they think and feel, "says Inocencio, "but they also 
have to consider the consequences of what they write. Will it bring 
people together or will it provoke a fight (more problems)?" 

Inocencio is always recruiting new facilitators to run the workshops 
and they are a varied lot. 'It doesn't matter their race, age, or 
background, " says Inocencio. 'These kids are hungry to talk, hungry for 
connections, hungry to be loved. They're always asking the facilitators 
when they're coming back. They desperately want someone in their lives 
who is reliable and consistent. " 

The public schools offer middle and high school classes in the 
Juvenile halls in their districts. As a community program. The Beat 
Within has the advantage of not being bound by school curriculum. 
"We stress that we're a community program and that the workshops are 
about making connections, " says Inocencio. "We want them to tell their 
stories so that they can be examples and touch others' lives. " 

Unlike school teachers, the facilitators don't edit the students' 
spelling, grammar or organizational structure unless they ask for help. 
Inocencio intentionally keeps their writing raw but respectful so that the 
kids can recognize their own voices. They get furious if we change their 
words and they don't sound like themselves, " he says. 

The facilitators work individually with the students. Some are so 
fearful or lacking in confidence that they have to be coached from start 
to finish; others, who are barely literate, can dictate their stories to the 
facilitator "Our approach is all about encouragement, " says Inocencio. 
""We compliment them on having the courage to write about their 
thoughts and feelings. We're constantly telling them. That's an awesome 
beginning. You're doing great. Keep going. ' We try to shine a light on 
their lives at a time when everything is dark and crumbling. " 

Most of the kids write poignant pieces about missing their family 
and friends. There's also the inevitable show of bravado but, more 
commonly, they write about their regrets, what they've learned while 
being locked up, and how their lives will be different when they get 

The magazine publishes about 80 percent of the writing that's 
submitted, but the other 20 percent, says Inocencio, is rejected because 
it's too hateful or self-incriminating. For young people who never got 
recognition in school and who were never told that they had anything 
worthwhile to say, getting published in The Beat Within is a big deal. 
"The Beat gives these kids the voice they never knew they had, " says 
Inocencio. They get really excited when they know that something 

they've written will be printed. They grab the magazine and start 
flipping through it, shouting, "Where's my piece? Where's my piece?' 
For a lot of these kids. The Beat is the only thing they read. " 

Every piece printed in the magazine is accompanied by a brief 
response from the workshop facilitator, complimenting the students on 
their writing or, sometimes, challenging them to come up with a plan 
to act on the wisdom they say they've acquired while in detention. "We 
want to show the young people that we take their writing seriously, " 
says Inocencio, "and that what they write deserves a response. " 

Seeing their names in print is one reward for participating in the 
workshops. Another carrot that the facilitators dangle is the possibility of 
a paid three-month internship with the magazine when they're released 
from Juvenile hall. Hundreds of students have gone through the internship 
program. Some have stayed longer than three months and a few have 
even become full-time employees. The internship offers attractive perks: 
Participants work out of the The Beat/Pacific News Service office, have 
use of its computers, and are trained as spokespersons for the project. 
The Pacific News Service has several other youth programs, and the 
interns can sit in on the meetings of the Youth Communication Team 
to learn more about editing and photography. And to help the interns 
make the transition from detention to living on their own, the Pacific 
News Service has a social worker on staff who acts as their advocate in 
finding housing and continuing their education. 

"For many, " says Inocencio, " the internship is their first legitimate 
Job. If the young people can make roles for themselves here, we'll keep 
them on. " 

All the work of turning out several thousand copies of the magazine 
each week is done in-house, and the staff can use all the help it can get 
with layout, printing, and distribution. The facilitators bring stacks of the 
magazine to the Juvenile halls, and copies are also mailed to individual 
subscribers-Judges, probation officers, police officers and others who 
work with incarcerated youth. 

Young people who committed serious crimes are held in Juvenile 
detention until they can be tried as adults. When they go to prison, 
they tell their fellow inmates about the magazine and pass their copies 
along the tiers and around the prison yards. The demand for The Beat 
continues to grow as word of the project spreads. Inocencio receives 
more than 100 letters a week from prisoners who want to write for 
The Beat and who wish they had a similar program in their prisons. In 
response, Inocencio added a back section to the magazine called The 
Beat Without where submissions from adult prisoners appear 

Inocencio has already helped Juvenile halls in Maricopa County, 
Arizona and Albuquerque, New Mexico set up programs modeled after 
The Beat Within. With an estimated 1 00,000 young people under 18 
held in detention in the United States, the opportunities for replicating 
the project are enormous. 

After 12 years as director of The Beat Within, Inocencio is as 
enthusiastic about the project as the day it began. "It probably sounds 
corny, but the work I do is an act of love. The first time I sat down with 
young people in their cells and read their writing, I knew I had to create 
an outlet for their voices so that the community could hear their hopes 
and dreams and see that there was more to these young people than 
appears on the surface. I think The Beat is doing that. " 

There you have it, not the gospel of The Beat, but a mere taste/idea of 
what The Beat Within is all about. Thanks Whitman! 

This week's topics are... First topic, 'The safest place" - 
Do you have a place of sanctuary where you know you can go to get 
away from the beef and the madness of the streets, a place where you 
can be safe? it could be a real place, like your grandmother's house or the 
beach or another town, it could be your own room in your own house. 
But it also could be a place in your mind where you retreat when you 
need to find a safe place to catch your breath and to rest. When do you 
seek it out? How long do you stay? Give us stn example of a particular 
time when you found safety there. 

The second topic, "What makes you different" - There are so many 
things that v/e all have in common. We all laugh at what's funny; we all 
cry when we're sad; we all bleed when we're cut; we're all born and we 
all die. But what makes each of us different from everyone else? What 
makes you one of a kind? What makes you unique? Look around at your 
homies and family, and tell us what's different about you from all of 
them, is it how you think? How you dress? Your dreams and plans for the 
future? Without getting into whether you are "better" or "worse" than 
anyone else, tell us how you are different. 

Third topic, "if they were alive" - Martin Luther ICing, Jr... Cesar 
Chavez... Malcolm X... Robert ICennedy... These are some of the people 
we claim as national heroes, models we point to as representing the best 
of human behavior. All the above-named leaders are dead (three at the 
hands of others), but what if they were to return to earth? if these men 
could come back and see what has happened to the people they spoke 
up for and sacrificed for, what would they say? if MLIC and Cesar Chavez 
could come to the hall (or any prison in California), what would they 
have to say about what they saw? 

Lastly, "Finding the light..." 

OIC, this issue goes out to our young writers in Monterey County 
Juvenile Hall! We welcome you to our pages! We look forward to working 
with as you work towards regaining your freedom. A big thanks goes 
out to our colleagues Sam Peterson and Lauren Stroud, as well as the 
juvenile hall for believing and supporting our iwork. 

mam ffff/rr/frs 

The Beat Within, a weekly newsletter of wri 
incarcerated youth, is published by Pacific News Service. 

The Beat Within, we go through a lot of trouble to censor ii 
scual remarks, foul language, and gang references. There is enou^ 
r commuities already-we don't aim to bolster it. It is in The Beat 
Dmote peace and unity. Our goal is to educate one another. 

shes the opinions and views expressed by the participants 
is is simply the pure voice of the youth. The views you 
V reflect those of the publisher, editor or staff. All rights 

are reserved. Nothing 1 

To our writers: What > 
consequences, and coul 
feelings and viewpoints 
those who might use yoi 

hazardous to you. Your words have 
iminate you. Try to illuminate your 
he risk of providing ammunition for 


Senior Editors: 

Assistant Editors: Micl 

Graphics/Layout Editor: 

Kroll, Omar^ 

Staff: Pauline Craig, Carolyn Goossen, Jill Wolfson, Allan Martinez, Patricia 
Johnson, Amanda Abies, Dennis Morton, Sheerly Avni, Jennifer Clarke, Brit- 
tany Bernard, Alex Moe, Hanif Bey, Brenda Navarro, Samantha Navarro, Vic- 
tor Peterson, Laura Vitaro, Justine Palefsky, Karla Serrano, Alissa Blackman, 
Angel Ryono, Elizabeth Crawford, Morghan Velez Young, Siliva Mortenson, 
Kolby Hanson, Sam Peterson, Kim Nelson, Alfredo Garcia, Mai Devavana, 
Lauren Stroud, Oscar Pena Jr., Julia Scheinbeim, Ava Benezra and Neela Ba- 

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: Carissa Allen, Antoinette 
Flores, Mr. B., Tammie Utter, D. Scott Herrmann, Connie Pyburn, Ph. D. Clini- 
cal Director, Ph.D. Clinical Director. 

Bernalillio County Juvenile Detention & Youth Services Center Beat Staff: 

Art: Much props to everyone for the great art this week. 
Spiritual Advisor: Jack Jacqua 

Special Volunteer: Nancy DeMartini 

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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My Mom 

I love you so much and this is why. 

When we stole and we lied, you always forgave us. 

I don't know why. 

My brother got shot but thank God he didn't die. 

He still didn't listen and now he is doing 18 to life. 

My sister is on drugs, stuck on ice and I'm starting to go 

out every night 

but you didn't give up on us. 

You stood up strong and that's why I love you so much, 

and that's why I call you Mom. 


From The Beat: Are you able to learn from the mistakes your siblings 
have made? Create your own path and stay out of trouble, show your 
mom how much you appreciate her support. 

She was holding the trigger for 

two seconds 

Then she puiied the trigger 

and flashes J^ack 

In My Room 

The safest place to me is when I'm in my room listening 
to my heartbeat. To me this place is very special. As I 
listen to my heart it reminds me of all the people I love 
and all my memories. It keeps me at peace. My favorite 
memories are the times I spent with my parents. 


From The Beat: it sounds like you have some great memories. Thanks 
for sharing and hopefully you take your next piece a bit further with 

M) Safe loise 


The safest place for me is my house because I have 
everything I want. My mom is in my house to take care 
of me. I feel safe with my mom and with everything I have 
there. I don't need anything when I am in my house. I 
have everything I need. I have the love of my mother and 


From The Beat: Alma, we're glad to hear you have such strong support 
from your Mom, and she'll be glad to hear that too! 

Love Yoo Mofl) 

The person I love is not here with me but the person I 
love is trying to do the best for me. I miss you so much. I 
can't explain. When I fall you help me up again and when I 
do wrong you forgive me. But I still go and hurt you. "Why 
do you still love me and care?" I ask, your voice so sweet 
and your hugs so gentle. You told me "My love to you is 

No matter what you do, I'll still love you." I didn't have 
my dad but you still were there. You never gave up and 
that's why I care that you're my mom that no one else can 
replace. I love you so much and when I see your smile you 
make me happy. Can't wait to get home so I could just see 
your face. I love you Mom. 


From The Beat: T^y and stay out of the hall and spend more time 
lAfith your mom. What is your plan upon returning home? Thanks for 


Sopposed To Be 


Was I supposed to be brought in this world? 

With cruel parents messed up on drugs ... 

Mom a crackhead and dad a pothead 

When I came, I was hell to them 

Momma thinks I'm a mistake 

Dad don't know if I'm his 'cause Mom's a trick 

Was I supposed to be brought in this world? 

My dad beatin' my mom everyday 

One day he went too far . . . 

Instead, he hits me 

Remember, I'm only two months old 

Me falling onto the ground hard 

Mom blacks out and she goes to get her gun 

Dad watches her as she goes to get it 
He don't give a ..., he knows she won't do it 

He turns over in his bed 

My mom crawls over and puts it in his back 

She was holding the trigger for two seconds 

Then she pulled the trigger and flashes back 

But all she can remember is me falling and crying. 


From The Beat: Rosie, we were all brought to this world for a reason, 
You're young and more than capable of continuing to make something 
yourself. We can't wait to see the positives you'll bring to this world! 



How I feel... 

Cold and alone is how I feel. 

Hurting with pain that's intense and real. 

Living through the day with fear 

Sleeping the nights away with tears. 

Tired of running to escape the hate 

Unsure of whether I should still have fate. 

You may be asking why? 

Because I'm not going to let people put me down and fill 

my head with lies. 

To be honest, at times I feel like giving up and dying. 

But I can't take the fact that I will leave my mom with 

lots of pain and crying. 

I tried to love someone and he broke my heart. 

Didn't realize being with him was tearing my family and 

I apart. 
So now you know why I feel so cold and alone... 


From The Beat: You're never alone, especially now that you have The 
Beat, this amazing outlet to share your feelings and ideas. Whenever 
you need to let feelings out... let them out on paper and if you'd like 
share them with us and your peers. Never give up! 







Where Do I Belong? 

No mother. No father. Where do I belong? 

For these past few years, jail has been my home. 
I can't help but fight the feeling of being all alone. I 
gangbang 'cause I feel that's where I belong. I can't help 
but cry when I hear a sad song. 

I've been through it all, from molestation to being 
physically and mentally abused. And when I try to report 
it, all I do is get accused. 

So I ask myself this question, "Why try?" I can end it 
all now, if I die. I don't even think I'll have loved ones who 
will cry, all they is deny. I mean it isn't my fault. I didn't 
ask to be here, to face this harsh reality is my biggest 
fear! Why should I suffer, your life gets no tougher. You 
have mixed emotions and you think its rougher. But I 
guess its just me, just wanting someone to see. I'm living 
a life of pain and stiff-ass agony. Close to desperation just 
hoping sooner or later I'll finally meet my destination! 


From The Beat: It sounds like you've been through a lot during your life, 
but it is good you're able to get your emotions out through writing. You 
are a great writer and maybe your destination will be that of journalism 
or the language arts. Keep writing, with this talent there is no need to 
gangbang. Also, seek someone you trust to talk about your past, your 
fears, and your concerns. IS there a counselor whom you can talk to? A 
teacher? Hope so. 


I I ■ I 

The Safest Place Is Here 


A place I feel safe and I feel that I can get away from is 
here. Here in the hall I never have to worry about how I 
am going to eat or if there will be a shooting near me. 
Another reason is I know I can't get in any more trouble. 
That's why the hall is the safest place to me. 


From The Beat: lt% nice to have a safe place, such sk% the Hall, but is 
there anywhere you can think of where you won't get in trouble and 
feel safe at the same time that is not behind those walls? 



My safest place is my home. I like how it smells and 
being with my family. I also like the feeling of home. I feel 


From The Beat: Do what you can to stay out of trouble and out of the 
hall, and you'll be home sk% much sk% you want! 


My Modi 


Every time I see her I feel happy and warm inside. 

And every time she hugs me I feel secured in the 

softness of her arms. 

To me she is my guardian angel and the best friend that 

I'm ever gonna have. 

The safest place to me is when I'm in the warm embrace 

of her arms. 

In her harms nothing can hurt me and nobody can 

make me cry. 

In her arms there is a wall between violence and us. 

Nothing can ever split us apart. 

And that's exactly why I love my mom! 


From The Beat: It sounds like you have a great relationship with your 
mom, that's a friendship you can rely on for a lifetime! Show her how 
I much you care! 

My Hero 

My dad has always been there for me. He helped me 
around when I couldn't see. He wrote me a poem when 
my life was in a swirl so now I want to share this poem 
to the world: 

Don't give up, its just the weight of the world. 

When your hearts heavy, I will lift it for you. 

Don't give up, because you want to be heard. 

If silence keeps you, I will break it for you. 

Everybody wants to be understood. Well I can hear you. 

Everybody wants to be loved, don't give up, because you 

are loved. 

Don't give up, its just the hurt that you hide. 

When you're lost inside I will find you. 

Don't give up, because you want to burn bright. 

If darkness blinds you, I will shine to guide you. 

Everybody wants to be understood, well I can hear you. 

Everybody wants to be loved, don't give up, because you 

are loved. 

I love you and will see you soon, and remember, don't 

give up. 


From The Beat: That is a great poem. How did you memorize that whole 
thing? How often did he share this poem with you? What do you think 
inspired him to write this poem? Thank you for putting it in our pages! 

Momma I'm Sorry! 



Momma, I'm sorry 

for all the things I put you through: 

from the day I was born, 

from the stealing, to the drugs, and all the running that I did! 

And I know you say I ruined your life 

but I just want to say that if you're reading this, 

look at yourself and all the things you put me through. 

The abuse, whether it was mental or physical, 

never having a father, 

all the lies, 

CPS, foster homes, whatever. 

Momma, I'm considered homeless now. 

My address is Juvenile Hall 

but Momma, listen to me! 

I'll love you no matter what you say or do or put me 

through, always and forever! 


From The Beat: Thanks for sharing this poiwerful piece ivith u%. It 
is important to reflect on your past with The Beat, yet it is equally 
important to think about the future. What can you do to stay out of 
Juvenile Hall? 

I Found Out What Life Is.... Finally 

The safest place I ever found was an office where I used to 
work. I got hired there when I was not yet fifteen because 
I was a "High Rislc" youth with multiple felonies on my 
juvenile criminal record. When I did my interview for the 
position, I was in an interview with several staff from the 
organization, and two other youth who were competing 
for this position to work in this office. I'm gonna call this 
place "Youth Space". 

So, during the interview they asked me what I wanted 
to do there. Either I could answer phones and support my 
peers on their hotline, or go to schools and hangout spots 
in the city and pass out condoms. I told them I didn't care 
if I had to scrub the floor with a toothbrush for 12 hours. 
I just wanted to work. 

They took my answer seriously and saw I was hungry 
to get down on some work at their office. A couple weeks 
later I gotta call and they told me I was hired. This was 
the beginning of me living my life. I was able to escape my 
reality by going to "Youth Space," but also modify it. 

I worked there for two years before my past came back 
and kicked my teeth down my throat. Two plain clothes 
officers showed up there a month ago and arrested me 
for something serious that I was involved in when I was 
barely into my teens. I sit in here thinking about how 
much my life was changing and how I deeply realized 
during my time at Youth Space" what life really meant to 

In here I continue to modify my reality by controlling 
my thoughts. I've gone so deep some nights I've escaped 
completely from this place. I am almost 18 years old. Five 
years ago when I committed this crime, I didn't see the 
light that I see now. I look at being here is for a reason, 
and I am gonna get in shape — SHARP! — physically and 
mentally, so when I do go back into society, one day, 
(where I can live what I know now is life) I can continue 
my mission to change the world around me. 

ONE love to all people. Jah Bless 

-Anonymous Revolutionist, San Francisco 

From The Beat: It sounds to us that your have already begun a revolution 
within yourself, which is where all true revolutions must begin. We hope 
that whatever the price you'll be called on to pay for your past mistakes, 
you'll pay it with dignity and grace. When you have dealt with the past, 
you can turn your full attention to the present world and its future. We 
need you! 

The Window 

When I look out my window 
I see bums stealing trashcans and I see knocks smoking 


I see drug dealers selling drugs 

I see people getting robbed and fighting and beatings. 

I would like to see positive things in my hood. 

I'd rather not live in Oakland because I want to make it 

to twenty-one. 

I would like to move to San Jose and see new things 

because Oakland is not the place to live. 
Lir kids can't even ride their bikes down the streets 

without hearing gunshots 

or seeing people getting robbed or killed that's why. 

I don't want to live in Oakland anymore because it is 

not a positive place 

I can't play basketball and be somebody. 

-Damani, Alameda 

From The Beat: We know you're right about one thing Damani - you CAN 
be somebody. Seems like you've got some really tough surroundings. 
You come from an environment where you can't always feel safe. We 
hope that you can get out of that environment and find a more positive 
place to be. Until then, all you can do is look after what's best for you. 

Me And The Responsibility I Have Now 

I just found out some bad news. When I first got here 
to Juvenile Hall, I thought everything was gonna go well 
until one day, they called me in the clinic and told me I 
was pregnant. So I'm like, what am I to do? 

I told myself that if I ever get pregnant, I would not 
get an abortion, 'cause that's foul. This is a really tough 
decision for me because I just barely turned 17. 1 haven't 
finished high school. 

The worst part about it is I will be locked up during 
my whole pregnancy. That sucks. 

Now, I have to worry 'bout telling my man and about 
how he is going to take it and my family's reaction. This is 
building up more stress for me and it's killing me softly. 

Well the good part is I know my mom and my true 
friends are here for me. But I got to think big about how 
I'm going to take care of my baby. I don't want to depend on 
my mom all the time because through the years because 
she's getting old and she's already been through enough 
with me and my brothers and sisters. 

I got to finish high school and get a job so I could 
provide for myself and for my baby. 

It feels so good when you make your own money and 
buy the things that you want and need and not having to 
worry about other people buying you things. So I really 
need to start thinking. 

-RiRi, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: This IS a big responsibility. We know that you feel like 
your pregnancy is bad news, but if you succeed at being independent, 
finishing school, and getting a job, then all of this experience will only 
make you a stronger and more mature person. 


As my mind and body gets older 

my heart gets colder. 

I wanna be a better man, 

I swear I told her. 

But I keep messin' up. 

Maybe it's a sign from God to straighten up. 

Maybe that's why I'm in here right now! 

I'm fighting my case 'cause I know I ain't guilty. 

I'm wrongly accused, thinking it's filthy. 

Now my heart's cold feelin' no sorrow! 

I'm getting out and staying out of this dumb-ass place. 

Be posted with my wife, 

get a job, and be full of strife. 

I'm locked up in juvenile hall writing this poem, 

while I could be free in the streets I roam. 

But for now I'll be sitting all alone. 

No, wait, I sleep in a room with another dude. 

The place I can't stand with nasty-ass food. 

Can't wait to get out to be with my lady. 

But for now, dealing with staff acting hella shady. 

But still doing time for some shhh I didn't do. 

Keeping my head high cause I hope everything's gonna 

be coo'. 

Watch, when I get out I'll go straight to school. 

Now I'm hella hungry again! But I'm locked up... 

Oh well, I miss my fridge... 

Damn! I'm trippin'! 

-Smirk, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: If you keep the promises you make here (to go straight 
to school, and more), then your deeds will be as tight as your flow! We're 
sorry you're here for something you didn't do (though we are willing to 
be that you've escaped punishment for things you have done...). But 
what you're going through now is only another experience in life, and 
one that you can draw on in the future both for material to write about 
(and teach about), and for inspiration on what to avoid! 




Forgive me Lord Jesus, just set me free 
Give my soul to the devil, just let me be 
For I'm that G that needs room to breath 
And this is that story, sad story 

I was only eleven when I sold my soul to the Devil and God 
took my Mother to Heaven, Fussin' and fighting is what I truly 
regretted, 'cause when she was finally gone, sorrow in my 
heart was what was permanently embedded, wasn't no room 
to turn to Pop's 'cause dude was gone, Tupac said it best, 
"Man, life goes on," I remember when I first read John 3:16, 
it was a message from Jesus, he said "Believe in me," but I 
never understood what belief means, cause my mother was 
the one who gave birth to me and brought me into this world, 
and she was the one who told me to give respect to girls, to 
treat them like princesses and give them the shiniest pearls, 
jefita, you're more than just a memory and its burning like 
an eternal inferno 


Yeah, this might be that story, that sad story, but I'd rather 
die on my feet than live on my knees, my heart turned to ice 
cold with thousands of burning coals, I don't know how it 
happened but it did unfold, keep your chin up, that's what 
I was always told but now I feel like a lonely kid in the park 
with nowhere to roam, no more tears fall from my eyes 'cause 
I know I can't bring her back, no matter how hard I cry, lonely 
nights is what I have ever since she left me, but I'm very 
thankful to been able to see her in those couple of dreams, 
I never knew that I can hurt this bad, it seems to me good 
things never last and this is that story that's sad 


No longer looking to God he don't get none of my prayers. He 
took what I loved the most. He's no longer my savior, I'm not 
going to lie, I'd love to take my mother's place, 'cause I feel 
I'm alone in this world like a dead rose petal, dropping from 
the vase, disrespect back talk precious moments never had, I 
wish I could go back to the past and stop myself from being so 
bad, I wish I could have given her everything instead of going 
against the grain, forcing her to pop Vicodin all the time to 
get rid of migraines, what hurts the most is that you don't 
realize you have a good thing until you lost it, then its gone, 
now I realize as a son my most cherished possession that I 
had was my mom, Tina Montoya gone but never forgotten, 
rest in eternal paradise, 'till death do us apart, I still love 
you Ma! 


-Smiley, Santa Clara 
The Beat Within: Another amazing piece. Smiley. It's taken us awhile to 
get it out, but we hope you know we respect your work a great, great 
deal. Keep going, keep writing. We'll be looking for your name in lights 
in the outs. 


I remember them times 

That we used to cut 

School and make out 

Now I'm locked up thinking 

Of all them 

Good times and 

Your beautiful eyes 

You got. 

-Goofy, Alameda 
From The Beat: This is a really great poem. It is wonderfully surprising 
for the reader the way iwe folloiw you in remembering with so much 
enjoyment about this person and these old times, and then all of a 
sudden facing the hard realities of the present moment. The past seems 
to linger with you/us in an almost-haunting way and we can feel your 
heart and your longing. Great work! Let's see more like this! 

What Makes Me Different 

Well let me see.... I really do agree, that we have a lot in 
cominoii, but I more than agree that each and one of us is 
a little different. 

What makes me different from others like my friends 
and loved ones are my dreams for the future. 

Some want to be an engineer, a basketball player or 
a psychologist, others want to be drug addicts or a drug 

I want to be an astronaut that fixes something wrong 
in the solar system or save the earth when meteors are 
about to hit. I think who and what I want to be in the 
future makes me different from others and just that little 
difference is what makes you, you! Peace outies 

-Peep Squirt, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: That's good that you have high ambitions. We hope 
that you are following your passion and goals. It's interesting that you 
mention your willingness to fix something wrong in our solar system 
or save the earth. Many believe that there are many things 'broken' 
in our society. How do you think we can save ourselves for man made 

My liraffiti Art 

My safe place is my graffiti artist state of mind or my 
schools art room. I love graffiti. It is a form of vacation 
from all the madness of life. When I draw, everything else 
doesn't matter. I like to draw because it keeps me out of 
trouble. I sometimes like to spray paint on a piece of wood, 
and someday I hope to get my own airbrush equipment to 
do murals for people and get paid. 

I love graffiti art so much, I would do it for free. After, I 
like to just stare and admire my art for hours. I will never 
stop drawing, no matter if I'm locked up or on the outs! 

I am different because I am always doing graffiti art, 
and I want to become a wild life conservationist. I think 
there would be less violence, and people wouldn't be 
trippin' off each other. 

-Dillon, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We would love to see some examples of your art. Is it 
graffiti that has led you here? If so, we hope you can find an outlet 
for your art that allows you to express yourself without risking your 

Smarter And Gonna Do It Big 

What's good with it. Beat? Yeah, it that big boy. Well, 
I'm gonna talk about me and my pain. But first I want to 
say it good to be out my room and writing in The Beat. 
See I was on restructure for 30 days because some shhh 

Well anyways, I've been locked up for about a year and 
five months now. I get out August 26, and I'm gonna hit 
the streets. 

Well, when I get out, I'ma go to West Valley. I already 
got the financial aid and the West Valley application. See 
I've been thinking and I want to be that homeboy with 
the street smarts and the book smarts. Yeah, I may have 
"most vicious" on my neck, but ain't gonna hold me down. 
I'ma go to college, get my education and get the females. 

Well, to all who know what I'm about, much love and 

-Segovia, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We don't care what you have tatted on your neck, it's 
what's above your neck that counts. What you have going on in your 
head tells us you are about to put the past behind you and enter an 
entirely different world — one of challenging ideas and challenging 
people. You bring your own, unique experience to this new world, so 
you will be both student and teacher. Get the most out of college, and 
watch how your life moves into an entirely different direction as you 
put this experience further and further into the past. 


VW //// / 

My Jaw Is Broken And I'm Starving 

Six weeks ago, three guys jumped me, knocked me 
down, kicked me, broke my jaw, almost killed me. All 
the time my jaw's hurting me and I told the staff to let 
me have some (soft) food, but I can't chew and I'm very 
hungry. My jaw's still messed up. These guys kicked me 
in my face until I almost died. They tried to kill me. I was 
lucky an ambulance came. When I woke up, I was in the 
ambulance. Then I fell back to sleep. 

My neck feels all the way ripped up to the back of my 
head. Every time I lay down on the block of cement (the 
beds we have here), it's too hard for me. When I wake 
up, it hurts even more. My jaw is broken, cracked to my 
chin. The whole corner of my jaw was hanging down to 
my cheek, almost off. My mouth was all open. I couldn't 
even close it. 

Now that I'm in here, they don't feed me right. I don't 
feel so good. I'm really hungry all the time. All they gave 
me for lunch was French fries and grapes. The grapes are 
cool, but I couldn't eat the French fries because I can't 
chew. All I want is chicken soup, that's all I ask for, but 
they won't give me that. I want a lot of chicken soup, white 
rice and beans. When I told the nurse what happened to 
me and that I needed special foods because I can't chew, 
she just laughed at me. 

I want to go back to my mom, who feeds me chicken 
soup. There's always a big pan of chicken soup on the 
stove for me. 

The surgeon fixed my jaw five weeks ago, but my 
uncle punched me in the jaw and broke it again. The guys 
who beat me up got away, and I'm in here. I don't know 

-Francisco, Marin 

From The Beat: We hope the counselors, nurse and cook have heard your 
pleas for soft foods, if those close to you aren't taking you seriously, can 
you talk to your PD or PO and get him/her to set up a special diet for 
you? Let u% at The Beat know what happens and if you're getting the 
nourishment you need and deserve. 

RIP Jelisa 

Today is July 10th 2008. It's been almost two years, 
tomorrow, since you've been gone, Jelisa. It's still a shock, 
I can't believe you're gone. Things haven't been the same 
without you, it's crazy. My best friend taken from me. 

God needed His angel back. His angel of life. 

I love you so much sissy, you don't know. Not a day 
goes by that you don't cross my mind. I've been through 
some rough times since you left, although I try my best 
to do good for you. I stand here mesmerized remembering 
our times together back in the day. Pictures and videos, 
they still play in my head. You helped me through so 
much and when you left I felt torn, broken. A part of me 
was gone, never to come back. 

I didn't know what to do. I cried and cried, tears dropped 
till they ran dry, but then I realized you would not want 
me to shed any tears but to rejoice that you are now in 
heaven. 'Cause of you seven people had a second chance, 
you're my angel, my angel of life. I see you in my dreams 
from time to time so please come visit me tonight. I can 
feel the pain, it's overbearing, so overwhelming knowing 
tomorrow marks two years. I need to know you're okay. I 
miss you and love you so much. Rest in heaven Jade, I'll 
see you in my dreams. Jelisa "Jade" S., 2-7-90 - 7-11-06. 
-Remembering Jelisa, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: This is beautiful. You've mastered the ability to evoke 
emotion through writing, which is generally very difficult. Your raiw 
honesty makes this such a powerful piece. We feel like we're listening 
to your thoughts and your emotions, and you've gotten to u%. Obviously 
keep writing. This piece was a privilege to read. 

Dear Mr. President 

Dear Mr. President, 

How could you be so cruel 

As to make others fight for your losses 

Do you even care how much it costs us 

Children lose a father 

A mother 

A sister 

A brother 

I would love to see you on that battlefield 

Instead of hiding behind your little shield 

Fight your own battles for oil in this war 

So tell me Mr. President, 

What are you good for 

Who says we must get revenge 

It's your job, not mine, to avenge 

So who's the terrorists now 

Mr. President 

An eye for an eye 

Leaves the whole world blind 

Just keep that in mind. 

-Katie, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: That's quite a poem, Katie. Not only is it a very powerful 
message, but the writing is incredible too. You are a talented poet, 
with strong opinions and convictions. Keep writing about the things 
you feel strongly about, because you have the potential to create some 
masterpieces. We want to hear your thoughts. 

Findino The Light 

Finding the light 

But the system I fight 

'Cause many things about this system ain't right 

They look down on me when I'm really so bright 

And I think about it all every night 

Remembering them days when I was in something tight 

Not stressing though, 'cause god will make things all 

right. You just have to believe 

And whatever you put your mind to you could achieve 

And if you work hard you will receive 

So push, pull, strive through every situation 

And always look forward to a better education 

And don't give up when your at that station 

You'll have to stay strong and fight that case then 

And when you get out do things smart 

'Cause there's no replacing for your heart 

-Silent Mongo, San Francisco 

From The Beat: You not only gave excellent advice, but you did it in 
rhyme!/ If you don't follow this advice, it would be a crime!/ Experienced 
has opened your eyes to let you see/ And now you know, this cage is 
opened with education's key! 

The Safest Place 

The safest place would be in my mind and/or my dreams. 
I search in my mind when I'm troubled find a memory 
that comforts me, and with that I feel comfort and safe. 
Also when I'm about to sleep, I find that my dreams could 
be the safest place. When I dream, there is no war, no 
poverty, and I can do anything I want, be whatever I desire 
to be, without any problems or worries. 

For example, I was feeling really down when I had 
some family issues, I rapidly began to fall asleep, and by 
focusing on dreaming about the good memories I had with 
my family — all the trips we want to, all the fun we had, 
having BBQs at the parties. When I woke up, I felt more 
comfortable and dealt with the problem less stressed. 

-Rebel, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We wish we had this ability to turn our dreams into 
pleasant memories for a good sleep. Now, it's time to master the next 
step — to turn your life into pleasant memories for the future! 

My World 

Boom!!! I just got shot 

Express yo' self 

What you thinking 

If you was in my shoes 

No, that's not the phrase 

There we go 

If you was in my world I'll be suffering 

And you'd just be wondering who wrote this 

This is you in my world, low life, just admit it 

You is 'cause if you ain't you would've never heard of 

"The Beat Within." 

So holla at this 

It's a one of a kind 

So stop, think, and find that light. 

-J-Deez, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: If who was in your shoes? Secondly, you really did a 
great job on just writing down your expressions on paper. Keep writing. 
And follow your own advice stop and think before you act, and maybe 
you can find a real strategy on how to not come back to the halls. 

Life Without Music Is UU... 

Life without parole 

A rotten smelling rose 

Cells with no windows 

Or doors to look into 

In a six-by-nine box 

That's always on lock 

No music, I go insane 

I need to hear it playin' 

Why do time feel so long 

But it flies by when the music's on 

Word to the wise, turn it up before I lose it 

Best believe, I can't live a life without music. 

-Mackin' Nam, Alameda 

From The Beat: Hey, this is a great piece. Really imaginative, good 
images. Nice flow and rhymes. So how do you handle this locked up life, 
musically speaking? Do you find yourself singing your favorite songs to 
yourself? Is there any way to keep up on the new work of your favorite 
artists? Tell us more. 

My Future 

Out there trying to get mines 

I'm killing for a penny. 

Its hectic out there 

I'm on all kind of drugs with a fully loaded semi. 

That was in my past 

now I'm wondering what my future brings. 

I'm missing the littlest things 

I can't even hear the birds sing. 

Everyday is a struggle 

I hope my anger won't consume me. 

This is my present 

now I'm wondering what my future will bring. 

It's getting crazy 

I'm even missing the littlest things. 

If I could express my feelings I would 

but you wouldn't understand 'cause they too deep. 

I pray to God every night and then just look at the 

ceiling 'cause it's too hard too sleep. 

My present ain't too much to actually work with. 

I feel like I'm climbing slowly but surely 

out the bottom of the pit. 

I'm walking out the darkness 

so I hope my future be bright. 

-Young Art, Alameda 

From The Beat: You can't hear the birds sing, but we hope you hear the 
strength and beauty of the poem (song) you put down hear. Writing can 
be a kind of torch that you use to light your way up and out of the pit. 

Still Thinking 

The safest place in my life is when I'm in my house, in 
my room. Once I put the lock on the door, I feel safe. I 
can relax and just think about life. I can go back about 10 
years ago when I first started playing soccer for a team. 
That started my soccer career until like the age of 16. I 
stopped playing because the team broke up because of 
lazy players and kids doing other things with their lives, 
from dropping out of school to working full time to the 
gang life. 

Then I can think about what I'm doing with my life. 
I remember when I was out, I'll be in my room thinking. 
I be thinking about how fortunate I am for graduating 
from high school, and being the first in my family to go 
to college. I am proud of that, but when I think about 
it in here, I'm like, "Does having a diploma and going 
to college really matter?" because so far it hasn't done 
anything and probably my college transcripts are full of 
F's for not going to class because I'm here. 

But since the team broke up, I didn't have nothing to 
do so I'll just chill with my homies from my neighborhood. 
That's what took the place of sports. It was the game. Don't 
get me wrong, I play sports every chance I get, but now 
the sport I'm better at is basketball. Soccer is second, but 
when I'm here, I thinking 'bout what I'm going to do this 
time. I'm still thinking.... 

-Wiggims, San Francisco 

From The Beat: The best line in this fine piece is the last one. Don't stop 
thinking! We're sorry your soccer team broke up, and that put you in the 
streets instead of on the field. Sometimes, you just have to break from 
what your homies are doing because you can see that unless you do, you 
won't be getting where you want to go. That college transcript you're 
working on should be priority number one. Even if you have to make 
up some work you couldn't do because you are here, in the long run, 
that college degree spells the difference between success and failure. 
Keep thinking! 

Ser iln Inoeniern 

Lo que me gustaria ser es ser un ingeniero para disefiar 
casas a las personas mas pobres de mi pais. Siempre es 
lo que me ha gustado ser. 

Mi papa me preguntaba, que queria ser en la vida 
y siempre queria ser es para disefiarles una casa a mi 
madre y que ella se sintiera lo mas orguUosa de mi. Es lo 
mas importante para mi, que ella se sienta bien. 

La leccion que he aprendido es estar aqui donde estoy. 
Cuando saiga voy a cambiar mi forma de ser y cambiar 
por otro sendero para cambiar mi vida. Quiero que vea mi 
familia que cambia y que se sienta orgullosa de mi. 

From The Beat: Ser ingeniero es una carrera larga de completar pero no 
imposible. Pagan muy bien. Esperamos que llegues a ser lo que quieres 
para ayudar a los demas en necesidad. Eso demuestra el gran corazon 
que tienes. Personas como tu no deberian de estar aqui sino luchando 
por los demas como heroes. 

Tn Be An Enolneer 

I wanted to be an engineer to design houses to the poorest 
people in my country. That's what I always wanted to do. 

My dad would ask me what I wanted to be in life and 
I would always tell him that I wanted to be an engineer to 
build my mom a house and make her feel proud of me. 
That's what's important to me, making her feel good. 

The lesson I've learned is being where I am. When 
I get out, I'm going to change my way of behaving and 
change my road to change my life. I want my family see 
me change and feel proud oif me. 

-Juan, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Being an engineer is a carreer that takes a lot of hard 
work and schooling, but it's not impossible. It^ a well paid job too. We 
hope you end up doing what you want to become to help those in need. 
This shows how big your heart is. Best to you! 


A Cunning Foe 

This lifestyle's made me 

A cunning foe 

So when the popo show 

I keep running through 

To say life ain't tough's 

A bluff 

Too much — never enough 

Arrested so many times 

Like my wrists' best friend is cuffs 

Tryin' to write 

For the fight 

On an unwritten page 

And at the stage 

Of a hustla's rage 

Gettin' that age 

Relate that 

'Cause fake cats' 

Tryin' to be another person 

Alter egos lurking 

Witness the situation worsen 

Mother's heart's hurtin' 

When brains get to burstin' 

To be uncertain 

In a certain position 

Makes the time hard hittin' 

When the verdict is written 

Burden's liftin' 

But the soul stays solid 

And the walls of the scene 

Look like a painting by Pollack 

Knowledge is a power 

Greater than bills 

But most say, "Forget college 

Sell dope 

And think pockets will fill" 

Young cats stuck 

In an ongoing trap 

Infiuenced like that 

So in they lap 

Lay a strap 

Positive energy 

But negative deeds 

They say the bullet killed him 

But indeed 

It was greed 

Lookin' fresh 

But ya soul's filled with happiness 

'Cause ya only care 'bout ya name 

Not the pursuit of happiness 

And it's strange 

But this game 

You never can tame 

Like a train collision 

Last minute decision 

We make money a religion 

Then switch sides in prison 

Used to pray to the wad of cash 

Now pray in' to God to last 

Life turns to tangles 

POs, you want to strangle 

Because you're in orange and blue 

Like you play for the Bengals 

Angels liftin' spirits 

But we don't feel it 

Like we deal it 

Hear it 

And recycle the cause 

'Cause in the end 

With no respect for the game 

A life get put on pause 

Or worst 

'Cause with no respect 

For the game 

A life gets lost 

-Awol, Marin 

From The Beat: Amazing, terrific rap. Noiw that 
you obviously icnow how the game can end, can 
you stop playing it and refuse to participate? 
You write that "With no respect for the game, 
a life gets lost." Can you honestly "respect" a 
game that is based on so much pain? 

i I 1 ! 1 

/ /(mw I deserve to hMtn in hell for mif evlldolngs, y 

hat I wonder, will iHif past hamt me even In the afterlife? 

These Thoughts 

Death is close, but not close enough. 

So I will fight death with what little life I have left. 

I consider these lonely nights my dying days, but I will 

not surrender. 

Call it hope, call it bravery, but it's more like fear. 

Fear of the unknown. 

Fear of not being remembered, or even mourned. 

It seems as though the world has already forgotten who I 

And could care less about what happens to my lost soul. 

I know I deserve to burn in hell for my evildoings, 

but I wonder, will my past haunt me even in the afterlife? 

Does the lord looli down on me with love, or with the 

anticipation of my self-destruction? 

Is the lord even aware of my existence, or am I just 

another creation left unattended and uncared for? 

I know not if the demons within are responsible for my 

actions, or if I myself am the demon. 

However, regardless of who is who, and what they do, no 

matter what it is, 

I seem to be blamed for everything. 

So because the blame is taken by myself, will the lord 

show no mercy? 
Well no matter how hopeless and pitiful it is, this life is 

all I have, 

so I will give my heart to the game, and pray that it isn't 


I know no love but, I know I hate the world. 

This hate does not inspire the desire to quit. 
It fuels my ambition to overcome the odds stacked 
against me. 
Survival of the fittest? No my friend, survival of the 
smartest and the shameless. 
He who is disloyal feels no remorse for the acts 
of backstabbing deceit that he commits strictly for self- 
therefore always getting what's in my best interest. 
Any man with any sense would live according to those 

But any man with any self dignity, who cares about his 

and the unspoken words attached to his name, will live 

truthfully and contently, 

suffering loss after loss, knowing his name will be held 

up high, long after he is gone. 

I would rather be caught up in the struggle with my 

fellow people then be alone at the top. 

Because what is the world when you have no one to 

share it with? 

And who am I without recognition? I am no one. 

So I will battle fate relentlessly, hoping to be remembered 

for my will to survive and nothing else. 

-The Loneliest, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: This really is stn amazing piece. You ask a lot of questions 
that cut to the core of life and death. No one really knows the answers, 
but you are asking the right questions and pushing the right buttons. 
Toward the end, you talk about loyalty. But if a world and a group of 
people that is asking you to do the worst things, giving up your freedom 
and your soul, is it really being loyal to you? Do not automatically do 
what others want, do what they need. That is real loyalty. 


My Birth 

I was born blue when I was a baby 

All these people be callin' me crazy 

And my mom be callin' me her lil' baby 

My daddy be callin' me a lil' bit lazy 

My brother tryna play me 

I'm tryin' to get outta this place daily 

They say when you're born blue 

All you do 

Is think about you 

But that ain't true 

You think about how it happened to you 

And then you just try to get that umbilical cord 

From around your neck 

I keep on wonderin' 

Why this happened to me 

I walk like a duck 

Talk like a duck 

All because I was born blue 

-N-N, Marin 

From The Beat: Sometimes an umbilical cord wrapped around your neck 
while you're still in your mother's womb can cut off the oxygen to your 
young baby brain, while you're being born, but not always. Why don't 
your parents and you talk to a pediatrician who can go over your birth 
medical records and see if there were any serious effects caused by that 
umbilical cord? Maybe the doctor can determine if there was any damage 
and if so, what you might be able to do to compensate for the loss of 
oxygen. It's also possible that that cord didn't hurt you. 

The Beat Is Me 

My safe place is in the state of mind 

When I feel safe is when I hear rhymes 

The beat in my head plays on and on 

Sometimes I even blank people out as they talk 

The beat in my step, the Beat in my walk 

The beat I hear the most is in my chest 

But what if it stops, what if it rests? 

Will that be my last breath? 

If you don't know what the beat is yet 

The beat is everything 

It is the voice that plays in my head 

What tells me right from wrong 

Even my soul is a song 

I pray to God every day 

I pray to keep me safe and these are the exact words I say 

Please don't take this beat away 

This poem may not make sense but one day it will 

From all the killing I've seen and all the blood I spilled 

My whole life has been bumpy but the beat keeps me 


I've been to jail, sold drugs, but now it's time to change 

The people I hurt, the tears that dropped sometime 

It feels like rain and it's not the chills that roll down my spine 

It's the sharp pain of hail that falls is what I feel the most 

Sometimes I do not know what to do when that feeling comes 

I even thought about killing myself but it wouldn't be fair to 

the people I love 

Sometimes I think would I go down, I will stay above 

The cold night alone, the unwritten songs 

Sometimes I cry for help even for trust 

Do I run or do I stay when I hear the gun bust 

Do I want to look over my shoulder everyday of my life? 

Sometimes I open my eyes from my nightmares of death, I 

wake up in a fright 

Should I bite into the poisonous apple or should I wait 'till 

it gets ripe? 

-Jason, Santa Clara 
From The Beat: That's a very deep and emotional poem. You did a great 
job describing your feelings. You are very much skilled and we hope that 
The Beat keeps pumping through your veins. 


A True And Tragic Story 

Imagine this: Jaimi was the girl. She's all alone on her 
way home, she's in her own time zone, depressed 'cause 
everybody around her just wants to go. Nobody has time 
to sit and talk to her anymore. 

Little did she know she was being followed. Richie was 
the boy that had no love in his soul, he walked up behind 
her and cracked Jaimi in the skull and knocked her in 
the mud and raped her in the cold. Now she's beaten and 
destroyed, her soul is just a void. 

Why did Richie do that to her, 'cause he was raised 
as a boy to take what you want and hurt those who have 
it, and if you don't your daddy's gonna beat you dam it! 
So that's what he did, a confused little kid. With what his 
daddy said, women are "B's", and you hate that 'B' and 
you rape that 'B' 'cause your daddy's rich and you can't 
escape that crap. 

Now Richie had a sister and you can only imagine 
living with Richie and her daddy, never laughing, only 
fighting and stabbing, only biting and grabbing, only 
crying and saying, "why do I live with these bastards?" 
Now she's lost her daddy, has her brain programmed that 
she's the devil and that God is a man and she is a slave to 
their devilish ways. 

She must take the secret of what Richie did to her 
grave, so she sits in her room 'till the middle of the night. 
She makes a choice and decides to get daddy's gun; she 
knows how to use it. That's the rule of the house. She 
goes into Richie's room and shoved it in his mouth. Boom! 
Blood all over her hands and face, she didn't even flinch. 
In her form of release, daddy heard the sound and ran to 
the room and busted in, she shot him, put it to her head 
and pulled the trigger again. 

-M*C, Land Of Enchantment 

From The Beat: We at the Beat are sorry to hear about such a tragic 
story. It's saddens us every time we hear about events such as this. If 
you need anyone to taiic to, please asic, don't iceep it bottled up. Let it 
out so it doesn't consume you both physically and mentally. 


I've been here for the past three months, going on four. 
The bad part is I got to do another 8 more months. The 
good part is that ever since I've gotten here I've realized a 
lot of stuff. I realize who my real friends are and the ones 
that are always there for me, that never did me wrong. I 
realize how much my family means to me. Even though 
how many times I messed up they're still there for me 
and come to visit me here. I realize how to be a man and 
to start taking responsibility for my own actions and take 
the consequence. 

I realize that I'm not a kid anymore and to stop these 
little kid things. I realize that when I get into trouble, I'm 
not going to always get a break. I realize who my enemies 
are. The thing that I really realize is how much my life 
really matters to me and not only to me, but to my family 
and friends! I think God placed me here for a reason. 

I'm kind of glad that I'm in here 'cause I've learned 
lots of stuff. I learned that I only got one life and that it's 
important and how I'm going to live my life, my goals, and 
future when I'm out of this place. If I was on the outs right 
now I'd probably do something stupid or probably die or 
not realize as much as I realized in this place. 

- Diep, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: You are a very wise and intelligent individual. All of 
the things that you are realizing is thinking in the right arena. Stay 
thinking in there, but most importantly, make a commitment to yourself 
to actually carry out those things you have thought of and found 
solutions for your problems in your mind. Stay strong and go out there 
and be successful! 

Basketball or Gang-life 

There was a guy named Jr. that had a dream to play 
professional basketball. He had this dream since the third 
grade. He was from a small town called Milpitas. 

Jr. had some obstacles in his way though. He grew up 
in the hood and he had a habit of getting in trouble. 
Would his love for basketball be more than the love for the 

Jr. was in the 7th grade and basketball tryouts were 
coming up, so he was trying hard to make his grade. 

Some of Jr. 's homeboys were trying to ditch school and 
go get high, but Jr. said he wasn't trying to get in trouble 
before his tryouts so he stayed. 

After tryouts, the coach came up to Jr. and told him 
he made the team and he was going to be the starting 
point guard. But there was one problem Jr. didn't make 
his grades, so he couldn't play. Jr. was so upset because 
he was off by one grade. He thought by doing bad in school 
was revenge but he was in for a rude awakening when he 
found out later on he was just hurting himself. 

Jr. got a kicked out of middle school twice, and had 
only one more chance or he was gone. He kept ditching 
school and getting in trouble in class. 

Finally one day Jr. bumped into someone in the hall 
way and the guy was saying some disrespectful things. Jr. 
wasn't having it. He looked around and seen the Principal 
looking at him. 

The Principle said, "don't do it. I've seen what happened. 
I'll take care of it." 

But Jr. wasn't going to let that slide, so he cracked dude 
right in the face and he went down. That was it, he was 
done, his last chance, now he was kicked out for good. 

He went to a T.A.P Center were kids go when they are 
suspended or looking for a new school for getting kicked 
out like Jr. Then after being there for two weeks, he got 
kicked out of that, so he had no where to go. He was out of 
school for a few months, sitting at home. Then they sent 
him to a community school where 90% of the kids were 
gang members, so he started to get more deeper into the 
gang stuff. 

Basketball was the last thing on his mind. One day Jr. 
was posted with his homeboys, drinking and smoking. 
All of a sudden, they seen some rivals and one of Jr. s' 
homeboys shot them. Everybody started running. 

Later we found out that one of them died, and the other 
one was in critical condition. 

A month later, Jr. seen more rivals and he was by 
himself. They tried to jump him, but he luckily had his 
knife on him. He stuck one of them and the rival's homie's 
ran. The Jr. bounced to his homeboy's pad. 

Two weeks later Jr. got caught for the stabbing. They 
gave him two years in the Y (CYA). 

He was 15 when he did the crime and he didn't get out 
till he was 18. He caught a couple more charges while there. 
He was tired of hearing that being a gang-member you will 
die before 21 or will go to prison. 

He wanted to prove people wrong, so when he got out 
he wanted to go to college. He wanted to show you can be 

successful and be a gang member. 

His years passed and he got out. Jr. followed his plan 
when he got out, got a part time job, and went to college. 

After school one day, Jr. went to go play basketball in 
the gym. He was playing really good too. His first game 
was up to 21, and he scored 12 points and had a couple of 
steals. But he had to leave after the first game to go to his 

When he was leaving the gym, some guy stopped him 
and said he was the coach for the college basketball team. 
Then he asked Jr. if he would tryout for the team. 

Jr. was excited and said when could he try out. 

The coach said, "Saturday at four." 

Jr. was supposed to do some things with his homeboys 
at that time, so he said, "will see!" 

The coach said, "I hope you make it." 

It was Friday and Jr. just got off of work. Jr. hit up some 
of his homeboys to tell him his situation. It was cool 'cause 
his homeboys understood. They told him they hope he 
makes the team and to hit them up after. So Jr. went home 
to get ready for his big day tomorrow. 

It was now Saturday and Jr. was ready for tryouts. First, 
they started off with some drills and then they moved on to 
a scrimmage game. It was the first string versus the second 
string. The second string won 42-37 and Jr. scored 19 of 
those points. 

At the end of tryouts, the coach said he made the team. 
Jr. was so happy he was one step closer to his dream. 

A few months later, Jr's team won forty-four games and 
loss six, and they got to go to the NCAA tournament. They 
made it all the way to the championship game and all of 
NBA scouts were there. 

It was half time and Jr. was having the game of his life. 
The score was 48-42 and Jr. scored 22 points. 

Half time was over and the game started again. Jr. was 
dribbiling up the court, got to the 3-point line and hit the 

All of a sudden, like 15 cops rushed onto the court. 

Every body was like what the hell is going on. 

The cops surrounded Jr. at gun point and told him to 
put his hands in the air. Finally they handcuffed him. 

Jr. asked, "what's going on?" 

One of the cops replied, "you're going down for murder 
and attempted murder that happened like a few years ago . 

Yeah, that's justa short story. This is Boxer coming 
from this unit. I just got off RP (Restricted Program) for 30 
days and we were locked down the whole time, so it feels 
good to be out of my room, but much love to all in here 
keep it solid all day, gone. 

-Boxer, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: It is clear you put a lot of thought into this story, and 
developed it well. It's heartbreaking to hear that after Jr. had committed 
himself to start a better life, he got caught up. He seems to have the right 
idea that he can use basketball as motivation to clean up his life. He was 
trying to prove that you can be successful and a gang member, but maybe 
that's a choice he needs to make. Unfortunately both things can't be done 
at the same time. Things could have been much different if Jr. had chosen 
a different path, a path that could have taken him to victory. We hope he 
never gives up. He had shown his talents and desires to make succeed and 
he can do it. It^ never too late. 

later we fomd oMt that one of them died, and the 
other one was in criticai condition 


7 nn 

//// // 


What good with The Beat? Manye, this Ulala once again 

writin' on some shhh I've just been thinkin' 'bout!.. Well, 

I'm just thinkin'... 

'bout why I hurt my parent... 

'bout why I'm livin' the life that I'm livin'... 

'bout my future and if there's gonna be one... 

'bout my family. . . 

'bout why I love smokin' that 'dro... 

'bout the outs... 

'bout how me and the goons took over the town... There's 

a lot of things I'm just thinkin' 'bout, but there's a few I'm 

just gone put out there. Also, I have no regret on things I 

do 'cause it's too late to turn back the hands of time... 

-Ulala, San Francisco 

From the Beat: It^ always too late to turn back the hands of time, even 
if only seconds have past. The past is past and cannot never be undone. 
But the future is yet to be defined by the choices you make from this 
point forward. That's what you need to be thinking about, the future, 
and how you're going to make it different from the past. 

To The Beat 

Man, what's really good with The Beat? Encouraging us 
to put what we feel on paper? I don't see how, cause when 
we try to, y'all say it's inappropriate, and tell us to alter it, 
and make it to your liking. 

When we do that it's like the piece ain't even comin' 
from us no mo'. The Beat always changin' our pieces, and 
the main part that really explain where we comin' from, 
they exclude it and that ain't exclusive, 

Roon, so since we take y'all request, consider ours 
and put our natural pieces in. 

-E-Boy, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We admire you for putting your complaint down in a very 
respectful and clear way. And we even agree with your complaint, much 
of the time. But the problem is this: The Beat is not part of juvenile 
hall. We are guests, and like all guests, there are certain house rules 
that we have to honor. This is not stn easy thing to do, balancing what 
you want to say against what those in charge don't want to read. Just 
this month. The Beat was kicked out of one of the counties where we've 
been doing workshops for many years because the probation staff did 
not like what one of our writers put in The Beat. We are on a tightrope 
and, yes, sometimes we lose our balance... 

'Wtat Hiipenel Ti liir People?" 


What's up with The Beat? You know me, mayne! Head 
to the sky, feet on the ground, finger to the judge if the 
money don't move 'im! Naw, I'm just playin'. 

At first, I didn't wanna write in The Beat because I 
wasn't feeling it today. But when I seen the topic ("If they 
were alive")... So here it go. 

I think if Martin Luther King was alive, he would say, 
"What the hell is going on in our world?" He probably is 
ashamed of our black and colored people because all of 
the nonsense and foolish behavior. I think that our people 
(including myself) are being selfish. MLK, X and Cesar 
Chavez is probably lookin' down on us saying, "What 
happened over the last forty years or so to our people?" 

Just because we were looked down upon and enslaved 
for over 400 years, don't mean we should get payback 
towards people who's doing harm to our people. 

I'm out for now. See you next week. 

-Young Mari, San Francisco 

From the Beat: Thank you for this thoughtful piece, Mari. We could 
understand things a lot better if young people were getting "payback 
towards people doing harm to our people," But what we see, instead, 
is young people getting paybacic on themselves, killing one another, 
and ignoring those who are and were doing harm to your people, 
it's a strange mystery of human behavior that we still cannot fully 


Goino Leoit 


What's up with The Beat? I got a lil' poem, ya dig. 

Check it out: 

The safest place I can be is where I'm at 

Don't have to worry about getting shot bullets fiying into 

my back 

Locked up everyday in YGC 

Get out, all my ninjas gone be respecting me 

Send shout outs to all my ninjas doing time behind 


I'm not good at writing these poems, 

but when I get out I'm going legit and ride for a cause 

-Lano, San Francisco 

From The Beat: You say you're not good at writing poems, but we liked 
this one a lot. We're a little confused by the ending, though, 
it mean that you're "going legit and rid(ing) for a cause?" 
cause you'll be riding for? 

What does 
What^ the 


"Vdu Tell Me" 

I once had a dream I was fighting some guy and we were 
going at it and he pulled out a knife and tried to stick me 
and I wouldn't let that happen, so I took the knife away 
and struck him and he fell. I turned away and when I 
looked back at him it was a totally different person, in 
fact he was somebody close to me. I woke up very scared 
because to think that the person who I was looking eye 
to eye was me. 

So I don't know what that means. I once wrote a 
poem about the split person and this dream falls under 
it. Maybe one side of me died, I just hope it wasn't the 

-Lefty, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Here's another way of looking at it - stnyone that you 
hurt is a person just like you. So you may not be hurting yourself 
directly, but stnyone who attacks another is causing pain. And that fear, 
that dread of hurting someone is real because you could have just sk% 
easily been the one hurt. 

My New Job 

When I was a little kid I never could make up my mind 
about what I wanted to be. One day it was doctor, the next 
it was a lawyer. My dad used to tell me that I changed 
course more than I changed my socks. 

Even after I started growing up, I still couldn't decide 
what I wanted to be. At about the age of fourteen I narrowed 
it down between being a lawyer or a soldier. 

Today I am from three to six weeks away from going to 
basic training for the U.S. Army. I guess I finally made up 
my mind. 

-Bald Jon, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: Doctor, lawyer, soldier... The latter profession seems 
a bit removed from the first two. It's also the only one that doesn't 
require much in the way of preparation and education. You are one of 
the smartest fellows we've encountered in a long time. We hope you 
aren't taking the easy way out. We'd love to see you develop that big 
brain of yours. 



7 nn 

//// // 

If Only 

If only people can understand 

To know what it is to be in that room 

To be separated from all, family 

To feel completely left behind 

Like no one cares 

If only you could be with your family 

The ones who actually care 

But no 

Those are who are fallen away 

If only people could feel how I do 

Completely alone 

If only people would try to see how it feels 

To have everything taken away 

Even loved ones 

Every thing is gone 

If only they could see 

-Sunshine Dylan, Alameda 

From The Beat: Part of The Beat's mission in this world is to try and 
maice people on the outside understand what happens in the hearts 
and minds of the young people inside — this poem helps do that. Thank 

You Don't Know Me 

When you look at me, you see a cute face and a sexy little 
shape. When you talk to me, you hear a confident, strong 
voice. When you touch me, you feel my soft, smooth skin. 
In all those observations, you still know nothing about 

You don't know what I've seen, experienced, done, or 
heard. I've been through so much that if I told you, you'd 
be disturbed. When I look back, it hurts. But I got the 
eyes of a snake... never blink, never cry. I hold it down for 
me, 'cause I can't trust nobody. Me, myself, and I, 'til the 
day I die. I came into this world by myself, and that's the 
way I'ma leave. J 

I'm not yet fifteen, but I does me. Never underestimate. 
Age ain't nothing but a number. Ha, you thought chu 
knew, but you don't. 

-Erisha, San Francisco 

From The Beat: In a way, Erisha, what you say applies to all of u%. Most 
people don't really get to know the real person behind the mask that we 
put on for the world. Still, we're sorry that you've already experienced 
so much hurtful stuff in short life, and hope things get better after this. 
The one thing we can't agree with is that you came into the world by 
yourself. No, you didn't. You came into this world with a lot of help — 
your mother carrying you for nine months; doctors and nurses testing 
her and helping her stay strong; a delivev^room staff that made your 

L birth sk% easy as possible. Nobody comes into this world alone, and ■ 
nobody gets through this world without help. I 

Ain't Ready 

The Kid is going to YA I can't wait till they come get 

me. Staff constantly saying they love me 

but really just out to get me. 

Man I don't even know if I can make it 

when I get back in the streets. 

'Cause I know if I see some guns 

I ain't gon' think I'm gonna pick one up in a heart beat. 

I ain't never changed no diapers before 

so I know it's gon' be hard to do. 

All I ever known was to pick up my pistol 

The life I was living, the money comes so easy... it's gon' 

be harder the good way 

So I think I'm gonna just stick to the easy. 

-Dougie Fresh, Alameda 

From The Beat: It's probably only one out of 20 that makes the change 
you talk about - so you just have to believe that you can be that one. If 
it was easy everyone would be doing it... Because it^ so hard, only the 
most dedicated, strongest, most determined can do it. We believe you 
are one of those. Do you? I 

Me An' My Dunnies 


Me an' my dunnies, man 

We tryin to get this guap 

Just me an my dunnies, man 

We tryin' to work the chop 

Just me an my dunnies 

Just me an my dunnies 

This that young dunny ninja reporting 

Live and direct from JJC 

But a ninja like me 

Finna bounce out this thang 

An' something me an my cousin was talking 'bout 

An' it caught my attention was... 

Getting out the game like when I get old 

If I make it there 

Like after a while ninjas gone mature out this shih. 

This shhh ain't gone be exciting when you can barely 

walk 'Cause ninjas ain't gone keep getting lucky 

It ain't no four-leafs clovers on my block 

Straight concrete jungle with a couple of palm trees 

Crack, weed and guns 

That's exactly why it ain't meant to be successful in the 

Now if you really think about where these AK's an' shhh 

comin' from 
They was made in Russia and the US bought 'em for the 


It's basically what Hitler did — box us up an' let us kill 


But I'm Anna go to the Ranch 

-Young Dunny, San Francisco 

-From The Beat: But if you know that your lucic can't possibly last, and 
that you're going to "mature out this shhh" sooner or later, why wait? 
What^ wrong with maturing now, before you run out of luck? 



Fiottall Dreiis 

m different, because of what my future is, I want to be a 
football player and most of my family, friends want me to 
be something else. They think that football is something 
hard to accomplish, 'cause of the kind of stuff you have to 
get for it, like you gotta go to college and get good grades 
and have the skills and what it takes to be a star. 

Most people find that hard because of what choice on 
whether to be a mess up, or to be a accomplished ma,n 
I think I got what it takes because I know that I got my 
mind set on my future and the ability to actually do it and 
go through the hard work 

-Lil' D, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: It^ good that you have your mind set on bigger and 
better things. Beware though that in order to reach higher dreams your 
discipline has to be greater than most, your willingness needs to be 
strong, and you can't lose sight of the path to get there. Most of all 
make sure your choices in life get you closer to your goal not further. 

The Safest Place to Me is in my Head 

Shhh the safest place to me is in my head. No one can 
bother me, bug me or, get inside my head. It is one of the 
best sanctuaries, because anywhere I go I can just sit and 
go off into my head ....daydream, sit and think, meditate, 
enjoy the view. 

You can do hella shhh in your head - hell, even sleep. 
Well to me my head is the safest place I know. It probably 
doesn't make sense but it's cool're not supposed to 
understand unless you're me... or like me 

-Btb, Alameda 

From The Beat: Your mental space, your mental freedom, is the place 
no one and nothing can take away from you. Do you ever wish you 
could find a way of making your physical world as good as your mental 



7 nn 

//// // 


Love And Respect Your Mom 

The only place I feel good is at home with my family and 
'specially with my moms. I wouldn't let nothing happen 
to my mom at all and when I'm with my mom I listen to 
what she tells me and respect my moms with my heart. I 
never disrespect my mom because I think moms are very 
important a lot. 

My mom has taken a lot of care of me. She fed me, she 
gave me life, a good life. That's why I think people should 
love their mom a lot by showing your mom that you love 
her with your heart and, like how I say, with respect and 
love to your mom and family is important too. 

I love my family, even though families argue sometimes. 
But that's tiie past. Forget about the bad things and think 
about the good things and live a better life, a good life. 
And protect your family and your mom, 'specially your 
mom, because like how I say, your mom is important. 

-Geordi, San Francisco 

-From The Beat: When you get out of here, you have to show your mom 
what these words of love mean to you by sacrificing some of what 
you iiice to do if it leads you to be taken from her. Your mom deserves 
nothing less. 


Do You, I'm Do Me 

I'm hella different from all my thugs. I feel like this 
because I'm the only person who can balance the 'hood 
life and school life at the same time. When I'm on the 
block, I'm only there momentarily, hit the blunt a few 
times, then I'm scootin' to night school or somethin'. 
They be on them late night hypes, half-ass hustlin' an' 
smokin' all they money up. 

Me, I'm at home with my female typin' a report, 
chillin', or wathchin' TV or somthin'. I'm the type that 
can adapt to an area according to the occasion, whether 
it's an interview, the block or whatever. I can go straight 
square and professional in a split second. They don't 
have the ability to do that. Yet, I do. And the ironic thing 
is I'm with the shhh and I'm one of them ninjas — and I 
still maintain a 3.50 minimum. 

-Fresh, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Even though you say you are different, you go to school, 
you can adapt, etc... here you are, like everybody else on these pages! 
So, in some ways, you're not sk% different sk% you might think. We have 
to admit, we're lightweight impressed by your scholastic achievements, 
but when we read all of what you've written, we remember Abraham 
Lincoln^ warning: "A house divided against itself cannot stand." 

Feel My Pain 

My life has changed. 

I'm not the same person anymore. 

My body hurts, it feels sore, 

I will never be the same Marco I used to be, 

I need someone to hold me, 

I'm fighting for my life, 

things get crazy so I pray every night. 

I'm an innocent man, 

I hope the judge understands, 

but maybe not, you never know, 

I'm stuck in jail and nowhere to go, 

but I want to know, 

who feels my pain? 

-Young Marco, Alameda 

From The Beat: This is such a good piece of writing. We can feel your 
unhappiness and how you need support and love during such a hard 
time. We can feel that embedded in every word you have written, and 
that^ the gift that you have-the ability to communicate your experience 
so powerfully. Although your situation is still the same in some ways, 
we hope that your ability to make contact with u%, and with others who 
will read your work in the pages of The Beat, makes you feel a little 
less alone. If you are truly sktt innocent man, then we sincerely hope the 
judge can see that too. 

My Tree House 


1 1 
1 1 

The safest place to me is my tree house. It may sound 
like a childish mater and eff it, maybe it is. But I go there 
when I have nowhere to escape to and I sit there with my 
strap and reminisce off when I was young and still had my 
innocence and could play without thinking of it. 

I wish I could still be that lil' boy I was and not have 
a care in the world about what people thought... but 
unfortunately things change for us all. We're human. 

-Big Hungry, Alameda 

From The Beat: We could really see what you were saying with this 
picture - just seeing you sitting in your old treehouse where you were 
skn innocent kid, but this time with a strap. You can't get back the 
innocence, but you CAN move towards the wisdom of experience. What 
has your experience taught you about life? 

I I 

The New Jiies Deie! 


I'm mostly different because of the music I listen to and 
skating. I'm like James Dean for the new century. I put 
grease in my hair, love old fast cars, do photography often 
and I'm just a rebel without a cause. I've found a cause 
now and I'm happy for it. I dress very differently from 
everyone else. I can't begin to describe my versatility in 

I'm not being cocky. I think independently and if you 
don't like me, I don't care. My one dream is to do what I 
love and that's taking pictures of skating, and skating, 
playing good old punk rock and building hot rods. I have 
every intention to get out of here and stay out so I can 
fulfill these dreams. 

-Keegan, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: There's nothing wrong with being you and doing the 
things that you enjoy in life. You may be different but still yet you are . 
the same sk% everyone else. Never be afraid to be and do you. I 

I Missed Summer Again 

Hey Beat, it's the homie Victor again. Me, I been good in 
here, just chillin'. My birthday is in a couple of days, I'm 
'bout to be 17 on the 20th, this is the second birthday I spend 
in here, also the second summer. 

I might be going to the ranch, oh well, if it happens, it 
happens. I'll just do my time, get out and keep living my life 
but hopefully I get out. 

I just want to spend time with my family. 

Last time I got out I promised my little carlito that I was 
going to spend time with him for his birthday and Halloween. 
I want to keep that promise I want to take him out and let 
him learn the good stuff not the bad stuff. 

Also, I stop and think in here like... shhh, I'm missin' 
out, my homie from my hood wrote me and told me I was 
missin' out too. 

I want to stop going to continuation schools and I 
want to go to regular high school. Forget going back to the 
same school every year just waiting in line getting ready to 
be searched. I want to go to regular high school and meet 
different people. I want to go and be able to have my own 
locker and be able to walk the stage and get my diploma. I 
want to go to the prom and see what all the older people brag 
about, I want to have a innocent girlfriend, not some skonk 
that gets used and abused by your homies while your locked 
up. I'm going to miss summer school again well actually I've 
never been to a regular summer school for high school. 

Hopefully I get out for my last year, and go to a regular 
high school because I'm a senior now. 

All right then Beat, I'm out, stay up. Alrato 

- Victor, Santa Clara 
From The Beat: You express anger for the life that you have lived up 
to now very well on paper. You've shown that you want something 
different. We will sk%%ufe you Victor "Only you can make the choice to 
better your life". People can guide, push, or even try to force you to do 
something. In the end however it is all up to you if you really want to 
do it. Ask yourself if you really want to change? If so really think about 
what it would mean what YOU would have to do to make it happen. 



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

^mammmmmmF ^/// " 

^ //. 


Death In The Family 

Damn, it's insane 

They caught my ninja slipping 

Hit his ass with the thang 

That's another fallen soljah 

And another gon' lose 

Did he find his way to heaven or is he bound in hell? 

If I was there would I have been dead? 

Would I have caught a hollow tip bullet to the head. 

But this right here was a blessing in disguise. 

I love my boy -- an may he rest in peace 

I hope he's not burning in hell and life is good. 

I hope his life is full of blast. . . 

Now that he got out the hood. 


From The Beat: We're so sorry for your loss. As you said, another fallen, 
another loss, another potentially brilliant future blotted out. Your 
choice now is this: Do you want to be a part of the violence in the 
future, or do you want to try and be a part of the healing? 


I'm sick of being in here. This is a place I do not 

When I get out I'm no longer going to take everything 
that I have for granted. Especially because you never 
know what's gonna happen. What you have today may 
be gone tomorrow with no warning. I'm done with these 
little kid games that I need to keep getting myself into. 

I need to grow up, and think about my actions before 
I make them from now on. I need to get out and be with 
my family and my boyfriend. It is not working for me in 

-Baby Girl 

From The Beat: Your determination rings strongly in this piece - so our 
next question to you is, what concrete real life steps will you need, so 
you can live up to this decision? 

The Way I Feei x 

Sometimes bein' in the Hall makes me feel like I just want ' 
to do something stupid, but then really think about it. I 
was just hecka mad that I missed my daughter's birthday, 
but hopefully I make it to the party. Still, I should have 
been there for her b-day. I mean I should have been out of 
here... but I mean it's goin' to happen soon ....real soon. 
But that's all I got to say. 


From The Beat: Just focus on getting out - and staying out - for your 
daughter's NEXT birthday. And be sure to send us a picture of the 


Money is a key to life 

Money can buy love 

Money can make the world turn 

Money can stop you from having life in prison 

If you don't have money you don't have nothing 

In I feel sorry for ninjas that don't have it 





From The Beat: We all need money - for food, shelter, to pay for our 
education and keep us healthy - but sometimes people do crazy stuff 
just to have money for jewelry, nice fits, flash - they're using the money 
to try and impress other people, not to take care of themselves. What 
do you "need" your money for? 

I I 




What's up Beat, this is Lil' Man from Oakland. I had been 
from the hood all my life, but many people say I'm a bad 
person but I'm not because I'm so hood? It's about money, 
or power and respect. But most people want a name for 
them selves. 

I think having a name is cool but that shhh ain't coo', 
but most important thing is family? A think about this is 
that your real ninja will send you a letter or pictures. 

-Lil' Man 

From The Beat: The most important thing is family. That's a powerful 
statement. So what would you need to do to be there for your family? 

Annther Safe Piace is The Hali 


The safest place to go to is somewhere far away where 
you know you won't get in any trouble. 

Another safest place is the hall, 'cause ain't nothin' 
gon' happen to you in here. 

The safest place for me is my moms house 'cause it's 
in the cuts... That's the safest place for me. 

-B Slips 

From The Beat: Can you remember how old you were when you started 
feeling like the streets weren't safe for you? ^NskS it when you were a 

little kid, or later? 

Fnster Hume! 

What's up Beat, what's crackin' with y'all. Me I'm just 
here hella bored in JJC. Man I'm waiting to go to ROP 
because my homies are over there together and I can't 
wait to go be with them, but I still got to be in the JJC for 
another three months. Today I got a phone call and my 
sister told me that the government is trying to take me 
from my mom. 

I got sad but also mad, 'cause they tryin' to put me in 
a foster home. If they put me in a foster home I am going 
to run. If they do I don't know. 

I go back to court in December and I'm hella mad 
'cause that day I have my anniversary with my girl ~ and 
trust me she's the one . But what can I say, I'm gonna kill 
my time and hopefully I don't go to a foster home ...'cause 
I don't want to live in no foster home. I want to live with 
my family not some stranger. 

Well times up Beat to all in the Hall and the pen, stay 
up and keep your head up at all times later. 


From The Beat: We hope it all works out and they don't try to put you 
in a foster home, but if they do, maybe you shouldn't run.... Foster care 
is still a roof over your head, a chance to keep going to school, a little 
bit of freedom, and with luck, maybe even people who care about you 
and want to see you succeed. And you'll be 1 8 sooner than you realize. 
What do you think? 

if My Grandma Was Alive 

ou I 


What's up with it Beat. This yo' boy B-Nasty and I'm 
writing about my grandma. If she was alive I probably 
wouldn't be in this shhh hole. 

My grandma always told me to do something that will 
change my life. She also could tell me to keep my head 
up no matter what. And she always said do your best at 
everything you do. Well I just want to say thank you for 
everything you did for me and just being in my life. RIP 
Granny, I love you 


From The Beat: Could you try to live your life as if your grandma was 
still alive? Because in a way, she is, so long as you keep her love, her 
lAfisdom, and her advice alive in your heart. 

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

^mammmmmmF ^/^/ // 

Different Ball Game 


What's up Beat. I been gone for a minute but Fm back 
again -- for tryin' to hit a house for a stack or ten. But I 
switch up for Judge K and these broke no money havin' 

I'm on a whole different hype now. 

All that BS is in the pass now I'm just 'bout my cash 
and tryin' to amount to somethin'. If it ain't 'bout me, my 
family or my money it's irrelevant... because broke ninjas 
got time to waste and tryin' to make a plan. My money 
straight, and I already got a plan. I'm moving forward, and 
I'm not lookin' back. I'm takin' my people with me and 
I'm gone ... I'm playin' a different ball game now and I 
really callin'. That's why my name ain't Bill or Bilitant no 
more... it's Young Money. 

-Young Money 

From The Beat: The thing we always loved about Billitant was that 
it showed a combination of your fighter's spirit and your own name... 
but we understand how important it is to take responsibility for your 
finances - so long sk% you're thinking long term, and legit with your 
money so the cops can't touch you and the criminals can't find it. 

' ■ " " ' 

I i ! Ill ! 

Waltin' And MIssIn' 


What's up wit' The Beat! This ya boy Weezy. Tryin' to 
hurry up and get to camp 'cause the hall is hella bootsy. 
I'm getting sick of bein' here. 

I swear once I go to camp I'm gonna do a good program 
so I can go home every weekend. And then when I leave 
camp off probation I ain't comin back. I'm gonna do me 
and that's so I kinda don't have to worry about 5-0 lookin' 
fo' warrants and other stuff, 'cause the hall ain't cool. 
Plus, missin' my sixteenth summer while it's hella girls 
on the outs. I ain't even gone lie I miss the outs. 


From the beat: You have good reason to miss the outs, nobody likes 
being locked up. We hope you keep your promise to yourself and do a 
good program so you don't have to keep being locked up. it's a promise 
for yourself, the most important kind of promise, and we hope you 
make yourself proud. 

What Is A Girl To Do? 

See I don't know... I'm just feeling the way I do. 

It's been a long time and I thought that I was over you. 

Now you coming back again in 

I'm remembering what you said. 

In I just can't take it and I don't know why. 

Oh no, what is a girl to do when she still want it yeah. 

Should I brake my sleep for you 

And you just want my money yeah, see time in he gain, 

I just wish to stay with him, but what is a girl to do 

...when he just want my money? 


From The Beat: It seems pretty obvious to us, that you deserve a man 
who loves you for YOU, not your money. Keep your money for yourself, 
your future, your little ones if you have skny. T>ue love can't be bought 
or sold! 

Thank Yoo Beat 

I just want to say thank you to The Beat for givin' us all a 
chance to write in The Beat Within and keeping us out of 
our rooms. I also want to say thank for letting us express 
our feelings on paper an' making it easy for some of us 
(because some of us are stressing) by y'all comin' here 
when you really don't have to be here with us. 

-Jo Baby 

From The Beat: You know how it is - the best thank you that you could 
ever receive is more of your oivn ivriting, so bring it on! 



He's Close Down The Hall 

I think if Martin Luther King was alive, he would try 
close this bootsy ass juvenile hall down. 


From The Beat: It's very possible. Where would he encourage all the _ 
detainees to go, and what would he encourage them to do? I 


i I 

Wtit Makes Me Diflereet! 


The real me, the me, I'm living right now isn't the real 
me. It's like the devil's in me, but really there is something 
good in me... the judge say that I'm a menace to society, 
but who is they to judge me? 

They don't know me, they think this is the only me 
and I can't change me, but really this is just how I was 
brought up not to give a ...! 

But I want to go back to the old me, when I was Lil' 
Repo, riding bikes, going to school, playing sports ...the 
old me, but I think the old me is done and now there is no 
turning back, 'cause the devil is in me. 


From The Beat: Powerful piece. The "devil" is in all of u%. 99 percent of 
people are a mixture of good and bad. That^ why, every step of the 
way, it^ about the choices you make. If you say "there is not turning 
back" that means you're choosing not to turn back, whether you see it 
or not. is this a choice you really want to make? 


Thinking 'bout what I'm gon' do when I get out 
Thinking 'bout what I'm gon' do to stay out 

Thinking 'bout what's the use in trying 

Thinking 'bout all the youngstas that's dying 

Thinking 'bout what my family think of me 

Thinking 'bout when they gon' free me 

Thinking 'bout all the time I'm wastin 

Thinking 'bout how I be in my room pacin 

Thinking 'bout why it ain't no room for love 

Thinking 'bout what I'm gon' write next week 

Thinking 'bout when they gone let me be. 

That's all I gotta say till next week peace to all keep it 

solid and knock yo' time out. 


From The Beat: Nice poem Damani. We're sure a lot of young people in 
the hall right now can relate to all the stuff you're talking about. There 
are so many questions and answers to find, most importantly things 
you need to take care of once you get out. Just keep thinking and 
eventually, figure out what you need to act on. By the ^tsK^, what are _ 
you reading these days? What kind of books do you like to read? I 

My Own Sanctuary 

To me the safest place to go my own sanctuary would be 
my mom's house because I stay with my dad and people 
can see me leaving or going to my house. I show my close 
friends or invite my girls over to my house... 

So if I had trouble and some one was after me, or I 
just hit a lick I would go to my mom's house. She lives 
where no bus stops are at, so I'm always in the car. 

When I go there so it's hard to follow me. Like some 
say "I don't shhh where I eat." 

I wouldn't even write to you where my mom stays ... 
that's how safe I feel when I go there. But that's always a 
last resort. You have to always have more then one safe 
spot ...especially when you grinding. 


From The Beat: It sounds like you've got a lot of good plans for how to 
be safe while living the life you do. But have you ever thought about 
how much SAFER you'd be if you focused on getting out of that life, 
getting out of the grind before it grinds you down? 

agnnnnnE wmwmim 

^mammmmmmF ^/// " 

^ //. 

Things I Would Do To Stay Out Of Jail Aud See! \ 

I would go to Santa Cruz to my woman's liouse and sit 
under her all day and look at TV like a j-cat, so I can't get 
shot or go to jail, like right now for some shhh I didn't do. 
That's why I got to stay out the way and cat off with a girl. 
But I don't beef, that's not me I don't do that kind of stuff 
I just get money you not gon' see me on no TV. 

-Lil' Fred 

From The Beat: The thing is that the minute people start trying to get 
money on the street, they find themselves caught up in street beef... it^ 
no lAfay to avoid it. 

What I Hate 

We don't get to choose what clothes we wear and we 

wear each other's underwear. 

We don't get to choose the food we eat or when we eat it. 

We can only see our parents on specific days for only 

two hours a day. 

We are told what to do 24/7. 

We are locked up in a room for most of the day. 

We have to pay to talk on the phone. 

We can't have any contact with our ladies, at least not 

touch contact. 

We can't listen to the music we want to listen to. 

We can't smoke, snort, or pop. 

We don't have no privacy. 

We only get an hour or so of rec. 

We are only money to some in the system. 

Some staff treat some kids better than others. 

Some staff always tries to make you dumb. 

- K 

From The Beat: Seems like pretty much everything you dislike about 
the hall is directly due to your lack of freedom. You want to be able 
to do what you want, when you want to, without getting in trouble or 
punished. We all want freedom, and you will get your freedom back 
eventually when you get out. The trick is to remember that you want 
to KEEP that freedom, and stay out the hall. 

1 I 


Safest Place Is My Huuse 


The safest place for me is my house because I get to be 
with my family. I could run to them when there's a storm 
or when I get nightmares. I could feel their protection 
behind the locked doors, when I get into troubles. 

Also, I feel like nothing can touch me when I'm in 
there. It feels like I can just relcix my head and get away 
when I lay on my bed. My house is like an armor to me 
because it just feels like nothing can touch me. But when 
that door opens, that's when a new trouble begins. 

-Buena Flor 

From The Beat: Home is a place that a lot of people feel safest. Having 
older, wiser people who love us and can take care of us makes home an 
incredibly appealing place to be. Leaving home, having new troubles 
come our way when we do so, this is all part of growing up. it's so hard 
to leave the safety behind, but if we didn't take on these troubles, learn 

how to deal with them, no one would ever leave home! 

My Top Three Most Safest Places 

My first most safest place would be what I like to call 
Alameda Safe House. I call it that because nobody knows 
where it's at and I never had any problems there. My 
second would be my Auntie's house because it's a long 
way from the 'hood and my auntie wouldn't let any harm 
come my way no matter what the situation is. The third is 
my daddy's house because.... Naw, that's inappropriate... 


From The Beat: One day we hope you can move up and out of stressful 
situations, so you can enjoy the luxury of feeling safe everywhere you 
are. You deserve it. 


ill 1 

A Poem for My Sister 


What's up lil' sis I am asking what it do, 

I know that you miss me, as much I miss you. 

You stayin' solid, well me too. 

You eatin' good, 

I am eatin' this county food 


From The Beat: You need to get free/And stay free for good/So you can 
eat with your sister like a brother should! 


Not The Same 


If Lil' Will was still here 

he wouldn't like what's going down 

Everybody snitchin' on each other 

it ain't no mo' town. 

I miss Lil' Will the way he slid through them blocks. 

Riding uptown in the coop busting all the knocks. 

One day it was shady and Lil' Will done got stabbed. 

That's when it all went away 

The whole spot start goin' bad. 

-Dougie Fresh 

From The Beat: This makes us wish we kneiv more about iwhat he v/9S 
like. How old ivere you when you first kneiv him? Did he try to keep the 
peace? What led up to the stabbing? Was he an important fathei^type 
figure in your life? 

Fludiug The Light 

Finding the light is hard. I'm still trying to see where I'm 
going in life and what the future holds for me. It's been a 
pretty bumpy road I been heading down, but I'm trying to 
straight it out the best way I could. 

- Rick 

From the beat: Can you give us more details? What exactly are you 
doing to try and straighten your life out? Has any of it worked, any 
failed? You've gotta find out exactly what works and what doesn't to 
keep you out. Otherwise, you'll just keep making the same mistakes 
over and over again. 

Sate Place 

i I 

My safe place is my mom's house because I know I don't 
have to worry about anything. I can spend time with my 
family in a peaceful way. The longer I'm in the hall, the 
more I want to spend time in my safe place. My love for 
my family and my safe place expands each day. I miss the 
fact that I can be myself and I don't have to worry about 
impressing others. 


From The Beat: We feel you! it is wonderful to have a place where you 
can just be yourself and not have to play any games. And we bet you 
want that more and more the longer you are away from your family. 
What kinds of choices and plans can you make that will help you return 
there? How can you prepare yourself for the challenges you will face so 
that you will stick to your plan? 

i I 

Standiu' Up Fur My Respnusibility 

What make me different from you is that I am a man 
standin' up for my responsibility, I did the crime so I'm 
doing the time. 

So far I been incarcerated for nine months, my first 
6 months was in the hall, the last three was in Camp 
Sweeney. I am supposed to get out this month. My plan is 
to get out is to not come back here and to get a job. 


From The Beat: What kind of job do you plan to get? Do you also hope 
to try to go to school? This is why we suggested The Mentoring Center. 
They might be able to help you do both. 

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

^mammmmmmF ^/// // 

^ />j. 

It Feels Like A Knife In My Slnmacli ^^i [ 

Somewhere I feel like giving up in life and blowing up 
and just losing my mind. Why do I feel like that? 

Because I have a daughter that I can't do what I want 
to do for. 

'Cause Fm locked up and I think about my little girl 
day and night. Before I go to sleep, I cry myself to sleep 
cause it hurts me very much. It feel's like a knife in the 
stomach or in the heart, I know that I will get my daughter. 
-I believe in myself- 

- Gordo 

From The Beat: All that pain you feel comes from the love you have for 
her. Let the love give you the strength you need to become the father 
you KNOW you can become. 

Whit Is The Prohlen? 


Where do you belong? Why were we put on this Earth? 
What is our purpose? Is there any specific reason for 
people being here? 

Because when I look around, all I see is death and 
war. Nobody really likes each other, everything becomes a 
dispute. What is the problem, can't we all just get along? 

People have enough problems just living life so all 
this extra effort to make things worse is useless. Some 
people make small things into something big when it 
could have easily been dealt with. All they had to do was 
talk about it. 

What I think would stop all problems is if people just 
mind their own business. 

-Boo Nasty 

From The Beat: You are asking some reasonable questions in the face of 
a crazy-feeling world. It is painful, frustrating and sad to see so much 
wrong and no sign of things getting better. We know of some people 
who are doing positive things in the world, and we agree that more 
talk & understanding-and less violence-is a good place to start. You 
have been in the hall for a very long time, and we imagine things can 
start to get pretty depressing when you on the inside so long. From 
lAfhat lAfe can tell, are skn intelligent young man with a lot of heart, 
and it would be natural that you might need some support to start 
to imagine a positive future for yourself, particularly in the face of so 
much destruction around you. Do you know any adults you can trust 
who are good listeners with good ideas who you can talk with? 

What Makes Me Different 


What makes me different is I'm unique 
What makes me different is I listen when people speak 

What makes me different is I'm like a spark 

With one connection, I could blow away a girls heart. 

What makes me different is I'm not spoiled, 

to my homies I'm the vocabulary word "loyal" 

-Lil' H-S 

From The Beat: This is a good poem. The line about listening to people 
when they speak stands out the most to u%. This is a quality that, sadly 
these days, a lot of people don't have. So many people and cultures 
and societies don't truly listen to one another. Don't take this quality 
lightly, and of course, hold on to this skill sk% long sk% you possibly can. 

When I'm Hume, I Den't Have tn Wnrry 
Ahnut Nnthin' 

The safest place for me is home. Because I am surrounded 
by loved one's. When I am at home I don't have to worry 
about nothin'. I could just be at home happy, instead of 
running around on the streets looking for trouble, and 
end up getting locked up away from my family. 
I'd rather be at home with my freedom. 


From The Beat: We hope you get home soon. But all that trouble will 
still be waiting for you. Do you have a plan in mind for how to keep 
from getting caught up this time? 





\ I 

What makes me different is that I think like a grown 
man because I like to do things others kids my age don't 
like to do. Like for example I like to explore the world and 
see new people. I don't like to be stuck one place. I like 
to have fun. 

I like to make a girl feel special. Because I think 
differently, I know what they want. I can be sweet. I can be 
the person she will love to spend some time with because 
I like taking my girls to special places. I know how to 
treat a girl really special. That really different from me 
and other people. 

I know I'm really different because the small things 
will get me mad because someone will say something 
stupid and it will get me mad. There are a lot of things 
that make me different. So with that I will let you go until 
next time. 

-Lil' B 

From The Beat: You got some great things that make you different: your 
desire to explore and see the world, sk% well sk% your ability to imagine 
what another person might enjoy. Those are great characteristics that 
can help you have a wonderful time! You also honestly explain that your 
quick anger sets you apart, and that's a lot less fun and can get you into 
trouble. We encourage you to continue to work on how quickly you get 
mad. Getting mad may feel sort of powerful at the moment, but it isn't 
real power. It's sk% if you're cruising down the road, and all of a sudden 
anger takes the wheel away from you and drives, and it may take you to 
some pretty bad places that have nsk%ty consequences. We'd like to hear 
about a time when you put anger in its place and didn't let it take the 
wheel (even for a small moment)! How did you feel about it? 

I r 

lift Is A Eant 

My life is a game that I love to play, yes its dangerous but 
what can I say I love to play with my life 'cause I already 
died too. Every time I get out of this cage my life becomes 
more of a game. Just like when you locked up its not as 
dangerous but I love to play anyway. 

-Shady Rabbit 

From The Beat: You're life is not a game. If you lose, if you get to game 
over, there is no option to start again. If you've played around and 
you're still around, you're very lucky. Good fortune doesn't last forever, 
and if you keep gambling this way, someday you're bound to lose it all. 
The more you risk, the sooner it will happen. Life is not a joke! 

I 1 II !l 

If Ike) Were Hive... 

i I 


Man, it's crazy 'cause I'm reading the Malcolm X 
autobiography as we speak. And all throughout the book, 
most of what he speaks of is "integration" in the white 
world in the 60s. And how instead of uniting with white 
America, we as blacks in America should unite with each 
other instead of trying to integrate with other races. 

Basically, how can you "integrate" with other cultures 
if you can't and don't know your own original culture. 
But more over, at the end of the book he speaks upon 
how racism, whether black or white, is still racism, and 
we should work to unite and compromise as brotherhood 
and love one another. 

I believe Malcolm X would be devastated at all the 
black on black crime that's been going on after he worked 
so hard to bring us together, even with the war in general. 
It's shameful. However I believe he would be proud to see 
a black candidate running for president. It seems black 
on black crime started with him being murdered. 

- Da'man 

From The Beat: You make some good points. On the one hand it is 
so important to know and value our different cultures, and at the 
same time it^ important to be able to value all differences and come 
together in a positive way and work together. How do you think you 
can contribute to this complex vision Malcom X offered that is not just 
about being separate? Are there ways you could respond differently to 
people and situations? Things you can do in your community that might 
advance his ideas? 


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

^mammmmmmF ^^^/^^ 


I am tired of being locked up in a cage 

To me it's like a difficult maze 

My mom tells me it's just a phase 

In my future I am trying to m£ike more than minimum wage 

Everyday and night I look at the sky and thank the man 

I know he is the only one that really understand 

How I feel and the way I think I am tired of seeing these 

walls, a toilet, and a sink 

Everyday I tell myself to be strong and stronger 

I pray to God that my life will never end but get longer 

I am tired of being in this facility called jail. 

To me it's an early hell. 


From The Beat: You write about your thoughts and feelings in a very 
reiatabie way. While your life probably won't get longer the more you're 
alive, it can definitely get richer and fuller the more you put into it. it's 
all your call, you make your own life. 

I'm I 

I Think I'm Goino To Stay 

What's up Beat ...this is Big Hungry, and I'm finally 
camp. It's better than the hall. I don't want to stay but 
going to. I think I might not go home but I need to start 
doing my program and change. Later. 

-Big Hungry 

From The Beat: We're glad to hear that you've decided to stay. When 
you say change, what would you like to change to? For yourself, not 
for the system. 

Tiie Safest Piace is My ilouse 


A place where all the beef and madness of the streets is 
all settled down and considered safe to me is at my own 
house and also my mind. 

My house is because whenever I walk in it, it gives 
me a feeling where I'm secured and that my parents is 
there for me. My mind is because even though at times 
it get all noisy and messy because of all the thinking but 
at times when you just relax and take in deep breaths it 
all becomes calm for me! When do I seek it? It's when I, 
well, mostly all the time I seek it. If not at home I seek to 
my mind alone to myself so I actually have choices. I stay 
for a while but I stay home mostly and my mind is only 
when I need it most. 


From The Beat: While a lot of people find it easy to escape by going 
home, not a lot of people are able to escape into their own minds. This 
is skn incredible talent. When life is tough, you can take a few minutes 
to escape just in your head, and let it all sink in so you can take on the 
challenge of the next step whatever it may be. This is a much better 
way to deal with stress than acting on it. 

My ilouse, My Room 

The place where I feel safest is my house because every 
time I'm in my house I feel safe and secure from everything 
bad that can happened to me. 

The safest place in my house is my room. That's the 
only place where I just sit down and think about stuff that 
is bothering me, and the only place when I isolate myself 
from everybody. The only place where I can hide from 
somebody and think about what's happening to my life, 
the only place where nobody can dis' me. The only place 
that I guarantee I'm not going to get shot or stabbed. 


From the beat: We're glad you have a place you can go to get away, 
safely, from the world. We all need stn escape sometimes. What we 
hope does change though, is that you don't always have to hide away to 
know your life is safe. We hope someday you can find skn environment 
where you can feel safe walking down the street, just sk% safe sk% you feel 
when you're in your room. 


I I 


Liviog Rigiit By God 


Today I'm going to be talking bout living right by God. 
The reason I picked this is because I have made mistakes 
in my life and I see that's not the way to go. 

I'm in jail for stealing AKA robbing. I have broken one 
of God's commandments and I know I should have never 
done that. I'm a church boy so I know that I shouldn't 
been doing that. Some people might "lol!!!" at me 'cause I 
say I'm a church boy. I really don't care 'cause they can't 
save my soul. 

I know God put me here for a reason cause I always 
attended church, then I stop going, I started following the 
wrong crowd. Then I started doing bad things, now it's 
catching up with me. I see this street life ain't for me, the 
church house is where I need to be. 

Since I been in here I been in the bible and I'm going 
to be in the bible till I die. That's where my heart at, in the 
bible. And I want to say sorry to God for what I did and I 
will never step out to the street life again. Also, say sorry 
to myself for putting myself through this. And to that one 
person I robbed. 


From The Beat: So you were living right and then you strayed. You 
had a rough time out in the streets, and now you're longing to get 
back to the strength in your spiritual beliefs and practices... Sounds 
like a good idea. Getting back to the Bible will help you focus on what's 
"right," for sure, but let's allow your errors to teach u% something for the 
next time around. What made hanging out with the "wrong crowd" so 
appealing in the first place? How do you think you can fight that desire 
(which will probably come up again)? Many people don't realize this, 
but even people who are devoted to the Bible have desires come up that 
are better left undone — the important thing is learning how to stay in 
control of those desires and remembering the consequences so that we 
don't follow through with them. 

Ofl TliG Biocl( 


On the block where they sell rocks 

On the block where they tote chops 

On the block where killings don't stop 

On the block where it pops 

On the block where the hood ninjas cop 

On the block where the hood ninjas drop 

On the block where they shoot dice 

On the block it ain't nothing nice 

On the block it's a lot of fights 

On the block where 5.0 violate our rights 

On the block out here ain't right 


From The Beat: Another really vivid piece. You u%e good, specific images 
to let us feel this world, and you've also got a nice flow. Any ideas about 
what could help this situation that you describe so well? I 


I I I 

What Makes Me Different 

What makes me different is that I'm me. I am a living 
comedy show. I make people laugh when I don't even try. 

I am an independent person. I've been by myself since 
I was a young teen. My family disowned me but I kept my 
head up and guess what, I'm still here. 

I've accomplished many things in my 17 years that 
many haven't. I got a son at a young age which makes me 
a different person. I'm from Berkeley, CA but I can go to 
a majority of places in world. Many don't let it be known 
where they from but I have no shame of the waterfront, 
that's what makes me different. 

-Lil Tone 

From The Beat: It's great that you have so much pride for what you 
have accomplished in life. Being on your own must have been hard for 
you, at least sometimes. You have had a unique path in life, and it will 
continue to be your own. Best of luck in figuring out where to go next, 
and we hope it doesn't include another trip to the hall. 



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

^mammmmmmF ^/// // 

^ />j. 

Safest Place 

X f 

When something goes on in my house I leave — I walk a 
mile or two just to get where I have to go. When I walk I 
get on my phone. Most of the time when I leave I am on 
some type of program WCE EM, or on probation. 

I leave because someone's annoys or bothers me, 
and sometimes I just leave the house cause I know I am 
about to fail my program. This is my 8th time, and if I fail 
probation again, I'm going to a group home, hopefully I 
complete my program. Judge said I go back to court soon, 
I just hope I get released. 


From The Beat: What is it about going on waiics that maices you feel 
safer? Where do you go on your waiics? We're curious to hear more about 
this. It sounds iilce a good ritual to cool off or get away from things 
that are bothering you. Woric hard to malce sure you don't fail probation 
again. Keep your hopes up, we Icnow you can do it. 

I I 

The Kick It Spit 


My favorite place to go is the hills up Hay ward Blvd. 
Up there it feels like I'm in heaven, peaceful, 
not a hater in sight. 
Rolling up a sweet, staying stress free, might have my lady 
right beside or not. Or I'll be with my homies listening to 
some oldies sipping on a 40. My safest place is my kick 
it spot. 


From The Beat: This piece really flows. You paint a really nice picture. 
We want to hear more about it. Why does it feel so safe? Maybe you can 
try shifting that safety and comfort into your everyday life. Continue 
looking for places that will give you the same feeling, away from the 

Safe Tilings I Do 

Whenever I want to feel safe I go to the beach or go 
fishing/crabbing or something. There's not a lot of people 
or places I can see to feel safe cause it's funk wherever. 

I try to keep it peaceful but the world's getting more 
dangerous by the day. People are getting whacked because 
of mistaken identity or wrong place and wrong time. 


From The Beat: Having a place where you feel safe and comfortable 
is important. Everyone needs sktt escape from day to day life, and 
remembering that you need that in this increasingly dangerous world 
is necessary. We're happy that you keep it peaceful, and do what makes 
you feel safe and comfortable. Keep looking 
continue visiting the ones that worlc. 

for new outlets, and 

I Just Seen A Face 

I saw one of my best friend's get shot in the face. So 
I know what happen next. One minute I looked, he was 
selling a rock, the next, half his face was on ground. I 
was shock when I saw that shhh it was just unexpected. I 
called 5-0 and told them we need a ambulance. I thought 
he was dead already, but I had faith he'll pull through. 

I don't know how but he will do it. He been through a 
lot of shhh and this ain't the worst, but I thought it was, 
but to him he'll think it's fun and games but it ain't. A 
month later he was all right. His face was messed up but 
he was cool. His baby mama still loved him and we went 
to do what we do best and that is get that money, smoke 
that dro and sip that bo. 

- Baby Joker 

From The Beat: Your friend had a very close call and is extremely lucky 
to be okay today. If he doesn't thinic it was a big deal, that^ very unwise. 
Selling drugs is incredibly dangerous business, and should not be taken 
lightly. Thinic about the choices he made that landed him there and you 
here. Is living this lifestyle worth risking your life? Things might not 
end up so nicely next time. Wise up! 

Wb) Cin't We 


What's up Beat!. This your boy Antonio. I don't get The 
Beat. They don't let us cuss. And when we don't cuss, 
it don't make no sense, 'cause when we cuss it sound 
better to us. 

Kids understand it more. How bad it is in here. It 
doesn't make any sense. So no disrespect but I don't like 
writing in the freaking Beat. This is my last writing in The 
Beat so I'm gone. 


From The Beat: We're not trying to censor you, we're trying to make your 
work accessible to a broader audience. It's the ideas, the points that you 
make that are important, and we don't want people to be distracted 
by profanity. We're sorry that we can't print your pieces in their rawest 
form, but it's something we have to sacrifice for more people to hear 
your voice, and that is what is most important. If we allow you to cuss 
and u%e profanity the Beat wouldn't be allowed back in to your facility 
or any facility at that. And we're not gonna risk being kicked out of 
these facilities just 'cause you want to cuss. Can't you express yourself 
without using bad words! It does make a lot of %en%e when you read it! 
You don't hear people cussing on the radio but you probably still listen 
to the music! 

Harriet lubna 


If I could have somebody come speak in juvenile hall it 
would be Harriet Tubman. The reason why is because I 
admire her for her courage. She was really determined to 
help the black people get out of slavery. 

-Dirty D 

From The Beat: Harriet Tlibman was no doubt a very influential person 
in history. She is a great person to admire, but we want to know more. 
How can you take her admiration for her and turn it into something 
that others can admire about you? 

The Safest Place 

vs I 

The safest place for me is my car with all the windows 
round up with purple smoke in the air while I'm getting 
brain in the front seat of my hummer. And my mind is 
relaxed with nothing on my mind this is the safest place 
until I pass out. 


From The Beat: What is comforting about this? Are there any other 
places where you feel this safe? Are there stny ways you can feel safe 
within the limits of the law? 

I'm Different! 


J L 

There a couple of things that make me different is I'm a 
goon of the streets but I don't like my family involved in 
what I do. 

Another difference is that a lot of people think that 
women deserve to be disrespected or that you're more of 
a goon to hit a female or disrespect her. The other thing 
is that I listen to R and B more than gangs ta rap. 

I just feel that if you're a G you shouldn't act a certain 
way or listen to certain music. I'm a goon that lives by my 
rules and not by stereotypical rules. A goon throws down 
but isn't stupid. He doesn't answer to nobody and doesn't 
let nobody disrespect you or what you're about. And my 
number 1 rule is no snitchin! A gangsta does a crime. 
He can serve his time. To every body out there be true to 


From The Beat: It is important to make your own decisions about what is 
right and wrong and not just follow the trends of those around you, and 
you seem to understand this. It^ great that you've made the decision to 
be different from those around you in ways such sk% respecting women 
more, or listening to your own type of music. However, sometimes you 
need to take another deep look at your own rules. What, to you, defines 
a goon? Why is that what you want to be? Keep reflecting on yourself 
in your next piece. 

agnnnnnE wmwmim 

^mammmmmmF ^/^/^/ 

The Safest Place For Nam 


The safest place is under my mom's rood. If Fm down 
and out, she got me. I'd be fed and clothed and away 
from any danger. A person would be bold to step to my 
mom's house. I could stay as long as I need to, to relax, 
cool down, and get my head together. And sometimes get 
advice from my moms on what she knows. 

-Mackin' Nam 

From The Beat: Sounds like a nice place to unwind and be safe. What 
would your mom say about a plan to stay outta the hall once you on 
release? Do you think she'd have the same ideas sk% you? What are your 

My Ideas, How I Dress, My Dreaois 


What makes me different is my ideas, the way I dress, 
and my dreams. 

My ideas are different because I'm not everyone else, 
you know? I'm me - my ideas are from my head, not 
anyone else's. 

Same with my dreams. . . my dreams are big but not too 
big to accomplish. Definitely the way I dress is different 
not like the typical person comin' out the East Bay. Well 
that's why I am different, if you don't get it ...don't worry 
not many people do. 


From The Beat: This piece is like a tease, because now people that read 
this will want to know specifics: Like what's skn idea you've had, a dream 
you have, even a fit you have, that you could write about, so Beat 
readers could get a %en%e of what you got? 

Ready To Get Dot 

What's up Beat? Man I'm ready to get up this thang. I 
been going through it lately. Doin' time isn't the problem 
it's just that I'm tired of bein' in here. I'm ready to get 
back to the outside world and do my thang. 

But I gotta go do this R.O.P for a couple a month and 
then I'll be back out there. This time when I get out I'm 
out ain't no more comin back. I gotta goal I'ma get out 
there and fulfill. But to my bra keep ya head up and stay 
solid. We'll be back in no time. 


From The Beat: You sound determined to get out and stay out. Good for 
you. You're skn intelligent person, and we want to see you succeed! Now 
what's your plan to stay out after R.O.P? Not having a plan is the easiest 
way to slide slowly back into the life, and the lock up. We'd like to hear 
the steps you'll take to make sure you reach your goals. 


I been in here for eight months now today (7-8-08). Since 
I been in here, I've had a lot of time to reflect on all my 
actions (bad ones), so when I get out I won't end up doing 
the same things I used to. For example smoking and 
drinking. I don't want to spend my money on things that 
aren't going to help me. I rather use my money for like 
food or something like that. 

Another thing is stop hanging out with stupid people. 
I'm goin' to change my life around. I have nine years to 
change it. I don't think like how I used to. I think real 
differently now. 

-Lil' Kev 

From The Beat: Eight months is a long time to be in the hall, and it 
sounds like you are using the time well. You've been thinking about 
what you want to change, writing well and sharing your (good!) ideas 
with u%. So here's a question: We find that new actions need to go in the 
place of the old in order for change to stick. How do you think you will 
focus your attention/actions in positive ways so you can succeed with 
the goals of what you don't want to do: not hanging out with the same 
old people, and not smoking & drinking. 


I I 


Can't Make You Change 


Girls try make you change 

They are the ones to blame 

Girls make you do what you do 

Like the dodo looking at your boo. 

Have your girl make a ninja so scared make 'em doodoo. 

If you love her you ain't gonna lie 

you gonna stay with her 'till you die 

The beauty inside is what you see. 

You are hoping she never cheats 

But me I do not have no feeling for no girl - 

Unless she has what I look for in this world 

That's what makes you change 

-Go Diego Go 

From The Beat: There's a movie iwhere a guy tells his girl "You make me 
want to be a better man." Some would say this is the truest definition 
of love - love that inspires you to do and be better? Have you ever come 


close to this? 

! I 

What Hirts Ihe Most 


What hurts the most is the fact that I loved you and I was 
dreamin' to think you loved me also. It took for me to be 
in this situation to realize you really didn't care for me at 
all. I'm not mad at you, I just think I should let you know 
you didn't have to lead me on the way you did if you didn't 
want to be with me. 

Let someone who wants to love me in a real way have 
me. You left me for another [woman] and went bankrupt. 
Don't trip, -I will always have love for you in my heart. I'm 
a real, solid, loyal woman and you just lost a good girl. 


From The Beat: Good for you for realizing your oiwn worth and realizing 
that this dude wasn't for real! Now that you are free of that relationship, 
you'll be available to meet guys who will love you for who you are and 
appreciate being with you. 

If They Were Alive 

If Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Malcolm X, and 
Robert Kennedy were alive today I think they all would be 
upset and pissed off because of all the stuff that's going 
on in this world, all these killings, etc.... 

Because back in their time they went through hell 
just to change what was wrong so we wouldn't go through 
what they went through, and the stuff we doing today it's 
like we saying we don't give a damn about what they did. 

-Thinking Out Loud 

From The Beat: Well said! We sure do agree with you. If someone came 
up to you and told you the situation you describe above, and this person 
was trying to imagine alternatives, things they could do to honor the 
work of these men, what would you suggest? What could you or your 
patnas or families do to respect the beliefs and hard work of MLK, Cesar 
Chavez, Malcom X and Robert Kennedy? 

RIP Lir Freddy 

»ur I 
sar I 


Well what's up Beat this be Young Capy from Oakland. 

Today I'm writing about my homie Lil Freddy that 
got killed in Oakland two months ago. I hella miss him, 
I miss kickin' it with him, riding in stolen cars, stealing 
weed and popping pills with him, he was a funny person 
always making everybody laugh and smile, he was always 
in the streets trying to make money. 

When he died that affected me a lot 'cause I got a lot 
of dead homies. Well I got to go. RIP Lil' Freddy 

-Lil' Capy 

From The Beat: We're so sorry that you had to lose another loved one. 
Does he leave kids behind, little cousins, little brothers and sisters? 
Have you talked to them? As for your lifestyle, does it make you think 
twice on how you are living? 


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

^mammmmmmF '^^^^i 

stand Up 

I'm through standi' up for ninjas. I don't see the point 
no more. In the end, you're not really helping them 'cause 
you not going to always be around to play captain save 

The only people I'm always going to stand up for 
regardless are my family, everyone else ain't my problem 
no more. "Every man for they self," man, hold yo' own. 

-Young Markie Bo 

From The Beat: Sounds like you sick of talcing care of everybody else. 
Did something happen to bring about this change? is there anything 
you'll miss about it? What are the pros and cons — for you — of standing 
up for others who need you? 


In My Ronm 

The safest place in my life is my room. In my room 
my house I think about everything that goes on in life 
I feel safe 'cause I'm in my house, and I feel like I got 
my privacy in my room, and I don't have to worry about 
drama coming in my room. I just feel safe and no one 
could touch me. Just laying in my bed relcixing, listening 
to music. It's just my spot to chill and let my mind free. 


From The Beat: Ahhh...This sounds like a really nice place to be. it is 
so interesting to us how being in a physically safe place like the one 
you describe also lets your mind be free. So we have a question for you: 
when you in the hall, even if this is not your ideal safe place, what ways 
can you let your mind be free. 

Dnino Good At Camp 

What's up Beat? I am happy because I got my over- 
nigh ters this week for my home pass. I've been doing 
good at camp, so that's why I'm going to go on my over- 
nigh ters this week. 

I'm going to have some fun with my family. My mom 
said we are going to go swimming at a lake, so I know I'm 
going to have a lot of fun with my family, so I hope I don't 
get no write up this week. I could go home this week from 
Saturday 8 am to Sunday 8 pm. 

-White Boy 

From The Beat: OIC, so did you make it home? Give u% the Lake Berryessa 

Wbit Makes Me litterent? 


I feel like everyone is different in their own way but me. 
I am different in so many ways, from the way I dress down 
to my attitude. I always like to stand out, so I always think 

My mother says that my indulgence in money is not 
normal. But to me, nothing in this world is free, so money 
should be everyone's top priority. Money makes me happy 
when I'm sad, money feeds me when I'm hungry, money 
warms me when I'm cold. You can't go wrong wealthy. 

I mean, the way I see it, you can't trust any living 
being, but I can always depend on my cash. So I'm always 
willing to get it fast and stay on my grind. I mean, if you 
can't feel me, fall back and stay broke. What I live for? 
Money, Money, Money. I love money and I'm sure I'm not 
the only one. 

-Lady Luxurie 

From The Beat: Our first thought in responding to your piece was to try 
to %«y the same old things about "what about love.. .or a beautiful sunny 
day? Those things don't cost money!" But you're right that money is a 
big part of life for all of u%. Maybe the challenge is to not be obsessed by 
money, to stay loyal to the people we care about, and to live stn honest 
life while trying to build financial security, is this balance possible? Do 
you worry about what staying on your grind might cost you in the long 
term? We would like to hear more of your thoughts on the subject! 




The place I like to go to when I feel like going to safety 
is my lil' cousin's house. I go there an' kick it with my 
cousins, watch movies an' just have fun. I don't have to 
worry about people that I got beef with and I don't gotta 
worry bout all my problems. When I go there I get relief 
from my mind and I feel relieved. 


From The Beat: Being in a home with loved ones is a great place to go 
when you need to get away. Being around people you can have fun with 
is important in escaping troubled thoughts and problems. But, while it 
can be really important to escape your problems, you can't always run 
away from them. You have to face them eventually, so it's good to also 
I have something you can do to help with that. 

If My Ninjas Were Alive 

If my ninjas was alive, things would be easy on me. I 
miss my ninjas because we did everything together, 
from smoking the same blunt to messing with the same 
rippers. The block would be rolling like it use to. We had 
fun together on the block because it was times you could 
come to the block and be broke and leave with some 

I dough in your pockets. 
-Lil' Nef 
From The Beat: Sounds like you used to have good times with your 
patnas and of course you miss them! Problem is that we're betting that 
some of the fun you were having (like filling up your empty pockets in 
ways that probably weren't legal) got you into the hall and your friends 
killed. We'd like to hear about having fun and making money in ways 
that won't get you or your homies in trouble. Tell u%\ 


I'm Different 


I'm different 'cause I move different ways in life. I have a 
great plan when I get out of jail. First thing, I'm going to 
get back in school and make a better way of getting new 
friends. Then I want to get a new house. Then try to help 
with other people's ways of living. I'm different from other 
people cause I'm outspoken. I dress different and like to 
speak my mind. Sometimes I feel that nobody can tell me 
nothing. Sometimes I make stuff and people buy it. 

My looks make me different from everyone else. 
I have a lot of talent and know where I'm going in life. 
Some people say that what I tell somebody doesn't make 
a difference. But it does, cause I seen it all. That's what 
really makes me different. So I always try to make myself 
different in life. 


From The Beat: Have you considered working at The Beat Within when 
you get out? There are a lot of people who work there who are trying 
to make a difference, and bright, outspoken, young people like you are 
the heart, soul, and voice of The Beat. You might enjoy it! if you're 
interested, talk to your PO or call The Beat office. 

This Dream 

In my kitchen, the sunflower threw light everywhere 

It threw light to the trees 

It threw light to the bushes, to my face 

Back to the sun with all my wishes 

Wishes that will come true when you wish upon a star 

either close or far 

Ride on, hope 

Like the never ending star, near or far 

Dream up, dream down, dream all around 

Dream about the moon, dream about the stars you see 

flowers, sunshine, stars, what you can be. 


From The Beat: We like the thought of a sunflower throwing light 
around, and beaming your wishes back to the sun. Your words mix 
images of nature and hopes very beautifully. 

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

^mammmmmmF ^/^/^/ 

My Aunt's House 

^' f 

The safest place for me is my Aunt's house. The reason 
I feel safe at my Aunt's house is because when I'm there 
I'm surrounded by people that love me and that makes 
me feel very safe. I seek out her house when I'm tired 
and stressed, and want to get away from the drama in the 
streets of San Francisco. When I go there I usually stay 
long enough to eat, take a shower, and sleep. 


From The Beat: You have a great support system in the people who love 
you at your Aunt's house. What steps do you think you'll take to make 
sure you get to spend more time with them and less time in the drama 
on the streets or in the hall? So tell us your plan. And then think of 
them, and how much you like to spend time with them, when you think 
you might stray. 

Wtat Mikes Me Differeit 


What makes me different is 'cause I don't go with the 


What makes me different is that I can make my own 


What makes me different is my look, style, and 


What makes me different is the choice to stay out of jail 

when I get out to take care of my family 

-Lil' Leprechaun 

From The Beat: It's true - If you do manage to get out and stay out, then 
you'll be different, you'll be the one who stands out because he makes 
it. When you look back at what got you caught up, what is the biggest 
part of your pre-camp life that you will have to give up? 

Mistakes Make You Learn 

ife. I 

You learn from your mistakes, I think that's a way of life. 
Sometimes you do have a choice in life, but sometimes 
when you're from the hood, you be with the wrong crowd 
or you grow up with them. 

I know personally, coming from Oakland, the kids 
these days are sick. I mean, some want to finish school, 
but some want to live that fast life. Bussin ninjas, calling 
girls names, doing a lot of drugs and making mistakes that 
they know they can learn from. It's ninja's getting fifteen, 
twenty-five-to-life. So if you don't stand for something, 
you fall for anything. 


From The Beat: We took out the last two short lines of your piece. You 
were dropping some solid advice for your peers, then you wrapped up by 
saying you go too stupid and a comment that made what you just wrote 
Why did you flip the script? Were you just playing? 

seem insincere. 

M]f Own Person 

Well, what makes me different is that I'm my own person 
and I'm very unique. I am very confident with myself and 
no matter what, I don't let bent-up folks get to me. What 
also makes me different is my style of dress: very punk 
rock-ish and I also dress very bright. I am not ashamed of 
my sexual orientation and I don't care what people think 
about me at all. 

I also am a good mother and friend. I always give my 
last to my family and friends and I also give good advice. 
When I set my mind to doing something, I finish it with 
no problem. I also have a good heart. 


From The Beat: We enjoyed reading your piece and getting to know 
you a bit better. It sounds like you believe in yourself and value your 
relationships with the people in your life. What^ something that people 
don't know about you that might surprise them? What qualities do you 
look for in a friend? 




Things I have in common with other people is that we all 

wear different clothes than everybody else and we wear 

different name brands like Baby Phat and some of us 

wear no brand name clothes. 

Me, I'm eighteen and wear Baby Phat and some Apple 

Bottom and some Rockawear and some Jordans and some 

Nikes and some bracelets that match with the outfit. 

From The Beat: There is so much pressure on young people to wear 
high-priced styles. How do you deal with this? Do you have skn^ advice 
for youngsters who might be lusting after some hot new style but who 
have to wait to get it because they're low on cash? 

Whispering Sweet Nntliings 

Come here baby, let me tell you I love you. I promise on 
my momma I won't put no one above you. I love you. Yeah, 
you seen me with the other girl, but baby, I love you. Let 
me tell you again that I want to wife you, you bring me 
hope. Let me share my dreams with you 'cause I really do 
want to be with you. I promise I won't sex another girl as 
long as I'm with you. 

I'm getting tired of you so I gotta move on. I no longer 
want you. I gotta move on. Them words that I spit was 
sweet nothings. 

-Big Daddy 

From The Beat: Sometimes words spoken to lovers do turn out to be 
"sweet nothings", even if they are sincere statements in the moment. 
We hope you let her down easy, though! Break-ups take finesse, right? 
Or, are you writing this from the perspective of a pimp? (Just wondering 
because of how you signed this week.) 

The Safest Place 

Well, the safest place for me is my mama's house 
because I know it's a lot of love and respect there. I stay 
there for hours, and I found safety there all the time. 
The second safe place for me is my inner voice because I 
could stay in it however long I want and I can't go wrong 
with getting peace in my mind 'cause no one knows what 

I I am thinking but me. 

I -Christine 

I From The Beat: Finding peace inside is the best peace we can count on 
I in tr 

in this life! 


if Tiiey Were Aiive.. 

If Cesar Chavez was still alive I think that he would 
help La Raza a lot. We have a lot of racial discrimination 
against Latinos today that needs to be fixed. There's a 
lot of deportation issues against us. Someone like Cesar 
Chavez would help. 

-La Guera 

From the Beat: Have you heard of stnyone in your community who is 
carrying on the legacy of Cesar Chavez and doing community organizing 
or standing up for civil rights? Are there ways that young people can 
get involved with these important \%%ue%'i 

It Tie) Were Hive 

i I 

If BV was alive and he came in seeing me in this place 
he would tell me when I got out he would beat my ass and 
I don't blame him for that because I would know that he 
care about me 

-Lil' Quis 

From the beat: We're sorry you lost BV. It^ nice that you know how he 
would react, how he wouldn't want to see you in the hall. We wonder, 
do you think his reaction would work? What will it take for you to heed 
your brother's looking out for you? 

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

^mammmmmmF ^/^/^/ 

The Safest Place Is With My Boyfriend \ [ 

For me, I feel the safest when Fm with my boyfriend. 
There's no special place, it's just wherever we are. 
Especially lately, it feels like he is the only one who really 
cares about what I do. He tries to help me stay on track, j 
but I obviously don't listen to what he says if I'm up in I 
here. But whenever I talk to him or see him, it makes me 
feel so much better and I guess content with everything 
because I know when I'm with him nothing will happen i 
to me. 

-Baby Girl 

From The Beat: Did it maice your boyfriend sad when you got iociced up? 
Did you feel iiice you let him down? What will you do differently this 
time when you get out? 


The place I call home... is it really home? Is it really 
home, I ask myself? When I am there, I feel alone, even 
when my family is there. There is a dark place that keeps 
a tight hold on me. As I walk through this place, I wonder 
what makes a home "home". Is it family? 

-Lady Tae 

From the Beat: Where is a place that you feel safe, where you can relax 
and be yourself? Sometimes this place is not at home, especially if there 
are people or situations in the house we live in that make u% feel un%skfe 
or unwelcome. 

M) Hiircit 


Today I'm getting my hair cut by the new barber of 
juvenile hall. I know some people say what's the point of 
getting your haircut when you're locked up. There are no 
females around to talk to. I do it to look half way decent 
when I go up and show myself to the judge. 

When you take care of yourself in here the judge J l 
looks at that as a positive thing. The judge does what his ' | 
name says "judge" so when you pronounce yourself in a 
positive well groomed way that gives him something good 
to judge upon. 


From The Beat: In this situation, you can sit around and believe that you 
don't have siny influence over the judge's decision, or you can do what 
you're doing and take control. We applaud that. The judge doesn't know 
you sk% a person, so your appearance is a means of showing them that 
you care about impressing the judge and you know this is important. 
You have the right idea, good job. 

FiiDus Dreiis 


Martin Luther King Jr. 

Had a dream 

Cesar Chavez 

Accomplish something 

Malcom X 

Used a type of violence 

Robert Kennedy 

Got blown away 

If they were alive 

It would be better then it is now 

In so many ways 

There wouldn't be a lot of dead 

People and youngsters 

Wouldn't be in jail. 


From The Beat: Yes, these people did a lot, but that doesn't mean that 
there aren't people alive with potential to do the same. Every single 
person has the ability to change things, including you. Use their 
influence to your advantage, and work to change something what you 
see is wrong. 


Loog Time No Beat 


What's up Beat! This be Young Capy. Well, I'm up here 
in weak ass camp. I haven't wrote in hella long because I 
was tired. Well I'm up here just waiting for the day I'll get 

I out so I can go back to Oakland and kick it. 
I've been in camp since August 7,2007 and it's July 
15,2008 and I'm still not out. But hopefully I'll be out next 
month if I be good. Well I ain't got nothing else to talk 

I about today 'cause it's hella hot. I 

-Lil' Capy I 

From The Beat: Welcome back to our pages. Do you feel sk% if all this time 
locked up si% gotten you institutionalized? Will it be strange adjusting 
to waking up when you want, going wherever you want? Are things ■ 
cool at home with your family? I 

5 "San I 

Don't Judge Me By The Color Of M]f Skin 

What's up my Dude, my goon. The Beat? This is 
Chilio" also known as "Chill Pill." 

Well today, I'm not tryin' to be disrespectful or racist 
but I'm Mexican American and my mom is Mexican and 
my dad is Mexican and Black. Well while I've been here 
Some black people been tryin' to punk me just' cause my 

I'm in here by myself and I don't need no one. But 
they be muggin' and when I say why you starin' at me? 
They say nothing. Well I'm out. 

- Chill Pill 

From The Beat: Your comments on race are in no way disrespectful, they 
are valid. Race tension of all kinds still exists, and it is a shame that 
you are put in this situation, whether it was because of the color of your 
skin or not. Why do you think race clashes are such a pervasive issue? 
However, what is disrespectful in this piece is the way you respond to 
these people. Instead of trying to intimidate them and being ready to 
start a fight over it, try to stay above it. Keep writing, we would love 
see you continue to think deeper about this issue. 

When I Get Released 


When I get released I will follow my probation rules and 
go to school and get good grades. I will not be with the 
people I hung around with before I came to jail. I will 
go and work for the beat and help my mom around the 

And I will not come back to jail. While I'm in here I 
been missing my mom and my girlfriends, plus my brother 
in here and everything is going bad and I want everything 
to be all right again. 

-Lil' J-Tuda 

From The Beat: You are very determined to make some good changes 
in your life. It is easier said than done, but we have faith that you can 
figure things out and get yourself in the place you want to be. Keep 
moving forward, keep the hope, and good luck! 

Growing Up 

Growing up in East Palo Alto, California. Where there's 
war everyday. If you're not from EPA. you gotta stay up 
if you walking through the street, because they gonna 
check you down and ask you, where you from. 

So you gotta be cool and not look for no problems. 
Because this a small town and we all roll together. 
Basically the problems that are in EPA are because 
people roll from other places hating. We all got contact 
up in E.P.A. so don't come and try to disrespect. EPA is 
organized with all of us in contact. I'm just trying to make 
ya'U think before you trying to do something stupid. 


From The Beat: That's great that you're proud of where you're from, 
but make sure that doesn't drive you. Instead, be driven by your own 
motives and your own pride. Make decisions with yourself in mind. 

agnnnnnE wmwmim 

^mammmmmmF ^^^/^^ 

Quick Thoughts 

X I 

Growing up in my hood there's a lot of unpositive stuff 
around... people getting beat up, stabbed and shot, dope 
fiends roaming around when there's little kids around, 
crooked cops harassing the homies tryin' to lock 
everybody up. But these walls can't break us. We keep it 


From The Beat: You %xy being locked up won't change you, but you see 
that this atmosphere is wrong. You should work to change, to make 
yourself stn example for others. You don't want those little kids seeing 
wfhat you've %een. 



Believe It 

Street shhh is all I know 

If I get busted that's all she wrote 

I don't give a fudge if I get smoked 

As long as my ninjas keep the block rolling with coke 

A gun a take a ninja life 

But got a save you more quicker then it took you to die. 

-Lil' Kt 

From The Beat: Do you really not care if you get smoked? Is this really 
how you want to live your life? You say this is all you know, but you 
still have time to learn new things. You still have time to change. What 
are your dreams? Where do you see yourself in the future? Locked up? 

The Safest Place Is Mum's House 

Well hey what's up Beat? This is your boy Marco coming 
from the unit. Well today, the topic I chose was the safest 
place to go to live. The best place to go is to my mom's house 
with my mom in it. 

She's the only one that could release me from all the evil 
coming into my body. Well gots to cut this short. Hope to 
write to you again but in my County over at Santa Clara. 

From The Beat: It's great having someone in your family that will always 
be there to support you. This one particular line, "She the only one that 
could release me from all the evil coming into my body" is beautiful and 
powerful. We see a lot of potential in your writing. Continue writing 
about that evil that you feel and how your mom relieves you from it. 

I I I I I 

I I I I 

What Makes Me Different 

What makes me different being not in here lookin' at 
this walls and not being with my girl. I miss her with all 
my heart I all I do is think of her. I think about if she still 
loves me or if she ever thinks of me. 

-Lil' Hyphy 

From The Beat: It's painful to be away from someone you care about so 
much. Tell u% more about your girl, what is it about her that draws you 
to her? What sort of a role has she played in your life? When you get out 
and get a chance to see her, make sure you don't end up coming right 
back so that you don't have to put yourself in this situation again. 

SMnnnniSE msMm 

The Safest Place When I'm Mad \ 

Man, you know how that go. I go to grams' house, talk 1 
it over with grams. Then she just tell me the real stuff I 
need to hear. Then I will be calmed down when grams talk 
to me. That's the safest place when I'm mad. 

-Yung Fat Daddy 

From The Beat: How did your grandmother gain the wisdom she has? 
We wish you had shared a few examples of her calming advice to you. 
You're lucky to have her. 

Wkat Makes loi Ditfereit 


My name is James. So whatever I do as James, that what's 
make me different. Sometimes I wanna play, sometimes I 
don't. Sometimes I'm serious, sometimes I'm not. 
Since I'm in here, I'm serious as hell 

-Lil' James 

-From The Beat: Maybe your Beat facilitator forgot to tell you that we 
want you to write about only one topic, not all three. When you write 
on three topics, all you can give u% is a sentence or two on stny of them. 
(That's why we didn't publish two of your topics.) When you say you're 
"serious sk% hell," what do you mean? What do you want to get out of 
being serious now? 

Safest Place 


What up. Beat? Me, same shhh. Still patiently waiting to 
leave this place. 

Ha! It ain't no safest place out chea, dawg. Ninjas 
getting hit in churches and at school. About mine, ninjas 
getting touched, dawg. 


From The Beat: We had to take out your last line sk% inappropriate for 
The Beat. It sounds like you're saying the safest place to be is right 

I I I I I 


The Ranch 

What's good with The Beat? This Chuck, holdin' it down 
at this Ranch. I can't wait to this time over with. The 
system be tryin' to play me. All they do is talk about time. 
The time really don't matter to me. I been down for well 
over fourteen months already. 

I only get mad, 'cause they say they gone do something 
to try to scare us ninjas. Bein' scared is not in my book. 
To all out there, this Ranch not the code. I'm out. Get mo' 


From The Beat: This question of what you can and can't accommodate is 
one everyone has to deal with our whole lives, so it's up to you to decide 
what% worth defying authority and when you can work with it to get 
what you want and need. 

When I Get Out 

Man, what it is. This is Hot Rod down at this Ranch. 
But I ain't complaining, I'm 'bout to hit them streets real 
soon. But ya' know when I get out, I'm 'bout to make 
shhh happen. I'ma be out there with my team, actin' real 
foolish. But I only got a couple of my real thugs left. 

My ninja just got hit with a case, so that's a big chunk 
missing out my squad. But when I touch down, I'm out 
there full throttle with this shhh, ya feel me? I'm tryna 
ball and make a mess, and suckas already know what 
time it is, but just know I am gonna touch down.itHIt 

-Hot Rod 

From The Beat: With respect, what's the point of acting "foolish," sk% you 
write? With your homie and his new case and you at the Ranch, your 
squad is getting decimated. If the system doesn't take you all down, the 
game ivill - unless you get up the heart to ivalk away. 


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

f/ief ^/ 

So Now You Don't Know Me! 

Ha! Ha! It's funny when no one is around us, you 

wanna be all on me! 

Ha! Ha! It's funny how you do stuff behind my back, 

while I'm clueless! 

Ha! Ha! It's funny when we was 'posed to ride or die, but 

you ridin' on some other female! 

Ha! Ha! So when yo' weak-ass see me on the outs, don't 

say nothing! 

You hurt me and now you can't take the path back! 

Ha! Ha! Well now, while you cryin', I'm laughin'! 

Ha! Ha! It's funny when the table turns, and you in my 


Well, now the game is over and I'm doin' me foreva! 


From The Beat: This is a sad story between young men and young 
women that we read about far too often. Girls are so willing to believe 
the lies of boys, thinking that they're dealing with men. Sorry about 

X f 

this. Better luck next time! 


Tick Spot 

Aw, man, what that Beat do? It's ya boy. Coop aka Squezzy, 
and when I gotta tuck away from the beef, I go 'cross that 
water. Where across that water? That's not yo' business, 
but I'm tucked. But, yeah, when it get too serious, I go to 
my grandmother' house and just sit and talk. 


From The Beat: We had to take out your last couple of lines... What do 
you and your grandmother talk about? Does she give you advice about 
your life? 

The Candy Store 

The place that I go when I need to get away from people 
is the candy house. The only time I get mad is when my 
family members die. I can be tired sometimes. I'm not 
even fifteen, and sometimes people underestimate me 
and push me to a point where I'm gonna get beat up. So, 
instead of beating somebody up, I go to the candy house 
and get some gummy worms. Then I buy some lucas 
(Mexican candy). 

Then I go back to my house and watch BET. My favorite 
TV show is "The Wire." I like to watch Chris Brown videos, 
because he be takin' off his shirt and stuff. I watched his 
concert when he and the dancers was wearin' black, and 
they was dancing hella freaky to "Take You Down." My 
auntie said I coulda gone, but I was in jail. 


From The Beat: We'd like to try some of those lucas candies... They 

sound delicious. 

What Makes Me Different 

Stuff is not how it is for everybody. It's not the same for 
everybody. Man, I been through a lot. It's a lot of murders 
goin' on out there, and ninjas can't bring that back. I'm 
saying that 'cause it's young ninjas out there who be 
trying to be something they ain't, and that gets you hurt. 
They don't understand that this shhh is serious and real 
out here. I just want to let you ninjas know stop playing 
in the streets. 


From The Beat: Well, they %«y that "Pretty is a Pretty does..." So, are 
you giving advice to others that you are not following yourself? The 
tragic truth is this: Whether you understand how serious the game is or 
not, sknyone can get hurt or killed. It's the game itself that brings death 
and destruction, and not how well you understand it. Some of the most 
notorious and famous "down" homies are no longer living in this world, 
even though they understood everything about the game. Don't think 
that you're immune. You're not. 


In My Section 

What's up, maine? What's good with The Beat? This is 
Hit down at the Ranch. This topic I'm talking about today 
is "My Section." I know a lot of y 'all heard of it — it get real 
spunky out there around my way. We hold it down, ya 
heard me? Snitchin' not allowed. It got so hectic one time, 
somebody got ran up on. When ninjas keep snitchin', 
these felons keep lurkin'. 

We do it all — we rob, we steal, we take. If you ain't with 
the squad, if you ain't with the movement, you bound to 
get it. 

Sometime it be so hectic police don't even slide 
through that thang, because they know we the jets with 
the choppas. It's merkin' season. 


From The Beat: What right do you have to steal from anyone, terrorize 
anyone, hurt people? Is that really what you are about deep down in 
your heart? We believe you have more to you, actually we know you do. 
I But pieces like this make u% worry about your future. 

My Grandma's Safe Hnuse 

The safest place to me would have to be my grandma's 
house, because she lives in Stockton. When I'm out there, 
I don't have to worry about people running up on me. All 
my thugs is out there with me, so it's not like I'm running 
and hiding, or anything. 

I'm just being smart 'cause even though I'm supposed 
to feel safe, anything can happen. At any time, I can get 
my life took or someone else's life, just like someone's 
son, brother, friend or cousin. That's the same way for 
the person I take of, or I can even end back up in here. 

-Lee Douga 

From The Beat: Why are "all your thugs" with you when you go to visit 
your grandmother? Do they stay with your grandmother, too, or do they 
have their own families out there? You're right to be careful, even when 
you're in a so-called safe place. 


I i I I I I I I I I I I FT 


The Truth 

I don't know what to write about. All I know is I'm back in 
the halls once again, bored as hell, just using this time to 
think. Thinking 'bout how they keep setting me up to fail. 
If I keep running from group homes, why keep sending 
me to them? I'm obviously not going to do them. They 
don't help everybody; they only work for some people, 
not me. 

But I'm tryin' to decide if I'm going to run or stay, and 
I think I know which one I'ma do. 

If they let me go home, though, on probation, I'ma do 
good, though! I will succeed and not fail. But the judge 
and PO aren't helping me. They are helping their pockets, 
and everybody else's pockets. If they wanna help, send 
me home on probation and get me an ankle monitor, even 
some therapy and some classes, for once. That's what I'm 
tryin' to do, finally go to school, which I did while on the 
run for two weeks. But I'm locked up, so no more school. 
So free me and help me! I'm out. Beat! 

-White Boy 

From The Beat: You ask (reasonably), "If I keep running from group 
homes, why keep sending me to them?" But that question can be 
reversed. Seen from "their" point of view, it^ equally reasonable to 
ask: "If we keep sending him there, why does he run?" We don't know 
whether you'll be sent to another group home or not, or whether you'll 
be able to handle it or not, but when you say, "I'm obviously not going 
to do them," it^ like a challenge, a dare, to "them" who have control 
over your life right now. Especially if what you say about the judge and 
PO is true, it's critical that you regain that control — even if it means 
having to do something you hate for a limited period of time. Until you 
bite that bullet (whatever it might be), you'll find yourself squirming 
under the thumb of strangers. To be honest, if we had the power to let 
you out to go back to school and keep moving forward, we would. But 
that power lies in your hands. 


mnnnME mmMimm.4 ^ ^ / s ^ ^ 

fjffff /s 

They still Alive 

If they were alive 

Man, the block'd be live 

They been gone now for 'bout five 

The stuff hurt so much and I still don't cry 

Never forgotten, they always inside 

Man, if they was alive... 

I see them in my dream so they still ALIVE 


From The Beat: It seems that almost nobody wanted to write about the 
real topic, ivhich vtsk% ivhat if Martin Luther King or Malcolm X ivere still 
alive. That must be too difficult a subject to think about, which is why 
so many wrote about their dead homies instead. We're sorry you've had 
to experience so much pain in your short life. 


Leoally Insane 


What I want to write about is becoming institutionalized. 
People who come back to jail and actually enjoy themselves 
are institutionalized. You may not enjoy being in jail, but 
you try to have fun while here. 

Hell no! I really hate this shhh, but it's hard to stay 
out when you doin' certain things and live a certain 
lifestyle even when you around the homies. When you 
keep doing the same things over and over and expect a 
different outcome, you are legally insane. 

-Young Dre Boe 

From The Beat: Every time you come back to this place or a place like 
it, you become more institutionalized, even if you hate every minute of 
being here. Each time, the routine becomes more familiar. Each time, 
it gets easier than the last time. We hate when this happens, and it 
doesn't matter to u% whether you "have fun" when you're here or not. It's 
being here that you should avoid, not whether you're happy or unhappy 
wfhile here. You "really hate" this, but you keep coming back, so you 
obviously don't hate it enough... 

I See Stuff Different 

What's up with The Beat? This Rocket, ya dig. But I 
feel I'm different from everybody 'cause you can put me 
anywhere and I'm go be the realist ninja in the room for 

Most people super base, but I see shhh different, for 
real. Like my mind set on making a mill, but not by doing 
nothing base... but something that's goin' get me there 
without getting caught. 


From The Beat: Well, we're not sure hoiv different this is from most of 
the young people who write for u%. Y'all want to make a lot of money, 
but nobody wants to get caught doing the things that lead here (or 
wforse). So, give u% a clue... what^ your legit, plan? 

Back Tn My Cnunty 

Wha'sup with The Beat? This that ninja T-mac. Man, 
I went to court yesterday and they tryna play me. They 
about to send me off to my county, so this gonna be my 
last time writing in this fake-ass newspaper. 

Man, I don't even wanna write shhh. I'm just gonna 
write about how ninjas always talking 'bout how ninjas 
getting shot and they ain't with the shhh. I'm tired of 
hearing that shhh 'cause if you ain't with it, then stay 
yo' square ass in the house. I can't speak for everybody' 
cities, but mines if you out past 8:00, then you got every 
right to get smacked. Man I'm outta here. 


From The Beat: The Beat is only what our Beat writers make it. So, if 
wfe're a "fake-ass newspaper," you're really saying that the writers are 
"fake-ass." We can't agree with you there. In fact, instead of worrying 
about skn^one else being fake or real, you'd better start concentrating 
on your own situation, because if you think they're "tryna play you" 
now, you're in for a rude aivakening if nothing changes in your life. 


I I 


If They Were Alive 


What's good with The Beat? Man, this Mac comin' 
straight out that good town. I'm Anna tell you if my big 
homie, "Dirty Mike," was alive, the 'hood wouldn't be the 
way it is now. Maybe even the city because it was a lot 
people that he had intimidated, including a policeman. If 
my ninja was alive, I'm talking about it's a lot of shhh that 
he could of prevented. 


From The Beat: There is no vtx^ of knowing just how much things might 
be different if your big homie — or anybody's lost loved ones — were 
still in the world. However, the topic we asked you to write about was 
what if people like Martin Luther King or Malcolm X were alive, how 
might things be different? 

Hard Times 


Anybody can end up locked up 

But it takes a real man to swallow his pride and toughen 

up If they were to come back and take a look at us 

They probably be surprised to see us cuss and fuss 

And talk about "We tough" 'cause we bust 

And lust 

And most of us locked up 'cause we hustle up 

Some Black people can't even see this thang 

If it was all up to me I could change some thangs 

But sometimes it hard for a black man to change 

'Cause the game is the same 

And always lame 

And never will change 

And I'm from the South where slaves were popular 

And they used to beat black people like Kunta where my 

papa was. 

You heard me 


From The Beat: When ive think of all that your father (and other Black 
men and women and children) had to suffer through groiwing up in 
the South, we wonder ivhat all his sacrifice and suffering means ivhen 
we see so many youth African-Americans turning other young African- 
Americans into "enemies" and objects to be hurt or killed. We think 
the pain of seeing what's going today among the young would be even 
harder for them than what they endured. There must be a better way to 
honor their sacrifice and the principles they stood for. 

My Girl's House 

I know that I can always go to my girl's house and just 
chill there. I usually go there a lot, 'cause I like to be with 
my girl and just kick it at her house. Her mom cooks 
hella good, like enchiladas, mole and flautas, so I try to 
stay long enough for me to get some of that good-ass 
home cooking, know what I mean? I also go there 'cause 
I know that I can't get arrested there, so I guess it's a 
really safe place there. 


From The Beat: Why would you risk losing such a ivarm, safe and 
comfortable house — two such supportive people sk% your girlfriend and 
her mother — by doing the things that let the system take you away? 
it% important to value the treasure you already have. 

No Safe Place 

I do not got a safest place. I am beefing with hella ninjas 
so I can't go to a place and think I am safe. I got to look 
over my back all the time. But I'm with the shhh, so that's 

But now I have a baby. I got to get out of the beef. I got 
to stop doin' what I am doing and get a job. 


From The Beat: Don't wait to follow your advice. Stop now, so that your 
baby ivill have a father. 

ziMi'UiMkd^ mmsmmm J! ^ /^ / ^ ^ ff 


Another Locked Birthday 

X f 

What's good with The Beat? This yo' boy V-Guttah 
chillin' till this hating-ass court tell me a lil' something, 
Ha ha ha. But 'til then, I may be here for a min'. So yeah, 
you gone see my piece in The Beat, fo' a min'. 

Anyways, I'ma just keep my head up and do my time 
'cause I know for sho', time don't do me. Man, I'ma have 
another birthday in this hellhole. That shhh ain't cool at 
all. But hey, look at it this way. I got more birthdays to go, 
so yeah, I can't wait 'til I get out 'cause I'ma be doing my 

All you ninjas that knows me know what I'm talking 
about. To all that's doin' time, keep y'all heads up. And 
remember, we do time, time don't do us! 


From The Beat: If you just keep "doing your thang," then you can expect 
the system to keep doing its "thang" too. In other words, without 
change from you, don't expect any change from them. We hope you get 
tired of this life before they get tired of having to deal with cops, DAs, 
POs and judges before they get tired of dealing with you... 

If They Were Alive 

If my ninjas that passed were alive, shhh would be 
different for real. I would do my best to tell them ninjas to 
chill out. I would let them know where they went wrong 
and try my best to get them out of the game, because 
obviously, the game didn't want them to be in it. 

Man, I wish my ninjas that passed was still here. A 
ninja wouldn't be feeling this pain. It's like I can't stop 
until I get the ninja that killed my ninja Mitch. If he and a 
few of the homies was still alive, I think I wouldn't be as 
crazy with the toast. But shhh, they ain't here and they 
ain't coming back, so that mean I'm go continue to be 
crazy with that toast and fo' y'all ninjas that be leaving 
comments, don't leave one because y'all talk too much 
shhh. I think it that ninja Mike — the ninja that look like 
Albert Einstein — that be talking that shhh. 


From The Beat: We can't honor your request not to leave comments 
because then it wouldn't be The Beat. (You'll have to start your own 
magazine ivith your own rules...) Whoever is leaving this comment has 
one thing to say: Your advice to your fallen homies is excellent, and we 
only wish you had been able to give it before they paid the ultimate 
price. But now you should apply that excellent advice to yourself. If you 
"can't stop" until you get your revenge, then what good is skny of the 
advice you have or had? Read what you would have told them again, 
and then think about yourself and your future! 

What Make Me Different 

It's a lot of things that make me different from most 
ninjas. For one, we think too different. We ain't from the 
same 'hood. It could be most ninja think before they do. I 
don't. That's what make me different. 

-T. B 

From The Beat: Well, if these things make you different, iwhat makes 
you the same? 

\ \ 

\ I 


Keep Yo' Head Up \ 

What's good with The Beat? This yo' boy, young Mo'. All 
I wanna say is keep yo' head up and do yo' time, don't 
let the time do you. Don't let these staff put shhh in yo' 
head. All my real ninjas know what's good. 

Knock yo' time out. But hell. It's up to you. I'm just 
saying this really go to all my loved ones in here, keep 
y'all heads up. Done-Done it all. One love. 


From The Beat: It's always good advice for sinyone in this stressful place 
to try to keep his or her head up. Everybody is somebody's "loved one. 

I I 

J L 

Becoming Responsihie 


The game is old. I'm cool off all that BS. Now I got a 
daughter, so you know I got to be smooth. I'm gone give 
her the life I never had. I know if I stay doin' what I do, 
then it's gone be a wrap fo' me. So I gotta do it cool, and 
take care of my responsibilities. 


From the Beat: Being responsible for a new life is the most important 
job there is. You've got to think past your desires because if you don't 
make the changes you know you must make, it's not just a wrap for you, 
it^ also a wrap for your daughter. 

"^ I 


What Makes Me Different 

What makes me different? Huh.... nothing makes me 
different from anybody else, just myself — the way I think 
and my actions that have taken me all the way to where 
I stay today. 

Trapped again in this jail! Nowhere to go; no one to 
talk to. Myself and I is all it is. To hell with this! I'm tired 
of living life this way, away from what I love, my baby girl. 
But what can I do? I'm not a bad person, but yeah, I make 
wrong decisions that got me here stressing. 

I got more then two more years to go. What can I do? I 
guess nothing, just my time, and stay strong to the end of 
time. Just like this love for her that today keeps me alive 
today and forever. I will love you with all my heart till the 
end of time. My love for you will survive. 


From The Beat: Of course you're tired of losing your freedom to a cold 
system that can't care about you (or your relationships) like you care 
for them. Are you tired enough to make this your last trip to lock-up? 
We hope so. 

If The Homie "Family" Was Alive^ \ 

If my big cousins and homies were alive, they would put 
me on, make sure I'm taken care of... and they would try 
to prevent me from coming back here, make sure I got 
money in my pocket so I would go to school and not have 
to worry about money. 

It would make a different outcome in life for the better 
'cause I wouldn't have as many grudges. One of my big 
homies always try to tell me if there's anything I need, 

I come holla at him as long as I stay in school. 
-Not Signed 
From The Beat: Too bad you didn't put your name on this. Since your 
fallen homies are not here to protect you from coming back, what are 
you doing to protect yourself? Your big homie was right to tell you to 
stay in school! (And by the say, the topic was not about YOUR homies, 
but about great national leaders, like Martin Luther King, Jr...) 

The Safest Place 


The safe place I can be to get away from things is my 
girl's house. She stay across the way in a cuttie-ass place 
where nobody knows where it's at except my bloodline 
ninjas, and her family. Not even my family knows where 
her house is. 

That's how I get away from things. I stay at her house 
for as long as I want. Where else would I want to be when 
I am mad or trying to get away from drama and shhh? She 
feeds me, and all the shhh. What else would I want. That's 
what I want when I am mad is to be with the girl I want 
and love. That's where I go to escape. 

-Combo D-Rog 

From The Beat: You're lucky to have this sanctuary. But she'd be luckier 
if you weren't doing the kind of things that you need to find a place to 
escape from. If she "feeds you and all the shhh," then it sounds like the 
smartest thing to do is to stop risking all that and settle down! 


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

//// // 




Hey, Beat! This ya girl, Davinntera, aka Banana. I'm still 
here, going crazy. Man. the DA is playin'. She need to let 
me go home. 

But, yeah, back to me. Man, I went to court July 8, 
'08, and it was this man from the city. He was like, "Ms. 
Banana, I want you to play on my team." I was like, " 
Okay." And so, if I make it to the WMBA, I'm going to 
come back for my goons. That's all I can think of, 'cause 
I'm hella mad. 


From The Beat: We hope you do get to play basketball, ^sknskttsk, but even 
the greatest athletes must graduate from high school and maintain a 
decent grade point in college. Nobody gets to where they want to go 
without effort and sacrifice. Are you ready for that? 

What About IHe? 

You don't know my struggle, so you can't feel my hustle 
'cause you don't know what I done been. On a paper chase 
as a young ninja trying to make a move, and trust me make 
it yo' best move. Going at a quick pace, not listening to 
what anybody say. Don't even have a conscience! Don't 
care what anybody thinks. 

Man, what 'bout me? That how I'm feeling, looking at 
my mama ceiling wishin' that we had a million. Man, what 
'bout me? That's how I'm feeling when I'm with my ninja 
chillin', wishing that we had a million. 

I bet you cant walk in my shoes unless you done been 
through what I done been through. You don't know my 
struggle, so you can't feel my hustle. You don't know 
what I done been through! 

-Ran Tweez 

From The Beat: We have to agree that we don't know what you've been 
through, which would make it hard for u% to walk in your shoes. But the 
reverse is equally true: you don't know what skny one of u% (or skn^one 
outside your circle) has been through, so you can't walk in our shoes, 
either. The point is, whether it's you or u% doing the walking, unless 
lAfe learn to walk in a way that doesn't risk everything we have — our 
safety, our freedom, our very lives — it really doesn't matter what we 
MIGHT have accomplished. Ya dig? 

Still standing tall, already I miss y'all 

The things we do, y'all can't lie 

Y'all miss me, too 

I'm coming back to you 

It ain't go' change; it's go' stay the same 

Life is so summery, surprises and memories 

It seem like it was only yesterday when you was kissing 


Or remember the other night we got into a fight 

I walked away, came back and held you tight 

In my mind, knowing everything go' be a'right 

The next day, in cuffs, took a fiight 

Damn, I really miss holdin' you at night 

And, Auntie, I miss you, I really do 

Remember bein' high at night, me and you talking ' bout 

How's the sky new? I thought it was a lie, but know it's 


I miss you 

Only two or three weeks, check it out, just peep 

I know it, caprice in the streets 

When I come screaming the return 


From The Beat: It^ fine to think back on fond memories, but we hope 
you're also looking forward, and planning the steps you need to taice 
wfhen you walk out of here that will keep you moving farther and 
farther away from this place. What's your plan? J 


ill 1 



Love Is Pain 


For me, love ain't perfect. There's always ups and down 
and there's always someone snitching or ratting and 
talking shhh to your female. It just makes you feel like 
goin' off on that sucka. 

Forme, love is pain 'cause me and my lady went through 
so much shhh. But mostly I was the one messing up. She 
always stayed true, faithful, always by my side, and never 
let me down. But me, I was always drinking, smoking, 
kicking it with my homies all night till sunrise. 

I was with many other females, and after all that she 
still stayed by my side, I love her with all my life that now 
we having a baby, because we been together for so long 
that we finally made the decision to be a family. But we 
still have our arguments. 

So now when I get out. Love, ain't gonna be no more 
pain 'cause I'm the medicine for that heart to heal. So I'm 
gonna stay true till we R.I.P. 


From The Beat: We wish you had waited a little longer before bringing 
another baby into the world. Love is great, but it's not nearly enough. 
There also has to be preparation, patience, perseverance and sacrifice. 
Those are qualities that help distinguish maturity from childhood. The 
test of a lasting relationship is not "no more pain" (which comes with 
life), but how well we cope with that pain. Before you heal her heart, I 
"heal thyself." I 

Ibe Real Me 


What'sup with The Beat? Me, nothing, just waiting to go 
to court so they can let me know where I am going. But I 
like to talk about the real me. 

I'm really not a bad person. I could be a person you 
can talk to about to about yo' problems, but at the same 
time, most people look at me and say I won't never be 

But I know the real me, 'cause I now I ain't go be like 
this forever. Something gonna change for everybody. But 
the real me is being a young man, and doing what I have 
to do to live my life. 

But yeah, that's just a lil' bit about me. I'm out. 


From The Beat: Yes, things change in everyone's life, so why wait to 
make the changes you know must come? The danger of waiting too long 
is that something might happen, even if you are not responsible for it 
that could permanently affect the rest of your life. Now's the time. 

Where rm Safe 

I really don't feel safe at a lot of places. Because when 
you're kickin' it with homies or just with your lady, you 
never know what could happen. But the one place I do 
feel safe is at my dad's house. I feel safe there because 
he lives in Los Bafios. And it's just a little city. Although 
something could happen, it's less likely to happen because 
I don't know anyone out there and I don't want to. 

That's where I feel safe. If I get to know people it 
could be just like here. Always having to watch out for an 
enemy. I don't know why, but for some reason when I try 
to stay there, I always end up coming back to San Jose. I 
guess it's where I was raised and that's all I know is to live 
how I do here. I can't do that at dad's house. Or maybe it's 
because me and my dad don't get along that good. 

Well, that's my peace for today. 


From The Beat: You have to balance the life that you say is "all you 
know;" with all the risks it brings with it, against a lonelier but safer 
existence with your dad. Could there be other choices besides these two 
that you haven't considered? Is it possible to stay here without doing 
the that that you know so well — and which you also know lead to 
unwanted consequences? If neither choice A nor Choice B are really in 
your best interest, can you imagine a Choice C? 

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

//// // 

The Safest Place 

^\i f Big Brother Is My Safest Place \ 

When I want to get away, I go to my house where it's 
peaceful and private. I go to my house when I don't feel 
like messin' around and want to stay to myself. I don't 
want to stay there for long because I'm used to being in 
the house, so it's sort of hard. 

What makes me different is my potential not to give 
up after several tries, and strong will power 


From The Beat: We're a little confused by this. You wrote that you're 
"used to being in the house" so it's hard for you to stay there. Did you 
mean that your NOT used to being in the house? Or, are we missing 

That Safe Place 

Man, for every real ninja, they have to have a safe place 
especially if they with that beef shhh. Well for me, that 
safe place is at mom's house because when I walk in, all 
the buUshhh was left outside. That's my safe place. 


From The Beat: You're lucky to have your mom to give you that safety. 
We imagine that she worries every minute you're not in her sight. 

Why We Sell Drugs 

Why do we sell drugs? Is it because we sell drugs to 
kids, adults, and old folks and destroy lives to feed our 
kids and pay bills and support ourself as a human beings 
because nobody else is going to do it for us? It's the way 
of life. So who cares? I don't for the simple fact I'm not 
going to sit around waiting for a miracle to happen or for 
somebody to help me. 

So why are we called drug dealers because we choose 
to pay our bills and put clothes on ourself and feed our 
seeds. At the same time we help destroy lives, but in 
reality they're really helping us to make ends meet. So if 
the cops and PO and DA and the judge wants to call me 
a drug dealer for surviving the only way I know because 
I can't get a full-time job because I go to school and after 
I choose to sell drugs because a part-time job won't be 
enough, then let them call me what they want. But to me, 
I'm just a young man being responsible and taking care 
of business. So that's why I sell drugs. 


From The Beat: We see two big problems with your explanation. The first 
is this: Would you feel the same way if it was your "seed" that someone 
was selling drugs to? If your family was the one being destroyed instead 
of being helped, would that change your outlook? The second problem 
is this: If selling drugs is the only way you can put food on your family^ 
table, then when you pay the price of being taken from your family 
and put in a place like this, is your family starving to death? Are they 
waiting for you to come home before they eat again? 

rm Outtro 


What's up with The Beat? This that ninja Mike writing 
for the last time. That's right, I said "the last time." I'm 
out this hole in two days. They finally about to let me go, 
so all you haters can continue hating while I'm out there 
with yo' girl! 

I'm 'bout to smoke fat 'dro and be all about my paper. 
Ninja, I ain't got a money printer, so for this paper chase 
I'm out running sprinters. 

To all the thugs in here, do y'all time on some smooth 
shhh so y'all can hurry up and get out so we can party 
hard. That's all I got to say, man. 


From The Beat: Remember when you're on that paper chase/ That slow 
and steady is ivhat ivins the race 

Wha'sup with The Beat? Well, I'ma talk about my brother! 
I know I've had it hard in the past, but you don't know 
what my brother has been through. I want the best for my 
brother! I know he knows that if he wants me to stand 
with him, I will to the fullest. 

The topics today was, "The Safest Place!" Well, to be 
honest, when I'm with my brother, I feel safe! I know the 
safest place for my brother is in this G-thang! 

The other topic is, "What makes me different?" Well, 
what makes me different is the fact that I will ride or die 
for my brother, unlike all these other females. For him I'll 
ride to the fullest! My brother deserves the best, and his 
lil' sister, me, is goin' ride foreva! I love my brother and 
that's not gonna stop. 

Big Bruh, you know I love you! Please don't leave me 
alone! When my brother get out, I'ma keep him on lock. I 
want the best for him! Big Bruh, be safe. 


From The Beat: Well, we hope you and your big brother are safe. But 
the fact that you are both locked up tells us that you both have some 
groiAfing up to do. How long do you think "forever" ivill be for you 
if you both are in the "ride or die" mentality? Even though you %x^ 
your down to protect your brother, we don't see much evidence of that. 
Words do not substitute for action. Saying you're going to be there for 
him doesn't put you there. We hope you and he can stop thinking like 
children playing a game, before the game runs out... 

\ I 



The Safest Place 

m 1 

We're all supposed to have a safe place to get away from 
negativity. But when you get involved with gangs or drug 
sales, you have to make it to the very top and try not to 
fall! But when involved, there is no sanctuary.. Ha ha! No 
matter where you go, it's hard to find peace. 

If you deny what you believe in, then you are no longer 
good. But if you're normal and do your thing, then there 
could be plenty of places. Like me, for example. If I didn't 
bang... shhh! There'll be pretty much anywhere. I would 
go to city college and try to find some homie with ins on a 
blunt, get lit, and space out for as long as the high wants 
to stay in you. Or, you can just slump out in your room 
and draw, call my girl over. That's what I'd do. 

But I have to constantly be looking over my shoulder 
for wannabes or enemies, feel me? But it's how we were 
raised, where homeboys can't play. There's plenty of safe 
places, but if you're a homeboy and banging. Life's hard... 
"So rough, so tough, out here"! 


From The Beat: The mystery to u% — after reading the difference between 
the laid back life you could be leading if you weren't banging, and the 
stressful life you lead because you're banging (not just looking over 
your shoulder, but spending significant portions of your life locked up 
and following some strangers' orders) — is why not try something else? 
Even if this is what you were taught, so what? Lots of u% are taught lots 
of things, but as we mature, we start making our own choices for what 
we want for ourselves. That^ called thinking for yourself! 

Making The Best Out Of It 

What up Beat? H-Man here. Well, it's bean six months 
and nothing much has changed besides time. It's goin' 
by pretty fast. But when I think about it, I know a lot has 
changed in the outs. I trip because I'm missing out on all 

I just want to get sentenced and do whatever time and 
get out. While I'm in here, I'm just going to get the best 
out of it. 


From The Beat: How are you getting "the best out of it?" How are you 
using your time? What are your plans for when you do get out of here? 


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

//// // 

Ml Week 

X f 

Hey The Beat, well I'm not feeling the topics today, so 
Fm going to write about my week! 

My week is not going well so far, I have not been 
getting much sleep so I have been really irritable. Every 
little thing gets on my nerves. 

But 7-09-08 at 9:30 I got a letter from my boyfriend. 
He is the only thing that really keeps me looking towards 
the future as well as my family, but he is the only one that 
gives me butterflies, and that made my life feel a lot better 
so I'm not as mad/cranky or irritable anymore. 

Oh, I'm going to the Ranch maybe next week, so wish 
me good luck and pray for me. Love you all and I will try 
to keep in touch! 


From The Beat: It's great that you have someone motivating you to get 
out and do well. Keep moving on that trade, and maice sure you don't 
do anything to come bade, and separate yourself from him again. That 
being said, remember that you should be motivated by yourself too, and 
not just by him. Good luck at the Ranch! 


tis I 

Making The Best Out Of It 

What up Beat? H-Man here. Well, it's bean six months 
and nothing much has changed besides time. It's goin 
by pretty fast. But when I think about it, I know a lot has 
changed in the outs. I trip because I'm missing out on all 

I just want to get sentenced and do whatever time and 
get out. While I'm in here, I'm just going to get the best 
out of it. 


From The Beat: How are you getting "the best out of it?" How are you 
using your time? What are your plans for when you do get out of here? 


I What makes me different is that I have powers. I have 
I the same powers as Ryu from "Street Fighter." When I 

was four, I fell in some atomic acid and I woke up in the 

hospital with super powers. 


From The Beat: What kind of powers do you have? How do you u%e 
I them? Do you ever use your powers to help people? 


Where Tin Safe 


I really don't feel safe at a lot of places. Because when 
you're kickin' it with homies or just with your lady, you 
never know what could happen. But the one place I do 
feel safe is at my dad's house. I feel safe there because 
he lives in Los Bafios. And it's just a little city. Although 
something could happen, it's less likely to happen because 
I don't know anyone out there and I don't want to. 

That's where I feel safe. If I get to know people it 
could be just like here. Always having to watch out for an 
enemy. I don't know why, but for some reason when I try 
to stay there, I always end up coming back to San Jose. I 
guess it's where I was raised and that's all I know is to live 
how I do here. I can't do that at dad's house. Or maybe it's 
because me and my dad don't get along that good. 

Well, that's my peace for today. 


From The Beat: You have to balance the life that you %xy is "all you 
know;" lAfith all the risks it brings with it, against a lonelier but safer 
existence with your dad. Could there be other choices besides these two 
that you haven't considered? Is it possible to stay here without doing 
the that that you know so well — and which you also know lead to 
unwanted consequences? If neither choice A nor Choice B are really in 
your best interest, can you imagine a Choice C? 

I'm Mai At Tie Worll! 


Ughh I'm hella mad cause I didn't get out. I'm mad 'cause 
people here annoy me! I'm mad 'cause this place sucks. 
I'm mad 'cause the system annoy me. I'm just mad at the 


From The Beat: Obviously, being in juvenile hall is not skn ideal situation, 
but is there any way you can ignore these annoyances and u%e this 
time to reflect and write. Say more about each annoyance, and keep 

I I 


My Oaby, Maybe Lost 


Sad and confused I sit here in pain. 

Wondering where he is, where he may be at, 

or even if I'm in his mind. 

Regardless of what he may be thinking, 

I know I'm true to him. 

The mistakes full of regret, never again 

Will I hurt him. 

The sadness in his eyes, I see the love he 

Has for me, sad that especially now I see more than ever! 

But regardless I be always and forever 

My baby's lady. 


From The Beat: You've been thinking a lot, about how your actions have 
affected your loved ones. The guilt that you feel is clear, and expressing 
it through iwriting is good. Why did you do what you did? Did you knoiv 
that you were going to hurt him this way? Make sure he knows that you 
care about him and that you don't want to hurt him that way again. 

I r 

The live I laie! 

Damn, if I were to write about a true girl it would be BB 
aka Bear. Man, me and that girl have done the craziest 
shhh. And being in here makes me think of her so much. 
I can't explain how much I miss her on paper, but damn, I 
just can't stop. That girl's been there through thick-and- 
thin with me and she's been there for me my whole life 
and hasn't given up on me. I love you. 


From The Beat: Tell u% more about the times she has been there for you. 
How does it feel to have such a strong support system? Make sure that 
you return the support she has given you. Tell u% more about her. What 
do you miss the most about her? 

The Love For My Oaiiymama 

Hey Beat what's up? I just want to say some things 
about the love that I will always have for my baby's mama. 
I am just here locked up, thinking bout my baby mama, 
wondering about what she is doing right now at home. I 
hope that she is staying out of trouble and not cheating 
on me with anyone else while she is out there and I am 

I am willing to receive her love only, and only her 
love, if she is willing to take only my love. She is the one 
that I want to make my wife. I want her to know that I 
miss the times that we spent together when I was out. I 
miss her voice and touch next to mine every day. I can't 
wait to get out and move in with her and our kids, and 
what I mean is her daughter and my son. Her daughter is 
mine and my son is hers. I love her so much to make her 
my wife forever. 

-Longing For Love 

From The Beat: Before moving in with your babymama and her child, 
make sure that you two have the means to support each other, and your 
children. Use your desire to be with her and your family to motivate you 
to stay good and stay out. It will be difficult to support a family, but we 
knoiAf that if you ivork hard you ivill be able to achieve it. Good luck. 


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

//// // 

To My Brother 

X f 

Missing you bro', you been gone for too long, got caught 
in the system and they don't want to let you go. It's been 
almost a year since you've been away from home. I miss 
you and love you. 

I just want you to do good. Please, I believe in you, 
I know you can do it, I know you can change. I know I 
haven't been the greatest role model, look where I am, 
but I promise things are gonna change. Mama wants both 
her baby girl and boy home. Soon we'll all be together 
again, start off fresh. I love you so much little bro, you 
don't even know. I miss you, you're so close yet so far. 
We're in the same building but I still can't see you. You 
mean so much to me, I'm proud of you for the changes 
you made. I love you, your name is tatted on me for life. I 
love you bro, keep your head up, chin up like a soldier. Be 
good bro, I love you more than anything. Stay up, I'll keep 
you in my prayers. Love, your sister. 


From The Beat: It^ clear that you've been doing a lot of thinking. Not 
only are you recognizing your mistakes, but you're thinking about the 
future. The faith that you have in your brother, and in yourself, will 
help you to both change, and start fresh like you said. Maintain this 
mindset after you get out, and continue trying to help your brother. We 
know you can change, and help others change too. 

Dofl't Care 

What makes me different is that I keep it solid about 
whatever I do. I don't need to buUshhh about things, like 
oh I'm going to change, but they go out an do the same 

See, I'm jus' saying if you say you are a gangsta stop 
being a sucka and be real about things like that. 

Most likely everyone, I'll be back up in here next year. 
But I be done with high school and shhh most likely no 
probation but hey fudge it. 


LFrom The Beat: You have a very strong will. We here at The Beat believe 
that the day you choose to change you will be different and of the few 
that really don't come back, it's up to you if being different is going to 
be a positive or negative in your life. 

The Safest Place 

We're all supposed to have a safe place to get away from 
negativity. But when you get involved with gangs or drug 
sales, you have to make it to the very top and try not to 
fall! But when involved, there is no sanctuary.. Ha ha! No 
matter where you go, it's hard to find peace. 

If you deny what you believe in, then you are no longer 
good. But if you're normal and do your thing, then there 
could be plenty of places. Like me, for example. If I didn't 
bang... shhh! There'll be pretty much anywhere. I would 
go to city college and try to find some homie with ins on a 
blunt, get lit, and space out for as long as the high wants 
to stay in you. Or, you can just slump out in your room 
and draw, call my girl over. That's what I'd do. 

But I have to constantly be looking over my shoulder 
for wannabes or enemies, feel me? But it's how we were 
raised, where homeboys can't play. There's plenty of safe 
places, but if you're a homeboy and banging. Life's hard... 
"So rough, so tough, out here"! 


From The Beat: The mystery to us — after reading the difference between 
the laid back life you could be leading if you weren't banging, and the 
stressful life you lead because you're banging (not just looking over 
your shoulder, but spending significant portions of your life locked up 
and following some strangers' orders) — is why not try something else? 
Even if this is what you were taught, so what? Lots of u% are taught lots 
of things, but si% we mature, we start making our own choices for what 
we want for ourselves. That's called thinking for yourself! 

! I 

X r 

i I 


One And Only 


Q-onda Beat and Beat readers. I hope all is well and 
everything is going well for you despite your current 
situation. Pues as for me, I'm coo', just keeping my 
head level, shoulders square and maintaining a solid 
composure. Well, my PO's trying to send me to out of state 
placement for two years but we'll see what happens. 

Pues, what makes me different is my personality. I got 
a unique, laid back personality. You'll never find another 
homegirl like me! I can guarantee that, too. 

Pues, that's it until next time Beat. To all, stay up, 
maintain solid composure, and remain sucka FREE! 
Much love and respect. 


From The Beat: We want to know more about what makes you unique. 
What is different about your personality? What special qualities do you 
have and how can you utilize them? it's great that you have so much 
self-confidence. Use that to your advantage. 



Well, I'm pretty mad right now. I'm feeling a lot of heat 
and ain't feeling the topics, but all that's on my mind is 
revenge. I've been pushed around and taking a lot of bull. 
I'm tired of playing lil' good boy, I've been through a lot, 
all you don't even know. I'll put you on the game. 

I've tried to do good and read the bible but what I 
found out today is that I'm a hypocrite. I lie, especially to 
myself, but once I get out it's gonna be world war three 
on different turfs, and I'mma clear my name. I don't care 
what happens from then on, but you know who you are. 
I'm out one time cause. 

- Baby-Looney 

From The Beat: Everybody has been in your position when they try do 
to things right, but then they end up doing something wrong. That 
doesn't mean that you're a hypocrite. You made some mistakes and part 
of growing up is learning from them. Everybody makes them, you just 
have to be mature about it and correct them. Forget about everybody 
else. Don't go out looking for trouble. The best thing you can do to keep 
the haters mad is handle your business and stay outta trouble. Your 
freedom is too precious to be wasting it on a bunch of people that you 
don't even know. 

1 II II I i 

Why We Sell Oruos 

Why do we sell drugs? Is it because we sell drugs to 
kids, adults, and old folks and destroy lives to feed our 
kids and pay bills and support ourself as a human beings 
because nobody else is going to do it for us? It's the way 
of life. So who cares? I don't for the simple fact I'm not 
going to sit around waiting for a miracle to happen or for 
somebody to help me. 

So why are we called drug dealers because we choose 
to pay our bills and put clothes on ourself and feed our 
seeds. At the same time we help destroy lives, but in 
reality they're really helping us to make ends meet. So if 
the cops and PO and DA and the judge wants to call me 
a drug dealer for surviving the only way I know because 
I can't get a full-time job because I go to school and after 
I choose to sell drugs because a part-time job won't be 
enough, then let them call me what they want. But to me, 
I'm just a young man being responsible and taking care 
of business. So that's why I sell drugs. 


From The Beat: We see two big problems with your explanation. The first 
is this: Would you feel the same way if it was your "seed" that someone 
was selling drugs to? If your family was the one being destroyed instead 
of being helped, would that change your outlook? The second problem 
is this: If selling drugs is the only way you can put food on your family's 
table, then when you pay the price of being taken from your family 
and put in a place like this, is your family starving to death? Are they 
waiting for you to come home before they eat again? 



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

//// // 

My Future 

Today Fm gonna talk abut my future. Well I finally got 
sentenced. I feel good, except I got 18 months in a group 
home in Fresno. Fm excited about what's gonna happen 
when I get out. 

I got good news today, when Fm finished Fm moving 
back home. It's good now I could go chill in the barrio, I 
just hope I could be successful and be smart and use my 
education to my advantage. For you guys that are 
doing a little time and 'bout to hit the streets, be very 
careful of what your doing, you don't wanna end up like 

I now have to strive like a bird in order to reach my 
goal thank you Beat and Beat readers for taking your time 
to read this piece. 

Stay strong, what can't kill us could only make us 
stronger, so be strong mentally and physically, with this 
Fm out, alrato. 


From The Beat: Your writing shows that you have been strong mentally. 
Continue your path to strive like a bird and build that plan now to reach 
your goals when you get out. 

X f 

It's I Eirl!! 

Orale Beat and Beat readers, it's your homegirl India just 
kickin back. Pues I ain't feelin these topics so I'm gonna 
write what's on my mind. 

Pues, I'm hella happy and excited "WE'RE HAVING A 
GIRL!" I can't wait for her. Man, whatever she wants she's 
gonna get too! If not from her daddy then from me! I'm 
just hoping that my only brother gets his shhh together. 
And I hope he takes me up on my offer and moves in with 
me! I hella love him, I hope the best for him. 

Pues Beat that's it, until next time, I'm out with much, 
much love, respect, honor, and sincerest loyalty. Gone... 
poof... ghost. 


From The Beat: it's seems that you're about to take on a lot of 
responsibility: for your new baby. We know that you can handle it, if 
you stay level headed and do what you have to, like getting a job. We 
send you the best of luck. You can do it. 

Tn Daddy 

You turned me away from meth 

I was the lowest of the low 

And you were all that I had left 

You got me off the streets 

Only one backpack in tow 

And I hadn't showered in a week 

But I came home 

On April 29th— HOME 

The first day I called it my own 

I love you, and miss you very much 

Dinner at six 

Nacho and other favorite picks 

Falling asleep on the couch 

So time together we did not waste 

Daddy, you're my hero 

My best friend 

My definition of bold 

And you'll always hold 

My safest place. 


From The Beat: You appreciate everything your father has done for you. 
It seems he has worked hard to push you in the right direction, and we 
hope you continue to u%e him sk% your inspiration and your guide to a 
clean life. We know you can do it. We also want you to know that your 
writing is beautiful, so continue doing this sk% well. 




Change Up 


What up Beat, well, yea, this Travi is back up in these 
halls once again. First off I wanna say what up to all that's 
doin' time. 

Now let me get to why I'm back, I left from the hall 
about nine months ago to a placement, while planning on 
doing my program and getting my shhh together. But you 
know shhh happens and a person like me can't take shhh 
for to long and I AWOL'd. 

I was in the outs but I managed to get back to SJ. 
During my time on the run I was doin' big thangs but 
I wanted to do good so I got a job and was trying to do 
things legit. 


From The Beat: It^ good that you were trying to do big things. 
Unfortunately trying do good after a bad doesn't justify it. Sometimes 
to reach your goals it gets hard and tough. You just got to ta 

My Tat And No Tears Makes Me Different 

Hey Beat, well what makes me different is my tattoo and 
who I am. The reason why I say that is because I don't feel 
pain or feel for anyone because the last time I cried was 
when a homie from the hood died and that's what makes 
me different because if someone was to die that I know, 
shhh, I would not feel nothing or shed a tear because the 
way I see it. If you cry you aren't doing nothing. It ain't 
gonna make them come alive so why cry just sav it out. 

-No Crybaby 

From The Beat: The beauty of life is the wide range of experiences 
and emotions that are lived. To say that when you cry your not doing 
anything is far from the truth. It^ the intensity of that feel that 
shows you and lets you feel a heightened feeling may it be %skAne%%, 
loss, or even happiness. When you laugh so hard that you cry, you've 
experienced something you'll never forget. Don't close off a window to 
feelings we all have, embrace them. 

Safest Place 

What's good. It's Baby Boy up in the house, you know, 
but yeah, the safest place has got to be my house, 'cause 
I got my baby mama at my house, so I think that's my 
safest place for me cause I got it good right now. So you 
know, so Beat, what's your safest place if you don't mind 
me asking? 

-Baby Boy 

From The Beat: We had to cut some of your piece 'cause you was acting 
a fool. Be a little more respectful, dude. Our safest place is at the halls 
when we're with y'all, trying to do the workshops. That% our safest 

What I Think Abnut MLK Jr. Wnuld Think \ 

What it do Beat, I'm 'bout to write about what Martin 
Luther King Jr would think if he came back to the world 
and see that his dream came true. I 

I think that he would be hella happy to see that a | 
black man is running for president. I think that he would 
be happy to see that all the blacks and whites have equal 

I think that he would be happy to see most people 
no matter what color they are but I also think that MLK 
would be hella mad because blacks are the most inside 
this prison system. So if he would see it, he would be 
disappointed in the fact that we getting locked up with 
what we did. 


From The Beat: You have a grasp of a reality of the world J. MLK fought 
to better the lives of individuals. What do you feel we can do to further 
the work of MLK and better the lives of individuals to follow better 



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

//// // 

When I'm Locked Up 

X f 

When rm locked up, Fm thinking about what's going on 
out there in my town. I'm always counting the days and 
trippin' about what's goin' to happen in court, waiting 
'till they pass the mail, see if I get anything. Sometimes I 
don't like this life in here. It isn't good so I'm never going 
to get locked up again. Later Beat. 


From The Beat: We hope that you keep good on your word. Straighten 
up and set positive goals for yourself and we don't see why you should 

My Visit Today 

What's crackin' Beat, how's life? Me coo'. But anyways, 
today I got a visit from my mom and my son. I was hella 
happy, he's getting so big. He's 10 months already. 

I can't wait until I go home, I got thirty more days left 
in this joint. I can't wait to go home, I'm getting a job. I'm 
gonna be on my feet when I get out. I ain't never gonna be 
seen in here. 

What sucks is that I'm gonna have my eighteenth 
birthday in here! My birthday is soon. That sucks, it's 
coo' though, I still got next year. 

Well Beat, stay up, I hope to see you guys next week. 
To everyone in here, stay up and STOP GETTING LOCKED 


From The Beat: That's great that you have so much motivation for when 
you get out. Getting a job to support yourself and your son is the right 
thing to do. We're very proud. Your final message, telling people to stop I 
getting locked up, is important. Make sure that you continue telling 
yourself that too. 

The Way I Walk, The Way I Talk \ 

What makes me different is the way I talk, the way I 
dress, the way I walk. When I go out to the streets people 
look at me different. 

I admit that I have a reason to make strangers think 
that of me, but I have feelings also and it's hard to live like 

What makes me different is that I don't back down 
when it comes to fighting. I have a lot of respect for my 
people, but I don't like the ones who hates. 


From The Beat: Go back to you feel people judge you when they see 
you walking and are dressed. It seems that you don't like the way that 
the stereo type you. Yet you play into the game and stereotype others. 
Be different in a positive way and %ut^sk%% that. Then be different in a 
good ^N«y. 


Hard Ti Keep Your lead Ip 

Damn I'm hella stressing out. I got court, and I am 
nervous. I know that none of my charges will be dropped. 
I still can't believe I might be doing so much time. That's 
why, when I see people crying over doing two months, I 
get mad. 

Damn, I know I'm going to be locked up for more than 
10 years. But you can't see me cry everyday. Crying ain't 
going to get you anywhere or help you. I'm not saying that 
I don't cry because I do. 

All I'm saying is that when you get sentenced just do 
your time and don't make a big deal about it. To all keep 
your head up. 


From The Beat: We hope that the court date won't turn out sk% bad sk% 
you are predicting. Keep writing to u% and let u% know how things are 
going. Ten years is no joke. We hope if anything you are stepping up to 
the plate and being accountable for you. Step up and teach youngsta! 


Good News 


I'm writing about my good news I heard. Well, a few days 
back I was on an OT and I was chopping it up with one of 
the counselors and he told me since I am doing good he's 
gonna let me go home two weeks early. I was hella happy. 
Now I could go home to my newborn baby two weeks early 
and see my family and my homies too. Well Beat, this 
bear's out till pencil meets paper, late! 

-Gary and Ruby 

From The Beat: Congrats Gary, I think you seem to have a lot of things 
going your way right now. Hopefully getting out early will really help i 
you be there for your family. I 



I'm a philosopher and my philosophy is this, 

if it's worth it homie, then just take that risk. 

Because anything is possible and nothing's for sure, 

if you seize the opportunity you better bet your money 

you know. 
Love those who love you but don't let love mess up your 



From The Beat: 

This is short, simple and very wise. You are quite a 

If He Was Hive 


If Cesar Chavez were alive he would be really sad. He 
would feel that people forgot all the hard work he did. I 
think he would also try and start another movement to 
help our generation overcome poverty and surpass the 
white men that are holding us down. 

Well I am out to my familia stay up and stay strong 
much love and respect, Alratro. 


From The Beat: You've misunderstood Chavez's message it was not to 
%ut^sk%% others. His message was to have equality, to live in harmony 
and respect for one another. Maybe he would be sad that the youth 
have forgotten what his message really was? 

i I 

Safe In Tlie Heed 


What's crackin' to all reading these few lines. My safest 
place is in my abstract minded hood. We run the block 
and I feel safe there because all my hood is there and we 
just chill and have a good time. Well that's were I feel safe 
and were I kick it. I get out on Monday so I'll be back. 

-Green Eyes 

From The Beat: We wish you good luck on the outs. Hopefully you will 
also play it safe to not wind up here again. 

Play The Systeni 

What it do Beat! Today I'm gonna write about why the 
system is so messed up. I think that maybe because there 
too much poor people and Mexicans. Also, it's shady how 
the cops treat us minors. People say that there's no more 
racism. But if you look closely it's everywhere from your 
neighbors to your teacher but they hide it. 

I've been in these situations a lot, but you have to 
deal with them in a good way instead of cussin' and other 

Do what you got to do and play the system, not get 
played by the system. Stay up and try to make it in life. 

- Cyclopse 

From The Beat: Sometimes we need to ask ourselves why were are in 
these situations a lot? Better yet, what can we do sk% individuals to not 
be in these kind of situations and help others sk% well. 

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

//// // 


Sagging my Dickies, smoke like a hippie 
Smell so good when she get wet and sticky 

You lift me girl, you the bomb 
Got a vato smoking like Cheech and Chong 

A bong or blunt or a paper square 

It really don't matter she'll take you there 

You been my girl since the age of a young teen 

It's funny to me how you make me fiend 
You put a spell on me with that green voodoo 

I love to lay you down soft in my Swisher, 

act like a freak and let all the homies hit you. 

I got your pictures put on my wall 

Momma caught us kissing wanted to call the law 

My family thinks your nothing but trouble 
Cant see how you help me through this struggle 


From The Beat: We Icnoiw your not afraid of trying new things are you 
have shown in your poem. T^y to help them see why it is that you do 
what you do. Maybe in the midst of things you too can see why they 
feel the way they do about the issue. 

Missing You All ^ 

If you're reading this I'm already gone. Damn, that's 

It's been almost eight month. I've been here and I 
don't want to leave, and as crazy as it sounds this was my 
home for a long time and I've met a lot of great people. It's 
sad because I got close to a lot of you and you all know 
who you are. Im going to miss you guys so much. I've 
seen people leave and come right back here and it's sad 
because you don't know how lucky you guys are to get 
another chance. 

Whether it'd be house arrest, group homes or 
programs on the outs. I just hope you guys do good and 
do it for yourselves and nobody else but you. 

I love all of you, the ones on my unit and in the honors. 
This is my good bye but it aint going to be forever alright. 
I love all of you and will be sending my love and hugs to 
you all. I love you. Bye for now. To all of you, stay up and 
don't let any one get you down. I love you. 


From The Beat: We wish you well too sk% you get a chance to live your 
life, grow up, and do well. Your bittei^sweet good bye inspires u% all a 
bit more thoughtful. 


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. 

-Baby Boy 

From The Beat: Sounds liice you miss your girl pretty bad. This is a 
very sweet poem and you should really reenact this poem in real life by 
staying out of trouble and being there for her. You can't love someone 
physically behind the walls. You have to make sktt effort to stay out so 
you can be there with her at all times. 

! I 


i I 

Night Skater 


It's funny how people will remind you of something... 

My angel was talking about how I used to skate and 
only at night. Skating was something I did when my mom 
and I fought. I only skated during the day when I had to. 
But usually, it would be at night. Just the way I like it — 
me, the moon, and my skateboard. 

The moon would be my only light. I also like it 'cause 
when I do a move, I can hear the wind under my board. My 
favorite board is a Zoo York. That's how I got the name. 
Night Skater. 

She's dead on the outside but still living within and 
will come out soon on her own time. Late. 


From The Beat: Thank you for sharing with u% the moment when you are 
alone and yet you feel most inspired. We understand how the moonlight 
gives you light, and skating during the night-time is also a quiet time to 
contemplate on your own. 

I'll Miss Ynu! 

Well, my girl Allison is leaving to Y.A. tonight. I got close 
to her and told her a lot about myself. Right now, we're 
roommates and damn does she stink! She farts a lot, 
burps out loud and has a funny and weird laugh! 

She tells me stories about her man and I tell her 
stories about mine. But you know what sucks for her? 
Her man just left her in here! She basically went down for 
him. He says he loves her in the few letters he wrote her 
that I read. If he really did, he should have been a man 
about it and stepped up to the plate! Now she cries at 
night telling me she's not there to watch her little brother 
and sister grow up! 

Anyways, she, I and many other people are sad that 
she's leaving! But I wish her tiie best of luck and told her 
that her next step is going home! And I hope if she stays 
with her man that he opens his eyes and realizes what 
he's doing is a mistake! 

-Ol' Friend 

From The Beat: These are the stories that we are very glad that you are 
able to share. Sometimes our relationships bring a lot of unexpected 
challenges and struggles. I hope that your friend will be more careful 

in the future. 

Ful I 


What's Tlie Difference Between Me And Ynu? 

Well, what's the difference between me and you? Some 
people try to go through their whole life being somebody 
they're not. Most of the time it's because they don't like 
the way they feel or they just want to fit in. Those are 
the people you call followers, people that will fall for 

I myself used to be that way until I grew up and 
learned to just be myself. I used to run around the streets 
with people who I thought were my homies, just doing 
whatever they did. Then I realized they were just a bunch 
of idiots that were also once followers and are going 
nowhere with their life. 

There are a lot of fake people in this world who just 
nee to grow up. So this goes out to all you fake people, 
quit while you're ahead because you're not going to be 
nothing but a follower when you grow up. So what's the 
difference between me and you? I got morals, I ain't a 
follower, and I'm independent. 

So stay up Beat, keep your head up. 


From The Beat: We love pieces that show change and growth, 
one does that for sure. This is great advice. 


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

//// // 

Finding tlie iigiit 


I found the light. The person that showed it to me is 
my loving, caring, and beautiful mother. I love you mama. 
Kisses and hugs. Mmmmuuah! I love you. 


From The Beat: We hope you'll soon reunite ivith your mother and shoiv 
her hoiAf much you appreciate her, in person. 

Snme Tilings On My Mind 

Well what's up Beat. It's me again. LOL. But something's 
on my mind—it's my love of course. Other than that fool, I 
got my court date on my mind. I hella don't want to mess 
up at a group home, but im still young, right? Ha! I'm only 

Well this baby LOL has some songs on her mind. 
Well, one of them is "Natural High." That's mine and my 
man's song. Another one is "Angel Baby." There's this 
other song, it goes like this but I don't know the title, just 
the words. So, I'm going write it OK? I love Jose. My man 
dedicated this song to me! 

I truly need you baby, you're the light of my life 

And I know it that one day for sure your gon' be my wife 

If loving you is wrong then I don't want to be right 

I can't image what this life could be without you by my 


The day we met I can't even explain the ways that I felt 

Feeling all these emotions that I can't even help 

Well these are a few songs on my mind! But man on the 
23rd, I have court. They said im going to a placement. But 
I got to go. Until next time, stay up. 


From The Beat: Thank you for sharing the song. Sometimes it can be 
nice to escape from everyday life or tough times into song lyrics, music, 
or a good book. 

My ilnuse 


The safest place would be my house. When I'm at home, 
no one could hurt me. When I'm at home I get to eat my 
mom's cooking. When I'm home, cops can't stop me for 
no reason. I get to see my family every day at the house. 
I get to sleep in my warm bed instead of sleeping in the 
streets. My home will always be home sweet home, fo 
ever and ever. 


From The Beat: Word. There really is no place like home, which makes 
you want to do things that allow you to stay there for sk% long sk% 

Missing My Baliy 

Damn, Beat, I miss my hina. I hear she's going through 
it. I just want her to know that everything's going to be all 
right and that I'll hold her in my arms soon. I just want 
her to know that I'm praying for her and that I love her 
and please stop doing that to yourself, because it hurts 
me every time I hear about it. Alright mamas, I just want 
you to know that I'm here for you, alright babe, I love 

Well Beat, it's about that time, I'm going to have to 
cut this short for now. To my baby and my brothers, keep 
your heads up. All right then much love and respecto. 


From The Beat: It is really difficult when we have to watch or hear about 
(or read about) our loved ones hurting themselves. 

My Tiinuglits 


Your face is like poetry at sight 

Your body would make night blush bright 

Your smile out brights the sun 

Your voice is like a melody hum 

That's all I got to say but here's the story at bay 

I've been locked up one-hundred-flfty-plus-days 

Like a dog locked in a cage 

Pushed and shaken but I hold the rage 

But screw that, so I'm gon' turn the page 

It's about me and you and it cannot be 

It's not because he or she it's because of me 

Let me tell you so you can see 

I stopped everything that has negativity 

All hostility and no hospitality 

No respect but someone's mentality 

You'd be taken by words but not my personality 

I just wish this wasn't reality 

But what I want life to be 

You and I for eternity 

Colors and whites to come together respectively 

But that's not to be 

Not for all the dividing unevenly 

You are so lovely 

But if only .... 


From The Beat: Wow, this is a really beautiful poem that addresses not 
just love but bigger issues in life, it's awesome how you manage to bring 
these two themes together. 

I got someoMe to love 

worth evertf l^lss 

and everif fiug 


llwajs liD 


I'm thinking of the days 

back when things weren't great 

I'm looking at today and 

see I've got it made 

I got someone to love 

worth every kiss and every hug 

I thank the God above 

I've finally found the one 

I'm stressing up in here 

knowing I ain't by you 

but one thing's for sure 

you will always be my boo 

I miss your lips 

miss your hips 

I miss your smile 

you drive me wild 

Don't worry baby 

I'll come back to you 

cause you'll always be in my heart 

I love you boo. 


From The Beat: It's so nice to hear a nice, heartfelt piece about love. Stay 
positive and work on bettering your life so you do not find yourself in 
such a situation again! 

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

//// // 

Lonely Days 

X f 

What's up wit' it Beat readers. A couple of lonely days. 
Well let's see, I haven't been too happy. 

Everything's been going wrong including my hair 
being nappy. Anyways, I got into a little accident. Well I 
was going through it and felt really badly for a lot of stuff 
that's been going on in my life. 

I've been holding everything in but it was time that I 
let it all out. I just couldn't take it anymore. So what had 
happened was I kind of flipped out. I didn't know what to 
do with myself. I have been trying my best to keep cool 
but there's just times that I can't deal with things. 

Lately, I have been feeling depressed. I'm not sure if 
it's noticeable but some people could tell that there is 
something on my mind. Man, I feel lost in this world, not 
knowing what to do. I sit here in my lonely cell without a 
clue. I pause to think about my life, then I try and cry. 

Damn, what's there for me to do? I could only hold all 
my feelings in for so long. So finally I let loose, I started 
to break down in tears. I've been going through this for so 
many years. I can't help the way I feel. 

Next thing you know, there's blood all over the fioor. 
The staff came rushing in all in front of my door. I panic 
'cause there's so much going on. I just want one more 
chance to move on. All I can do is try. I can't help the 
reasons why I lie. I don't regret the things that I've done 
in the past because at one point that was exactly what I 
wanted. Don't get me wrong, I would, if I could change the 
past. But there is no way, so I do what I do. 

Everything that's going on in my life is for a reason, 
whether good or bad. I'm tired of this — just sitting here 
sad. Everyday I pray and say to the one upstairs, please 
God forgive me for my sins and accept the things that I 
cannot change. 


From The Beat: Your loneliness and depression sounds really profound. 
It seems that it's taicen over and you sound liice you are trapped more in 
the depression than anywhere else. T^y, if you can to let your feelings 
out on paper, through art, rather than hurting yourself. Keep writing us 
and we'll keep listening... 

Food Stamps, An Old Childhood Friend 

When I was small I would always look forward to the 
third Thursday of the month. I would think of how I would 
eat and not have to worry for a little about. One less thing 
in my mind I wouldn't have to worry about. 


From The Beat: Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself with u%. For 
many people it can be a truly hard thing to do. We hope you continue 

Don't Tag On Your Door, It Ain't Worth It! 

Dear Beat, things kind of went downhill for me because 
I was supposed to go on an OT this Monday, but I can't go 
now because I got caught for a tagging I did on my door. 

This sucks because I'm half way through my time and 
now I can't go look for a job. That just makes me really 
mad. Now I feel like blowing up some toys or something. 
But if things go good, I should be able to go on a OT 
sometime soon, hopefully. 

So, that's pretty much it, this your boy Fester coming 
straight from The Addams Family, nah just kidding. Well, 
I gots to go but stay up and don't do drugs. 

- Fester 

From The Beat: You definitely have a way of making us laugh, which is 
a tough thing here in the hall, so thanks. ON another note, leave the 
taggin', it's only bringing more problems for you. \tt so not worth it. 



My whole life I've been trying to hustle and sell dope 
and females and never had a guide in my life. They been 
trying to get me off the street like the cops and the punk 
ass ninjas trying to hate, but a young dumb ninja like me 
had a strap so I was pushing. 

I Older ninjas was hating and wanted to take my head 

off but my OG ninja gave me a nickname and it was Shine, 
because I just didn't give a shhh about nobody because I 
was a dope dealer and a hoe seller, trying to get money. 

But now I know whose life I messed up, like those 
three females and the crackheads. I was cold hearted and 
hot headed. Most of that anger came from my mom, she 
was a crackhead and my dad was a cold-blooded pimp 
who didn't care if he leave. So peace out. 


From The Beat: Shine, you have a big heart even though you've been 
I through a lot. We hope that your program is working out for you and . 
I you find what you are looking for in life. I 

My Girl 

Something about you baby drives me crazy. Something 
about this pretty girl blows my mind. Well I saw you out 
the room from across the room. I had to keep my attention 
on you. So about that pretty face, that pretty smile, you 
couldn't help but get lost in those pretty eyes. Yeah my 
girl she has it all, the type of woman you take to your 
mother and say look what I found. 

I found love and companionship, someone to talk to 
who ain't afraid to handle it and who understands that my 
life is different and accepts it. This isn't what I expected. 
She's beautiful inside and out, something hard to find 
in the world today. Even on my worst days she got me 
happy, like a kid waking up on his birthday. This love is 
different, it was based on friendship. I'm letting you know 

I that I'm thinking of you babe. 

I -Ducky 

I From The Beat: Sounds like you have found a beautiful thing. Hold on 

I to it and don't let go. That's a lot of motivation for you to get out and 

I stay out. You don't want to lose a great girl like that. So get out there 

I and show her how much you love her. 

Druy Ballad 

J L 

Back when Mark Wallberg was Marky Mark, this is how 
we used to make the party start. We used to mix in Bacardi 
Dark and when it kicks in you can hardly walk. 

You'll be sick then and you'll probably fall, 

either somewhere in the lobby or hallway wall. 

Everything's spinning and you're beginning 

to think women are swimming in pink linen. 

In a couple of minutes that bottle of gin is finished 

so you're now allowed to slap ... 

You got the right to be violent and start wilin' 

Get in the car and 'cause a car pile up. 

Earth callin', pilot to copilot, life on this planet? No sign 

of it. 

All I see is smoke and I'm so high I might die if I go by it. 

Course, every time I want to leave something keeps 

puUin' on my sleeve, 

I don't want to, but I gotta say these drugs got a hold of 

Every time I tell 'em no, but they won't let me go, no. 


From The Beat: This is certainly a ballad of sorts, very dark and kind 
of scary, but it seems to capture that %en%e of being on a bad trip. Nice 


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

//// // 


I'm not the one who's so far away 

When I feel the snake bite enter my veins. 

Never did I wanna be here again, 

And I don't remember why I came. 

Candles raise my desire, 

Why I'm so far away. 

No more meaning to my life, 

No more reason to stay. 

Freezing, feeling. 
Breathe in, breathe in... 
I'm coming back again... 

I'm not the one who's so far away 

When I feel the snake bite enter my veins. 

Never did I wanna be here again. 

And I don't remember why I came. 

Hazing clouds rain on my head. 

Empty thoughts fill my ears. 

Find shade by the moonlight. 

Why my thoughts aren't so clear. 

Demons dreaming. 
Breathe in, breathe in... 
I'm coming back again... 

I'm not the one who's so far away 

When I feel the snake bite enter my veins 

Never did I wanna be here again. 

And I don't remember why I came. 

Voodoo, voodoo, voodoo, voodoo 
Voodoo, voodoo, voodoo, voodoo far away... 

I'm not the one who's so far away... 

I'm not the one who's so far away... 

I'm not the one who's so far away... 

From The Beat: Hmmm, we hear some rocking drum kit and driving bass 
lines behind this song ... and you on the vocals. Good work. Tell u% 
what inspired this latest work? 


Good Mao 


Damn! Back in this mutha. Mad as hell on the inside 

How did I say this was all done with after the first time? 

Fm back, didn't change, 

Now, I want to change. 

I want rehab to work for me. 

Hopefully, Fll get it. 

If the judge says no, back to the Ranch. 

I seen my bro in here in the hallway but we can't talk. 

Hope he changes too. 

My sister's in the Ranch, I hope the best for her. 

Fm getting older, Fm done. 

Few more months 'till Fm 18. 

Time to change. Time to learn. Time to be a man. 

It's Berto saying everyone stay up and make the change 

for you. 

Who gives a shhh what everyone thinks, your real 

homeboys will be there. 

Fm not a "good boy" now, but a "good man." 


From The Beat: Awww, Berto! Look, you're being all serious. We guess 
the "turtle" song was still in your future. It sounds like you are ready 
for change, so do it! Don't be a fool, it only gets uglier if you continue 
on this path. 


It's Fofl with a liofl 


Posted up on the block 

making a living selling rock 

Watching my crime on the evening news 

you don't know what I've been through 

Making the Grim Reaper proud 

seeing him smile when he hears the automatic round 

don't move a muscle 'till he hits the ground 

Jump in the car when I hear 

the sound of the police getting near 

one time sees me flee the scene 

But they can't stop me 'cause I'm a king 

When I see them coming I hit the gas 

but through my rear view I see them on my ass 

hit a corner but I drift 

hit a wall so then I dip 

Jump a fence to a back yard 

getting tired but my carnales pad isn't far 

see a gutter and toss the paper, 

look up and see the light of the chopper 

I feel like my heart's about to explode 

but only got a few blocks to go 

hit the back door to the pad, I'm safe 

I was done 

That's a night in my life and to me 

this shhh is fun 

living mi vida on the run 

and never put down my gun 

On a one way trip to prison 

just a youngsta caught up in the system. 


From The Beat: You are right that rejecting restraint is fun. But just 
because it's fun doesn't mean you have to be bound to it. The gun 
may give power, may give release, but ultimately it just csku%e% pain for 
everyone around it. And if you get stuck on that one fun thing, you'll i 
never knoiv what other things you're missing. I 


My Backyard 


My safest place that I know that no one else can do 
anything to me in is my backyard. I sit and watch the 
trees sway in the wind. It is the small relcixation period 
from the stress of school and all that. It's my different 
world. I hope that I will be able to go back and sit in my 
spot and think when I get out. 

If I could draw, I would show you what it looks like 
but yah know I'm trying to keep that memory for myself. 
Chapter four of Ryan's story will be here in a few weeks. 


From The Beat: We are very much in anticipation for the Chapter 4 Ryan's 
story and we hope that you realize that even though your safest place 
of thinking and meditation is far away and there are certain barriers 
that prevent you from being there physically, you can skWioys be at that 
place in your mind- the safest place on earth. 

Thooghts, Part Two 

No concentration my thoughts racin' - thinkin' bout how 
long I'm facin' incarceration - they say I'm a menace to 
society might harm the nation, an outlaw and abomination 
of ten chasin' intoxication 'cause when them drugs in my 
bloodstream it feel like life is just a dream - another day, 
another scheme, another chance to make my enemies 
run and scream, solo screw a team, I'm throwin' a party 


From The Beat: Your rhythm and rhyme work together to paint a very 
dark but engrossing picture. Like the street, it seems to roll and build 
and pump within you. But it doesn't have to possess you if you don't 
want. Even if it seems to be everything, it's only one small part of 

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

//// // 

Drunk Not in the Mood 

Walkin' on a strange hood 

You never seen 

drunk, not in the mood. 

high off some green 

spotting enemies roUin' up 

knowing it's time to throw 'em up 

run up and stick 'em in the gut. 

After that get away 

you know they're comin' 

those foo's from that crew 

tryin' to get you. 

You try to hide in the cuts, 

you in the darkness only hearing some shouts 

you reach to your hip loading your gat. 

Then you notice something's wrong 

you look down to your stomach 

realizing you're dripping with blood. 

The enemy hit you 

you're holding a grudge. 

Not caring about much 

you step up to the plate 

knowing what you're doing 

deciding your fate. 

Step out to the light, it's never been so 

bright. You got shot. 

-Lil' Bones 

From The Beat: The light is never sk% bright, and life never seems sk% full, 
sk% when you're in the worst circumstances. Hopefully, when we all hit 
bad times we can find a reason to keep going, a life that fills u%. 



How I Am Different 

When I stop and think what makes me different from 
everyone else, I don't think so much about who I am as 
to my experiences. For example, I wasn't raised by my 
biological father; for thirteen years I didn't even know 
him. Then my dad died, and I blame myself for not doing 
so many things for him. 

My physical differences are less spread out and quite 
difficult to see, like my vision is diminished greatly, and I 
can hardly see fifteen feet ahead. I dress incredibly dark, 
almost an evilness in it. My mood often varies with the 
weather, so I can't live life to its fullest. 


From The Beat: You can do what you want in this world sk% long sk% its in 
accordance with universal law- in other words 'if God permits it. We feel 
and are compassionate with the pains you have endured in life thus far, 
but it is not wise to put limitations on your ability and strive in life. 

Dn Tiie DioGi( 

What's up Beat, well I am writing about my safest place. 
When I get in trouble or get into some funk out of town, 
my safest place is the block cause all of my primos and 
homeboys are on the block with me and blowing my mind 
out of my head and drinking my life away and getting buzz 
off the liquor and kicking with some beezies, just having 
a good time, and just living the life. 

No matter what everybody got each other's back. We 
are just one big family, and you can't stop it and you won't 
stop it. That's my safest place, and it's the block!!! 


From The Beat: We hope that your block is what you say it is and that^ 
a safe zone because we don't know of one block in America we can 
say is absolutely safe. The world is a war zone and your block has no 
exceptions. We're glad to hear that you like to have a good time, but 
we hope that you don't get too comfortable out there and make a career 
out of going in and out of jail. Because you %sk^ you like to enjoy life but 
how can you enjoy it ivhen you don't have skny freedom? 

Just Waiting 


Q-vo Beat? Pues (well) this is Spikey. I've been here in 
Juvy just a lil' while (like a month and a half) and I'm 
just waiting to go to the Ranch. But in my last review the 
judge told me that I'm expected to leave September the 
30th and that's in like 2 Vi months and my attorney said 
that I was gonna have another review to see if they can 
send me earlier to the Ranch. 

Y pues (and well) I hope they send me a lil' faster to 
the Ranch so I can finish everything to get out and be in 
the hood posted up with the homies taking care of the 
barrio (hood) and chilling with my lady. 

Well yeah, the days up in here fly by to me, so all I got 
to do is keep on waiting to go to the ranch and to keep my 
head up no matter what. That goes to all. 

- Spikey 

From The Beat: We hope that everything works out for you and that you 
get to see your lady. Take it one day at a time and don't too impatient. 
Your time will come eventually. In the mean time try to stay focused on 
how you gone do your program and never come back to jail again. Take 
care of your self when you get out! 


Hey was up Beat?! Pues (well) my topic for today is about 
haters. Pues (well) what I hate about this fake people is 
that they talking hella masa (shhh) through the vents and 
through their window and when you hit 'em up they all 
like, "No, I wasn't saying this to you," blah-blah-blah. 

So to all that are reading this and if you get down 
like that just remember that one day someone is going to 
teach you a lesson, pero una buena (but a good one). 

Well look, haters and homies, I have to go, and 
remember that masa (shhh) talkers and to my camaradas 
(loved ones) stay true. I 

- Lil' Silent I 

From The Beat: There are haters everywhere. You will always have to 
deal with them wherever you go. Just be a good example and ignore 
them. Don't worry about other people and just worry about yourself and 
do your program right so you won't have to be locked up skn^ longer. 

nd I 



Tiie American Dream 

The American Dream is 

what I'm supposed to be, 

but for now I see 

tattoo tears and scars of war 

bloody hands wiped with bandanas 

that hang from our arms. 

Bullets blasting like rockets in this 

hater's world. 

People dying to live the American Dream, 

doing anything for money. 

Blood spills more and more, 

people look at them like criminals 

but I see them as heroes in this world 

Locked up in a cage for trying to live 

the American Dream. 

No one said it was illegal 

for Mexicans to try and 

live the American Dream but 

it seems to me 

we're living the 

Mexican Dream 


From The Beat: There are serious injustices in the world, that^ for sure. 
But there is always skn opportunity not only to make off with money, 
but more importantly to help our families and all of those around us. 
After all, the American Dream is not just to get rich, but to give our 
children a better life than our own. 


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

//// // 

My Sanctuary - Thrasher 

My room reflects my mind: a mess and blur. 

But as long as it is mine, it's fine. 

I see a giant collage of posters that are interesting. 


Favorite bands and idols (mostly skaters). 

I feel like I am in my own comfortable world. 

I will call this little world of mine Thrasher 

because it's my favorite magazine and it defines me well. 

I seek Thrasher often and in length, usually after any 


Thrasher has great bands (in my opinion) 

like Social Distortion, Rancid, The Casualties, and Black 


Most of these bands grew up in my area so I can relate 

to the lyrics. 

The common skaters on my wall are Duane Peters, 

Jason Adams, Steve Caballero, and Louie Barletta, 

who also lived in San Jose at some point or still do. 

These people on my wall make me feel like I can change 

where I am 

to where I want to be. 


From The Beat: Everything starts in the mind before it is actually 
displayed in reality. Choose where you want to go and if you push hard 
enough you will eventually see it come into manifestation. Nice piece! 

My or Homey's Pad 

My safest place would be my older homey's pad. When 
I need a place to stay, my BIG homey Crow would open 
his house up to me. He always took care of me and never 
wanted for me to get into trouble. He made me strong and 
taught me to never forget where I was from! 

Right now my BIG homie is in county for some serious 
charges. If he knew I was in here, he would be hella mad 
at me. Much love and respect to my homie. "Thanks for 
always looking out for me!" 

-Young Oso 

From The Beat: What's up Young Oso, we at The Beat send our greetings! 
We hope things iworlc out well for your big homie and you already know 
that he got a right to be mad at you for making the same mistake he did 
by going to jail. But we know you're going to get it right and we send 
you the best of luck. 

Keep Callin' Me 

What makes me different from my homies is that I'm the 
youngest in my gang. I was the only one who was jumped 
in at twelve and I'm still putting in work. When I was in 
middle school I went some days. The days I didn't go I 
was out earning stripes. 

My jeflta tells me to change, I say I will, but something 
pulls me back. What makes me different from my family 
is that I was the youngest child to end up in the hall. 

Also, my jefe (pops) is in prison. I haven't seen him in 
8 years and he still has two years to go. 

At a young age I had a baby, her name is Adeline, 
she's three-months old. I miss her, I want to take care of 
her but something pulls me back. My barrio (hood) calls 
my name and I listen to it. I've tried to change but I can't 
because the street keeps calling me. 

-Lil' Blacky 

From The Beat: What is more important to you, your barrio or the one 
you know that loves you and that^ your daughter? Why think foolish 
and leave your daughter out here to fend for herself if something was 
to happen to you. What is she going to do if something was to happen 
to you? Learn to love your child and you'll fall out of love with your 
so-called barrio. Why do you keep listening when the streets call you? 
Why can't you ignore them? in the end all you're goin' to have is your 
family. Your homies are not going to put food on the table for you or 
your daughter. 


* I 


Miss Ramm 


I got this idea from a fellow max unit member who has 
recently to county. Today's topic is to Miss. Ramm. First 
of all I want to say wherever she's at right now I hope 
she's doing good and staying strong. I heard about what 
happened and I hope that you're doing way better and 
ready to come back to work. Everybody misses you, I 
know because I do. I don't mean to put you on blast, but 
hopefully you're doing better and my mom and dad send 
their love and respect to you. I hope you're back at work 
soon instead of when you said you were planning to come 
back. Stay up and stay strong Miss. Ramm. Much love to 
those heading to the big time. 


From The Beat: We're sure she appreciates it. We too cannot wait for our 
favorite counselor to return to work. We wish you both the best. 

If He Was Alive 

If MLK came back from the dead he would be disappointed 
by the amount of black-on-black crime in the western 
states. He will think back and wonder was it worth fighting 
for our rights if 53% of African Americans get arrested? 


From The Beat: Yes, we believe he very much would be disappointed 
with what he see coming from the minds and actions of those claiming 
to be Black. Mostly importantly, we believe he'll just realize that a job I 
has been unattended too long and sk%%uv[ie his position of leadership. I 

My Safest Place 


First off, let me introduce myself. They call me Lil' L. I 
was born and raised in San Jose. Well, depending on the 
circumstances, my safest place could be my barrio, my 
mind, or by my mom and/or my sister's side. Say if the 
funk pops off my safest place would be my barrio because 
my homeboys are always ready for the funk and got my 
back because they're war soldiers. But if it's emotional, 
my mom (Peanut), sister (Loyalty), or my other sister 
(Fed-ex) are always there for me when I'm on the edge, 
and they always forgive me. 

I've been locked up going on nine months and what 
keeps me from bringing out the true Lin me, I can't stop 
living the life I live. So it's always good to have a safe 
place or places. Well that's it for now. 

-Lil' L 

From The Beat: if you can't change the life that you live we only can 
hope that it^ a positive and honest life. We just hope that you always 
remember that the decisions you make today will follow you tomorrow. 
You need to realize what's really worth it. Do you vtsknnsk keep coming in 
and outta of jail for the rest of your life? 


Life is a struggle for almost everything. You struggle to 
make a living and then you struggle to live. But after all 
that, struggle life is worth living. 

You always have loved ones to give you support and 
to help you out when you feel like the road is almost at 
an end. But then, when you least expect it, they help you 
realize that the road is barely beginning. So keep your 
head up and just keep looking ahead. 

-Struggling But Moving 

From The Beat: This is a very moving piece. We're happy that despite 
life^ difficulties, you can look on the bright side. Things will often be 
difficult, but if you're working for something you really want, something 
that will be a positive aspect of your life, it's worth it. It's great that you 
can use the support from your loved ones in such a positive way. If it's 
the beginning, how would the middle and the end would look like? 


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

//// // 

My Safest Spot 

X f 

What's up?! My safest place is at my aunt's house cause 
when I go there she takes care of me. My mom takes care 
of me too but at my house the cops are always hooking 
for me and I never eat cause I'm never home. So at my 
aunt's I can not worry about rivals, cops. I can eat cause 
she won't let me leave unless she takes me home or my 
mom picks me up. 

When I go there I usually stay there for the weekend. 
One example when I found safety was before, I was on the 
run then I went there and my mom called my aunt's and 
I answered it. My mom told me my PO just came with a 
warrant for my arrest and I stayed there for a week and 
got caught. That's why it's my safe place. 


From The Beat: We hope you keep going to your Auntie house if that% 
the very thing that's going to iceep you out of jail. But why do you iiice 
living life when the police are constantly after you? Your safest should 
be at your home. Why live your life like that? What^ in it for you? 'n-y to 
change if not for you, for your Auntie and mamma. 

Game Recognize Game 

What's cracking? This that's young G from Gilroy, 
just posted like a stamp in this unit waiting for court. 
Anyways, ain't nothing new with me, only the same shhh 
just a different day living the life of a "G." 

Trying to do my time and not let it do me like some 
suckas around me. People always talking about their 
problems. Suck it up. Take it and strive. You got to play 
your cards how they come. Just make the best of whatever 
hand you have. 

Sometimes when you do the crime, you got to do the 
time. That's just the way the game goes. Worry about 
yourself surviving, 'cause if you can't help yourself then 
nobody can help you. 

Play the game or get played. That's how I look at it. If 
you live this lifestyle than take your steps carefully and 
learn how to work around the obstacles that come in the 
way of your program. You knew what you were getting 
yourself into in the beginning. 

Well that's about all I gots to say for now. Until next 
time stay up and be safe. Live it up. I'm out. 

-Young G 

From The Beat: We're glad that you're making the best of your situation 
and recognize that if you do the crime, you have to do the time. But you 
say that you have to play the game. You know that if you're "playing 
the game" you have to be careful, but wouldn't it be better to stay out 
of trouble altogether? How are you going to live the rest of your time? 
Have you learned something from your experience? What made you 
write this? Self reflection? if so, keep reflecting, it's working! 

The Safest Place For Me 

The safest place for me, I would say would have to be 
my mind. I visit this place very often. I feel it's the safest 
place for me because anyone else can find me when in 

I go there when I feel I have no one else to talk to or 
when I just don't feel like talking to anybody. It seems that 
I'm there a lot more now that I'm locked up. Sometimes, 
I'm there for seconds and some times I'm there for hours. 
I find it to be the safest place. 

Every time I talk to someone who makes me nervous, 
I take a step back into my mind and I know that person 
can't find me. 


From The Beat: This is beautiful, and we're happy that you shared this 
with us. Your mind is stn incredible tool, and it seems that you use it 
well. Share your thoughts with us some time. Search for the bright and 
positive sites of your mind to apply it to your life. 

A Second Chance 


What up Beat, and Beat readers! It's this Chicano from 
this unit. Today, I wasn't feelin' the topics, so I am going 
to write about some thing else. 

Well I am hella happy, 'cause I finally got sentenced. I 
got sentenced to the Ranch for six-montiis. I am thanking 
God for giving me second chance, because they were 
tryin' to charge me as an adult. 

It all happened when I was kickin' it with my homie. 
We smoked a coo' chopper before we got locked up. I felt 
bad because that homie was fresh out of the system and 
he was doing good until some buUshhh went down and 
we got caught up in the mix. And I was like damn, even 
though both of us are innocent, they were still going to 
try to charge me as an adult, or the YA with a strike. 

I was like wow! So I was thinking that he didn't do 
anything so ama take the blame for it. 

Then my PO said I am going to the Ranch, I was so 
happy. I started thanking God for a whole night. So since 
ever since, I started believing in God and that He does 
give second chances,. 

So that's my story, 'till people meets pencil, Alrato. 


From The Beat: We're happy that you're getting a second chance, and 
sounds like you are too. Make sure you u%e that second chance sk% 
responsibly sk% you can. Motivate yourself to not come back. Use this 
experience to be the LESSON you need in life to make things better. 
Once you're in the hands of the system, they do what they want with 
you. You eat, use the bathroom, go to your room, let you talk, etc, 
whenever they Iiice. The best way to prevent the system from driving 
I your life around, is to avoid ending up in its hands. 

Billets FIj 



Bullets fly 

Quicker than the eye 

You were smoking mary-jane to ease your pain 

When your homie died 

You're going to ride 

Till the rally on steel 

Cause if I fall then I'm stuck 

And If I succeed I wrote in 

Hell so either way I'm screwed up 

people say kids like me die young 

And yet I can't disagree 'cause 

I'm a walking time bomb. 


From The Beat: Do you really want that sort of life? Thinking that your 
future inevitably holds something negative is not a good way to think. 

I Yes, you're right. If you keep this up, you will die young, or be locked up . 

I for the rest of your life, 'n-y thinking more positively. It's your choice! I 

If They Were Alive: Cesar Chavez 

If Cesar Chavez was alive, he would be upset because 
he was fighting for the Mexican and Latinos. And the 
reason that he would be upset is because he thinks that 
we don'td to be locked up in a place like this. 

He believes that we have the potential to create 
positive things in life, be a better person and not to be 
in here long time. But also you disappointed you parents 
and the people around you because they also believe that 
we can do better "but we only have to do is to trust our 


From The Beat: That^ true - you have the "potential to create positive 
things in life." You can u%e your time locked up to reflect and begin this 
positive transformation. There's always time for change; keep working 
toward it, before it is too late. In the name of Chavez and all our leaders 
and people who want the betterment for all people. 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ mMMi/m 

^mammmmmmF ^/^/ /^ 

Connected By Honor 

X f 

Well, rm gonna write about what makes me different 
from my homies. Well, I got, like, a little family of homies. 
We not no gang or nothin', but we just kick it and stick 
together. There's six of us — me and my homies. We never 
fight and help each other out when we go through stuff. 

Well, what makes me different is that all of my homies 
have their mom and dad still with them, and I don't have 
any of them... I stay with my grandma, so I think I go 
through more than tiiem, but I think that I need the most 
help from them... LOL! But we are connected by honor 
and never switch up on each other. For those who don't 
know what that mean, is that we loyal to each other to the 
fullest and never choose girls over the homies... It's just 
like we do time for each other and take a bullet for each 
other. But I was taught better to trust someone 100%... 
Peace out. Beat.. 


From The Beat: Why don't you consider your grandma sk% someone who 
deserves your love and loyalty, sk% well sk% your homies? She seems to 
be staying by your side. Do you and your homies encourage each other 
to do well in school, go to college, and get good jobs, meaning - to be 
successful? Isn't that what real loyalty is? 

My Beat Within Is Almost Scared To Come Out \ 

My Beat Within is almost scared to come out ■ 

Through the embarrassment how my life's turning out 
Thinking I have friends, and thinking I know what's 


Getting led down the wrong path, destroying my life 

Trying to get in where I fit in 

But it's me, thinkin', but just not in 

"Follow the Leader" is what you can call it 

It's like trying to squeeze into shoes that don't fit 

Been in the clink twice in one week 

Gettin' in as fast as I got out, it ain't sweet! 

One wake up call, two, then three 

Now I'm wishing all this bad karma off of me 

I just gotta do me and do what's right 

So I can be happy walking up out of here 

Wearing my pajamas tiiat are pink, green and white 

I have no choice but to think about what's right 

Now it's back to a long night 

But for the last time 


From The Beat: Have you figured out what it is that sabotages you, 
when you're back on the outs, and what it^ going to take for you to 
resist it? Where can you get the strength, help, courage you may need? 
if you need help, go ahead and get it now! 

My Mom Came To See Me 

What's up with The Beat? I'm hella happy, because after 
twenty-plus days, my mom came to see me for the first 
time. I was starting to get sad, but seeing her helped me 
raise my head up and hope for the best. She was kind 
of mad for what I did, but it's all good, because I've been 
praying every night and I got God on my side. 

When I get out I'm just going to change my whole life 
around, get a job, stack my money and stay in school. All 
my hopes and dreams for the future are what's keeping 
me alive today. And for all you homies out there, you got 
to keep your heads up and hope for the best. I'm out for 
now. Until next time. 


From The Beat: \tt wonderful that your mom visited you.. .she loves 
you, you're her child. Remember that love and we hope it keeps you 
strong so you can keep your promise and change your life around, like 
you %«^\ 

I I 



First thing, first always — love your family, because you'll 
never know how much you missed them until they are 
gone. I had a hard life, starting with my father went to jail 
when I was born, so I never really got to meet him. Well, 
only behind bars. 

When I was born, my mother was very depressed and 
she was only nineteen, a single mother. My mom worked 
a lot. I was always with my grandmother. 

My grandmother was my whole life. I was the baby 
of the family. My grandmother took me everywhere. My 
favorite place was Scandia and after Scandia, it was In 
and Out after. 

When I was about five, I found out my grandmother 
had cancer. I didn't know what it was, but while she was 
sick, it was like nothing was wrong with her. We were 
still having fun going to yard sales and Circus Circus in 
Reno, where she got married to my Grandpa Jean, and me 
and my brother, Greg, was the only ones there. It was a 

By the time I was eight, she was very sick, and I 
remember the doctor telling my family she had a week to 
live, and my family was sick, and when my grandmother 
died, I didn't know what to do. I remember sitting on the 
kitchen table and I didn't cry the first night, but when I 
woke up the next morning, my life felt like it was going to 
end. I cried my whole life, up until now. I still cry because 
my life is messed up and I know if my grandmother was 
alive today, I wouldn't be sitting here where I am right 

I've been depressed. I talked back to my mother 
before, but if you read the Bible, God said you should 
never disrespect your mother and I did. But as I read my 
Bible, I feel guilty of every crime I did and the Bible said 
there is a robber, and when you die, it's better to go to 
heaven with one eye than two, and with one hand than 


From The Beat: You have a good heart. When you're free again, can you 
show your mother you're sorry you disrespected her by helping her out 
at home and by staying out of any mess? You're sad and confused, but 
you're also smart, and wouldn't your grandma want you to be strong | 
and free? I 

I I I I I I I 

Trip To Woflderland 

Damn, that El Salvadorian Boy 

The lefty Libra who stole my heart 

Got me caught up in a whirlwind 

Guess I should have known better 

His name means "Pain" 

And now I feel it 

He ran away to Wonderland with Alice 

And left me falling down the rabbit hole on my own 


From The Beat: It really is painful to lose someone you love. You have 
our hearts - but you turned your sorrow into a great poem. Sometimes 
we have to suffer for the art! 

Tte Safest Place 


J L 

The safest place to me, away from all the beef, madness, 
drugs, and alcohol, is my house with my mother. 

In my own neighborhood there is a lot of that stuff 
already, so, honestly, I don't even know if my house is a 
good, safe place. I just need to get a job and straighten my 
life out. 

-Wanting to Change 

From The Beat: As long sk% you don't bring any of the madness and mess 
into your house yourself, you should be able to keep your home safe. 
But isn't it your heart you'll really have to protect from any temptation 
your neighborhood may try to tempt you with? 


r/r A/v#>^v mmwrniamff ff // / 

//// // 


Tomorrow is what I look forward to, just existence. 

It feels right. The weather feeds dull nights. 

I don't even pay attention to the rhythm of the same 


playing in my head. I'm repeating prayers to God 

more than I've ever done 

at this distance from freedom and love. 


From The Beat: Good poem Josh. Keep ivriting. Freedom and love iwill 
return and in the meantime, you'll be making some fine poems. \\ 

The Dumb One 


The words of prayer made him drop to his knees. 

Overwhelming feelings of love and sorrow hit him like 


The sudden power of life was sucked from him. 

What he thought was a stone hitting him was in fact a 


because he was dumb enough to start praying in a 



From The Beat: Jon, don't let that happen to you. 

Distant Dreams 

In the distant dreams I sat in a cloud far from here. 
The soft voices echoed in the wind, giving me a signal. 
I didn't know if they were lies, or what their intentions 


So I stayed posted until the heat from the sun was near. 

Then I stayed silent. 


From The Beat: When you don't icnow what to say, silence is often a 
wise strategy. Dreams are strange. Knowing what they mean is difficult. 
Maybe they don't mean anything at all. But they sure are fascinating. 

What I Want 

I want to become an architectural engineer. I want to 
design my own house, and skatepark. I also want to 
become a traveler, with my dad, after we work and get 
the money to travel. I want to see other people, different 
things, and carry messages that are passed down to me. 
(It's better to inderstand than be understood.) I want to 
live without watching my back every two seconds. 


From The Beat: Those are cool wishes. Josh. Get your act together and 
get on with the great adventure. 

i I 

Wtit Will I Be Wliei I Griw Up 


I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. What 
I do know is that I don't want to be in and out of jail. I was 
planning to do construction when I get out of here. I have 
the opportunity because of my girl's dad, because he is 
one of the bosses. That's what I want to do. 


From The Beat: You're lucky to have work waiting for you. And it^ a 
good stepping stone to the next phase of your life. Be sure to finish 
school, though. 

I i I M i i i i I i I I I I I I 



Listen to my voice as I speak. 

I'm that demon in your sleep. 

I'm laughing as you're on your knees praying, 

living in misery, and it's a mystery how 

you still don't know it's me. 

Chop you up, roll you, and smoke you. 

I've got butterflies storming through your gut, 

living in fear. Now you're running. 

Now you bow down. 

Watching over your town. 

It's raining because I fall from the sky. 

My eyes turn red. 

I've got a price on my head. 


From The Beat: A most interesting demon, sinner. The guy is very 
articulate and very poetic. We could listen to him for a long time and 
not get tired. Until the next one...! I 

My Life 

I grew up in Watsonville. My life wasn't that hard. I lived 
with my mom and dad until I was flve years old. Then 
my mom and dad both got locked up for drug trafflcking. 
They both did flve years straight. I lived with my grandma 
until I was twelve. My dad came back and I moved in with 
him. I grew up around gangs and drugs, so the things I've 
been doing are normal to me. 

So I don't care that I'm here or that stuff happens. 
It's just made me cold-hearted. And that is my short life 


From The Beat: We don't know if you really don't care, or if you're really 
cold-hearted. (We suspect that you actually care about a lot of things 
and that you are not cold-hearted.) But we do know that you are a 
good writer. Look at what you've done in a just a few lines. You've 
made it possible for anyone who can read to understand how one might 
become cold-hearted, and uncaring. The upheavals in your life, the 
environment you've been exposed to and immersed in - these are not 
typical occurrences, for most young people - thank goodness. Take it 
from u% - you have the gift of plain-speaking. You use just the right 
words and not one too many. You may have built a wall around your 
emotions for self-protection. But you can tear it down. You're ready. 
Dismantle it, stone by stone. Join us. 

5d I 

An excerpt.... 

And so one night I'd like to sneak, 

when darkness tolls the hour of pleasure, 

a craven thief, toward the treasure 

which is your person, plump and sleek, 

and most vertiginous delight ! 

Into those lips so freshly striking, 

and daily lovelier to my liking - 

infuse the venom of my spite. 

-Baby Drifter 

From The Beat: Hey Baby Drifter, we are very pleased to discover that 
you are reading Baudelaire. We just want to remind you that it is 
important to credit authors for their work. If you wrote a good poem, 
you'd certainly want credit for it - so - in the future, please extend that 
courtesy to other poets. 

i I 

Take Advantage 

I feel good even though I'm down. 

They can lock you down, but you still got your mind. 

Only you control it and it's up to you if you want to get 

educated, or be a scum. 

Since you're locked up, you should take advantage of 

what you've got. 

Work out. Get caught up. Get well educated and get your 

shhh together. 

Then hit the streets and earn your money. 


From The Beat: Earn your money legally, we hope you mean. Have you 
read the book called Finding Freedom ? It^ about owning your mind and 
soul, even though you're locked down, it's a worthy read. 

Willini Ii Chaiie For The Fanilj 


A father just a man who makes a kid, but I father is 
a person who's willing to change for good and leave 
bad behind for the family. A father is a man who takes 
responsibility for their son and teaches them to become 
a man. 

I wasn't taught bad or good, but growing up I've 
learned. That's why in the future when I have kids I'ma 
teach 'em what's good and bad so they can be someone in 
life and give them the life my father didn't give me. 


From The Beat: This is sk% good a definition of fatherhood sk% we have 
seen — being willing to "leave bad behind for the family." We wonder 
how many other young men locked up with you would agree with this 

A Fool Or A Father 

I don't like to write 'cause it's a waste of time. Most 
people who write on this Beat continue to do what they 
was doing to get them here. I thought I had to come here 
and speak the truth right now. 

Most people in here are fake, talking about what hurts 
their life. But then again they talk about bangin' hella 
hard when their homies are around. 


From The Beat: Being locked up with a bunch of boys is guaranteed to 
produce a lot of fronting. Most boys don't want to appear "weak" by 
rejecting the talk of violence or banging that is all around them. We 
really can't agree with you that writing is a waste of time. How could 
anything that expresses the human experience from one humane point 
of vieiAf be a iwaste? 


Fmstritel Bj Coiseqiieices 

I started kickin' it with the homies as a young buck. 

Used to observe the older homies get ready to buck. 

This ain't taught me shhh, but put me in some 

situations. Now I'm posted in my cell with hella 



From The Beat: it% those "situations" that led you here that you have 
to examine. You can count on the fact that if you put yourself back 
in those "situations" you'll be putting yourself back in this frustrating 

A Real Father 

I will be a real father and not a fool who makes babies, 
because a real man who becomes a father would not run 
from anything besides other things in life, but especially 
his responsibilities that he has to handle. And whatever 
it is he has to do. 

In my perspective that's a real father and man. And 
yes, I do know a few guys that done had some babies and 
not lived up to their responsibilities as a father. And the 
same information I told here is the same I fed them. 

-Raw Breeze 

From The Beat: Yes, ive also know many young men iwho think nothing 
of creating new life and then abandoning their responsibility to their 
babies mamas, si% if they had nothing to do with it. We believe it^ 
because so many young men are raised without a guiding male hand to 
teach them responsibility, and they remain children from many, many 
years. How many friends do you have with a father in the house? 

Cariig, lovini Ail Resioisille 


Anybody can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a 
good father. A good father has to be caring, loving, and 
most of all responsible. He has to be caring because he 
has to care about what happens to his child, where he 
goes and where he's gonna end up. 

He also has to be loving, because in order for a child 
to grow up and be a regular functioning person, he has to 
have that love and support from his dad, 'specially if the 
child is a boy. 

Last of all a good father has to be responsible and 
take up for his actions, and has to realize that he has a 
little person that wants to be like them when they grow 


From The Beat: There is not one word we can argue with here. Yes, 
you've described a father's real duties very accurately: Caring, Loving 
and Acting Responsibly. That seems like such a simple definition, but 
apparently it's one of the hardest things to accomplish since there are 
so few "real" fathers around. 


No Father 


al 1 

I never had a father growing up. I don't know my real 
family. I was adopted when I was two years old. The family 
I'm with now still had no dad. I only grew up with a couple 
brothers and one sister. 

When I become a dad, I'm going to be a good one. I'm 
going to be there at all times. The only time I wouldn't be 
there is if I'm at work. My kids are gonna love me 'cause 
I'm going to treat them the way I woulda wanted to be 


From The Beat: We believe you. The thing we like most about your 
promises to be a real father is that you are responsible enough not to 
have become a father yet, knowing that you are still dealing with your 
own issues. We hope that when you get out of here, you can find a way 
to move forward and away from the things that brought you here. You 
have the wisdom and maturity to do it. 

Ill I I I I I I 


We gotta hustle out here to get ours. All these otha 
people be getting money from they parents, and most of 
us ain't got parents to get money from. And if we do got 
parents, they most likely strugglin', so we gotta hustle to 
help 'em out. 

Everybody hatin', but we hustlin' to help out and 
get money for ourselves, ya dig. That's why me and ma 
patnas be on the block getting' it. So stop hatin'. Simple 
as that. 


From The Beat: Okay, so you say you have to hustle to put money in 
your family's pockets sk% well sk% your own. But that leads to the obvious 
question: who's putting money in their pockets (and yours) now? 
Apparently they don't need you to hustle to eat, un\e%% you tell 
they're starving because you're locked up! 

< I 

Neier Firgotten 


Only a few days to my court date. Everything is going 
ok. Every day after program I pray. My mom visits me and 
my girl writes me. Just 'cause we up in juvy or jail don't 
mean we forgotten, 'cause if people love you and keep in 
touch, then they remember you. 

One person who is always there is god. When I get 
out — hopefully my court date or before school — I'll be 
outside showing everyone I'm gonna change. So thanks 
to everyone who is helping me, and god bless you the 
ones who gave me faith 

-L. Kidd 

From The Beat: it's very nice to thank those that have faith in you, 
but you are the most important person to have faith in yourself. Of 
course you are not forgotten. And you can't forget the promise you 
make here to change, get back to school, and start moving into a whole 
neiAf lifestyle. 

The Famil) Jewel 


The oldest person in my family is my mom. She's in her 
70's. She took and takes care of a lot of people. She means 
a lot to me because she took me when my mom abandoned 
me. I learned to take care of my responsibilities. She's my 


From The Beat: We guess that you mean your birth mother abandoned 
you, and (your grandmother?) become your mother. Even if we got that 
wrong, you're iucic to have her in your life. Now that she^ in her 70s, it^ 
probably time to give her what she wants from you — which is for you 
to chili and be responsible enough not to give the system the power it 
needs to take you from her. 


I risk my life for my cause all the time, but that's how 
life is — you got to make sacrifices. Life is full of risks. 
Sometimes people lose their life for risking them self. 
You risk you life, kids, money, family, and freedom. 


From The Beat: All for a cause that you had absolutely nothing to do 
with, but simply accepted sk% given. No evidence here that you've started 
thinking for yourself yet, despite your very great intelligence. We hope 
you do start challenging this "religion" you were handed before it kills 


People say they've killed 

People say they've been down 

People say they've chilled 

Girls say they've never been around 

When you can tell they've just been WUFFING 

Everybody says wuffing 
Because that's what everybody does 
Earns a bunch of wuff tickets, ha ha 

Wuffing Wuffing 

Are you wuffing? 

Ask that to yourself 

Do you earn a bunch of wuff tickets 

I wuff because it's fun 

But when you wuff 

It means you lie 

You're not honest 

You've been caught wuffing! 


From The Beat: We think that everyone sells "wuff tickets" sometimes. 
When you ask yourself that question ("Are you wuffung?"), what answer 
do you come up with? 



I got a criminal mind so you wouldn't find good in me 

Evil is the only way you see 

I wouldn't want to be a pretty boy or a tweeker smokin' 

the bubble 

I'm a cholo livin' life in this struggle 

Another G in the streets sportin' Dickies and Nikes 

So you know I'm gang bangin' in the streets 

There's no forgiveness 

Just straight business 


From The Beat: Knowing where your lifestyle is leading you (to more of 
this or worse), and having said that you really don't care what happens 
to you, why not be a "pretty boy or a tweeker smokin' the bubble?" 
What difference does it make what you do when you don't care about 
your life? 


Fool Or Fatiier 

Are you a fool or a father 

A real man or an imposter 

If you were to have a kid 

Would you stay 

Or do it movin' on him or her 

Any guy could stick it in 

But would you be there for her to the end 

-Big Tenger 

From the Beat: This is exactly the right question to ask. We're interested 
in what your answer wrould be. I 




I like Fridays 'cause every Friday I become a pill-poppin' 
animal. This is what got me caught up. On weekends I 
don't sleep that much. I'm chillin' with my homies, going 
to parties and getting into hella shhh from E. 


From The Beat: You should read a little about what repeated use of E 
csku%e% (especially because most street ecstasy is cut with speed). A "pill- 
poppin' animal" can look forward to: more lock-ups, damage to your 
body and brain development that can lead to death, and, finally, little 
respect for yourself or your family sks the drug takes over more and more 
of your life... 

I Am Daddy 

I already got three kids and I'm only 15. Only two are 
from the same mom. I guess I ain't doing a good job 
'cause I'm in here. But as long as my sons still call me 
daddy it's o.k. 

My oldest sons are twins and are two years old. Their 
names are Jim and Celastino. My youngest son is from 
another woman. His name is Odrian. He's only seven 
months old. I love him and everything, but he was a 
mistake. Hopefully we can all be together when I get out. 

-Daddy Psycho 

From The Beat: The fact that you are here with three children out there 
(at age 1 5!) only confirms that you are still a child yourself. Your sons 
can call you daddy, but unless you find a way to be with them and guide 
them through their lives (the most important thing skn^ child needs), 
then you really can't call yourself a daddy. Being a daddy requires much 
more than depositing your seed! What is your plan for when you get out 
of here so that you can step up to the next level and be a real father^ 



I Klow Wkat's Best 


rm getting out today! Only did a couple weeks, but it felt 
like a century when I thought about it. I look around and 
see people I know, and people who I knew from the past 
times that I was here. I think about how much time we 
really wastin' in this dirty-ass place. 

I came in for a simple mistake. I thought I would neva 
see this place again 'cause I was doin' hella coo'. But I 
didn't mind comin' back for one last time. I know that if I 
keep doin' what I was doin' before I come in, then I won't 
neva have to come back this hellhole! 

But I also realize if I don't do like I was doin' before, 
I won't come back here. Instead, I'll go to the big house, 
ya dig. But really, that's a risk that I have to really think 
about. Either square up an' stay cool, or let loose and go 
out bustin'. 

I ain't scared! I just don't wanna miss out, ya dig. But 
then again, almost a whole year of my life wasted here, 
why not waste some more. Its so hard to choose, even 
though I know what's best. 

-Big Daddy 

From The Beat: Oh, come on. Big Daddy! How can you even wonder 
what's best for you? How can you even ask about wasting even more of 
your life by handing huge chunics of it away to these cold institutions? 
You sound iiice you're on the threshold of adulthood, but that you 
desperately also want to hold on to your old childish ways. We think W% 
time to put those ways away, to step up to the plate, and to accept the 
difficult responsibility of what it means to be a man. 

Two To Taogo 

Are you a fool or a father? Which one? Hopefully you 
a father, not a fool! As for me, if I have a kid — which 
I'm not planning on having at all — but if I do, I will be a 
father. Why wouldn't I leave? I had balls to mess around 
with the female, so I should have balls to take care of my 
kid! How they say... it takes two to tango. 


From The Beat: Too bad we don't know who wrote this principled piece 
about taking responsibility for the biggest of all deeds: creating a child. 
We're glad you're not thinking of having a child yet (you're way too 
young), and we're equally glad that you're mature enough to know that 
if you do make a kid, then you've also made a life-long commitment. 

^1 1 

Die Mistake, led It Ceild le Oner 

Living la vida loca is what every vato does... 
All they want to do is do their thing, vivir la vida en paz 

(live in peace) 

Pero las cosas (but things) could sometimes get hard... 

Un estupido mistake, you could spend la vida (life) 

behind bars... 

Like my jeflto sometimes said, la vida is all about 


Make one error and you can spend the rest of your life 

behind bars writing cansiones (songs) 

Being a lil' vato is hard en los calles (in the streets) 

You have to be careful when you walk down in the valles 

Tu vida (your life) is always in danger 

That's why your always have to watch your back 


From The Beat: You've given a good description of how it is to be living 
la vida loca. But you haven't given a good answer sk% to why you'd want 
to live your life always having to watch your back... Can you explain 
why you'd risk so much? For what? 


Livin' life on the edge 

Don't mess with the feds 

Risky business 

You know how deep I'm in this 

I gotta win this 

Everything I do is bad 

'Cause money is something I never had 

You got what I want so I'm gonna get it, risk my freedom 

So I can one day have my own kingdom 

I'm hyped up off that drank 

What you thank 

I'm straight wino 

Come at you hard like a rhino 

The name is evil 

I swoop on you like an eagle 

My mind is in confusion 

Sometimes I don't realize what I'm doing 

But I take the risk 

'Cause I gotta have this. 

-Lil' Evil 

From The Beat: We have to be serious and tell you that the one line in 
this poem that we think requires the closest attention is the one where 
you describe yourself sk% a "straight wino." If true, that's a problem we 
hope you take seriously. If not, it will only cause you endless problems 
in the future sk% you sink deeper and deeper into alcoholism. It's so much 
easier to address the problem now than wait 'til then, 

A word to the 

My Wise Stepfather 




The oldest wisest and most experienced person in my 
family is my stepfather. My step dad is always working 
and buying things for the house. He is the reason why I 
have stayed out of trouble till this point. There are some 
times when he is loses his temper and make mistakes, 
but that's part of being a parent. 

If there is something I have learned from him, it's to 
work for your money and don't let people tell you how to 
live your life. And if there is something you need to do, 
then do it and don't procrastinate. 

I think of him as the person who keeps everyone in 
our house on track and helps us when times get hard. 


From The Beat: How lucky you were (and are) to have this good man in 
your life! To u%, this proves that it's not a biological relationship that 
makes someone a father, but how that person relates to the children in 
his life. This man who you call step dad is more of a father than most of 
the boys who call themselves 

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

//// // 

The Safest place 

The safest place is my grandma's and grandpa's house. 
When I'm on the streets my grandparents are always there 
for me. When I'm hungry they are there to feed me. When I 
have no place to go they got a bed for me. When I need money 
they got it for me. When I need it even when I 'm down I know 
I could go and let out my feelings. They always know where I 
am, where I'm coming from so the safest place where I could 
go when I need it is my grandparents. 

- Daisy 
From The Beat: It's good that your grandparents have stepped up to the 
plate to offer their help when you need it, but it sounds like you are 
taking advantage of their kindness. Where are your parents? What have 
you done to thank your grandparents for their compassio 


El amor de mi eres tu. 

Me encanta tus besos y tus carisias. 

Aunque estoy aqui en el d-home, nunca dejare de amarte. 

Te extrano mucho. 

Me duelo mucho estando tan lejos de ti. 

Cada noche estas en mis pensamientos. 

Siempre estoy sufriendo por el amor que te tengo. 

Nada, ni nadien en este mundo puede hacer que olvide el 

amor que te tengo. 

Siempre vas estar en mis pensamientos y siempre estaras 

en mi Corazon. 

- Katie 
From The Beat: Amor es unsk cosa preciosa y hay que no aprovechar de 
ese sentimiento. Pensamos que estas dando demasiado atencion a un 
joven y no estas poniendo suficiente atencion a tu propia situacion. 
Tienes que pensar en tu futuro y como MSk% a mejorarlo. 

Safe Place 

I '" 

The place I feel safe is at church, because when your 
there, you feel so safe in the home of God. He will always 
protect you from all harm and that's why. Church, is my 
safe place. 


From The Beat: Not everyone has a safe place to go, and it% good that 
you do. Do what you can so you don't put yourself in a situation that 
you need to run in a church for safety. 

The Light 

My pain and the pain I caused flows like the Mississippi River. 
Not knowing how far I went, but knowing how it happened, 
knowing that I got put away for two years without my family. 
So much pain, not enough time to make it all go away. Seen 
the light slowing my role shouldn't play with knifes it really 
ruins a person life it could cause so much pain. 

From The Beat: From the sounds of it you have already served a two- 
year commitment? It's too bad you didn't learn in those 2 years how 
if felt to be aivay from family. Are you noiw looking at doing another 
commitment? If in fact you did serve a commitment before, iwhat, if 
anything did you learn? 

These Ways 

In our life we have love, moments, and fantasies to treasure. 
At times we feel like we are going to lose our composure. We 
wish our lives were easy to forget and better yet we want bad 
memories to erase. Only to embrace the good ones with our 
love and faith, and then we have to shake off our bad ways. 
Only to remember the good old days, I pray for God to forgive 
me for my sinful ways. 


From The Beat: Only you and the Lord know if your ways have been 
forgiven. Both good and bad memories go together, we cannot have 
one without the other; this is what makes us who we are sk% humans. 
Experiences and choices in life, they will never end until we meet our 
maker. The best you can do is learn from them. 

A Poem About Hemps high 


Wrapped around in paper 

Flamed torched at the end 

Inhale, exhale 

Oh blown, circled cloud 

Rising alone in my mind 

Eye's turning devilish hell 

Rising up more through mountains 

Forever green hemp plant 

Inhaling its poison, greenery red hair's 

Making my eyes watery 

Like the moist dripping off it's long leaves 

In the mountains rainy season, or 

Like the water in the ocean 

My high rising like an eagle in the blue sky 

No clouds to hide the elevation 

Couple hours go by and you crash 

Into the sky towering, built like a blind pigeon 

Waking up as if in a coma, drowsy & 
Lazy with the hunger of a skinny wild hyena 


From The Beat: Your descriptions of this mind-blowing experience are 
perceived sk% euphoric. The reality of this is that it's mind-altering and 
can be dangerously addictive. You have nothing to gain with these 
types of experiences because it's in your imagination and cannot be 
applied to real life expectancies. 


My light 

The light inside I no longer want to hide. 

I stride to do better, 

but it always seems as if that will never last forever. 

I feel as if I will be lost in my mind, 

with nothing much better. 

I am always trying to forget my atrocious past forever 

but at times, I wish it would all come together. 

For me, I look at how my life is true and blessed, 

not worrying about all the stress. 

Two beautiful children to call my own 

and that light is what they, as my children, call home. 

-Lil' Lonely 

From The Beat: If that is what you need to focus your life on, by all 
means, do it, focus on your children. Better your life, so they don't have 
to see their father behind bars sk% they grow up. 

My Desert 

I'm from Albuquerque 

coming from under a rock in the dark, 

nothing lighting my way but the cherry of my lefio. 

A lost soul like the never ending burning branches, 

born and raised in this New Mexican desert 

living and growing like the Chinese elm tree's, 

mentally sharp like the end's of a Yucca plant 

but isolated from society like the Yucca 

far out in the blazing desert, 

filled with dangerous animals, 

as for my captivity is filled with violent animals 

here at the Bernalillo County Juvenile Detention Center, 

all because I walked the dusty blurry streets 

because the surrounding dessert hurling sandstorms 

like a tumbl weed rolling in the valley dirt road 

on a summer's day and my mind not being immune 

to the violence and desperation 

towards hustling and women. 


From The Beat: Manuel, ive find your view point of Neiv Mexico and the 
surrounding area very interesting, we look fonvard to hearing more of 
your lAfritings. 

.-/rA/v#>^v mmM/wmM^M /^ 

Mis Dos LecGiones 


Mi nombre es Carlos y la leccion que he aprendido en 
la vida es haberme venido de mi pais y pasar por tantos 
peligros en el camino, haber pasado por fio, calor, hambre, 
suefio y hasta haber sido arrastrado por el tren. 

Cuando yo estaba en el tren ahi mire la muerte en 
vivo, tambien vi la muerte cuando nos asaltaron, me 
quitaron la ropa, el dinero, y hast a golpearon. 

Mi segunda leccion es cuando me agarraron los 
narcos cuando andaba en la calle venidiendo drogas. Lo 
hacia para pagar la renta, comprar comida y ayudar a mi 

El 19de Junio, andaba en la calle con otros amigos 
y nos vieron vendiendo drogas los narcos. Nosotros 
quisimos jugarles la vuelta a los narcos y envez de 
seguir adelante, nos regresamos y nos encontramos con 
los narcos. Me agarraron del cuello y me golpiaron en 
la boca para sacarme las piedras de la boca. Me decian 
que abriera la boca y no les hice caso. Me golpiaron y 
me revolcaron en el suelo. Despues me hincharon, me 
llebaron a chequiar y me trajeron para aca otra vez. 
Entonces esta es mi experiencia que yo he vivido con la 

From The Beat: Se nota que has sufrido tanto desde tu salida de tu 
pais hasta ahorita. Aun asi lograstes llegar aca, y bien sano. Lo que no 
podemos comprender es porque tubistes que recurrir a la venta de droga 
cuando pudites haber encontrado un buen trabajo que no tubieras a 
alguien quien te trate como animal como estos bastardos los hicieron. 
La gente siempre te trata conforme el camino que sknAskS o el juego que 
juegas. iQue has aprendido? 

My Two Lessofls 

My name is Carlos and the lesson I have learned in life 
is coming to this country, by having to go through a lot 
of dangers on the road, the cold, the hot, the hunger, the 
sleepiness, to being dragged by the train. 

When I was on the train, I seen death in my life. I also 
seen death when we got robbed, got my clothes taken 
away, my money, and was mopped. 

My second lesson was when I got caught by the 
narcotic (police) when I was selling drugs. I used to do it 
to pay my rent, buy food, and help my family. 

In June 19, I was on the streets with other friends, 
and they (narcs) saw me selling drugs. We tried to leave, 
so we continued walking, came back to the same place 
and they saw me and caught me. They would tell me to 
open my mouth and I didn't do it. They hit me and threw 
me on the ground. Later, they jumped me, they took me in 
for a background check and brought me here (juvenile). 
This is the experience I'll never forget. 

-Carlos, San Francisco 

From The Beat: it% noticeable that you have been suffering ever since 
you left your country until now. But, still made it over here alive and 
safe. What we can't understand is why you had to get into selling drugs 
wfhen you could have looked for a good job, in which you wouldn't have 
someone treating you like an animal like these narcs treated you. You 
also have to keep in mind, that people will always judge you and treat 
you according to the road you are walking or the game you play. So, 
what have you learned? 

Ws Is the ey^perl- 
eiice I'll never forget, 

Si lien Presidente 

Q-vole vatos y rucas! Como estan? Cuando yo sea grande, 
me gustaria ser presidente. Si fuera presidente me trajera 
a todos mis mojados de mi pais que es Mexico. Yo pienso 
que no esta bien que no dejen a mis paisanos pasar a los 
Estados Unidos. 

Todos somos iguales y deberian de darnos una 
oportunidad. Piensen bien en lo que les digo. "Peleen por 
sus derechos." 

From The Beat: ^Entonces que esperas? Con una buena educacion y el 
deseo de hacer un cambio es lo que falta para poder hacer un cambio en 
este pais. A lo mejor el proposito de tu vida es hacer una diferencia en 
el mundo. No te des por vencido. Pelea por tu gente. 

If I Were a President 

What's up guys and girls! How are you? When I grow up, 
I would like to be a president. If I were the president, I 
would bring all my illegal indocumented from my country, 
Mexico. I think it's not right not to let my people cross 
into the US. 

We all are equal and we all deserve an opportunity. 
Think about what I'm telling you. Fight for your rights" 

-Dk, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Then, what are you waiting for? With a good education 
and the desire to make a change is what we need to make a change in 
this country. Maybe the purpose of your life is to make a difference in 
this world. Don't give up! Fight for your people. 

.-/rA/v#>^v mmM/wmM^M /^ 

//// // 

Lo Que Quiero Ser 


Lo que quiero ser cuando crezca es tener mi propia 
familia e hijos para darles mucho amor, para cuando ellos 
crezcan hablarles de mi vida. 

Primeramene Dios, yo quisiera servirle a El de 
corazon. Quisiera ser un buen pastor y ayudar a que los 
jovenes no anden en la perdicion, hablarles de la vida, y 
de como se sufre. 

Tambien lo que quiero es tener un programa para 
ayudar a los jovenes en Honduras para que ya no se 
metan en drogas y apoyar a los que no tienen madres ni 

From The Beat: Nos parece que son %sknsk% ideas las que tienes en mente. 
Nos gustarias que salieras adelante y llegues a cumplir tus propositos 
y asi ayudar a muchos necesitados. Si todos pensaramos de la misma 
manera como piensas, el mundo fuera diferente. 

What I Want To Be 

What I want to be when I grow up is to have my own family 
and kids to give them a lot love, so when they grow up, I 
can talk to them about life. 

God's will, I wish to serve Him with my heart. I would 
like to be a good pastor and help the young guys not to be 
in perdition, talk to them about life, and how they suffer. 

What I also want is to create a program to help the 
young people in Honduras so they won't mess with drugs 
and support those who doesn't have amother or a father. 

-Anonimo, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We thinic your ideas that you have in mind are very 
heaity. We would like for you to continue moving on and hope you make 
your purposes happen, so that way you can help a lot of people who 
are in need, if ive all think the same vtsk^ you think, the world iwould 

be a better world. 

Un Deportista Famoso 

Cuando crezca, voy a ser un futbolista mundial. Voy 
ganar muchos trofeos y triunfar en muchos partidos de 
futbol. Estar en un equipo de futbol es mi suefio en el 

Lo que me gustaria ser tambien es ser un jugador de 
basketbol, y ser un jugador de socker. Tambien soy un 
amante a las carreras de carros. Me gustaria algiin dia 
participar en una carrera de carros de maxima velocidad. 
Me gusta mucho ser narrador de cuentos y leyendas del 

From The Beat: Se nota que tienes la sangre de deportista corriendo 
en tus Mensk%. Esperamos que llegues a cumplir sk\%unsk% de tus metas. 
Estando en este lugar no MSk% a conseguir nada de esos. O %esk que busca 
la forma como salir de aqui primero y despues luchar por la cosas que 
te gustan. 

A Famnus Spnrtsman 

When I grow up, I want to become a worldwide sportsman. 
I going to win a lot of trophies and succeed in many 
football's games. Being in a football team is my dream in 
the future. 

What I also want to be is a basketball player and a 
soccer player. I am also a lover of car racing. I would like 
to participate in car racing of max speed someday. I also 
like to a narrator of stories or legends from the past. 

-Rudys, San Francisco 

From The Beat: It noticeable that you have athlete's blood running over 
your veins. We hope you make any of your dreams a reality. Being in 
this place, won't help you at all. Look for the way to get out of here 
first, and fight for the things you love after. 

! I 


* I 


Mi Lugar Segurn 

Mi lugar seguro es mi casa porque ahi nunca pasa 
nada y nunca tengo que cuidar mi espalda. En la casa, 
nomas me la paso kickiandola, y tratando de olvidar las 
gangas. Cuando trato de olvidar las calles, escucho que 
me Uaman. 

From The Beat: Deberias de permanecer en la casa. Deberias de evitar 
que te ablen. 

The Safest Place 

My safest place is my house because nothing happens 
there and I never have to watch my back over there. At 
home, I just spend my time kicking back, and just trying 
to avoid the gang. When I try to avoid the streets, I hear 
they calling me. 

-Psycho, Santa Clara 

You should stay in your house. You should also avoid 

From The Beat: 
their calls. 

Pidiendn Perddn 


La verdad es que no le he pedido perdona a nadie y si 
alguna vez le pidiera perdon a alguien, seria a mi madre o 
a mi hijo por no poder estar con ellos ahorita. 

Aunque yo quisiera estar con el, no puedo, pero se 
que quizas pronto este con el para darle un buen futuro. 

Si solo hubiera una vida, claro que la viviera diferente. 
No haria lo mismo. Estubiera por un mejor camino, 
haciendo cosas buenas, trabajando legal o quizas en otro 
camino y no el que Uebo. 

La realidad es que me hace feliz tener a mi hijo sano, 
que crezca, darle todo lo que el desee, darles sus estudios, 
que saiga adelante, que tenga un mejor futuro y que no 
pase por las cosas que yo he pasado. 

Otra cosa que me hace feliz es tener a mi madre viva 
y que tambien ella este bien, que tenga salud y que Dios 
le de muchos afios de vida. 

From The Beat: Si puedes darle a tu hijo todo lo que quieres. Todo 
esta en ti! Si de verdad quieres que tu hijo lo tenga todo, deberias de 
empezar a trabajar en eso. Procura hacer las cosas de otra manera que te 
permita ayudar a tu familia y darle un mejor futuro. Quedandote en esta 
pais con un trabajo legal puede ayudarte mucho a lograr tus metas. 

Asking For Forgivness 

The truth is that I haven't asked for forgiveness to anyone 
and if some day I ask for forgivness to someone, it would 
be to my mother and my son for not being with them right 
now. Even though I want to be with him, I can't. I know I 
will soon be with him to give him a good future. 

If there were only one life, I would live differently for 
sure. I wouldn't do the same. I would be in a better way, 
doing things right, working legally or maybe in a different 
road and not the one I am. 

The truth is that it makes me happy to have my son 
healthy, growing up, giving him everything he desires, 
help him succeed, provide him a better future and prevent 
him from going through the things I've gone. 

Another thing that makes me happy is to have my 
mother alive, have her in good condition, healthy and to 
have God giving her many more years of life. 

-Francisco, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Yes, you can give your son everything you want him 
to have. It's all on you. If you really want your son to have it all, you 
should start working on it. Make sure to do things differently that can 
allow you to help your family and give them a good future. Staying in 
this country ivorking legally can help you accomplish your goals. 


.-/rA/v#>^v mmM/wmM^M /^ 

//// // 

Lo Mas Feo 

Estar aqui ha sido lo mas feo que he pasado en la vida. No 
estar al lado de mi madre es muy triste. Estar lejos de mi 
padre ha sido muy doloro al igual que estar lejos de los seres 

Andar en una mara es muy duro. Uno hace cosas que no 
debe hacer, pero las hace porque sino te pueden hasta matar. 
Uno comete errores en la vida que despues que los comete y 
se Uega arrepentir, ya es muy tarde. 

Cuando estaba nino, pense en ser un artista. Mi vida poco 
a poco cambio. Lo logre. Un dia que creci, decidi venirme 
a los Estados Unidos desde Hondura. Fue un camino bien 
duro. Fue un largo viaje en el tren. Anduve 17 dias y cuando 
Uegue aqui, mi vida cambio. Y vine a parar a la carcel. 

Si Dios me lo permite, saldre luego de este Iguar. Todo se 
lo dejo a Dios. 

From The Beat: ^Hablas de experiencia cuando te ref ieres a las pandillas? 
£Te has arrepentido de tus errores? £Que te hizo que te arrepintieras? 
£Fue esta experiencia? £0 haberte dado cuenta lo equivocado que 
estabas? Esperamos y aprendas de esta ieccion. 

The Worst 

Being here has been the worse I've lived in my life. Not being 
at my mother's side is very sad and not being with my dad 
and loved ones has been painful. 

Being in a gang is very hard. You do things you shouldn't 
do, but you have to do them or else you can end up killed. We 
commit errors in life and and we we realize what we did is too 

When I was a kid, I thought about becoming an artist. My 
life changed little by little. I made it. One day I grew up, and 
I decided to come to the US from Honduras. The journey was 
very hard. It was a long ride on the train. I spent 17 days and 
when I got here, everything changed. I ended up in jail. 

If God permits me, I will get out from this place. I'll leave 
everything in God's hands. 

-Dixon, San Francisco 
From The Beat: Are you speaicing from experience when taiicing about 
gangs? Have you regret maicing the mistaices you made? What made you 
regret it? This experience? Or realizing the wrong you were doing? We 
hope you learn from this experience? 

Evitando la Prision En El Euturo 

La verdad es que yo pienso que todos pueden ir por el 
mismo camino malo, pero nadie puede evitar las cosas 
que hacen mas que uno mismo. 

Mis suefios son muchas cosas para mi. Aveces 
suefias cosas que son muy bonitas, preciosas que cuando 
me recuerdo empiezas a reirte de todas las cosas que 

Gracias Beat within por escuchar mi historia. 

From The Beat: £Y tu por que camino MSksl ^Cual escogeras? ^Crees 
que alguna vez algunos de esos suenos se hagan realidad? ^Puedes 

Avoldlno Prison In The Entnre 

The truth is that I think everyone can end up in prison 
always and when they continue walking a wrong path. 
No one can make you stop doing the things you do but 

My dreams are many. Sometimes I dream beautiful 
things, that when I think about them, and I start to smile 
from it. 

Thanks Beat Within for listening to my story. 

-Lil' Juan, San Francisco 

From The Beat: What road are you on? Which one will you choose? Do 
you think any of those dreams will come true one day? Can you make 
the a reality? 


I I 

' I 

Mis Planes 


Cuando crezca, quiero ser un empresario y tener mi 
propia empresa. Un ejemplo serias ser duefio de una flota 
de troques, buses, o de taxis en mi propio pais. 

Quisiera tener eso para algiin dia casarme y tener 
hijos y que ellos tengan todo lo que necesiten hasta que 
puedan ser indispensable 

Tambien quiero ayudar a mis padres todo el tiempo 
aunque este casado porque son los mejores padres que 
he visto. Les agradezco a ellos por haberse preocupado y 
por sacarnos adelante a mi y mis otros hermanos. 

Le doy gracias a Dios por haberme dado unos padres 
exelentes y por tenerlos juntos. Le pido que nunca se 
separen porque ellos son nuestros fundamento. 

Aqui en este momento, le pido a mi padre celestial del 
cielo que me disculpe por estarlo preocupando, y quiero 
que sepa que lo amo. Amo a ellos, y a mis hermanos, a 
mi hijo que es un regalo lindo como el diamante que he 
podido recibir departe de Dios. 

Gracias por mi hijo, Sefior. Cuidemelos. 

From The Beat: Tienes muchas metas que cumplir y sino empiezas 
ahorita, no lograras cumplirlas despues. Todo es posible en la vida 
siempre y cuando lo hagas con corazon. Tienes unsk familia que depende 
de tu ayudar. Si sigues en este camino, lograras mas preocupasiones, 
una gran perdida de tiempo y ni podras ayudar a tu familia. 

My Plans 

When I grow up, I want to be a businessman and have my 
own company. An example would be having a livestock, 
bus business, or a tcixy company in my own country. 

I wish to have that so I can marry one day, have kids, 
and be able to provide him all they need until they can 
become dependent. 

I also want to help my parents all the time even though 
they are married, because they are the best parents I've 
seen. I thank them for worrying about me and helping my 
brothers and I to succeed. 

I thank God for giving me exelent parents and for 
having them together. I ask God that they never separate 
from each other, because they are our own fundament. 

At this moment, I ask my Celestial God from Heaven 
to forgive me for making Him worried and I want him to 
know I love Him. I love them, my brothers, my son who is 
a beautiful gift like a diamond I've received from Go. 

Thanks for my son. Lord. Take care of them. 

-Jose, San Francisco 

From The Beat: You have a lot of goals to accomplish and if you don't 
start right now, you won't make happen them later. Everything is 
possible in life always and when you want it with the heart. You have a 
family that depends on your support, if you continue living in this path, 
you will create more worries, and a big waste of time and you won't 
I even help your family. 


At this momefft, I ask ^i 
Celestial ^od from Heaven 
to forgive me for making 
film worried and I want him 
to know I love film, 

.-/rA/v#>^v mmM/wmM^M /^ 

//// // 

Lo Que Pienso 

'X [ Todos Somos Diferente Por Dentro 

Hay veces que no podemos pedirles perdon a la vida porque 
estamos haciendo cosas malas. Entonces creo que aqui en 
esta carcel, te da el tiempo para recapacitar. 

Estar aqui no es malo porque afuera tenia problemas con 
mucha gente por nada. Usaba mucha mariguana y cuando no 
la usaba, me sentia mal. 

Los primeros dias cuando estaba aqui, me sentia mal 
porque no tenia un toque de mariguana. Le pido a mi Diosito 
Undo que cuando saiga de aqui que me ayude a no fumar 

Si hubiera solo una vida, le pido a Dios que cambie mi 
vida porque porque la Uebo muy de prisa. Me gustaria ser 
una buena persona para la sociedad y no me gutaria perder 
la vida de otras personas. 

From The Beat: Pueda ser que para muchos estar aqui les ayude, pero 
creemos que si uno quisiera cambiar no necesita estar en la carcel para 
pensar en un cambio. No necesitas estar preso, o pasar por la experiencia 
mas grande para hacer un cambio, solo necesitas el querer. ^Apoco crees 
que hay otra vida? £Si %\, que te hace pensar esto? 

What I Think 

There are times when we can't ask for forgiveness to life 
because we are doing wrong things. I think being in this jail 
help you reflect. 

Being here for me is not a bad thing, because on the outs 
I had many problems with people over nothing. On the outs, I 
used to smoke a lot of weed, and when I would use it, I would 
feel bad. 

The first days I was in here, I would feel bad because I 
needed a hit of weed. I ask my wonderful God to help me quit 
smoking when I get out. 

If there was only a life, I'll ask God to change my life 
because I am living a fast life. I would like to be a better 
person to society and I would like to loose the lives of other 

-Daniel, San Francisco 
From The Beat: Jail may help a lot of people in here, but we believe that 
being here is not necessary to think about a changing your ways. You 
don't need to be locked up, or to go through the worst experience to 
make a change, you just need tohave the desire. So, do you think there 
is another life? if so, what makes you think this? 

Mi Vida 

Lo que quiero ser cuando crezca, primero que todo, es 
sacar adelante a mis padres. Despues hacer mi propia 
casa, tener una meta para hacer mi propio negocio, y 
brindarle un buen futuro a mis hijos. Esas metas van a 
empezar despues de que yo saiga de aqui. 

Cada dia de la vida de uno aprende cosas diferentes 
porque todos los dias hay lecciones, pero hay errores mas 
grandes. El error mas grande es por lo que estoy aqui y de 
eso voy a aprender mucho. Ojala no vuelva a cometerlo. 

From The Beat: Tienes metas en la vida, no la tires a la basura por esta 
experiencia. Tienes todo lo que un ser humano tiene para poder realizar 
cualqueir meta que quieras. £Que esperas? 

IVIy Life 

What I want to be when I grow up, first of all, is to help 
my parents succeed. Then, build my own house, set up 
a goal to create my own business, and be able to provide 
a good future to my kids. Those goals are going to start 
after I get out of here. 

Every day of people's lives, different things are learned 
from the lessons we go through. There are others big 
mistakes. The biggest mistake is what I am here for, and I 
will learn from it a lot. I hope to never make them again. 

-Mario San Francisco 

From The Beat: You have goals in life, don't throw it away because of this 
experience. You have everything a human being posess to accomplish 
anything you want in life. What are you waiting for? 

! I 

Saben todos somos diferentes, pero todos somos iguales 
por fuera. No importa la estatura, no importa el color de 
la piel, ni del pelo. 

Todos somos diferente por fuera pero por dentro 
todos somos iguales. 

Todos tenemos el mismo corazon, todos quisieramos 
que el mundo tubieran los corazones buenos por 

From The Beat: Tienes razon! Todos somos diferente por fuera, pero por 
dentro todos tenemos el mismo color de piel, de sangre y un corazon 
con un alma. £C6mo fuera el mundo si todas la gente tubiera con un 
buen corazon? 

We all Are Different From Inside 

We all are different, but we are all equals from the inside. 
Height doesn't matter, neither the color of your skin or 

We all are different from the outer side, but from the 
inside we are equals. 

We all have the same heart, and we wish all the people 
from the world to have good hearts. 

-Lil' Chilango, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: You're right! We all different from the outside, but from 
the inside, under our skins, we have the same color, same blood color 
with a heart and a soul. How do you think this world would be if all 
people had a good heart? 




My Pnem Tn Ynn 

What I want you to take a chance on me 

And let me show you how wonderful 

looking me will be 

I could love you for all the eternity. Take a chance on 


Esta pena que Uebo las Uebo por dentro 

No la puedo sacar, no la puedo olvidar 

Ya que en mi pecho se encuentra muy adentro 

Estoy enamorado de una bella mujer 

A la que le entrego mi vida, tambien mi querer 

No son falsas promesas las que yo te he dicho 

Que algiin dia al altar te he de Uebar 

Que un anillo algiin dia en tu mano has de Uebar 

Eres mi estrella, mi lucero, mi universo entero 

Ya que en mis ojos, yo miro puro amor eterno 

Tu mirada y mi mirada se estrellan 

Haciendo ver las luz de las estrellas 

(This pain I have inside me 

I can't take it out, I can't forget it 

Giving the fact that it exist very deep in my chest 

I am in love with a beautiful woman 

Who I gave my life, and my love 

The promise I've told you aren't false 

That someday, I'll take you to the altar 

That a ring in your hand you'll carry 

You are my star, my entire universe 

In your eyes, I see eternal love 

Your look, and my look crashes 

Making the light of the stars) 

What I want you to take a chance on me 

And let me show you how wonderful 

looking me will be 

I could love you for all the eternity. Take a chance on 


-Lil' Chilango, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Very beautiful and creative. Can you write a poem like 
this about your life or siny experience you had. We would enjoy it sk% 
well sk% this one. 

.-/rA/v#>^v mmM/wmM^M /^ 

//// // 

Cuando Crezca 

Mi nombre es Manuel. Cuando era nifio, tenia 9 afios, 
yo queria ser soldado, pero despues me di cuenta que 
era muy complicado porque en el ejercito la vida es muy 

Despues me fue gustando la miisica y eso era una 
gran carrera porque hay famosos que la gente los quiere 
mucho y ganan muy bien. Me puse a tocar la bateria, lo 
cual es un instrumento musical muy bonito que me gusta 

Despues aprendi a tocar muy bien tan que cuando mi 
hermano bautiso a su hija, trajeron un grupo musical. No 
recuerdo el nombre. Lo bueno es que le dije al que tocaba 
que me dejara tocar con ellos y me dijeron que esta bien. 
Le dijo al integrante del grupo que me prestara la bateria. 
Tocamos, y me dijeron que tocara otra vez y le dije que 

Despues el duefio del grupo me dijo que tocaba 
super bien. Me dijo que si queria podria integrar al grupo 
musical, pero mi suefio es estar en un grupo famoso como 
los Cumbia Kings o Super Reyes. Tengo fe que algiin dia 
podre entrar a un grupo famoso. 

From The Beat: Si ese grupo en tu pais te dijo que tocabas bien y te 
ofrecio trabajo, so quiere decir que en verdad debes de iiegar a ser 
un profesionai tocador. Ahora que estubistes en este pais, tubistes la 
mas cerca de haber podido iograr este sueno. Esperamos que para la 
proxima no dejes ir una oportunidad sk%\. Pero nuncsk es tarde para hacer 
reaiidad tu gran sueno. El taiento lo tienes, ahora tienes que buscar lo 

My Love For Playing Mosic 

My name is Manuel. When I was a kid, was 9 years old, I 
wanted to be a soldier, but later I realized that my dream 
was very complicated because the lifestyle of the army 
was very hard. 

Later I started to like music, and that's a great career 
because there are famous who are loved by many people 
and get paid well. So, I started to play drums, which is a 
musical instrument very beautiful that I like a lot. 

Later, I learned to play very well, so well that when 
my brother baptized his daughter, he hired a musical 
band. I don't remember the name of it. I ask the principal 
member of the band if they would let me play with them 
and they said that it was OK. He asked another member 
to let me play the drums. We played, and they asked me to 
play again and I agreed. The owner of the band told me I 
play really good. He also asked me if I wanted to become a 
member of the band, but my dream was to become a very 
famous person like a member from Los Cumbia Kings, or 
Super Reyes. I have faith that some day I will get into a 
famous band 

-Manuel, San Francisco 

From The Beat: If that band told you that you play very well, and offered 
you a job, that means that you can become a professional player. Now 
that you were in this country, your dream could have been easier to be 
reached, but didn't take advantage of it. We hope you don't give away 
another opportunity like this one. It's never too later to make a dream 
a reality. 

i I 

Desde Peiieiii 

Siempre he querido ser alguien en la vida. Cuando estaba 
nifio sofiaba con ser un professional. Estudie en un lugar 
llamado El Pedernal De Honduras. 

A mis doce afios, termine mi primaria, y era aplicado 
al estudio. Cuando termine mi primaria, mis padres eran 
muy pobres y ya no tenian dinero para mis estudios. 

Luego anduve en la calle, aprendi muchos vicios, 
desde fumar mariguana, cocaina, y ya no segui estudiando. 
Luego me vine de mojado para aqui (EEUU). 

Trabaje legalmente seis meses, pero perdi mi trabajo. 
Empece a vender drogas y me detuvieron los policias. 
Termine encerrado aqui encerrado, pero siempre he 
tenido la esperanza de superarme y poder graduarme. 

Tambien queria ser futbolista, pero no he logrado 
nada por mis vicios. Espero salir de este lugar y no volver 
a lo mismo. Quiero cambiar para ayudar a mi familia, 
estudiando y superandome. Se que con la ayuda de Dios, 
lo voy a Iograr. 

Les doy el consejo a los que estan alia afuera. 
Dejensen de las drogas que no nos dejan nada bueno. 
Superensen ahora que puedan porque cuando esten tras 
las rajas, no va a ser lo mismo. Aqui se te derrumban 
todos tus suefios. Es algo que no se lo deseo a nadie. 
Figensenen lo que hacen para que scan mejores. Que feo 
es estar aqui preso. Que Dios los bendiga! 

From The Beat: Tomastes la decision mala! ^Como fueran sido las cosas 
si hubieras ido a la escuela y no te hubieras metidos en drogas? £Te has 
puesto a pensar todas las cosas positiva que hubieras hecho? Esperamos 
que busques la forma como alejarte de tus malos habitos la misma 
manera como te asercastes? Tienes %ueno% que has puesto al olvido, 
y deberias de activarlos. Todavia tienes una gran vida que vivir. No es 

Ever Since I Was Young 

I always wanted to be someone in life. When I was a kid, I 
had the dream of becoming a professional. I studied in a 
place called El Pedernal De Honduras. 

When I was twelve, I finished middle school, and 
I was dedicated to my studies. When I finished middle 
school, I was very poor and I didn't have any money for 
my studies. 

Later I was on the streets, I learned a lot of bad habits, 
I started to smoke weed, cocaine, I quit school, and I 
decided to come to the US. 

I worked legally for six months, but I lost my job. 
I started to sell drugs, and I got caught by the police. I 
ended up locked up, but I have always had the hopes to 
succeed and graduate. 

I always wanted to be a football player, but I haven't 
accomplished it because of my bad habits. I hope to get 
out from here and never come back. I want to change to 
help my family, study and succeed. I know that with God's 
help, I'm going to make it. 

I want to advise those on the outs to stop messing 
with drugs because it doesn't take you anywhere. Succeed 
now that you can because when you're behind bars, it 
won't be the same. In here, all your dreams collapse. It's 
something I don't wish to anyone. Be careful with what 
you do so you can become better. It's ugly to be here 
locked up. God bless you. 

-Rosny, San Francisco 

From The Beat: You made the wrong decision! Have you ever wondered 
how would things be right now if you had stayed in school and hadn't 
gotten into drugs? Now, we hope you find the way to get rid of your 
bad habits the same way you started messing witht them. You have 
dreams that have been put aside, so you should activate them. You still 
have a long life to live. It's not too late. 


amam// • #////// 

'^usTxn SBnnB/?T' 


To The Beat 

Well it's been awhile since I've seen some of the 
masterpieces of The Beat Within D! I used to be in Juvenile 
hall in downtown San Jose and in and out of county and 
Elmwood for a couple of years till now! I got charged and 
being sentenced two years in state prison! Not only am 
I going to prison, I'm locked up again anyway from my 
loved ones!! 

But you know what I have a friend's who gets The Beat 
issues and I get to read them every time you send them 
but I'll be going to prison so I won't have any issues! I 
sure hope when I get to where I'm going we can establish 
a line of communication? Your pieces and magazines 
influenced me like when I was a teen in the hall! 

I've always liked it expressing what I had inside built 
up while doing the time to The Beat! I'm really encouraged 
to do what I can influence the younger generations away 
from this lifestyle!! Well I got some wisdom that could 
end could beneflt the next man growing up to do better! 
Take my advice from a striker in the system, once your in 
your never out 'till your out!! Now that it is sold, I hope to 
hear from The Beat soon! Tell me what I can do to keep in 
touch from both sides? 'Till pencil and paper again! 

With all respect. 

Our next writer is writing to u% from a Correctional Facility in 
Sacramento, Ca. He u%e to be in the same halls a lot of you young 
readers are at now - ^skntsk Clara County Juvenile Hall. Like he states in 
his poem, he had a life out in the streets, but he didn't care to much to 
even try to keep his freedom. Now he's facing some time in the pen and 
is realizing that this ain't living. Being caged up ain't living folks. We 
hope that some of you readers out there can grasp this piece of writing 
and picture it sk% reality, because in reality, if some of you don't change 
your ways you might be heading down the same path our friend Justin 
took. So take it from us or take it from him. So give a read people sk% 
Justin offers some powerful words. Welcome back homie! 

/ want to waKe ^ in heaven's 
paradise and cleansed of all 

mi/ sins, nt if spirit will fli/» 


Lir story be told 

Once there was a life where those who served God lived 
a long time. But now in time, sinners have arised, crimes 
committed people are despised and want to make despised. 
I want to wake up in heaven's paradise and cleansed of 
all my sins, my spirit will fly. May our children live past 
our days, raise our family the righteous way no matter 
what holds them under your holy wing. Praise everyday 
for every breath your living, flnd peace amongst yourself, 
for another day could be your last card dealt. 

Paifl From The Inside 

Pain sizzles in the head 

A headache waking up in a jailhouse bed 

Not much of a paradise, another day doing time 

But why me again, thought I could be slick 

But I'm laying up in the pen 

This life got me like quicksand 

Once you take that step in you're stuck in it 

I had a life out there 

Too bad my actions proved I didn't care 

Carried a gun to make myself god 

But instead years is what I got 

Made a name out there I did 

Landed myself in the pen doing my bid 

Some name I made, out there running in a gang 

Now my children's children will have stories to tell 

Of how daddy put his soul up to sell!! 


Ireais of Prediliens 

I take chances, that's why I hear angels on the airwaves 

Put down the toys of men and ran out the exit from the 

prison graves 

Got marooned on some hard sun so it's time to cook this thriller 

'Cause there's a bad man coming through 

Loved stone started off this paralyzer cyclone 

Lost in the moment, raising sand early in the morning dew 

Shadow my days as I slowly 

Become the bull, cause you don't know what I really am, 

holy driver 
The shout of a king amongst us, yet we yearn for a leader 

no wiser 

Long road to ruin, yeah they know, wonders without numbers 

So I was brought low 

So I could be lifted up with out the glow 

Composer Icons with his bouquet of rattails 

Not on my level with your microwave wars of waves of 

death and snow blow bows 

He who built ruins hidden from the courage of the tongue 

For I'm the one who made (Valentine) serenade my 


And made every upraised arm broke with the butt of their 

own gun 
Disquieting thoughts from the visions of the night 

Our next writer is writing to us from a Correctional Facility in 
Wasco, Ca. Robert Lopez is j 
collage of words with a hidden message behind it! It^ a very unique 
piece and you may need to read it a few times, but see if you can capture 
his art! 

So set a unit for my soles of my feet 

And promised I would never perish 

Do to the lack of prey or daylight sun 

Proverbs of as it from the floods of the ungodly 

When deep sleep fell upon men 

Said let my cry have no resting place in this one man' s 

land of tin kin 

Creation in death from sands of silence that fled like 

shadows and did not continue 

Grappler ravaged from these sap stunning suckers and 

gumshoe young guns 

So I fled back to the (shining path) of underwater 

plumbers and tree top walking brethren 

In my element, content, as I listen to the sound of silver 

from the bird and the bee 

Oh why must it be? 

Going home ain't easy 

'Cause I can see you never ever really did love me for me 

See or can you still be my destiny 

My everything! 

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

^I^I^^^^^ ^Wii/j^'^JJJ IJJ. 

'MTHH^XL, Mf7ffHHf7SBi^' 

EilhBP— Op 

Someone once said, "I have never learned anything from 
someone with whom I agreed in everything". Recently, 
there was a Beat Within workshop topic: POWER WITHOUT 
VIOLENCE, stemming from an article by Michael KroU that 
dealt with punishment (and its effects), and then a response, 
at least, in issue 13.22. 

Nothing, of course, is as simple as it seems, but 
when I read a statement like, "Punishment is uncivilized 
and serves no purpose other than the perpetuation of 
oppression...," I'm convinced that there is another side 
to it. My understanding of things is fragmentary and 
incomplete, and I cannot pretend to know the answers to 
the severe social problems we see around us, or the penal 
punishment is administered — especially when it comes to 
the juvenile justice system. But, putting aside for a moment 
the warped lens through which our courts see both young 
and not-so-young law breakers, I'd like to say a word about 
the necessity of punishment in any functioning society. 

This is one of those "two-ended sticks", tempting us 
to grab hold of it either on the punitive side, or on the 
rehabilitative one. My question is: why does one have to 
cancel out the other? Can there be a restoration without a 
rebuke? Do punishment and rehabilitation automatically 
oppose one another, or can they be complementary? 
Yes, today, "Lock 'em up and throw away the key" is the 
popular method of fighting crime, and so it's foolish to 
defend a system that allows to try as adults those who 
are barely teenagers. But, isn't the logic behind a trip to 
the "penitentiary" is to first of all protect the law-abiding 
citizen, and then to bring the law-breaker to a change of 

Yes, it's much messier in real life, but what about those 
who simply do not want to change, and who care nothing 
for the rights of others? 

At the age of 16, I was arrested for a gang-related 
"assault with a deadly weapon", using a knife. At my 707 
hearing, the court determined not to try me as an adult, 
and I was let off with a year of juvenile time, with a six year 
suspended CYA commitment. In plain terms, I was given a 
huge break, a chance to change. Did I heed the wake-up call? 
Well, obviously, not. Within months of my release, I killed 
an innocent man during a botched robbery. If "punishment 
is uncivilized and serves no purpose, what should have 
happened to me at that point? What did I deserve, and what 
did true justice require? Could I say that "I didn't get a 
break!" or that "The system made me do it"? I was a guest 
in the U.S.A., and now I had killed one of its' citizens, with 
no desire to change, repent, and with no remorse for what I 
had done. 

For two months after the murder, I continued to roam 
the streets, committing more crimes, picking up new 
charges in L.A. and Orange Counties. My life sentence 
was a punishment — it was protective measure for society's 
sake, for the benefit of that majority which refused to live 
by the sword — ^violently lashing-out against others. To say 

We are proud and honored to bring our weekly columnist, Mikhail 
Markhasev to our pages, if you are a regular to The Beat you know 
he is no stranger sk% he kicks game for all us readers every single week. 
.._ =.= _ . , ._ ^^ Mikhail 

IS a very smart man, sk% he challenges one or our own smart writers 
from The Beat Within, sk% he engages on the topic "Punishment and its 
effects." Mikhail has a very unique perspective on punishment for crimes 
on people. As we all have our own perspective on punishment especially 
coming from the "Rehabilitation System." We all have experienced 'The 
System" whether it be through a parking ticket, a speeding ticket, 
county jail. The State Pen. The laws and the way they punish u% may 
not seem fair to all of u%, but listen to Mikhail sk% he tackles the topic 
from a different standpoint and u%e% his own personal experiences si% 
examples. Thank you Mikhail! 

that, "punishment is uncivilized" is to openly sanction evil 
and invite mayhem. It is to erode responsibility, and deprive 
the weak of protection from "the fittest", if I may steal a 
term from "The Origin of Species". Without some kind of 
discipline, we are left with the law of the jungle, a world 
where justice is absent, and where we are forced to rely on 
the shaky idealism that is seen only in Disney movies and 

There is a perpetual price of freedom, and as shortsighted 
as our justice system may be, there is a "method to the 
madness", namely, that tiiose who intentionally deprive 
others of "life, liberty, and pursue of happiness "will, in effect, 
forfeit their own. Again, this is a "two-ended stick", and has 
to be seen as a whole, in its context, and not fragmented 
along the familiar (yet complete) lines of "either", "or". 
Punishment is not good in itself, but in our imperfect world 
it is a means to a good end, if coupled with rehabilitation. 
Our society, at this point, focused on the former, without 
balancing the latter, and so we are left with many people 
who have been sufficiently punished, but not rehabilitated. 
Then again, what do you do if someone chooses not to 
change, not to be rehabilitated? Can one blame society for 
the free choice of a stubborn conscience? 

Sixty years ago, after the Second World War, there was a 
War Tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany. Over 50 million people 
were killed during this terrible bloodbath, and someone 
had to answer — at least for the concentration camps, for 
the extermination and systematic genocide of millions of 
Jews, Slavs, and Gypsies. Was this punishment? No, not 
yet. It was an opportunity for the remaining leaders of the 
Nazi regime to come clean, admit their guilt (supported by 
overwhelming evidence and eyewitness testimony), and 
ask for forgiveness for the perpetrated evils, unparallel in 
human history. 

Amazingly, very few of those did what I had to do because 
I was following orders". I'm not for the death penalty, and as 
a Christian I can never be for capital punishment. I myself 
have been shown tremendous mercy, and so I'll simply ask 
the reader to consider the "following orders" response, 
and whether it's more uncivilized to rehabilitate those who 
had admit no wrong-doing, or to punish the guilty. To be 
continue next time... 

May God bless everyone and help all of us to be just in 
our dealings with others! 

If pmish^eHt is mcivilized and serves ho pt4rpose» what 
sffou/d have happened to me at that point? What did / de- 
serve, and what did trne Justice re0re? 


amasm// • r/r/et/ 

'H, Mi^i/M/?ffDn' 


meprinted In The Beat By Permissionl Dear Joan \ 

I discovered this page today. Fm not an American citizen, 
but Danish, living in Denmark. I read about a particular 
gang in one of our newspapers today and became curious. 
I then found your site on the internet. I'm a schoolteacher 
in Copenhagen, Denmark. Denmark is a wealthy country, 
but as the USA, we do face problems with gangs, but not 
as severe as you have. It's far from that. But yesterday, we 
had a gang related murder not far away from our school. 
It happened on a Sunday, on a crowded street, where four 
people drove up close in their car and began shooting. 
They killed one man. 

I read some of the letters from kids, and the answers 
from the inmates. I was very impressed with a lot of the 
answers they wrote. One answer I have read over and 
over again was the answer from G. Alvarado in California. 
The advice he gives is very good and I can feel it's coming 
from his heart. 

It's so sad to hear that he has to spend so many years 
in prison for something that happened when he was just 
a teenager. In Denmark, the longest prison sentence is 
16 years, which means that they usually let you out after 
10-12 years. Of course your life will be changed, but it 
will not be ruined. 

But everything is a matter of politics. In Denmark 
and the rest of Europe, you'll never get a life sentence 
for a crime. And we do have gun control. I don't know 
if they'll let G. Alvarado out of prison again. But to me it 
seems that he knows what he has done and regrets it very 

If you by chance correspond with him, tell him that 
there is someone far away who thinks that the advice he 
gives is excellent. He should tell more about his life in 
prison. Maybe that could scare the kids enough so they 
will not do the same mistake as he did. 
Sincerely yours, 

Torben Bruhn, Denmark 

The Offering 

I don't recollect her face 

Nor her name 

Plastered on a small plaque 

Above her left breast pocket. . . 

I only remember the gentility 

Of her smile... 

The kindness 

In her voice 

And the bitter bite 

I delivered whole 

Once I was given 

A brief 

Feel of her 

Inner most 

Being stuck in a jail cell is not an idyllic situation. But we 
have this power - our words, our ability to seek through 
them the answers we seek. Our lives are not over. We 
can travel by not staying quiet. We can reach others at 
any level. We can awaken in us the silent voices of or 
ancestors. We don't have to become what was predicted 
in the computers of those who are the architects of this 
system. To find our calling is to arrive at our home. 
Excellence in beauty can only be seen by an open heart, 
with much humility. 

Our next writer is writing to u% from Caiipatria State Prison in 
Caiipatria, Ca. He's a superb writer that has been through his own 
fair of trials and tribulations. He^ been where a lot of you sit at right 
now. And ^% he delivers the following from the prison system with a 
long sentence to serve he steps up huge. But Alvarado hasn't let none 
of his troubles getting in the way of trying to become a better person. 

everyone that's incarcerated. And now Alvarado wants to put his voice 

out there and try to teach some < " 

doing what you doing. Do it before you find yourself facing a long 

sentence behind bars. In reality v " - - — 

life, sometimes we make the wrong decision and sometimes we make 
the right one. But if we make a mistake we have to realize that it's not 

one else can do it for you. So take heed to some of G. Alvarado's words 

If if 014 h If chance correspond with 
him, tell him that there Is some- 
one far awaif who thinks that 
the advice he gives Is eKcellent 

As If This Life Wasn't Enouoi) 

We fight loneliness 

With all our might 

We crave songs 

Flowers (poetry) 

And people 

Who will remove us 

Far from our wretched life 

We avoid mirrors 

And things 

That remind us to look back 

We praise others 

Those who have given 

Their final goodbye 

We remember their lives 

As if 

We envy their 

No more tomorrows 

We recapture their words, their love 

Their sorrow, as if they didn't shatter 

Our dreams 

We move through emotions 

And as a stern hand 

Of an ancient time 

We punish the fragility 

Of our own heart 

We bury the sensuality 

The usurped pleasure 

To feel 

The connection 


You, I 

And the pulsation 

In this Creation love. 

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

^^^^■HI^JHOKI^ //l#////// 

'H. ^L,W^/?^Dn canr' 

The Spaces Between 

I wonder with devotion whether other's predicaments 
should make us feel responsible. And when I say "we," I'm 
talking about those who have at least their basic needs met. 
Are we somehow guilty - accomplices for staying quiet or 
for not taking action? 

I grew up in a land filled with natural beauty and man- 
made violence - Cuzcatlan (El Salvador), land of plenty in 
people... our native language. In the 80's there was much 
upheaval, but even before that, chaos was present in my 
birthplace. For example, in 1932 a great massacre took 
place that left about 10,000 to 20,000 people dead. All form 
of indigenous cultural life was tried and found guilty of 
treason. So the native language (pipil) was banned. Our 
native identity went underground. This probably doesn't 
mean anything to the average person, but the point of this is 
that whether it is on the other side of the world, on our own 
continent, or our own land, tyranny against others for the 
benefit of keeping the status quo is a sickness that affects 
all members of a society. Passivity and blindness affects 
us without realizing it. At the moment those who have the 
means to live a quiet life prefer to keep it that way. Now, 
those of us seeking the answers to this plight we human 
beings have put ourselves in, wonder to infinity whether 
the mountain is just an impossibility to climb. One, two, 
three lives our words might change - what is that compared 
to the utter hopelessness felt by millions? Aha! Not an 
easy question or answer... true? 

I have admiration however, for those who willingly go 
forward and put themselves on the front line, those like Mr. 
Inocencio who in spite of being in a position to live a quiet 
life, has refused those who said it can't be done. People 
like Don Morrison Pat Nolan, Dennis Merino, founders of 
The Inside Circle. They truly represent what our hunger 
and determination to heal this world can achieve. They, 
by taking action, by having the attitude of not giving up, 
created a safe haven for many of us who also were seeking 
an alternative to the madness of prison. Eduardo Galeano, 
the South American writer, wrote some very powerful 
statements under some very harsh conditions. 

His essay. In Defense of the Word, speaks of the 
reasons why one writes. He says, "One writes out of the 

need to communicate and to commune with others, to 
denounce that which gives pain and to share that which 
gives happiness. One writes against one's solitude and 
against the solitude of others. One assumes that literature 
transmits knowledge and affects the behavior and language 
of those who read, thus helping us to know ourselves better 
and to save ourselves collectively. But others is too vague; 
and in times of crisis, times of definition, ambiguities may 
too closely resemble lies. One writes, in reality, for the 
people whose luck or misfortune one identifies with the 
hungry, the sleepless, the rebels and the wretched of this 

I consider myself a "wretched of this earth," an 
outcast, deep inside the bowels of this machine. But in 
here I've also realized that there is a profound hunger in 
many of us, an ancient call to take action, to denounce, 
to take responsibility of our lives and this world. Why, I 
ask the four winds, did gangs propagate so rapidly, along 
with drugs? No one person is exactly the same. We all 
have our own history book, but our common denominator 
is our emptiness and loneliness, that aching feeling that 
our hearts will never be filled. No matter who we are, or 
what place we hold in society, our hunger to feel whole is 
ingrained in every part of our being. 

I recall a few years ago, while facing new charges in 
Sacramento and the possibility of life in prison. I, tired of 
being tired, blinded by my rage and desperation, stepped 
into the court room with only one thought in mind -- "All 
these people, every single one of them, with their demeanor 
and speech, don't see me. I am nothing to them." But then, 
out of nowhere, the bailiff spoke directly to me, a gesture 
of compassion, of recognizing me as a human being, not 
the piece of trash society would have them throw into this 
dumpster of souls. However I, so corroded by indifference 
spoke back, but not in the compassionate way she had 
addressed me. Rather my poisonous words sharply drew 
the line that divides us all, that space in between we seldom 
dare to cross to show each other our humanity. Only later 
did I realize that those words were just that, an offering of 
kindness towards another human being, no more, no less. 
My own blindness prevented me from seeing that unique 

What's Worth Telling \ 

Gloomy are the skies 
Over clouding these lands 

Bemused \ 



Are the feelings 

Are all we get 

That stretch 

The noise never ceases 

Along the borders 

The loneliness never stops 

Dividing our lives 

It only expands 


Breaking open 

A child is hungry, his mother 

A barren valley 

Hoping for a piece of bread 

In our hearts 

Seeks in desperation 

The emptiness in between gets to be 

That most desired meal 

Our only companion 

While up above 

The moments 

Far from the shanty dwellers 

We hoped to live 

Another child cries in anguish 

Are only dusty roads 

Disturbed, his mother 

Leading to madness 

Rants with high proclamations 

Brief are the joys 

At how undignified 

That brush our senses 

It is 

And while 

That her child's most desired toy 

The globe continues to spin 

Is now out of stock 

We close our eyes as if nothing is amiss. 



amam// • #////// 

'U. ^L^i^^/P^DU nanT' 

Mr. Inocencio and The Beat Within 

It is my prayer that you and all your people are doing 
well and finding balance. Over here things are the same - 
our star is however, keeping us very warm on this desert 
land. I can't help but think how ingenious the original 
inhabitants of this region were, surviving on this land 
that only offers its secrets to those who take the time to 

I am sending an essay and poems for possible 
publication. I've been absent from you guys, but not far 
away. My own personal struggle sometimes gets in the 
way of my writing. However, I've been pursuing other 
equal ventures. No matter what I am or feel, I am part 
of The Beat family. My own dream is to someday open a 
school that explores our inner lives through, among other 
things, writing for writing has provided me to take flight. 
It has opened my shell open and knowing that there are 
others like you gives me that extra push we so much 

You have given many a voice. Your magazine is an 
echo of our spirit that refuses to stay silent. Thank you 
so much for that. Mi Sefior. Tlazoh Camati ipam inon 
noteco. I have had the good fortune to have met a lot of 
good people during all this time and even though we have 
never met I feel we have, for your words speak of your 
soul and who you are as a human being - a man, a father, 
a teacher. You are a man, a tlamatini (a wise man) who 
brings light to the life of those who have been discarded 
by the indifference of ignorance. Rigoberta Manchu said 
it best: 

The silenced majority 

That some day 

Will decide 

Which piece of the sky 

Belongs to them 


Mo Quehquetza in Tlalticpac 
Ca in nemi ahmo ica in ixtli 
"Walking aimlessly on Earth 

is to live without a face" 

Miac Thazohtla (Much love) 

Un Amigo Siempre Aqui(a friend forever) 



I should vanish into the 


Of a lost thought 

Where time 

Has no home 


I should quit 

The useless venture 

Of talking to infinity 


I should cease 

Reaching out 

To an elusive reason 


With my hopes 


Dare to be a particular 

In a sea 

Of unparticular s .... 

Cansado de buscar 

Y nunca encontrar 

Me sente a descansar 

Despues de un corto momento 

Mi rumbo volvi a tomar... 

Tired of looking 

And never finding 

I sat down to rest 

After a brief moment 

My journey I resumed. 

Siiiy Nnnsense nf Days Passed 


We run into ourselves 

And for no apparent reason 

Our tears start to flow 

We remember deep in our beginnings 

That unobstructed feeling of love 

We no longer hold 

We cry 


The loss of something 

Our heart can't recall 

"What's wrong... why do you cry?" 

A concerned someone may ask 

"Oh nothing, nothing 

Just silly nonsense 

Of days passed." 

'^f7Mf7L, H^nSHH' 

No Sunshine 

You feel alone when you've never seen the sunshine 

Yo' nine to five is only about the street grind 

You know it's wicked when you scared to walk yo' own 


I pray the lord just shine on me 

Why can't we have money, why we still poor today 

Only time you get welfare 

If you have kids and are in drug infested neighborhood's 

that we live in 

And they blame us for our kids going to the pen 

But ain't no sunshine where I'm from 

That's where the statement comes from 

'Cause we live to die 

Now what you mean that it's corrupted on my side? 

We just trying to live where it ain't no sunshine 

It's cloudy with all pain 

Rain with no love 

We looked at it differently 'cause of where we come from 

My life a little harder cause my mom used to smoke 


My dad was a no show 

So tell me who's to blame for my ghetto thug living 

I'm trying my best 

But it seems like it's all I was giving 

And without no sunshine, everything comes out a mess. 

Survival of tlie Fittest 

Yea though I walk through the evil of the prison yard 

I will feel no evil for my strap is with me 

It is my rod and staff 

It comforts me as well as others 

'Cause with one blow to the body or throat 

That's one less man we don't have to worry about 

cutting our throat 

Full-fledged hand-to-hand combat war 

That everybody trained for 

Burpy routine, push up and bar work just to name a few 

Some was ready 

Some got caught off guard 

You don't have to be a genius 

Just look who laid out on the yard 

Death in the air screaming survival of the fittest 

Three minutes past with no look to an end 

Two more minutes past and everybody is on the ground 

With more bullet holes then knife wounds 

How the hell can that be? 

Just take one look up and see the smiles and laughter 

Then look back down and see the pain and hurt 

Songs of relief are sensed, but hidden behind dark 

camouflage faces 

We all know the battle is over but we also know the war 

just begun. 

Dear Beat Witiiin 

How ya'U doing? My name is Jamal, and I'm a big fan. 
I love what you do for the kids, giving them something 
in place to take their minds off the situation they're in 
and, I wish I had something like this. I came to prison 
when I was 16 years old, and I just turned 23 today. So 
I want to support your Magazine, and send you some of 
my work. And to let the young ones know, all hope is 
not lost, just be strong and follow your heart, you could 
never go wrong. 

Our next writer is reporting to u% live from a Correctional Facility 
in Tehachapi, Ca. Jamal is a very good writer and has embraced our 
publication for open arms sk% we sk% well embrace his writing. He does a 
good job on expressing his feelings and his pains through his writings. 
So please give it up for Jamal sk% he takes you on a ride through his 
mind, thoughts, and feelings from the heart. 


Deep within my twisted mind 

I contemplate the thing's I find 

Clips of red rivers invade my mind 

Like when I was nine three of my friends died before my 

It's getting better though, 'cause drive by's are no longer 


As kid's it was burned into our minds 

That we was to ride until we die 

Now that I look back, that was a bold-faced lie 

Now I'm messed up for life 

'Cause I'm not eligible to cry 

I always sit back and ask the lord why 

But three years ago I would not have cared why 

But all this time 

Working my body and mind gave me lots of time to 

become strong and wise 

'Cause for the flrst time in a long time I can honestly say 

I feel alive. 


amasm// • #////// 

'MD^M ^^Bi^BDU' 

The Reflection in tiie Mirror 

The ground under my feet keeps getting more and more 
dusty. The wind is dry and thick. The more the wind blows, 
the dried my lips are getting. I got so thirsty a few miles 
back that I drank the rest of my water. At least it seems like 
it was a few miles back. It seems like I have been walking 
for hours, maybe days. My watch stopped working so long 
ago and it seems like the sun is barely moving across the 
sky. Where am I going? I haven't seen another human 
being since I left the forest. 

Ha! The forest. That is where it all began. I was lost 
there also. I want to turn around and go back but anything 
has got to be better than the forest. Everything was so good 
there at first. My family was there, and food was there. So 
what. It was not the most exciting place, but I was happy 

We were always told not to go after the golden bird. 
I've heard stories all my life of those who lost everything 
following the golden bird. I never even saw the bird until a 
few weeks ago. It seemed to soar out of nowhere. It always 
had these bright colored fruits and berries with it that 
seemed so delicious. We were told they were poison but 
couldn't even taste them until it was too late. We couldn't 
get the birds food in the forest. The golden bird wouldn't 
drop the fruit until you were out of the forest. 

I wanted some of these fruits and berries so bad. They 
looked so sweet and tasty. I knew they would taste better 
than the same old food I was eating every day at home. I 
mean, "how come we couldn't get some new food?" And, 
"why do we have to stay in the forest?" 

They say the trees of the forest protect us. More like 
restrict us. Protect us from what? Everything is fine. The 
people who leave the forest never come back. Family says 
that is a bad thing, but how do we know? They never come 

It might be great, and so great there is no need to 
come back. Why should I stay anyway? I keep breaking 
the rules. Maybe I'm not meant for this place. Who really 
needs someone watching over them and "protecting" them 
anyway? I'm sure I'd be just fine away from the forest. 

Once I started thinking that, it was just a matter of 
time. Everyday it seems I was getting closer and closer 
to the edge of the forest. The tall trees seemed more like 
restrictions than protection. Then I found myself at the 
edge of the forest looking out into fields of fruits, berries, 
golden leaves and kids playing and having fun. No parents, 
no trees, no laws, no rules. Only a sandy road of about 10 
feet separated me from "paradise." So I stepped out. 

My foot met the ground with a crunch as soft forest soil 
turned to hard dirt. I walked the short distance towards the 
other kids and the land of freedom and fun, but it seemed 
to actually be getting farther rather than closer. I began 
to walk faster, turning to a trot and then a jog and a run, 
hoping to join in the fun, only to find it sliding further and 
further away. Finally out of breath I look up and see that 
beautiful golden bird with a berry in its mouth looking 
down on me. "Please, Mr. Golden Bird, I've wanted a piece 
of your fruit forever!" I said. "Once you eat my fruit, it's 
the only food you can ever eat again. Do you still want it?" 
"Yes, yes please," I begged. The berry fell straight towards 
my mouth. It tasted exquisite. It tasted of chocolate, ice 
cream, soda.... everything that was good. But as I swallowed 
the berry it became very bitter. Sour and bitter and hot. It 
burned as sour acid in my throat. I looked up to question 
the golden bird about its rotten fruit, but the golden bird 
was no longer there. Now there was a big black vulture with 
shallow, ebony eyes. He smirked at me and fiew off. 

I stepped towards where all the fun was happening a few 
minutes ago and found it was all completely gone. Miles 
and miles of desert stretched out at me. The hot dry wind 

Our next writer is writing to u% from a Correctional Facility in 
Vacaville, CA. Adam is ^n exceptional writ* 

writing. Adam really paints more than just a picture sk% he his words 
really refect on what, and how he things while he's in that cell. What 
we also didn't know about Adam is that he's a good story teller sk% his 
story paints u% a quick little movie with a very important lesson behind 
it. So without anymore interruptions from u% let Adam paint you a few 
pictures, and take heed to some of his words of wisdom. 

licked my face like a wave of fire sparks. I turned my back 
only to find the wind blowing back at me from the other 
direction as well. The wind is blowing from both directions, 
slamming into my eyes. Oh, what I wouldn't give for the 
shelter of the trees now. Or some of that plain food from 
home to take this bitter hot taste out of my mouth. 

I can only open my eyes for a few seconds but I can 
barely make out an object ahead of me. As I walk closer 
I begin to see the outline of the forest trees ahead. As I 
approach the forest I see a huge mirror surrounded by a 
gold frame. I'm immediately drawn to the mirror so I go to 
stand directly in front of it. I stare into the mirror but see 
nothing. As I begin to walk away I hear a soft cry. I look 
closer and see my Mom inside the mirror crying. She looks 
so sad. I begin to think she's crying because I'm gone but 
then I see myself in the mirror also. I'm stealing something 
and my Mom knows it. Hey! I remember taking that. I 
didn't think anyone knew. Then I see my refiection move 
and take something else. Then I'm hitting someone. Then 
I'm lying to someone in another room. What is all this? All 
these horrible things running together and they're getting 
worse. Will it show everything? God, I hope not. I turn 
away and am slammed by the hot wind again. 

Every time I try to step back into the forest I am kept out 
by brush. It's like it is pushing me back out to the desert. 
I turn around and look and my sins are staring right back 
at me in the mirror. I bend over and pick up a rock and 
throw it at the mirror but instead of a crash I hear a splash. 
The rock falls into the mirror like a rock falling into the 
water. What is going on here? I approach the mirror still 
filled with crying, nightmares, blood and filth. I look away 
but stick my hand towards the mirror and my hand melts 
inside the glass. 

The sounds of my life are too much so I walk away. 
I'll walk around the forest until I find a way in. Walking 
forever with no sign of being able to return home. Time and 
time again I keep coming to that mirror and the refiections 
of those same wicked scenes. It pains me to see all the 
hurt that I've caused. The brokenness I've created. But I 
know the only way back home, away from this hot wind and 
barren land and sour burning taste in my mouth is to jump 
into that mirror and face the pain of all those refiective 

Now, a year later, I know that I had to face my past 
mistakes and feel bad for them and seek forgiveness for 
them and accept it all as a part of my past and be willing 
to be responsible for them in order to go home. In order 
to stop running from my past I had to accept it. Now I'm 
home, and I realized the trees are there to protect me. The 
rules are there to help me. They are a guide for me to follow 
to never have to feel alone. 

Today, if you are struggling with what you have done or 
who you have been through, all you can do is accept it and 
seek forgiveness and move on with life. Why continue to 
run from a past that will never change? 

Part of repentance is acknowledging your sin, seeking 
forgiveness and turning away from that sinful lifestyle. 
So, rather than trying to hide from your past or pretend it 
doesn't exist, bring it to God and just leave it there. 

I hope you enjoyed the story as a little different way to 
make a point. Sometimes God gives me ideas in different 
ways, in different formats. So I just try and embrace his 
way of trying to speak. 

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

^T/^Twnimmm^ mA ji [ - fJJJl J,^ 

'^D^M f^^Bi^BDH canr. ' 


Let me paint a picture with words if I could 

A picture of my world that can be marginally good 

Two views from the same seat bring light to my prison cell 

As morning tears away from night 

As the morning stretches into the sky 

I notice a struggle that catches my eye 

Out of my tiny window I see your typical abstract of life 

The daily artwork of good and evil passing by 

The top of my window views the billows of blue where 

once stood the hollow black 

The sun kissing the sky starting its daily trek 

Colors of or£inge, green, yellow, white and blue swirl in dcince 

Giving the beauty and glory of a new day a fighting chance 

The top view of my window sees the distance 

And that morning sky, the horizon, nearby mountains and 

birds flying by 

Clouds stretched out so soft, inviting 

Silky smooth coming together at God's perfect timing 

To the north I see peaks and hills fllled with trees 

Signs of life probably that's hard to fathom 

The kind of scene that would touch even Ansel Adams 

But as I lower my eyes the horizon vanishes to something 

more real 

Barbed wire, electric fences and blood stained steel 

Shattered dreams and unfulfilled hope 

I see an ambulance take away another who couldn't cope 

Closer to home I see hate 

My eyes catch the struggle of accepting one's fate 

I see a battleground where men have lost their lives 

In times of pathetic wars never even saying their 
Metal floodlights and gucirds with guns greet my new day 

Discouraging any chance of living a better way 

Pushing our buttons and disrespect as they daily clown 

Just begging for a reason to put us on anodier lockdown 

Men slam dope and kill for another flx 

New flsh off the bus fall right into the mix 

I see men manipulated into following a blind man's lead 

Not yet knowing the cause for which he'll bleed 

I see knives buried in the shallow dirt 

I see souls just trying to medicate their hurt 

Under the horizon is where I live out every day 

Dreaming of leaving but sentenced to stay 

While here I watched sharks that smell blood 

Swarming quick getting what they can causing more to flood 

My world inspires changes in the way we live, not good 

ones though 

Lie, cheat and steal and take instead of give 

Men in their 90's will die walking this track 

Thinking over a life they can never take back 

Oh to be a bird and fly in the sky so far 

But life isn't lived where you want to be 

It's only lived where you are 

Below the horizon won't change me 

I'll flght it with all my life 

After all, don't they say only the strong survive? 

Is it stronger to give in, to comply or to flght back? 

Whichever you choose be on guard for the attack 

I'll keep my head up and now maybe you know why 

Because it's either live life staring at the blood or the sky. 

To Whofl) It May Cofloern 

Why must we continue flghting? 

A useless battle with homies and family dying 

Our children and family at home waiting 

There's a way so let's keep trying 

To keep our loved one's from crying 

Too many people seeking 

Not enough people healing 

We are condemned by closed mind ness 

So let's free ourselves with open mind ness 

Lets get together and cleaned up our mess 

Without it, our future is bleak 

With it, we can reach our peak 

Got ideas and solutions 

So then speak 

'B^efore I forget, I wot4ld also like to 
reach oi^t and give mif thanks and 
total respect for the Individuals 
snhntltting all their heantlfnl poems 
and or stories. 

■'M^/?nns nf7/?nxcf7' 

Marcos sends his love and respect for the work we do from Monroe 
Correctional Facility in Monroe, Washington. He also submits a 
poem To Whom Ever It May Concern." He's clearly through with all the 
non%en%e violence going on in these facilities, streets, etc. whatever 
you vt^nn^ call it. Why do we continue to make it hard for ourselves. 

happy to present to you Marcos. 

To The Beat Withio Staff 

Muchas gracias y mucho amor yrespecto a toda la gente 
que ayuda para hacer posible esta revista maravillosa(I 
would like to send a special thanks full of love and respect 
to everyone who made this magazine possible). I would 
also like to state that I have been transferred to MCC/ 
WSRU, as I put on the envelope. I have a poem that I've 
written a little over a year ago and just today on 7/17/2008, 
I've finally found a name after reading your two recently 
arrived "Beat Within". Thank you once again. 

Before I forget, I would also like to reach out and give 
my thanks and total respect for the individuals submitting 
all their beautiful poems and or stories. Let's keep it real, 
keep it going and study and learn all that we can. I would 
also ask/request to put a section in to have people submit 
addresses and phone numbers to people or agencies to 
help during incarceration to prepare for release or to help 
when released, ect. 

''^/?BTT¥ Iin¥' 

To The Beat Within 

I know that some police officers, judges, staffs, 
counselors, and correctional officers read your magazine. 
So I would like them to read this piece with an.... 

Our next writer is writing to u% from a Correctional Facility in 
S^nt^ Rosa, Ca. Pretty Boy really lays out some of his opinions about 
the prison system. He really speaks from his heart and basically talks 
about the prison system and it's failure to teach inmates how to be kind, 
especially in a hostile environment such sk% the penitentiary. He talks 
about how it's easy to be a follower and follow the crowd. Why can't we 
just be leaders and be ourselves no matter what environment we in? 
Cause it's easy to follow, but it's hard to be the person to try to do right. 
But enough of us telling you anything, let Pretty Boy let you know a 
piece of his mind folks! 

'Open IHind' 

You can't "correct" prisoners or help them correct themselves 
by creating cold, impersonal environments, which focus, at 
best, on skills or training rather than on basic, human-to- 
human interactions. When we put somebody back on the street 
we have to hope he or she is a more caring human being. You 
can't "train" or "educate" a sense of caring. It has to be shown 
in the environment itself and in the way you do everything you 

You send absurdly mixed messages out to prisoners 

and juveniles. In many places you call them "Mr. " which 

according to the outside world is a term of respect; but in 
prison or jails I seems instead to be a reminder that you don't 
want to be personal or friendly. You insist that guards be 
called "correctional officers" yet you don't allow them to form 
friendships with inmates. 

You say you want inmates to develop stronger social 
values, yet you forbid best friends from staying in touch with 
each other when one gets transferred or paroled. You claim to 
encourage sensible planning and reliability, yet you maintain 
an atmosphere in which a prisoner can be transferred to a 
new location without warning, or lose his job or all is prized 
possessions in a shake down with no explanations, apologies, 
or negotiation. 

You expect ex-cons to be responsible, yet while they're 
inside, a bell or whistle defines every moment of their day. You 
claim to encourage future social decency among your inmates 
and juveniles, yet you maintain an environment in which it 
is dangerous to speak out, help a friend, or show ones true 
feelings about anything. 

The thousands of prisoners I've known who truly changed 
their lives in prisons and jails seemed to do it for the most 
part, despite your system rather than because of it. Why are 
you so resistant to change? Why do you remain so difficult? 
It's bad for you, bad for your staff people and officers to wise up 
and make you change it bit by bit, by expressing true kindness, 
more common sense, and abiding by the spirit of your rules 
rather than the letter of them. 

And if they get fired for doing so, its time for them to go to 
the media and let the public know what's going on behind the 
walls. It's time to let this era of incarceration fade into history. 
There is absolutely no confiict between running a kind facility 
and running a secure one. Kindness is an attitude which can 
under lie even the strictest rules of custody. A facility or place 
expressing kindness, fairness, and encouragement can also be 
a facility, which maintains no-nonsense policies about escapes, 
contraband, and general inmate behavior. The vast majority of 
prison inmates and juveniles would love the opportunity to 
turn their lives around for the better. 

It's time you, the system opened your heart to that yearning 
instead of treating your programs and programs specialists like 
nuisances or token legal requirements. Change is inevitable, 
because the system doesn't work. Why be dragged into this 
change of kicking and screaming instead of being at the 
forefront to promote it and help it? 

(Now for the inmates and juveniles): 

What if the system doesn't change any time soon? It would 
be easy to lay this all off on the prison systems and jails and say 
"look here, you've got to run our prisons with more kindness". 
People have been saying that for years, and we're still waiting 
for it to change. But you too have a responsibility to help make 
the world a better place. 

As terrible as prisons and jails are, your behavior toward 
each other is just terrible. Even those of you who "do your own 
time" look the other way when a brother or sister gets ripped 

off, raped, or even killed. The allegiance to the stupid 
"convict code" set down by a small number of 1940's petty 
gangsters, allows the tone of prisons and jails to be set by a 
small minority of the most brutal convicts in the institution 
and jails. 

You must develop a new "convict code" based on RESPECT, 
tolerance, and mutual support, where a con can trust that cons 
watch out for each other and allow each other to live in peace 
and self dignity; where if a gang of 20 threatens you, you can 
count on 100 of all races and creeds to stand with you and say 
"that kind of stuff doesn't fiy here any more"! 

I know this isn't an easy task, and most of you just want 
to get out of prison or jail alive. But if your prison or jail life is 
"Hey man I'm looking out for number one, and I just want to 
get out of here in one piece", then that's pretty much how your 
street life is going to be too. It's an empty way to live. Anywhere 
we ever are, there are going to be values like kindness to stand 
up for, sometimes to suffer or even die for. That's how we 
gain the self-respect, which can hold up anywhere, under any 

I've talked to many prisoners and people in jail one-on-one, 
and every one of you wanted to treat others with respect and 
kindness and be treated the same way. But when you leave and 
go back into society you cop your old attitude. It's sort of like, 
"Well, I ain't gonna be the first one to turn over that new leaf; 
I'd get stepped on". I know cruel things have happened to each 
of you. But none of you has been beaten, scorned, punished or 
laughed at more then Jesus was. No one of you has given up 
his life for the good of others as Martin Luther King and many 

Yet those men and women, even in their humiliation and 
deaths, showed such greatness of the human spirit that they 
continue to inspire us long after they passed our way. Whatever 
you've gone through, whatever you've suffered, how ever much 
suffering you've caused to others, none of it prevents you from 
caring about the people around you, not only inmates, but 
guards, officers, staff, etc. 

You have to break the circle of pain and selfishness or 
forever be lashed to it. You tell me you really want to change 
your life for the better then do it. Don't rip anyone off. Stop 
lying. Trust somebody until they prove to you that they can't be 
trusted. Cautiously open your honest feeling with the people 
who seem like they want the same thing. Don't manipulate or 
lay guilt on your family, friends, and outside organizations. 
Don't harden yourself to suffering just because it's painful to 
deal with. Put drugs, alcohol, and gangs behind you so you can 
pay clearer attention to the changes you want to go through in 
your life. 

I've had enough of that nonsense and I'm sure you have 
too. It's time for us to move on. And look into this idea of 
kindness. Kindness is a great mystery. It heals so many old 
wounds and hurts we can't possibly count them all. Take up 
the challenge of how to become a truly kind person without 
being exploited or a victim in a place like this. Look around for 
ways to express a little kindness around the place you are, the 
jail or prison, the outside community, or the world. Discover 
the magic! 

No one can ever do that part for you. And it's never going 
to be any easier wherever you are. People who wait, tend to 
wait forever and die waiting. Take responsibility instead. Then 
you'll begin to feel the self-respect and self-dignity you've been 
waiting to feel for a long time. 

Until the next time my brothers and sisters I love you... 
And remember for success change is a must. Talk to you next 

Sincerely yours. 


amasm// • #////// 

'^/?BTT¥ Iin¥ nanT. ' 


"The Stand Still Spell" 

As time continues forward and I sit here in my cell 

I think is my life on hold, am I caught in a stand still 


But when I truly think about it though I'm incarcerated 

My mind and heart still learns and grows so I guess I'm 

really free 
They can take away our freedom but remember it's not 


We must use this time to learn to get through all of life 


To be built up just like a rock physically and mentally up 

in my cell 

Because I refuse to be a victim who is caught in a 

stand still spell 

This time that you face can be a training camp if you let it 

To learn for your past mistakes instead of just trying to 

forget it 

As time continues forward you'll solve so many mysteries 

And then before you know it again you will be free 

So prepare now for that day so not hesitate or waist time 

Have you not heard time is precious and even now it's 

ticking by 

And remember we are really free even though we are in a 


Because we learn and grow and then move on 

Because we refused the stand still spell! 

'^u^^¥ nnnu/' 

Never Did Love Me 

Black watery eyes 

Bloody broken nose 

How far will this abuse go 

He said he loved me 

That I'm all he's got 

But why did you treat me the way you did 

Spit in my face, you said I was a disgrace 

Messing with my thoughts 

My mind, heart, and soul 

Tie flies but this wand 

Will never grow old 

Stomped on my side 

Fractured my rib 

All because I was having your kid 

You said I was your princess 

But turned around and squash me 

Like an insect 

I didn't deserve that 

And now I see 

That you truly didn't love me 

You did 

You said that you would never lie 

But you did 

You said that you would never abuse 

But you did 

You said that you wouldn't cheat 

But you did 

You said that you wouldn't hurt me 

But you did 

You said that you would never deceive me 

But you did 

You said that you'll never give me your back 

But you did 

You said you wouldn't judge me 

But you did 

You said you would never make me cry 

But you did 

You said you would never wish for me to die 

But you did 

You said you wouldn't steal 

But you did 

You said you wont betray me 

But you did 

You said you wont break my heart 

But you did 

You said you'd never leave me 

But you did. 

Our next writer is writing to u% from Solano County Juvenile Hall. 
Our dear and newest friend, lyier, has sent u% a short story on the 
lessons he's learned from life from his own experiences. It's a short 
story with a very powerful message ^% Tyler states he will never go 
down the same path again. He admits to his own faults and now his 
taking responsibility and accountability for all his actions. So listen up, 
and read his story and try to learn something because if Tyler can do it, 
skn^one of you can do it too! 

How Much I've changed 

My name is lyier K. Ever since I was little I was vandalizing, 
doing drugs, and staying out late. I would never check in 
and stay out for days at a time. All the things I would do 
would hurt my family and people I cared for. I would have 
no regard for people I hurt. I didn't care. 

Every time I would come juvie I would change in some 
way, maybe not a lot but a little. The first time I came here 
it got me thinking about school and how much it means 
to get an education. I would think about what made me 
to do the things I do and why I hurt my family and friends 
the way I do. 

How much I've changed since I came to this place. I 
changed by letting go of my friends that are leading me to 
a dead end. I changed my ways by not taking education 
for granted. I changed by saying sorry for what I've done 
and moving up to what I've done. I have finally changed 
the way I think after all this time. I am sorry for what I've 
done but I have changed and will never go down the same 
path again. 

No matter what I am or feel, I am part of The Beat fam- 
iltf. Mtf owH dream is to somedaif open a school that ex- 
plores our Inner lives through, among other things, writing 
for writing has provided me to take flight, It has opened mi/ 
shell open and knowing that there are others like if on gives 
me that extra pnsh we so mnch need, 

read the rest of ^, Alvarado's 3W0 piece on page 53