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W hen the time 
comes for him 
to be in the 
^; White House, I'm 
I expecting our 
\ v; world / country 
to be better than 
what it is now! 
Looking forward 
to the future... 

read the rest Tenesha's piece on page 43 






" xnE * • 



/// ' ////#/ nmmm^ 

Welcome Beat writers and Beat readers as 
we bring to you the first Beat Within of the New Year. 
Long gone with '08 and kicking it into '09 the Beat is 
ready to keep this non-stop hustle going of putting out our 
publication every single week for rest of the year. We hope 
this New Year brings joy to many of you, as if you're reading 
this right now, you are alive and breathing and should be 
happy. No matter what your situation might be looking 
like, whether it be good or bad, there's always something 
to look forward to. The staff at The Beat would like to wish 
for you the best to everybody and their families. 

The year has already started off with many surprises, 
and more are yet to come. We're starting off the beginning 
of the year with a brand new President of the USA, in Barack 
Obama. So hopefully our country will head to a brighter 
future, and Obama can uphold most of the promises he has 
made. He has promised for change. 

Now change, that can mean a lot. Obama has a load 
on his shoulders sk% we are headed into tough times - ai% if 
these times are not tough already -, and is left to clean up 
the big mess that Dubya Bush made, which, won't be easy. 

I, myself, am not to big on politics. To me politicians 
are made of shhh, and act like solutions are hard to come 
by with the problems our society faces. When in truth the 
solutions are right under their nose. Now it isn^ because 
I'm not allowed to vote that I'm not into politics. If I was 
allowed to vote I would have probably voted for Obama . 
i, myself, am personally pleased to see history and watch 
with my own two-eyes Obama get elected. 

As I watch the whole world in awe, and people talk 
about change, i hope that people realize that change 
doesnt come from one person, or overnight, especially from 
the president. You all know the president has to attempt to 
appeal to everyone's beneficiary standard. He has to please 
both minorities, the poor working class, and also the rich 
folks that elected him. Think about it people. 

By no means am i trying to down play Obama's win 
in the elections. I heard the word "change" many times, 
not only through Obama's mouth in his speeches, but 
from people on the street, friends, family, strangers, etc. 
it is incredible the way that people want to bring about 
change but skte not willing to change themselves. Change 
is powerful. But for us to want to see this world to change 
we have to change ourselves too. 

The other day I was bumping a 2Pac's song, "They Don't 
Give A Damn About Us" ,which is real political. Basically, 
the song was saying "They" si% in the government or society 
doesnt care about us (minorities]. But how can you care for 
someone who doesnt care about themselves first? 

We have to be responsible and take action if we want 
change in our communities or in society period. I'm not 
talking about negative action I'm talking about positive 
action. We have to prove to our selves that we want positive 
changes for other people to see that too. For instance 
changes in the law; bringing equal justice regardless of 
what race we are, and attacking issues in the communities. 
Those are battles worth fighting for, and maybe dying for. 
Better than a color or a street that you don't even own. 

We can't go around being ignorant no more. Money is 
the root of all evil folks, but money is not the solution 
to all of your problems. Some of y'all need to stop being 

I have to admit that I was greedy at one point and all I 
cared about was the fast money. But that fast money didn't 
mean shhh after all the times i went to jail for it. That fast 
life was leading me to a real fast end. I needed to slow 
down and take a look around me and realize what's really 
important, like being here for my daughters. They don't 

want me to give them money. They want them to give 
them me, and be a dad to them. So I'm speaking out to 
you fathers, or mothers out there, or anyone listening that 
doesn't like their current situation. 

Why are things the way they are? It's 'cause we ALL let it 
get like that, if we really feel that justice isnt being served 
then let's fight for it, instead of just keep on messing up 
and going back to jail. 

In 2009 i hope for change also; and not because we have 
a new president, i look for change to all my people that's 
in the streets. Just think if we can all get to get together 
to unite and strive for a better cause. It would be BIG! i 
look for my people to become leaders instead of followers 
and start fighting over something really worth fighting for. 
Let's stop being greedy, stop thinking about just ourselves, 
and let's help each other out folks. If you want help don't be 
afraid to ask. if you want to help someone don't be afraid 
to help. You never know when sometime you might need 
help. Open your mind to new things and get educated. One 
love to everybody locked down! I wish you the best for 
2009 and hope you achieve something great! I'm out! 

Whew, nice work Omar. We appreciate your thoughtful 
words on change. We too want to see changes for the 
better, for every single one of vk%. 

The topics addressed in this issue, although, sorry to 
say, many of your writings did not get into this issue, given 
the holiday break we suppose, were, "Gun Violence" - Guns 
sit^ no joke. Too many of our friends and associates sit^ 
resting in peace, sk% too many family members and friends 
carry eternal pain due to gun violence. As we know, many 
young people writing in The Beat fear for their lives given 
the choices they are making with their lives, and find 
protection behind the gun, and will risk their own lives 
and freedom by packing a gun. We all know guns kill and 
cause damage that is irreversible. This week want you to 
share with us your thoughts on guns. Can you tell us the 
first time you saw a gun, or the first time you held a gun? 
What immediately comes to mind when you think of guns? 
Do you believe we need to have guns in our lives and in 
our communities? Would you want your child to pack a 
gun? Share with us your thoughts on how we can stop gun 
violence, or why you think it's only going to get worse. 

The second topic, "Don't Go There" - What if anything, 
is too serious to be joked about? Tell vk% something that 
you do not find amusing. How does it affect you when 
someone talks about that "something"? Can you tell us 
what that something is? Can you tell us of a time when 
someone went there, or you went there not knowing how 
the person would react so intensely? 

The third topic, "Speak up" -You notice a self -destructive 
behavior pattern in a friend who is clearly unaware of it. 
Would you point it out? If it's not vk%, we have friends and 
associates who do not see how they are slowly destroying 
themselves by their actions - maybe it was you. Well this 
week, we want to hear from you about a time when you 
should have or did speak up to %x>ie your loved one/friend 
from further destruction. Maybe it was you? Tell us how 
you now recognize your ills, and wish someone would have 
pointed out your pains. How did you/they respond? 

Last but not least, "Weird Foods" - Does your family eat 
pig^ feet? What about menudo? What about chicken feet 
for dim sum? Do you or your family eat sushi, raw fish, tofu, 
okra? Write about the weird foods that you grew up eating 
or secretly enjoy eating. Describe your experience with 
those foods, taste, the way you or your family prepares 

All right friends, thanks for picking us up! We'll see you 
next week. This issue goes out to you mothers and fathers 
who are doing the right things for your children. 

The Bent within, a weekly newsletter of writing and art by incar- 
cerated youth, is published by Pacific News Service. 

At The Beat Within, we go through a lot of trouble to censor Inappropriate sexual 
remarks, foul language, and gang references. There is enough tension in our com- 
muities already-we dont aim to bolster it. It is in The Beat's interest to promote 
peace and unity. Oui- goal is to educate one another. 

The Beat Within publishes the opinions and views expressed by the participants in 
oui- workshops. TMs is simply the pm-e voice of the youth. The views you read do 
not necessaiily reflect those of the publisher, editor or staff. All rights ai-e reserved. 
Nothing from this publication can be reproduced without oui- written pei-mission. 

To our writers: What you wiite could be hazaidous to you. Yom- words have con- 
sequences, and could be used to incriminate you. Tiy to illuminate yom- feehngs and 
viewpoints without running the risk of providing ammunition for those who might 
use your words against you. 

Co-founders: Sandy Close and David Inocencio 

Senior Editors: David Inocencio 

Assistant Editors: Michael Kroll. OmarTurcios 

Graphics/Layout Editor: ManenPau 

Staff: Pauline Craig, Carolyn Goossen, Jill Wolfson, Allan Mai-tinez, Patticia Jolm- 
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Staff: Joe Szulecewski, M.A., Lisa Donsker, M.C., Hillary Shluker, M.C., Lisa 
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Clinical Director. 

Bernalillio County Juvenile Detention & Youth Services Center Beat Staff: 

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Rocker, and Cindy Jenson 

Art: Much props to evei-yone for the great art this week. 

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Writers: Thanks to all the participants in our workshops in the San Francisco, Mari- 
copa County Arizona, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Bernalillio County New 
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A Shout-out 

I just wanted to give a shout out to my Junbug Josh, all 
the Roswell boys, the homegirls in Manzano, and all the 
homies love ya'll ain't no sun shine behind these walls 
and to all my Support and family smile for me, be home 
1 day! 


From The Beat: Normally we do not let one just do a random shout out 
piece, ok, so don't forget to use your support that^ what they're there _ 
for, but keep in mind not to abuse their support. I 

ak 1 

Till the end nf time 

Girl every day you're on my mind, and the thoughts break 
my heart. Behind these doors doing time and I know your 
so far. I can't stand the thought of being away from you. ■ 

Sitting in my cell feelin' down and blue, but girl I I 
know that our love is real. So please don't' go 'cause this 
is how 1 feel. Even though the hard times by my side is 
where you stayed baby girl your heart is mine and our 
love will never fade. So many miles apart so many months 
I've been away, but you and me will always be as we wait 
out the days. 

As the days go by girl I'm yours, your mine, always 
and forever 'till the end of time. T'ill the end of time baby 
be mine 

Every day I go out side I look up to the sky. I can't 
run, can't hide and it makes me want to cry. I'm locked 
behind these gates, and I miss my baby girl. The day I see 
you I can't wait 'cause you're my whole world. 

As I sit here I ask God why did he put me in this place. 
I regret every minute I'm away and can't see your beautiful 
face. I remember night after night you would hold me in 
your arms. 

Every thing was ok, feelin' like I couldn't be harmed. 
Then I kissed your lips and told you I had to go. I'm sorry 
for all I missed and how I left you alone. That was the last 
time I looked into your eyes. 

I went and committed a crime and lost two years of 
my life. I never told you every thing I wanted to say, but I 
love you baby girl more and more every day... 


From Rhe Beat: Hold to the love you have for your girl, but you must 
remember it was your choice and your actions that put you there not, 
"God" or any one else. When you get out do your best not to loose any 
more time from your life, and don't forget to keep writing. Let us at The . 
Beat know how your doing. | 

From The Beat: We welcome the young writer, Xavier, from the 
Youth Diagnostic Development Center in the Land Of Enchantment, 
New Mexico. Our colleague and friend Steve Serna, is taking the steps 
and getting The Beat program up and running at the YDDC, and we 
appreciate his hard work and commitment to the young people and The 
Beat Community. We hope you enjoy these initial writings from Xavier, 
as we too become familiar with Xavier and hopefully other new writers 
and learn about what YDDC is all about. 

S/X d^^s IM the shower at oMce, fights a//daif, 
h(^rhwire md i^ars this Is MotJi4veHlle or ho 
c^Htp cMpcaKe Ifi/o^ get here i/o^r doing time. 

Behind these walls 

I Behind these walls I sit because I did wrong. 
Behind these walls people say is where I belong. Behind 
these walls I watch every day go by. 
Why am I behind these walls, 
God, please tell me why. 

Behind these walls I'll stay for the next year. 
Behind these walls it's not often we shed a tear. Behind 
these walls they say they will help me 
make a change. 
Behind these walls 
makes me worse and causes me pain. 
Behind these walls is where I'll be. 

Behind these walls kids' wanting help is all I see. Behind 
I learn to love this place I'm in. 
Behind these walls 
is like home and I want to see again. 
Behind these walls is called YDDC. 
Behind these walls I won't leave 
even if I had the key. 

Behind these walls I develop a mentality 
for this place. 

Behind these walls I learn never love just hate. Behind 
these walls 

I want to stay and never want to go. 
Behind these walls I lay 
'cause behind these walls is my home!!! 


From The Beat: We are truly sorry to hear about the last three lines of 
this piece. With this mentality and way of thinking is why our adult 
prisons are full. Learn to love not hate; learn to want to stay out from 

(behind them walls. Learn from your past mistakes to better yourself, so 
you dont end up back behind them walls. 



To The Beat 

A beat what's poppin? 

It's yo boy Xavier aka Problems com'in at you posted up 
in YDDC (juvenile prison) IVY cottage all day. 

Let me tell you a little about my self I'm 17 from a 
town called Roswell and I've been locked up for 2 years 
already. Since December 07' my sentence is 2 years, but I 
aint trippin' 'cause I'm lucky I should have been a youthful 
offender, locked up 'till the age of 21, but when I did my 
crime I was drunk. Have you ever done something dumb 
when you were drunk, 'cause I did and I regret it every day. 

It goes like this, it was a Friday my boys b-day, so we 
drank then we went to the skating park and my lil' homie 
who's like my brother walked out and a rival gang member 
hit him with skates. Busted his dome open and I had my 
ruru (ruger) so I started bustin'. That fool pushed his young 
cousin in front of him and she caught three of them bullets. 
I'm so sorry for that, but I wasn't thin'in but she lived. 
Then on Sunday morning we stole a van and I got caught up 

'cause we did a drive by and my lil' homie got away, but 
got caught two months later. 

I had to do a six-month term in a RTC (Residential 
Treatment Center) Then a year hear at YDDC (children 
youth family department) my charges were aggravated 
assault, shooting at a dwelling occupant and unlawfully 
taking a motor vehicle. 

I just want to tell all y'all peeps that have a chance to do 
anything than a commitment, stay straight and let haters 
hate. Finish that, it's easy to wish I had that chance. 

When you get to where I'm at it's not fun. Six guys in 
the shower at once, fights all day, barbwire and bars this is 
not juvenile or no camp cupcake if you get here your doing 
time. Ill be here 'till I'm 18, but that's enough about me. 

Here's a few of many of my poems God Bless enjoy keep 
your head up peace. 

- Xavier 

From The Beat: Xavier it^ good to hear that The Beat Within has spread to 
your facility and it^ also good to hear that you want to participate in the 
program. We at The Beat look forward to reading your work. Don't forget 
to spread the word of The Beat. 


' /// ' #///: 

////// /M"//// 4^. /// ////#/ //. // 

The Historic Election 

This election proved to me that the US is not the so called 
segregated country that many still call it. The fact that 
a black (multiracial) man was not only nominated, but 
elected president of the United States shows that people's 
racial prejudices or previous affiliations are overruled by 
the country's insistence on true leadership. 

Although there have been many eligible black leaders, 
the fact is that in the past a majority of the country was 
still too ignorant to elect a black president. 

-D, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: We hope you are right about the countiy having moved 
beyond its racist past. It may take many more than one election to 
prove that. But this is an historic outcome. We hope that you and your 
children inherit a country that maices its choices based on performance 
and talent rather than skin color. We are closer to that ideal than ever 
before. To get there, we need to confront racism, sexism, homophobia, 
and all prejudices, whenever and wherever those ignorant beliefs 

Life Tliroooli iilly Eyes 

Life through my eyes 

would scare you half to death. 

Gangs, rape, drugs and lies, 

or just too many homies put down to rest. 

Living my life in and out of institutions 

and waking up with confusion. 

I'm dazed and confused 

but I refuse to lose. 

I can't trust any one in my life 

*cause ain't no one gonna do me right. 

My family is all dead to me - 

still alive, but they refuse to see me. 

I hurt inside and they don't know that. 

But I've messed up so much - there ain't 

no turning back. 

So step into my shoes and lace *em up tight. 

Make sure you're at my level and 

ready to fight, 

'cause life through my eyes 

would scare you half to death. 

-Jacqueline, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Beautifully written. And it^ true - there^ no going back, 
but that goes for any of us. In this life, we only get to go forward. But 
that's where old patterns can be broken and lives mended. Don't give 
up. Keep writing about your life. Write whenever you feel conflicted 
and confused. Writing is the next best thing to talking about what ails 
you, what concerns you. 

RIP Lii' Daryas, Wiio Hears Dor Cry 

Who hears our cry 

when the Judge wants 

to sentence us to life 

Who hears our cry 

when we sit in these 

rooms and ask God why 

Why did you allow me 

to throw away my life? 

Who hears our cry 

when we cry and pray at night 

to have a blessed life. 

Who hears our cry 

when our brothas 

and best friends die. 

Most of all who hears 

My Cry! 

We miss you killed by senseless violence 

Gone but never forgotten 

-Son of God, Alameda 

From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss, and for the "senseless" death 
of this friend. How does he respond when he hears your ciy? If you 
were blessed with a much shorter sentence than you may possibly face 
will you take back your life? Make the changes you need to? How are 
you responding and listening to your own cries? You have to feel worth 
the effort, you have to feel you and your life are worth more than just 
throwing it away. 


' /// ' #///: 

fifif4rH^//i/^. /// ////#/ //. // 

Gun Violence 

You are gone because of a gun 

You took a bullet to the head 

Because of a girl 

Do you see what you have done 

Now I lost my best friend 

Why did you leave 

The love you had was so great 

But now it's gone 

Because of a gun 

What should I do 

Now that you're gone 

Because you had to make a name 

You're my friend why did you leave 

You were only 18 

But now your life is gone 

Because you didn't back down 

And now I walk the streets 

All alone with no one by me 

Your gone because of a gun 

And I saw you bleed 

I watched you die 

Now it really hurts me 

It's like a nightmare that plays in my head 

It will never leave 

You're my homie my right hand man 

the one who never left me 

But now you're gone 

My heart bleeds everyday I don't see you 

I feel lost your love is gone 

You were great, happy, loving, honest, sweet, and kind 

Now you're in the ground 

Where bugs are eating at your soul 

You're my homie 

You died to a gun 

I miss you 

Please come back to me 

The homie I had left because of a guy 

That killed my homie 

His life is gone because of a gun 

Now it's time for me to leave 

-Shawnta*, Land Of Enchantment, New Mexico 

From The Beat: It^ one thing to have a friend, or a loved one die because 
of "a gun", but its even worse when you have to witness the event. 
This is something no child should have to witness. Remember there are 
councilors out there that are more then willing to help you out, if you 
decide to seek out help and guidance for the death of a loved one. 

My ravnrite Place 

My favorite place to be is at home. 

The reason why my favorite place is home is because 
I can do what I want. I can eat, sleep, and talk whenever 
I want to. I don't got people telling me when I can and 
cannot do something. 

When I go to the house I just get in my covers and 
sleep. Then I wake up and get a bowl of Apple Jacks. 
Then I smoke a Newport and hop on my Xbox 360. When 
I am done I just slap my music all loud and be in my own 

The first thing I like about my favorite place is I can 
walk out my door and walk in my house. But the most 
important thing about my favorite place is I am the man 
of the house. 

- Marquise, Alameda 

From The Beat: You've done a really nice job describing the comfortable 
feeling of being at home. We hope you get back there soon and never 
have to leave again unless you want to. We imagine there are people in 
your home who also make It special for you. We'd love to hear a little 
about them, too, in a future issue. 

Please Dnn't Gn There 

I remember when I started self destructing, I felt alone 
and angry. I was constantly fighting with my family and 
other girls, and everyone believed I as just this evil person 
that hated on everyone just for the hell of it. But like 
everything in this world there's a reason behind actions. 

Every weekend I'd go to grandma's and grandpa's and 
at six I'd sleep there to feel. .."safe." At about Sam every 
morning grandma would wake up and cook and clean, 
and every morning grandpa would molest me from 6 to 
8. I hated every weekend at grandma's, and I hated life 
when grandpa stopped doing this to me. I forgave him and 
asked God for help. 

About 2 years later at 11 my grandpa from the other 
side of my family did the same thing to me. I thought "it's 
all my" fault that I did this, and I hated the world. Both 
grandpas' told me I'd be called a whore if I ever said a 
word, but I told my Primo and he told my mom and my 
mom called the cops and they did nothing. Once again I 
was alone. 

Later, my grandma that was married to the first man 
who molested me, asked me, "mija has anyone else ever 
done this to you?" 

I said yes and her response was **He was probably 
drunk." And that was the end of that, and I never again 
talked about it. 

Last year at fourteen I told my story which helped, 
I'm talking to my therapist who listens and cares, and I'm 
slowly trusting and trying to be less violent. But once in 
a while a girl will get tough and call me a "Whore" and I'll 
lose my mind. Have respect, you never know what may 
trigger someone. Please don't go there. 

-Anxious, Land Of Enchantment, New Mexico 

From The Beat: Anxious, Icnow your not alone. This is a veiy sad thing 
that happens to children, and it saddens us eveiy time we hear of stoiy 
like this. We are glad you are talking to a therapist, which is the best 
thing you can do. Don't keep this bottled up, because all it will do is tear 
you apart, and remember this was not your fault. 

My First Gun 

I bought my first gun when I was a young teen. It was a 
9mm. I bought it because I got a gun pulled on me a few 
days before even though I was out numbered two to ten or 
fifteen; I wasn't scared until they pointed the gun at me. 

I felt a cold sweat break over my whole body. Just as 
they were getting out the car with the pistol, a man came 
out of his house and scared them away by threatening to 
call the police. 

So I bought a gun from an older friend of mine. After I 
had it for a few days I felt untouchable. I felt like nobody 
could tell me nothing. I always kept it cocked and loaded 
inside my pants on my hip. 

The thing that I didn't prepare for was when I was 
gonna actually use it. One day it came a time when I had 
to use it and I wasn't ready. We got into a shoot-out. I was 
very paranoid for the next few weeks and thankful that I 
was still alive. 

Overall I'm just trying to say is you shouldn't carry a 
gun because you might really have to use it and personally 
I don't think that the consequences are worth "being 

-Lir Rob, Solano 

From The Beat: We agree with you, and yet wonder how you will 
be protected now? Maybe it^ not worth it to carry it and face the 
consequences of using it, even if it means relying on something else... 
besides a gun... to help you. Did you thank the man who was brave 
enough to come out of his house to help you? It also sounds liice it 
would've been pretty easy to have shot yourself in the leg, or worse. 


' /// ' #///: 

Makino That Mistake 

Here I stand in a place I never expected to be. 

I'm 7 weeks pregnant and a single parent of one already. 

Wishing, I could make things better but I don't regret it. 

Just wishing I could have made better choices in my 


I thought I was doing good but like I said, what I did in my 

past brought me here today. 

I never was expecting it and if I did have a wish, 

I wish I could turn back time and I would choose another 


What can I say? What I did in the past made me who I am 


A better person would stand up for every reason that 

happened in my life and be stronger 

as everyday I live to tell my story. 

-Nancy, Fresno 

From The Beat: We're not going to sugarcoat our reply to you because it 
is important that you get accurate feedback. There are those that have 
been in your position. It is important that you get support and seek out 
mentors and people that can help you make the best decisions. This is a 
serious situation and the stakes are high but there are others that have 
been through this. You are not alone. We are here to help you. 

ClianoeLife of Violence 

The first time I picked up a gun I was seven. I seen it 
because it was sitting on a table-then I picked it up, played 
with it a little bit, then when 1 was ten 1 start carrying it 
around with me just in case I ran into a enemy and I could 
use it. 

I took it to school in my backpack and I never got 
caught with it. 1 never took it out to show people. 

When I have kids 1 don't want them to grow up rough 
like 1 been through. I'm gonnna treat them right, no 
neglecting, and show them more love then my parents 
showed me. 

I'm going to live in a different area. When I go to my 
placement I'm going to learn how to survive more on my 
own. Spend my money more wisely and help me get a 

I'm going to get my tattoo lazered off and stay away 
from drugs and crime. I'm just going to smoke black and 
miles, no drugs. I'm going to feel so much happnin' in my 
life. I haven't had me in a long time. I got everybody in my 
corner when I get out--they want me to not come back to 

-Lir Ant, Solano 

From The Beat: Well despite a rough beginning it sounds like you've 
got a good mind and plans too. We wish you well. We wish you could 
share with the Beat readers how you'd teach your kids to deal with this 
environment in a way that is healthy and positive for them. 

Goo Vioieoce 

Some of use guns for protection. Or some of us do it 
just because we like to just shoot. But when you take 
someone life, it's not fun and games. You start to think if 
you get killed, you know yo' mom would be heart-broken. 
That would take ten years off her life, and no one wants 
their mom to die before she has to. That's why people 
should not play with guns. But people feel they life be in 

-Lir Rocko, San Francisco 

From The Beat: What you said is very important, which is that everyone 
has a mother that loves them. When you take someone^ life, that person 
feels no more pain, but their mothers and loved ones stwe left to grieve 
for the rest of their lives. Just like "no one wants their mom to die 
before she has to," no mom wants her child to die before he has to. We 
want to thank you for looking deeper than the surface. Keep thinking 
and writing. 

///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. // 

Yoor Pride wiii kiiiyoo io tiioEod. 

Pride. This is something that everybody should let go 
of. Eventually our pride will be our demise. You people 
have too much pride, you protest something that is not 
yours, and you get mad when people say ef... that or ef... 
this" and it's not even yours. 

If Gangs only killed other gangs I would have 
absolutely no problem with them, but they don't. Stray 
Bullets kill little boys and girls who have a future. You 
think you are a real man because you hold a gun and 
cheat your own words. You are a coward. You try to hurt 
everybody who rebels against your unwritten law. You 
lash out at anyone who has a personal opinion. You are 
all arrogantly ignorant. 

Some say "Ignorance is Bliss." To an extent this is 
true, if you don't know what's up then you know what's 
up then you don't know what you're missing. Throw your 
pride away like you know is wrong- 
Derrick, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: As always. Derrick, you throw a challenge to the world. 
You're right, a gun doesn't make you any more of a man. In fact, people 
usually use it to cover up their weaknesses, and they rot from the 
inside. Either that or they use it to threaten others, who kill them from 
the outside. 

I'oi GoifloTo Prove Tiieoi Wroflo 

I'm going to prove them wrong 
I'm going to prove to people 
That I'm going to stay out of here 
And don't come back 
I'm going to prove to myself 
That I can do right and not wrong 

I'm going to prove to my mom 

I'm going to prove to my dad 

I'm going to prove to anybody 

That think I can't do nothin' 

Especially my dad 

He think I can't do nothin', nothin'I 

But I'm about to show him somethin', somethin'! 

-Dri, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Your dad is wrong! Just writing this proves that you can 
do something! You are something — and you are worth something! If 
your dad doesn't already understand that, then it^ his problem. What 
are your plans to change the path you've been on, and to accomplish 
your goals? 

Tree Love 

True love is when you can't be without me and I can't be 
without you.... When I look in your eyes I feel like I can 
see the beautiful earth from the moon. 

True love is something that starts off small like a 
caterpillar then grows into something gorgeous like a 
butterfly whose destination is cloud nine.... 

True love is when you hurt.... I feel your hurt from a 
distance.... So, I make you feel better like with a turf meal 
and hugs and kisses.... 

True love is something that doesn't come around 
everyday or every year.... But I tell you what.... I think I 
found it.... 

Outro: This is for everyone who loves somebody and 
who's locked up in Alameda County.... Keep your head up 
and stay solid. 

- Manic, Alameda 

From The Beat: This is really lovely, Manie. You're a true poet and found 
a beautiful way to share the depth of your feelings. We love that you 
added a wish for the same fortune for others. 


' /// ' #///: 

fifif4rH^//i/^. /// ////#/ //. // 


Sometimes life seems hard and difficult 
as if you don't want to carry on. 
Life sometimes may feel unfair 
as if the whole world is against you. 
Even if it seems as if your going against a whole army 
you always have to try to keep a sense of humor. 
Through thick or thin, rain or snow 
you should always remain positive and smile 
through all the bull shhh. 
Life ain't easy, but you can't give up. 
If you fall down stand back up and try twice as hard 
always learn from your mistakes and spread your wings 
fly through all the thunder storms and look for the sun. 
The power of a smile can be very powerful. 
At the end of each journey lies new opportunities. 
The adventures never end aim to be the best, 
settle for nothing less. 

So remember any situations you may be in 
keep your sense of humor laughter 

or a smile can make the most difficult situations 
So smile there will always be brighter days. 

-Nguyen, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: These are words of wisdom for anyone. Life is really 
hard sometimes, but if you believe and you work and you do what you 
can, you can live right and have what you need. 


1 know this drunk 

Who can't give up the bottle 

Not even if his life 

Depended on it 

He's so lost 

In the game of beer 

All the alcohol's gone to his head 

And he acts like he can't hear 

How 1 wish 1 could 

Make the alcohol just disappear 

It's done him enough damage 

Can't he see? 

I know he's not blind 

Nor retarded mentally 

I've tried to help him 

But he continues to push me away 

Far from his loved ones 

Continuing his days 

I know this drunk 

He is my little brother 

People tell me 

Not to even bother 

But I can't leave him 

And let him rot 

In his pain 

I love him too much 

I'd just let him go 

And fall into shame 

People don't believe in him much 

But I sure do 

I'll always be here 

For him 

*Cause that's what big sisters do 

I thought you knew 

-Queen Bee, Marin 

From The Beat: Your brother, who has been in juvy with you, writes 
almost every week in The Beat about his drinking problem. It's wonderful 
that you try to help him with it and that you're so tender toward him. 

Actions Speak Louder Then Words 

You know people shed fake tears saying that they are 
going to change, but when they get out they put forth no 
effort but to go back to the same environment to do what 
got them in the halls in the first place. Makes no sense. 
Instead of doing time, you need to actually change, and 
nobody can make you do it but yourself. "You can lead a 
horse to water, but can't make him drink." 

Take heed because a lot of us got kids or on the way, 
when we're merely kids ourselves. We say that we are 
grown, until they are trying us as adults, then we say, " 
Man, I'm only a kid! I'm nowhere an adult!" 

So I say — and I'm listening to my own advice, as well 
— if you going to change, then change. Stop listening to 
people who are at fault because while you are actually 
crying, they are outside these walls laughing and smiling, 
trying to take what you have or snatch away your very 
last. Your only friend is your moms, so keep your radars 
up 'cause these streets is foul. "Holla" 

-Yf, San Francisco 

From The Beat: There is so much wisdom in this piece, it makes us 
wonder why you were not able to heed it before doing whatever it was 
that brought you here. But, to be honest, we're less interested in the 
past than in the future, if you truly are listening to your own advice, 
your future should be a lot brighter than your past! 


Some struggle with drug addiction 

Some struggle with no parents 

Some struggle with rape and abuse 

Some struggle with fear of being abandoned. 

Some struggle with disabilities and retardation 

Some struggle with poor families and no jobs or education 

Some struggle with no role models or father figures 

But ail in all what do I struggle with? 

I struggle with not having that father figure love. That's why 

I search for love in all the wrong places. 

I struggle with breaking the cycle of becoming like my 

mother and grandmother 

I struggle with trusting, males and being understanding 

and considerate of their struggles 

Some struggle with being patient and being ornery 

Some struggle with dealing with stress under pressure 

Some struggle with my inner desire of negativity 

We all have struggles. Face yours. 

-Precious, Fresno 

From The Beat: We struggle with being overwhelmed and thinking we 
can't make a difference. We struggle with negativity, doubt and wanting 
to close up, wanting to hide and no longer feel but we are willing to 
work on our struggles today and that makes today a good day. 

Mn' Of A Man 

Hey my friend, do ya feel more of a man? 

Blood spilt on the floor, gun in yo' hand... 

Who's sick about it, mo'? 

Was it all in yo' plan" 

And I'm still wondering how you feel mo' of a man. 

Violence and guns is a problem we need to look into more. 
You can be a role model to a youngsta who look at you as 
what a man should be. Represent what you want to the 
future generation to be. 
Persistence and a goal make a man successful. 

-John San Francisco 

From The Beat: We really like what you are trying to teach in this piece, 
from your rhyme to your thoughts at the bottom, especially the part 
about representing what you want the future to be (what you want for 
your children and their children). A friend told us, "Your attitude will 
determine your altitude." If that^ true, you should soar veiy high! 


' /// ' #///: 

fifif4rH^//i/^. /// ////#/ //. // 

They Don't Know Me 

Bangin', hustlin', living life as a G 

These punks don't know me. They don't know me 

Corrupted police on the streets 

These cops don't know me. They don't know me 

The DA's talking about I'm a menace to society 

These fools don't know me. They don't know me 

Sentencing me away from my family 

These judges don't know me. They don't know me 

Sitting in a cell feeling hella lonely 

These staff don't know me. They don't know me 

My PO said I'll be in Y.A until 19th 

These systems don't know me,. They don't me 

You know why? Because only I know me.... 

-Nightmare, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We lilce the rhythm of this sad lament, and we even agree 
with it. But in the end, does it matter whether "they" Icnow you, or not? 
(After all, you don^ know them, either.) The bitter reality you're dealing 
with is that whether or not they Icnow you, they have power over your 
life and over your future. And you have given them that power. You can 
hate them and blame them, but unless you make some changes, youll 
be answering to them... 

My Horrible Joly 4tli 

Gun violence. They can hurt people that care for 

I was in Springfield for a week, away from my bestest 
friend. I felt like there was something wrong. Something 
told me to go back to my friend's house. His name was 
Joe. He was my dad's best friend that he told to look after 
me. But, anj^ways... 

I went back to Joe's house and knocked on the door. 
He told me to go up to Kimmy's house and check on her. 
Kimmy is somebody that has known us for ten years or 

Joe also said that she hasn't come over for a couple of 
days, and usually she comes over every day. So I walked 
to her door and rang the doorbell. Nobody answered. I 
went back to Joe's house, and on the way back I looked in 
the parking lot to see if her truck was there. It was. That's 
when I started getting worried. When I told Joe she didn't 
answer, he told me to just walk in and "tell Kimmy I sent 
you." I said, "Okay." 

I went back and just walked in the door. Right when I 
walked in, I heard a "bang bang." I thought it might be the 
fireworks. I kept walking in and I saw Kimmy facing the 
wall on her side, lying down on her bed. 

I said, "Kimmy, wake up, wake up." She didn't make 
a sound. I walked and poked her. She still didn't move 
or make a sound. Then I pulled her towards me. All of a 
sudden I fell to the ground and she rolled into my arms. 
All I saw was a big hole in her head and a gun in her hand. 
There was a note taped to her chest that said, "I'm so 
sorry I had to do it! Take care of my son." 

I started screaming and ran out the door. I told Joe 
what I saw and called the police. I couldn't believe she 
was really gone. That was no fireworks! One of my friends 
killed themselves! 

Fm scarred for life. My life will never be the same. 
That is why I despise guns, no matter what the reason 

-Christina, San Francisco 

From The Beat: There is nothing we can say to add to the power of 
what you have described! We ^re so sorry that your friend took her life, 
and that you had to be the one to find her! We hope you can use this 
terrible experience, and the passion you bring to his subject, to make 
others understand that every gun death leaves others behind to grieve, 
and to nurse their scars for the rest of their lives. If you can convince 
even one person to lay down his or her weapon, then the pain you are 
suffering might help someone else. We hope you find peace! 

Yoo dofl't kflow the real oie 

My feet don't move 

My heart barely beats 

My life seems gone but only to me 

My blood is thick 

My tears run down my check 

I cry and cry 

My body is weak 

My mind is lost 

My tummy drops to my feet 

My nights are dark 

My days are cold 

I cry and cry 

But this pain will never go 

My world seems to be nothing 

But a bad dream 

When will I wake up from this 


When will I be happy 

Why did you leave me 

I cry and cry 

What do I do 

You don't even know the real me 

You're my Mom but you left me 

-Shawnta*, Land Of Enchantment, New Mexico 

From The Beat: We at the Beat are sorry to hear and feel the pain you 
mother caused. The question we have for you is why did your mom 
leave? Is she still alive? If so what would have caused your mom to 

Aiflt Tryifl' To See a Shirt with My Face 

I stay strapped 'cause it's funk in the streets 
some don't like where I'm from so they want beef. 
I shot at people 'cause I'm tired of talking 
but I ain't tryna be layin' in a closed coffin. 
I ain't tryna see a shirt with my face that RIP 
I rather be judge by twelve then carried by six. 

-Thizz Kid, Solano 

From The Beat: This is well written. The rhythm and rhyme work, they 
rhyme never undercuts the meaning, and the images are clean. How can 
you be sure no one ever wears this shirt with your name on it? What else 
are you good at, besides writing? 

"It horts" 

My head 

My stomach 

My arms 

My legs 

My body, it's weak 

I'm stuck 



I can't move 

It's the pain 

Make it stop 

It hurts 

I hope you can hear me 

I need you 

The cure 

Where is it? 

I need it 

It hurts 

.... (a soft whisper) "help." 

-Shadow, Alameda 

From The Beat: Sometimes a whisper can speak louder than the roar of 
a crowd. Your pain is real - but you're only as stuck sks you feel, right? 
What do you do to en^e the pain? Do you reach out to your loved ones, 
do you read, do you listen to music? 


' /// ' #///: 

////// /M"//// 4^. /// ////#/ //. // 

Two Sides Story, Not Doe 

Dear Lord, 

It's like I lost another, they killed Baby Skin, it's like 
I lost my brother. So before I go to sleep 1 pray and say 
good night to my mother. And the devil trying to do me 
just because I'm part of this shhh. 

Over the life I live and the bodies I flip. I have lost a 
lot of homies so feelings I get. So when I pray to the Lord 
I guess he don't really trip. 

Plus I get mad when the money gets ripped like God 
made this for us, to be workless. Young flies on the block 
pushing coke smoking dro and snatching purses. I got 
ninjas fighting murders like is it worth it? Young women 
selling their body instead of becoming nurses. 

So I slide through the projects late night lurking. 
Riding up and down the street smoking and perking. Like 
this is my area but the earth is my surface. That's why I 
want to take a trip to Puerto Rico so I can say there ain't 
nothing I ain't never seen before. I watch the good die 
young and the bad die old. 

Now is the time to watch my niece and my nephews 
grow. Instead of being a thug and selling rocks by the 
store I should watch my kids have kids and my grandkids 

Rest in Peace Lil' Ant. 

-Dirt, Alameda 

From The Beat: Dirt, you are a very talented young man. You can write, 
you can rhyme, you can think. What skre you going to do with these 
talents of yours? At the end of the piece you sny that you "should" 
watch your icids have kids instead of "being a thug and selling rocks by 
the store" but is this your intention and your plan? We hope so.... 

Skip's Broadcast: Goos 

Beat, wha's poppin? It's me, the one-an-only, FiyBoy 
Skip, holdin' it down in this city-paid motel. 

But cheah, I know how much controversy guns create 
in this country! I carry guns occasionally for protection, 
and most of the time I'm very paranoid when I'm in 
possession of one. I personally sometimes don't really 
feel I need it most of the time because honestly, I can beat 
the hell outta ninja if it came down to it 'cause none ninja 
pump fear in my heart. 

But I don't see what the big fuss is. The government 
allow solders to go into Iraq with weapons of mas 
destruction looking for weapons of mass destruction. 
I don't see the point of that! But I have lost family and 
friends to bullets with no names and ninjas with no aim. 
I feel everybody should be able to protect themselves by 
any means necessary, like the great Malcolm X said, but 
just goin' around shootin' in the air or at random folk 
ain't reasonable. You gotta know what you doin'. 

I first saw a gun as a toddler, and first held and shot 
one at the age of 11. I would never want my little girl to 
pack a gun. That's why I'm planning on bouncin' away 
from this craziness. But if we want it to end, we gotta 
work on ourselves. 

-Skip, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Even though you say you "don't see what the big fuss 
(about guns) is," you clearly do see it. The big fuss is exactly what you 
describe — "lost family and friends to bullets with no names." And since 
you "don't see the point" of sending soldiers to kill Iraqis, then you can' 
\MZB that to justify using guns in your own community. Yes, the great 
Malcolm X did say that using any means to protect yourself is justified, 
but you have to ask yourself if holding a gun actually accomplishes that 
goal of self-protection. One of the worst things about carrying a gun 
is that it creates a false bravado, a sense that you're invulnerable, and 
thus you're likely to put yourself into situations that carry huge risks, 
which, if you were not strapped, you might have avoided. How many 
children have to die at the hands of other children (who don't have the 
judgment to drive a car, so can't have the judgment to carry deadly 
weapons) before we see this as a public health issue? 

My Vicioos Doos 

I like dogs. 1 like vicious dogs — rottweilers, pits, Germans. I 
had a rottweiler — it bit me. It had a lot of anger. I got my dog 
from my uncle. He probably treated him bad — that's why 1 got 
a little scare right here. My uncle beat the shhh out of him. 
I was five. He weighed 190-200. I didn't sell him, my oldest 
brother, he did. He (my brother's) locked up now. 

I was little then. I can make a dog a guard dog. I'll knock 
a dog out if he comes at me. 

I got two pits now — a mom and a dad. When my brother's 
dog was a puppy and it peed on the floor, he'd put the dog's 
face in the floor. He (the dog) never pissed on the floor again. 
You gotta train a dog. My brother trained his dog hella good. 
She never pissed on the floor again. 

My mom has two dogs that are rottweilers — a mother and 
a father. The male did something to the female and they had 
puppies. 1 was locked up when the babies were born. When 
I got out I grabbed one of the sickest puppies there. I called 
him Rambo because he was a warrior — one of the toughest 
puppies, the youngest one of all of them. He was the last to 
come out. He beat up all of his brothers. 

His head is humungous. He's seven months old now. 
He's crazy. He eats all day. When I come home with some 
food, he sits by me, waiting for me to give him some food. 

My big brother is training him now. He's putting ten- 
pound weights on his neck so his chest will be out there. 

I think he knows I'm gone, but he knows he's being 
taken care of. 1 think he misses me because I always took 
him out. 

One night I came home late, at 3:00 in the morning, and 
he knew I was coming home. He's like your ride-or-die homie. 
He'll never run away from you. He'd run away from me a little 
way when he was little. Dogs don't like being on a leash. 
You talk to him, "If you don't wanna be on a leash, don't 
run away." 1 told him, "You keep on running, you gonna be 
on this leash, behind or in front of me." Now he doesn't run 
away. I tell him to sit, he sits. You gotta show him who's boss. 
He's fast, for real. If I tell him to run, he'll be back in fifteen 

Pit bulls, rottweilers and Germans (shepherds) are my 
favorites. I had a dog who was a combination of a pit bull, 
rottweiler, a German and a Labrador. He was my cousin's 
dog. One night, my pit bull got out. She was a girl dog and 
somebody else's dog went after her. She got taken on. She 
escaped from our backyard, but came back three hours 

When the babies came out, one came out a pit bull, one 
was like a German shepherd, one had the body of a rotweiller. 
Another was big and husky, and had a pit's face and a German 
shepherd's body. Another had a German shepherd's face and 
a rotweiller's body. The mother lives in Vallejo now. 

When 1 was fighting my case, the babies were born, and 
when I got home, I started cherishing my love for them, seven 
babies, all boys. One was scary — he didn't like fighting. One 
was soft-type of friendly dog — he doesn't like to fight. If you 
don't train him, he won't listen. I guess if you train him, he'll 

Rambo was getting close to me, talking to me — "You and 
me, can we be cool?" I could see it in his eyes — he was gonna 
be a warrior. I fed all the dogs, but I fed him personally. The 
other ones stayed outside more — mine came in the house. 

Now Rambo's chillin', waiting for me to come home. My 

two brothers — the second oldest one and the younger one, 

are taking care of him. 

-Grimy, San Francisco 
From The Beat: You tell a solid story about all your dogs. You are very 
tender with them. How have you trained your dog to be a guard dog? 
Do you think it's better to train a dog to be what you want, or let him 
become whoever s/he wants to become? 


' /// ' #///: 

fifif4rH^//i/^. /// ////#/ //. // 


Gun Violence Will Not End 

The first gun I saw was a .22 Russian revolver. Wlien 
I tliinlt of guns, I tliinit of protection, Yes, I tliink there 
should be guns in the community, Yes, I would want my 
son to have a gun at a certain age. 

You can never end gun violence. The only way to do 
that is to have everyone surrender their guns and stop 
shooting between gangs and fight instead. But that will 
never happen because suckas will always be scared to 
fight, so they will start shooting again. 

-Godfather Nug, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We admire you for thinking about this problem 3k% deeply 
n% you have. We understand why you think of guns Siz protection, but 
are they? If so, why are so many young people laying down their lives? 
Guns (especially in the hands of children} make cowards FEEL brave and 
invulnerable, making everybody less safe (including themselves). This 
is why we question the connection between guns and protection. We 
encourage you to keep questioning what you hear, and to keep digging 
beneath the surface of things. Keep thinking, and keep teaching! 

Life InTlieHooil 

People said 1 acted like a fool, 

I hung with the boys thought that I was cool, 

but I didn't knew about the pain 1 caused you, 

tear drops on your eyes when I saw you, 

I should of listened to you 

before I stepped out the door and roiled with my crew, 

but now look at me, "I'm all alone," 

but you were always there to let me know, 

that you would always love me, 
and you would always care for me, 
and you always been there for me, 

the look on your face, the memories.. .the moment I 

the memories, always find a way to tell me, 
instead of being in the street, I can't sleep 
I can't stop thinking about the trouble that I caused you, 
hurt you so deep, to see me in the street, 

the image of a uncompleted soldier, ride like a G 
didn't think about the things that you told me, 
all I did was smoke weed, 
only thing to keep my mind at ease, 
pour out some liquor for all the dead homeys, 
because it's life. ..that's why I'm telling you the story, 

so now you see life in the hood ain't all good, 
life in the hood, life in the hood, ain't all good, 
because it ain't all good. 

-Denny, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: This is a really powerful piece. Behind every person 
who thinks he or she is alone are many others who love and care about 
that person. And every move toward hate and pain and destruction 
that person takes is a jab to their heart. So love them, and love life. 

Life In General 

What's up Beat? It's the homie Change coming through 
once again in this messed up juvenile facility. Time 
just passes by like the second hand on a school clock. 
Countless awakenings by the click of the door. 

I appreciate that I'm six feet above ground, so I start 
my day with a little happiness. I cherish being alive in this 
cruel and evil world, but it has trapped me in a cell nobody 
likes to be. I miss the outs, and I have to await years to 
come before I can step foot on city ground, smoking s 
stogie, and calling my girl so we can meet up and go to the 
movies, or she can come to my pad. And yeah, it's pretty 
self explanatory. 

It's crazy how the world is doing its own thing, like 
growing, surviving, taking life, making life, living and 
trying to withstand the hate, love and deceit life has to 
offer us. It's hard to believe that people would commit 
suicide to this beautiful world. I would have to say to all 
the Beat readers reading my piece, cherish your mom 
because she is the only person that will do anything in 
her power to make sure you're safe and healthy. 

Family always comes first, but drugs will take you 
further and further away from them. So life in general is 
hard to live, but it is worth living and making money to 
survive this world. So I love this world and when I hit the 
streets, it's going to be wrap. 

Take care to all the homeboys doing time and do it 
smart. Stay up I'm out. Shaoooo! 

-Chango, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Every week, we look forward to the wisdom tin beauty 
your bring to our pages, and each week we are not disappointed. We 
don't know if we could maintain your positive outlook on life if we were 
facing what you are facing, and that makes us even more grateful for 
your inspiration. Thank you, Chango. 


// ' ////// 

A Perfect Place For Me 

There's a place I would like to be, which is at the 


It's a place of peace and quiet for me, 

where 1 can think and not worry about my life. 

It's a quiet building that just has monks and Buddahs 

sitting around and meditating. 

Stress, that's the main reason why I need and want to be 

in the temple. 

It's a place where you don't have to stress about anything 

or even worry 

about watching your back. 

You can just sit and no one will bother you 

the things in there will make you feel comfortable and 

There are statues, pictures, and a place for you to sit all 
day comfortably. 

Here is a place to relieve stress and to feel the calm in 
your life, the temple. 

-Meak, Fresno 

From The Beat: It sounds like you have found your own special sanctuary, 
in a world ats chaotic and its stressful as ours, the temple sounds like a 
place where the soul can reflect, be calm, and feel peace. Thank you for 
sharing your inspiration with us. 


I'm the kind of person That won't pass up the Opportunity 
to graffiti Across time I'm cast away in a catacomb A dead 
summer sunset And the smell of Turkish golds Still sit 
in my marrowless bones I can't describe the come down 
And how I thought I came up "I'm not growing up I'm just 
burning out" Small talk sucks There's no such thing as 
simple I'm sorry, but I'm not I can't regret anything It 
only pisses me off and pushes me on And it's okay if you 
don't want me around What you're looking for Is at the 
tips of your fingers And at the back of your mind Love 
should be valuable Not cheap I now have a love affair with 
my liver And my lungs are fat and spoiled Music forgot my 
name So did my best friend I need a cigarette I once was 
a gypsy girl Now I'm patient I grew tired of waiting But I 
guess it'll fall into place I'm young This is getting old I'm 
finger painting my days With gray and blue blobs Can you 
miss something you've never had? Is it really that funny? 
Is it really that sad? Absolute piracy I only cry when I'm 
mad I was born to riot Go with the flow Or swim upstream 
You can have all my time But you can't have my mind. 

-Lizy, Solano 

From The Beat: What do you miss that you've never had? It sounds like 
you know there^ something to worth striving for, though you haven't 
tasted it — something you might regret not experiencing in your life. 
You are young, but dont wait. 

RIP Dad 

I There's one thing I wish I could take back. It was my 
■ third birthday. My mom and I went to the doctor that 
morning and I was fighting with her so it took her forever 
to get me in and out of the doctors. 

The reason I'm writing this is 'cause when we left that 
morning, my dad was released from prison and he got 
home and we weren't there. 

My uncle had come over and they started fighting and 
my uncle killed my dad. I think if I hadn't fought with my 
mom, my dad would still be alive. RIP Dad, I love you. 

-Goblin, Fresno 

From The Beat: Your story pains us. You blame yourself, but the tragedy 
of your dad's death is not your fault, you were just a child. It hurts to 
recall such painful memories. Thank you for having the courage to share 
this with us. 


The Special Gift 

Hey Beat, this is Cherryace from JJC. Today I will be 
writing about my life and how I became a very good person 
to my mom, dad, and my brothers and sisters. 

Now I was born in 1991. When my mom saw me she 
named me after my dad I looked mostly like him. My dad 
wasn't there when I was born, however my step-dad was 
there. Still to this day, I call him dad. The reason why I 
call him dad is because he was always there for me when 
I needed a dad in my life. 

For that I am very grateful for him being there for me. 
So as I grow older I got to thinking, "where is my real 
dad?" One day when I was talking to my mom I said I 
want to see my real dad. She got a hold of him and sent 
me there so I can see him. When I got there I was very 
happy to see my dad but he said that I shouldn't be there 
because he didn't like what I had to say to him. So now he 
is still in my life but not that much. 

Oh! I forgot to say that I was born on my grandpa's 
birthday. For this, I have been his favorite person. That is 
why I love my grandparents. 

Now back to the real story. I am speaking to all of the 
people who is or are going through rough times right now. 
When I say GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE! (That's all 
for now. "Peace out" from JJC) 

-Cherryace, Fresno 

From The Beat: Thank you for sharing your story. We realize some 
people never have a father and they refuse those people who could 
serve a fatherly role for them. We commend you for accepting your step- 
dad in your life and we also commend you for meeting your real father. 
That takes real courage. "Peace out". 


Look at me! I would never pass for a perfect bride or a 
perfect daughter! Maybe I'm not meant to play this part. 
The truth is that if I were truly to be myself I would break 
my family's heart. 

I see myself in the mirror and wonder, who is that 
looking back at me! Why does my appearance show 
someone I don't know! 

Sometimes I cannot hide who I am though I try! When 
will I be able to really be myself without having to worry 
about being judged! Will that day ever come! I feel trapped 
in my own skin! 

When that day does come will I still be alive! The world 
and I may never know! But when that day does come I'll 
be readyl Will you? 

-Lil Skittles, Solano 

From The Beat: The judgment you imagine from others is often really 
from your self. Sometimes we can be addicted to keeping ourselves 
down in this way, addicted to judgmental, painful thoughts that keep 
you from expressing who you are, and feeling free enough to discover 
who you might become. We're ready, bring it! 



Weird food I grew up eating was dog. I ate many animals 
people don't usually eat. My dad grew up in countryside 
in Asia, and I'm Korean, so I ate dog and pig's feet, ox tail, 
cow's ball and all that others might think it's nasty or 
disgusting. But when it's cooked with spices and sauce, 
it taste chewy and very good. In U.S. it's hard to eat a dog 
so I haven't ate it for a while, but when I visited Korea, I 
ate it and liked it. I want to try it again. 

-DK, San Francisco 

From The Beat: What people eat — and don't eat — often is determined 
by their culture. While Americans might be horrified to read that Koreans 
eat dog, people from India are horrified that Americans eat beef! (By the 
way, in the U.S., cowboys also cook and eat bull testicles. They call this 
dish mountain oysters... 


// ' ////// 

Don't Need It 

I don't think anybody needs guns to survive this world. 
The only reason people use guns is because they're 
scared that they are not safe. 

All these people thinking that it's fun playing with 
guns it's really stupid because violence it's not the answer 
to the problem. Guns could end up to death or prison, 
there's nothing fun or funny about that. 

There should just be peace in the world so everybody 
could just live happily, because even if you don't die by a 
gun your son or daughter could. 

Guns are just going to get worse and it's always going 
to end up in the wrong hands. It's time to stop this war 
with violence because it's not getting anybody anywhere. 
It's time for a change... -Lefty, Solano 

From The Beat: We think you make a lot of sense and 
appreciate your point of view. Do you intend to be part of 
the change? Maybe the guns won't change but the people 
can. ..What are your ideas for how this could end? Guns 
of War 

Guns kill, but sometimes with a purpose me 
sometimes with no purpose at all. Gangs use weapons for 
no reason and always are quick to pull one out. Guns are 
used for one thing and one thing only, death. 

The main use of a gun is to protect your country. 
That is one good thing for a gun. Another is for hunting. 
There is more gun deaths from gangs than there is in any 

-Puppy Chow 

From The Beat: Maybe therek another way to solve issues, between 
individuals and countries. We shouldn't accept death so easily. 

Stray Bullets 

Man I feel like guns are necessary to have, especially 
if you're living in the hood like me. I'm personally from 
Palo Alto. I've been around guns my whole life so while 
growing up I couldn't wait to get my first gun. 

My first time holding a gun I felt safe like I wish a 
ninja would test me-the first one I'm giving the blues. But 
now it's like so many of my patnas then got killed by the 
bullets it's a shame. 

But that came from scary ninjas that will pull the 
trigger too quick instead of handling it like a man feel 
me? It's like the scariest ninja will take yo life in the blink 
of an eye. That's why I hate to say it but I keep it on me 
for them dudes, them that's crossing game. 

-G-Weeze, Alameda 

From The Beat: Thanks for your good writing on this subject. We 
wonder what you mean by "handling it like a man?" How do you know 
who will be "scary," and who will be slower to shoot? 

A Real Friend 


Growing up I felt having a gun was necessary. I used to 
tell myself "I rather get caught with it than without it." 
When I was thirteen I bought my first gun. I knew I didn't 
need it I just got it because I had the opportunity. 

Then I started getting myself into situations where I 
needed a gun, and I actually started thinking of my gun 
as my best friend because a best friend will get me out of 
crazy situations and that's exactly why my pistol did. But 
now I realize my gun wasn't my best friend because a best 
friend wouldn't get me to go to jail. 

-Davo, Alameda 

From The Beat: This sounds like a rough relationship, where you 
didn't realize how bad the end could be until you got there. We think 
destructive power can not be used for good. What about your creative 
power, have you met that friend yet? 

This Gun Violence 

The first time 1 saw a gun I was fourteen. It was a loaded 
tech-nine with an extended clip. It was for protection 
against a rival gang. I now see guns ail the time. 

Fremont has gone from nice and pretty to bad and 
deteriorating. I had a tactical shotgun that an ATF agent 
sold me out of Nevada. 

I wouldn't want my child to carry a gun because of the 
possibility of him getting locked up. I wouldn't want him 
to follow in my footsteps. 

JJC was built for our kids, and this isn't what my 
child would want. I would have failed as a father if he 
ended up here. I would move him out of Fremont and into 
the hills, to get him away from the hood violence. 

-Marcos, Alameda 

From The Beat: Thank you for this excellent piece. What recommendations 
would you make, to help make North Freemont a more safe place for 


look Past Ike Siiilodt Dipirl Iron Molii) 

I remembered how I used to say 

How I was tired 

And uninspired 

So I took a deep breath 

Of the polluted air 

I'd recognize the smell 

From anywhere 

And in my mind 

I had a placid debate 

About the world's traffic 

If I should give or take 

Maybe I have nothing 

To make loud and clear 

I could fine a simple place 

To learn and steer 

"Waterfall, nothing 

can harm me at all" 

The world seems more small 

And my head less swole 

I had to laugh 

And kick my self in the 

Piss out the desperation 

And breathe in the recreation 

"There's nothing you can 

say that can't be sung" 

Maybe I'll undream the cards 

I was dancing among 

Jump through my looking glass 

And wake up to a mouthful of nights 

Wake up! 

So my mom could get sleep at night 

I'm tired of not feeling 

The music in my ears and wind in my hair 

And these spoons of socialism 

And already breathed in air 

And I could not find what I did not seek 

I was hungry after dinner 

Cuz I didn't eat 

I wanna see the sun 

Rise and set 

I wanna go LIVE! 

Cuz I'm not dead yet 

-Lizy, Solano 

From The Beat: Good, choose life. This is stn interesting poem, full of 
woridplay, metaphor and interesting ideas. Read a lot, it will help you. 
Challenge yourself in life, take risks with how hard you're willing to try, 
and how much you're willing to love and reveal who you are. 


// ' ////// 


Whats up Beat, something I got on my mind is being 
incarcerated. I keep thinking to myself do I really wanna 
get out? 

For example, the other day I wake up early going to 
a job or making money. In here I just wake up without a 
worry of any responsibility. 

Also they feed me, clothe me, feed me, and look 
after me. I'm thinking to myself in my room was I born to 
myself in my room was I born to live this way? If so shall 
god look after me. And shall I find god one day. I once 
thought I believed in god but after all the negativity in my 
life. I gave up. I don't think I'll ever find hope again. 

I sign up everyday for a priest to pray for me cause I 
really need it. My life is in confusion and I'm at the point 
in my life where I'm one bad decision away from messing 
up my life. Please give me advice before its to late. 

To everybody out their better yourselves and show 
that we can still change and for better choices. Stay up 
keep striving be strong don't ever let anybody put you 

-Seeking help, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We think living in here is a bit like being a child forever, 
but without the family or joy or freedom. You get given everything, but 
never do any good for anyone else. And eventually you end up in real 
jail, where you fear for your life. Itk just too easy to be good. 

! i i I ill 

I i I i 

Raisino My Dauohter 

I think that if somebody said something about my 
daughter I'm going to forget I'm a father and be another 
slaughterer. I will do good tho and give her everything she 
needs, if she ask for money I'm going to tell her to go to 
the backyard and cut the woods. 

If she asks for a book to study or read, I'll go to the 
library with her and tell her to follow my lead. If she 
comes home late. I'ma tell her straight up I ain't giving 
her no breaks. You're grounded for a month. That's how I 
am going to do my raising if only she knew when she gets 
older what is she going to be facing. 

-Luis, Solano 

From The Beat: Your job raising her is to teach her to cope with what 
she will face when she's older. You have to do this little by little as 
she grows. You can't do it for her, you need to show her how to cope 
with feelings, with difficult people, how to focus and work hard on her 
education...and how to love others well. 

Gun Violence 

The first time I saw a gun, it was a handgun when I was 
lir boy. The first time I held a gun it was in Boise. It was a 
.22 rifle. It belonged to my uncle. He let me shoot a couple 
of times. I was shooting at birds. 

The first thing that came to mind was "Wow!" Then I 
said, "Can I shoot it?" and I did. 

Yes, I do believe that we do need guns in our lives, 
in are communities. If my kid had a gun, I would have to 
hold it for him. I will hide it where he can't find it. But if 
he wanted it, he would have to ask me for it and tell me 
why he wants it. 

If you try to stop gun violence it would only get worse. 
Just let it play out and later on into the future only the 
strong will survive. And when that happens people really 
shouldn't be using guns anymore. 

-Monkey, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: When you say that after gun violence plays out, only the 
strong will survive, you're telling us that all those boys who've lost their 
lives were weak. Do you really believe that? Does a bullet care whether 
you're weak or strong? Why would you hide a gun from your child? 
If you let gun violence play out among children then will only strong 
children survive? What does having and using guns have to do with 
being strong? Are people who refuse to handle guns weak? 

\ ' Seoreoated and Discriminated 


Sitting in the hall 

trapped in between these walls 

deprived of my freedoms 

segregated and discriminated 

are the ways I feel 

as people look down upon me 

when they don't even know who I am 

all they know is that I'm just another Mexican 

incarcerated and again I'll say segregated and 


are the ways I feel 

but I'm still in my prime 

living my early years 

so I can push myself to strive 

through these struggles with my head held high 

so I never show pain sorrow 

but for the third time I say it again 

segregated and discriminated 

the ways I feel 

so now the only thing to do is get educated and to help 

the young ones in the future and tell them it's never too 


to want to succeed 

but I'll tell you this 

stay true to your heart 

be real to your soul 

-Mc Indio, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: This is quite a beat and quite a message. Segregation 
and discrimination are hard, but they ultimately fail with a strong 
person. They can't tell you who you are, only how others thinit you are. 
You can always prove them wrong. 

[ 1 I M I M I M 1 I IT 


A Piece fnr Us 


There is a place. It's big and purple with white windows. 
It has 5 rooms. One for me and one for my sister. My 
room is purple and my sisters' room is yellow. That's her 
favorite color. This a new place we have never been before 
and life will be different there. It's not perfect but it's nice 
and we live together. It's two stories high with a white 
picket fence and we are happy. 

-Maria, Fresno 

From The Beat: That sounds very nice. We hope that some day you can 
find a nice place to live with your sister. 



X Karma's A Grincii 

What's good Beat? This your boy, Yung Uso Kefi coming 
from the max. Today, I'm going to talk about my lil' sis. 

Back in the days when I was in middle school, I used 
to take backpacks and steal what inside it that I can use. 
Weil, the other day my lil' sis, she left her backpack in 
class for only five min. Can you believe that? Only five 
min! Within that five min. her stuff got took. She didn't 
find her stuff until one of her friends found it in the boys' 

When she told me that, I got hella mad until the point 
that I wanted to mess someone up. I was thinking, "Why 
is karma hitting my family for? And why it ain't hitting 
me?" That's messed up. I stopped doing all that shhh 
when I was in high school. 

Well, I'm going to end this shot. Until next time. To 
the usos, stay up. 

-Young Uso Kefi, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Can you imagine the reaction of all those brothers (and 
mothersj of the people whose baclcpaclcs you took? Probably the same 
as yours. That^ one of the great lessons of life — that we all feel, we 
all hurt, we all react, and that makes us all equally human. It^ a sign 
of your maturity that you saw that connection, and decided to make a 


// ' ////// 



Mama I'm really sorry for the last few years 

Mama I'm really sorry I made you shed those tears 

I can't say why I do the things I do 

But I wish you really knew that I never meant to hurt 


It eats me up inside every time I make you cry 

So I try to live right and give you one peaceful night 

But right there's a fight because the street life's got me 


I know I chose to live this life I know it's not the way 

You raised me 

Are you ashamed of me mama for all that I've done 

Don't give up on me mom better days will be coming 

And got the best of me mama don't think less of me 

'Cause I know that's why your stressing on me 

See my destiny is six feet deep 

The way I live it just might be 

But until that day don't you cry for me. 

-Flaco, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: These are some beautiful thoughts. But "don't cry for 
me" is easier said than done. Sometimes we wish people would just not 
care about us, but they do. And we have to do what we can for them. 

and love them back. 

This Situation Of Mines 


Everything seems to be really complicated right now. 
Nothing seems to be all right. I'm talking about life. I don't 
know about strangers, but is this how life is supposed to 
be? Sure, there are the fun and happy times. Sure, when 
you see celebrities, famous, rich, and successful people, 
they have their moments. I'm sure that life isn't that, 
also, either. 

Stress, pain, anger, anxiety, sadness, just to name 
a few, is something I'm going through. Facing so many 
problems in life. Is there a solution to it? I always wonder, 
is everything going to turn out to be all right? 

Property tax, mortgage, bills, etc. How can you pay 
for all that when there's hardly any money being made? 
Especially with the economy being so bad, how can 
anyone make it today? I hope everything turns out all 
right. With this situation, it's even worse now with me 
being in here for some idiotic reason. 

-Ramon, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Why take on the worries of stn adult with adult 
responsibilities when you are still in your adolescence? You have enough 
worries about your life today without adding the burden of wondering 
about mortgages, etc. (Property tax and mortgage payments only apply 
to property owners; renters have only the burden of rent, which is much 
less.) Plus, Ramon, change is in the air. It may not happen in a year, or 
even two, but you are young, and the picture you see today will not 
look the same in the future. By the time this gets published, you will 
again be breathing free air and, we hope, putting in your hours at The 
Beat. Let that be your concern, and not the worlds problems... yet. 

GunsDnn'tKiii, PenpieDn 

Guns are no joke! True, but guns do not kill. The person 
behind the gun kill. Having a gun don't make you big, 
bad. People with guns get shot or killed, too. It's a lot 
of young people that don't know what they doin'. People 
that don't know what they doing should not have a gun. 
People could do some real stupid, like kill people that do 
not have any thing to do with anything. 

-Black Man, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We agree with a lot of what you're saying, especially 
how guns don't necessarily protect you. But one measure of people who 
"don't know what they doin'" is being locked up, 'cause if you knew 
what you were doing, you would be able to avoid coming here! So, by 
that measure, nobody should have a gun. Judgment comes with experi- 
ence and maturity. Young people don't yet have that, and that^ why so 
many are dying so young! 


My Hnmie 

I would like to talk about my homie from my barrio. The 
reason why I would like to talk about him in The Beat 
tonight is because he is facing life, and I miss him. I miss 
him because we were pretty close to each other. We would 
go everywhere together. There was not a time that you 
didn't see us kicking it at the barrio or with the jainitas. 

The homie really gave me a lot of cora when we were 
both out and in the free world. He told me how it would 
be when you got locked up. Like the people you thought 
really cared about you, they really don't, 'cause if they 
did, they would write to you or accept your calls. And the 
people you cared less or thought that they didn't care 
about you actually wrote you or accepted your calls. 

At first I didn't really get it, but once I got locked up, 
I seen what he meant. It's pretty messed up that they are 
trying to give him life for something he didn't do. I know 
he didn't do it, but the law said he did 'cause he from the 
barrio. I hope that homie beats his case and gets out so 
he can be out with his beautiful lady and family. Just so 
he knows that there's people out there that really care 
about him. And just so you know I care about you too, 

I would like to thank you for all the support you gave 
me when we were out, and for taking care of this lonely 
homie when I didn't have nowhere to go. 

That it for now. I hope you have a nice Christmas and 
a happy New Year's. Free Sleepy. 

-Big Temps, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: It^ always nice to read one person^ gratitude for another 
person^ love and support. We're sorry he's facing such serious charges, 
and we hope he gets out from under the possible consequences. Now it^ 
up to you to help the next young boy who doesn't yet understand what 
lies ahead, it^ up to you to be the next boy^ teacher... 

I I I I 


Batlliig Witk Wiigkl 


V l:; 

When I think of weird food, I think of Bulimia. I hate 
eating because when I eat I have a humongous stomach 
that makes me look like I am pregnant. But I am a guyl 
WTF! I throw up in order to maintain my small petite 
figure. I know that I am already under weight, but I want 
to stay skinny. Usually I will eat one almond, but then I 
will throw it up. I know what the heck? But I want to be 
smaller so that's what I do. 

-Princess Mekal, Fresno 

From The Beat: What you have Mikel is an eating disorder. And it sounds 
like you know this already. You shouldn't starve yourself, because you 
are still a kid and need food in order to grow. Your mind needs food 
to be smart, and your body needs it to be strong. But really, eating 
disorders are common. Lots of people use food to manage stress, anxiety 
or depression. Some people eat too much, some not enough, and some 
force themselves to throw up. We encourage you to talk to an adult 
you trust about how you're feeling, and get help before you really hurt 

I J"" 

Guns Fired 


These folks say they getting tired of all this gun 


they wish they had buttons to keep the shots quiet 

they say youngstas now days are a menace to society 

these guns wild in the streets so these folks hidden 

cops tryin' to stop the violence so most wired 

but I call it a tragedy when them guns fired 

-Toung Marco, Alameda 

From The Beat: Nice writing Marco. Has gun violence caused tragedy in 
your own life? What do you think might slow it down? We appreciate 
your words, because it matters to hear what people think who have 
been affected by it. 


// ' ////// 

Ganoster's Get Lonely 

I know it's rough, I know it's tough 

Girl, I'm trying to avoid them cuffs 

I know your last man is doing life 

And he never treated you right 

Even though you stood by his side 

A good jaina is hard to find 

They all seem to be the same 

Evil ways and no shame 

I need a gangster girl 

In my gangster world 

Baby, I'll treat you right 

Because I'm tired of them lonely nights 

And it's never been cool 

But you're a real woman and 

If you find one you'll be lucky 

Seems they always duck me 

You thought this gangster got lonely 

'Cause our love was phony 

How you just sit and you phone me 

Wondering who's that holding me 

Told you before, I need support 

With this gangster life 

I want someone, no iil' girl 

What I need is a wife 

To watch my back 

When I'm out making gangster deals 

Someone to catch me when I fall 

When these homies ain't real 

I know there's something I love 

About this life I live 

But now it's gone it left me lonely 

Now you know it gets lonely, here on top of the world 

I got millions of females 

But all I want is a girl to be there for me 

You know when times get hard 

And when things get rough 

She wouldn't be that far 

Me and her together 

Would face away kind of weather 


God forbid, something happens to you 

With out you by my side 

I wouldn't know what to do 

Good looking girl 

I know you got my back 

The way you carry yourself 

The way you know how to act 

It's all good even though I'm just a homie from the 'hood 

I said lucky for me, you fell in love with a G 

I can't wait to get home, hope I see you soon 

Knowing night after night, up in this four-wall room 

I just sit and think, about nothing but you 

This is Temper and gangsters get lonely too. 

Baby won't you ride with me 

Slide with me, get high with me 

Side with me, all night with me 

Come ride with a G 

It's the brown super bailer 

Got ways to make you holler 

And everything top dollar 

From the Lex to the Juiced Impalas 

But I need a girl, not just to have. 

Someone to change up my world 

Settle down and have kids 

Even though my rep on the streets is I'm a pimp 

I need you not to trip 

While I handle my biz 

Let me do what I do 

While I hustle and grind 

Let me dip and stack my chips 

And you can have the rest of my time 

'Cause the truth: money don't bring happiness forever 

That's why I need you to come and make everything better 

So baby get to know me, show me and hold me 

Be here for me girl, and never leave me lonely. 

-D, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: You've got major skills with words that rhyme/ But your 
mindset says you'll spend more time/ In places like this, far from love/ 
Like the kind you describe in the poem above/ If you do what you do, 
if you "hustle and grind"/ Then prepare yourself to leave love behind/ 
Look around you, to your left and to your right/ No girls, just boys to fill 
your sight/ When we read your poem, this is how it seemsi/ Without some 
changes, prepare to settle only for love's dreams... 

Banoin' In, Banyin' But 

Keepin' my target in sight 

I steer clear from the light 

Hatred twisting my mind 

Turning, with no rewind 

Look deep past my eyes 

And madness you'll find 

Don't you dare look away 

It's just a gangster's play 

Your nightmare is what I call an average day 

Who woulda thought I'd be billed 15-to-life for pay 

Dead time awaiting trial, countless months I've been 


I've never been one to dwell, so I'ma let time tell 

Straight, sit back, relax, and represent my side well 

-Grumpy, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We have such admiration for the talent you bring to 
whatever you write. Grumpy — and such fear for your future because 
your dedication to the kind of life that the system is so prepared to 
stop. fThey don't deal well with intelligence, but they can always bring 
more physical power to any situation.) Anyway, we've told you all this 
before. When you ssiy you represent your side well, we have to wonder 
what your side really is, and whether your keen intelligence is being 
put to use for the benefit of others, or for your own future. What else 
can we say? 

A roreion Life 

Many people don't see now the things they do affect 
other people either because they just don't care or they 
just don't know. I personally think it's the first one you 
see I used to have my fun at somebody else's expense. 

Now as I look back on my memories, they enrage me 
so much, they are like memories from a foreign childhood, 
memories that are not my own. 

Before I did something I thought, "How much fun can 
I get out of this?" But now I think, "What could happen to 
me or someone else?" I know some people can't do that 
because they have not reached that level of sophistication, 
they are arrogantly ignorant, naive, and tunnel vision. 

Some people just don't care, but if you could take 
your head out of you're ass and see what you cause, 
would you stop? I doubt it. It's time to grow up, you make 
up society's imperfections! 

-Derrick, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We agree with a lot of what you say, but wedon't know 
that sophistication is the question. Some of the most sophisticated 
and intelligent people are the most boneheaded. But those people will 
never be sts good for themselves or anyone else sis those who simply see 
others, and think of others. 


// ' ////// 

I reel Like A Chopped Up Body 

Anther day stressed out. 

Pain of death I'm about to blank out. 

Tired of this, sick of that 

missing some things bugged from the visions 

I face every day, 

most of the time at night. I just say 

I can't wait to die. 

I don't want to hide 

Being treated like a dog, heed by fog. 

People might as well say F - me to my face 

I knew I was *bout to go off, B. 

But who cares? 


I feel like a chopped up body. 

No to this, no to that, where is the help 1 ask for? 

Not the county clothes on my back. 

They make it hard on me. 

It's nothing like the streets but worse. 

You can't walk away and that's the part that hurt. 

Being part of the drama gets worse. 

Cramped in a box full of words that wants to be heard. 

Torn by the envious stares and you'll be caught 


Open your eyes and see life come as a choice. 

It's your momma's rights to know if she wants you 


You feel like hell. You've been used so may times you 

can't tell, 

break the spell. I'm here al alone 

counting my days can't wait to go home, 

being 'round people who give shhh less about you every 


I'm gonna hold my head up high until that day. 

-Shantell, Alameda 

From The Beat: We hope you do hold it high where it belongs/at the 
place where words become part of songs/ where the music of sorrows 
meet the beats of tomorrows/ you will fight the pain and rise above/ 
because the words your poems they show your love. Keep loving. Keep 




Trapped Afld Gaoed 

Trapped and caged — this ain't coo' 

Can't move how you want... what's the point 

You think heila much 

I hella hate the lunch 

Wishing I could go home and munch 

I'm with a bunch of messy females 

All I do is smile and strike a pose 

Now I got goals, plans, I can't run 

Tired of helpin' these smart-mouth staff get paid 

When I can be free instead 

I got to go to a group home, I'ma stick it out 

Can't take the easy route out 

It's gone be hard 'cause I'm in it by myself 

For my own wealth 

I'ma do what I got to do for me 

Ain't no "we" when it come to me 

'Cause when I do time 

All I got is my words of advice 

To my readers, do you for you 

In the end 

You all you got — not a friend! 

-Lasara Lacy, San Francisco 

From The Beat: If one definition of a friend is someone who won't lead 
you into danger, then are you being a friend to yourself? It sounds to us 
Mice you're ready to taice a new path away from places liice this. Maybe 
that^ "the point" — to give you time to think of what you must do to 
avoid coming here. (We had to change one of your rhymes because it 
wasn't Beat appropriate.) 



Life is a battle we continue to fight 

I'm not too sure when my black people will wake up and 
see the light 

All this anger, violence animosity and strife ain't right 
Y'all need to stop, pay attention, and take consideration 
To what I'm saying, 'cause this generation is all about 
world domination 

If not now, y'ail gone wish when it too late 
That you could have changed to see better days 
This lifestyle is corrupting our minds 

To the point where we ashamed to admit how we really 
feel inside 

If you don't know, I'm gone tell you 
That from God we can't hide, off top 
You can't look in yo' parents' eyes and lie 
They know us better than we know ourselves 
And they ache at the thought of what we do 
And God forbid they have to see us looking cold 
Wit' a tag on our toe 

Or strung out on the comer, looking for the next fix of dope 
Even doing life 

Just because the judge see color, and gave you three 

So have fun while you can, and keep riding yo' bike 
Keep staying true 
Just kick it and do you 
Reclaim yo' life 

And tell all the people putting you down, no copy, write 

-Kirstin, San Francisco 

From The Beat: From this it^ clear that you have awaicened and seen the 
light. That means, of course, that sometimes you have to put having fun 
to the side in order to move yourself closer to your goals. What are your 
dreams for the future, and what is your plan for achieving them? 

It's Like The Fourth of July 

Today I'm gonna talk about gun violence. Nowadays 
people are getting shot for any and everything, if you look 
at someone wrong, they will shoot you in broad daylight. 
And we all know bullets don't have names and the people 
that shot the guns don't have aim. See where I'm from 
in Hayward, California, the heart of the Bay it's like the 
Fourth of July every day Cause there is so many gun 
shots, see when you're from where I'm from a ninja will 
get smoked over five dollars or a dirty look. 

You see people don't kill people. Ninjas with guns 
kill people. Sometimes the ninjas with guns kill innocent 
people because they try to rob them and it goes bad. But 
I'm out for now. 

-Lir P, Alameda 

From The Beat: You do a great job here of laying out the problem. It^ 
ugly times in The Bay, and a lot of people get hurt - iti tragic and 
it^ destroying the people we love. But in the part of your piece that 
we had to cut you tallied about your own role In the problem. Do you 
really think carrying a gun will make you safer? And what if It^ one 
of your bullets that takes down a bystander on the street? Or makes a 
grandmother cry? 

What A (on Can Da 


A gun can do a lot of damage 

A gun can cause life to be taken away 

A gun can cause you to be in the wrong place 

There are thousands of people that die from guns just in 


People need to just put the guns away already. 

-Entay, Fresno 

From The Beat: Well said Entay. But things well said are easier then 
having them well done. How can you help people put the guns down in 
your own community? 


' ////// ' // ' 


RIP Lil' Will 

RIP to my cousin Lil'Will 

he was only fourteen when he got stabbed and killed 

he was never the bad type naw he was good 

always went to school never posted in the hood 

until one night on August 19t 

he got stabbed and killed by the enemies 

That night I got arrested but he got killed later on 

and when I called my Mama she told me Lil' Will was 


I was shocked ninja man I didn't feel right 

I'm like how I get arrested and he got killed the same 


That's one thing that I gotta live with 

why the enemies take him, man he was only a kid 

It's hurt'n me to say that my lil' cousin gone 

that's why I'm always say'n his name up in a song 

He got killed down the street from where I got arrested 

At least I know he's in his casket man well rested 

and when it was time to put in work he would always say 


that's why he's my lil' cousin and I'll miss him forever. 

-Lir Rolo, Alameda 

From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss, and sorry for the loss of this 
young life. You are right he was too young! We think he'd appreciate 
this tribute to him, to his life. We wonder what was going on that 

Confessions Of A Bollet 


You speak you just talk 

And talkin' is just words 

when you is just a little baby sayin' yo' first three words 

People talk just for fun and act hard with a gun 

Poppin' caps in the air and you the first person to run. 

Blood spills, bodies drop, thinkin' you really hard 

Now well them ninjas straight soft, 

Playin' they best friends for straight fools. 

And I knock 'em down like balloons 

I'm the only one who comes out like - bang. Bang. Boom. 


Hit this hit that I ricochet spin. 

And do all that. 

I'm silent I'm loud I'm whatever not proud 

I can't be stopped because the trigger let me go, 

I come in all shapes and sizes and I'm ready to kill some 


Guess who I am, it's not hard to tell, 

I'm not like how it was no more, naah 

Never that they just don't make no more 

When Fm comin' from that gat. 

-Lir Quan, Alameda 

From The Beat: This piece hits like a bullet too, straight and sure to 
the heart. And telling the story of the streets from the point of view 
of a bullet tells gives us a whole new perspective on how meaningless 
street cruelty really is. We are looking forward to publishing more of 
your outlook! 

My Mom And Girl Cryino 

Yeah, you know who this be. This Delvonta. I been in 
here like a few months. I don't know what they tryna let 
a thug out. I am stressed out because they talking *bout 
some bs how I can't see my wife. I miss her so much it's 
not funny. Thinking 'bout her every day. 

Every time my mom come to my court date and I 
don't get out, mom leave out crying. That stuff made me 
feel bad. And every time I get my phone call, I call ma 
girlfriend. I know for I fact she be crying every time I get 
off the phone. 

Fo' all you dudes that got a chance out there, you 
betta take advantage of it because I thought life was a 
game before, but people learn form they mistakes. So all I 
can tell you is keep your head up, do yo' time and get out. 
I'm gore 

-Delvonta, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Not all people learn from their mistakes, so it^ good to 
read that you have learned from yours. What changes do you plan to 
make when you touch down so that you don't leave your girl and your 
mom in tears again? 

Dnn't Gn There 

Why you yelling at me 

Don't go there Dad 

Why you leave me? 

Don't go there Dad 

Why you disrespecting me 

Don't go there dad 

Why did you do drugs in my face 

Don't go there Dad 

Why did you go to jail 

Don't go there Dad 

Why you tryin' to tell me what to do 

Don't go there Dad 

-Quilla Bo, Alameda 

From The Beat: We sure hope this poem comes with a Part 2, and we 
hope you share your stoiy with the Beat - and that you decide to "go 
there," because we know you have sm important story to tell. 


// ' ////// 

Have You Ever? 


Have you ever had to steal so you can eat dinner? 

Have you ever had a teacher say y'all never be a winner? 

Have you ever watched yo' best friend shoot himself in 

the head? 

Have you ever gotten a call saying someone you love is 


Have you ever wished that you could die 

Have you ever been so sad that you couldn't cry? 

Have you ever had a big problem that just kept getting 


Have yo ever had yo' heart stop for drinking too much 


Have you ever been in reality, but still in a dream? 

Have you ever done something good, but still felt like 

leaving the scene? 

Have you ever seen your mom cry so much that you 

wanted to kill? 

Have you ever been healthy but still felt real ill? 

Have you ever? 

-No Name, Alameda 

From The Beat: With each line of this poem you bring us a little deeper 
into an understanding of what it means to love and suffer, to make 
mistaices, to mourn. All we can say is that we hope you never heard 
what you say from a teacher - because it^ not true! In this poem you 
show that you can be a winner- you have heart, wisdom and something 
to teach ats well. 

Gun Violence, Hurtiny People, Helpino People 

1 have never seen a gun before other than a police officer 
that had a gun. Guns, I feel, are dangerous and I feel police 
should only have them. 

1 do not like when people talk about other people and 
hurt their feelings. People all have feelings (sometimes 
they may not act like they do.) 1 also do not like when 
you are in a relationship and the other person apparently 
"loses feelings" about you and leaves you there. 

If someone is acting strange, I would worry about 
them and try to help them and make sure they will be 
normal. 1 feel that 1 helped people emotionally by getting 
their mind off things. My friend was brokenhearted, so 1 
took her mind off things. 

-Samantha, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Samantha, maybe your Beat facilitator forgot to tell you 
to write about only one topic. The reason for that is that when you write 
about all the topics, you can't get in more than a few sentences, and we 
won't publish pieces that are too short. (That^ why we pushed three of 
your pieces together, so that all of them could see the light of day.) You 
are too good a writer to give us only two or three sentences. Next time, 
think about the one topic you want to write about, then write us much 
sts you can about it, with examples, explanations, and details. 

riOht With Yoor rists 


I think people who have guns are weak because they 
can't resolve an issue peacefully. People who have guns 
should drop the guns and fight with their fists. 

1 hope that people who have guns don't use them in a 
way that they take somebody's younger or older brother 
from their life. People should think about the victim's 
family and how sad they would be: The parents would 
be thinking about how their son or daughter is dead the 
parents would not be able to sleep knowing that their kid 
is no longer with them. 

-Elliot, Alameda 

From The Beat: Compassion is the ability to feel what others are going 
through, to truly care about another persons suffering or pain. That^ 
what you're talking about there, about how Important it is that we 
learn to have compassion with each other. This is the message of Jesus, 
Gandhi, Reverend Martin Luther iCing, Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama... 
do you feel that compassion is in all of us? 




Life is pain 

Pain is death 

People are fake 

Fakes are dumb. 

People talk a lot 

But don't do anything 

I know 1 am tired 

Of talking to much shhh. 

People say they want to fight 

But they expect others to help them 

They can't just stand up for themselves. 

I want people to just shut up 

And live their own lives. 

People think 1 am down 

But 1 am not. 

People judge me for my looks 

Or by the way 1 talk. 

But if they really got to know me 

They would see that 1 am cool. 

People always want to start things 

And yes I start them too sometimes. 

When we all cry 

People want to laugh at us 

And it's not right 

I wish people could 

Be in my shoes 

And see what this life is about. 

People believe I will be 

Locked up for life 

But they don't know anything. 

Life is everything 

You can lose it for shhh 

You didn't even do. 

-Bethany, Fresno 

From The Beat: Bethany has been writing to us for sometime, because 
she has been in the JJC for a while now. She^ right though. People need 
to stop judging others and worry about themselves. But this includes 
you too Bethany. 


// ' ////// 

Chanoino My Hate 

In these four walls 

I can't think at all 

My mind is filled with negativity and hate 

Seems like that's my fate 

My mind is so dark I don't know no light 

But my heart so bright it just urges to fight 

I remember thinking back on the decision I made 

All the good times starting to fade 

I'm tryin' to get back on track but my wolf pack 

Keeps holding me back 

But I'm letting lose and letting go 

My mind is riding with the positive flow 

Instead of kicking it with the dudes I stay home 

And help my moms bring up the food 

I'm on my way back to the positive climb 

But first I gotta knock off this six months group home 


-Vietnamese Kid, Alameda 

From The Beat: This is a great poem describing your trials and 

tribulation. Change ain't easy, and it doesn't come over night. But you 

can at least try and give it your best shot. Positive thinicing will bring 

I positive outcomes, you just gotta have some patience. 

1 r\ I I r 


Momma I'm tired of seeing you cry, 

momma I'm tired of seeing tears in your eyes. 

Sorry for all the hurt I put you through, 

sorry for doing all the things you told me not to, 

I know you never thought I'll be this way, 

I'm sorry for a hurtful things I say, 

just know from this day things won't be the same, 

'cause momma I'm sorry for all your pain, 

if I could go back in time, all your pain would be mine, 

momma I'm sorry I gotta do all this time, 

momma I'm gonna stop all your crying. 

-Guero, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: This is a beautiful expression, and a solemn vow. It 
takes a lot to see how what you do affects others, and how what you 
can do can help them. I hope you can do better for your mom, and I 
hope she Icnows you are trying. 

Gun Violence Hurts 

The first time I saw a gun was like two weeks ago because 
my cousin had a gun on him. I seen him take it out, but it 
was kind of small and silver. 

I never held a gun before in my life, probably a bee bee 
gun or an air soft gun but never a real one. When I think 
of guns I think of killing and shooting. So that's why I do 
not like guns. 

But the real reason is, it was like two weeks before I 
was born my dad had died over a gun. But nobody shot 
him. What I heard he thought he had it on safety and I 
guess he was playing with it, and then he accidentally 
shot himself. 

I don't like guns because they can get you shot or 
killed but sometimes you need to protect your family. No, 
I do not want my child to pack a gun never, but I would 
want him or her to protect their self. No one can stop gun 
violence, but you can stop selling guns. But that's not 
going to happen. 

-Morris, Alameda 

From The Beat: It's hard because sometimes it does seem like the gun 
violence won't stop. We can^ get the guns off the streets, but at least we 
start with ourselves and try to educate our peers. Why are kids killing 
kids on the streets? We all live in poverty and no one is better than the 
next man. Why do people focus their energy so much on trying to bring 
the next man down instead of trying to bring your self up? 

The First 


I was the first of my family to join a gang at first I just 
kick it at the park just playing handball affiliating then. I 
see how they were how they got down and I liked it. The 
streets were like a drug and I'm an addict. I can't stop. I 
never thought twice why I choose this life. Nothing comes 
between me and the family that I choose. 

-Lir Silent G, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: It^ good that you feel a connection to people and 
genuinely care about your "family." But you are ultimately responsible 
for what you do. They don't make you do anything, and I hope you can 
take your love for them and do some good. 

My Life Has Ciianoed 

Well it's been a month and a half since I've been here. 
It's my first time here but I feel like I've been here for 
months. Watching people come and out, giving advice to 
new people. I feel like a veteran in the game. I waited 3 
weeks for my 1st court date, which was my release date. 

Once that day came I found out my mom changed 
her mind and decided to send me to a group home for 6 
months. I was totally crushed and cried bitter tears that 
day, at the fact that it was only the beginning, at the fact 
that it was my mom's decision. 

I hated her for that, but not for long. I'm a changed 
man now. She visited me constantly and told me why 
she made that decision, not because she is a messed up 
person or she knew how I'd feel. But she did it to make 
me a better person. 

I haven't yet started the program but already in my 
mind I'm a changed person. I'm anxious to show that to 
my mom, myself, and the world that. 

-Lito, Alameda 

From The Beat: That's great that you have decided to change your life. 
Sometimes parents make decisions that you might not like, but it^ for 
your own good. We all have to do things that we might not like. Liice for 
example, waking up early, but you have to wake up early to go to school 
or to go to work. Youll learn. We all make mistakes you must learn. 


i=/ n=n 

// ' ////// 

Mama Dry Your Eyes 

With only one life to live I got to give it all I got. 

With all the chances 1 get 1 still be running from the 


I'm sorry for all the drama mom. 
I know I need to stop. 

And I know that it's killing you, but you're telling me it's 

I know that it is so. 

Don't lie 'cause it's a fact, and it's more than just a chip. 
I'm like a rock on your back. 

Don't trust the rock in your sack, 'cause it's killing you 

And it's killing me more because you're more than my 

You're the one that gave me birth. 
You're the one I call mommy. 
You're the one that taught me words. 

You're the reason I'm walking, and it's hard for me - 

but I can tell you in a rhyme that I'm sorry for the stress 
and all the tears 

in your eyes. So, if you need me for anything mama, 
you know I'm here to give you comfort for the stress. 
You know that I care, and you'll never be lonely 'cause 
I'm always near. 

So, mama, just dry your eyes 'cause your son's right 


Mama, dry your eyes because your son's right here. 

I know it's hard to smile but when the rain is clear, 

you're gonna dry your eyes. 

We gonna make it through, because you love me forever, 
and I love you! 

-Big Keno, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Hey Big K - nice lyrics. It's true that sometimes song 
lyrics or just a hug can xx^ things we'd like to put into other words, but 
for some reason, just can't. Now then, do these lyrics have a melody? 
We think the sweetest song you could ever sing to your mama would be 
in good actions, good behavior, rather than words. And that, Keno, is a 
tune we make up day by day, eveiy day of our lives. 

War Zone 


I It's a real life war zone 
I Ninjas getting killed 

From left to right killing 

In broad day light 

Not just at night 

When they say funk on sight 

They ain't lying 

They willing to give up they life for the next 

Cause all people care about is respect 

I can understand being on the street 

To get money for your family 

But some people take it to the next level 

Killing before hey hit a young teen 

This shhh is real 

Not only thugs but civilians got to keep that steel 

'Cause they no if they slipping they can get killed. 

-Lir Charlie, Alameda 

From The Beat: Nice poem »& it is sad but yet truthful of what really goes 
on in the streets, it^ hectic out there in the streets, 'cause eveiybody is 
riding around looking for trouble strapped up. Sometimes it is hard and 
makes you wanna pacic one too. But how can you get away from all the 
negativity? How can you bring it to the attention to the leaders in your 
community? Something needs be done, to tiy and make things right. 
Where can you start? 



My Goodbyes 

Hey, what's really good Beat. Today is Thursday. Soon 
I'm finally leaving this place. When released, I'll have 
been here ISO+days. 

Well, let's see.... by being here we learned a lot, but 
I also had many struggles - from the usual drama that 
happens in the girls' units to missing my wonderful 
mother, my best friend, and my familia. But most of all, 
the fear and worry I have for my little brother who is in 
here right now. 

I've cried many nights and I'm not ashamed to admit 
it. I can't contemplate all the tears I tasted as I watched 
the days pass by, watched the seconds slide by. Having 
the minutes pass but having it feel like an hour. 

God granted me the serenity to accept the things I 
cannot change and the ability to change the things I can. 

To anyone who is reading this, just keep your head up. 
Be strong. Change your ways. Don't do it for anyone else. 
Do it for yourself. "Life isn't measured by the amount of 
breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath 
away." Cherish every moment like it's your last. 

I wish everyone of you nothing but the best and hope 
your time flies. And to my roommate - when you read this, 
don't trip. I'm watching my brother for you until you get 
out. LOL. 

I'd like to thank all staff who have helped me cope 
with the struggles I had to face. 

To Ms. Elliott, even though sometimes you were mean 
and kicked me off detail, I could never stay mad at you. 

To Mrs. Fanjando, you were the first staff I met when 
I came to this unit. Thank you for always being honest 
with me and telling me to just focus on getting a job and 
staying away from drama. 

To Mrs. Avalos, you were like the mom on the unit. 
I thank you for all the advice you gave me and those 
bomb ass tacos you made that one time, and just for 

To Mrs. Barnes you're one of my fav staff. I always 
looked forward to you coming in and telling your jokes 
(brown chicken-brown cow) hahaha. 

To Mrs. Vera and Mr. Young, I loved when you two 
worked together. You always made it as fun as possible 
in here, and always brought us some kind of goodies 
each week... best bunk, slushies etc... Thank you for all 
your support, your patience with helping me find a job, 
and helping me study for my tests. You'll forever have 
my undying gratitude. To Mrs. Mamirea, my favorite staff, 
thank you for everything, for always finding the time to 
talk to me. You gave me advice and thanks for just being 

To the GR staff- Cornardo - you're the best. You crack 
me up. You always made me laugh when I was doing detail 
with you. Thanks Princess Cornardo. 

Finally, last but not least - Mrs. Perez. Thank you ever 
so much for everything you've done. You never judged me. 
You always acknowledged me and always asked how I was 
doing, and gave me words of encouragement and let's not 
forget - whenever I needed to talk to you, you would call 
me down. 

Thank you so much. To all my staff - you all made a 
huge impact on my life and helped me understand things 
from a different perceptive. You'll all hold a place in my 
heart. I know it sounds cheesy, but it's true. I hope we see 
each other on the outs - like at one of my jobs. I wish you 
all the best in life. That's my good bye. Always - loyalty, 
trust, respect. 

-Christina, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: This is a gracious and generous and wond erful goodbye 
to the many people who have helped you. We are happy to print it. 


f4fff 1/ 

Loyaltv and Respect 

When I hear the words loyalty and respect I think of my 
family and Mom. Because for the fact that I'm loyal to my 
family and I have respect for my mom. 

Loyalty means a lot- to be able to trust or have trust 
in someone is sometimes strange because you never 
know if the person is going to snitch- so all my loyalty 
goes to my family and they're loyal to me as well and my 
respect as well... But most for my mother I give her my 
most loyalty and respect because I can always trust and 
count on my Mom for everything. 

So what does loyalty and respect mean to you? 

-Young J 

From The Beat: Loyalty depends on trust, and it sounds like the 
snitching factor has eroded the trust — malcing loyalty beyond family 
difficult. The gang enhancement laws have made the time people can 
get huge, and when folks are faced with that they snitch more often. It 
makes sense to only be loyal to those you trust. 

Gun Violence 


I think guns are a bad thing for the world and should not 
be used for bad deadly force or just not to be used at all. 

Every year lOO.OOO's of people who matter die, or lose 
their child to gun violence, but for what reason? 

What if guns was never made? I wonder how many 
people would be alive, how many families would be feeling 
right now. But most people like to just play around with 
guns and then a lot people get hurt or even die. Then that 
person going to be sitting in jail for the rest of his life 
wondering why all of that happened, or why that person 
even had to die. 


From The Beat: You're right, gun violence leads to a lot of deaths and 
a lot of broken families. How have guns been a part of your life? It^ 
easy to talk about violence being bad in the world, but what about gun 
violence in your own community, your own life? 

Guns Are Apart Of Me 

Well to me having a gun is an always, to me a gun is like 
a limb. If I didn't have one it's like I felt like if something 
was missing. All my life I've been around guns so to me 
it's like a gun is like a tool I carry with me everywhere. I 
wouldn't know what to do if guns weren't invented. 


From The Beat: Sadly, you're not alone in having guns be a part of your 
life since childhood - it's a very common way to grow up in certain parts 
of the world. However, in other parts it^ not so common. Do you think 
you would still feel lost without your gun on you if you were in a place 
where no one else had a gun? 


Gun Violence And Loss 

Man, let me tell you about these guns. Man, guns ain't 
cool because everybody is quick to pick one up. From 
my perspective I think sucka ass ninjas gotta pull a gun 

I play with guns but I just don't pull them out on 

I've lost too many ninjas to gun play. Rip Burger, Rip 
Mike, Rip Paco, man this list can go on and on. Some 
ninjas gotta carry a gun 'cause of so much dirt they have 
done in these Oakland streets. Man, with all these guns 
on the street it's not safe for anyone. 


From The Beat: Losing people you care about to guns is really an eye 
opening thing. So many people see guns and have guns, but if you 
haven't seen the damage they can do, you can never really know what 
that^ like. We're sorry you've lost people in your life to gun play, and 
hope that you learn from your experiences. 



We could play, we could roast, we could joke, but if you 
put my moms in it that's yo butt Mr. postman. 

Speak Up 

Sometimes you gotta speak up for the people that 
don't have their own voice. Everyone wants to be heard, 
but sometimes can't speak up for themselves. Sometimes 
it gets to the point where I'll take that step to speak up for 
someone else especially if they're right. 

RIP Dez 

Rest I Paradise Desmond Thomas aka D-West. I miss 
you bruh. I'm a shine for you big bruh. It ain't no secret. 

-Mackin Nam 

From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss. We wonder when you have 
taken that step to speak for someone silenced? Why don't some people 
have their own voice? 

Gofls Ifl My Life 

In my life I saw a gun when I was 8 years old 1 was at 
my dad's house in my dad's room. I had pulled the cep 
out, put the bullet in the gun, but I didn't touch it again 
because I seen my friend shoot himself when he play with 
a gun. 

I myself play with guns like people trying to shoot me 
or trying to shoot my love one for my safety. I stay with 
guns for my life. 


From The Beat: You've seen guns since you were young, it's something 
you're used to seeing, but you still feel like they're a bad thing unless 
used for z^f^t^. Why do you think you feel this way, but so many of 
peers play around with guns? 


I don't think it's okay to joke all the time. Like when 
people joke about people's family member, like people 
talk about people's mom or dad or grandma, cause you 
never know what going on in their life. Like, their parents 
could be dead, you never know. That why you don't talk 
about people's family. 

For example, I once told a girl that her mom was a 
crack head, a dope fiend, she started crying and I felt 
hella bad for her because it was true. 


From The Beat: You make a really good point. It^ always a good idea 
when joking around to keep in mind that people may take offense or 
may be upset by what you say. 

What Can I Di 


What can I do, what can I say, I want to just get high and 

float away. 

All these eyes see is a world of gray. 

All pain no love 

police don't give a ..., you just another ninja. 

To them we all look the same 

sitting in my cell in this little room like a living hell. 

Think that juvenile hall can't be my God given call, 

get released, on the comer, smoke flowing through my nose 

round the block got hoes walking on the stroll. 

Little girls only thirteen years old, out there, catching 

more than a cold. 

Sooner or later this hood life gone get old, but for now I 

am stuck in the flow. 

-Young Gray 

From The Beat: Sounds like you don't agree with a lot of what goes 
on in your community, or even a lot of what you do yourself. When 
will it get old? What needs to happen for you to want to get out bad 



Gun Play 

^ flBflit Paper 

Sometimes gun play is dangerous but most of the time 
it is necessary. In my life we play that game a lot, some 
people say it's crazy but for me it's just what it's like. 

I didn't have much of a choice, my cousin was shot 
at the age of 17 and retaliation is a must where we came 
from, so I had to pick up a gun, do my dirt and now I can't 
stop using a pistol. 


From The Beat: Revenge can be a very dangerous road to go down. If 
you retaliate with violence, you know there will be retaliation against 
you with more violence. Where does the cycle end? Can you think of a 
situation where it would be worth it to not take revenge and end the 


I I I I I 

Don't Go There 


I don't play when it comes to my fam. It's bad business 
when you cross that line with me. 

I got too much love for my family and I can't stand to 
see anybody in the fam to be hurt. If you put my family 
in danger, I'll make your whole life miserable. Don't go 

I love my family more than words can explain. It's just 
that simple. 

- Slick 

From The Beat: Family is so important, we agree, and we are glad you 
have a strong family. We agree too that it's important to protect and 
stick up for you blood family, but we took out the parts of your piece 
that were about activities that would land you back in jail. We are sure 
that your family loves you too, more than words could ssky, and would 
prefer you safe and outside, unless you're talking about your street 
family, which in truth could care less if you are locked up or not. 


What's up wit the Beat? The day I get released I'm gone 
try to come up on some paper. But I'm gone try to do it the 
legit way so I don't have to hustle to get it or rob. 

In the future I will like to have my own business so 
I can put my ninjas on with a job with cool pay and so I 
can be my own self boss. I want a fat crib, that new Lexus 
or new Mercedes on 4s. I want Stacy Adams three piece 
suits, coogie, evisu, and Jordans in my closet. 

I want to come through the hood shining. Me and my 

ninjas we all gone be shining and the police gone hate 

because they can't knock us. they might catch us with 

I some dro or toasta but can't do shhh cause I'm gone have 

prescriptions for mines. 


From The Beat: What kind of business do you plan to create? Can you 
use your time to learn about business and making your own business, 
and get yourself all ready for when you are released? 


Today I'm going to talk about my release. 

Well, on December 4th I got court with me and two 
other co-parts. Well yeah, I just hope we get released 
because I've been here almost 3 months and I think it's 
time for us to be released. 

Hopefully everything goes good and we get released 


From The Beat: We wish you freedom nz well. What do you think you've 
learned from your three months locked up? Anything that will be useful 
to you in your life on the outs? 

Dofl't Go There 

X Paifl ifl My Life 

One thing I don't understand about some dudes in jail 

is why ninjas be so goofy in here and take everything 

for a joke. Shhh be serious! And enough be enough, 

sometimes dudes in here, ninjas don't be always tryin' 

to be capping or roasting ninjas be more focus on getting 

out and they court day and not getting more paper work 

on them. 

So some heads up advice for you minors and 

youngsters, be easy man, do something productive with 

your lives when y'all get out 'cause we ain't down forever. 

I got a release day one day even if it ain't soon I ain't 

tripping. I will be out one day. 

From The Beat: You're advice to others is to be productive and stay out 
of trouble, but you end by saying you're gonna go right back to doing 
what you did to end up in trouble. How can you expect people to listen 
to your advice if you don't follow it yourself? It's time to start practicing 
what you preach! 

Raise YoorHaods Ifl The Air 

Yeah guns ain't cool so that's why you suckas need to 
put them down an get them hands up an fight like men 
*cause it ain't cool to shoot that thang every time you 
have a problem. If I got a problem with somebody I ain't 
just gone bust they shhh we can always get *em up before 
I shoot you. 

If you harm my family then I'm really gone bust yo ass 
*cause that ain't cool. But remember before you shoot 
somebody your size or your age put yo' gun down and get 
them hands up blood real talk though. 

-Baby James 

From The Beat: While guns definitely make the stakes higher, hand 
violence can be just az deadly. Do you feel that hand violence is less 
dangerous? How do you feel about working out problems with words 
instead - can nonviolence be effective? 


The pain that I've been holding in my life ain't no joke. 
I've lost so many people in my short life of living and I'm 
only seventeen years old. My world has been a living hell, 
it feels like I've been to hell and back but everybody I talk 
to don't understand where I'm coming from they try and 
say **I feel where you're coming from" but that shhh don't 
phase me. 

Sometimes I get the feeling my own mother don't 
understand me and she's my mother. People just don't 
know what I've been through. I had to hustle on my own 
since I was twelve years old walked out on my moms. 
Sleepin' in the rain for two nights till my play brother 
took me in so when I tell you that you don't understand 
me don't get mad. 

-Lir Miami 

From The Beat: You're right, no one understands exactly what you've 
been through or how it all adds up over your lifetime. We have all had 
some really hard times, and understand how difficult it feels to make it 
through them, however everyone's situation is different. What do you 
wish people understood about the way you feel? 

Gofl Vloieflce Will Never Stop 

Gun violence is never going to stop especially in my 

hood in East Oakland. We have too many gang-bangers 

and drug-dealers so it won't never stop. I mean we can 

have less killing but it ain't going to stop. Really now they 

ain't playing with nobody. 'Cause sometimes you really 

need a gun but at the same time you don't. Me, I'd prefer 

to get caught with one rather then get caught sleeping 

without one. 

From The Beat: Do you think the violence would stop if there were 
jobs and education opportunities available to those gang-bangers and 
drug dealers? Or if they were all swept up and locked up? Tell us some 
potential solutions to the problems you decribe here.... 


f4if 14 

Q-Vole Beat 

It's that vato Gilberto coming out of Max 2. Today I'm 
going to write about gun violence. Well I find flaws in gun 
violence and I see how some people don't like it, and don't 
get me wrong I don't like it either. 

But sometimes you gotta handle stuff and a lot of 
people choose to do it by using a gun. And I've lost a lot 
of my homies to gun violence and right now I'm here for 
a gun related charge and I'm waiting to get transferred 
to CYA, so I guess guns and gangs will never lead you to 
good places, but I had to learn that the hard way...pues 
I'm out orales Beat. 


From The Beat: We hope some that read this can learn from what folks 
like you write, instead of having to learn the hard way themselves. Use 
your time well Gilberto, prepare for the rest of your life. 



is the reason why I am here. It was the first time in my 
life that I'd ever seen, touch, had , and felt the fear of 
owning a gun. Clearly, after what this gun had done to my 
life, I would never touch a gun again. This gun taught me 
a lesson that I will remember all my life. 


From The Beat: We definitely agree that guns teach often through 
serious harm, or death. The power to destroy is not as beneficial to one^ 
life sis the power to create. It^ nt\ important choice to make: destroy or 
create? If you could feel the power of being able to create your life... 
what would you make of it? 


I'm in her stressing like mad at this weak system, it 
makes me hella mad I'm in here for some bunk shhh that 
I didn't do. I hope that when I get out I am gonna do 
better and that I will find the way to change my life and 
do better because my Mom waiting on me when I get out. 

-Big Body 

From The Beat: We hope you can turn this whole situation around so 
that you can make your life better. You can do it if you decide that^ 
what you want, and take it step by step, day by day. 


Speak Up 

I'm tired of this shhh I wish this shhh would stop I can't 
wait till I get out 

I pray that I go Pro and go to the NBA and have kids 
wearing my shoes 

and headbands. I want to live the real life, be rich and 
have a million crib | 

you feel and dig me? | 


From The Beat: Good luck with that!! Practice, practice, discipline, taife 
care of yourself, make good choices and work hard for your dreams. i 



You don't joke about anyone that is dead that I was close 
to. My Dad was close to me so if someone jokes about 
him I get angry. I don't get angry if someone doesn't know 
my dad and in general just says "yo Dad is so stupid..." 
I get angry if someone is getting at him sideways. If you 
don't get at him it's fine. 


From The Beat: This makes sense because it would be Nice someone 
disrespecting something that means a lot to you, and not being 
considerate about your Dad or what has been meaningful in your life. 
How do you respond? 



Violence will take over the world whether or not people 
like it. No guns, all it will do will make people fight and 
stab. But through all the pain, America as our people 
will survive whatever comes to us because we have the 


From The Beat: What you write is a little confusing. You say that 
violence will "take over the world", which ultimately means we'll all 
fall, but then you also say that Americans have the power to survive. 
These two things seem like they can't both happen. How will Americans 
survive - what is this power we have? 

Gun Violence 


To me guns are noth'n unless one is pointed at me. I'm 
not scared of them but they are no joke, they are noth'n 
to play with. I have many friends that died from guns, one 
of my homies just died. ..RIP Lil' Pooh. 

Guns is mostly the problem in the hood-if there were 
no guns there wouldn't be as much killings, that it is now 
matter a fact it really wouldn't be no killings not exactly 
no killings but with no guns it wouldn't have as many 
robberies... but I don't know a lot of people do robberies 
without guns but guns is a big part of the violence. 

It wouldn't be no bank robberies fo sho and it would 
be better in the hood because nobody would have to 
worry about somebody comin' through shoot'n-we would 
probably lose more people to jail instead of guns. But gun 
violence is a big part in this society. Gun violence is bad, 
this just what my opinion is. 

-Young Boobie 

From The Beat: Life sks you describe it sounds so rough, it seems like 
people get lost to guns or jail. What do you plan to do when you mik 
released so that you aren't in this danger of losing your life one of these 

Crazy Piece 

I went to the train station to go through the desert 

seen a lot of sand and the ride was soft just like a 


The ride took all evening and the train was steel 

I loved my trip to Venus it was just so real. 

-Lir Rolo 
From The Beat: We like your writing, Rolo. Do you read a lot too? Read 
and write as much sk^ possible while you have the time... 

Dofl't Give Up 

I know that it's impossible 

to get these guns off these 

but it's worth trying so go for it 
even though you aint going to get far. 

From The Beat: We agree with you, not sure what to do. 
One person at a time. What about you? Do you plan to 

-Fat Boy 
but have to try. 
carry a gun? 

New roods 

I hate eating food that I don't eat. 

Me if I never ate it I won't eat. 

I never ate menudo, tofu, sushi or raw fish. 

I have ate pig feet. 


From The Beat: How can you learn new things if you don't try it? We 
agree there are certain things we'd also say no to, but gotta stretch a 
little to grow. 


f4fff I^ 

Swaoyer Like Me 


Who says Latinos can't spit like this. I'm Salvadorian Mexican 

and Puerto Rican. 

Verse 1: 

My lyrical capabilities show I got extraordinary swag 

hits keep droppin' while them suckas lag 

never the type to boast 'cause my rap sheet brags 

wanna know my regiment, just look at the SF hat 

snap into focus, play close attention 

I been hotter than the temperature up in the kitchen 

look through The Beat Within and someone's missin' 

stick out like a sore thumb, it's me I'm mentionin' 

been sharper than a gold dagger of all metal 

thirty-five is the limit but I step on the pedal 'cause life ain't 

just a caramelo 

should give you an lEP just to make you feel special 

planted the seeds in the right soil 

got to turn down the heat to make sure I don't over boil 

ha, these cowards make me giggle 

I stay higher than clouds you can tell by the way I whistle 

Chorus - repeat 

Who in The Beat Within got swagger like me 

Swagger like me 

Swagger like me 

Verse 2: 

With these handcuffs on, look how I shine on the wrist 

took the roof off so now my car topless 

hydraulic pumps left an' right my car switch 

turn off an' on but don't blow the circuit 

look in The Beat Within and check my sway 

now they checking my rep checkin' how I rap 

checkin my class, checkin' how I smash 

I roll through slow an' then I gas 

so off the top take it to the extreme 

we livin' to die just like Notorius B-I-G 

Ain't no don but they still kiss the ring 

y soy lil savage Luchiano an' the fire I bring 

like an elevator I'm climbin' to the top 

bring the fire 24/7, spinning like a clock 

interchangeable wrist on the watch 

time to scat 'cause there go the cops 

Chorus - repeat 

Verse 3: 

These suckas is counterfeit 

focused on the nonsense 

I'm focused on the politics, look how I got 'm sick 

it's still irrelevant how I got this much stamina 

we can handle ya, that's how we damage ya 

same color flag as the stars and stripes 

it ain't about height, it's if the heart is right 

if it got the right size then we got the right theory 

can you hear me, I said beef, we got plenty 

had to switch it up 'cause them haters' envy 

I'm like AK, I spit verses 'till I'm empty 

pop another verse, bars I got plenty 

lyrics are right, just like every one with me 

I move swiftly, fast, like lightening 

intelligent gangsta, just check my writing 

we live the life while Marks stay lying 

while the real stay true and keep on surviving. 

- Lir Savage 
From The Beat: We agree that words are powerful and that expressing 
oneself is important. We are glad that The Beat is a place for you to 
swag. How can you be helping others to have such confidence with 


San rrancisGO 


Intro: Everyone thinks San Francisco is just glitter and 
glamor, but let me show you the dark side of my city. 

I am from the city where the Giants play and which the 

Niners call home 

Welcome to San Francisco 

Where every block is a turf and every hood is a district 

got rid of all John Does, so no one is missin' 

bullets stay whizzin' and the city stay hot 

been crackin' since RBL posse and before Mr. C. got shot 

Gangsta Flea gone, lil duce gone 

the Goodfelons still out but now it's my turn to be on 

black an' brown repin' Salvadorian Puerto Rican bomber 

seventeen reasons I got to take this game farther 

bullies with fuUies like I'm Guce an' mess 

the power and the pain gone so what'll happen next 

take a ride with me down these deadly alleys 

where real recognize real and sight is real badly 

unresolved murders take in this seven-point-five mile 

long city by the bay 

connected by two bridges to still collect pay 

Welcome to San Francisco 

the city that doesn't sleep, where there's more than sight-seeing 
more than just Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge 
dirty water represents the 49ers and Giants 

Prisoner of war up at the Presidio 

take the 38 then the 22, you landed in the Fillmore 

home of Messy Marv, San Quinn and JT 

City boys ain't no punks, we out to money 

hop back on the 22 you just landed in the Mission 

take the bus to my hood to see how I'm livin' 

the district full of life we call it the Latin Ghetto 

cholos an' zootsuiters on our murals, we ready 

then backstreets stay faulty the frontline been gutted 

forty posted daily on the corner 

hop on the 48, you just landed in Portero Hill 

go a lir farther, you just landed with one of the real 

Hunter's Point, that murky island where it's even faultier 

on the strip 

3rd Street where they stay in scrappers to gas break an' dip 

hop on the Muni train until you pass 7-11 

hop on the 9x, you just entered hell, not heaven 

that's them projects you enter and exit with caution 

Sunnydale stay hot so only a few will walk in 

stay on that bus you just landed in the Outer Mission 

Geneva St. hop on the 29 Muni 

slide through Lakeview where they are known to act rudely 

sue me not likely just keep goin' 'til you hit the Sunset 

that's them avenues where it's hardly ever sunny 

North Beach down to Japantown known as the 


keep on going downtown 'til you pass car dealerships 

you just hit the Tenderloin, a place real known 

drug addicts and ex-cons and prostitutes galore 

Welcome to San Francisco 

the city that doesn't sleep where there's more than 


more than just Alcatraz an' the Golden Gate Bridge 

dirty water represents the 49ers and Giants 

- Lir Savage 

From The Beat: Thanics for sharing your intimate knowledge of SF. 
Certainly not what the tourists have in their tour books. We'd bet that 
you know even more about SF that's not in the tour books, including 
some fantastic, fun, rare, beautiful things that the tourists would Nice 
to see. Tell us more! 

I I 

I ! ! ! 


//// // 


The ComebaGk to Camp 

What's up Beat. This is your boy Luis. Today I am going 

to talk about the comeback to camp. Wow it's my second 

time here at camp. I was here last year. I did 9 months 

so I finished my program. So when I got released I did a 

crime and the judge gave another chance to come back 

to camp so I gotta do at least seen months, but 1 ain't 

tripping though, 'cause 1 been here before so I know how 

everything rolls in here. Wow, *aight then I am out - holla 

at you next time. 

This time it feels different 'cause I do things different. 

Things do have to change cause last year I was here I was 

just wasting my time but now this time 1 am going to get 

my GED so when I get out I won't have to go to school. I 

am going to get my GED *cause when I get out I got a job 

waiting for me. I am going to work on construction ... be 

getting pay 15 dollars an hour so that's cool. Wow, 1 am 

out, later. 

From The Beat: It^ great to hear that you have both plans and 
opportunities to move you through these things. You will be constructing 
buildings, and also "constructing" a new life, brlclc by bride, beam by 
beam. What will It talce to build that new life for real? 

Life is More Serioos Tiiao Peopie TakeilV 

It's a pocket full of reasons that I don't find things 
amusing, especially when I'm in the hall and people think 
everything is funny or it's playtime all the time that ain't 
how me and my ninjas rock. 

Because we taught life is more serious than people 
take it because a lot of things can happen by playin' so I 
stay serious at all times, not speaking for anybody else, 
but it's cool to laugh and express your feelings but it's 
not always amusing when someone thinks it is . 

That's all I got for this because I thought it was a good 
question . So if I do make this to the Beat book, I hope I 
understand what I mean by it's not amusing time all the 


From The Beat: This Is exactly the kind of writing that The Beat lllces 
to print - thoughtful honest writings that genuinely give us all " a 
piece of your mind." ... So keep telling m^ more about what you take 
most seriously, what you sometimes laugh at just because it gives you a 
relief, and what you do when you start to feel stress? Or are you more 
speaking of people teasing each other but then the teasing goes to o 


Dpeo Yoor Eyes 


Ay, yo Beat, hear me out as I speak 

As I take you down this road of statistics. 

They say we as black men could only play sports and 


They say we will get killed or end up in jail. We won't 

make it to see 32. 

It's time for change and change is here. 

Open your eyes: We are living and we are more than what 

you say. 

We are powerful speakers, family men, factors in school, 

in the white house, and we too are people. 

We can change, we have changed, 

Stop making comments and movies about us and live 

your life. 

Stop fearin' us and love us. 

'Cause we love our wives just as well as you! 

-No Name 

From The Beat: This is straight POW material, full of pride and strength. 
Next time be sure to sign your name so you can get credit for the power 
of your words! 



Shhh! I'm still up in the hall as you can see. Well, I'm just 
waiting for the R.O.P. release to come. But it's gonna take 
forever. But I'm just waiting. I'm missing my loved ones, 
my girl. She's in a different state but we are still tryin' to 
make this work. I really have strong feelings for her. I love 
you, Ashley. Stay solid and strong for your man. 

- Bandit 

From The Beat: Good luck Bandit! Long distance relationships require a 
lot of work, even on the outside. Are you writing to her a lot? 

Baroaifl Siioppioo 


Well today I'm just here. I wanted to talk about how I 
missed my curfew call. It sucks real bad because I only 
got a 12 hour pass this weekend instead of Friday at 
2:30 PM to Monday at 7:30 AM. But it's looking all good 
because the week after that we got Christmas extended 
home visits. I leave from Friday the 19th to Monday , so 
it's looking super good for me. But yeah this weekend I 
got three pairs of pants. 

Alright I picked out three pairs of 55.00 pants but 
they were on sale for 19.99, so then when I was paying 
for them the total came out to 64.52, then the dude said 
he had a coupon so I'm thinkin' it's probably going to 
lower the 4.54, but no, it came out to 51.36 so I bought 
three pairs of pants that costed $55.00 for $19.99 so then 
when I was paying for them the total came out to 64.52 
then the dude said he ah a coupon so I'm thinkin' it's 
probably gon' lower the $4.52 but he jugged me and it 
came out to $51.36 so I bought 3 pants that costed $55.00 
for $51.36. 

-The Boy 

From The Beat: Hey congratulations on getting a good deal on your 
clothes. It's good to put on your own pants, right, instead of county? 
We hope that soon enough you'll have that freedom in every part of 
your life, and that youll take care of It! 

Goofltifl' Eacii Day 

What's good wit' it Beat it's me Gustavo from East Palo 
Alto here at camp countin' each day... I've been here 
since May and I'm going to get out in January. I can't 
wait, believe it. I'm gonna finish High school and get me 
a job so I can support my family and start this serious 
relationship with this girl I like. I hope it works out, 

So I just pray to God to let me out this BS camp - 
because it is hella bootsy. So yeah I hope I get out and 
don't come back. - 


From The Beat: Congratulations on being about to get released! That^ 
I great, we are proud of you. 


I think guns are a good invention because you can use 
them to protect yourself but I don't like that they can be 
used to take a life. 

My grandma eats chitterlings, and I heard that's 
supposed to be pigs intestates or pig boo boo, but I don't 
see who would eat shhh. 


From The Beat: Tj, you have some great ideas for longer pieces here, and 
we hope you write more next time! In your personal experience, have 
you seen guns used more for defence or for offence? Would a gun ban 
in America help things on the streets? In terms of chitterlings, it^ true 
they are pig^ intestines and rectum. But they are carefully cleaned, and 
oh so delicious! Have you ever tried the chitterlings that your grandma 



I Do It For The Streets 

\ I When I Get Out 


I'lii mob livin' servin' these knocks 

Who is unforgiven 

Tryin' to make a livin' 

Talkin' about what we doin' and who we getting' 

When we be blastin' these shots if you wonder why 

Whatever happen to pops. When I was puttin' food on the 


When momma's was lost 

It just seemed like a fairy tale until my brother left 

Then we had to make bail 

People said I would never amount to anything 

I would just fail 

But if that's to be true I wouldn't be here tellin' my tale 

I could see the tears in my mother's eyes when they sent 

him to the pen never thought I'd see him again 

Folks was talkin' about what they was goin' to do next but 

what when they didn't get there welfare checks 

I'm the lonely soldier got a burden on my shoulder 

How am I supposed to get over this obstacle 

How am I supposed to break this boulder 

I do it for these people who are in struggle 

I do it for the people who are in trouble 

*Cause I preach through subs 

In my back seat ninjas was starvin' so I gave 'em something 

to eat 

Everything I do, I do it for the streets. 


From The Beat: From The Beat: The streets need you, the country need 
you, your son needs you - we need people out there who understand 
the pain, the struggle, and the beauty out there in the ghetto, and can 
help make it better, who can speak up, with passion and power the way 
you do in your verses. But if you really want to be that hero, first you 
have to ^slmk yourself, and find a way to get your own life on straight. 
Can you do that? Are there legit ways for you to put food on the table, 
and be there for yours? 

Anarchy in the USA 

(From The Beat: Josh drew a picture that we were unable 
to reproduce right next to the piece. The picture was a 
rough Anarchy sign - an upside down A with a circle on 
it, as well as n upside down cross. We hope this helps you 
visualize his very powerful metaphor) I think this needs 
to be in the Beat as is because it shows how crooked the 
American government is , how sloppy and disorganized 
America is. 

If I were to speed time perfecting it, it would show 
that America is perfect, which we all know it is far from. 
The upside down shows how America worships a false 
power, meaning all religions. 


From The Beat: if religion isn't what would keep us finding hope in life, 
or the feeling that someone can tell us right from wrong, than where 
are we to find it? Where should we turn for comfort? Where should 
we learn how we ought to treat each other morally? Tell us how you 
personally find those things. You may have a lot to teach us. 

The First Time ^v 

The first time I saw and held a gun was when I was 8. \ 
What comes to my mind when I see or think about a gun 
is fun, and also death. 1 think we should have guns for 
protection but if we don't have guns we wouldn't need 
protection. No, I wouldn't give my child a gun because if 
he acts like me, something bad will happen. 


From The Beat: Duane, this is a great piece, and we wish you had written 
more! You zn'y guns htk fun — what about it is fun? Why are little boys so 
fascinated by them? (Were you fascinated by them when you were 8?) 
What are your ideas about how to stop the gun violence? 

What's up, Beat? I'm good, just trying to do my time in 
and get out. When 1 get out I am going to go to school 
and go to college and get a good job and have kids and 
put them through college, and buy a business and buy a 

- Devenae 

From The Beat: You've got great goals! We all need help with our 
goals, though, and we hope that you have support to help you achieve 
everything you'd like to, one step at a time. Can you tell us more about 
what those steps might need to be? 

Gun Vinience 


eve y 

But I 


Yeah! What's up? This is Slick. What I think about guns is 
that you need them sometimes but you don't sometimes. 
It depends on the situation you are in. For example, if you 
live in a dangerous zone or hood like Oakland you would 
need a gun for protection, for self-defence because you 
could get robbed or jumped and threatened and you will 
need a gun. But you don't need to shoot, just scare them 
away. But if you have to you have to. 


From The Beat: Isn't this the main problem with guns though? That 
people feel like they "have to" because they are afraid, and then tragedy 

My Name Is Rnn Run 

What's up with The Beat 

Man this camp stuff is weak 

People say they get active but ain't 

They ain't got no heat 

So before they tell me lyin' speech, 

I tell them don't speak 'cause my name is Ron Ron 

And I stay I writing to The Beat. 

Now I'm gon' say this again, this camp stuff is weak, 

I'm used to riding around on 22's or 23's and smokin' on 

big trees but 1 miss them streets but bein' in love with the 

street I can't get back on my own two feet 

So I thank the Beat for lettin' me get this off my chest 

But now I'm going to let my hands rest 

And say Peace Out to the best. 

-Ron Ron 

From The Beat: You may love the street but it don't love you back/it 
fiends for your blood like a knock feeds on cracif/and if you fall from a 
bullet or catch a life case/another lost soul will just take your place/but 
there are people out there who do love you, your family your friends/ 
the sky up above you/we say you CAN get up on your own two feet/you 
deserve more than fake love from the street. 

Juveniie System vs. Aduit System 

If you mess up good 

Now you are on paper 

If you're a felon it will make it hard to get your cheddar 

Maybe if you're a kid you can get out, but you have to be 


Not just book but street smart as well. 

Right now I'm in the system but I'm not stuck 

I know where I'm going and where I'm headed 

Those who are stuck I truly pray for them 

Because once you are in it's hard getting out 

When I do I'm going to scream and shout. 


From The Beat: This poem shows real determination to lead a positive 
life, and you also show you know how challenging that can be. So in 
your mind, what will your book smarts be that you use to help yourself 
with? And what will your street smarts help you achieve? It sounds as 
if you have both, so tell us some more details for your readers and fans 
in the Beat! 


//// // 

Not GoinotoMakemy Mom Cry oo More 

What's good Beat Within, this yo' boy Billy. Yeah I'm 
back now. F m doing my time up in camp. How much I 
hated the hall I miss the staff in my old unit and some of 
the kids and I even miss them haters up there. 

Man, but I'm outside now, I'm not in a room no more 
locked up. But it's still not home and it's weak, but shhh 
I'm doing my time and. A, you need to keep yo' heads up 
do yo' time, that's all I got to say, I'm gone. 

Man I don't know what I'm gonna do when I get out, 
but I think I'm going to stay doing some of these groups 
they do up here in camp, and start to get my GED or 
something. But that's all talk so I don't now what I'm 
gonna really do when I get out but I know that I'm not 
going to make my moms cry no more, and I'm going to be 
staying with my moms and lil' brothers and be there for 
both of them. 


From The Beat: Welcome to Camp - it^ good to hear that you are outside, 
enjoying fresh air and moving one step closer to the freedom you need 
and deserve. So far it's good that you like your new situations... Which 
programs do you think you might continue? What kinds of things have 
been most interesting to you so far? 

Close The Gun Stores 

The only way we can stop gun violence is to close all 
the stores that sell guns. I think people who are disabled 
for example in a wheelchair should be allowed to have a 
licensed gun for self-protection. But I also think someone 
who is a high profile celebrity or a lawyer or a judges 
should be allowed to have a gun for self-protection. 

But the only way to stop gun violence is to close all 
the gun stores. 


From The Beat: Thanks for putting your thoughts down on this important 
issue, Farhad...Gunmakers make so much money off of their "product" 
that they've managed to get a lot of power in this country, and it^ the 
youth that end up suffering the most. How would you suggest we fight _ 
back against the powerful gunmakers though? I 

They Say Appreciate Today 

Wake up in the morning 

Brush my teeth and I grease my scalp, 

get a bite to eat and I'm out 

As I look out my RIP Hoodie, I think. 

I almost forgot return to the room grab my banger and I 


They say appreciate today, but another would be great. 

-The Whole Eight 

From The Beat: Another day sure would be great. You deserve that and 
more! You tell a violent story but you tell it with heart, like Ice Cube 
in "It Was A Good Day" or Scarface "Never heard a man cry". Keep 

Pli) M) Soni 


If I don't make it play my song 

When you ride through listen to me 

See if I can get inside you 

Tell my momma that I never meant to leave her man 

Tell my lil' bra we gon' meet again. 

Show my mama big times and a happy home. 

Wipe her eyes 


From The Beat: There^ a lot of love in this short poem - so much love 
that we think you've got too many reasons to value your life. Do you do 
everything you can to protect it, and to be with your family? Because 
there^ too much talent and heart here for you to lose it! 

still Here 


Damn, I'm still in here. It is your little homey Buggy 
coming out of Fremont. I've been here for a long time. I 
thought I was gone get out but the judge keeps playing 
games with me for like 3 months. 

It makes me hella mad, but it is my fault. It seems 
like every thing is falling apart. My lady thinks I cheated 
on her because I'm in here and people putting stuff in 
her head. That makes me hella mad but it is my fault for 
getting locked up in here. But I got to go. 


From The Beat: We all make mistakes little homey. But it^ how you 
handle the situation after you make the mistake that really defines your 
character. All those problems that are going on the outs, you can't really 
do much about it. Don't stress off of it. Do you, handle your business 
and get out. And when you do get out stay out, so you won^ have to 
come back stressing. 

Staff Gettifl' Shady 

stuck in the Hall and stuff getting' shady 

tryna get back to my ol' school block, 

my gun and my old lady, 

waitin' to get out 'cause times be getting' hectic. 

These bootsie ass ninjas and these ancient ass rec shhh 

Feelin' real reckless since life ain't fair. 

Don't tell me nothin' 

to keep it real, I don't care. 

-Lir Purp 

From The Beat: We hope this is not true - because there^ only one thing 
worse than feeling pain, which is getting to the point where you don't 
care - but one thing that is true, no one can "tell you" anything. Your 
life decisions belong to you, and you will make your own choices. Our 
new year's wish for you is that you make choices that will make you 
happy and keep you safe. 


Guns are no joke because most of my family got killed 

I because of gun violence for no reason. 
Just like my uncle Tanta got killed for no reason, like 
Burger was killed by his girl brother, and Paco was killed 
by some fools. 
I -Jamon 

I From The Beat: Guns are the most horrible invention ever. If there were 

I no guns, then maybe all your folks would be alive maybe this world 

I would be a lot different. Why do you think there are so many guns out 

I on t 

on the streets? 

roi Not Cofloeited, I'oi Coovioced 

I'm not conceited, I'm convinced. 
To be honest, I'm cocky. 

I'm the most awesome person I know. Being me is the 
greatest thing. 

I'm intelligent, funny and absolutely adorable. 
You can sit there and call me ugly all you want but I don't 

There is no way I'll let you give me second thoughts 
or doubts about my appearance, 
the size of lips 

The arch of my back, and the sway of my hips. 
I'm gorgeous in every way 
I'm the shhh is what I always say 
You may call me stuck up you may call me a B.. 
But like I just said, I'm the shhh. 


From The Beat: We think you're sis beautiful sks this writing implied/but 
It^ because of the beauty we know is inside/in your heart and the pain 
that you've suffered and known/the way that it^ helped you on your 
way to grown/so share the most awesome girl that person you know/ 
from inside not outside that^ where it will show! 


f4fff li 

Why Should I 

\ WeiPd rood 


Why should I have to suffer because of you? 

Why should I have to take the blame too? 

Why should I have to deal with the hardships in life? 

Why should I have to listen to you dish out strife? 

Why should I have to be the one to blame? 

Why should I have to be the one to feel your shame? 

Why should I have to Mom? 

Why should I? 

Why should I? 


From The Beat: These are sharp, pained questions, we'd love to know 
more about what lies behind them, what icind of answers you would 
have in mind. A mother and a daughter are bound together even when 
they have anger between them. Have you tried to answer some of the 
questions you pose here? 

Gun Vinlence 


What up Beat? I agree guns are no joke. I thought guns 
were joke as people in my neighborhood flashed them 
around. Some people carry guns just to be cool. But 
others carry guns to be safe because people want their 

I had a personal experience with guns many times. I 
had a couple guns in my life but part of what I am in here 
for is because a gun went off in class and they found the 
gun. They thought the gun was mine so they are trying to 
put it on me, but it was not mine. 


From The Beat: That^ a messed up situation to be caught up in. Why do 
they think it was yours? Did you give them any reason to thinic it was 
yours? Sometimes if you give people reasons they automatically assume 
that you're guilty. You're saying that you didn't do it, and we believe 
you. How can you prove your innocence? There has to be a way. 

Mv Mama is Mv Best Friend 

One thing I don't find funny at all is when somebody 
is talkin' about one of my close family, like my mama, 
because my mama is my best friend. She is closer to me 
than anybody and 1 take everything somebody say about 
her to the heart. For example, when one of my close 
friends disrespected my Mama by accidentally callin' her 
a b - we ended up fightin'. 


From the Beat: It^ true, that bond between mother and son or daughter 
deserves the greatest respect - what are the other ways you show your 
love and respect for your Mom, and for the other people in your life 
whom you care about? 

Respect frnm 

The first time I held a gun I was 12 years old. I was in 
Modesto in a farm, which had big land. My uncle came out 
with a .22 caliber and a rifle. We went hunting for rabbits. 
I was surprised with how a little gun can tear off a rabbit's 
foot. I felt kind of bad but it was funny. 

From that day on I respected guns big or small. I have 
a gun and I am not afraid to pull the trigger on anyone 
who messes with my family or me or people 1 care for. 

But I wont do it because I know what will happen if I 
get caught. But I care, but it will be worth it, maybe. But I 
don't know I am out and back to my cell hahahaha. 

-Lit* Homie 

From The Beat: What icind of respect do you have towards guns? Is it 
the power that they possess or is it your fear? 'Cause just Sks easily as 
you're telling us that you're quick to pull the trigger, there^ also about 
a million other fools with that same mentality and maybe even worse? 
You don't think about being on the other side of the barrel? Probably 
not, because by the time you do it might be too late. 

My dad makes a (caldo) with chicken feet it's very good 

cause he makes it all the time because I tell him I like 

that food. He told me that when I watch people doing the 

food it gets over salt. 

That means he makes it very salty. That's why I don't 

really like to see when he makes it cause when I eat it I 

like to enjoy the food with soda. 

From The Beat: We thinic that^ great that you're open minded about 
food. 'Cause that also means you can be open minded about other 
things in life too. 

Ynu Win! 

I give 

You take 

I'm real. 

You're fake 

I love 

You don't 

I commit 

You won't 

You want 

I need 

You don't give in 

I lose, 

you win. 

Never again. 


From The Beat: Seems to us that the winner is you/ because no matter 
what pain your life puts you through/You will wxe^ew be alone if you've 
got a pen/To express how you feel, with the paper ^^ friend. Peace! 


/J£/ // 


X [At Ten 

Today I had court. I was almost sure I was getting 
released but I ended up getting sent to a group home I 
was really disappointed. 


From The Beat: We are soriy to hear that. Do you have a plan for when 
you enter the group home, so that you can use your time wisely there? 

Siiouid of, Cnuid nf, Wooid of, Bot Next 
Time I 

Sometimes I feel depressed so Ijust take walks sometimes, 
but Ijust should've followed the rules. But I bet you next 
time I'll follow the rules. But sometimes you just got to 
do your time. 

This time when I go to court this Thursday and get 
released I will try to do my best by staying home and 
going to school. I'm telling you this will be my last time 
messing up because I'm only 12 years old and I don't like 
being in here. 


From The Beat: Just follow the rules my man and you'll be on your way 
to a trouble free life. If you sit here and actually do what you're suppose 
to be doing, then you won't have any problems. We're glad to hear talk 
so mature for being so young. You definitely have your game tight. 
Keep it up and it will pay off! 

Crazy in iVIy iVIind 

My father told me not to get in trouble and look where 
I'm at. "Jail is not the place to be" my father used to say! 
I never listened to him and, now I know what it is to be 
locked up. I wish I was at my house with my family. The 
stress level, the depression level, it's killing me. I don't 
know what else to do to not go crazy in my mind. 

-Sad Boy 

From The Beat: Write! We mean this. While you are stuck in jail, write 
poems, write your life stoiy, write your hopes and dreams. And read 
too - let your imagination take you where you physically can't go right 
now. The most important thing is that your body is in jail but your mind 
belongs to you, right? So show us what your mind can do! 

Goo Vioieooe 

What I think about gun violence. I think gun violence 
is not necessary, I'd rather fight than have to shoot 
someone. Sometimes people use guns cause they're 
afraid to take an ass whooping. I would also stick 'em 
*cause its personal. 


From The Beat: You make a good point to start off, and then you 
contradict yourself, by saying you DO want to use a gun if it^ personal. 
Why not use your fists, or even better, find ways of dealing with the 
situation other than violence? Or is this totally na'ive? Tell us mora 
about your thoughts on this subject, we'd love to read more! 

Goo Vioieooe 

The gun violence in Oakland is terrible because people 
now a days kill other people over petty things like calling 
a girl a b word, smelling bad, and other things that is 
uncalled for. 

So I got a main question "why is there guns in the 
world?" If it was up to me, personally, I don't like guns 
just because they kill people and that ain't cool. 


From The Beat: That^ a very good way to look at it. Too bad not 
everybody thinics like you Dominic. Why do you think people don't 
think about what they're doing before they actually do something so 
crucial like talcing someone^ life? 


The first I saw a gun was when I was like 10. I was at 
my friend's house the first time I held it. I felt power in 
my hand and excitement, like I wanted to pull the trigger 
and see how it feels to blast. Then later in my life I saw 
more and more and years passed I lost friends to gun 

I think it would do good to get yours off the streets 
but at the same time it's hard for us not to carry guns 
because we need protection and we know other people 
will carry them. I wouldn't want my son to puck a gun 
but if he's already in the game then I can't blame him for 
carrying one. 


From The Beat: What kind of game are you talking about? How would 
you let your son join the game? Wouldn't you rather not see him in the 
game? Cause you know therei only a couple ways out of the game. And 
one of them is either jail, or a pine box. Would you want that for your 

Tiiat's Reai 

If you *bout to do time and yo' homie dropped a dime. 

That's real my mans 
If you just copped to 10 in the Y or the pen. 

That's real my mans 
If that robbery got y'all thrilled, the next day he got 

That's real my mans 
If you had a bad dream that was nothing like Dr. King 

That's real my mans 
If you need yo' space stressed out 'cause yo' case 

That's real my mans 
If you want money, power, respect *cause you thuggin' in 
yo' projects 

That's real my mans 
If you tryna get dough all through the rain makin 

That's real my mans 
If it's a hard knock life so you choose money as a wife. 

That's real my mans 
If you going through trial, ain't had a visit in a while 
That's real my mans 
RIP Scrilla 

-Lil* Purp 

From The Beat: This is like a modern-day blues that reaches out to share 
respect and compassion for everyone who struggles with the system. 
But now we have to find a way to make a change, first in ourselves, and 
then in the streets - and that^ real too. 




//// // 

Gun Violence 

Hate These People 

Man, check this out! My homie that's resting in peace 
gone actually rest in peace, because I'm gone touch every 
last ninja that had something to do with my ninja's death, 
ya dig? 

Anj^way, gun violence ain't a cool thang, for real. A 
person can crush your entire life with one squeeze of 
that trigger. These new guns that my goons got have 
100 rounds plus, so I know if these 223s hit you, they 
knockin' everything loose. People these days don't know 
what they doing with these guns, so innocent people 
get hurt and they target get away, and nowdays, ninjas 
shootin' at anything. 

People need guns for protection, because if someone 
get at you with a gun, then you better have something to 
get back at them, ya dig? 

- Gunster 

From The Beat: There are a whole lot of ways to "touch" people, so if 
you're intending to hurt or kill anyone responsible your homie's death, 
what is gained? More young people die, you can get hurt or Icilled 
yourself, or, if you get caught, spend the rest of your life in state prison 
or be executed. So how many people will be dead if you "touch" these 
people too hard? 


What's really good with The Beat? Me? Nothing— 
thuggin' this time out. I be home soon, man, but the only 
thing is when I go home, I got to be on this ankle monitor 
shhh. All these people want is a young thug in the house, 
but you know I'm go do me, with or without the ankle 
monitor, ya dig? But I be home soon, for all the ones who 
want to know. But, yea, this a lil' something on my mind 
this week. I'm gone. 


From The Beat: As onerous ^s wearing an anicie monitor will be, because 
youll feel and be hobbled, at least you'll be home. The authorities are 
giving you a chance to prove you can be trusted with responsibility. Will 
you prove them right or wrong? 

Rules Of The Streets 

1. Do not snitch. 

2. Never leave your homie. 

3. Never love a girl if you ain't in love. Only love someone 
if it's true. 

4. Do not leave the block unattended. 

5. Treat the 'hood with respect. 

6. Get your structure. Lots of people have a lack of 
structure, that's why a lot of people don't obey the rules. 

-Anonymous Follower 

From The Beat: Someone once wrote that the root of all wars is that 
people feel that their families, their neighborhoods, themselves are 
being threatened, even to extinction. Do you thinic that^ true for 
your homies in your neighborhood? How do your rules keep your 
neighborhood calm and safe, or don't they? 


Ain't Teellny None Of This 


Fo' real, fo' real, 1 don't even know what to write about. 
This be gettin' super can, my ninja, fo' real, yo. This 
same routine every week. Don't nothing change but you, 
my ninja. Even yo' conversation became different man. 
Messin' 'round with them people, my ninja. Don't get lost 
in this thing. Stay above them dudes in the long shoes 
*fore you be comin' out the hat, if you get what I'm saying. 
I'm out. Sincerely yours. 


From The Beat: You're right, "don't nothin' change" inside the system. If 
you want change, it has to come from inside you... How's that coming? 

What's good with The Beat? I ain't feeling the topics 

I just wanna say I'm in here holdin' it down, keepin' 
my head up. Just spent my 17th birthday in here. It was 
weak, but been eatin' phat, though. 

Waitin' on the day when I get out. Seems like forever, 
but they can't hold a goon down forever. 

To those who holla out thangs behind doors, ain't 
nothin'. Get off who you mad at, bruh... 


From The Beat: We're sorry you had to spend your birthday locked up, 
and hope your f 8th birthday will be spent in freedom. Of course, that 
is a matter of the choices you maice when you touch down. 

Man, I Thouoht I Was Gettino Out! 

Wha's up Beat? It's your boy Isaiah still locked up until 
January of *09. 1 was supposed to get out long time ago on 
20th of October. But they playing me. 

I been here for two and half months in jail, about to be 
three months, but I'm not proud of that. But I'm officially 
getting out in Jan. of *09 to go to Wyoming. My mom is 
sad about everything that happened. I can't lie. I'm in a 
gang. My mom is mad, but she dealing with it. 

Well, I hope I get out. I'm going to miss my baby mama 
every day I'm in here. This is the last time I bein' in jail. I 
love ma mom and family, baby mama. 


From The Beat: When you love your mom, your baby mama, your baby, 
and your gang, you have to make some choices about what you love 
the most. If you love your gang, you will always leave your mom and 
baby and baby mama behind, and in tears, no matter how much you say 
you love them. You can't have it both ways, which is why you are now 
separated from all that you love. Time to make some difficult choices, 
which take some personal courage. We hope you're up to it. 

Ahout Me And The Halls 

What's up with The Beat Within? Yeah, you know this 
lady-to-man. Ha ha. Yeah, but chu know I'm in the halls. 
Been here four times, and I'm tired of being up in this 
G-thang. But you know I'm getting out Thursday 12/4/08 
and I'm so happy, so I can see my hubby. You know who 
you are, don't front. But all these females up in here all 
about talk and don't never get active. That's all Vernisha 
about. Everybody heard of me? 


From The Beat: If you've been here four times, then you should be giving 
yourself advice, and no one else! When you are truly tired of handing 
chunics of your life over to strangers to tell you what to do and when 
to do it, then you will stop doing the things that lead you to lock-up. 
Unless you make that change, youll be spending a lot more time with a 
lot more females... feel us? 



Treddir Kruper 

This violence is hectic. Ninjas getting smacked. 

You can't leave the house unless you strapped with a 


Believe what I say; I seen it live and direct. 

Hatas had to go because they had no respect. 

So believe what I say, be safe on your block 

Because I'm just like Freddy Kruger, nightmare on any 


-Lir Twin 
From The Beat: We almost did not print any of this because The Beat 
won't promote gun violence (so we took out two lines which did just 
that). We don't believe anyone can teach respect by shooting someone! 
Fear is not respect. We hope you waice up and realize that the government 
doesn't care if you're Freddy Kruger or not. They will ALWAYS be able to 
outgun you and stop you, sis you are now stopped. 



//// // 

Gun Violence At Ten 

\ Speak Up 

Well, the first time I ever saw a gun was when I was about 
10 years old. I was at my house and my friends called me 
to go outside, my other friend had taken the gun from a 
family member. 

Later that day he brought it over to my house and 
gave it to me when my parents were not home and nobody 
was looking. 

When I think of guns, 1 feel like 1 wanted to take it 
around my town to show people that 1 don't play but 1 
never did that. 1 think we should have guns in our lives 
so that people can take care of themselves. I also think 
guns shouldn't be in out in the community so that we can 
handle our business the old fashioned way. 

No, I would never want my daughter, or if I have a son, 
to have a gun or see or use a gun in their lives. I really 
don't know how you can change guns. 


From The Beat: We know just how you feel — looking at guns, seeing 
how dangerous they can be, but not icnowing how to change their 
presence in our — your — communities. Do you remember how you felt 
when you saw that first gun — scared, intrigued, overwhelmed, or what? 
It^ interesting that you don't want your child (ren| to have guns in their 
fives — what can you do 3iz a parent to iceep their lives violence-free? 

Wastino Ynur Time 


Young men get smacked left to right almost every day 

"God" took they life, but what can we say 

He took they life for a reason because they were wasting 


People were stressed out because they had stuff on they 


They don't make enough money so they be on the grind 

You can't run away from death when God want you to die 

Too many funerals and violence all around 

Lots of bodies six feet underground 

I'm a young ninja in the game but it still the same 

At busting cannons I'ma be in the Hall of Fame 


From The Beat: It's easy to "blame" God for taking life, but that^ just 
a way to duck from personal responsibility. What icind of God taices so 
many young boys in the prime of their lives? No, the choices you make 
are what determine your fate. If "God helps those that help themselves," 
then you are not helping yourself by boasting of being in the "Hall of 
Fame." In fact, you're in jail. Open your eyes. This is not a Hall of Fame, 

but a Hall of Shame! 

Gun Vinience 


I think that shhh is messed up and shady when ninjas 
don't really be in that shhh but still get hit with bullet that 
ain't meant fo' them. Get that shhh right. If you going to 
do it, do it right. Don't put innocent people in that shhh. 


From The Beat: As long sis children have guns, innocent people will 
always be victims. You can say, "Get it right," but look around you and 
see how many people fyoung and old) get it wrong, all the time. Yes, it 
is very messed up and shady! 

Tired Of Tliis 

I'm not feelin' it today. Beat. It's just one of them days. 
One where shhh is just a little off. Tired of the bullshhh. 
I'm ready for some real shhh. Too many lies. I'm done 
givin' a damn. Peace! 

-No Name 

From The Beat: We all have days when we want to give up. But in the 
end, we come back, because giving up means giving up on ourselves. 
What you feel at this minute is not permanent; you will feel different 


Going through different type of issues 

Mama using tissues 

Thinking why you locked up 

Police said you wouldn't conduct 

Why not speak up 

In yo' cell going crazy 

Thinking the police tryna play me 

Neva was a good kid 

Thinking back 'bout the shhh you did w 

Why not speak up. 


From The Beat: Maybe the police are trying to play you, but are you 
giving them the ammunition they need to do it? When you're in your cell 
thinking about your mama using tissues, do you also think about what 
you could do to dry her tears? 

I'n Back 


What's up Beat, it's Andrew. I'm back from L.A. Well, I 
failed the group home cause I ran. I was only there for 2 
weeks then ran and tried to come back to San Jose. 

Now I'm spending time in the hall waiting for an 
opening in another group home, I've been here almost a 
month and counting when I could be a month closer to 
getting out and off probation. 


From The Beat: We hear sadness in this piece, and that makes us sad. It 
seems Mice you have some questions to answer for yourself, liice why you 
ran, and what you were running from at the group home, or towards in 
%nw\ Jose. What can you do differently this time around to reach your 
goal of being off probation and out of the system? 

Mi stilus 


What's up. Beat? This ya boy, Lil' Bra. My sis is with me 
at all time. I been in this G-thang for 'bout a month. They 
say I should be going to an out-of-home placement. 

My wife is also with me, and forget *bout what the 
next girl or girls have to say, *cause in the end, she's all I 
got, and I don't want to lose her. My birthday is 12-3-91, 
which means I have to turn 17 in this G-thang. 

This is my first and last. I'm out this G-thang, ya 

-Lil' Bra 

From The Beat: When you say your sisters and wife are with you, do you 
mean they are locked up here, or with you in spirit? We hope they aren't 
here. Maybe by the time this is printed, you will already be out, and you 

I will be able to iceep that promise that this is the last time to get lociced 
up. What is your plan to make that promise come true? 

Baiiy Gas 

Gas, cash, my little stash 

I can't get no money in here, so I'm gonna get a rash 
I need to get out and on my granddaddy, I mean, fast 
I'm always first, never last 

All these little smart comments, for now I'm gonna let 
that pass 

So since I'm getting out sooner than I think, I'ma jus' 
! laugh 
*Cause they don't wanna see me when I snitch and 

On time, never late 

Soon as I get out, my outfit gonna be cake 
I stay to my team 'cause I'm allergic to the fake 
I'm keep moving 'til this money I make 


From The Beat: When getting cash is on your mind/ It^ easy to fall, and 
trouble to find/ Don't forget what it^ like in this lociced-up scene/ And 
whatever you do, keep your nose clean! 



/J£/ // 

Your Dude And Mines 

\ ' My Girl 


Your dude, 

Is he nice? Is he rude? 

Like walking around the house with a towel and halfway 


Is he sexy, with a hem attitude? 

Well, mines, let me tell you, he all the way fine 

When I tell him to come in, he does, right on time 

He stay with me even though I'm on my grind 

Locked in juvy, guess who on my mind 

He'll sparkle in the thunder, whether my little sun shine 

I'm old to this, speaking through a rhyme 

I just gotta tell you where I get my little dime 

His name is Thizz, 

Just to let y'all know, I'm his 

Y'ail say I'm young, but I call y'all little kids 

If y'ail know him, that, too, is my bizz 

When I get out, I'm going straight to him 

They don't want no beef, so I ain't stressing *bout them 

Baby gas. 111' mamas and my team 

On the squad, man, I does move mean 

Even though I ain't out rushing that cream 

My lir daddy is the whole reason I'll cause a scene 

Every time The Beat comes, I does my thing 

Next time I'ma make a rap and I'ma have my sis sing 

I'm an angel, but Thizz is my wings 

Alright, I'm done, y'all fo'eva ha steam 


From The Beat: Like we've said before, the only way to do what^ needed 
to Iceep a loving relationship going is to be out, working on your issues 
together. So, forget about the other young women in here and what 
they are or are not about, and focus on what it takes to get out and stay 
out. And good luck with your man. 

Well today I'm not feeling this topic so I'm gonna write 
about my girl. Well, she's my girl, I love her more than 
anything in this world. She's my angel, and she's been 
there for me through thick and thin, any kind of weather. 
Rain starts to fall I'm gonna be her umbrella keep her dry 
even when your life is wetta. 


From The Beat: We hear twinges of Rihanna in this piece, and we're 
digging that. You make a great point — how when you love someone, 
you want to protect them and make sure nothing bad ever happens to 
them. How does your girl protect you? How can you change your life to 
make sure that you don't ever have to leave her for prison again? 

Gunslints Seem Nnrmai 

What's up with The Beat? I mean, gun violence is rapidly 
in all areas. When I hear gunshots, I think it's normal. 
But I hate when people I befriend die. It hurts inside when 
I cry. 

I don't like the violence. I can tell everybody whose 
people lay in peace to understand sometimes it's meant 
to be. 


From The Beat: Every violent death leaves someone^ mother and loved 
ones feeling the same hurt you feel when someone you care for loses his 
or her life. When "gunshots are normal," something is veiy wrong. What 
should the government, the community, or each of us do to change 


1. Back on the unit 

2. Being unaccepted 

3. Where can 1 go now? 

4. I still hold my crown 

5. Winning all my rounds 

6. Loving the crowd's sounds of round of applause 

7. I'm still dope 

8. Don't touch a Tort no more 

9. I keep on the scoreboard 

10. Brought my game back to the new millennium 

11. On no presentation 

12. Can you feel the tension? 

13. Oh yes believe it 

14. Feeling the aggression 

15. Leaving the sensitivity 

16. You should know my name 


From The Beat: We're not sure how to respond to this, except to say it^ 
hard for us to get past number 1... What brings you back, and what will 
keep you from another return trip? 

It's Aiinut ramiiy 

What up with it? I realized that the topics were weak. I'm 
sad I'm here. Can't be with may homies on the block and 
stuff. But honestly, it really ain't *bout homies, it's about 
family. They the only people who visit you and shhh. 

I'm in here for robbery, some dumb thing. It's like 
when you on the outs, you do anything. But in here you 
think and make promises and you end up getting back. 

Man, I need help. To all, keep ya heads up. Stay safe 


From The Beat: (We had a hard time reading your name, so we apologize 
if we got it wrong.) Knowing that you need help to keep the promises 
you make in here when you're on the outs is the first step to getting that 
help. What do you think you need to remind you of the consequences 
when you're free to make your own choices? Who is hurt the most when 
you end up here? 

I y<»" 


I Dnn't Lii(e Guns 


I really don't care for guns. If it was up to me, I would 
have everybody fighting still. I think if you have to run to 
a gun before you use your fist, you are a punk. I would 
like to tell everybody who use your hands. See you next 
time The Beat. 


From The Beat: We also think that using guns doesn't show how brave 
you are, but how afraid you are, so we agree with you. Since you are a 
thinker, can we ask if you have any ideas or suggestions about how to 
persuade young people to put down their guns? 

Can't Be Tiiere Fnr My Newliern 

I just got a letter from my homeboy. He said nothing 
much happening, it's all cool. Reading his letters, his 
hand written words. I can hear his voices through my 
mind. Every phone call, day, I hesitate. 

I'm too afraid to call the one I love. Now I got a baby 
coming on the way. I'm not sure if I'm ready for it. My boy's 
been telling me it's all right. But I can't sleep thinking 
about my unborn child. It's tragedy that I can't be there 
for baby. 

My baby's mama tells me she's ready to leave. This 
makes my time here worst. 


From The Beat: Yes, DK, it is a tragedy that your baby will be born 
without a father there to guide him. Can you tell us why so many 
boys (not yet menj are making babies when there are ways to prevent 
pregnancy, if you act responsibly? We itnow you thinic about the future, 
and your unborn baby^ future, but why didn't you (and so many others 
in your situation) thinic about that before creating a new life that you 
can't take care of? We're sorry your baby mama wants to leave, but by 
coming here, you left her first... Will you have a role in your child^ life 
when you get out of here, or will that be up to her? 



//// // 

Lookino At CYA 

Hey, Beat, this Banana. I'm back up in this G-thang. It's 
helia weak up in here. I'm eighteen, about to be nineteen 
May 7th. I came back on some dumb stuff. I had a dream 
that I was going to CYA, and today, date 12/2/08, my PO 
came to see me today and said if a grouper don't come get 
me, I'm going to CYA. Damn! Dreams are real. 

So to all up in here, pray for me so I can go to a 
grouper. Well, that's all. To my hubby, I love you. Love, 


From The Beat: Look, Banana, if it^ "hella weak up in here" and you're 
"back up in" here (especially "on some dumb stuff"), then doesn't that 
make you weak, also? What will it take to give you the strength — the 
courage — you need to stay out of this weak place, and the places the 
system has waiting for you down the line? 

Back And Forth 

What's up with The Beat? I'm back in here. I just got out 
on the 2 1 st of November. Now I'm back in here. This time 
I said I was going to change, but you can't never change 
when people put you down and say little stuff. But keep 
yo' head up! I'm gone, lii' dawg. 

-Yung J. Newt 

From The Beat: Well, if "people put you down and z«^ little stuff," 
then you must be giving them something to say. There will always be 
snitches, from top to bottom, so if you don't want to be here, you have 
to make those changes you ^n'^ you can't maice. We know too many 
people who have decided they don't want to be prisoners, and have 
made those tough choices. When will you? 

It's I War 


What's happenin', man? I'm still in this thang holdin' it 

But guns... I think that it's important to have one 
because if you in this war that I'm in, an' you don't have 
one, you are guaranteed to get RIPed. You feel me. 


From The Beat: We wish you would write more about this subject, 
because you're just giving us your surface thinicing. For example, if 
guns give you the protection you believe they do, then why are so many 
young men with guns dying? 

Guns Are Serinus 


If you got a gun and you get into a fight and they start 
clappin' it up, it is your right to have a gun (Second 
Amendment). It ain't cool to have showing off. It's only 
for self-defense. That stuff does not make you look good. 
I thought it did, but look where I'm at — locked up and 
they won't let me out! 


From The Beat: By saying that it^ not cool to use a gun to show off, you 
acifnowledge that the 2nd Amendment is not absolute. It has limits. 
What other limitations and conditions do you think go with "the right 

to bear arms"? 

What Gnes Arnund 


What's poppin' with The Beat? This ya boy "Drewski 
still in here. But you know I'm holdin' myself down like a 
anchor. But for real, though these staff be on some other 
shhh, acting like ninjas retarded and shhh. But it's cool 
'cause whatever you do, it's flnta run back up on you 
sooner or later. But I'll holla at ya next week. 


From The Beat: When you say that "whatever you do, it^ finta run back 
up on you," are you talicing about the staff, or yourself? Is being here 
an example of something that^ "run back up on you?" 

Eatino Sunflnwer Seeds 


I like eating pork skins. If I had a choice what to eat all 
day I'll eat sunflower seeds and drink tampico juice. By 
eating sunflower seeds, I just like to eat the seeds and the 
juice is just good. I love that your mouth operates when 
you're eating sunflower seeds. They have all different 
kind of flavors, but the ranch kind is the best. 


From The Beat: Don't forget to put your name on what you write! Also, 

don't rewrite the Beat topic, just write your own piece (which you did 'I 

after you wrote our questions). Do you get the sunflower seeds with or I 

without the shell on them? I 

Guns And Butter 

Guns are good and bad. We need them for protection, 
but some people don't know now to use them. When the 
wrong people get a hold of them, it's not a good look. 
A lot of clowns get hold of them that don't aim and hit 
innocent by- standers instead of the target. Others use 
them to rob, and some robberies go bad, and another 
innocent victim is murked. 


From The Beat: The problem is that there is no way to keep those guns 
out of the hands of foolish people. As long as children can get hold of 
guns, they will act like children. And children are clowns. When we read 
of all the death and destruction, it^ hard for us to see how any good 
comes from guns! 

My Mum Knnws Wliat I Gut Myselt Intn \ 

What hurts my family is being at the Ranch, but my mom 
knows what I got myself into, but, anyway, man, that all I 
got to say and love you. Mom. You feel me? 


From The Beat: Does it help you that your mom understands all about 
why you're incarcerated, or Is that humiliating for you, or both? Will 
her understanding help you stop whatever it is you were doing on the 

I Get Duwn Fur Mines 

Don't go there 'bout my dead homies or my family. The 
reasons are because I will get down for mines. I don't like 
jail, but I will go if I feel like it's something that could 
*cause me to lose my freedom. So what? I'm go ride it 


From The Beat: We understand the urge to react when those you love 
are disrespected, but to do things that put you in jail don't maice sense 
to us. Do you respect yourself and your own freedom less? The hall is 
minor compared to jail, which is nothing compared to prison! We hope 
this is not something you have to learn through personal experience in 
the future... 


Skip's Brnadcast: Tai(e ItTnn Far 

Ninjas need to know when they takin' shhh too far, ya 
dig? Because if people know what they sayin' is true, they 
or they fam gon be lookin' real foolish if they become a 
victim of a ass-whooping, or worse, a casualty. 

Everybody is not built with the mental capacity as 
everybody else. I ain't gon hypocrite myself, because 
I've taken stuff too far, but I stop when I hit that boiling 


From The Beat: You could have made this a much stronger piece. 
Skip, by giving us some examples both from those you talif about in 
the beginning, and from your own experience of hitting that "boiling 
point," we'd have a much clearer skwisk of what you mean. 



Real Ninja Every Day 

It ain't like we like to do it. You gotta tote fire 
Because if you don't, then it's a good chance you gone 
die. Because everybody want a piece of the good life. 
Give us a piece of the pie, then we all right. 

All the ninjas I done looked up to done gone fed. 

And all the ninjas I admired got plenty bread. 

And I was taught that a real ninja don't beg. 

And these streets was never designed for the scared. 

And all the ninjas that ain't broke, they done took the 


So if you on your game, you bet not show your hand. 

A ninja told me I can't sell dope forever. 

I told that ninja I don't want to hear shhh from a broke 


*Cause how I feel if you broke, you in the way, ninja. 

Forget what you heard, I'm tryna get rich today, ninja. 

Don't talk about it if don't pay, ninja. 

Money excite me, not females, okay ninja. 

I feel, if you broke then you deserve to be 

*Cause it's too many way out here to get cheese. 

-Yung Dooda 

From The Beat: So, you won't take advice "from a broke ninja," but we're 
supposed to pay attention to someone who^ loclced up and tallcing 
about how to get your money? Hmmm. This doesn't add up to us. Seems 
lilce the money you're malcing now is going right into the pocicets of 

Lthe strangers who tell you what to do and when to do it. Read the Beat 
Without section and pay attention to those who, like you, thought they 
were "real ninjas" — and are now trying to stay alive in the huge and 
growing prisons of California. Do you think they might have something 
of importance to sst^ to you? 

Don't Go There 

I don't like when people talk about my family. It is 
disrespectful, so I feel like I should do something about 
it. I think. "Oh, that just gave me a reason to fight them 
or shoot them." 

Would you like it if someone say something that make 
you mad? You will do the same. That's why I feel like 
that about my family. Like if you say something about my 
family, *hood, ninja's or other things, it get ugly. When I 
get a called a sucka, it's going to be on. 

I don't react good. 


From The Beat: We also get angry when people disrespect us or those we 
love. But how we react to that disrespect can maice a big difference in 
what happens to us (and them). Fighting and shooting are two possible 
reactions, but both can lead to terrible consequences, even worse than 
the disrespect itself. Can you think of other possible ways to handle 
the situation? 

The Power Df Gofls 

People who walk around with concealed guns put 
themselves in situations that force them to use them. 

People wouldn't bother or pick on other people if they 
didn't have their guns. A person might use his gun just 
because they were bullied and want to get revenge. Some 
people need that power a gun brings them to feel safe and 
that helps them get their way. The power of the gun can 
corrupt some people, and others work with it. 


From The Beat: Very thoughtful essay. It^ true that people holding 
weapons can revert to them whenever they feel threatened, get angry, 
or whimsically, like whenever they're in a bad mood, if they indulge 
themselves, and that's really dangerous, you're right. On the other hand, 
some young people insist they need to carry guns for protection, even 
in their own neighborhoods. What solutions to this weapons standoff — 
to carry them or not-do you have? 

//// // 

Hot II Be Pliyel With 


One thing that you can never joke about is family. If you 
about the family — whether it be the street or blood family 
— that's something that you don't play with. Another thing 
that you don't play with is the *hood. Touching bases with 
a subject like that and playing about could get you played 
out. That right. There isn't anything to be played with. 


From The Beat: We agree that nobody should play with what another 
person loves (family or not). What we question is the reaction when 
such disrespect occurs, because the violence that you hint at does not 
promote the respect you want, only fear — and the strong possibility 
that you will pay the highest price, and not the person you're trying to 
teach a lesson to. 

Skips' Droadcast: Weird Foods 

I pretty much anything... when I'm intoxicated, but I 
don't go as far as pigs' feet or nothing like that. First off, 
ain't no feet goin' in my mouth, period! But I ate sushi 
before and I didn't approve! But I ate alligator. It was cool. 
I ate duck and it was pretty good until I found that it was 
duck. I hate eggs. Anything with eggs in it, I distance 
myself from it. But I love food though but I stay away from 
a lot of stuff. 


From The Beat: Do you eat chicken? It^ no different from duck. They 
both come from eggs (but so do alligators). Anyway, we found this 
interesting. If you ever travel out of the country (or even to different 
parts of the U.S.), you will find people all sorts of things that you might 
find strange, but which is their ordinary diet. Maybe we should have a 
topic on the most exotic or strange food you ever ate... 

\ I Just I Rep!) To IWiiit lou Seel 


When you look into my eyes 

What do you see? 

When you look at my body 

What do you see? 

When I look in your eyes 

I see a happy future in you with a smile 

Me and you viewing a sunset 

Later we text that what I see in you 

You can see in me 

When I look at your body 

I see a well self-takin'-care-of 

Very consistency person 

[Consistancy — firm and thickness degree) 


From The Beat: Well, with a treasure like this on the outs, it seems like 
you need to find a way to hold onto your freedom — and to her — when 
you touch down. 

Dofl't Go There With iVIe 

I'm a quiet person, but when it comes down to a real 
situation where I have to react, I react. My instincts kick 
in. People threatening me, or if I gotta wake it up, then I 
do what I gotta do. 

People running they mouth, disrespecting my family, 
my 'hood, or my ninjas, things could get real ugly. I can't 
stand disrespect. Joke about anything else, but when you 
call me a punk or a sucka or worse, or you disrespect the 
things I love, be ready for some beef. 


From The Beat: Have you ever asked yourself if there are other ways 
besides beef to respond to disrespect? We understand the urge to want 
to hurt someone who disrespects us or who and what we love, but is 
that effective? Does it end the disrespect? Is there any way that people 
can be made to see how similar we all are (we al have mothers who love 
us and who hurt when we hurt and grieve when we're gone) without 
resorting to beef? 


^Mmtmn^/ji^jf ////// 

fifif4r^//i/Jf.iii yHiMf /4.i/ 

fj^fff // 

Guns Are Fun 

The first time that I ever seen or holded a gun was at the 
age of 15. The gun was a 12 gauge shot-gun. I thought it 
was pretty coo' to hold it and try to shoot it. I was gonna 
try to shoot it but I couldn't 'cause it wasn't loaded. Plus, 
I didn't have anybody to shoot it at. 

All I have to say is that it was pretty heavy. It was a 
good thing that I didn't get to pull the trigger. I could've 
killed myself with it or just shoot the wrong person with 

All I could say is that guns are fun. I don't care what 
people have to say about that. Well that's it for now till 
next time. 


From The Beat: When you say you could have shot the wrong person, 
you're telling us why guns — especially in the hands of young men — are 
terrible tools to possess. There is no RIGHT person to shoot at! All you 
have to do is imagine someone you love — a younger sister, maybe, or 
brother — who gets shot by someone like you who thinics that "guns are 
fun" to understand why guns bring nothing but death and destruction, 
leaving the living to deal with their grief and pain. Some icinds of "fun" 
are not worth having. 

X I Motivated To Stay Away Frooi Haters \ 

Goo Violeooe 



Well, first and foremost, I would like to give my respect 
to the homeboys. This is the homeboy G coming at you 
from the max. Well, today I'm going to write about guns. 

To be honest, 1 don't even remember the first time 1 
seen a gun. I seen a lot and held a lot. A lot of things come 
to my mind when I think about guns, like flashbacks of 
how they have been used. Shhh, things come back to me 
like when I think about how many of my enemies, family, 
and even homies been dropped by a gun. But where I come 
from, mostly everybody got a gun. In Sacramento that's 
all there is, is gunplay. But I do think that in Sacramento 
you do need a gun because you either shoot or be shot. 

Yeah, I would want my child to pack a gun if it was 

necessary because shhh happens. And I think that gun 

violence is going to get worse because there's more 

technology and things more advanced. 

-Lir G 
From The Beat: One of the biggest problems with packing a gun is that 
it often produces what you describe Skz "shhh happens." When you're 
packing, you often take chances and put yourself in situations you 
wouldn't otherwise. How do you ever know if a gun is "necessary"? All 
the young men who paid the final price with their lives thought being 
strapped was necessary, but they are gone forever! We would think . 
about that before we gave a child of ours a gun! | 

Deadly "Toys 


I was first a teen, 1 got my first cuete (knife). It was a 
sunny day when one of my homies came and told us he 
just bought a new toy. First I didn't really pay attention 
to what he was saying. But once he took it out, I got 
surprised and 1 wanted to use it. But I didn't really know 
if he was going to let me see it, so 1 just stayed quiet. 

After a while, 1 was like, "Whatever," and told him 
to let me see it. He was like, "Simon." 1 was like, "For 
reals!" He said, "Be trucha with it because we don't want 
nobody to see it. You know how these people are. They 
see something like that and they start getting scandalous 
and it's all bad." 

After a little while, I told him when was my turn to use 
it. He said to be patient, that my time will come soon. 


From The Beat: It seems Nice you didn't get to finish this story. But even 
so, would it worry you to see someone Skz young nz you were handling a 
knife? What do you thinic it means when children think of weapons as 
toys? Would you want your little brother, sister, cousin, nephew to have 
one? Why or why not? 

What up Beat? Well, today Tma go of track like always. 
Today was a slow damn day. I'm mad because my so-called 
homies, my co-partners, they doubting me because I got 
life skills. They saying on the street that I snitchedl What 
kind of shhh is that? 

One of my co-partners knows I didn't. He tells me not 
to trip off what they think, and I ask myself why can't 
they be happy for me because a homie gonna get out 
soon. But they hating on me. They say I snitched and I 
got caught up a day later. And someone snitched on me 
and everyone else. But they hate on me. 

The way I see it is to hell with that and what they 
think! The only friend I got is the one 1 got in here. Fm 
sad because Fma leave this unit in a little while and I ain't 
gonna see him. They trying to screw him over, but I can't 
do anything, really 1 ain't gonna see him for a min. That's 
the only friend I got and my family, so when I get out, I 
hope they still think that because it will motivate me to 
stay away from them and think more about me and my 
family and do what I can to keep my boy company with a 
letter, keep him in touch and show some love to him like 
he has for me. 

Well Beat, I'm out. 


From The Beat: It^ too bad people you thought were your friends have 
turned on you and accused you of things you didn't do. You already have 
enough motivation to stay away from people liice that. You're lucky to 
have found someone in here to show you love, and he^ lucicy for when 
you are out there showing him love. Treasure your true friends, and 
leave the rest alone! Treasure your freedom, and don't do anything that 
can lead you back! 

Which Is Easier? 

What's cracking Beat? This be that one and only Shy boy 
coming out of these Santa Clara streets? Well I'm here in 
the life skills unit and am about to write about what's 
easier life on the outs or being locked up? 

Honesty I think being locked up is cookies, because 
it takes a real man to be out and taking care of his family 
and struggling to survive making ends meat. Any kid can 
get locked up and get his meals handed to him and being 
told what to do it is easy life for someone who doesn't 
ever want to take responsibility for his actions. I think 
certain vatos need to man up! 

Well Beat 'till next time. To all keep your composure 
and stay solid! 

-Shy Boy 

From The Beat: You have a good point. It takes someone strong to live 
free and live for his or her family and self. Coining back here is just too 
easy and does no one any good. 


Life in hear is easy but yet hard it's easy 'cause we don't 
have to worry about bills and responsibility like our 
parents do , it's hard in here 'cause we can't do things 
our way and we don't have our freedom. 

For me it hard 'cause I got my special familiy out there 
and I'm in here not doing anything positive but when I get 
out I'm never dreaming back here I hope I'm gonna do the 
best, it hard to be a dad for my son through these walls, 
but to answer the topic it's easy in here but hard at the 
same time. To all stay strong. 

Lir One 

From The Beat: Some responsibilities are better than being free of 
them, and family really is one of them. You're right that being away 
from loved ones can be hard even if the little stuff is easy. We hope 
you're able to do all that on the outs. 


^Mmtmn^/ji^jf ////// 

fifiUr^/fi/Jf.iii yHiMf /4.i/ 

//// // 


s. I think 
it for eood I 

What's up Beat? Today I'm writing about guns, 
guns are a real responsibility. Some people use 
reasons but other people, they use it to hurt others. I 
think having a gun could be cool, but also dangerous. 


From The Beat: You could make this a much stronger piece by giving 
examples of what you mean. What kind of situation do you imagine 
where guns are "cool"? When are they dangerous? Do you think boys 
and girls (not yet men and women) should have guns? Why or why 


What's crackin' Beat? Well I'm going to write about 
runnin. Well I been runnin from the ranch since 1 was a 
young teen and all 1 did is get more time. I ran so many 
times that it's easy to run. 

The last time I was on the run from the ranch. I was 
only out for a few months and I got caught for some dumb 
ass shhh. 


From The Beat: It doesn't seem to make sense to run. It's a temptation 
that just maifes you worse off. 

In My Mom's Shoes 

The Beat Within I'm writing about the subject today 
because I'm a just give it a shot! 

Well if I put myself in my mom's shoes I can't even 
imagine what to think. First off I would be sad because 
I don't want my child to be going down the same road I 
went down, and I know my mom doesn't want me going 
down the same road she went down, but I don't know.... 

All I know is that I got my moms support even though 
I'm putting her through this, and my kids going to have 
the same love! Well to all keep your head up! 


From The Beat: It^ sometimes hard to step outside yourself, but you 
seem to be doing a really good job seeing what your mom must be 
feeling. We hope you can take that and do the best for her and for 
yourself (because she wants the best for you). 

Liviflo Free 

Beat readers this is Peanut! I'm writing about it being 
easier for me being on the outs. For me it's really easy 
because I can handle doing what I need to do. 

From in here I can't do anything but the same shhh 
everyday. Even if I'm doing bad I think it's better and 
easier to get help or even just talk, whether it be to a 
homie or a family member. Just stuck in this trap makes 
me mad but it's all. To everyone keep your head up they'll 
be better days. 


From The Beat: You make a good point - one of the hardest things 
about the hall is the isolation. It separates you from the world, and 
makes you live with your own mind, even if it lets you live off others 
food. We hope you find something here that helps you out there. 


The New President 

Hey Beat. What's good with yall. It's me Black Bird 
coming at you again. Well I'm very happy about Barack 
Obama being the new president of the Untied States. Also 
I'm proud of him because he made history. If I was 18 I 
would of made history because I would of voted for him. 
So I'm glad but I got to dip. G's up! 

-Black Bird 

From The Beat: We can all congratulate him. 


Do oiy fliifld 

Q vole Beat readers how you guys been well as for this 
vato, I've been cool I guess. Well am just going to write 
what's in my mind. I was just thinking last night about 
my life I been in these walls all my teen life. 

Now that am 18 years do I think different. The way 
that I think different is because now that am going to the 
ranch again am not going to run am not trying to spend 
my life in jail. I want to enjoy my adult hood in the outs. 


From The Beat: Life is real. It takes some time for most people to figure 
that out. We hope you do what you can with your real life. 

Which Is Easier 

Hey Beat! How you guys been? Me I'm good! I only got a 
couple of minutes so I'm going to get down real fast. 

Well today's subject is a good one. Life out there 
could be hard and easy. You know out there you could 
live with your family. But there might be someone who 
abuses them at home. There might be a bad influence at 
home like parents, brothers, cousins etc. They might give 
you drugs like meth or pep. In your head you want to say 
"nah I don't want to do this" but you put on that mask 
and just go along with the flow just so you won't look like 
a punk. 

In here or other facilities kids come in filthy, hungry, 
scared. There in here and they forget about the abuse 
or pure pressure. They shower in here get three meals a 
day, When people come in here you get three meals a day, 
when people come in and take of their clothes, it stands 
by itself by being so dirty. 

In the out's they might not have a place to sleep, 
shower. Brush their teeth, or my not even have family in 

In here it ain't shhh, whoever ever thinks this hell! 
Stop gangbanging ! Drop the lifestyle you live! Stop 
gangbanging! Drop the lifestyle you live! 

I'm a gang member and I know I'm not going to be 

But back to the subject I think that probably life in 
here might be easier if your institutionalized. But I rather 
be in the outs. I do make my own decision's I don't have 
to prove my self to anyone, no one pressures me, I have a 
family, I'm glad for it. That's my opinion. 

Alright then Beat. Hopefully I get lucky and this get's 
published. Alright to all, stay up .. 

- Victor 

From The Beat: You make some really good points. It Is harder on the 
outs a lot of the time, because you have to make your own decisions and 
live your own life. In here, you just get to forget your life away, and 
have everything stabilized so that you may si^ well not exist. You sure 
aren't doing anyone else any good in here. 

I aoi 

I am me 
Easy to see 

Come holler at me if you can keep it clean 
No more fighting 
No more fussing 
I'm a good man 
Working on one plan 
Its for me yes its 

Me , I am what I am so talk to me, if you want to be free 


From The Beat: It sounds like you are getting a good idea of what^ 
important and what you care about. I hope fear disappears with the 
fussing and fighting. 




Being locked up in this giant daycare is hella easy. They 
feed you, change you, shower you, take naps , wipe your 
ass, take you to school tell you what to do I feel like if I'm 
in preschool all over again. 

Even the education they teach you in here is easy like 
what 2t3? 

I might of gotten locked up but I ain't ignorant. 

In a few weeks I will be going to the ranch. 

Being in the out's is hella harder then being in the 
out's is hella harder then being in here. In the outs your 
going to school, working and still smashing you have many 
responsibilities. The education is difficult and you need 
money so you work in a minimum paying job or hustling 
in the corner and nobody tells you what to do or when to 
school or to get a job your basically independent. 

Well to all doing time stay up... 

-Lir Silent G 

From The Beat: I hope the Ranch satisfies those needs for you, and 
helps you be independent. In any case, good luclc out there. Be smart 
with your choices! 

Inside Or Outside 

I think life in here is easier, but not better. In here I don't 
got to trip about the police or the detectives, you don't 
have to trip about a house raid while your sleeping, but 
you still gotta stay on your toes. I still can't wait till I get 
out. Life in here is easier, but I'll take my chances on the 
outs. Well that's all I'm gonna say for today, so late and 
stay up I 


From The Beat: I thinic most people would agree with you. Things that 
are khz-^ are rarely worth it. Coming bacic time and time again is e^zy, 
but it won't get you anything you want. Are you man enough to do 
what^ not so eskz-^l 

Hey Oeat! 

Well beat. I don't know I'm pretty mad because I've been 
here almost 2 months and you guys haven't put my stuff 
in. but yet there's other ones that are hella stupid and 
I see those in there. But now it's whatever now. So I'm 
gonna try it one more time and if mine ain't there I won't 
write no more. So I'm out for now. Late Beat. 


From The Beat: If you write your heart out, and you mean what you 
say, and you zn'^ what^ important to you and is respectful, you will 
make it. 

Knew Tiie Trutli 

Before, when I was doing what I was doing, I knew the 
truth about the gang life. I was around a lot of gang 
activity. I did what I did before, but I learn from that 
though, I'm tired of what I use to do, that's why I'm done 
with all that. 

I would tell kids not to follow through what you see 
in front of your eyes, if you do, your hurting your loved 
ones, who you love that who your hurting I hurt my family 
when I was out in the streets doing what I did, but I learn 
from, it's better to learn now and have goals for yourself, 
I have goals for myself, because I'm gonna make my mom 
and dad happy and proud of me, I love my family. 


From The Beat: Thanks for your words of wisdom. It^ hard sometimes to 
imagine what happens to others when we screw up. I hope that others 
can learn what you've learned without having to live it themselves. 

//// // 

Reasons Why 


I'm not in a gang, but I know why any person would 
join a gang though. First to get someone back (revenge). 
Somebody always has their back (protection). And to 
make sure their friend will always be backed up (loyalty), 
but most do it because they like to and love fighting, that 
is why. 


From The Beat: These are three real reasons why people might join up. 
But unfortunately revenge means that any protection or loyalty is lost, 
because no matter how protected you are, all it takes is one moment of 
revenge to lose everything. 


' iVIy Lnved Ones 


I hate being locked up. 

These walls keep me away from my loved 


like my girlfriend. 

I am going to miss her b-day and our second | 


I can't wait 'till I get out. 

I am going to make it up to her for 

everything I've 


I miss her and my family when I get out 

am going to do 

so good. 


From The Beat: How are you going to make it up 

to them? What are 11 

your plans? 


Hey Beat! Me, I'm doing good in here. Well I'm not feeling 
today's topic, wait never mind I'll write about the new 
president. Well I think he's gonna die, if not now then 
later, I don't know he might change something in the 
USA he got million and millions of people all riled up, he 
better do what he promised to do, we don't need another 
Arnold (The Terminator) who's going to take money from 
schoosl and country or we don't need another Bush 
causing wars. 

Hopefully he's a man of his word and he does good as 
president because if he doesn't then most likely he might 
just get killed. 

- Victor 

From The Beat: Well, no matter what, he^ going to die. No one yet has 
survived forever. But I think you're right. With a lot of hope comes a 
lot of expectation. We all hope that he can help the nation, but don't 
be surprised if he stumbles, too. 


What good Beat well I just came back from a screwed 
up visit. 

I found out my homie from my hood got shot and killed 
on the spot. He barely got out from CYA. 
It's all bad. 
Barely 18 years old. 

He is gone now, but will never be forgotten. 
Rest in paradise. 

The last time I seen that homie he was in court here in 

getting sentence to a cool minute to CYA. 
I got locked up before he got out 
now I can never get to see him. 
Rest in peace Lil' L. 

-Lir Silent G 

From The Beat: It^ a little scary to know that it can happen that fast. 
What kind of life do you want? Even if others can end it, you can 
control what you do, and who you are. 


^Mmtmn^/ji^jf ////// 

rifiur^/fi/jf.iii ynij^f /4.i/ 

//// // 

Dbama And Racism 

X Poem 


When I found out we were having a black president I 
was so happy. But at the same time I was scared, because 
I knew someone was going to try to kill him. But they 

Not in 100 years would 1 have ever thought we could 
have a black president. But 1 don't think racism will end. 1 
don't think so, not even in 100 years, because people just 
got that mind mentality about people. 

-Obama Fever 

From The Beat: We hope you are wrong about racism. And Obama^ 
election certainly proves that we've come a long way in just fifty years. 
Each of us has an obligation to help eliminate racism, and irrational 
prejudice, wherever and whenever we encounter it. 

Wake up 

to make up 

with money to spend. 

Catch me rolling with the big wheels, 

not the ones that spin. 

Ima boss dipped in sauce. 

From The Beat: What 
whatever flavor it is. 

flavor is that sauce? Must be 


pretty messy. 

Ranch Poem 

Time goes on day by day. 

Although 1 got 6 months to pay 

Ima hold my head up high, 

my shoulders broad, walking with pride. 

It ain't going to faze me if ninjas gonna hate. 

I'm a boss 'til the end, 

with dollar signs in my head. 

Ain't getting no mail. 

No phone calls to make. 

Just waking up to ninjas I hate. 

They ain't on this hype - 

money hype 1 mean. 

Nobody messes with a boss baby - 

that's me 


From The Beat: Hey Vickyy, we've been watching those guys on Wall 
Street who had dollar signs sticicing out of their heads. They aren't 
so happy now. Maybe you should thinic about finding another way to 
give your life meaning. We're sorry you aren't getting any mail. Aie you 
writing any? (You're a pretty good writer.) 

Love Is 

Love is love 


is sweet 
is nice 

Love is happy 
Love is kind 
Love is people 
Love is you 
Love is everything 


From The Beat: Love is a lot of things, and there are some wise people 
who say it is everything, everything of importance, that is. But love is 
also action, right action, doing good things. Without good action, love 
is just a word. 


Love is strong and it can take you over. 

It can change your whole mindset. 

Be careful who you fall in love with, 

*cause you don't wanna end up heart-broken, 

blaming yourself for his mistakes. 

Love is powerful and makes you make decisions 

without even thinking. 

So just be careful, and stay strong. 


From The Beat: No such thing as a decision without thinking. That^ 
what a decision is - an act of choice. If you act without thinking, you 
aren't deciding, but mindlessly reacting. Better to think through any 
major moves. As you point out, a failure to do so can land you in hot 

Hey Beat, this yo' girl back up in the honors unit again 
- for the seventh or sixth time. Yeah 1 know: that's some 
dumb shh. But anyway, 1 ain't feelin' the topic tonight. 

So yeah, Ihave nothing to say or sing, but 1 just wanted 
to say that my mom's been in and out of the system for 
almost her whole life. She just got out a month ago and 
now she's taking care of business, and probation. Much 
love and respect. Yo girl. 


From The Beat: We're glad your mom^ taking care of business. We'd be 
even gladder if you took care of business. There^ a better life to be 
had, and it^ painful to thinic that you could end up going in and out 
like your mom. Now^ the time to get it together. We guarantee you that 
your mom doesn't want you following her example. Get with it, Malae. 
This is it - this is your life. 


^Mmtmn^/ji^jf ////// 

fifiUr^/fi/Jf.iii yHiMf /4.i/ 

//// // 

Until The Day 

Here I am in juvenile hall. Staring at all four of these 
walls. Just waiting 'till the day 1 get out testing fools to 
be what they about not knowing what they will do. Just 
sitting waiting for time to pass and waiting for the day *till 
I get some lovin'. 


From The Beat: Sounds like a plan. 


Some people say I'm touched, but not by an angel, 

Most people think I'm a troubled individual, 

Really I am a product of my environment, 

On the streets selling dope for early retirement. 

There's something wrong I feel no regret, 

I don't give a damn about forgive and forget, 

I look deep inside in search of my soul 

But end up disappointed when all I find is a hole, 

I have much built up hate, 

I hope someday it won't hold me back from my 


Until then I'll just sit in my cell and chill. 

Wait til med time takes another pill. 

Going to Ranch and doing time, 

for something that the system considers a crime. 


From The Beat: Believe it or not that hole and hate found deep inside 
you is holding you back. And the problem is that you haven't realized 
it. We recommend that you re-search your soul again to find a solution. 
Until then, just go back to your cell and keep searching. Search for the 
positive side of you. 

Danoerous Vida 

Q-vole Beat? It's this vato back again to talk about my 
vida. Well, I get out on Tuesday, so next time you come, I 
will be here. So, when I get out, I'm going back to school. 
If I do come back it's because my vida and my love for my 
varrio and that's gonna be the reason. 

I can't complain because I love it and the way the 
gun blows. So, yeah this is mi vida (my life) so to all the 
homies in here keep your heads up and don't trip it's 
gonna get better alratos. 


From The Beat: What's going to get better? Nothing will get better if 
you are thinking of living the same life style you LOVE. Just be ready 
for the consequences that this life will provide to you. One more thing, 
be careful with what the gun blow. "Live by the gun, die by the gun." 
Don't forget this saying. 

Should I Run 

What's crackin Beat? This is Gumbie. Well, for right now, 
as you can see, I'm still here. Well, I'm not feeling none of 
these topics, so I'm just gonna speak my mind. 

Well they're sending me to Wyoming, but I don't know 
if I want to go. I haven't made up my mind yet. But damn 
I'm tired of all this shhh, but I'm looking for a way to get 
around it, but I always seem to fall back in the system. 

I know running ain't helping it, but I just can't seem 
to do my time. But I think if I run from Wyoming, then 
they're gonna give me life skills, but damn they never do. 
Maybe this time they will. I don't know, but we'll see what 


From The Beat: Don't run! Do your program. If you run from your 
problems, your problems will hunt you forever. The solutions is in your 
hands. Don't mess it up. Start acting like a grown up, because you're 
heading there. 

I Want To Play! 


Yo' what's good with it? Well, today I'm gonna write about 
The Beat. In my opinion forget The Beat. I appreciate the 
people working in The Beat in taking their time to explain 
to us *bout different kinds of topics each Thursday. 

I don't like The Beat because it takes time out of our 
activity off instead of having free activity or watching a 
movie. We have to write to The Beat. 

I give credit to the other people locked up that write 
some smart shhh, but sometimes they don't even publish 
our shhh. I have sent drawings and writings to The Beat 
and they don't even publish 'em and I draw some good 
shhh and I write some kwel shhh! 


From The Beat: Thank you! Even though you wrote against The Beat, 
we appreciate it so much. Do you know why? Because we just got out of 
you what we seek from all you, self-expression. If this is how you feel, 
you've just participated. Keep writing us. That's what we exactly want 
for you. And about your art, just have patience. 


Cnuiino Sunn 

Coming soon! Back to the community is your boy 

I'm gonna be out in 20 days baby! 

I'nm gonna be going out in 20 days baby! 

I'm gonna be going out to my family, my son. 

It's been a little while since I been gone. 
I'm hella excited! I feel like I could run 5 miles. 
Just playing you crazy. I'll be hella tired. 
I wouldn't be able to feel my legs. Peace out! 
The next time I see y'all is never. 

Baby you got me feening. 
Baby you be pleasing me. 


From The Beat: We take it you are pleased to be leaving the hall. 

I Wunder 

I wonder if you think of me like I think of you, 

I wonder if you kiss my picture at night too, 

what would happen if I never met you, 

I wonder what I would do, 

I wonder if the world stop spinning will I fall off without 

a trace, 

I wonder if there's another fella trying to take my place, 

tell me if your talking to other guys, it's a mystery 

I wonder if it'll be that easy for you to forget our history, 

I wonder if the sun stopped showing will the moon be 


I wonder why loving you hurts so bad, 

I wonder if I was blind will you take my hand and lead 


if I had no arms baby would you feed me, 

I wonder if I died will you get my name tattooed above 

your eye 

for the whole world to see, 

I wonder if you would die for me like I would for you, 

just like Romeo and Juliet let our love be true, 

right now I'm lost, I'm wondering in the dark, 

the only time I felt safe was with you baby 

wait for me so our love could be true 

but for now all I could do is wonder of you. 


From The Beat: This is a beautiful piece. You ask all the questions we 
wonder about when in love. But sis pretty hz Romeo and Juliet are, siz 
dramatic as a name above your eyes is, know that love is also about 
being there, and being around long enough to help the other through 



//// // 

A Gun Brinos Problems 

X ' Ganys 


What's up Beat how have you been? Well, today is 
Thursday and I am going to wirte about gun violence. 

When 1 was young, my dad had a shotgun and when 
he got locked up and did some time, he got out of the pen 
and my brother and 1 visited him at his apartment. I asked 
him if he had the shotgun still and he said yes. He threw 
the gun out the window and my uncle got mad and went 
to get it. 

When my uncle came back he said we need it for 
protection and my dad said, "I could go back to the 
pinta!" And my tio (uncle) end up hiding it in the garage. 

My dad's parole officer came and did a search and 
found it. My dad went back to the pen for 5 years. He is 
still in the pen but for something else. 

Well till next time Beat airato. 


From The Beat: We are sorry for you dad. He was right when not wanting 
to iceep the gun at home. Keeping a gun at home is very dangerous if 
not away from those who can't use them, and especially when being on 
probation or parole. Your dad is nt\ example. After what happened to 
your dad, would you Iceep one? 

Speak Up 


What's up Beat? 


You should of spoke up. 


now I'm hooked on drugs 

and messed up, 

speak up, if you love me, 
now Fm on the streets 

oh, I was so lonely 


you did speak up, 

I never heard you at all 

now I'm stack in the hall. 

thanks, I was falling in self-destruction, 

now without drugs Fm able to function. 

From The Beat: Keep it functioning 
really easy, but getting unhooked is 
stay away from drugs. This is your 


without drugs. Getting hooked is 

much harder. Take this chance to 

chance to defeat it. Don't throw it 



If I was in the Presidents shoes, I would be nervous and 
worried because basically the whole world is on your 
shoulders. Your choices affect every one. So you have to 
make sure that you choose the right thing or you will be 
hated from every one like George Bush. 


From The Beat: So, what type of president would you be? What would 

My Love 

Well, today my topic is what's on my mind. Well everyone 
always tell me Fm whooped. Fm not. I'm just in love. She 
means the world to me. 

I've been in and out of this facility and done beat 
cases. I need to open my eyes and realize I have not only 
got both of my parents. I got a lady that's down for me. 

I have been with her lyear and a half. I love her and 
will do anything to prove it. First I need to stay out! 


From The Beat: Start working on those plans. You got it. You got the 
point. Don't let go of it. We htk so glad that you're thinking like this. 
So glad! So, for the next time you write to us, don't forget to tell us 
what your plans are. Your parents and your girl deserves your positive 
thoughts and a big change. 

Aye what's crackin'? It's that beast they call shabbs 
coming at you. If you're gonna join a gang, don't regret it. 
I don't feel no remorse or shame in gang, banging it's all 
or nothing. That's just how it is when you're a gangster. 
Feel me. 


From The Beat: You may not feel remorse, regrets or anything like it, but 
if you continue acting and thinking like this, you WILL. And when you 
hit this point, it will be too late. Be careful with your beliefs because it 
can turn out to be your end. 

You Ifl My Shoes 

To imagine myself in somebody else's shoes. 

Would be one thing I wouldn't do, 

walk a day in mine 

A life considered crime 

Due to my life of struggles at the time. 

I don't know it all 

but I been around the block. 

A everyday struggle and battle 

that would leave someone in shock. 

If you feel me and know how it is to struggle in life 

those who are hurt learned to hold back their cries. 

From The Beat: What's in your life that can be consider a crime? What 
created these crimes? The decisions you make? We all know how it to 
struggle in life, but that doesn't give us the right to keep making our 
lives worse by doing wrong actions. 

My Love My Soo 

I love my son to the fullest 

I wish I could be with 

I wish I was there for his birthday 

I wish I could be there when he needs me 

I wish I could be there when he walks 

I wish I could be there when he took his first step 

I wish I could be there when his sick 

I wish I could be there when he needs help 

That's why I love my son to the fullest 

-Droopy B 

From The Beat: Are you doing something to be with be there for him? 
A child is a blessing. You can do all this and more with him. You just 
need to make up your mind and give him what he deserves. But, are you 
really willing to give everything up for him? That's the big question. 


What I think about guns is that I hate them 'cause I think 
everyone should just use their hands, and there would be 
less deaths. It would be a good to have less death. 

Every day I pray when I wake up. I really hate guns. I 
haven't held one and wouldn't. I'm old school and just all 
hand. I don't need a weapon. 


From The Beat: Good for you. Only if we all thought the way you do this 
world would be a different nwic Keep yourself out of the reach of guns 
and try to teach the new generations that guns are bad. 

The Historic Electloo 

I believe it's good to finally have a black man as a 

president. I think our country will forget about racism 

and mostly everyone will start getting along. 

From The Beat: We sure hope you are right. The stakes are high, and 
the President -Elect is asking each of us to consider ways to serve the 
greater good. Have you considered how you might help out? 


^Mmtmn^/ji^jf ////// 

rifiur^/fi/jf.iii yniMf /4.i/ 

//£/ // 

This Reality 

Really everybody should have their priorities straight 
before joining gangs and know the true consequences for 
leading the life they live. So really everybody that doesn't 
know here it goes. GANG LIFE AINT ALL FUN AND GAMES. 
There are cons and you need to know where your at. For 
me I love my life and wouldn't change it. We to all stay 
solid and keep your shoulders straight. 

-Shy boy 

From The Beat: Thanks for laying that out there. We think sometimes 
it taices people some time to figure out the pros and cons of anything. 
Hopefully you can get the word out so people don't make the decision 
without knowing the facts. 

Why Guns 

What's new The Beat, 

homeless playing with guns, 

always get six feet, 

it's not good, 

packing a glock in *hood, 

nobody don't wanna die young, 

so why is ninja playing guns? 

Thinking it's fun, 

*till her mother looses a son. 

Now ended doing 25 to life, 

behind my gun, 

aint gonna see the light, 

we know what's wrong and right, 

so why we keep bring guns to a fist fight, 

you live by the gun, 

you die by the gun 

That's why homies always find themselves on the run, so 

just say no to guns! 

-Stacks P 

From The Beat: Responding back to your question: we don't know why. 
Do you know why young people are killing each other with guns? And 
what^ most important, do you know what we can do to prevent it? 
Thanks for your words. We hope this message opens at least the eyes 
of one person in here. 

Plenty To Think About 

When I do get out I got a lot of responsibilities on my 
hands. I got two kids and no money. But since I'm in here 
I have a chance to work in here because I'm in life skills. 
So hopefully that happens. But yeah. Until next time I'm 
out so stay up and be cool. Late beat. 


From The Beat: You seem like a guy who spends a lot of time thinifing 
about his plan. But your plan is just the surface. What drives you? 
What connects you to others? What do you wish you could say to 

Gii't Wait Ii ao Ii Ike Riich 


What's up Beat? How have you been? Man, I can't wait to 
go to the Ranch. Beat, I don't want to be waiting for a long 
time. I am number thirty and something on the list. 

I'm waiting in this unit and I am waiting to go to the 
next unit to go to the Ranch, so I can do my time and get 
my OT. Then, I want to be able to see my love and have fun 
when I see her. 

When I get out, I am going to stay out of trouble and 
stay out with my family. 


From The Beat: It seems liife all you have left is to wait to get transferred 
and do your time. T>y to learn something that can help you in your 
future. How are you planning to stay out? 

Sua Set 


Some females remind me of the sun. There bodies are 
very hot and their personality and smile just bright up 
the day. 


From The Beat: Nice. 

Speak Up 


To the Beat and fellow loved ones. Today I am going to 
write on this topic that caught my eyes "speak up." 

Before I was at the Ranch, I used to always be with 
my loved ones and instead of telling them to chill and be 
cool, I would encourage my loved ones to go with me and 
be stupid. Well with much love. 


From The Beat: Itk not too late. Right now might be the exact time to 
speak up. Right? 

I To( 

Tlie Best roDd 

Today I'm going to talk about my favorite food. 1 like it 
when my mom make tacos, posole, enchiladas, menudo, 
and gorditas. 

That's why when I get out I'm gonna tell my mom to 
cook for me. That's all 1 have for today. 


From The Beat: You are proud to have a mother who cooks so well and 
so many different types of food too. It seems Nice you are missing out 
on so much. Wise up! 

My Barrio 


I'm going to tell you about my barrio. My barrio is a place 
everyone knows each other and where we take care of our 
own people also don't got to be scared in any way. In my 
barrio you can walk free. And some times my barrio is a I! 
evil place to be. If you want to know what the barrio is all 
about come around and see how you get treated. 

- Binladen 

From The Beat: If safety makes a home, then we'd be careful what you 
do. Because before long, you could be left without a home, but if you 
do things right, the world can lie your home. 


What's crackin Beat? Well I'm back in here just waiting 
for Friday to get out on APA, so I'm just gonna do my APA 
program, get off probation, just kick it, and do my thing. 
Well I'm out now. 


From The Beat: Good luck! By the way, what^ doing your "thing" 

Goo Are Good 

I think guns are good. They were made for a reason and 
I think people be packing guns for protection and others 
for violence. 

The first time I held a gun I was at a friend's house. 
It was a shotgun and it was his brothers'. I would like to 
pack a gun, a big one. I don't think they could ever stop 
gangs because gangsters multiply. 


From The Beat: Why would you want to pack gun for? Do you know 
how many years you can get for possession of a gun? And how many 
additional years you can get if loaded? We would think about it seriously 
If we were you. 


^Mmtmn^/ji^jf ////// 

rifiur^/fi/jf.iii yniMf /4.i/ 

//// // 


You showed me how 
to stay strong. You 
told me to keep my 
head up. You made 
me believe in myself. 
You always stood 
behind me. My 
mother is always 
there for me and 
stays behind me. 
I miss and love 
her so much. She 
believes in me. 


From The Beat: And she wants you to believe in yourself. You say you 
do, and we want that to be so. We think you Icnow what to do. So, bit 
by bit, day by day, start doing it. 

Paint The White House Black! 

What's up Beat and Beat readers? Well, anyways, I'm 

gonna write about Obama winning the election. Damn, I 

was hella surprised. I don't think he will last long. 1 think 

he will be killed, because there's haters and they don't 

want to see a colored person in the White House, running 


From The Beat: Obama will have plenty of protection from the haters. 
We think he'll be OK. We can't wait for him to start tackling the many 
problems our country now faces. And remember - hei not a miracle 
maker. He'll need our help to make the changes we all need. Have you 
thought of what you might do to help? 



Well here 1 am just thinking how much 1 miss you, how 
much I want to see your cute lil face, your cute smile, | 
your cute ways. It's crazy how one day you're here, and 
the next day you're gone. 

I just don't know why this is happing to me. You were 
part of my heart. You were just so sweet. Now that you're 
gone, I'm just so weak. 1 still ask why. Why did you have 
to take my cousin away? But I guess you were the one 
that God wanted to take, the sweet one, the lovely one, 
the kind one. Well, I love you very much. Don't forget that 
you're my sweet lil one. 


From The Beat: We do not know how to explain such losses. But we 
know we htk sorry for your loss, for your family^ loss. 

Yo Yo Yo 


What's up. This Vickyy. Wanted to show some love to 
The Beat. Like whaaa.... I wanted to say my goodbyes. 
I'm leaving to the ranch on Tuesday. I ain't really tryna 
go hella bootsy. But to all you juveniles - keep your head 
up. Life goes on. Im gonna be 18 in July, so after I'm 
through with this ranch, it's good. But I miss my man. I 
ain't gonna be able to talk to him for 6 months. I'm hot. 
It's nothing to a boss. 


From The Beat: We thank you for the love. And we send our love back 
to you. We're thinicing about this 'boss' stuff, and wondering how 
important it is to you. if you had your choice of pursuing all the things 
in the world - we mean the good and healthy things - that interest 
you, what would you do? Each of us is good at something. And most 
of the time, when we focus our energy on what we're good at, it makes 
us happy. What is it that pleases you? What are you just naturally good 

Prayino To The Lord 


Everyday I wake up and say to myself what am I doing 
in here. I pray to the Lord and ask him to get me out and 
pray for everyone in my family and my cousin Paul to get 
out. He has to pray too. The Lord is going to believe and 
it will come true. Well late Beat, God bless. 


From The Beat: We hope the Lord hears your prayers and grant you with 
your desires. You also need to put some effort to stay out of here. 

Bofl't Go There 

If I tell somebody don't go there, it will be because they 
are talking about my mom. And if they don't stop, we are 
going to have to fight 'cause I don't like it when they talk 
about my mom. I don't even let my dad talk about her. 


From The Beat: That shows how much you appreciate your mother. 
You should also try to show more appreciation in different ways — like 
I getting educated, staying at home, and being a better person. 

Looiieil Up 


I I think it is easier to be locked up then to be on the outs. 

Because on the outs you have to worry about probation 

being on your ass. You have to worry about paying bills 

and shhh. But in here you don't have to worry about 

that kind of shhh. But it is also better to be on the outs 

because you have your family and freedom. 

From The Beat: It^ cliche, but freedom unfortunately comes with some 
responsibility. Your family and your freedom expect you to do the best 
for yourself. You don't, and you may have problems. 

USA History 2UUB 

Finding out that we now have a black guy as a president 
is shocking to many! When I first found out, 1 was glad. 
I wanted him to win!! I'm looking forward to the future 
and what he could bring us! But personally, 1 think he's 
gonna get shot! I'm surprised that when he came out to 
make his speech on the day he got elected that nothing 

When the time comes for him to be in the White 
House, I'm expecting our world / country to be better than 
what it is now! 

Looking forward to the future.... 


From The Beat: We're looking forward to it, too. There^ so much to be 
done, so many people who need help. We're looking forward to better 

Life's A Booioier 

What's good Beat? How's the bizz? You know it's been a 
long time since I've been home, and I miss my family so 
much. It's crazy - you really don't know what you have 'til 
it's gone. 

You know Beat, if there was a time machine I would 
go back in time and change the mistakes I've made in 
my life. It's hard to know you can't go home and be with 
your loved ones. Life can really be hard, but I guess you 
sometimes make it that way. 


From The Beat: Yes, it^ easy to fall into unhealthy patterns, and often 
difficult to break them. But it's worth every ounce of effort you put 
into it to change those bad habits. Try worifing on a small one, at first. 
Then work your way up, in order of difficulty. Before too long, you'll be 
feeling good about yourself. 


//// // 


I think most girls are bi 

Even if they wanna lie 

And hide about it 

Ya feel me? 

It ain't nothing to be ashamed of 

People shouldn't judge 

They don't have the right to 

Everybody is their own person 

As for me 

I don't give a damn 

What people think 

I ain't 100% bi 

You feel me? 

But I do experiment 

And for ya boys who like girls 

Just 'cause they bi 

Y'all needa get a life 

Honesty is policy 

-Queen Bee 

From The Beat: You're right, your sexuality is your own business, and it^ 
great that you don't judge anyone else, either. 

\ ' New Year's Resolution 


■ Want 


Well, I'm tired of this place 

I just want to go home 

And sleep in my bed 

Watch TV 

Whenever I want 

Use the phone 

And call whoever I want 

To hug whoever 

Ride in the coupe 

Hang out wit' the goons 

And do whatever we want 

-Queen Bee 

From The Beat: What you yearn for is your freedom. That's natural and 
understandable. In your heart you Icnow what you'll have to do or 
stop doing to maintain your freedom, once you're home again. Is your 
freedom worth it to you? I 

Quick Rap 

staring at this dictionary 

Dear Death, Fm never scary 

In the casket solitary 

Cold as a January 

I lived my life fast 

So had to die slow 

Forget ninjas alive 

Remember you when you gone 

Like militant 

Abused like a stimulant 

Live life wild 

Brought up with no discipline 

Moms did her best 

But the hood wouldn't let go 

Love my ninjas 

Yee, no no 

Relieve my stress 

I sip Robo 

Lean like Choio 


From The Beat: it^ sad that you're thinking so hard about death, but 
that must be real for you. Since you can see that the way you're living 
your life may be risking it, why don't you stop whatever you're doing 
out there in the streets now? Maybe you aren't scared of death, but you 
aren't stupid, either. What is so worth it to you, that you're willing to 
die for it? 

Control my anger 
Stop fighting 
Stop running 
Learn to obey the law 
Stay out the halls 
Love myself more 
Learn to trust others 
Complete my placement 
Get my diploma 

From The Beat: All wonderful goals, 
you're angry at, besides fighting? 

-Queen Bee 

How can you deal with someone 

Money, Sex, Druos 

Three things that's messed up in life. 

Money: just causes problems. 

Sex: I lost it too early (fourteen years old) and I thought 

love was sex. 

Drugs: Just block out reality and mess my mind up and 

my relationships with people. I've done stuff that I regret, 

due to drugs. 

-Queen Bee 

From The Beat: When you get a real job to earn money, youll appreciate 
how hard it can be to woric and appreciate money more, and hopefully, 
spend it slowly and %xve it. Also we hope you have the support not to 
fail back into the traps that bring you here 


My Goais 

Graduate high school 

Get a job (get money) 

Get off probation 

Make my family proud 

Set a good example for my lil'/big brother 

Find me a good (worth keeping) boyfriend 

Get my own place 

Get my life together 


From The Beat: Your goals are all great ideas. How do you feel < 
setting out in life on your own? Do you need a job? An apartment? 
you talk to a counselor and set yourself up? 

Last Time 

Well, I'm going to another group home somewhere in 
near Reno. I'm gonna miss my mom and lil' brother. Even 
my lil' brother gone get sent to rehab. My moms said if 
he get sent away, then she's going to pack everything wit' 
ma dad and move to another county. Since both her kids 
is gone, be gone to placement, she's gone have nothing 
to do. I feel really bad and sorry, 'cause I love my mom 
to death, but I have problems that I just need to solve, so 
me being away might help. I'm gonna be gone for at least 
9-12 months. It's sad, *cause in ten months, I'm gonna be 

I'm going to graduate school in a group home, and 
that's hella bootsie bunk. But, yah, feel me? At least I'm 
gonna get my diploma. I'm gonna spend my eighteen 
birthday with strangers. I already spent my seventeenth 
birthday in a group home. Ahhhh... It all worth it, and 
make the best of this bootsie bunk experience. I'm 
gonna graduate the program and come home and get my 
life together! 'Til next time, hopefully I'll be working for 

-Queen Bee 

From The Beat: You have a good attitude toward going to a new group 
home. You're right, it may help you to see a whole different life. 






Can I 


//// // 


I have a secret to tell 

Come close, come closer 

And feel my misery 

Do you feel the hurt 

In my voice? 

Do you see 

The pain in my eyes? 

Do 1 look like a person 

You could trust? 

I'm scared to love 

And be loved 

People have done me so wrong 

They've took all my powers 

I'm no longer strong 

I feel weak as a baby 

My body hurts and is sore 

My mind's gone crazy 

Can you let me 

Out of my door? 

Can you give me some advice? 

Please treat me nice 

For I have feelings, too 

And if I were you 

I'd think twice 


From The Beat: Yes, you do exude misery, and that's so sad. It sounds 
like people you've loved and trusted have betrayed you. But it can be 
tough for teens your age, because they're just starting to discover the 

L world on their own, and dealing with adult emotions and decisions is 
difficult enough alone, and sometimes young men just can't promise to 
love anybody forever. So can you for now just enjoy them, be friends 
with them, love them, and develop your own life the way you want? 

A Black Man 

It's cool selling weed until you get caught. My boy got 
caught and he's doing ninety days for it. Where I'm from, 
I have no beef with anyone but the government. 

-J Rock 

From The Beat: What about you? Have you been busted for selling 
weed? Other than it has made selling weed illegal, what is your beef 
with the government? 

GoinyTo A Group Home 


I just had an interview to go to group home where I can 

meet a lot of new people I don't know and I will be able 

to see new things that I have not seen before. I will try to 

make my time go by fast. I will go home a changed person 

that don't do the same thing I've been doing. 

From The Beat: You have a great attitude toward being eager for 
new experiences. If you don't need to go to a group home and can go 
home, do you have cousins, friends you can visit during summer school 
vacation, hang with them, and see how they live differently, care about 
other things, than you do? 

I Love Guns But Thev Get You In Trouble 


I I own guns and I love them like a son or daughter, but 

they do get you in a lot of trouble, though. In this county 

you don't need a banga, really, but in other cities, you 

definitely need to pack a heater. But for now, it's good. 


I -J-R 

I From The Beat: Guns can get you in the ultimate trouble — 25 to 3kw% L 

or, in this state, execution. Why do you love guns? Why dont you write 

an essay for The Beat about how guns make you feel different about 

I yourself or the world? 

Boose's Pieces 

Reese's Pieces 
Butter Cup 
You mess with me 
I'll mess you up 

-Queen Bee 

From The Beat: How can you "malce things right" without physically 
hurting them? Withdraw from them? 

Somewhat Chaooed Me A III' 

I'm matured now 

I've learned to be patient 

And keep my loud mouth silent 

People look at me different 

Wit' a smile 

Instead of a frown 

I'm not fully changed 

But I'm taking each day by day 

Learning as I go on 

-Queen Bee 

From The Beat: You're doing a great job of growing into a young woman. 
It^ got to be difficult. You lead with your heart, but also have a good 
mind and a sense of humor. 


Gosh, I can't stand boys 

They so stupid 

I swear, everything goes 

In one ear and out the other 

They gossip more that beezies 

Always repeating shhh they heard 

But not knowing if it's true or not 

Boys just need to grow up 

And move on 

And get a damn life 

Keep names out yah mouths 

-Queen Bee 

From The Beat: That^ one way many people learn from each other what 
the worlds about, what^ possible, what^ fair, what has happened and 
how to cope. But gossip, no matter who does it, can also show the 
person is insecure, because gossip can often be cruel. 


//// // 


^ [ Everyday Thano 


Family means more than the definition they give it. It's 
more than a six-letter word. My family means everything 
to me. It's more than just relations having the same blood. 
I'll kill for my family. I'll die for my family. I live for my 


From The Beat: You sound like you're truly a devoted, loving, son, 
brother, etc. When you go home, how will you help out your family? 
How have they been managing without you? 




Yee sum 




-Queen Bee 

From The Beat: So these many qualities constitute the true Alyssa 

SoDieboily Gettin' Robbed 


Somebody gettin' robbed 

He just don't know it yet 

But he gettin' robbed 

I tried to tell him 

But he gettin' robbed 

He don't believe me 

But he gettin' robbed 

He soft 

But he gettin' robbed 

We know he rich 

So he gettin' robbed 

I told him I was crazy 

So he gettin' robbed 

His mom like me 

So I'm still gonna rob him 

He think he funny 

But he a biter (copies people) 

This ninja is weak 

So he gettin' robbed 

He think he cool with me 

But he still gettin' robbed 

God damn, man 

How stupid could 

This person be? 

I ain't got nothin' against this person 

But this one I do 

I'm from the hood 

So he gettin' robbed 

Is he stupid? 

*Cause I told him 

He gettin'robbed 

Now he tryin' to talk shhh 

So he definitely 'bout to get robbed 

He said he way gonna shoot me 

That's a threat 

So that's some stupid shhh 

So he still gettin' robbed 


From The Beat: You really can rap, lilie you said you could! Whether 
you really intend to rob someone, or whether it^ just a rap fantasy, we 
can't tell. If you are really thinking about robbing, please think again. 
Nobody has anything you need so badly that you have to rob him/her 
for it, right? IF that is where your mind is, we hope you do not get out 
anytime soon. 

Man, I think about the same thing every day, thinkin' 
thinkin', not a thang has changed. All the times it's the 
same. Hoping I get out on the bracelet. 


From The Beat: What are you going to do about the sameness of your 
life every day? You sound bored. Even if you're stuck inside the house 
because you're on the bracelet, you can read, write, play games, stand 
on your head, wash dishes, watch TV draw, hang with your friends, 
etc., because you're free! 

I Need 

I need so many drugs, damnit 

I'm fiending fo' some "ya" 

I need to get out. 

Shhh, I need help. 

I just wanna scream 

I'm going crazy 

Outta my mind 

-Queen Bee 

From The Beat: We can feel your pain. Whatk going on that^ driving 
you so nuts? Since you have no access to drugs in juvy, what can you do 
to calm down and chill out? Can you also use that method when you're 
back home again? Don't blow your freedom! 


What's Good? 

What's good wit' it, Beat? Yah, feel yah girl. Queen Bee, 
back once again. Time is rough right now. I ran from my 
group home out in Redding. That shhh was boosie bunk. 
That shhh wasn't for me, but I can't lie, I was still doing 
me out there, had me a boo or two. LOL. Had one wrapped 
around my finger — too bad I left. 

1 have court again December 10th. I'm going to 
another placement somewhere in Susanville or by Reno. 
I'ma try to do good, 'cause my next stop is Colorado, and 
plus, I only have ten months *til I'm eighteen. Ahhhh... 
Damn... But yah feel me, I'm gonna make it through this 
hard nonsense phase. It ain't nothing to a boss/queen. 


From The Beat: Whatever group home you go to, why don't you learn all 
you can from it? You'll meet new people who can become your friends, 
learn new ways you can develop your artistic skills. 

Queen Bee 


Pretty as can be 
Takes no shhh 

Always in beef 
C razee as hell 

Also hates Taco Bell 

From The Beat: There are a whole lot oi 
can be quicic witted, laugh at the person 
1 him/her, walk away. 



to deal with 
to mess with 

ueen Bee II 

"shhh. " You [ 
you, ignore j 


What's good? Come over so I can tell you a lil' secret. 
I'm in love with this person, but I don't know how to tell 
him, 'cause I'm scared to, 'cause I'm scared to accept the 
trust. That I was just dreaming and that's all I'm gonna 
continue to do. 

-Queen Bee 

From The Beat: Why do you feel you have to tell this person you love 
him/her? Can you let him/her know without words? What trust do you 
think revealing how you feel implies? You have to trust him/her? S/he 
should now trust you? Until it^ obvious to you what how this person 
feels about you, maybe dreaming is a terrific solution for you for now. 

//// // 

Return To Yesterday 


One day just chillin' after school with some hynas 
making posters trying to do good, and after I head to the 
bus stop I see a homie and I post up with him. He asked 
me for a cigarette, so we smoke one, and there were cops 
across the street messing with people. 

They had 8 people on the curb for jay walking and 
we were laughing *cause the people were not listening to 
the cops. Then the cops came and messed with us, and 
I had my hand behind my back and the cops thought I 
had a weapon. I showed them the cigarette, and they put 
my hands behind my head and slammed my face on the 

I said "what the hell are you doing" and the cop 
punched me and elbowed my face into the bus stop then 
handcuffed me and I sat on the ground and then they 
slammed my homie. 

I wish I can go back and not have cussed 'cause this 
might be my last chance, and I got arrested for something 
so stupid. 


From The Beat: It's always hard to believe when police are using 
excessive force, but then there are always two sides to every story. Now 
that it is said and done there is no going back, and the past can not 
be changed. The only thing you can do now is change your future. The 
choice is all on you. 

/ said "what the hell are if off doing" and the 
cop punched me and elhowed mtf face Into the 
hus stop then handcuffed me and I sat on the 
ground and then the if slammed mif homie. 


Purple little flowers dancing in the bushes 

Do you smell the fragrance? 

Climbing up your nose 

Sun shining on your cheeks 

Do you feel the pain? 

Going all through your veins 

Tears running down your sweet rosy face 

Eyes widening from all the horror 

Tap dancing in your brain 

Your adrenalin is rushing 

It's only the monster 

Tell him to stay! 


From The Beat: This was a wonderful poem, but it was a bit confusing. 
There was much to try and figure out in so few words. Tell us more of 
your love for lilacs, and tell us of the "horror" this "monster" is causing. 
Find a way to open up before it^ to late. 



I'm really tired of this mess. 

I am tired of the crooked cops trying to harass me. 

The whole world is screwed up, so why are the cops 

messing with me so much? 

I hate how they try to play the good cop, bad cop. 

The streets are cold enough without crooked cops. 

We have enough prostitutes, meth addicts, and criminals 

in this county. 

Why do the cops make it worse by ruining families? 

I think that they are whacked. 

I really want to get out and smoke at least an eighth. 

Man, I love dank, like purple and dense hairy buds. 

I'm going to burn it and drink 40 oz. Old English. 
Well, to all doing time, stay up and keep your heads up. 


From The Beat: If you are really "tired of this mess", ^^ you say - stop 
blaming others for what you, yourself, have created. Last we knew, it 
was still illegal for minors to be chugging 40s and smoicing dope. 

My Hat 


If I could go back, I would 

go back 



I was 

pulled over 

and I 



hid my 


in a 

bush or 



From The Beat 


1 further. 


is up with your 


rear, Troubles, Mercy 

I look at the clock in fear. 

It's time to put in dirt. 

I smoke to relieve my troubles 

and never question why 1 love my numbers. 

My choices have been consistent. 

And I learned not to have mercy on punks. 


From The Beat: We think you should rethink your choices. After all, look 
where you are. Look around you. Juvenile Hall can be described in many 
ways. One way to describe it is nz a collection-center of ill-considered 
choices, bad choices. You won't have to be afraid of the clock if your 
choices are well intentioned and your behavior is honest. But we must 
add that we admire your poem. It is skillfully written. 

My Day 

My day today was OK. We had Juan from Barrios Unidos 
come in and do the Boy's Club with us. We also had a guest 
speaker come and talk to us about County Jail. We had 
cool staff working today. We didn't lose many points. 

Then we kicked it with Dennis The Menace from The 
Beat and we had lots of laughs. Shout out to Dennis. He is 
a bunch of laughs and he always makes it a good Friday. 
Dennis is a savage. Well, that's it for today. Hope this 
makes The Beat. Later. 


From The Beat: We're glad you had a good day, and we're glad out man 
Dennis makes you laugh. We hear he can be pretty corny sometimes. Do 
well. Be good. 

I I I 1 


RIP. 'Lil Rob 

Today I am going to write about killing. I only have a 
few things to say. They got my bro- Lil Rob. RIP, homie. I 
miss you. We all love you, dude. I know you're right next 
to God. They killed you over a girl. I wish I was there 
with you. 

I'm looking at a two year court commit or going to 
Wyoming for two. 

RIP Lil Rob and RIP lyier. I miss you both. 


From The Beat: We are very sorry for the loss of your friends. While you 
are spending the next two years of your life in one form of custody, or 
another, we urge you to think deeply about how you've found yourself 
in this situation. Two friends dead from senseless violence, and two 
more years of your life having to ask for permission to do basic things. 
You are a very bright fellow, certainly bright enough to look deeply into 
your life and figure out that real change is needed. We'd love to hear 
from you, now and then, wherever you are. You have a lot to offer the 
world, and yourself, Zach. Wake up. Take your life seriously. 

About Guns 

Guns are violence. There will always be guns and 
violence in this world. There's nothing we can do about 
it. We can't stop it. I don't know what it feels like to have 
a gun. I'd rather use my fists instead of a gun. It would 
be better if there were no violence at all. 


From The Beat: If people said no to violence, then there wouldn't be 
any. Most of us get introduced to violence at an early age, via TV <ind 
some of us are forced to experience it, in our own homes. You're right 
about it being difficult to avoid. But we certainly do not believe that 
it^ inevitable. We could and should teach all children that violence is an 
inappropriate way to attempt to solve a problem. That there are so many 
people who choose not to be violent is proof that violence is actually a 
choice, not hw\ inevitability. Too many of us are not choosing wisely. It 
certainly would be better, skz you ^sk'y§, if there were no violence at all. Do 
your part to put violence on the endangered species list. Practice non- 
violence. It just might become contagious. 

//// // 

How I Woold Of Haodleil My Sitoatioo \ 

If I could go back in time, I would have stayed home 
and come into juvenile hall with just a violation instead 
of coming here with a felony. Now I'm going to a group 
home for six months. Hopefully everything goes well and 
I can graduate and stay sober. 


From The Beat- Congratulations! You are the only person this week that 
has accepted responsibility for his own actions. That is a very mature 
attitude and the first step to getting your life together and keeping 
your freedom. There^ no doubt that some circumstances in your life 
may be tough, but you do have the choice to rise above those things 
and do anything you want in life. 

Jost Oofl't Care Aoymore 

Every single time I'm walking around in my town, it 
feels like I'm getting followed. Not by my parents or my 
enemies, but by the cops who always cruise through my 
streets looking for someone to arrest. I'm always running 
from the law. I get accused of things that I don't do. I just 
don't care anymore. I just keep my head up and don't 
look down no matter who walks by. Maybe that's why I 
get into fights. 

I post all day until it gets real late at night. I get high... 
that's something I can't stop even if I try. Somehow I just 
end up high. I can't stop doing what I do because that's 
who I am. I choose the life I am living. Fm never going to 
change 'til 1 die. 


From The Beat: You can't have it both ways. You obviously don't Nice 
being accused of things you havent done. But at the same time, you're 
telling us about things that you do do that any cop would arrest you for. 
We don't believe you when you say "I can't stop doing what I do because 
that's who I am." You are more than a robot. You may, as you say, choose 
not to stop. But you could also choose to stop. 



Guns... I've never had one. I've seen one on TV, that all. 
I don't know how it feels to have a gun. Guns don't kill 
people, people kill people. 

My Beat Within has never come up since the first time I 
came to juvenile hal. 


From The Beat: Yes, people kill people, but quite often with guns. 
That^ what it^ all about in this country. Hardly anyone in the United 
States needs to hunt wild game to survive. Guns in America are for 
intimidating, or injuring, or killing other people. This is probably the 
only country in the world where a young person could easily find a gun. 
Why do you suppose that is. As for your writings not showing up in The 
Beat, we apologize. There was a mix-up in communication and you will 
soon see the backlog in The Beat. 


Today I'm going to write about one of my experiences 
when I was a seven-year-old kid. Well, one day I was going 
to my house from school and I was walking by myself. I 
passed by a garbage can and there were a lot of things 
popping out of it. I went to check it out and I found a 
mouse and a keyboard. I got distracted and stayed there 
for almost 30 minutes. 

I also found a gun. It was real, so I threw it in my 
backpack and took it home with me. My mom and dad 
found it in my room and took it. Then they asked me a 
lot of questions. 


From The Beat: We're glad your dad and mom found that gun in your 
room. It might have been loaded. We wonder how you knew it was a 
real gun, at the age of 7. Anyway, this is quite the story. We're very glad 
no one got hurt. That was a close call. 


Well, I'm going to write about trust. Well, to me, there 
is no such thing as trust. The reason I came into the hall 
this time is that I got snitched on by an older cat, he's 22 
years old. 

I thought he was my homie, but I thought wrong. Well, 
all I have to say is that I hope he gets what is coming to 
him. I'm heated. Fm looking at court commit, Wyoming, 
or ROP. 

Right now I don't trust anyone; I won't for the rest of 
my life. The last thing I want to say is... stop snitching. 


From The Beat: We are sorry that you have had reason to distrust people 
close to you. You may be right to choose your confidants carefully, but 
you have to accept the real blame. You know better by now. The reason 
you came to the hall this time is that you made a poor choice - that 
caused your trouble. Until you accept that and decide to chance your 
own life, you will continue to live your life locked up. You can change 
that. It^ not too late. 

Gettiflo Caoobt 

I would go back to the time of when I got caught. I should 
have hopped the fence to the homie 's yard and hid in his 
pad. But no, I had to jump the front fence and hop in the 
car. But that's what I get for not running. That's where I 
messed up. 


From The Beat: It seems that you messed up long before you started 
running, starting with the decisions you made that got you into 
trouble. Eventually you have to stop running away from the police, 
and especially, away from yourself. Stand still and think about your 
choices before you make them... you are sure to stay out of the hall and 
have control over your own life. 


//// // 

Mv Life In Juvie 

My life in juvie is a whole new learning experience. I 

hope to make a difference by learning from my mistakes 

and taking the right turn to a better life. There are three 

changes I want to make to start my new beginning. 

1: Start back in school 

2: Get a job 

3: Accomplish the terms of my probation so I can get off 



From The Beat: Those are good things to do. And each of those 
objectives, or goals, should be accompanied by a plan. For instance - 
wanting to get a job is good, but how will you go about it? Maice a list 
of the various ways you might land that Job. It probably means looking 
in the newspaper, and maybe on-line. It will mean knocicing on doors. 
It will also mean getting a letter or two or three of recommendation, to 
accompany the applications you will be asked to fill out. Etc. We wish 
you great good luck. Work hard. 

Deir Beat 


I'm really tired of the crappy food and all of these guards 

who act so crude. They really don't care if you get out or 

not. They just get off by harassing you a lot. 

We all really hate itwhen we get caught. It always turns 

out the way you think, like when you picture getting high, 

then you get caught by a cop. Looks like I'm out. I'm a go, 

no doubt. Leaving Lucy's food, these dudes... always cru 


-Lir Mc 

From The Beat: We know a lot of your 'guards' and we think you're 
exaggerating, greatly. The staff we know want all of you guys to get 
out and stay out. We notice that your piece is really a poem. And you 
can stretch language a lot, in a poem. But you can't stretch the truth. 
Now, having said that, we also want to z«y that you're a pretty good ■ 
writer, and we'd like to see more of your stuff. [ 

Goin' Back To Rehab 

I'm going back to my old rehab again. Probation gave me 
a choice: either I could do 3 months and go back home 
but still be on probation, or go to rehab for 7 more months 
(my 18th birthday). Then I will be eligible for a program 
that will give me a $5000 grant for college and help me to 
pay my rent until I'm 25. 

Also, my grandparents said that if I do the 7 month 
program they will buy me a car on my 18th birthday when 
I get out. Also, Fd be off of probation when I get out. So, 
I chose to do the whole 7 months so I can get all of those 
things. It would be better for my sobriety any way. 

Three months wouldn't do much to help me. I'd 
probably start drinking again when I got out, because my 
alcohol addiction is strong. 

Weil, I'm leaving Monday... only 3 more days! I'm 
stoked to finally be leaving but also really nervous to go 
back to my rehab. I've already been there like 4 times. 
Either I ran or got kicked out. I don't know... Fm just 
trippin' because 7 months is a long time. I just hope it j 
all goes good and time passes quickly. I really am over 
coming to this hall. 

I'm over living on the streets and puking up stomach 
acid because I NEED whiskey. I'm just over it and I want 
better for myself. Besides, I'm too crazy when I'm drunk 
anyway. Well, wish me luck. I'm out! 

To ail you who are locked up: stay up, stay out and 
make some changes, unless you like wearing other I 
people's underwear! ' 


From The Beat: Shay, we can't say much that you haven't heard a dozen 
times before. We wish you the very best. Stick with it. The rewards are 
worth it. 



Ever since I was young, they labeled me as "gang- 
related". I told them that I wasn't, but they still said that 
I was affiliated with gangs. 

At a very young age, the cops put me down... all 
because of where I was from. The cops talked smack 
and a lot of crap about me. My mom was always there for 
me but she couldn't stop that. I decided to stand up for 
myself, but the cops just put me in a cell. So I keep my 
head up and refuse to fall. When things get bad, all I make 
is one call. 

I try to make things right, that's why I fight. I'll 
never stop until I'm on the floor. I hate all of the racists, 
thinking that they are better. I stand out like a mighty 
Aztec feather. I refuse to be put down, that's why they 
hate. My soul is something you can't put in a crate. 


From The Beat: We're glad that you are not affiliated with a gang. 
What^ just sis important, though, is not to act as if you were. We dont 
know what the whole story is, but you must have given the police some 
reason to suspect you. Eveiy officer is a human being, and all human 
beings make mistakes. So maybe mistakes were made. Again, we dont 
know the whole story. What can you do to demonstrate that you are 
simply a proud young man and not a young gangster? And always make 
sure, if you are going to 'fight', that you are fighting for what is right. 
You've heard that old saying: pride comes before the fall. Think hard 
about what you can do to demonstrate that your intentions are good 
and that your behavior is too. And when you make a mistake, admit it, 
and start over. 

My Friends Are My Family 

I'm dealing with getting out of the group home so I can 
get it over with. I want to get out so I can see my family. 
When I get out I'm going to try to not get caught and get 
sent back in here. My friends are my family and I can't 
leave them. I feel comfortable with them because they 
have had my back since day one. 


From The Beat: If you don't want to 'get caught', stop doing things that 
get you into trouble. When you'ie walking the right path, you don't 
have to worry about someone having your back. You are your own back. 
We wish you well. 

Taii And Hard 

I sit taii as a tower. 

My heart is hard, like stone. 

I inhale the smoke and wish for trouble. 

I am without patience. 

Time to make a choice. 


From The Beat: We have heard that stones, carried in the pocicets of 
people who do good deeds, turn to seeds. And that wherever the seeds j 
are planted, good things grow there. Have you heard that story? 



Ready Or Nnt? 

America ain't ready for a black president. Everybody 
knows that the USA is the most racist country in the 
world. There were many groups all over the country who 
did not want Barack to win. When he did, many places all 
over the world were happy. 

I'm happy that Barack won, because if McCain had 
won, that would have been like another Bush, with power. 


From The Beat: We are very happy to offer you a forum to express 
your political opinions. We also think it^ important to realize that not 
everyone who voted against Obama did so for racist reasons. Thankfully, 
we've made a lot of progress in race relations in this countiy. We look 
forward to the day when race is never an issue in this countiy. 


//// // 

Gommon Sense 

When I hear the word common sense I hear mom telling 
me to quit acting stupid. Obviously I didn't listen to her 
because look where I'm at! 

I think if 1 would have used my "common sense" then 
I would not be writing this topic today for an example, say 
you were walking down the street and you saw a burning 
house what would you do? One, look for a water hose and 
try to put it out? Two, just stand there in shock? Or three, 
call for help? 

Well if you're a person with "common sense" you 
would call for help. So basically if you do not have 
common sense then you probably keep coming back here 
and keep making the same mistakes. So if you don't have j^ 
any "common sense" you better find it because it will get 
you in a better place than this trust me. 

-Cash Money 

From The Beat: We think common skwsk is i>est pointed out by the adults 
in your life as you grow up.. .this "sense" needs to be aclcnowledged and 
encouraged. It^ never too late to listen for, and develop your common 

Me and My Friend 



One time me and my friend had a gun and we were 
walking the streets with it and we were looking for the 
people that were driven around looking for pedo. 

When they pulled up the homie started blastin' 
windows were shattering the whole thing was loco and we 
started running when he emptied the whole 6 out of the 
38 and we heard sirens and we just let the streets cool off 
and chilled out at his house. 

The next day we were out of town in another city 
chilien drinkin' mickys and kickin' it with some hynas 
and you know the rest. -Erased Name 

From The Beat: Actually the rest hasn't all even 
happened yet. You have a lifetime to live with this. It 
seems easy when you can't see who you're hurting 
behind the glass shattering. Even if you boasted about it 
then, felt like the man, etc. you'll have to live with it for 
the rest of your life, and who knows how it will play out. 
What if you fall in love with the sister of someone you 
shot? That's just a Hollj^wood example. There's many 
more. What if it happens over and over in your dreams? 
We Don't Need Guns 1 think we don't need guns in our 
community because when we bring guns into our lives 
a lot of people get hurt like our families and friends and 
sometimes you can end up behind bars for the rest of 
your life. 

-Thinking Man 

From The Beat: We don't often hear gun stories where any good 
was done, so we agree with you. How can we get them out of our 

Gun Vinlence 

Guns are not toys you shouldn't play with them. But on 
the flip side guns are protection. I'm a relative of a person 
who loss their life due to gun violence. And I was pretty 
close to the person. 

Should I carry a gun? No but I do at times for my 
protection because now days you don't know who you 
can trust and I hate to feel that way but that's just how it 
is. But to keep it real. I don't think I had a gun of my own 
until that in particular happened. 


From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss. It seems messed up that the 
response to a loved one losing their life to gun violence is to feel the 
need to purchase a gun yourself, if we don't know who we can trust, 
isn't it worse if everyone is carrying guns? 


Weirdest Fund That I Ever Tasted 

The weirdest food that I ever tasted was pancakes with 

butter, peanut butter, and syrup. I thought that is was 

disgusting until today, when I tasted it for the first time. 

It was great. Now every time I eat pancakes I'm gonna try 

to get peanut butter to go with it. 

-Lil' Rob 
From The Beat: Okay we're going to have to try that too. 

Thrnuoh Life 

Isolated, the more I go through life I want to be separated 

from majority. If it could be left up to me I would only 

associate with family. Three best friends, three good siss, 

and one good bra would be part of my remedy. As I do me 

through life amazingly I become more and more light of 

attention from people you can say I'm not concern of so I 

pay little attention. 

Man I know its tens of thousands maybe millions who 

been in my situation. And yo life feeling like I do but don't 

even mention. But through life don't think I ain't happy 

but don't think I'm unhappy just think what you might 

be uh hater, an actor, or a real factor. As I go through life 

I've seen too many of the first two, so that's why I only 

associate with family. My remedy as I go through life. 

-Lir Nile 
From The Beat: We hope it's working out for you out there, Lil' Night! 


Wiiat's On Tlie Menu? 


Wuz good Beat? I wanna talk about weird foods my mom 
makes a lot of Mexican dinners. I don't think they're 
weird though. 

I get out in two days so I'm really looking forward 
to some enchiladas, or maybe a huge plate of some 
albondigas. I got to go home home for Thanksgiving. We 
had turkey, like every other year. 

But yeah... I love my momma's cooking. She makes 
the best-fried shrimp ever. I can't wait to go home and 
have me some real food. Home made food! Well, that's all 
I can think about so yeah... late Beat. 


From The Beat: You're lucky. We had to google "albondigas" to find out 
they're meatballs! 

' ' ' ' 


All I do while in this juvenile hall 

Is sit in this room and stare at these walls 

And I wish I never done what I did at all 

I think I could've been gone in a month or two 

If I did exactly what I had to 

And heck with all the people who don't like me 

And much love to the ones that do 

But what people think don't really matter 

Cause what they say normally aint even a factor 

it's not really hard to get my head pumped 

especially when someone calls me a punk 

it's like an easy test that I normally fail anyway 

I always get into fights over what people say 

Just to prove that I ain't one in some of way 

So all I do while in this juvenile hall 

Is sit in this room and stare at these walls. 

Lir J 
From The Beat: Well it doesn't sound like you're happy with the way you 
react to peopled nonsense. Maybe you could get some help with this... 
people do learn to respond, instead of react...with hard work and time. 



//// // 


Why we carry guns? To survive and earn our stripes, 
most gang members carry guns. You also got knives too. 
Anything can really be used to kill a person. Why would I 
want to kill someone? To put my dirt for my hood. 

A person step out of line got to show them not to 
mess with my kind. That's why we don't got know enemies 
running around our town. It feels better that you could go 
around and no one's on our block. 

It's cracking out there if you know the right people. I 
do what I do for the homeboys and if my kids want to do 
the same thing. This just a little bit of my mind. 

-Young Thoughts 

From The Beat: Well we edited your name because this could incriminate 
you. This cold attitude goes for you and those you love too right? All 
the enemies can't be dead or there wouldn't be a war. There will always 
be new kids growing into it right? We don't think you will feel this way 
when you really have your own kids, we don't believe their lives will 
mean this little to you. 

Iiatketic Ritellion 


Reckless piracy Cataclysm Defiancel Revolt ness! 
Instrumentation, performance Destroy! Use, waste, forget 
Strange, unfathomable, mysterious, magical Chaos! 
Chaos! Turmoil Revolution, violence, destruction Selfish? 
BROKEN HEART! Passion, anger, hateful, cross Rebuttle, 
defend, broadcast and fight Or forever hold your peace 
Forgetfulness Rehabilitation, rejuvenation! Humble? 
Legit? Perceptibility 


From The Beat: Hmm lots of events crashing into one another. Humility, 
love, creativity, spontaneity, surprises, life, music, integrity, truth, 

I I I I I I I 1 I 

I I I I I I I I I 1 I 

Like Him 

I think gun violence or violence period is ignorance. I 
think that people who do violence or like violence need 
serious help. Everyday I'm in my room thinking about 
people in this hectic world, when would ignorant people 
start manning up and be a leader instead of a follower. 

I mean put it this way take Obama for instance, people 
cross the state didn't think he was gonna be president 
because of his race but when I start giving this wonderful 
speech about he was going to help the mentally disabled, 
the poor and help people with jobs... 

All they need to be is like him, a man of integrity, 
empathy, and sympathy. If we try to be like him there 
wouldn't be no gun violence. 

-Cash Money 

From The Beat: Obama was able to make a lot from the opportunities he 
had, though he didn't start with much. We agree that there might be 
less violence if people could somehow be more like him. 

Guns Ain't Good 


Well yea guns ain't no joke I remember when I first got 
a gun. I bought it because the block was getting hectic-- 
that some night my friend was hurt and part of me wanted 
to ride. 

But I was also thinking that I don't have a shot. A 
couple of days later my mom found out I had a gun— and 
a couple days later I got caught up with it and that's why 
I'm in here. 

-Could Have Been Worse 

From The Beat: It sounds like the whole process didn't take much time 
at all. Maybe you're lucky you were stopped before you used it in any 
way you'd regret for the rest of your life. 

On tiia Fioor 


I think feesh is a weird food. If I ain't dead don't eat it 
that's what someone once told me. One time 1 tried to eat 
a lir fish thing in here but I almost threw that on tha floor 
so I just eat my candy from class. So when my homie 
gives me some sour patches I just say si'mon!!! 


From The Beat: Well, you don't have to eat anything you don't want to. 
It^ always good to tiy things though... 

\ r 

Last Of iVIy Oays 

I get out on Saturday when it's my birthday. 

I turn 18 and I'm out that very same day. 

9 o' clock in the morning walking out these doors. 

Can't wait until I'm free and not going to be bored. 

I'ma be a free man no probation nothing at all 

going to do it right and just stand tall. 

My birthday with Teme Mea Mea and Fae will be great. 

I will do the best that I can do have a great fate 

What to do when I get out is a great question. 

Doing good be great are both good suggestions. 

Be a great baby daddy and an excellent father. 

I won't get in any trouble so don't even bother 

Doing good being a great person in society 

Well good luck to all and stay strong. 

Words of advice stay solid it won't be long 

I'ma do me so The Beat stay up 

so please Beat wish me luck. 

-Sean, The Pacific Islander 

From The Beat: We imagine you are working at life, day by day, glad to 
be wherever you are. If you see this contact us and let us know what^ 

Yappin' they Gums 

Wassup Beat, this ya boy Curious George from New 
Founds. My main concern is my family. My hood is my 
family. Everybody stay talkin, but it never hurts. Just 
irritates me. 

But Imma keep cool and get back to B. It's money 
season, and it's time to get it. But I'm gone Beat. Also 
gotta get back to my lady. 

-Curious George 

From The Beat: We edited because we can't allow you to threaten 
anyone in these pages. The Beat is about exploring positive options 
to the negativity you've had to live with. How could you get money 
legitimately? What are you good at that's legal? 

Good aod Looo 

Hi Murmur, again I'm bored with jail. It's absolutely, 
positively, boring. I'm getting terminated in three months, 
but I have to be locked up until then. 

O well life goes on! I can't wait until I get outi ! Fm 
going to be free, FREEDOM!! Yay! I'm going to get a job, 
and an apartment, and live my life good and long with 
the people I love. Hopefully I can stay out of trouble. 
Hopefully.. .Whatever. 

I'm just glad today that I saw someone I love that I 
haven't seen in a while. That made me happy. I guess I 
just have to think about everything that makes me happy, 
and live day by day. Well remember, I LOVE YOU! 


From The Beat: We like your enthusiasm for life, and freedom. Don't 
forget how much you appreciated it when you are released, and 
hopefully that will help you maice the choices you need to, to stay out 
of trouble. They say that what you appreciate grows, so keep thinking 
about what maices you happy! 


//// // 

What We Do 

What's crackin' wit it Beat? Me just doing this time like 
nothing. I was with my homeboys on turkey day. Made me 
not want to come back to New-Founds. 

Came back was chillen on bunk thinking about all 
the different stuff we did on the outs found out my boy 
got caught up for some bad charges in shhh. He gets to 
switch to county da 10th on his birthday. It's how the life 
is you feel me just doing what we do to earn stripes and 

Wonder how it's going to be when I get out. About to 
do the same shhh you know. Hope 1 don't get caught up 
again but if I do you I'm going to do da time like nothing. 

Saw my boy, he getting bigger and shhh. Wish he up 
in here with me be cracking. I'm going to bounce be and 
my room thinking about the good times. 


From The Beat: Dear Stunkey, it always takes us a long time to figure 
out how to respond to you... because as you say you're "about to do 
the same shhh.." and we feel your enthusiasm for your boys. We 
understand how important it is for you to have close partners and a 
strong community around you. We encourage you to think about how 
that emotional support helps sustain you, that deep, real friendship. 
The fact is relationships like that don't have to involve "putting in 
woric," illegal activity, possible death and jail time. Choose life!! 

Mystery My Days Like Spent Dose Petals 

Escape My Grasp and fill My Sky 
Loves Remains My Unknown Sanctuary 
Thus My Long Journey Continues 
Wandering Apace With My Two Constant 
Companions: My Red Sky and My blue Heartl 

-LitUe SkitUes 

From The Beat: At least you loved right? It^ the loving that^ important, 
not necessarily what you end up with — though it is important to find i 
reciprocal relationships... I 


Guns ain't no joke I've seen a lot of people die from the 
hands of guns. Me personally I don't have a problem with 
guns. I think you should have one only for protection tho 
because sometimes you need more than just your hands 
to handle problems. 

Guns are a big problem in the world. Many people die 
from the hands of hammas of all kind. Me I want to be in 
the army so that I could have the right to have one and 
defend my family. 


From The Beat: We feel something^ gone too cold when people no 
longer fear the destruction capable from guns. In the Army the "enemy" 
has weapons too. Why does this have to be the only way we can figure 
out how to resolve issues? What are we creating like this? 

Em Viileitt 


The first time I seen and held a gun I was twelve years 
old. My friend asked me if I wanted to see his gun I said 
yes. then he showed me and I held it just staring at it and 
after that moment I wanted one of my own. 

That time soon came when I robbed a house and 
found a revolver and as soon as I got home I walked to my 
backyard and shot it. 


From The Beat: We think it^ important that twelve year olds are 
introduced into different things than guns. We wish you had been 
introduced to tools to be creative with in your life, rather than feel 
powerful through potential destruction. Imagine if this friend had 
taught you to play a guitar, or fix an engine. How would your life be 


Deal Talk 

I'm almost up out of here. I have like 25 days left if my 
PO lets me out. Hopefully she do because I'm trying to 
get up out of here real talk. Been locked up since July 18 
man can't wait to get out well that all I got to say. 

-Bay Star 

I From The Beat: We hope you have some good plans, and wish you 

The First Tloie 

I use to rob people and purse snatch but I didn't use no 
gun. The first time I used a gun for something I was about 
fourteen or fifteen. Me and my potnah was going to rob 
somebody but when me and him was talking about on the 
phone he said he was going to bring his thang. 

He asked me if I had one I said no. When we met up 
he showed it to me and I asked him to borrow it, he said 
no but ril let you use it. I took it from him and start tryna 
put it on my waist band he laughed at me and said put 
it in your pocket. So we sat outside until we seen some 
other kids walking from the park with a basketball so we 
started walking over and my heart started beating. 

We got up to them and asked them if they lived over 
here they said yea. I asked them where they didn't tell us. 
They started getting nervous and knew something was 
going on because we had hoodys on. 

I reached in my pocket and pulled the little 22 out and 

they stepped back and started tryna run but I told them 

something that I can't write in The Beat and grabbed one 

by the shirt. My potnah grabbed the other one and my 

potnah told them to empty out their pockets they had 

five dollas and some change. My potnah slammed one of 

them and slapped him up I let the other one go and they 

both ran. We ran too and went in the house for a couple 

of hours and changed. The end. 

From the Beat: For five dollars and some change? This robbery risked 
so much for so little; your life, their lives, your freedom... what do you 
think when you look back on this incident? What if someone pulled this 
on people you loved. ..wouldn't you be angry that they endangered their 
lives, for five dollars? Even if it was somehow 500. OO, I wouldn't think 
you'd want the dough, or anything it could buy after that. 

The Deat 

What it do Beat just sliding through to say what's good. 
To all locked down missing out on time on the outs, keep 
your head up and leveled. My town's got problems like it 
got baby momas in HondasI Late night smobbin. Hey man 
am I driven koo? 


From The Beat: We know you're out there now. Work hard and take 
care of yourself! 

Weird roods 

Whats up beat? Today I'm on topic weird foods. I just 
got back to challenge from county jail and in there the 
friends be spreadin' all day. 

Noodles, hot cheetos, rice, beans, hot spicy sausage, 
jalapeno cheese and tortillas. We all would share our 
different shares in a big black garbage bags and let it sit 
for like 10 to 15 minutes. Man Beat, it's the shhh. 

Well that's all I got for you this week. Alright Beat. 


From The Beat: This is an interesting recipe. We appreciate the creativity 
and the spirit of sharing and camaraderie it requires. 


fjlif // 

Live It How I Want To 

What's up Beat, it's the homeboy Stunkey again. Chillen 
on my bunk. Had a visit by my mom today. She said some 
stuff that I didn't know that been going on for a couple of 
years... I got stuff in my mind that is going in my life. 

For one this is my life and I'm going to live it like I 
want to. Fm getting to the point where I just don't care 
no more. I'm in New Founds right now. I got hella time if 
I mess up again. But I like to live my life as a warrior. 

But the only reason why Fm doing good right now is 
for my mom. She sad all the time and she going through a 
lot right now. It hurts me to see her cry you know... 1 ain't 
going to lie Fm a mamas boy. 1 will basically kill for her. 
I remember one time a cop push my mom so I took flight 
on the cop and got beat up for it that day by the COPS 
outside and inside my house. 

My whole family went to jail that day but that's a 
different story for another time... Man "when I die in this 
life of hate I pray to the lord my soul he'll take" I do some 
dirty stuff at times when Fm in the streets putting down 
where I'm from. Vacaville streets can get crazy. Most 
people don't know because they from different towns 
or cities. You just don't worry about the rivals catching 
you slipping, you have the cops to worry. Sometimes you 
can't even get down the street by yourself without getting 
pulled over. Good luck if you're with four boys and you're 
all gang members on probation. 

You want to know one person 1 think about every 
day is my boy. If you read The Beat often you probably 
remember me talking about him once or twice. I got much 
love and respect for him. He came in with me and had the 
same charges—he just took the hit for everybody. They 
did my boy dirty and the judge sent him to the Y because 
Fonts didn't want him because he had diabetes. I think 
that's some mess up shhh. 

Instead of nine months he had to do at least two 
years in there. And he's only 15. 1 remember laughing and 
kicking it all night long in her and in the outs with him. 
That's why I always talk about how I love my boys and 
will die for them because 1 know they will do the same. 
Been with them for four years now and nothing change 
between us. And the boys know who Fm talking about. 

One thing I can't wait to do when 1 get out is go to my 
park and post up while inhaling my Jane. I just hope the 
cops don't interrupt my moment. I know all the homeboys 
want to do at their favorite spot and have a good time. 
Without cops interrupting the fun. 

Well it's getting late about 11:00pm. To all, this time 
ain't nothing it's just a little vacation you feel and if you're 
reading this I love you... do your time don't let it do you 
so I'm going to say it one more time "this is my life and 
I'm going to live it how 1 want to" gone 


From The Beat: We thought you didn't want to see your mother crying 
anymore? Is posting at the park smoking worth ail that pain that it ends 
up causing her? Why do you say you don't care anymore? In some ways 
it^ easier to give up than figure out another way... but it sounds like 
your mother needs you. If you could imagine for a second that gangs 
(and weedj didn't even exist, what would you get up in the morning 
and do? You might die young in this life, but you also might live a long 
long time.. .and what do you want that life to be like? It seems like you 
do care about your mother. 

rather First 


Hey Beat what's up my name is Tieki 1 have been here for 
12 days and this is a cool place to be better than the hall. 
So I'm just sitting back and do my time so I can go home 
and be with my baby because I want her to know who her 
daddy is, and not think that any man is her daddy. 

Sitting in jail thinking about 

All the things I done 

Can't wait to be free 

And live my life and 

Do what I need to 

Do to be a father 
I To my child 
I -Tiekei 

I From The Beat: We think if you can keep this attitude up you will have 
I a very Happy New Year!! 

Soeak Up Attack 

This one time in Vallejo I was at this one party on a 

Friday and this one dude bumped into me and my bottle 

that I was holding dropped on the ground and busted all 

open with drank on the floor. 

That made me feel hekka mad so when I saw the dude 

who bumped into I creeped up on the ground and give 

him a upper right hook to the jaw and his gold teeth came 

right out his mouth. 1 seen his teeth fly right by my face 

they fell right by the dude who I knocked out so he tried 

to pick his teeth back up until 1 drop kick his shhh back 

to the floor. 

From The Beat: Well you're lucky he didn't have a weapon we guess. 
This doesn't sound like a fun party, where someone can't make a mistake 
without getting beat. How can you make things better, not worse? 


As Fm writing this, I'm feeling really depressed for many 
reasons because the life that I live, for memories that 
keep coming back of the past I wish to control, before 
even came into this world. 

Depression flows though my veins, affecting the must 
sensitive part of my brain, leaving its scars. Depression 
scars me, never leave you alone unless you make new 
memories to cover it up. But even then that the fact is 
they exist. 

-Cash Money 

From The Beat: The scars remain and yet your life is new all the time. 
Let people help you deal with the past, and figure out what to develop 
about yourself and your life for the future. 




I don't like when people talk about my mom in any type 
of way, that just hits the spot and 1 lose my temper and I'll 
be ready to fight who ever. 

I really don't like that, that's why 1 never talk about 
nobody moms cause that's nothing to be playing around 
with. So 1 advise to people out there don't talk about 

-Heard Enough 

From The Beat: We agree, the most fights we've seen at ranches etc. 
started over someone talking about someone else^ mother. Even when 
there^ other problems that was the catalyst... Maybe it^ liice a survival 


//// // 

Beino and The Game 

X ' My True Love 

I have seen gun violence. My brother is in a gang and 
someone shot at my house one time. My sister almost got 
shot. This isn't no game. I feel like my family is trying to 
stay alive, so I don't feel bad that they have guns too. 


From The Beat: That is how gun violence starts, people arm themselves 
for protection on both sides, but eventually someone uses them 
offensively, if neither side had them, they could battle things out with 
their words and wit instead of their pistols, because nobody wins if 
everyone is dead. 

Goodbye Frieod 

What's up Beat? Well guess what, my best friend Precious 
left. I am so sad about it. I feel so lonely. We shared 
everything together. I just hope that she will be okay. I 
want to let her know that I love her. She will always be in 
my heart and in my prayers. Until the next time, peace. 


From The Beat: Precious will be missed. She wrote a lot for the Beat. 
It^ hard to see people we care about leave. But we hope that you still 
choose to participate with us, even though she isnt here. Thanks for 
all your help lately. 


2d I 

I Dofl't Like It 


Some sushi is good, but some is gross. 
Raw fish is good, only when you make ceviche. 
Tofu sounds gross but I never tried it. 
I have never tried Okra and I don't plan to. 
I enjoy tacos and pasole. 
Also, fresh beans with ceso and fresh made tortillas. 


From The Beat: Don't be afraid to try new foods, one person^ gross is 
another^ food of choice. 


My whole life I never had a regret about anything. Until 
last May, when I met her. 
It is because of her that I am in here and it was the biggest 
mistake of my life. 

Now that she is out of my life things are starting to get 
better, and I don't care about her anymore. As far as I am 
concerned, she is just another person in the world now. 


From The Beat: Meeting people and learning something about yourself 
from the experience, is wxe^^w a mistake. But once you realize that some 
people are better off not in your life, it is good to just let them go. 

Gaoo Affiliated 


People think that it is cool to be gang affiliated. But 
a gang is very stupid because the colors will always be 
there, even after you pass away. The streets will still be 
there when you die. 

People come and go in and out of prison because they 
are disrespected on the streets. Others end up dead, like 
many people in my own family. Some of my other family 
members still think that it is cool and that their homies 
will be there when the Shhh goes down. 

But the truth is that they are worried about the 
wrong people, and leaning on them will end up bad for 


From The Beat: We think what you are saying is that gang life isn't 
worth protecting because you loose more in the long run then you 
gain in the short run. It's hard for people to see that until something 
devastating happens to them personally. We are glad that you see that, 
and hope you share that insight with others. 


My true love is... Well it is crime! 

My true love has a steelie insidel 

My true love is about twelve inches high! 

My true love is one of a kind! 

I would turn to my true love at any time! 

When ever I am stressed, mad, or even happy 

I turn to my true love! 

I take all kinds of risks 

Because it is my true love! 

And can't no one ever stop me 

Even the man up above! 

I would do anything for my love 

Even getting locked up! 

My one true love is my number one fun! 

If you haven't guessed yet... 

My true love is a spray can! 

Metallic, candy, flat, or even glossy 

No matter what I make it work! 

Rooftops, billboards, trains, freeways, and even books! 

I show off my skills and people stop to look! 

No matter what 

My true love is mobbin! 


From The Beat: Passion is the number one quality of a true artist. But 
do you really think that most people stop to look at your art because of 
how good it is, or because of where you put it? If you could get paid to 
create legal art, and get it out there would you do that? Art is not worth 
doing if it violates the lespect of others in the process. 

Don't Go There 


There is one thing that I don't like talking to people about, 

and that is my sister. She passed away on Christmas. 

There was one time that my friend was talking about 

my sister, and he didn't know that she had passed away. I 

don't know how it all happened but I started hitting him. 

Later I told him that I was sorry and that I shouldn't have 

done that. 

From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss. It was very big of you to 
admit that you over reacted. Have you looked into grief counseling yet? 
There are other ways to grieve besides showing anger. 

I WaotTo Ciiaooe 

I want to change, yes I do want to change a lot just so 
I can get a job and won't be broke all the time like how I 
am right now. 


From The Beat: We hope you take the steps to bring about the change 
you want. When you get out, what will you do to get a job? 


Sooiewliere At Tiie Wroflo Tioie 

There was a time when I went to a party. When I got 
there I was already drunk. We were having a good time, 
but there were gang members there that didn't get along. 
Soon, my friends started banging on each other. 

My sister told me to get down, and we were all laughing. 
Because I was faded I thought 1 was being shot at, but it 
wasn't for me. I didn't know what was going on until the 
next day I realized how serious it had been, but nothing 
happened to me so it all turned out fine. 

-Jo Jo 

From The Beat: You say that it all turned out fine because nothing 
happened to you. But that is so selfish! If you iceep laughing at danger, 
you will get burned too. Wake up and take responsibility for your self 
before it is too late! 


fj^fff // 

Take Me To Your Heart 

Hiding in the rain and snow 

But I just won't let go 

Sitting just across the street 

Listening to my own heart beat 

So many people around the world 

Tell me where I can find my baby girl. 

Take me to your heart 

Take me to your soul 

Give me just your hand 

Before we both get too old. 

Show me what love is 

Just give me a clue 

Show me one day that it can all be true. 

They say that love can last forever 

But I don't believe no one. 

Take me to your heart 

Take me to your soul 

Give me your hand and hold me tight 

And don't you ever let go. 


From The Beat: These are some pretty good rhymes. Love can be a 
confusing thing, i>ut it can also inspire us to i>e better people and make 
something with what little time we have in this world. 

Weird Snell) Food 


The weirdest food I ever ate was Papi salad. It smelled 
weird, but it tasted bomb. It has spicy too! They ask you 
how many peppers you want on it. The more the better. 
Just because something smells and looks nasty doesn't 
mean that it is nasty. That's what I think. 


From The Beat: You are brave to try new things. Thanks for sharing. 

Guns Suck 

Living in my part of Fresno, guns are what you see all of 
the time. What I think about guns is that they are a waste 
of time. 

-Lir Panic 

From The Beat: We are glad that you do not have a gun yourself, because 
how is the community supposed to decrease gun violence if everyone is 
always on the defense. 


Gun Life 


Guns are not a new thing in my life. In my hood I see 
people with guns all the time. The first time I ever saw 
one I was fourteen. My home boy had it. He didn't plan 
on using it; he just had it for protection. I never held a 
gun until last month. My boyfriend showed me how to 
hold it. 

At first I never saw the reason for having gun play. 
My thought is that you are a punk if you can't fight the 
person and instead you have to shoot them. Until I met 
my boo. He explains why he carries a gun. It is like this... 
he lost his best friend / brother over a gun. So it comes 
down to kill or be killed. No one is going to give you a 
pass so you shouldn't give anyone else one. 

I saw too many things in my life and gun violence isn't 
going to go no where any time soon if anything it's just 
going to get worse. 


From The Beat: Your right, it will keep getting worse if people keep 
thinking Mice your boyfriend does. The only way to change is to stop 
thinking that too wrongs make a right in this world. The way to heal 
from a loss is not to cause one yourself. You and your boyfriend will 
learn that the hard way if he doesn't get rid of his gun. 




Money was lost 

But now money is found. 

Now that I know 

That money goes around. 

Money is what I face 

Money is what I chase 

Money is real 

And friends are all fake. 

All I really know 

Is that there is money to be made. 

Sugar is light 

And chocolates are dark 

Money can't leave me now 

Because it will just break my heart. 

Hours are long and minutes are short. 

As my seconds pass by, I love money more. 


From The Beat: There are many things in life that money can buy, but 
none of them hold a dime to the things that can't be bought like love, 
respect, and honor. If you really want to make lots of money you will 
have to do it legit, that's how you gain the stuff money can't buy. 

Wake Up Gall 

What do you want to do to change; when I get out I'm 
going to change my life around. Because I have a love one 
so that means I got to step up and be a father. 

I need to quit getting in trouble. I got a family to go 
home to, so that tells me I have to go home and be a 

See some young people act like they can't be real 
fathers. That's a wakeup call telling me to get my life 
together and be a man. 

I look up to my big brother, because he tells me the 
right things. Like go to school and get a high school 
diploma. That's important to people, you can't get a job 
without a high school diploma. He's going to college and 
he plays football, he's trying to get drafted to the NFL. 
The end 


From The Beat: Wow, your brother sound like a great role model. W'z 
nice to be able to look up to a positive person. Being a young father 
defiantly has its challenges; howevei; it doesn't mean you can't be a 
great father. 


Sometimes when I had time to myself away from the hood 
and the homeboys, I used to go home, pack a blanket, 
snacks and a notebook. 

Then my nephew and I would go to a park, set out our 
blanket, and lay down until night fall. I would write poetry 
and stare up at the sky. We would look for shooting stars 
together and imagine what they look like up close. 


From The Beat: We bet your nephew misses those trips with you. It^ 
hard to see the beautiful sky from inside the Hall, remember that the 
next time you think about doing something that will bring you back 


I want to get out. All I am waiting for is a foster home to 
come and get me so I can leave this place. 


From The Beat: The system can help you find a home, but it can't help 
you change your own outlook on things. We hope you do that while 
you wait. 


//// // 


Mmmm! I love food! All kinds of different foods. Menudo 
is so delicious, especially with lemon juice and Tapatio 
sauce. Pozole is also good. It is just like Menudo but 
without the pig meat. I love all Mexican food" Enchiladas, 
tostadas, quesadillas, and Chile rellenos. 

I like Chinese food too: Orange chicken and Sushi. I 
also really like good pizza. 


From The Beat: Good food is something hard to come by in the Hall, 

remember that on the outs. 

lid 1 

People Cry For Me. 

Hi, my name is Amber and I am a young teen. If I could 
change time I would never come here in the first place. I 
would never have committed the crimes I did because the 
consequences are too bad but I pray to God that I get out I 
and when I do, I'm never, never coming back in my life. ' 

People tell me it's very stupid I come back over and 
over again. My mom is very sad because I'm in here. She 
cries every night. I'm not only hurting myself, I'm hurting 
my family that loves me a lot. People cry for me everyday 
when they say I'm locked up. 


From The Beat: Sometimes it is easier to just take the pain but we have 
to stop and think when our destructive actions hurt the ones we love. 
Changing our lives and living in a better way in not easy. It takes work. 
We wish you well. 

Life Is No Game 

Life is no joke. 

We got people on the streets addicted to crystal and 

You better watch your back before you end up dead 
from a bullet, from a gun. 

Matter of fact better thank God you're still alive maybe 
you should also pray 

Because if it weren't for God you wouldn't be writing 
this song today. 

Keep your head up and stop looking at life in an odd 

Be careful what you do and say so you don't end up 
in prison as someone's girl, being called gay. I'm writing 
this for The Beat within that originated from the Bay. 


From The Beat: You've got some talent with rhymes, we hope you write 
even more for wim next time! 

My Thouohts 

I have been really worried about my upcoming court 
date because I have to go to trial. I hope that God is there 
with me because I want him to help me go home to my 

I feel lost without knowing how long I am going to 
get in the end. I feel that being away from my daughter is 
making me weak. 

I don't know what I am going to do if I find myself still 
in here after it is all over. My thoughts tell me to beat 
someone up. But my feelings tell me that it won't make | 
anything better. 


From The Beat: It^ okay to feel scared, and nervous and angry, those 
are natural feelings. But it takes courage to take responsibility for your 
actions, to put others like your daughter first, and to not displace your 
hurt into others. 

Love Yoo Not 


As the days go by 

I think about all that we have been through 

And the more I think 

The more I am missing you. 

I think that it seems 

Like the bad outweighs the good 

Even though it shouldn't 

I already knew that it would 

And through all of the cheating 

You never got caught 

That's why I still sit up in here 

And say I still love you. 

But I really love you not. 

-I wheel 

From The Beat: Great play on words in this poemi Things 

are often not what they seem: people, words and even 


Too Much Pain 

Never knew that I would go through 

Everything that I am going through. 

And most of this pain is not because of me 

It is mostly because of you. 

You have hurt me so many times 

With all of your cheating and all of your lies. 

I am in pain everyday 

But I still manage to get by. 

Everyday it seems like everything is the same 

So many regrets and too much pain. 

-I Wheel 

From The Beat: You are a survivor... no matter how much other people 
hurt your feelings, you will keep living your life because it^ yours. Use 
the pain to become a better person, and don't let it bring you down. 

My Sweet Dreaoi 


For my sweetie. I think of you and try to remember the 
way you smell. If I could only tell you about how the 
memory of you has taken me through so many hard times 
then you know how much I care for you Kelly. Please 
remember me. I hope you still feel for me and are being a 
good girl. I love you. 


From The Beat: It is wonderful to have someone to care for and to thinic 
fondly of but never forget that we have to face our situation and deal 
with our affairs. Nice memories are good but they are helpful if they 
take us away from dealing with our situation. 

I rTT 


I'm about to go home on a furlough and chill. I'm gonna 
have a good time and kick it with my dad and mom and 
aunts and grandma. I'm gonna eat some tacos and talk 
with my family. I need to do my time and go home. 

I get released next month. I've been locked up since 
January. I need to get out for good. I'm about to go home 
on my first furlough for 6 hours. It's not enough time to 
do all I want to do so I don't know. 

What will I try to do first? All I got to say to kids doing 
hard time heading to CYA, is I am happy it's you and not 
me. I have no heart for the fakes that think they're hard. 
All I got to say is I am out the front door tomorrow. 

-Coalinga bound 

From The Beat: You are lucify to be able to go home, even if it is just 
for the afternoon. Your priorities seem to be in the right place. Maiie 
the right decisions and do the right things. You can put all this behind 
you in a months time. We wish you luck and hope you make the right 
decision. You can turn your life around. There is still time. Enjoy those 


//// // 

Thinos Happen For A Reason 

I got locked up because of some crazy crap, but things 
happen for a reason, so I ain't even trippin'. I've been here 
for a couple of week and I am already bored. I am right 
here chillin' with the homie, just watching each others' 

I am a gang member, and I was raised in the streets of 

I went to court a couple of days ago and I got sentenced 
to boot camp. 1 am going to try to do good so I can go back 
to my family cause I miss them a lot. 


From The Beat: We hope you get out soon. It^ tough being there, and at 
boot camp. Do you feel as though you were meant to end up at JJC for 
a reason? What is that reason? 

Speak Up 

I have one friend who really is into drinking. She probably 
drinks a pint of liquor a day. At first things were fine until 
small things turned into big things and things got out of 
hand really quickly. 

One day, I found the courage to stand up to her and to 
tell her that enough was enough and it was time to stop. I 
told her that her life was in danger. When a person has a 
problem they have to admit that they have a problem and 
they have to want others help. 


From The Beat: Sounds lilce you did a brave thing standing up to your 
friend. Learning to show others respect helps us to think more highly 
of ourselves. We hope you find the strength to stand up to yourself 
soon too. 

Beino Inside 


The reason that I am here today is because of the person 
who took my dad away from me. I did something bad to 
them, and now I am in here waiting for court. I worry 
about my mom, but I keep living my life trying to forget 
about my dad. 


From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss. Sometimes we think revenge 
will help make the pain go away, but it doesn't, it just makes things 
much worse because the pain is still there, even after we have taken 
vengeance. What positive steps can you taice to help yourself heal? 

My Bovfriend 

I truly love my boyfriend and I believe he loves me too. 
He tells me he loves me and he expresses it in more than 
a million ways. I'd do anything in the world for him and 
it's the same with him. 

Not long ago I found out I'm pregnant. So many things 
go through my mind; excitement and nervousness at the 
same time but I know it'll be alright. 

I love my boyfriend and he loves me too. Soon it won't 
just be me and him; we'll be a family. I can't wait to get 
out of here and see him again. I don't feel right without 
him. It's like I'm not complete. I wait for the day I can look 
into his eyes and hear him say, "I love you babe!" Only 5 
days to go. I love you always Mike. 


From The Beat: it is always good to have someone we love and who 
loves us. We hope it worics out for you and you are able to reconnect 
with your love. Make sure you don't forget about yourself, it's great to 
get close to someone but it's not enjoyable to iie smothered. The time 
is now to step up and take responsibility! 

Turkey Bay 2BBB 

No Place Like Nome 

It is rainy and cold 

but the weather doesn't matter. 

Rain, sleet, snow or hail 

won't change your mentality 

when you're locked in and stored away. 

Heat or cold will not determine 

the attitude you'll hold. 

I've learned it's what you make it 

in this black hole. 


From The Beat: So true. We are the ones who determine our reality. In 
any situation there are those who are happy and those who are sad, 
angry or mad. We choose how to react to our KM^t^Asi'^ situation. Good 
luck and thank you. 

So Screwed Bp 

I cannot take this crap anymore. It seems like every day 
the room gets smaller, like it is closing in on me. I ain't 
got nothing to do here, and this is not changing me into 
a better person. I feel like a caged animal and the food 
might as well be dog food. And then some of the staff 
really they think are the police, and the court won't let 
me just say that it's screwed up. 

Like how all the Judges are white, and the DAs and the 
"public pretenders" are too. Also, the "public pretenders" 
(which are supposed to be on your side) are friends with 
the DAs and the Judge, and they will give you more time. 


From The Beat: It is frustrating to be stuck there, the room, the staff, 
the food, the judges and lawyers — but please don't give up! No matter 
what happens, no matter how frustrated you become, remember you 
still have your whole future ahead. Don't let them get the best of you. 
When you have a bad day there, what do you to cheer up? 

The place I would like to be at in this world is home. 
Sometimes it is loud there, and sometimes it is not. You 
can sleep but if you're locked up you can't be home so 
there's no point of writing about home if you don't even 
know what's going on there. 

The only reason I wrote about home was because I 
have not been there for a long time. Home has peace, food 
you can eat anytime, a bathroom, bedroom, a TV, DVDs, a 
place where you can do what you want, everything. Home 
has it all. The thing that makes the house peaceful is my 
little baby girl. I love her and I wish I could see her. 


From The Beat: Home is special! Nothing can compare to the simplicity 
of just being in the comfort of your living room and enjoying TV. It 
sounds Mice you have a baby girl at home waiting for you! We hope you 
get out soon so you can be with her. 

I Bofl't Beloflo Bore 


Here I am in this place knowing I didn't do nothing 
wrong. But I know that to the judge I'm nothing but a 

I also know that some people are unfair, but I guess 
that's just the way life is, I miss being out with my family. 
I miss regular school, but I guess I have to stay. 

Man I'm just trying to get out of this place. Being in 
here knowing I did nothing wrong makes me very mad 
and angry! But I guess that's the way god wanted it, I 
guess its true life is hard and then you die. My sister 
isn't pressing charges and my mom isn't either. 


From The Beat: Being in JJC is not always fun. Being negative and 
angry isn't going to make things better. Being positive will take you a 
long ways in life. 


Life With No Reorets 

I live life with no regrets because what you do you can't 
take back. Let's say you commit a crime and you get . 
locked up and get one year. There's nothing you can say 
or do because there is no time machine. So that's why I 
would squad up and keep moving. I can't tell everyone 
what to do, but here's some advice, take it or leave it, 
doesn't matter to me how you live your life, it's your 


From The Beat: Have you ever thought about the consequences of your 
actions? Say for example, you know that what you'ie about to do could 
lead to something bad — will you still do it? if you thinic things through 
carefully before doing it, then you won't need a time machine to go 
back and fix it. 

Life As A Teenaye Motiier! 


Here I am sitting in Juvenile Hall, wondering what's 

going on with my baby. 

How's he doing? When am I going home? 

Here I sit suffering the consequences for my actions. 

Mad because I feel I shouldn't be here but my actions 

placed me here. 

Now I'm thinking if I can go back I would have never did 

what I did 

so I can be home with my baby and be a better mother. 

I can't wait to get home to my baby and start living my 

life right. 


From The Beat: We thank you for sharing and there isn't much we can 
say other than; we hope you can get back to your baby soon. 

Glianoe My Life 

First of all I never got a chance to change my life. But 
when I get out of here I'm going back to the hood and 
I'm going to do what I always do when I get out. But 
sometimes I do feel like changing and I'm going to try 
to change my life when I get out of here. And I have to 
change for my mom because she's the person who gave 
me this life. I have to show her that I'm grateful for the 
life she gave me. 


From The Beat: Congratulations on realizing the need to change. That^ 
the first step in actually making a change. Now ask yourself, what is 
it that you want to change about yourself? Finish school? Find a job? 
Once you've figured that out, then you can lay out an action plan with 
concrete steps. 

Lor My Mom 

I love my mom. She helps me a lot when I'm in a bad 
mood. She talks to me and explains about why I'm mad. 
She takes me to the mall- Abercrombie. We go to get 
Starbucks-Vanilla Bean. My mom takes care of my brother 
"Lucky." He was born on a Lucky day. 

When I get out, I will go take pictures with mom at 
Fashion Fair and go to the park and play basketball. I 
want to say "Thank you to my mom-for loving me, for 
being there for me even though she works two jobs. 

My mom works at Macy's and so does my aunt. I have 
been getting good grades in my classes- A's, B's and I 
hope my mom is proud of me for that. 


From The Beat:Well that's very nice that you are so appreciative of your 
mother. Your mother obviously cares about you and works hard to 
support you. it's good you get good grades in you class but if you really 
want to show your gratitude to your mother then we think you should 
do everything you can to stay out of Juvenile Hall. 

//// // 

X I Better Recoonize 


While I was in Juvenile Hall. I meta woman named Ruby. 
She would come in to do bible studies. I never would have 
thought she would be so special to me. I never really had 
love from my mom so I didn't know what motherly love felt 
like until I met Ruby. She became my mentor when I got 
out. There was not one day that passed that we wouldn't 
talk. She showed me what a mom was suppose to be like. 
She gave me hope. She told me that I was able to overcome 
whatever I wanted. It was something nobody ever told me 
before. She is the best thing that has happened in my life. 
I'm glad God put her in my life. 


From The Beat: Yes. Yes. Keep up the good work. Sounds good. You are 
lucky. We have realized that when we find someone who wants to help 
us and make us stronger then we should value that relationship and not 
take it for granted. Thank you for sharing your wonderfully positive 


As I wait for time to come to get out I think to myself will 
I do what I want when I come out. Will I do good or will I 
end up back in here or will I do what I need to do. Get off 
\ probation, but until that time comes only God will know. 

-C Man 

I From The Beat: You're right we can't predict the future; however, we 
I make choices that affect our lives. If you really want to change you can, 
I it will take time but change is achievable. 

I'm Sorry 


I'm sorry for the things I've done to you. 

I'm sorry that I hurt you so much. It started to hurt me. 

I wanted to keep you safe and I failed you. 

I'm sorry I made you cry. 

I'm sorry I got you mad. 

I wanted to be with you always but it never happened. 

I think of all the good things we had and all the bad things 

that happened between us. 

I'm sorry I was mad at you. 

I'm sorry that I wasn't the one to go instead of you. 

You will always be in my heart. I will never forget you. 

I know you will be set free and to R.I.P. 

I'm sorry truly. Sorry for everything that happened but I 

can promise you this. 

You will be set free. 


From The Beat: We have been in a place where it was seemingly 
inconceivable that we would ever one day forgive ourselves. Time, 
prayer, experience, conversation and more time eventually smoothed 
it out and we were able to come to terms with our situation. It was 
important for us not to punish ourselves repeatedly. Even a convicted 
criminal only gets one punishment. We are only to serve one sentence 
and at some point we have to free ourselves. We must be set free. 

I Made It 

If I would ever end up changing my life, for the better, I 
would never forget the struggles I've been through, or the 
life I came from. And I would never think that I'm better 
than someone that was like me because I would know 
that one day I was once like them. 

The reason I would never forget my old memories is 
because, everyday when I wake up, I could look back and 
say, "I made it." 


From The Beat: And you will! Years from now, you will wake up, look 
back on your youth, think about all the challenges you faced and the 
struggles you overcame. And you will tell yourself, Israel, exactly what 
you say here, that you made it. 


fj^fff // 


I'm burning and I don't know what to do. It's like people 
don't even recognize you. This feeling is so strong all 
because you've been in a corner for so long. I seem to be 
the only one to not need you. But so many people need 
to see the truth. You kept us strong. When we didn't and 
refused to move on. So honestly, here's my thanks to you 
my friend but man, this list will never end. 
First off, you created me to be something like you. 
Second off, you let me see what being locked up could 
really do. 

Third off, you showed and let me be the person I am, 
crazy, outgoing and funny. 
Fourth, you let me see when you have faith, it skips 
numbers five, six, seven, eight. 
Ninth off, going back in time. 
You let me realize and start appreciating you. 
That's the truth. I'm still burning and don't know what 
to do. 

Maybe, I should put it out with water or wood or leave it 
burning the way it should. 
Do you know who I'm talking about? 
It's God in heaven. Please hear me out. 


From The Beat: Yes, it is good to feel the fire in the belly and realize 
the potential of our existence. Don't put it out. Listen to your God. Feed 
this fire and make it good and never take it for granted. 



Let me tell you guys about a chapter in my life. I met 
this girl a few months ago, and we go together. She didn't 
like how I was making my share in life so I told her that 
I would stop but then I didn't. I got in trouble at school 
selling drugs, even though she got me to go to school 
more and get a job. I messed up. Now she sent me a letter 
saying she can't be with me anymore because she is tired 
of me being in trouble. 


From The Beat: Sometimes we have to realize that others can not make 
us be better people, but they can inspire us to be better for ourselves. 
So what can you do now to help yourself the way she used to? 

Dear Beat Within 

I'm writing about return to yesterday. If I could back 

up time and return to yesterday I would change the way 

I acted. I would straighten my life out so that I wouldn't 

be in here. But it's all good I'm leaving in two days. 

That's why I don't want to rewind time. I'm just going to 

straighten my life out on the outs. 

-Lir D 
From The Beat: That^ great you're defiantly going towards the right 
path. Setting goals for yourself will help you straighten your life. Stay 
positive and change will occur. 

Wlien I Go Home 


When I go home I am going to get back into school. Then 
I am going to start helping my mom out more. I don't want 
to stay away from my family any longer. I miss them a lot. 
I really miss my little brothers and my sister. I never want 
to come back here. I am really going to change a lot so 
that I don't. 


From The Beat: Sometimes people can get really home sick in the Hall, 
and talk about how they never want to come back so they will have to 
change. Just remind yourself on the outs how you felt in the Hall. 

I Siiouid Have Stayed Home 


If I could change back time I would have never committed 
my crime. I would have stayed home like my mom told 
me. I would have told my friends I can't go out today. If I 
would have listened I wouldn't be in here today. 


From The Beat: We identify with you. We all make mistakes and do 
things that we wish we never did. it's important to learn from our 
mistakes and to implement a new way of thinking and acting so that 
we do not repeat the same mistake. 

' ' ' ' 

Gun Under Grandpa's Bed 

I remember seeing a gun underneath my grandpa's bed. 
I thought it meant my grandpa was bad, but my grandma 
told me that it wasn't his, it was his friend's. She said he 
had it so that his friend wouldn't do anything bad with it. 
That's how I know not to touch a gun. 


From The Beat: Knowing how to handle a gun correctly is a good thing, 
being afraid of them is not. But knowing how to handle a weapon 
and to respect the damage it can cause is what it sounds like your 
grandparents are doing, and that^ a good lesson. 

Tiioo Maosiofl 

In the song, "Thug Mansion," by 2Pac, he describes a 
paradise, a place where all the true Gs go, a place where 
you don't have to worry about the fake wannabes. A place 
to chill and live life like it is supposed to be lived. Where 
money and everything else means nothing. Where you 
don't have to be rich or poor and colors don't matter. If 
there is a place for me it would be with Pac and all the 
other true Gs that have passed into Thug Mansion. 


From The Beat: Sounds liife a true paradise! Do you think this place can 
exist on earth, or is it only a place you feel in your heart? 

This Is I 200 


Being here is like I am at the zoo. People have to tell me 
what to do but I have to do it. Life is hard. Mom on drugs. 
People keep hurting me. Love is crazy but when I get out 
I am the best I can be. 


From The Beat: It sucks being locked up but we gotta look at our 
situation and see what we did and what we shouldn't do. Our life isn't 
going to change just because we say so. 

Oooe Roflfliflo 

I'm going to write about that I'm going to another group 
home next week and the sad thing about it is I am going 
to San Bernardino. It is several plus hours away from 
here but the good thing is that if I do good, I will go home 
to my lovely Grandma and my dad. 

The reason I have to go to a group home so far away is 
because I kept running away and going to my boyfriends' 
house. I can't live with him because he is too old and too 
bad. So that's why I have to go to a group home. But a 
good thing about it is I can go home if I do good. 

That's my story. I get to go home for good and this 
time I'm doing good and staying in the group home this 


From The Beat: We hear you and we know how tough it can be but 
just sit tight and do the time and go home and live happily ever after. 
Obviously running ain't working, right? We know how tempting it is 
to go over the wall but nothing changes. Everything only gets worse. 
Some things we can't run from. 


//// // 


Let me tell you this before you get down 
I got a little herpes. I got a little AIDS. 
1 got warts all over my braids 
and 1 ain't done yet. 
I got syphilis on my breast. 
I got chlamydia . 

Let me tell you about this gonorrhea shhh. 
When you're headed down south 
Trying to put it in your mouth. 
Screaming just like "Ouch!" 
I know you see the lumps but guess what, 
they ain't razor bumps and it's my bad. 
I didn't mean to give you herpes . 
It ain't my fault you got AIDS when you talk. 
And when you spread my legs. Spreading that odor. 
I got you in a daze. Sex. Sex. Sex. Now you got AlDs. 


From The Beat: We hear you. Sex is not an innocent act. It can i>e 
dangerous. Get educated and be smart! 


The Eternal Skv 

The sky is cool. The sky is blue. 

I like looking in the sky cause that's where 

everyone goes when people die. 

I try not to cry. I don't know why. 

When 1 lie, tears come from my eyes like rain from the 



From The Beat: We must strive to iceep our heart open. The world wants 
to singe it shut. We must be courageous sis we work to Iceep it open. 

M) Plltl 


If 1 could pick a place it would be up in the clouds, and 
I would live there with my homie. 1 would make a skate 
park and my neighbor would be God, and we would all 
three kick it. 1 really wish 1 was there right now. 


From The Beat: If you could take this image and maice it happen down 
here, how would you go about doing that? Are you saying that the 
clouds are peaceful, your friends make you happy, and the people you 
live around are inspiring? How can you make that image good for you 
in reality? 

Goino Back 

Nothing you should do should be gangster. And if I could 
go back 1 would go back to yesterday and revoke the 
violent activity 1 partook in. 


From The Beat: We would like to hear more about your story. What 
exactly will you do differently in the future? 

I Worry 

I am worrying about when 1 get to go home and see my 
family. 1 hope 1 get out soon. I want to be with my family. 
I don't want to be in here. I am just thinking, when am 1 
going to go home and be with my family? 1 do not want to 
come back to this place. Please, this is not for me. 


From The Beat: That is unfortunate thing about being locked up; we do 
not have any say about when we can go. We only have control over the 
actions that preceded us getting locked up and we have control over the 
actions we taice when we are locked up. 

live With Wiiat foi lit 


Hey readers, this is my story.. .before you think of doing 
the wrong thing, think again. Juvenile hall will be coming 
your way. 1 have been in and out. It's not fun but it's just 
what happens. 

First, I was here for battery then 1 joined JDC. That 
brought me in here again and again. 1 come back for 
smoking herb. 

Juvenile hall says its the devil or it controls your 
mind but that's a lie. It's worse. I am only 15 years old 
and 1 have been smoking since 1 was 13. ..It is so stupid 
because 1 am so young and 1 can't stop at all. 

Every time 1 see it, 1 smoke it. Weed can take away a 
lot of things from your life. So, that's what brings you in 
here. A lot of people think it's so cool to be locked up but 
once they get here, they see that it's not cool. 

Most people in JJC don't graduate with their friends 
from regular school. You can't see all your family or watch 
your baby cousins, brothers, sisters or your own kids 
grow up. So, I say live with what you have, family, friends, 
great food, a home and a school that you can graduate 
from. Get a great job and be happy. Live your life and try 
to do better than before. 


From The Beat: Weed takes us down an empty road of wasted time. We'll 
never get that back and time is all life is. Think of how many people 
have been arrested just because of a little weed. Respect the power that 
little smoke owns. There are many groups you can utilize during the 
process of kicking the emotional dependence on it. 

I Want Out 

hat . 


Well, when 1 get out of here 1 want to go home. 

Well, I'm not going to go home. 1 am going to go to 
group home or instead of a group home, I would rather 
go to a foster home. 1 am not going to be able to go to my 
home for a while. 

Everyday is a different day for me and everybody else 
and 1 want to get out of here so bad. Some people in here 
like this place and they do not want to get out. 1 don't 
know how people could like it in here. 1 really want to be 
out for my birthday which is January 28th. 

Well, that's all 1 have to say. There's probably more 
but I don't know what else to say right now. 


From The Beat:People become institutionalized. They get into a system 
and they get used to it and then they become dependent on it. Break the 
cycle and sicip that groove. You don't need to bust that move. Break out 
by changing your ways and ways of thinking. Thoughts make actions. 

ritouoh Times And Clianoe 

' Say, have you got a minute? 
If you have please put me in it. 
I have something I'd really like to say 
I have such a fleet mind 
I should share it with man kind 
Besides, it goes non stop any way. 

Now my toils are all involved 

And they are never getting resolved 

Being on the block is all 1 know 

Money, sex, and drugs 

Are the beef I provoke. 

My life is what I take, a joke. 


From The Beat: Your beats are sweet in person, we hope that we could 
capture them in print siz well. We wonder if you have any that can 
inspire others to have hope for their future. Can you share your story 
with us? 


//// // 

Thank God 

If I were given a chance to go back in time, I would. I 

mean, who wouldn't? 

I've grown to the point in life where I realized God does 

everything for a reason. 

But, if I could, I would change the first time I smoked 


If I would have made that one big time, that one life 

changing decision not to get high, 

I probably wouldn't be sitting in this cell-pod. 

I probably would still be a virgin. 1 

know 1 would be with my family. 
But I've learned not to take anjrthing back in life 

because 1 wouldn't having the loving and supportive 
friends and family 1 have now. 

But 1 would love to hold on to the fun and silly memories 
of being high 

with my friends and just laughing all my stress off and all 
the cool friends 1 made 
and most of all the things 1 have learned. 


From The Beat:lt is possible to look at our past and to appreciate 
eveiything while ending certain actions. Do you think God wants you 
to smoke weed? How many of your "friends" would be your friends if 
you didn't smoke? How many of them would still be your friends if you 
stopped smoking? 


It's not the nicest place in the world but it is the place 

that I like to chill when I am mad. And this place is at a 

party with all the homies. We like to kick back and have a 

smoking session, and that's what I look forward to when 

I get out. 

From The Beat: We wonder if this activity you can't wait to do will 
increase your chances of ending back in the JJC? 

I I I I 

\ r 


For Anoelica 

I love playing with her. When she says "momma" it makes 
me want more and more to want to raise her. When 1 look 
at my daughter, 1 see me all over again but twice as worse. 
She trips me out. 1 shouldn't be here. She's missing me. 1 
hope she never forgets me. 


From The Beat: She will never forget you. We never forget our Moms 
but there are many Moms who are not there for their children and all 
those children want is their Mommy. She needs you more and more and 
the older she gets the more she will want to know you. You are more 
than you know. 

What Up Beat 

Today 1 want to talk about what is going on in my life. 1 
am getting out of here in a few months because 1 will be 
eighteen. So this will be my last time doing time, because 
if 1 get caught again 1 got to go to the real deal. 

My brother is almost on the same path as I am, I'm 
always telling him to stay out of trouble but it is hard 
when 1 am in here. 1 feel like I am being a hypocrite. So far 
though, he is staying out of trouble. I just want to make 
sure he doesn't end up like me, that's all. 

So when 1 get out 1 am going to show him The Beat 
Within, so he can follow. 


From The Beat: We think it is great that you will show him The Beat. 
What else can you show hint? How else can you lead by example instead 
of just telling him? 

My Drawino Board 

If 1 had a chance to go back in time, I would change my 
decisions, and my mind. And since my name defines my 
actions and hobbies, I would go and help think twice 
because only 1 can stop myself. 

-Divine artist 

From The Beat: What can you do with your skills to show the world that 
you can make better decisions for the world and for yourself? 

Learn From Your Mistake 

I finally realize that stealing is bad. When you steal, 
you feel sad. Sometimes you can work for money. Just 
remember it is good to try. 


From The Beat: if stealing makes us sad, what does earning our own 
money help us to feel? 

My Soul 


The walls are dark 

Painted with sin 

Depression and darkness is 

Just the start 

It goes further, so deep within. 

Pain, chaos and love 

These thoughts these feelings 

Are what shrouds my mind. 

Pain is just 

It comes so easily 

But it is so hard to be rid of 

Day in and day out 

There is no escape 

At least not for me 

For others it is a piece of cake 


It runs the world 

It runs our lives 

But within chaos 

There could be no order 


The greatest feeling in 

The world 

What everyone deserves 

What I've spent my life 

Searching for what 1 have found 

My only device 

My dearest desire 

The one who stole my heart 

Whom I am engaged to and will 

Marry someday. 

Pain, chaos, and love 

Without one 1 would 

Not be complete 

Our souls are all different 

Mine was black 

But now it is grey 

When 1 get out it will shine 

A bright white from the rain. 


From The Beat: If these three things affect everyone in life, how do 
happy, healthy people work around them? How does someone avoid 
pain and chaos while loving themselves? We think you should ponder 
on this a while. 


/J£/ // 

Appreciation For Mv Mom 

X I iWy Place 

The person that should be recognized is my mom 
because she is always there for me. She is the one who 
cooks for me, provides me clothes, and shelter. She loves 
me and I love her. 

I am in the JJC for things I am accused of, but I don't 
think that I did. My mom is really hurt over it. She should 
be recognized though, for keeping me in line and doing 
all her hard work. 


From The Beat: We are glad that you have someone to help Iceep you in 
line sks you say, and we wonder what you are doing to honor her and 
help her to have hope and faith in you sks well? 


We'ii iHai(e It 

When I think of you, 1 think of we. 

You are the only one that keeps me sane. 

When I am locked up or out free. 

Inside 1 live in eternal flames. 

You cheated once, can it happen again? 

When you are upset 1 tend to cheer you, 

When I am distant, I run near you. 

When you are emotional, I show you remorse. 

I held you down, I held you up, 

When you needed I held you with force. 

Im'a hold you here, Im'a hold you there, 

Im'a hold you no matter the reasons. 

Hot, cold, winter, fall, 

Im'a hold you no matter the seasons. 

Just hold me in your heart like I have you. 

And I promise we'll make it together times two. 

-Nate One 

From The Beat: Thanhs for sharing with The Beat. Your beats have 
passion behind them and we would like to hear what you are passionate 
about for yourself sks well. 

A Brotlier's Love 

I have an older brother who is always trying to tell me 
how to do things to keep me out of trouble, but I have 
never listened to him. 

If 1 could go back in time I would listen to my brother, 
because he was telling me how to not get locked up, but I 
didn't listen and so now I am here. 

I want to go to him now and tell him that I am sorry 
for not taking his advice. When I get out, I will listen to 
what he tells me from now on. 


From The Beat: Your brother sounds like he really cares about you and 
we hope that you do tell and show him that you respect his advice, 
when you get out. 

Hatiflo Tills Place 

On the outs, I felt good and relieved in life. When I came 
here though, I felt sick and disgusted. I can't believe that 
let myself in this place. I feel that I have let myself down. 

Man, this place ain't no joke, so those of you that are 
reading this, keep yourselves out of here, 'cause I just got 
committed to a boot camp and doing a whole year in that 


From The Beat: The good thing about making mistakes is that you have 
the opportunity to learn from them and to do things differently the 
next time around. Being human comes with making mistakes, being nn 
adult comes with trying to prevent mistaices from happening the best 
that we can. 


at I f 


The place for me is my neighborhood. It's nice and quiet 
there and I can smoke. Once we are done smoking we can 
mob it around to the stores in our hood. We can stop and 
eat some munchies, and go to a park or a school to hang 
out. That's a nice day in my neighborhood. 


From The Beat: There has to be more productive things that you can get 
involved in with your neighborhood. What can you and your friends do 
in your hood to make it a safer place, because doing drugs in it, is not 

Which Is Easier? 

Is life easier in here or on the outs? I would say that 
life is easier in the hall because when you are locked up 
you have a set program and the work in the classroom is 
easier and all you have to do is to sleep and eat and follow 
the rules. So if a kid bum would want to get a free meal all 
they would have to do is to get locked up in the JJC. 

And when you are on the outs you have to worry about 
getting shot or stabbed or jumped, etc. Also, you have to 
worry about food and shelter, if you don't have a house, (I 
thank the Lord that I do) because you need somewhere to 
sleep at night. 


From The Beat: Living on the outs Is tough, no one can argue with that. 
But there are so many great things that come with freedom. Having 
the freedom to refuse to be in skn environment where bad things can 
happen to you is a right of all Americans, and life is more worth living 
if you are the one in control of the agenda of your own life instead of 
the system. 



I I finally realized that the life I have been living for the 
last three years is not for me. That life would be in the 
JJC. At first it did not bug me but as I got older it got 
boring. Especially because I can see how it affects my 
mom and other loved ones. Now I am in the JJC doing the 
maximum time of confinement. Now when I get out I can 
start my life over again. 

-Lir Man 

From The Beat: Three years is a long time, but it^ nothing compared to 
the time you can have living a happy healthy life when you get out. 
But you need to take steps to make that happen. So what will you do 

It's Easier Belog Free 

What's up with The Beat? 

Well to me, it would be easier to live out there because 
I am a new man and I have grown up a little bit. 

But a couple of months ago, I would have said that it 
was easier to live in here because 1 was out of control out 
there and put myself into danger. I could have been killed 
dealing with drugs and a lot of other things that I used 
to do. I used to not eat right, and the hall gave me three 
meals a day and taught me that I need to eat better to feel 

So I think that if you are on the outs and messing 
with drugs and other shhh, it would be better for you to 
be in the hall, even though I will admit that all the things 
that 1 used to do were fun, but just not worth it in the 


From The Beat: Sometimes it taices going in the hall to realize how 
things could be different on the outside and it sounds liice you have hit 
that point. What do you plan to do on the outs to show the world that 
you are a changed man? 



//// // 

Livino My Life 

The life I live is crazy. 

Sometimes I feel good and others I feel bad. 
Right now I sit in the Hall and just try to be me. 
People want to judge me because they don't know me. 
I wonder if life could be different because it is crazy. 
I still remain a gangsta though. 

My mama tried to teach me right, but I guess the street 
took over. 


From The Beat: We wonder if you being gangsta has anything to do 
with why your life is crazy, and we want to know what you think life 
would be like if you weren't? 

A Cursed Life 

My life has been cursed because every time I try to do 
good, bad things happen, and sometimes good. I hope I 
can figure it out before it is too late. 

I was doing well for several months but then I made 
a mistake and the charges came and life got worse and 
worse. I still want to try to do good even though I have no 
hope or faith. The only thing that keeps me going is my 
family. I hope that they are a good enough reason to get 
me though, and keep me out of trouble. 

-Mister H 

From The Beat: Having hope and faith in yourself is something you 
do seem to have even though you may not see it. Family is a good 
motivator, and sometimes being there for them mz well, will bring good 
things in turn. 

■" I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 



When you have a friend, you give her your jacket. 
When you have a girl friend, you give her a love bite. 
When you have a wife you give her a ring. 
But this girl has my heart! 

-Love Sick 

From The Beat: Having a significant other gives us someone to relate 
to and to care for beside ourselves; we would liice to hear what you are 
doing to show your appreciation of others through tailing care of your 
life too. 

Deitt Dn M) Bitk 


Over the years, I didn't know what was going on, but 
death was on my back. After that I got locked up, and that 
is a fact. I went to court, sat down and listened, but didn't 
say a word. My mom always told me to listen but it went 
in one ear and out the other. Back in the day I listened 
and skated, and never thought I would smoke. I want to 
get death off my back but I don't know how. Please help. 


From The Beat: It sounds like you already know what to do. Back when 
you listened and you had healthy hobbies you were happier right? What 
does that tell you now? 

There's Places To Be 

If you want to go to a place where there will be no sorrow, 
pain, lust, thieves, or hatred, then give your life to the 
Lord and you will have that place. It's not guaranteed on 
Earth, but it will be in heaven. So just believe and stay 
faithful, because you will never know when your time will 


From The Beat: How does someone give their life to the Lord? What 
does that mean, and how does It help us get through life on Earth if we 
may not see its benefits while we are here? 

I Pray Tor Help 


Every day I pray to God to forgive me for my sins. I hope 
that he will give me another chance to go back to my 
parents and show them that I love them. 

Every morning when I wake up I think at first that I 
am at home, but then realize I am locked up in my cell. I 
am hoping that my mom and dad are doing good as I pray 
for help. 

- Homesick Kid 

From The Beat: Keep your head up Kid, trust that you have the strength 
to face anything and use every experience h% ah opportunity to show 
how courageous and resilient you are no matter what the outcome of 
your offense may be in the end. 

Hert Forlkt koliliis 


Time isn't worth wasting between these doors. Be easy 
and stay up. Being in this place makes me want to step 
up my game. I am wasting my time locked up instead of 
handling my shhh the legit way. I am telling ail the others 
to be with your family during the holidays instead of out 
on the streets, or you will end up spending them like I 
am. Think before you act and happy holidays. 

-Pretty Boy Bookman 

From The Beat: Thanks for sharing. We would like to hear what you plan 
to do to step up your game? Others may benefit from hearing the steps 
that you might take. 

My Place 


The jungle is where I want to be so that I can be free 
and run around naked. I will be so happy because I am 
surrounded by beautiful trees and animals. I want to live 
like Tarzan, ride tigers, and keep a Tucan for a pet. I want 
to swing from trees and be the king of the jungle and beat 
my chest at the top of a mountain. 


From The Beat: It^ good to have an imagination, sometimes it helps us 
to get through hard times, but we wonder what you could do to turn 
this fantasy into something productive? Are you saying that you like 
animals and would like to be around them? 

There's A Place Tor Me 

People say that others will go no where in life. People 

get greedy because they want more and more. My place 

though, is with my girl, outside of this cement box. There 

is a place for everyone. 

-Lir H 
From The Beat: Sometimes people put others down because they lack 
faith in themselves. So what can you do to show people that they can 
be wrong? 



//// // 

Guando Estoy Aqui 

X [AlflonDia 

Cuando estoy afuera me puedo poner la talla que yo 
quiero y el color que quiero, pero cuando estas encerrado 
no mas te hacen poner lo que los stuff quieren. Te dan 
ropa m-s chicas y el color mas feo y usas la misma ropa 
de los dem-s. 

From The Beat: £f cual vida es la que prefieres una vez que saigas de 
aqui? Sera el mismo? 

When I Am Here 

When I am on the outs, I can wear any size of clothing I 
want and any color I want. But, when you're inside, the 
staffs make you wear what they want. They give you very 
small clothes to wear and the worst type too. You also use 
the same clothes others wear. 

-Oso, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: So, which life do your prefer when you get out? Would 
it be the same? 

El Nuevo Presidente 

Esta bien que le hayan dado la oportundiad de ser 
presidente de este pais y asi mirar si esta preparado 
para ese gran cargo que se le da. Hay que ver si tiene la 
capacidad de sacar este pais adelante. 

Muchas personas estan sorpendidas porque no creian 
que un hombre de color iba a hacer el presidente de este 

Puede ser que las cosas scan mejor que las que hizo el 
presidente Bush porque el tiene muchas ideas buenas. 

From The Beat: Eso es lo que esperamos. Esperamos que llegue lograr lo 
que prometio. ^Y t>, cuales son tus promesas? 

The New President 

I think it's fine to me that he was given an opportunity 
to be president of this country and that way we can see 
if he is prepared to this big challenge that was given to 
him. We need to see if he is able to make this country 

There are many people who are surprised because 
they never believed that a colored man was going to 
become the president of this country. 

He may do better things than president Bush because 
he has better ideas. 

-Jose, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We hope he gets to accomplish what he promised. What 
are your promises? 

I I M I I M M I M I M M 

Mi Pian 


Mi plan es salir para ir a la playa con mi bebe, luego 
Uebarlo a la tiendas a comprales jjgetes, luego llebarlo a 
la casa, llebarlo al parque y gurar soccer, ybasketball. Me 
gustaria comprar tamales y chips. 

From The Beat: Nos parece buenas Idas. Esperamos que llegues a hacer 
eso y mucho maas. Tii bebe se lo merece. 

illiy Pian 

My plan is to get out to go to the beach with my kid, later 
take him to the stores to buy him toys, take him home, to 
the park to play soccer, basketball. I would also buy some 
tamales and chips. 

-Tony, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: They sound like good ideas to us. We hope you get the 
chance to do all that and much more. Your baby deserves it. 



Que onda raza! No se aguiten paisas. Algtin dia vamos a 
tener que salir de aqui. Las rejas se abren solas. Todos 
sufrimos esta vida y si no sumfrimos nunca aprendemos. 
Asi que ponganle muchas ganas y que Dios es el unico 
que puede ayudar a uno a salir pronto de aqui. 

From The Beat: Gracias por tus palabras. Recuerda que tambiEn se tiene 
que poner de su parte para poder salir adelante y no dejar todo en las 
manos de Dios. 

Snme Day 

What's up my people! Don't worry friends. Some day we 
will get out of here. The bars open by itself. We all suffer 
this life and if we never suffer, we never learn. So, keep 
going and know that God is the only one who can help us 
get out of here soon. 

-Loney Boy, Marin 

From The Beat: Thanks for your words. But, always remember that 
you also have to make an effort to make things better, not just leave 
everything on God's hands. 


Hay Que Enfrentar Tus Prniiienias 

Yo pienso que correr de tus problemas es algo tonto 
porque siempre va a llegar el momento cuando tengas 
que enfrentar tus problemas. 

Una ve que escuches a alguien mensionar lo que 
puedes hacer hoy, no lo dejes para mafiana. Yo pienso 
que es mejor tratar de arregiarlos y uir de ellos. 

From The Beat: ^A que conclusion llegastes para aprender esto? £Ser- 
esta experiencia que estas viviendo? 0Y t- le estas buscando solucion a 
tus problemas? 

Is Better Tn Cnnfrnnt Ynur Prniiienis 

I think running away from your problems is something 
dumb because it will always be the moment when you will 
have to confront your problems. 

Once your hear someone mentioned what you can do 
today, don't leave it for tomorrow. 1 think it's better to try 
to solve the problems than running away from them. 

-Younster, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: What made you realized this? Is it due to the experience 
you are going through right now? Are you looking for solutions to your 

I I I I I I 


11 I i i I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 


This week I'm gonna write about drugs en vez de 
pandillas. I think drugs and gangs are the same because 
they just make you a pipero (pipe user). Te hacen actuar 
de diferente formas y hasta aveces te hacer hacerle dano 
a otras personas (They make you act in different ways 
and sometimes it make you hurt others) I never been in a 
gang, but yeah I've been in drugs. 

I would say that drugs make you do wrong things in 
your life. At the begginig, you always say that you can 
control it, but the truth is that drugs no me controla, eso 
era lo que yo decia (it doesn't controlled me, but that was 
what I thought) At the end, I found out that drugs me 
estaban controlando, so mi consejo es que no hagas a las 
drogas (were controlling me, so my advice to you is not to 
do drugs. 

-Tonster, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: You know what drugs do to us. What are your plans 
after realizing this? Thank you for your advice and er hope you stay 
away from drugs as well. 


// /////// 

//// // 

La Vida Afuera 

Pues, todo bien, sabemos que afuera as la mejor vida porque 
aqui tu vida la tienes privada y mas que nada, no tienes cosas las 
cuales quieres. Yo tengo 9 meses aqui en USA pero por desgracia 
cahi aqui y extraOo la vida de afuera, todo lo que tenia. 

Todo lo que encontre cuando llegue, lo tengo privado. Lo que 
m-s me duele es mi novia porque ella es lo que m-s amo en mi 
vida. La verdad es que ya no aguanto estar todo este tiempo sin 
ella ya que con ella pase buenos momentos en mi vida y por eso 
la quiero un chingo. ExtraOo todo las cosas que juntos pasamos 
y por eso es que siento que mi vida aqui no vale nada. Quiero 
salir y estar con ella toda mi vida porque ella me ha demostrado 
cuanto me quiere. 

Todos aqui sufrimos por algo y eso es por lo que sufro yo. Yo 
sufro porque extrano a mi baby. Cada dla que me llegan cartas de 
ella, me pongo a Uorar por todo lo que ella me dice. Yo quisiera 
poder estar con ella este 20 de Noviembre que es mi cumpleafios. 
Ella es todo para mi. 

Espero en Dios pronto salir y no volver a cometer los mismos 
errores que cometi. 

Aqui estoy con unos homies y mi primo por el mismo delito. 
Espero en Dios pronto salir y cumplir mis sueOos que son 
terminar high school y tener un trabajo para poder ser alguiEn 
en la vida. 

Esta es mi primera vez y ultima porque no creo volver aqui. 
Todo este tiempo que Uebo aqui es lo peor de mi vida. Ya estoy 
sin mi girl que tanto amo. Todo el mundo se me pone de cabeza 
al pensar en lo que estarla haciendo con ella. 

Bueno, mis saludos para todos mis homies. Piensen bien las 
cosas antes de hacerlas porque los aparta de sus vidas que tanto 
quieren y de las personas que amas. Por eso la vida afuera es 
mejor. Gocenla mientras puedan y aprovechen todo los instantes 
porque luego pueden caer en la piche juvenile. 

From The Beat: Lo bueno es que tendras otra oportunidad de salir de 
esta c-rcel y poder realizar tus suehos. Si tanto quieres a esa muchacha, 
deberias de luchar y hacer lo correcto para conservarla. Se nota que 
has aprendido de esta lecciUn y que haras mejor para mejorar tu vida 
y estar con las personas que mas amas. Nadie te esta deteniendo para 
que cumpias lo que quieras. O ^^h que tienes el camino libre, entonces 
deberias de contruir tu camino a la victoria. 

The Life On The Outs 

Well, it's all good, we know that out side life is better because 
in here you are deprived everything and you don't have the 
things you want. I've been in the USA for 9 months thank God. 
Unfortunately 1 came here and I miss the life on the outs because 
there 1 had it all. 

I all I gained since 1 got here, are deprived from me. What 
hurts me the most is my girl, because she is what 1 love the 
most. The truth is that 1 can't handle anymore to be without her 
anymore because I spent so many good moments with her in my 
life and that's why I love her a lot. 1 miss all the things that we 
used to do together and that's why 1 feel like my life isn't worth 
it. I want to get out and be with her all my life because she has 
showed me how much she loves me 

We all suffer for something and that's why I'm suffering. 1 
suffer because I miss my babe. Every time 1 get letters, 1 cry 
for all the things she says to me. 1 wish 1 to be with her this 
November 20th for my birthday. She is all for me. 

I hope in God to get out soon and never commit the same 
mistakes I made. 

Here 1 am with some homies and my cousin for the same 
crime. 1 hope in God to get out soon and make my dreams come 
true that are to finish high school, and get a job that can make 
me be somebody in life. 

This is my first and last time because I'm not coming back 
here. All the time I've been here has been the worst of my life. 
I am without my girl who 1 love the most. That's why life on the 
outs is better. Enjoy it while you can and enjoy everything that 
comes your way because you can get back into juvenile hall. 

-Jenni-Joe, Santa Clara 
From The Beat: The Good thing about your situation is that you will 
get another chance to get out of the halls and be able to realize your 
dreams. If you really want that girl, you should fight for her and do 
what's correct to keep her. It is noticeable that you have learned your 
lesson and at least, you will tiy to better your life and be with the 
person you love. Nobody is holding you back from making anything 
you desire a reality. In other words, you got a long way to go. So start 
building your way to victory. 

Esta Experiencia 

He tornado decisiones estupidas y la verdad es que 
me ha ido mas o menos mal, pero le doy gracias a Dios 
porque todavia estoy vivo. Le pido a Dios todos los dias 
que me de una oportunidad de salir de aqui porque la 
verdad es que no me gustaria volver a este lugar. A mi 
corta edad, esta es una de las experiencias mas feas que 
me ha pasado. 

Voy a ser lo mejor de mi vida y voy a cambiar las 
decisiones malas que he hecho. Voy a trabajar, y voy a 
tratar de ser alguien en la vida. No quiero causar mas 
preocupasiones a mis padres. 

From The Beat: Esas palabras, "voy a tratar" no nos convence. Mejor 
di "lo voy a hacer". De que vuelvas a este lugar todo depende de las 
decisiones que llegues a tomar. Aprende de las experiencias que te 
estan pasando. 

This Experience 

I've made so many stupid decisions and the truth is that 
things had gone not so good, but 1 still give my thanks 
to God for being alive. I ask God everyday to give me an 
opportunity to get out of here because the truth is that I 
wouldn't like to come back here. In my short age, this is 
one of the worse experiences I've gone through. 

I'm going to do the best of my life and try not to commit 
wrong decisions I've done. I'm going to work, and try to 
be someone in life. I don't want to cause more worries to 
my parents. 

-Alex, San Francisco 

From The Beat: These words, "I'm going to try" doesn't sound convincing! 
You should say, "I'm going to do it." Whether you come back or stay out, 
it's a decision that only you can make. Learn from the experiences you 
are going through. 

I Love You 

Te amo tanto tanto tanto 
me hace falta, tanta falta 
mis noches son pesadillas 
me voy a quitarme la vida 
y a ponerme serca de tu cama 
para estar contigo Kimberly 
y el viento me trae tu besos 
y miisica a que oiga 
los besos que me distes 
amor ya no sufras mas 
esto se va a realizar. 

From The Beat:Huinm, que extrano poema! Que es lo que se va a relizar? 
Solo estamos de curioso! 

Te Aflio 

I love you so much, so much, so much 

I miss you, I miss you 

my nights are nightmares 

I'm going to take my life away for you 

and stay near your bed 

to be with you Kimberly 

the wind brings me your kisses 

and music so I can listen to 

the kisses that you gave me 

my love, don't suffer anymore 

this will become a reality 

-Anonymous, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Humm, what a weird poem! What's going to become a 
reality? Just being curios! 





//// // 

Reoresar Un DIa Antes 

Bueno, al tiempo que quisiera regresar es a un dia antes 
de salir de mi casa. Si no me hubiera salido, no estubiera 
aqui y estubiera celebrando mi cumpleanos que es hoy 
el 2o de Noviembre. Mirenme donde estoy, en la pinche 
juvenile pagando todos los errores que he cometido. 

Si pudiera regresar el tiempo, lo haria para no tener 
tantos problemas, pasarmela con mi familia. Pues tenia 
15 anos sin estar sin ellos y hoy que los encontre no 
puedo verlos porque les pague mal y no puedo hacer 

Quiero decirle a todos los homies que se pongan 
truchas, que no hagan cosas que no van. Yo quiero salir y 
terminar high school y tener un buen trabajo. 

Regresaria el tiempo a esa fecha en la que no tenia 
problemas con nadie y salir adelante con la ayuda de 
mi efuerzo. Ese es mi plan, salir y hecharle ganas a la 

No quiero ser malo, pues nunca lo he sido. Hechenle 
ganas a todos que lean esto y van a ver que si es verdad 
que se puede. Se los dice un buen amigo que ya paso por 
lago gacho. No caigan en las drogas. Es bueno vivir sin 
drogas. Bueno al rato y saludos a todos. 

From The Beat: Ya legrear el tiempo no puedes hacerlo, pero si puedes 
hacer cosas que no pudistes hacer reaiidad una vez que saigas de aqui- 
como obtener una buena educacion y un buen trabajo. Lo bueno es 
que esta experiencia te ha ayudado a ver tus errores y te ha dirigido a 
la entrada de una nuevo empezar para una nueva vida. Cuale son tus 
otros planes? 

To Go Back A Day Before 

Well, 1 would like to turn back time to a day before I left 
the house. 1 hadn't gone out, 1 wouldn't be here and I 
would be celebrating my birthday today, November 2nd. 
But, look at where I am, in this damn juvenile hall paying 
for the mistakes I've made. 

If 1 can turn back time, I would do it to avoid many 
problem I have now, and spend time with my family. 1 
spent fifteen years without them and now that I found 
them, I can't be with them because 1 failed them and 1 
can't do anything about it. 

I want to tell ail my homies to be careful, not to do 
things that aren't right. 1 want to get out to finish high 
school and have a good job. 

I wish I could turn back time to the time when I didn't 
have any problems with anyone and be able to succeed by 
my own. That's my plan, to get out and make an effort in 
my studies. 

I don't want to be bad even though I've never been bad. 
Keep going on to those who read this and you will see 
that you can make it. This is said by a friend that already 
went through the hard ones. Don't end up in drugs. It's 
good to live without them. Well, see you later, and my 
greetings to all. 

-Jenny Joe, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: To turn back time might be something impossible to 
do, but you can do things you couldn't do once you get out of here- 
getting a good education and a good job. The good thing of all is that 
this experience has opened your ayes to see your mistakes and gave 
you the entrance of finding a new start to a better life. What are your 
others plans? 

I I I I I t I 

J L 

I I I 


Estaodo Aqoi 

Hola homies, les saluda su cuate Daniel. Pues mi 
historia es asl. Tengo poco tiempo que llegue aqui a la 
juvenile y me estoy dando cuenta de todo lo dificil que es 
estar adentro y no poder estar alia afuera. 

Cuando llegue aqui, deje a mi girl y extraiio estar con 
ella, pasandoa bien sin broncas. No regresar nunca mas 
aqui porque no quiero sufrirm-s. 

Les doy este consejo a todos los homie que estan 
leyendo mi historia: cuando salgan no cometan los 
mismos errores que hemos cometido. 

Bueno, cada jueves estaran escuchando mas de mi triste historia. 
£Que piensas hacer ahora que te distes cuenta de lo duro que es estar 
aqui adentro? Esperamos y hayas aprendido de tu leccion. 

Beiflo Here 

Hi homies, this is your friend, Daniel. My story starts like 
this. I came here not too long ago, and I am realizing how 
hard it is to be here and not be able to be on the outs. 

When I got here, I left my girl who 1 miss to hang 
without any problems. I don't want to come back here 
anjrmore because I don't want to suffer anymore. 

I'm going to give this advice to all the homies who are 
reading my story: when you get out to never commit the 
same mistakes we have made. 

OK guys, you'll be hearing more about my sad story 

-I/iros, San Francisco 

From The Beat: What are your plans now that you've realized how hard 
it is to be in here? We hope you had learned your lesson? 

Mejor Hobiera Corrido 

Ahora estoy en la carcel porque estaba kickiandola con 
los homies. Pos mejor me hubiera quedado dormido en 
mi casa dormido. Ahora pienso que hubiera corrido de la 
policia y ahorita no tubiera en prision. 

La gente me decla que me parezco a un callejero 
porque todo el dla andaba en la calles kickiandola con 
los homies. No hacia caso a mi madre. Ella aveces Uoraba 
y me decla que si querla terminar en la carcel pero la 
neta es que mi hermano y yo somos asl. Se que se aguita 
porque estamos en prisiUn. 

From The Beat: Ciaro que la gente va a pensar mal de ti, que no has 
escuchado el dicho que dice, "dime con quien andas y te dire quien 
eres."No crees que tu madre ya ha sufrido mucho por ti y tu hermano. Es 
ese el tipo de aprecio que se merece por ustedes? 

I Shoold Have Boo 

I am in jail because I was kicking it with my homies. I 
wish I had stayed sleeping at home. Now, I think I should 
have run from the streets and 1 wouldn't be in prison. 

People tell me I look like a thug because I would be 
kicking with the homies on the streets. She would cry 
and used to tell me 1 wanted to end up in jail. The truth 
is that my brothers I am like this. I know she gets sad 
because we are in prison. 

-Lir Duende, Santa Clara 

From The Beat:Of course people are going to thinic wrong about you. 
Haven't you heard the saying that goes, "tem me who hang with and I'll 
tell you who you." Don't you think your mother has suffered so much 
about you and your brother? Is this how you appreciate what she has 
done for you and all her suffering caused by you and your brother? 


Mi Jaina 

Pues ahora voy a escribir acerca de mi haina aunque 
ahorita este enojada conmigo. Se dio cuenta que estaba 
con otra cuando estaba afuera y me siento triste. 

Yo le habia prometido que nunca le iba hacer Uorar 
otra vez. No pude retener mi palabra, pero ahora tengo 
que aceptar las consecuencias aunque aun la amo. Ella 
decidio dejarme pero ojala y piense las cosas bien y se 
decida a regresar conmigo. Ella sabe que la amo. 

From The Beat: Si ella te quiere, te dara esa oportunidad y si no tienes 
que aceptar la realidad. Tu fuistes la quien la rego. Ella se debe sentir 
bien dolita. Esta en ella que te perdone.Dinos cosa, si fuera ella la que 
te hublese fiecho infiel, la perdonaras? 

My Girl 

Well, I'm going to write about my giri even though she is 
mad at me right now. She found out I was cheating on her 
with another girl and 1 feel sad about it. 

had promised her that I was never going to make cry 
again. I couldn't keep my word, but now I have to accept 
the consequences even though I love her. She decided to 
leave me, but I hope she thinks about it and decide to give 
another chance. She knows I love her. 

-Anonsrmous, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: if she loves you, she might give you another chance, 
but if she doesn't you should accept the reality. You were the one who 
messed it up anyways. She might feel hurt, it's all up to her. Tell us 
something, if it was her who cheated on you, would you forgive her? 


Hayo Lo Que Quiero 

Yo siempre hago lo que quiero aunque a nadie le guste. 
Ahora estoy en el sistema y tengo que seguir las reglas 
para poder estar en el nivel A. Siempre trato de hacer las 
cosas bien para que no me esten cagando el palo. 

From The Beat: No solo te deberlas de portarte bien aqui adentro sino 
afuera tambien afuera para evitar caer a estos lugares. No crees? 

I Do Wiiat I Want 

I always do what I want even if nobody likes it. Now I am 
in the system and I have to follow the rules to get to A 
level. 1 always try to do things right in here, so they won't 
mess with me. 

-Crikri, No Unit 

From The Beat: You should also do your best in behaving well on the 
outs not just here to avoid coming to this place. Don't you think so? 

// /////// 

//// // 


Mis Pensamientos Solire Dos Temas 

Bueno yo creo que esta bien que Obama haya ganado 
estas elecciones. Espero que haya un mejor gobierno 
que el de George W. Bush quizcer. Espero que nos den 
derechos a los imigrantes, que hayan nuevos proyectos 
para que ayuden a los Latinos. Queremos que haya un 
verdadero cambio en EEUU. Ya estamos arto del racismo, 
queremos que toda la gente camine con la frente en alta 
sin pensar que alguien le va a querer hacer algun dafio. 
Queremos que se terminen las pandillas, que hayan 
buenos proyectos para acabar con todo lo que nos hacen 
mal. Ojala y Obama traiga el camino. 

Creo que lo primero que uno ve al entrar a una pandilla 
es que todo va a ser divertido, que vas a beber, fumar, ir 
a fiestas, y creo que el mundo es tuyo. Pero uno se da 
cuenta que le esta destruyendo la vida a los demas y la 
vida de uno mismo. Todo termina cuando llega un policia, 
te arresta y termina todo. Ahi es cuando dispiertas de la 
realidad de todo lo malo que andas haciendo. 

Recuerdo cuando ibamos con mis homies a buscar 
personas que aveces solo llebaban poco de dinero para 
comer, y se los quitabamos. Eso es algo que no volviera 
a hacerlo. Bueno amigos, alejensen de las pandillas. Un 
saludo a mis amigos. 

From The Beat: Ojala y este presidente llegue a hacer muchas cosas y 
mas. Personas con tus pensamientos es lo que necesitamos para ayudar 
a nuestra gente. Tii deberias de prepararte y llegar a zew un cambio aqui. 
Nada es imposible. Puedes y llegues a tomar un cargo bien importante 
en el pais, como Arnold Schwarzenegger. Gracias por tus consejos sobre 
las pandillas, esperamos y muchos aprendan de tu consejo y mensaje. 
Lo bueno de todo es que estas arrepentidos de tus actos y que ya ha 
cambiado tu forma de pensar. Gracias y sique escribiendonos. 

My Tlioooiits Alioot Two Topics 

Well, I think it's fine that Obama won the elections. I 
hope me make a better government that George W. Bush 
tried to make. I hope they give immigrants some rights, 
and to create new projects to help the Latinos. We want 
a big change in the US. We are tired of racism we want all 
people walk with their heads up without fearing getting 
harm. We want the gangs to end, to have new projects to 
eliminate everything that hurt us. 1 hope Obama creates 
the road. 

I think the first thing you think before getting into 
a gang is that everything will be fun, that you will drink, 
smoke, and I think the world is yours. Everything ends 
come the cops come, get arrested and everything ends. 
That's when you wake up to reality from all the bad you 
are doing. 

I remember when 1 used to kick it with my homies and 
take away the money of those who bearly had something 
to eat. That's something I wouldn't do over again. Well 
my friends, stay away from gangs and my greetings to you 

-Rosny, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We hope this president maice this happen and more. 
People who thinic Mice you are what we need to help our people. 
You should prepare yourself with a good education to become a very 
important person in this country liice Arnold Schwarzenegger, but try 
to be better than him. Thank you for your advice about gangs and we 
hope many of you get your message. The good things of all are that 
you regretful of your actions and have changed your ways of thinicing. 
Thank you and keep writing us. 

n/ifji/ff/fi/M. /// ////#/ //. // //// // 

^T^^wMmmmfi^ mm/ ' f / /// / / 

'UfXL,LXf¥M ^aMnsan' 

Have You Learned? 

You sit here dreaming 

While the others are really asleep 

You're soul searching 

Attempting to figure out if you have what it takes to keep 

Things from going wrong again 

So many mistakes in the past 

Have you really learned it? 

You question, "Have I really learned it?" 

Because freedom is just around the corner 

From the corner where you used to stand hustlin' 

Right down the street from where your man got shot and 


Right up the block from where you stay 

I mean sleep 

Because you don't live there 

Just a borrowed cot 

Right across the street from where the woman you get 


with lives 

Who is trying to quit crack by becoming an alcoholic 

While the streets and television raise her children 

Just a phone call away from that holding cell 

Requesting that your "boys" raise money for your bail 

Only a paddy wagon trip away 

From state road where you sit lonely, hungry, and cold 

Herded from holding cell to holding cell 

Sleeping on floors and hard wood benches 

Ain't bathed in three days 

Right beneath B2-1 where they ship you to spend 26 days 

in quarantine 

Just a week away from CJC (criminal justice center) 

Where you get found guilty 

And sentenced to five years upstate 


What the *#%! is that? 

Violation of the uniform firearm act 

Now you're only a van ride away from grater fort 

Yellow jump suits 

Staring out of the window at that huge concrete wall 

360 degrees everywhere you turn 

"Where do you want your body sent?" 

State # GR8416 

One envelope away 

From her eyes burning and face tear streaked 

Your female just received your mail 

(Just) a day before that blue goose transport 

Idiotic black box 

Has your hands trapped uncomfortably for that two hour 

Ride to Camp Hill 

Just two days away from being classified 

Going from blues to browns 

A day away from working in the kitchen 

For 19 cents and hour 

And a 4:30am wake-up call 

Just ten minutes away from shuffling to work 

And seeing me write my life's story out on scraps of 


As you sit at the table to eat your morning meal 

With lifer's eye's looking at you 

With an unspoken question 

Piercing your soul 

Freedom is just around the corner 

"Have you learned?" 

Our next writer is sending us these brilliant pieces from Camp 
Hill, Pennsylvania. William is a first time writer for The Beat, and 
we're glad that he stumbled on our publication. He delivers some very 
powerful pieces skz he gets deep, deep like the bottom of the Atlantic. 
His poems are detailed with descriptive similes and metaphors. Read 
between the lines. We are proud to introduce you to Mr. William 

Hello The Beat, 

My name is William Johnson and I am incarcerated at 
SCI-CAMP HILL in PA. This is my first entry and it shall 
not be my last. I learned of your publication through word 
of mouth, and I decided to check you guys out. Upon 
receiving your publication I was pleasantly surprised by 
the entries of all the incarcerated youths. 

To them I speak: Your work is good, minds are strong, 
and your future is bright. Continue to shine in those dark 
places and allow GOD to guide you; not self because self 
is unwise and foolish. Look at where it has gotten us. 
So with every new day, rectify the wrongs of yesterday, 
dismantle the thinking that has landed us here, and let 
us build ourselves mentally and spiritually. 

I love you all with the kind of love a prisoner has for 
freedom. Keep Pushin" You'll make iti 

Post script: I hope you all enjoy my poetic favor. At 
times you will be able to see through my work how I may 
have been feeling that day or week. What I hope is that 
you all will be able to relate to some of my works and 
grow off of them. PEACE. 

I Thouoht I Needed 

I saw 

That I was spending a lot of my time 

With the concerns of this world 

Investing in frivolous practices 

Money, drugs, sports, entertainment, and recreation 

All in an useless attempt to obtain a "wholeness" 

To feel happy and complete 

But it was all for nada (nothing, naught) 

I spent 29 years wasting time 

For nothing in this world can satisfy me 

You see I was fooled 

Thinking it was all about me 

How can I be made happy? 


And loved? 

When it was never about me 

It is about GOD 

Writing poems about lost love 

Chasing a high 

Or just trying to satisfy myself 

I was busy 

Preoccupied with gain 

Yet steadily losing 


Unable to see the light 


Unable to hear the truth 

Until I stumbled and fell 

Five years incarceration 

Ran concurrent with the love of my life leaving me 

Because she 

Just like I 

Thinks it's all about ME. 

n/ifji/ff/fi/M. ffii ///M/ //. // //// // 

9/^?nf7M/MM BmMk/ ' >^ //// // 

'MXL,L,Tf7M ^UHnsnn cnnr. ' 

Slave To rreedoiii 

Freedom calls 

Beckoning from behind closed doors 

Windows that never open give off false perceptions 

I see right through you 

Yet 1 still can't see freedom 

What I see are lies 

And barely visible chains that have minds bound 

In bondage to false precepts 

Have faith in a lie is like copulating with an AID's victim 

Believing that you are safe 

Yet not knowing that there are microscopic tears in your 


Need I say more? 

Freedom is a lie 

And we are all slaves to it. 


Cigarette in hand 

Pen in the other 

Staring at four yellow 


Brain pacin' 

Conscience idling over the 


"I should have listened" 

To whom? 

All the people (aboard my 


Trying hard to steer me 


Of the obstacles of street 


But I didn't listen and 

wrecked the ship 

Now I'm stranded in a 

prison cell 

All alone 

On an island full of time 

To ponder my wrongs 

With 1825 days to decide, 

plan, implement 

This time MUST be my 


I'm the captain of this 



And although the weather 

(right now) is gloomy 

The sun will shine again 

Providing me with another 

chance to set sail 

On this journey through 


This time I will listen 

I will not fail! 

Will you? 


Sentenced to face reality 


Without the fleeting devices of the gratification of me 

But that is when I heard 

Heard what I've been deaf to for all these years 

I still small voice 

Saying, "Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy 

laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and 

learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you 

win find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-30) 

And I needed that voice and came 

For I was so tired 

In need of that rest 

And as I drew closer 

I began to see 

A light 

That shined brighter 

And brighter the closer I came 

My blind eyes were opened 

I was no longer a prisoner 

In a bondage to self 

For the love of God had set me free 

He came into my heart 

And filled my void 

With a love that completed me 

Brought hope 

Freedom and trust 

Now, I no longer try things by my own means 

Now that I can see and hear 

I seek the light in all I do 

I let God guide me 

For everything that I was trying 

To gain on my own 

For the last 29 years 

Love, happiness, and financial stability 

Are all mine through God 

Matthew 6:33. 


To The Beat Withio aod To Those Gifted aod 
Taleoted Writers: 

My gratitude to The Beat Within and to those who have passed 
through my life whether in a positive or negative note. My utmost 
love and respects to each and every one of you, especially to those 
that find themselves through such difficulties. Hopefully my 
presence is felt from all over that fight those struggles. I encourage 
you to keep it strong. I myself am battling. For those who may no 
know me, my name is Ascencio Rolando. I'm currently housed here 
in Salinas Valley State Prison. I just received my issue of The Beat 
Within a fabulous and remarkable book that inspires us readers 
to excel in our performances that our mind and heart allows us to 
write with pen and paper. 

It's a blessing to hear from you all. It truly does allow us to 
enjoy great satisfaction that accompanies our success. The Beat 
Within a provocative book that can affect everything to our inner 
heart and souls. It gives us the realistic details of life from young 
to old. I'm still at a young stage what you call living and learning. 
Hopefully my company can provide the younger homies like me 
the knowledge to build our strength, the strength to sustain ones 
self-goals and obtain victory on the battlefields of gangs and drugs. 
Some of us might be fighting deeper struggles, emotions but it's 
within ourselves to change! 

Through my whole young career I lived in nothing but 

'ffsnBnnxa /pntrffnon' 

Our next writer is sending us some advice from Salinas Valley 
State Prison in Soledad, CA. Ascencio has established himself as a 
very thoughtful writer often writing to give advice. Ascencio doesn't 
sugar coat anything as he tells you the honest truth about his prison 
experience. All of you that find yourselves going to camps, group 
homes, or just sitting In the hail, you have plenty of time to change, 
but as our friend Ascencio sx^s, poor decision making, will turn those 
months into years. ," " " " "" " "" " 

into the system, and itk hard to get out folks. So kick back, take your 
time to flip through this page, and listen to some real true advice from 

to be a part of. 

blurriness. I have been in and out fighting. I realize that I was only 
deceiving myself. Now I live challenging all the open doors I have 
opened. It took this far in time to finally realize. 

"Prison" I hope you young folks in the halls, placements or 
any other detention stop now stop while you're a head. I can tell 
you from my prospective that what you do will soon catch up. 
Every thing you do follows you. everything is in record. It never 
goes away. Those little months will soon turn to years. When you 
see the judge, jury's, they look at your history and decide your 
sentence so remember it's not a slap in the hand. 

I'm not sugar coating this I'm being REAL. It's different in this 
world. Everything is politics. I just ask of you to think before you 
act. Be smart. It's hard getting out the system but we can do it. 
Just take my advice from a young friend, God Bless. 

Con amor y respecto, (with love and respect) 



///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. // //// // 



''^f7UL MJf7¥ ffBBO' 

Profiles in Addiction: Wiidfiower 

I met Coco about three years ago. At the time I was deep in the 
stag net waters of a drug addiction. I supported my addiction 
of crack cocaine by selling the same drug to other addicts. I 
saw her walking down one of Beaumont's "ho strolls". She 
was pretty and voluptuous, but looked no older than fifteen. 
I couldn't tell if she was white, Hispanic, or light skinned 
black girl. She stared at me as we crossed paths with a hopeful 

I assumed this young girl was prostituting and probably for 
crack or enough money to buy some. I didn't acknowledge her; 
I kept going. Later I asked another prostitute about her and 
learned her name and found out my first impressions of her 
were correct. 

One night, a week later, I saw her again while on my way 
to meet a wholesale drug connection in one of our clandestine 
spots. It was a cold, rainy, winter night. She was standing alone 
on a corner in a short sleeve shirt, jeans, and was barefoot. As I 
got closer, I noticed she had two black eyes. My heart went out 
to her. I felt sorry for her, so I stopped to talk with her. I asked 
her what happened to her eyes. 

She told me how her child's father had beaten her. She 
asked me if I had any dope and I told her I was on my way 
to purchase some. I knew she wanted to get high but didn't 
have the money hence the reason she stood on the corner, 
impatiently waiting for a trick, any trick. The drop spot was a 
half-mile away, but I knew had I left her there, she'd probably 
not be there when I got back, so I asked her to accompany 

I took off my warm jacket and gave it to her. That's when 
I felt how cold it really was. I'd worn a short sleeve under the 
jacket. It was difficult for her to keep my pace, there were a lot 
of rocks and broken glass on the ground. Her bare feet were 
catching hell! I let her climb on my back and I carried her the 
rest of the way. 

On the way back, Coco repeatedly requested I give her a 
"hit". I told her to wait until we got to my room, so I could cut 
it up. Actually I could have honored her request. My motive, 
however, was to get back to my room where she could be 
warm. I attempted small talk with her, but her responses were 
laconic. Her mind was getting high. Talking with her was like 
talking with a child. She did tell me she was menstruating, so 
I stopped at the store and bought us both some cigarettes and 
her a box of feminine napkins. The fact is she was so desperate 
for crack. She was willing to turn a trick, even vaginal sex, 
although she was on her period. 

When we got to my room, she pulled out her crack pipe 
and eagerly sat, anticipating some dope, probably assuming 
I was going to ask her for sex in exchange for drugs (I'm sure 
she thought this was why I brought her to my room). I told her 
I had a deal for her. If she first took a shower and ate, I'd let her 
hang out with me and smoke as much crack as she wanted. 

"Is that all I have to do?" she asked like a child. 

"That's it," I told her. 

"Are you sure? Nothing else?" She added. 

"That's it," I repeated. 

"Well.. .Ok." 

And off to the shower she went. In the meantime, I left 
my room and went to the room of a woman I knew who was 
about her size and got her a change of clothes and a pair of 
tennis shoes. Then I walked to Checkers and got us both some 
burgers and fries. 

After she'd showered, changed, and eaten, she seemed 
brighter and exuded and innocent, naive beauty, not conscious 
of itself, especially with the prospect of getting high. Her face, 
though still pretty, was marked by her blackened eyes. She 
looked like an abused child sitting in a chair opposite me. I felt 
guilty sharing crack with her, but knew if she wasn't getting 
it free from me now, she'd be out on the streets prostituting 
herself for the same thing. I started asking her personal 
questions about herself, but she became defensive and wanted 
to know why I was asking. 

Our next writer just came through with a brilliant piece of writing. 
Powerful enough to maybe even have you shed some tears from your 
eyes. This story gives us a glimpse into the life of an older man, trying 
to understand why a young teenage girl has turned to the streets to sell 
her body just to get high. Writing from Port Arthur, Texas, Paul scripts 
out a detailed movie for us to watch. Based on a true story, he gives us 
a view of what^ going on in her mind and his nz well. He brings up a 
good point that we nz people are unconcerned about others just because 
they a different race, sex, nationality, or social status. There are people 
crying out for help in the world and others just sit there and ignore 
them. We hope that y'all can learn something from this powerfully sad 
story revolving around addiction and neglection. 

So I lightened the mood by telling her a little about myself 
on how I'd gotten involved in drugs and how I was fighting tooth 
and nail to quit the addiction. I was ingenuous as I could be, 
even through the most painful and embarrassing parts. This 
seemed to help her to be willing to open up to me. Her story is 
a touching, sad portrait of a little girl who never grew up. 

Coco was nineteen years old at the time of our first meeting 
in 2005. She is originally from Acres Homes, a drug infested 
part of the north side of Houston. She is part Hispanic and part 
White. She was given the nickname Coco because of the creamy 
color of her skin. She was raised in a broken, dysfunctional 
home. She first experimented with crack cocaine at the age of 
twelve, hanging out with delinquent friends after school. She 
immediately became addicted. 

At first the drugs were given to her free as a hanger on with 
various groups of delinquent children. Soon, however. Coco 
found herself craving the drug but no one was willing to give 
it to her, and the money she was given for reduced lunch at 
school wasn't enough. She had recently turned thirteen and 
was still a virgin. A drug dealer made an indecent proposal to 
her. If she would allow him to have sex with her, he'd give her 
a crack rock. 

"I told him, I'll do it, if he let me hit the dope first," she 

And that is how she lost her virginity. At that moment 
Coco discovered as long as she was willing to have sex, she 
could smoke as much crack as she wanted. What's more, 
she, at the age of thirteen, had already blossomed physically 
into an attractive woman. And in the predominately Black 
neighborhood she lived, she was novelty. Because she was fresh 
to the drug scene, every drug dealer took his turn with her. She 
didn't think of herself as a prostitute. She, in her reasoning 
was just partying and getting high. After all, she wasn't, at the 
time, standing on corners like other prostitutes. 

As time wore on, so did Coco's novelty on the scene. She 
was no longer the dope dealer's delight. She had to find another 
way to get high. It didn't take long for her to be approached by 
men as she walked down the street who offered her money 
in exchange for sexual favor. To her it wasn't different than 
"partying" with drug dealers. Only now she'd have the money 
in her hands to purchase the drugs herself from the dealer. But 
this required her making herself more visible on the streets. 

She began walking the streets and hanging on corners. She 
also discovered wearing clothing that highlighted her assets, 
increased her chances and the amount of men who picked her 
up. She stopped going to school altogether and started hanging 
full time in areas of prostitution and spent nights in crack 
houses. Her mother eventually found out what the daughter 
was doing and refused her admittance into the home. Coco was 
now orphaned, alone and on her own at the age of thirteen in 
the streets of Houston, homeless. 

Coco knew nothing about being on her own. She only knew 
how to find means to get high. Every now and then one of the 
tricks that picked her up would house her for a day or two, 
sometimes a week, until the money and drugs ran out or he 
got tired of her. Most of the time she slept wherever she could, 
even in alleys and abandoned cars and houses. 

One would suppose Coco's desperations coupled with 
her constant contact with the degradation of street life would 
harden her into a criminally mischievous mind. Yet Coco 
emotionally remained an innocent, naive twelve -year- old girl. 
She doesn't boost, pickpocket, steal, or run average street 

fififjir^//i/j^.iii i^i/iJif/ /4.i/ jfjfif // 

'^f^^fifiMM/m^ mMr ' ^JifMi L 

game. She doesn't use profanity, choosing rather to use words 
like "darn", "shoot", "shucks", and "golly" as explicates. Her 
mannerisms are simple and straightforward. 

In the streets, she is not the user. She is the used. Amazingly 
no man has yet succeeded at pimping her. When men attempt 
to control her. Coco disappears from the area, reemerging 
somewhere else where no one knows her, becoming novelty 
again. Therefore she is a teenage vagabond, carpet bagging her 
way through life. Coco's perspective on life has been molded by 
neglect, abuse, deception, and indecency. She lives in a world 
where men don't love her but simply lust for her young body. 
The women she meets encourage her to go out in the streets 
and make something happen with her body. Law enforcement 
officials hound and harass her, sometimes forcing her to choose 
between having sex or going to jail. She lacks formal education 
and viable job skills, so everything she wants or needs, from 
drugs to food, must be purchased through sexual acts. 

No one has given her anything without the strings of 
prostitution attached to it. She owns nothing but her body, 
which she rents out to be performed for money and/or drugs. 
She has experienced the selfish, perverse desires of men but 
never felt loved, wanted, honored, or valued. 

Coco's transitional lifestyle eventually led her to Beaumont, 
a small city, and 90 miles east of Houston. 

She wound up getting pregnant from one of her tricks 
who became possessive and began abusing her physically. He 
wanted her to stop drugging and prostituting and settle down 
with him. When she didn't he became violent. 

During our conversation I asked her did she enjoy what 
she does for drugs. I asked because many of us men assume 
women who prostitute themselves are sex-craved nymphs. 

"Not really. I just do it because it's the only way," she 

"Do you enjoy sex?" I asked. "I mean have you ever had an 

She blushed and couldn't repress a giggle, "No. I just do 
it to get them men off, so I can get on and get high. Men enjoy 
what they do to me, I guess. But I really don't." 

I then asked her if she's been asked to do things sexually 
she didn't want to do, and how did she respond to it. She 
became more serious. 

"Some men have tried to pay me to be with another girl, but 
I ain't like that. Or they ask me to do things to them that ain't 
right, so I just leave and wait for another one. I've been beaten 
and raped. I've had to jump out of cars naked and run for my 
life. One time a cop handcuffed me. I thought he was taking me 
to jail. But he pulled down in an alley and made me perform." 

"Do you love yourself," I asked 

"I don't know. I guess not because if I did, I wouldn't be 
doing what I do." 

She doesn't know what she wants out of life due to low 
expectations. Her plans for the future are filled with the same 
doubt and uncertainty. She doesn't know how to be a mother 
to her baby, probably because the baby was produced as the 
unexpected and unwanted result in an effort to earn enough 
money to get high. She only practices safe sex at the request of 
a few of her tricks, placing her at a higher risk to contract H.I.V. 
She has already had bouts with other curable venereal disease, 
including lice (crabs). 

Society expects little of her or any, another teenage drug 
addict prostitute, known on the streets as "crack hoes". They 
are regarded as crack whores because the amount they charge 
for sex is regulated by the crack industry. Yet prominent men 
of the community businessman, clergymen, lawyers, doctors, 
judges and police officers often seek their services. Others 
choose to ignore them, hoping they'll fall out of sight, out 
of mind. The average "good" Christian tries to keep a "safe" 
distance from these social lepers. Other addicts tend to tag 
along with them as long as they are active and can produce 
the means to get high. And then there are those conservative 
political Calvinist who'd like to redeem society by annihilating 
them through legislation. Few actually care enough to get 
involved in their lives, to love them and help them discover 

greater joys than drugs without trying to control them. 

I saw Coco a few times after this, each time I would get 
her something to eat and offer her time out from the street. 
One day I intervened in an incident where a pimp was trying to 
force her to work for him and take her money. He was roughing 
her up. I challenged him to take my money. Most pimps are 
ready to assault vulnerable woman but hesitant to challenge 
a man. I took her to my room where she remained for a few 
hours. I fed her and we sat and watched television together. 
Before she left she threw her arms around me, hugging me 

"I love you, Paul!" she exclaimed. 

"I mean I really do. I ain't just saying that either. No one 
has ever treated me the way you do. No man has ever done 
anything for me without wanting me to have sex with them. 
You are decent and I know one day your going to quit. You 
deserve better. I wish more people were like you. I wish I was 
like you." 

It was an encouraging, emotional moment. I had to fight 
back tears as I embraced this beautiful, sincere young woman, 
who'd just added a cubic to my stature and affirmed my self- 

I haven't seen Coco in over two years. She's probably 
moved on to a different town with a fresh start on the streets. I 
miss her and often think about her, hoping she has discovered 
her own inner beauty and affirmed it as she did for me. She is 
truly a wonderful human being, deserving a hell of a lot more 
out of life than what she's getting. 

To the world Coco is a grown woman. But I saw only a 
child trapped in a woman's body, a child waiting to be loved, 
nurtured and guided into a better way of life. Coco represents 
the greatest challenge to social work. 

The challenge is not so much to stop her from doing drugs 
or to tell her how to live or force changes on her. She is a 
child waiting to discover it. She will probably pursue it with 
the same relentless determination and self-sacrifice she has 
for drugs. We must help her discover it for herself. We must 
affirm the child and help her maturate in healthy ways. This 
involves getting out there in the trenches with her. If your car 
had stalled in the middle of the road, which would be of greater 
help to you? Someone standing there, reading the owner's 
manual to you, while you struggle to push it? Or someone 
willing to help you push it to a safe spot? 

That's just what happened to me recently. I was working 
with a friend and his nephew on the outskirts of Port Arthur, 
in a predominately White town. On the way back, his truck 
ran out of gas. The nearest gas station was about a mile away. 
We got out and started pushing the truck (he didn't have a gas 
can). We passed through a residential are. People were outside, 
watching us, ignoring us. People in their vehicles pass us by. 
No one dared asked could they be of service. Three Black men 
were out of place here. 

When we get a block away from the station, one white lady, 
who'd passed by us four blacks earlier, came back. She said 
she had a gas can and would help us out. Yet we were almost 
there now, we no longer needed anyone's help. We thanked her 
and moved on. Unfortunately, this is how society treats other 
people's struggles. We are unconcerned about others because 
they are different, a different race, sex, nationality, financial, 
or social status. Or we are indifferent to the situations they are 
in. It's not until they've almost reached their goals or it's too 
late for them, that we extend a helping hand. 

The Coco's of this world are crying out for help. Every hit 
of crack is a plea for relief from her personal hells. Each night I 
pray for this young woman that society calls a thorn. But she's 
not a thorn. She is a wild flower. In the 1970's a group called 
New Birth recorded a popular song entitled "Wildflower". The 
lyrics befit Coco. 

"Let her cry, she's a lady 

Let her dream, for she is a child 

Let the rainfall down upon her. 

She's a sweet and gently flower growing wild." 


///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. // //// // 

LL LaJ ^p; -4-}.} »m^-^J-L^^ 


Reflection Of The Moment 

The painful reality of being a black man in America is 
knowing that you have grown accustomed to being treated 
like a stereotype. When you walk into a store, you're 
uncomfortable without the store clerk's trailing eyes. When 
you interview for a job, you expect offerings a handshake 
and nothing more. Your questions, the experience of any 
cab driver willing to pick you up at night. The clutching 
of purses in your presence no longer stirs your emotions. 
However, the wave of violence sweeping the country brings 
to surface feelings of being a black man that you cannot 

To be a black man in America is to be invited on a 
hunting expedition, only to find out that you are the game. 
Every night your face is shown all over the country, while 
a reporter warns everyone that you are "dangerous." 
Politicians, feminists, racists, and even your own people 
argue about you. Society has chased you up a tree like a 
pack of hounds and holds you responsible for the stereotype 
of the uneducated. Crack-dealing misogynist, it's as if your 
clean family life job and college credits don't matter. When 
your daughters, sisters, and lovers write about you, you 
are either a womanizer or a rapist; you are unemployed 
or unemployable. Even powerful images of modern black 
"leaders" like Nelson Mandela, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Gen. 
Colin Powell, Barack Obama, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Jovis 
Smiley are no match for a "Crip" or "Blood" or "G." 

The American Dream — The illusion of material success — 
is the best bait that lures you away from the truths that 
would make you strong: community, family, brotherhood. 
And the pursuit of this dream drives you further away from 

Our next writer just stormed this page with some lightning striking 
words. A message to all the brothers and sisters about racism and 
stereotypes. It doesn't matter what race we belong to, we ail have 
stereotypes about ourselves and about other races also. In America 
we're all supposed to have equal opportunities to be successful, but 
we all know that we are not all equal — but according to whom is a 
question that we need to ask ourselves. Jerry addresses various issues, 
including the fact that even our own race puts each other down. So how 
do we stop racism if we're racists even to people from our own race? 
This powerful writer comes to us from Alger Max Correctional Facility 
in Munising, Ml. 

your own identity, once you have been tempted by your all. 
The opulence and decadence, you are easy prey. The system 
will toy with, then destroy a black man. You cannot escape 
the hunt even in the densest part of the concrete jungle so 
many of us call home. A place where few Caucasians would 
dare draw breath, instead of having a refuge to survive. 

You will be considered less than a black man if you 
conjugate your verbs, work hard in school, or avoid calling 
our woman "freaks-skeezers," bitches; terms used mostly 
in casual conversation amongst our brothers! If you avoid 
negative behavior, and language, your brothers may call 
you "white acting" (the ultimate insult to a self respecting 
brother). You anticipate subtle insults from whites, but 
when it comes from your own, you truly feel hounded. 
Sadly, we are hurting ourselves, killing one another in 
the streets, chemically distorting our hair. Thousands of 
confused individuals will go through life believing that 
being black has more to do with music, fashion, and slang, 
than heritage, morals and philosophy. It makes one wonder. 
Is this suicide or genocide? Perhaps Marvin Gaye read our 
minds when he sang, "Make you wanna holla, throw up 
both your hands." 

LaNavidad Do Un Preso 

Que triste es esta Navidad cuando te tienen cautivo, lejos de tus 
familiares y de tus amigos. Encerrado como una fiera en esta 
misma celda, recordadno a tus seres queridos y a mis queridos 
viejos. Cuando te entra la nostalgia, sabes a la yarda de concreto y 
estas esperando ver cuando vienen a visitarte, mientra sintiendote 
enfadado y muy desdesperado. Estas parado ahl entre la manada 
de presos, y no te canzas de esperar. 

Este mundo que vivo es muy claro, pero todo se ve muy claro. 
Cuando ves que nadie viene y te pones a pensar, "soy un hijo de un 
gallo bien fino. 0Ser- este maldito destine?" No lo puedes evitar y 
le dices a tus compass "Ique triste Navidadj." 

Virgencita de Guadalupe, te pido de todo corazUn, que me 
hagas el milagro de reunirme con todos mis seres queridos y mis 
padres viejos. 

Te prometo que voy a cambiar virgencital Te pones a meditar y 
ver los anos pasar y toda la vida malarruinada y desperdiciada. 
Adentro de este penal, hay presos que entran y salen. Para ellos 
nada cambia y todo sigue igual. 

Tu familia te recuerda y lloran sin descanzar como no tienen 
la manera de venirte a visitar. 

Se pasan dia y noche resando que quieren tu libertad. 

Mi virgencita de Guadalupe, te pido que nunca me abandones 

Aunque aveces quiera morir porque me canso de sufrir. Nada 
mas en ti confio y en ti encomiendo mi vida. 

Te prometo que cuando saiga libre, voy a verte arrodillado por 
casarme de esta pesadilla. IQue triste Navidad! 

The Christmas Of A Prisoner 

What a sad Christmas when they have you away, away from your 
family and your friends. Locked up like a while animal in this same 
cell, thinking of your loved ones and my old loved ones. When 
sadness hits you, you go out to the concrete yard to wait when they 

'f7L,aBJ7Ta sffncHES' 

Queremos darles las gracias y darle la bienvenida a nuestra 
publicaciUn a Alberto Sanchez quien nos escribe desde CSATF/State 
Prison At Corcoran. El comienzo su introducciUn con nosotros con una 
redacciUn titulada, "La Navidad De Un Preso." Esperantos escuchar m-s 
de el y tambiEn le deseamos que en esta Navidad tenga m-s paz y m-s 
felicidad que las anteriores. 

We want to thank and welcome Alberto Sanchez to our publications. 
He is writing us from CSATF/State Prison At Corcoran. He started his 
introduction with us with a poem titled, "Christmas Of A Prisoner. We 

' ~ o wish him a better Christmas full 
of peace and happiness. 

are coming to visit you, while feeling mad and desperate. You're 
standing there between a bunch and prisoners, and you never give 
up on waiting. 

This world I live in is clear, but everything seem to be clear. 
When you see that nobody comes, you start to believe, "I am a son 
of a distinguished cock." Or is this my damn destiny? You can't 
hold it and you tell your friends "what a sad Christmas! 

Virgen Of Guadalupe, I'm asking you with all my heart to do 
me the miracle of reunite myself with all my loved ones and my 

I promise that I will change, my dear virgen! You start 
meditating and see the years goes by and experience a missed 
used and wasted life. 

Inside there are prisoners who come in and get out. For those, 
nothing changed because everything stays the same. 
Your family think of you and cry without stopping for not being 
able to come visit you. 

They spend all day and night praying for your freedom. 

My Virgen of Guadalupe, I ask you to never abandon me. 
Sometimes I rather rie because I get tired of suffering. I only trust 
anyone but You and I commend my life in you. 

I promise that when I get out, I'm going to get on my knees 
and thank you for getting me off this nightmare. "What a sad 

///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. // //// // 

^j/?^wj £7mM/m^mmiL r * #// //// 


If Only 

If only... If only... That's pretty much all Fm left with, the 
could've, would've, should've... That's what a lot of us are 
left with. But that ain't me. I don't like to dwell on the past. 
What's done is done, and I'm just praying for a better day, 
but somehow, the thought of "If only" creeps into my mind 
and start eating away. 

Sometimes it makes me laugh, and sometimes it 
makes me cry. 24-hour lockdown ain't fun. I think about 
everything and everyone, and read until my eyes get tired, 
and still I hardly ever sleep. I'm in this room so long that 
I hold conversations with people I haven't seen in a while 
and talk to them for long periods of time, different people. 
Sometimes I don't even know the person, but they talk to 
me and I talk back. 

A human being needs to have some communication. 
Sometimes long conversations help. And the good thing, 
I don't have to hold anything from these people. You think 
I'm crazy? Wait 'til you're in a position like mine, and I bet 
you'll be doing the same thing. 

You know, I sit back in my cell and wonder where I would 
be or what I would be if I wasn't a gang member. I remember 
the first time my uncle took me across the street to smoke 
my first blunt. We went back home and I was super gone. 
He told me to go look at myself in the mirror and see how 
blazed I looked. I did, and I never quit smoking again. 

I remember when they got jumped into the 'hood, and 
how they would act when they came across a rival. To my 
young mind, that was sick, and I wanted to be down and bad 
like them. I often used to tell myself that I wanted to have 
the fighting skills of both of them put together so I could be 
better. I laugh when I think of my young days, and I always 
wonder when, exactly, did I cross the line of no return. 

What good did it do me? What good has it ever done for 
anyone? Before I was 17, I was shot, stabbed, jumped with 
bats and bottles, run over or ran under ('cause I rolled over 
the car). But as long as I walked away with my life, I thought 
it was fun and games, and only thought about revenge, and 

The title of the next piece by Abraham Martinez tells it all: ".. 
Only..." In this sad piece, our old friend from SF/YGC (who wrote 
under the name of Goofy) says what we find ourselves warning our 
Beat writers in every issue, that without looking honestly at where your 
actions will take you, you could end up spending a lifetime wondering, 
"If only..." The scars that Goofy recounts don't include the scars on his 
soul, which are much more long-lasting, but much harder to count. We 
can only hope that his words will penetrate young minds who think it 
can't happen to them — just as he thought before he found himself in 
Alameda County^ Santa Rita Jail facing a possible death sentence. 

how good it would be to get back at them. 

I didn't wake up from this dream until about three 
months ago. I actually counted my scars on my body from 
head to toe. I counted eleven — three in the head by bats 
and a knife, four in the chest by a .40 caliber, two in my 
arms, also by a gun, and two long scars by a K-9 bite. I 
realized how fortunate I am to still be breathing, and to not 
be disabled. 

About three months ago, one of my close homies got 
shot in the shoulder sideways. It hit his spine and went up 
to his head, and now he's paralyzed from the neck down. 
Another homey got shot in the face and killed with is four- 
month-old kid in the back seat. 

These incidents made me think about my situation, 
and helped me realize how 1 lucky I've been. Even though 
I'm fighting a heavy case, and my freedom isn't guaranteed, 
I still will try to be a better man, and walk away with the 
memories and scars. 

That's it. I trip and I think I could've been a real good 
mechanic if I hadn't got so deeply involved in gangs; or 
maybe one of those demolition people going around blowing 
up buildings and caves and stuff, since I like breaking 
things and the sound of dynamite going off. 

I don't know people. It's just a bunch of "If onlys" in 
my head. I would be in this "could be" world. For now, I 
just keep praying and leave it to the Man up above to seal 
my fate. He knows me best and can be fair. Well, peoples, 
it's about that time for me to try to catch some zees (sleep) 
or read my book. 'Til pen meets paper again, keep ya' head 

'DaffTEL, MTLiLfXffMS' 

Prisoners For State Workers 

It was almost like a trade off. In the state's most dire straits 
Governor Schwarzenegger proposed to release 22,000 
nonviolent prisoners last February— who were already within 90 
ays of going home. Conservatives balked vociferously, standing 
on a tenuous platform of ideology (I guess they forgot Ronald 
Reagan released thousands of prisoners during a similar 
financial crisis in 1967). The move would have saved taxpayers 
a bundle and relieved dome of the strain from state coffers. 

Rather than be the maverick many voters thought he'd 
be when they elected him in 2003, he folded under pressure 
and let a golden opportunity vaporize. Five months later those 
22,000 prisoners, and thousands of others after them are now 
out anyway. 

Yet as a tragic consequence of the many failures to cut 
unnecessary fat in areas of ideology and nonessentials, brutal 
cuts are not being made deep within vital flesh. 

In May $4 billion was cut in education in a desperate 
attempt to shore up the budget, $15.2 billion in the red, and 
a deluge of pink slips were sent out like reapers to dismiss 
teachers who were already in short supply. 

Meanwhile, Federal Receiver, Clark Kelso, appointed to 
correct and rehabilitate the catastrophic medical wing of the 
prison system, after it was found by the federal courts to 

Dortell Williams writes us from a Correctional Facility in Lancaster, 
Ca. We haven't heard from Dortell in a long while, and not because 
he^ been missing in action, but because we are so backed up with 
BWO^ that we really have to apologize to everybody. (We have over 650 
submissions for BWOs, and only one person edits them and keeps track 
of them. I So if you guys haven't seen your work and you sent us some, 
just be patient. We have the Special BWO issue coming out soon, which 
will give us an opportunity just to catch up a little, in the meantime, 
Dortell comes through with another outstanding piece of writing with 
some vital information to share with everyone! 

be wholly inadequate and operating unconstitutionally. It's 
demanding an immediate $7 billion from the general fund to 
restore the system back to humane levels of care. 

With corrections siphoning billions off the top, and health 
care services already cut to the bone for children and the 
elderly, the last alternative was an executive order to layoff 
10,000 state workers August 1. 

Sacrifice must come during these turbulent times said 
Schwarzenegger, as he dropped the hatchet. It's just too bad 
the sacrifices had to be made at the top, instead of the bottom 
where they would have been a practically painless procedure. 

The saddest part is that it could all be for nought. Come 
November when the overcrowded "corrections" system goes 
to trial to defend other alleged unconstitutional patterns, the 
court could order thousands more prisoners released anjrway. 

///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. // //// // 

^I^^EJ^ ^FM^^iffil' ^/.i/JJ.l 

^rffEE Mxnas snn/< clus fjna uffXTxnn unffHSHnp^: 

12/23/08 To The Beat 

The trip to North Dakota was amazing. The plane rides 
were another story. Totally grueling with all the weather 
delays. It took us 28 hours just to get there! But it was 
soo worth it. 

The families and the kids were so happy to see each 
other and actually hug each other after 2 years apart. It 
was so emotional. Everyone was crying. 

We had the families and the kids write poems to each 
other and joint poems on what the visit meant and then 
shared them. So touching. The guards and staff were 
really moved I could tell as well. The power of writing! 

Free Minds has already gotten our gift this year... a 
partnership with Beat WithinI!! 
Peace out 

12/23 To Tree Miods 

As for your trip to North Dakota, wow! We'd love to 
include something in The Beat Within regarding your 
successful journey. Is there a story to share with the 
readers? A poem to share that was written during the 
visits? Thoughts? 

12/24/08 To The 8eat 

You have such great ideas! I've attached poems that 
were written during the visit to North Dakota. Some of 
them were written jointly by moms and sons and one 
brother/brother team. They just spontaneously decided 
they wanted to write about what the trip meant to them, 
then they all shared with everyone. There weren't too 
many dry eyes in the room including the guards. It was 
so emotional. There are no contact visits allowed at the 
jail, so for some it was the first time in 2 years that many 
of the families were able to hug each other. 

The trip to get there was grueling. It took us 28 hours 
because of all the bad weather plane delays in Chicago 
and elsewhere. It was 31 below when we got there! 

Not one person complained once. They were just so 
ecstatic they were able to see their sons/brothers. It was 
really hard to say goodbye but it was the best Christmas 
present for everyone. 

The last poem 'In This Cold Lonely World" by Glenn 
is heartbreaking because he didn't have any family visit 
him. He read the poem and all the other moms went up 
and hugged him and told him he was loved. 
Talk soon. 

Taoiily First 

For starters I would like to thank Eric S. and the Free 
Minds Book Club and every other organization involved 
in making this a remote possibility. 

For those who don't know we as a group are so 
fortunate to be seeing our families. While on the streets 
it's all good when we are chillin' with our mans and 
hanging out with females but in the end when all those 
people are nowhere to be found you will always have a 

It feels almost like a Christmas morning to be seeing 
my mother today! 

-Andre G., December 20, 2008 

The following pieces were written a couple weeks ago, during 
an emotional family visit for a number of young ftxewx that was 
arranged by Free Minds and the Campaign For Youth Justice. These 
groups arranged for family to travel from Washington DC to Devils Lake, 
North Dakota, where the Lake Region Law Enforcement Center (Prison) 
is located. This is where the eight D.C. teenagers, who were tried sks 
adults were sent to do their time. In DC you can be tried siz an adult 
»z young as 1 6 years old. Free Minds and the Campaign For Youth 
Justice - two wonderful DC non profits/CBOs got funding to escort and 
fly out family members to meet with their sons. During this emotional 
visit, they found time to write a few poems which are included, WE 
have also attached a few notes that were exchanged with this editor 
and Free Minds. 

In This Cold Lonely World \ 

Devils Lake, North Dakota 

In this cold lonely world 

I'm all alone 

With nobody to hold 

Nobody to love 

Why does it feel so lonely? 

So empty 

Does anybody love me? 

Somebody show me 

I never see any good times 

I never see any signs 

Am I in the blind? 

Somebody open the blinds and show me 

In this cold lonely world 

In this cold lonely world "^ 

-Glenn W. - December 20,2008 

What Does this Mean To Me? 


This visit has been the best day since I've 

; been locked 


Just to hug Grandma and feel Ma's touch 

I never knew people outside my family 

could care so 


So thank you for everybody being able 

to make this 


This is the best present -\ 

and it didn't need wrapping! 

-Marquis H., December 20,2008 

Christmas Prayers 


Christmas here, Christmas there 

Being with my family is a great Christmas gift 

and a Christmas cheer 


Christmas here, Christmas there 

Visiting my Lil brother is the best Christmas year 


Christmas here, Christmas there 

My nephew was very happy when he heard 

Santa and his reindeer 

Christmas here, Christmas there 

1 don't see my younger brother that often, it's rare 

So I have to show him how much love we share 


Christmas here, Christmas there 
Thank God for answering our Christmas prayers 

-Christopher S. and Donte S., December 20,2008 



///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. // //// // 

^I^^EJ^ ^FM^^iffil' ^/.i/JJ.l 

^rffEE Mxnas snn/< clus fjna uffXTxnn unffHSHnp^: 


In times of joy you look past the trial and tribulations 

Just to know my mother would fly 1000 miles 

to see her child in visitation 

I see my mother just as I picture heaven 

I couldn't of ever asked for a better Christmas present 

With my family's love and holiday cheer 

I've not seen my mother in the last two years 

Today is the day that means the most in life 

To hug my folk and hold them tight 

Feels like I'm high above the sky in the cloud 

All I want is to make my mother proud 

Woman in my life that I'll forever respect 

Today is a day I'll never forget 

She helps me get through every obstacle 

Without all you people this wouldn't be possible 

So happy to see my mother and sister elated 

Just know you are appreciated 

-Jermaine H., December 20, 2008 

Huoyino My Son 

For me to say that I'm happy to see my son today 

is the understatement of 2008 

I'm ecstatic, I'm overjoyed 

I'm on cloud nine for sure 

Joy unspeakable, a feeling unbeatable! 

Hugging my son after two years 

there was absolutely no way that I could contain the tears. 

I know that he always hates to see my cry 

and although I really tried my best the emotion refused to die 

So here we are today after traveling very far 

by cab, by shuttle, by plane I dare not part my lips and complain 

It was all so very worth it to hug my son again 

-Keela H., December 20, 2008 

Missino Love 

It's been quite sometime 

Since we've seen one another 

Once again reunited 

Not feeling slighted 

By the time and touch 

But still not enough 

Looking forward to better days 

We both have to get on our knees and pray 

Holding on to faith 

Reality will replace 

-Arman and Kim J., December 20, 2008 

Three Years 

I am three years old 

My family calls me Stink 

I'm wearing some jeans with a white shirt 

One day I am with my sister 

So my shoes is untied 

That's when they get caught in this girl's bike 

Next thing I know she is dragging me 

And my whole leg is in the bike 

I cry in my mother's arms 

The whole night until they take me to get treated 

I am in a wheelchair for a while 

With a cast on my whole leg and half the other 

I am three years old. 


We would like to welcome back the Five Mlnd^ Book Club for 
another little insert of poems from the young men incarcerated 
in Washington D.C. County Jail. These are young men incarcerated 
in an adult facility, brilliant young minds with the gift of writing. We 
are privileged to have them be published in our publication. We all go 
through some of the same struggles no matter what city, set, state, or 
coast we are from. So without further ado we would like to present 
to you Washington D.C.^ finest! These following pieces were published 
with permission from The Free Minds Book Club and Writing Workshop. 

Who I'll Be 

I am a lot of things 

But you can call me Branden 

I come from the city of Washington, DC 

And also my mother's soul 

I stand for my one and only child 

That's something to stand for 

My face is very well known 

So you should know my face 

My hands are made for holding and helping 

My eyes can see a lot of things 

Coming to me and leaving from me 

I wear problems each and everyday 

So I know how to fix them 

I have a dream that one day the people of Earth 

Will never to have to want for anything 

I will put my best foot forward 

And try to make my dreams come true 

I am what other people think I am 

But I am one step away 

From being what I want to be. 


Does God Love Me? 

I love God and I love life 

But why he had to take my mother and father's life? 

I thought God was a personal savior and blessed people 

And I thought he loved them as they come 

But why he had to take them and leave me with no one? 

No one except my heart and loving myself 

No one else 

I love God because 1 believe in myself. 


Trylflo to See 

I sit in jail as my brilliant mind wanders off 

Trying to justiiy what it is out there I am trying to see 

For starters, 1 would love to see how the world 

Has moved on without us inmates in prison 

Being very well left behind 

I would also be trying to see how my schoolmates 

The class of 2009 strives to become our outstanding future 

I would like to see how the day-to-day conflicts escalate 

When they could be so easily defused 

If only they could have been discussed 

I am trying to see 

How I have become furious with life 

Wondering how I got myself into this ruthless situation 

I am trying to see how I can keep this stupid obstacle 

From taking a great toll on my life 

Yet, most of all 1 am trying to see 

In what adult's mind frame is justified 

A law that sends juveniles to an adult prison 

And throw our lives away at such a young age 

This is what I'm trying to see. 




n this cold lonely world 

I'm all alone 

With nobody to hold 

Nobody to love 

Why does it feel so lonely? 

So empty 
Does anybody love me? 

read the rest of Glenn W.'s BWO piece on page 74