Skip to main content

Full text of "The Beat Within Volume 14.07"

See other formats





ne of the first 
memories I have is 
when I was about four 
years old. My mom got 
out of Chowchilla State 
Prison — the women's 
facility... That was one of 
the happiest moments 
in my life. 

read the rest of Change's POW on page 10 

WMMa/mmmffM^ff ff jif f f jif f s 

ri/i//iny/ri/f. /// ////#/ // // 

Our staff IMfOUld like to welcome y an 
back to another stupendous issue of The Beat Within 
Publication (14.07). Another week... and another fabulous 
issue of great writings. Another week closer to home for 
some of us. Another week of county food for some of 
us. Another week of spreading for some of us. Another 
week of work for some of us, yet, another week of life for 
everybody reading this right now. We would like to start 
off by thanking all the writers that participated to put this 
extraordinary issue together. All you writers from the pen, 
out to the halls have been doing a great job not holding 
back and pouring down everything on paper, so we would 
like to commend you on that. 

So I, Omar, staff member of The Beat Within wanted to 
tell you all about a little encounter I had with the police 
last night after I left the gym. So I got out of the gym and 
hopped on BART to get off at my stop, so I can catch the 
bus to my homeyi house to pick up some music CDs. So I 
get off on my turf and wait for the bus to come. I see a 
homey postin' it there to, so we say "whatk up," and just 
light-weight start chopping it up. 

We're watching the police walking around right down 
the street, knowing they're up to something, but I know I 
am not doing anything wrong. Like I said, I'm waiting for 
the bus to come, so I'm not really tripping anyway. All of 
sudden two squad cars roll up on us, and a few more police 
come out of nowhere and start searching us, questioning 
us. They even handcuffed the homey and he didnt even do 
anything wrong. 

They did the regular procedure: asked us if we had 
weapons or drugs. They were being jerks off the bat, 
but what cop isn't a jerk when they're searching you and 
assuming that you're doing something illegal? I wasnt 
really tripping off what they were doing 'cause you know 
I am on paper-work, and they pulled up my file and found 
out I had »n ol' firearms case. So they started going through 
my backpack and all that good shhh. 

The other homey was trying to talk back to the officers 
and I told him to just chill. I could see the anger In his eyes 
and hear the anger and frustration in his voice, but you're 
not gonna make the situation better by talking mess to the 

I told him to relax. I was mad no doubt, but I played 
it off real good, I been through this before and it ain't 
nothing new to me. \Xt like everywhere I go police seem to 
think I'm up to no good. And it doesn't surprise me when 
I get stopped. I don't get nervous anymore 'cause really, I 
don't be carrying shhh on me to warrant fear. 

I'm not gonna lie to you folks. I was mad as hell! They 
were talking major shhh and trying to get in my head. A 
couple of the cops that knew me, were asking me stupid 
questions, and also asking me about recent shootings and 
if a war was going to erupt. I just kept playing stupid with 
them and said I didn't know what they were talking about 
and they seem to get madder. They were like "You didnt 
hear about those fools that got shot right here?" 

I was like "Nope. Don't know what you are talking 
about." They were asking me questions like, "Why did they 
let you out of jail?" Plus, asked if I was high, and how was 
my truck doing. You know, they were being stupid. They 
made me take off my shirt and show them all my tattoos, 

It^ funny how it takes 7 to 8 cops to white card just 
two guys. While this is going on, everybody and they mama 
is looking at us. Everybody at the bus stop is looking and 
everybody driving by, people in the bars, in McDonald^, In 
the Taquerlak were looking. I'm figuring because they want 
to show the community and us that they know whati up. I 
felt like I was on stage again. All eyes on me. 

After a while all the shhh talking stopped making me 
mad and started boosting my ego. I felt like, "Damn, these 
cops want to give me this much attention and cause a big 
scene to where everybody wants to look at us, and we're 

not even doing anything wrong!" 

I started thinking how if it wasn't for me, these 
cops wouldn't even have jobs, not just me, but I mean 
us. (Everybody stuck in the system, or out there allegedly 
breaking the law). 

Finally I asked them if I could go, and they said "not 
after you throw up a gang sign, or do you want us to drop 
you off on rival territory?" As much as I wanted to go off 
on this guy — I even envisioned myself just taking his 
baton stick and beating him over the head with it — that 
wouldn't do anything but either get me molly-whopped by 
these seven cops, or possibly have me shot dead. 

So I kept it moving and hopped on the next bus that 
stopped by. I was just thinking to myself how angry they 
made me feel. But I also noticed how angry they felt when 
they had to let me go because they didn't find anything on 
me. They were mad. I knew they were mad. People don't 
talk shhh for no reason. For whatever reason, I made them 
feel uncomfortable with themselves to the point where 
they had to resort to putting me down so they can feel 
better about themselves. 

And at the end of the day these police really don't 
know me. They didnt know that I got off work late, and I 
had just come from the gym. They dont know jack about 
me or what I'm 'bout, I know what they're about. But this 
little battle right here I consider to be a victory. Why? You 
would ask me, why would I consider this a victory? Because 
I walked away with my pride and most importantly my 

And those are the only battles that we can win against 
the police. You not only have to pick and choose your 
battles, but also how you fight them. And walking away 
without any cuffs Is the best way to win. Thati when some 
cops get really mad. And as I'm writing this right now, I am 
laughing, because the system got me twisted if they think 
I'm gonna let them win. One love to everybody locked 
down and to those doing the right thing in the free world! 
I'm out. 

With all this in mind, lets give you readers the topics 
that were discussed prior to the writing that is featured in 
this wonderful Issue,,, 

First topic, "Last words" - If for some reason you were 
going to have to leave your town/ your home, or move away 
from your community for a long time, no telling when you 
would return, would you regret not having told someone 
something? Tell us what you want to say, who you want to 
say it to, and why you've kept the message to yourself all 
this time. 

The second topic, 'That picture" - Pictures are taken 
all the time, from birthday parties, holidays, celebrations, 
and just good times with those we love. Out of the many 
pictures that are taken, there are always a few precious 
pictures that stand out or mean more to us than others. 
This week we want you to tell us of that special one picture 
that you will carry with you in your heart forever. What 
is it about this picture that you cherish? Tell us the story 
behind this snap-shot/moment in time. 

Last but not least, "I'm not feeling the topics tonight" 
- Okay, we know you dont always want to write the 
weekly topics. However, we know that some weeks, a lot 
of things are going through your mind. You may have had 
a particularly tough court date. Your family may have come 
to visit you and gave you news about life on the outs. You 
may have had a really amazing phone conversation with 
your loved one, or found yourself in conflict with a friend 
or peer. We want you to talk about these experiences... 
what^ on your mind? 

Thanks for reading this latest editorial note, this issue 
goes out to our young writers in Monterey County Juvenile 
Hall who step up big this week! Plus, A big thank you to 
all those who work in their hall and opened the door for 
Sam "the man" Peterson and our newest colleague Sarah 
D'Amico to come through and deliver The Beat Within 

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 don't aim to bolster it. It is in The Beat's interest to promote 
peace and unity. Our goal is to educate one another. 

The Beat Within publishes the opinions and views expressed by the participants in 
our workshops. This is simply the pure voice of the youth. The views you read do 
not necessarily reflect those of the publisher, editor or staff All rights are reserved. 
Nothing from this publication can be reproduced without our written permission. 

To our writers: What you write could be hazardous to you. Your words have con- 
sequences, and could be used to incriminate you. Try to illuminate your feelings 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, Omar Turcios 

Grapliics/Layout Editor: Manen Pau 

Staff: Pauline Craig, Carolyn Goossen, Jill Wolfson, Allan Martinez, Patricia John- 
son, Amanda Abies, Dennis Morton, Sheerly Avni, Hanif Bey, Brenda Navarro, Sa- 
mantha Navarro, Johnny Le, Laura Vitaro, Karla Serrano, Ricky Rollins, Kendra 
Davis, Anastasia Freeman, Demarius Brown, Mon'Kesia Butler, Michaela, Ava, 
Danyal, Jeanette Beltran, Monica Carlos, Janet Lagto, Allan Tinker, Nic Reiner- 
Parra, Laura Goode, Molly Patterson, Peggy Simmons, Kirstin Dan, Angel Ryono, 
Siliva Mortenson, Kolby Hanson, Sam Peterson, Kim Nelson, Gwendolyn Hubner, 
Oscar Pena Jr, Julia Scheinbeim, and Neela Banerjee. 

Tlie Maricopa County, Plioenix, Arizona, Juvenile Probation Department Beat 
Staff: Joe Szulecewski, M.A., Lisa Donsker, M.C, Hillaiy Shluker, M.C., Lisa 
Karczewski, M.A. The detention staff are: Carissa Allen, Antoinette Flores, Mr. B., 
Tammie Utter, D. Scott Herrmann, Connie Pyburn, Ph. D. Clinical Director, Ph.D. 
Clinical Director. 

Bernalillio County Juvenile Detention & Youtli Services Center Beat Staff: 

Steve Serna 

Oak Hill - Wasliington, DC Staff: Alex Moe and Gabriel Prodder 

Fresno : Mai Der Vang, Rosie Wentz, Liliana Romero, Nigel Medhurst, Ashleigh 
Rocker, and Cindy Jenson 

Monterey : Sam Peterson and Sarali Damico 

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

Spiritual Advisor: JackJacqua 

Special Volunteer: Nancy DeMartini 

Book Donor: Marisela Norte 

Beat Supporters: The Beat Within greatefully acknowledges the generous support 
of funders of Pacific News Service's Youth Communications Programs - California 
Arts Council, California Wellness Foundation, Christensen Fund, Community Foun- 
dation of Silicon Valley, Community Technology Foundation of California, Comp- 
ton Foundation, Creative Work Fund, Cricket Island Foundation, Evelyn and Walter 
Haas, Jr. Fund, Ford Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foun- 
dation, Marin Community Foundation, Morris Stulsaft Foundation, Nathan Cum- 
mings Foundation, Oakland Fund for Children and Youth, Open Society Institute, 
Peninsula Community Foundation, Philanthropic Ventures Foundation, S. H. Cow- 
ell Foundation, Monterey, Fresno, Solano, Oak Hill - Washington DCSan Francisco 
Arts Commission, San Francisco Foundation, Shinnyo-en Foundation, W. Clem- 
ent and Jessie V. Stone Foundation, Stone Circles Foundation, Stuart Foundation, 
Surdna Foundation, The California Endowment, Tides Foundation, Van Loben Sels/ 
Rembe Rock Foundation, Vanguard Public Foundation, Wallace Alexander Gerbode 
Foundation, Walter S. Johnson Foundation, Youth Justice Funding Collaborative, the 
Zellerbach Family Fund and individual donors. 

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



P/ffffffs ff/ /^ff H^ffff/r 

fff-P/ms ff/ f^s H/ggJf /^ 



Ssi/rsiema J/ 

Sst/if ff/^fif 4^ 

S3t/3ff/-// ff/ 

i^m'/ M 

/fes/ff ff 



Counselors' Corner 

From The Beat: Today we are proud to present a poem by one of 
our favorite counselors ... a reminder of just how much emotion 
and caring is behind the people you see every day. Thank y«Hi Ms. 
Rivera for sharing your feelings and struggles with The Beat and 
all its readers! 

Counselor's Corner 

People's perception of me is that I'm soft, weak, 
emotional. While their observation is interesting it is 
far off the mark. 

There's something in me something that nobody can 
understand and that only those I truly care about 

I have pain, suffering, anger, & a darkness that I don't 
let show. 

If 1 let out what is locked deep inside 1 would be a bad 
person 1 wouldn't care for others, sometimes I wish I 
could, just let it out. 

Instead I fight everyday to be that smile, that voice, 
that face that people seek and need. I fight myself to 
help rather than hurt. 
I'm capable of both. 

I love deeply, I trust wanly, and I care unconditionally, 
I'm loyal so I'm hurt. 
I hurt because they don't know. 

Their perception is what they know and what I let 
them think. 

-Ms. Rivera, Counselor, Alameda County 




fjie/ f 

Before, But Now I Moved fln 


When I was young I was easy to teach 

But then I fell in love with money and streets 

I was raised on Seventh Street 

Where there were drugs, fights, shooting, and police 

I followed my friends and did the wrong things 

When this took place I was only thirteen 

I began getting involved with my surroundings 

And caught more charges and smoking green 

These times was fun, but also dumb 

I would just like to say that I am done 

1 am now on the right track 

And told myself that 1 won't go back 

Those experiences was fun but did not last 

So I forgive myself for what 1 did in the past. 


From The Beat: Jeffrey, this is a great poem. We especially love the 
first line - "When I was young I was easy to teach" - and the last - "So I 
forgive myself for what I did in the past." You have a way with words. 
We look forward to hearing a lot more from you. What was the turning 
point when you realized that the streets wouldn't last? 

Brinoino Back The Bead 

If 1 will bring somebody back, it will be my grandfather, 
because he did a lot for the family. And he always told 
me to do right but I really didn't listen. And if he was to 
come back 1 promise 1 will listen to everything he try to 
tell me. 

When he died that made me mess up really bad 
because 1 didn't care about nobody. And he always told 
me that he wasn't going to be here forever and 1 didn't 
look at it that way. And 1 know if he was still living right 
now 1 would not be doing the things 1 do now. And now 
when 1 think about him it makes me feel good, because I 
know he's in a better place. 


From The Beat: What a great tribute to your grandfather, it sounds liife 
he had a big influence on you. We are sorry for your loss. It seems liice 
his influence still inspires you, which is a great thing. - you can still 
shoiw him how you've chosen a better path. What would you want to 
tell him if he were here? What would you iwant him to icnow about you? 
You are very wise about how his death affected you and your actions, 
we l«>olc forward to hearing more from you. 

African American 

Black, color of the night sky 

Mind as bright as a sunshine 

1 can think as high as a cloud 

My brain feels like it's ten pounds 

Glad of my color, but sometimes I wonder 

Would my relatives be happy or sad 

Of all the crimes and bad times 

Feel like we all stuck in a mine 

But where the sun show 

The wind will blow 

All the bad times 

I'll think in my mind 

Everything will be okay 

Just walk this way 

Into the light where God will help you fight 

Everything will be alright 

My color is my brother. 


From The Beat: This is son incredible poem. We love how you really 
worked on it, editing it as you wrote, finding the right iwords you 
wanted to use. You use so many great images - the mine, and the sun 
and the wind - and color. You really have a great gift and we hope 
you continue to develop your iwriting - it can take you far! Are there 
relatives that you would like to share this with? 


If I Was a Parent 


If I was a parent, my heart would flow like a current 
If 1 was a parent, 1 wouldn't want my son to have a 

If I was a parent, I'd tell my son what I've learned 
If 1 was a parent, 1 would let myself go on the right turn. 


From The Beat: Great images Jeff, especially the first one about the 
heart flowing like a current. We also like what you said about telling 
your son what you've learned - we agree that would be a great thing to 
do if y«>u were a parent. 


Wliat ilAoney Can't Bo 

See money can't fix or get you love or hurt 

When you're shot up dying, money can't wipe the blood 

off your shirt 

Even sneaky people with smirks 

What money can't fix, money can't buy 

Money can't fix the tears that drop from your eyes 

Money makes people lie 

It makes people cry 

And in some situations, money can make you die 

But if you offer money, some people wouldn't ask why 

But I see beyond money in the sky. 


From The Beat: Lots of wisdom in these lines, Paul, and great use of 
iwords. We agree with what you said about how money can't fix so many 
things. What do you see iwhen you see beyond the "money in the sicy?" 
What's around the bend that you're hoping to achieve when you get 

Bead Siience Fiows Tiirouoii My City 

January 19th, the day seemed so clean 

Until I got the call my cousin 

will never be seen. 

He died on the way to the hospital, 

going to be seen. 

Three shots tore into his body. 

Now 1 can't hear nobody. 

Dead silence flows through my city 

A soldier was gone 

And he was ever so witty. 

-Lil' Chopp 

From The Beat: This is a great poem, full of heart and wonderful images. 
Thank you for writing about your cousin - RIR You have a way with 
words and we look forward to hearing more from y«Mi. 


Trinoino Back Bead 

J L 

What can 1 do, is going through my head 

'Cause only if 1 could bring back the dead 

First Grandpa, then my man Lil' Ed 

If only 1 could bring back the dead 

What if it's me, when I'm not prepared? 

Who will bring me back from the dead? 

My life should be long since 1 am so young 

There's facts in my head, but death's not one 

I'm only so strong, not for death everyday 

From the people in my family, to the ones around my 


So if 1 could bring back the dead, 1 will bring back Big 


And my cousin's father for bringing me hope. 


From The Beat: We really enjoyed this poem Rodney, and the way you 
were able to make it so deep with such a great rhyme. We particularly 
liked the line that asiced - What if it's me and I'm not prepared? - and 
what you said about hope. Hoiw did he give you hope? Who ivould you 
like to give hope to? We hope you keep up this great ivriting since it 
seems to come askvg for you, and you have a lot to teach. 

pjie/ f 

t ^ 

M) Life It Dak 


Hi, my name is Tyron and I'm a resident of Oak Hill 
Youth Center. I've been here for one year and it's been 
a bumpy road, but I'm finding my way through it very 
slowly. 1 believe I'm gonna get through it so I can go home 
to my family and friends. 

Even though I'm down here that doesn't mean I'm 
a bad child or anything, 1 just made a mistake. But I'm 
learning things I didn't learn when I was home. I think 
this was a good thing that this happened to me 'cause I 
could've been dead or shot up somewhere. 

The staff in Genesis are really trying to help me better 
myself and 1 do thank them for that, I just don't know 
how to show them, especially Ms. Hardy and Ms. Simms. 
I'm trying to do my best to better myself but it takes time, 
1 can't rush it. 

There will be one day 1 will go home and live my real 
life instead of being told when to eat, sleep and urinate. 
I'm almost there, just need to keep it up and I will be 
home soon. 


From The Beat: This is an excellent piece about how your see your time, 
Tyron, and what you've gained from it. Thank you for iwriting so openly 
and honestly. What advice would you give someone who was facing 
some of the same choices? 

Brinoino Backtiie Bead 


If I could bring back the dead I would bring back my 


But I sit and think why even bother 

But yet and still, still that's my father 

I was too young to remember what he said 

But I still would bring him back from the dead 

Why can't we have two lives if a cat has nine 

And I hate thinking about the past, just leave it behind 

But what if you and the person you bring back don't get 


That's just like singing a funeral song 

But when it's all said and done I would bring my father 

back from the dead 

'Til this day I still think about him when I'm laying in my 



From The Beat: This is sm incredible poem, Paul, you have a great gift 
with rhyming and with making the words have great meaning - way to 
go. We especially lilce what you said "why can't we have two lives" - 
what wrould you do if you had a second life? We would love to see y«>u 
write on that - "My Second Life" and everything you'd want to be, and 
accomplish. Keep up the excellent writing! 

Words of Wisdom 


Money can't bring people that died back. 

Bringing back the dead is like telling the police to stop 

locking people up. 

The day I become a parent, it will rain fire. 


From The Beat: We like how you tried to write short sentences on each 
topic - next time, we'd love for you to expand on each - you have a lot 

I Love My Friend 

I need my ninja, my ninja need me 

When he was here, he couldn't never beat me 

That's why I miss him, I know he miss me 

We was always together 

He hook me up with this girl, now we belong with each 


I love him, he love me 

I'm going to see you when I get there 

Rest in Peace 

R-I-P Lip and Midnight 


From The Beat: This is a poiwerful piece about how friends can be there 
for each other, and we are sorry for the loss of your friend. What kind 
of qualities did he have that you admire? Is there a quality that you 
iwould like to show someone else in being a good friend to them? 

WiiatSprino Means to Me 


I love to play sports mostly all year round, and chill with 
my family, and go to school and get my education. 

I love the Spring because it's getting hot outside for 
me to play sports with my little brothers. But the Spring 
time is a flaky because it starts snowing, then raining, 
but anyway I like the Spring. 

My favorite sports are basketball, football, hockey, 
tennis, ping-pong, Chinese push-ups. 

Smelling in the Spring, I can smell flowers, cook out, 
laundry, fresh air. 


From The Beat: Thanks for writing about what is so great about Spring 
- the chance to get outside and enjoy sports and the activities that the 
iwarm weather brings. You captured it very well with the smells and 
also the fresh air. Some say Spring brings new beginnings - what new 
beginning iwould you want to create? 



fjie/ e 

Sprino, and If I was a Parent 

When I think about Spring I think about relaxing and 
relieving my emotions. I also think about life. All I do is 
smoke and get money. 

If I was a parent I would do the best for my kids. I 
would help my kids finish school and make them go to 
school and get good grades like my mother did me. 


From the Beat: That is great that your mother has been there for you 
like that with school and the good grades. What are some ways to 
relieve your emotions besides smoking? What sports do you most like 
to play in the Spring? 

The Neiohborhooil is More Alive in Sprino ^ 

What comes to mind when the weather gets warm is 
cookouts, basketball, smoking, and chillin' outside. Also 
just coolin' in the nice beautiful weather, bringing out all 
the fly spring gear or summer gear. Even riding dirt bikes, 
driving cars. 

The girls come out when it's warm. The neighborhood 
is much more alive instead of being dead, even block 
parties, going to the functions. 


From The Beat: Great job in describing what Spring has to offer, and 
what you most enjoy. Do you have a favorite memory from a Spring 
that's passed? 

Most Wanted 

Wanted for blowing up the scene, straight off the mic, 

Spitting lethal lyrics, rising above the hype 

Armed and dangerous for those weak of the heart 

Shutting down ninjas before they start 

Last seen on the video screen 

Network television to cable TV 

From street corners. 


From The Beat: There are some powrerful images here and we want to 
encourage you to Iceep writing, iwithout glorifying the negative. You 
have a lot of words at your disposal and iwe'd love to hear more poetry 
from you and the kind of life you'd like to create. 

My Grandfather 


If I could bring back the dead it would be my grandfather 
because he was more like a father to me. We both looked 
alike and I wish he didn't have to go through what he had 
to go through. 


From The Beat: That's great that you had such a connection with him, 
thanks for writing about him. What would you most want him to know 
about you if you could speak to him today? 

Dirt Bikes and Four-wheelers 

What comes to my mind when the weather gets warm 

out is a cookout, basketball, chilling outside smoking, 

coolin' it with my girls inside and outside. Wearing some 

clothes like shorts and stuff like that. 

This is the time that I bring out the dirt bikes and 

four-wheels to ride. I love the weather when it's not too 

cold and not too hot, just right. It's a time to get ready 

for the summer, and good weather. Neighborhood block 

parties and go-go's. 

From The Beat: You really captured Spring here with the weather, 
clothes, sports and activities - we like how you described it from 
different angles. Some say that Spring is a time to do "Spring cleaning" 
and start things fresh - what iwould you most like to start this Spring? 


Money -Hard to Tell Real Friends 


Some people are just around because I got money, and I 
hate that shhh, because they are not my friends for real. 
That's something that I hate the most because you will 
never know who loves you, and people use money so they 
will try to use you for it. 


From The Beat: How can you tell if someone is "for real"? Who is the best 
friend you've ever had? Is he still your friend? Keep up the writing, you 
have a lot to share, and we look forward to hearing more from you. 

My Life 

My life is filled with crimes 

In my life I seen young kids dying 

My features is blind 

My life is design 

No one to cry to but mine 

Red dot blue flames take over mines 

And I watch kids dying 

My life! 


From The Beat: You have soon a lot for someone so young, and we hope 
that you have time to enjoy your life too, when it's not so stressful. 

What Money Can't Fix 


Money can't bring back my life. 
Money can't bring back my soul. 
Money can't bring back my heart. 
Money can't bring back my love. 
Money can't bring back my spirit. 
That's what money can't fix. 


From The Beat: These are great examples Patrick, we agree with you. 
What are the keys to bringing back these things that you write about 
here? Thanks for writing and keep up the good work - we know that 
you've been writing weeif in and week out and you're doing a great 


Money Can't Fix the Killino 

Money can't fix a relationship and money can't fix the 
death of a loved one and money can't fix the killing on 
the streets. 

If I was a parent, I would make sure things are in 
order with my life. 


From The Beat: That's so true, iwe agree with what you said. We admire 
that you would want to have everything in order when you were a 
parent. Keep up the iwriting, and iwe look forward to hearing more 
from you. 

\ M) Eirl 


My girl is cute, she is nice 

She's my type 

Sometimes she saves my life 

We watch movies, sometimes we get in fights 

In my head I think couples get into it 

My watch is nice 

But she is right 

She tells me to do right 

And still I do wrong. 


From The Beat: What are some of the ways that she tells you to "do 
right?" In what ways has she saved your life? That's great that you have 
someone who cares about you like that - what do you want to tell her 


^ ^ 


Ni Giving A sunt, Tet... 


As I speak to the people in here with me I notice that out 
there in the world we're all tough. Most of us are never 
home, fighting and not giving a shhh about anything, but 
in here we realize that home is where we want to be. 


From The Beat: Now that you've made this realization how will ycHj 
change your lifestyle once you're out of the hall? 

I Love You 

Since the first day I met you I knew we were meant to 

be together. 

Since the first day you looked handsome, 

but I don't like you just for that... your feelings are just 

so nice. 

You opened my heart to the truth and now I have faith 

and power 

to let the world know that no matter 

what happens I'll still be there for you. 

You are the only one I have now and yes were meant to 


- Green Eyes 

From The Beat: It is great that you have somebody in your life that 
you're able trust and fall back on during the rough patches. Hope y«>u 
can get your life back on track and he is there helping you see a better 

I Put M) Mini ti Ike Test 


When my mom cries it feels like a rainy day and for me 
being locked up is still the same. 
She cries for the son that ended up this way. 
I will be released in a couple of days and soon the sun 
will rise again, 

I promised the Lord I would follow his path. 
Now my mind feels free all the time. 

I put my mind to the test knowing everything is going 
well again. 

There are two people that always got my back and that's 
my mom and dad... that I always trust. 
Don't let your friends takeover your mind your parent 
care and love you all the time. 


From The Beat: Polio, we're glad to hear you'll be released soon. It 
sounds like you have a lot of respect for your parents and it sounds 
like they really care about you. Show them the respect you have and 
continue on your path and everything will continue to go well. 

Mad At Dad 

My dad is so mean because he makes me want to cry 
right now. Because it's like he was not there for me at all. 
I was so made at him because he made me cry so bad he 
didn't even say sorry. I was mad. I want him out of my life 
right now because I hate him and all the things he did to 
my family and me. I am mad at him 'til he dies. 


From The Beat: Ash, we know how difficult it must be to express what 
your feeling. Keep writing your feelings down. Is there somebody you 
can talk to about this? We really appreciate your participation with 

My Life 

When I was growing up my family made me believe life 
was beautiful and special. 

Now as I'm older and branching far away from my 
family I see what they didn't want me to see. The things 
they kept me sheltered from for so long. My mother looks 
at me with tears in her eyes, yelling at me telling me the 
monster this world has turned me into, explaining why 
she tried her hardest to keep me away from everything. 
Now I know what she meant. This world has become ugly. 
The things it does to people is unrealistic. 


From The Beat: The realities of "life" can be harsh and there are some 
things we should all be sheltered from. Unfortunately that isn't always 
possible. Life can be beautiful if you give it that opportunity. Keep you 
head up Ladiel 


I I I I I 


Been told I'm a menace 

Anger resides deep down fo' sure, can you feel? 

Black hearts surrounded me 

Influence me to chase chaos like bounty 

Seems like the devil has found me. 

And do I think about escaping his grasp? 

Yes, for sure, quick and fast. 

Hard and ready 

Save me from the black world I roll through slow and 


Visions of paradise and peace 

Sets me in a state of well being, laughter and happiness 

start to increase. 

-Young Menace 

From The Beat: Although we cut a couple lines, you deliver a good 
piece. Hopefully the laughter and happiness will continue to increase. 


WMmMfgrnif r 

When You Hurt the People You Love 


Sometimes the people you love tell you to do the good 
thing. But sometimes it is hard to do the good thing when 
you are a member of a gang, but right now in jail you're 
thinking why I can't listen to my family. Why do I do the 
wrong thing - why can't I do the good thing? 

That's why I'm here because I was not listening to the 
people that love me. I was always with the people that 
love me, but right now I have not seen the people that love 
me in 2 months. And that is the way I hurt my family. 
And I want to get out to immigration detention and be I 
deported, and I do not have people over there that love ' 


From The Beat: Ricardo - it's too bad tliat you are learning tiie hard 
way, but it sounds lilce you've recognized that doing the right thing is 
not always easy - and it may not be what you want to do, but it's what 
you need to do. We hope that you can stay aivay from the gang life and 
turn your life around - listen to the people Mrho love and care for y«Mi, 
and want you to succeed. 

How to Get Through the System 

What's up Beat, I'm facing another year at the Youth 
Center but I know what I got to do and hopefully it will 
help others. 

All of us just need to finish our time and stop running, 
if we do that we'll get through the system and hopefully 
get off probation. Thanks Beat, hit you up next time. 

-Lil' Mike 

From The Beat: Lil' Mike - we are glad to hear you are recognizing 
the importance of facing your problems or issues head on, instead of 
running from them. It is not sm easy thing to do, but you are absolutely 
correct that if you don't deal with it now, these patterns tend to repeat 
themselves. We are rooting for you to get through the system and get 
back to your family and friends. 

My Fiance and Family 

What matters most to me is my fiance and family. My 
fiance is basically my family so my family just needed to 
include her. It's family over money off the top. I'll shine 
off a million dollars for the love of my family. I mean that 
to my heart. I'd give it up for my family, not all of me but 
a lot. 


From The Beat: It's good that your family is more important to you than 
money. As the saying goes, 'money can't buy happiness.' Don't forget 
to let your family know how much they mean to you. 

Wasted Hays 

Many days have passed, with many more to come. 
But I can't think of a time when any of these days were 

As each day goes by I grow more tired and bored. 
Being here has no purpose, it's like a dull blade for 

The days don't go any faster they just seem to go so 

that's why I express to The Beat because it seems like 
they really know 

But after all the wasted days, and all the wasted months, 
I'm glad The Beat was here, to show a little fun. 


From The Beat: Thanks for the 'shout-out' - we're glad to loiow that we've 
brought a little fun. Every action has a consequence - being locked up 
is not necessarily meant to be fun. What you choose to make of a 
situation, iwhether you're locked up or not, is your own responsibility. 
What is important is to make the most of what you've been given. We 
hope you can turn this not so positive experience into something that 
you can learn from. Again, a very well-written piece. 



The thing that matters most to me is my family. 

I love them a lot. 

I miss them terribly, and I can't wait to see them. 
A person I know just killed himself this week. 


From The Beat: Life is very precious - it is too bad that this person's life 
ended before it naturally should have. We hope you will live your life 
to its fullest, and strive to make a difference to those most important 
around ycHi. 

My Loss 

Things will never be the same since you left my life. I 
remember those feelings I had inside when I told you I 
love you... you knew it was true. I could say 1,000 things 
that I loved about you. All those days spent and now I feel 
like they're gone. 

I wonder and wish when you will come back home. 
I never thought my worst nightmare would come true, 
you're gone forever but I will always love you. You were 
the only person who I felt loved me and since you've been 
gone I've been so lonely. No more pictures to be taken no 
more stories to be sharing no more "hi" and "bye" just 
sorrow and cries. I will never forget you. I hope those last 
moments you were thinking of me. 


From The Beat: \isa\Gssskf iwe're sorry to hear about your loss. Cherish 
the memories you have. Please keep writing about your feelings and 
don't be afraid to express your emotions not only on paper, but iwith 
someone you trust Sks iwell. 

Why We Come to Juvenile Hall 

I don't know why we all come in here - now we all know 


We all come in here because to try to fit in. 

We all come in here because who we thought was our best 

friend wasn't. 

We all come in here because we think we are tough. 

We all come in here because we are at the wrong place at 

the wrong time. 

We come in here because we make dumb decisions. 

We all come in here because the person we look up to 

tells us it's right but it is wrong. 

We all come in here sometimes for stress. That's why we 

all come in here. 


From The Beat: Jamarius - it is disappointing when someone who you 
think is your friend does not alwrays act in your best interest. You also 
mention 'we all come in here sometimes for stress' - there are plenty 
of positive ways (exercise, hobbies, helping others) to deal iwith stress, 
rather than making choices that hurt others and yourself. Ultimately 
you are responsible for your own actions, even if it iwas someone else's 
idea. If someone is trying to tell you to do something that you thinic is 
wrong, usa your owrn judgment, as it is ultimately your choice. 


'HEW enrff^A 


t ^ 

fjie/ s 

is It My Fault? 


First, second, third, fourth and fifth. 

It's my fifth time here - at first I thought I came in for 
a mistake, but now I'm thinking about it. It's all my fault. 
I was the one who chose my path. I chose to be who I am. 
I got no one to blame, but myself. 

I used to say it's my parents, they're too mean to 
me. If you feel like that, check yourself because it's all 
on you. It has always been on you, don't blame it on 
someone else but yourself and you will pay the price. 

Now I'm here locked down, not knowing what to do, 
but think about my court date - "Will the judge give me a 
break, will he believe the words I say, will he know where 
I'm coming from?" That's what I tell myself like twelve 
times a day.... finally my dispositional court came, I was 
ready... I was not. 

"This is your fifth time coming in here for a fight, your 
mom is over there crying , and you're telling me that it's 
all a misunderstanding." 

I froze when I heard those words come out of the 
judge's mouth, he know I had nothing to say so he just 
sentenced me on the spot. 75 days was the judge's 

"What in the hell am I going to do for 75 days in here," 
is what I said. I'm paying the price. It's the only reason I 

Everything you do in this world you'll have a price 
to pay, good or bad. That's the way I learned things. All 
I got to do now is wait and get used to the bossing,, 
and incarceration of Juvenile Hall, and think of all the 
changes I'll have to make when I got out, because if I 
don't my sentence could be a lot worse if I come again, 
which I hope not. 


From The Beat: Rob - it sounds like you've already learned your lesson. 
Taking responsibility for your own actions is very important. While 
some people groiv up in less fortunate situations than others, we are all 
bound by the same rules. Unfortunately, life is not fair and everyone 
goes through life differently. While someone else may seem to have 
had sm 'easier' life, you never knoiw iwhat his/her story is. Ultimately 
you must decide for yourself the person you want to be. Actions speak 
louder than iwords - iwe hope you'll shoiw your family and the judge who 
you really are, and that you don't come back here for a sixth time. 

Two Special People 

ho I 


What matters to me most is my girlfriend and sister. 
These two people mean the world to me. I can't wait to 

I get out and be the man and Big brother that I should be. 

From The Beat: Have you thought about how you're going to be the 
man and Big brother that you should be? Make sure you set a good 
example so that your little brother will have someone to look up to, and 
so that you'll be around for him. 

Here In The Hall 

When I first got here I didn't know what to expect. 
They put me in a room and I started to think and I knew 
I was a suspect. 

It's not cool to be in here. To tell you the truth you are 
making yourself look like a fool. 

The people that look up to you the most are shocked that 
you are in here. 

It's hard to get away from the bad 

but you got to find a way to good. Just follow God to the 


From The Beat: Do you think you'll stay away from the bad and find the 
good? Keep iwriting us with updates. By the way, what's gonna happen 
to you upon following God to y«Hir neighborhood? 

Somethlno to Think About 


Locked up sucks right, but the real question is what 
are you going to do to get out? I think there's only two 
ways, yeah you can just do the program and hope to get 
out, second, you can put it in your head that you're gonna 
do good no matter what and do your best and you know 
you're gonna get out. But ultimately it's up to you what 
you want with your life, to go down a destructive path, 
be in and out of jail, then prison, wasting years, months 
in there wishing, praying you were out, I am speaking 

It's up to people to decide what their future holds, but 
I know one thing, this ain't a place where I want to spend 
the rest of my life. Maybe some other people, but not me, 
and I know what I got to do, keep my head up, forget or 
block out what everybody thinks of me or what they say 
of me, I have a future and it's for sure not in here. I got to 
get out and really live life because we only got one, and I 
ain't wasting it in here. 

So I got to do what's right, not for the friends because 
they don't last. I got to do what's right for my loved ones 
and the ones who truly care for my life and what I do with 


From The Beat: Bandido - when you're faced with the choice to make 
difficult decisions, remember what you wrote here, and remember your 
plan to malce a better life for yourself - it is easy to get caught up in 
the moment, so make sure you make the right decisions. We hope you 
continue on the path of good choices and keep your nose clean. 

My III' Sis and Bio Brother 

Man, pictures at a time like this. Away from all your 
loved ones that can't come visit you. The homies send 
you a picture and the staff won't give it to you. They say 
it's gang related or that you can only have pictures of 
the family. All of my boys said that they sent me some 
pictures. Where they at? I ain't got 'em yet? 

There is this picture I got of my bro, my little sister 
and me. I look at it all the time and wish that I could 
touch their faces. Has me thinking about why I can't be 
there for my lil' sister at a time when she needs me most. 
Lookin' at my bro and thinking about all the things we 
did together, how much time is he gonna get? When will it 
get better? In reality he is a fence and a street away from 
me, but it's enough to have us separated forever. 

All Right The Beat, see you next time and hopefully 
you can come to the Youth Center so I can write some 
more. Love you lil' sis and big bro. 

-Lil' Dirty 

From The Beat: We're sorry you can't get all the pictures sent to you, 
but rules are rules. Hold tight to the ones they do allow, especially the 
family. We're working on getting to the youth center, but if you don't 
see us there keep writing and iwe'll keep publishing! Thanhs again, this 
is a very go«Kl piece. 


mrifwmismwmmr jn f * #///: 

/i/f//mi'/ri//jf. /// ////#/ //. // 

//// //, 


mrifwmismMmm r^f * #///_ 

/i/f//mi'//if/j/. /// ////#/ //. // 

Confessions Of AYounoster 

Well, to start off, by now you have read many of my pieces 
and you know who 1 am. I've decided to write a short 
biography about my crossroads, my parties, my fights, the 
drugs, and mainly how 1 became who 1 am today. Hopefully, 
you will enjoy my story and what 1 have to express... 

My ethnicity is Mexican, Navajo, and Irish. My dad is 
from Mexican, Mexico and he is full-blooded Mexican. My 
mom is from Salinas, California and she is three-quarters 
Irish and a quarter Navajo. 

So my life began on the date of March 1st, 1991. 1 was 
born in Morgan Hill, CA. From there, 1 lived in Gilroy, CA for 
a good amount of years with my family. 1 have one brother, 
one sister, a mom and my dad. 

My uncle at the time was in Utah dealing with his 
problems. 1 have no other relatives, and at that moment my 
family consisted of six people including me. 

On my mom's side, her mom died when my mom was 
18 and her mom died of pneumonia, because my grandma 
that 1 never knew drank too much and she got sick. She 
had water in her lungs, and her immune system started to 
fail. She caught pneumonia, which eventually killed her. 

My mom was left with her brother, which is my uncle, 
and no-one else. 

1 probably have family in Mexico, but 1 don't know them 
and I don't care. 

One of the first memories I have is when 1 was about 
four years old. My mom got out of Chowchilla State Prison 
-the women's facility - and 1 was waiting there with my dad, 
my sister and my brother at the Greyhound station on 
First, and Monterey in Gilroy. What 1 can remember, she 
had a white wool or crochet sweater, blue jeans and red 
lipstick on. That was one of the happiest moments in my 

My family lived at an apartment complex in Gilroy called 
Sierra Apartments on Monterey, and Phashell by Land 
Market and Pinocchio's Pizza. So what 1 can remember at 
that moment was my first school I attended; it was Glen 
View Elementary, by Gilroy High School. Other than 

that, my mom and my dad were clicked up with the owners 
of the apartments and my dad did side jobs at the owner's 
house and my mom was the rent collector. Since my dad 
was cool with the owner we got to have a "chicken coop" in 
the back of the complex. 

See, Gilroy is known for having ranches, and the 
backyard of our complex was like the size of a football 
field. My dad built the chicken coop with his friends and 
his friends gave him animals and wood to make it. We had 
two big black pigs, like three goats, a little bull, chickens, 
roosters and pigeons. That is my dad's passion; he loves 
animals and he loves to take care of them. 

My dad also had a dark side to him, too. He drank 
Presidente and Tecate with his friends, and he'd come 
home starting problems with the neighbors and mainly my 
mom. It's hard to speak about this, but yes my dad beat 
my mom. He would yell at us and hit us with a belt or his 

That's when my mom called my uncle in Utah to help 
her out. He came with some Native American female 
named Tina. My mom did not like her. So when my uncle 
came, it was a bit better, but my dad and him fought in the 
past, before 1 was born, and they continued to have their 
struggles in our two bedroom apartment. 

From what 1 remember, my mom did not like my 
uncle's lady, Tina and my mom whooped her ass in front of 
everybody. My mom socked her up and broke her nose and 
gave her money to go back to Utah on the Greyhound. 

Oh, and 1 remember one of the worst stories that 

continues to scare me to this day... 1 saw my dad 
punching my mom and dragged her out the front door 
and slammed her face with the door. I remember 1 had a 
roll of quarters that my uncle gave me, and 1 threw it at 
my dad. At least his attention was focused on me, and he 
whooped my ass while my neighbors helped out my mom. 
My mom never deserved that kind of treatment. 

As 1 got older, 1 noticed how bad my dad's drinking 
problem got. I remember when he came home drunk and 
he was hitting my mom, the Vanguard of the complex tried 
to help my mom, and my dad punched him in the face and 
broke his glasses. Then, I think he hired some people 
to jump my dad 'cause when my dad went to go feed the 
animals, he didn't come back. 1 guess they jumped him so 
bad that he had to be airlifted by a helicopter to Alexian 
Brothers Hospital in east side San Jose. 

It was all-bad, and 1 figured that was what got us kicked 
out of the apartment, because we went to some place called 
Ochoa Camp. See, the thing is, this place is not a camp. It's 
a place that you stay for like three or four months 'til you 
get back on your feet. 

1 was nine years old at the time, because my girlfriend 
was a year older than me and I remember she was ten. Her 
name was Ebony, and that was like my first interaction 
with a female. We snuck out and broke into a condo and 
turned on the stove and we cuddled by it for heat. I'm not 
going to lie, but she was a cool person, plus my next door 
neighbor Teresa had a crush on me and I cheated on Ebony 
with her. 

See, my brother and my sister made up the light game. 
It's when you have girls and boys in the room. Then you 
turn off the lights and whoever you touch first you hold 
on to them. Then someone turn on the light and if it's the 
same sex, you give them a handshake; if it's your brother 
or sister, you give them a hug. Finally if it's a girl, you make 
out, and me and Teresa always had a hiding spot so we 
can touch each other. My girlfriend Ebony would always 
get mad and stuck with my brother. 

So our time was up at Ochoa Camp, or we got kicked 
out because we had a dog, and my dad got a job in Los 
Bafios, CA. We went there for a couple months and then we 
moved back to Gilroy. 1 don't remember exactly where we 
lived, but it wasn't a great place. All 1 remember was that I 
think my mom, brother and sister went to a shelter for like 
a week. We stayed at the Armory by the old Los Animas 
Elementary School. We had to stay on a thin mattress 
like the ones we have in our cell, here in juvenile hall. We 
stayed there until we left to East San Jose. 

1 was in third grade at a shelter called the Brandon 
House. 1 went to San Antonio Elementary School. 1 think 
my dad was locked up or we left him, because he wasn't 
with us. We lived right there on San Antonia and King. As 
we were living there, my mom got on her feet and went to 
school and got her GED. She went to some typing class and 
got real good with computers. 

We found out that the Brandon House was closing, and 
we moved to the family shelters by Berryessa Flea Market. 
1 think my dad got out or he found us, because he started 
living with us again. My mom got Section 8 Housing, and 
we got a two and a half bedroom house in Sunnyvale by 
Ellis Elementary. My mom got a hold of my uncle, and he 
started to live with us again. 

One of the next things 1 remember was we got kicked 
out for a stupid reason, and we moved to Santa Clara. We 
then got a two bedroom house and that's mainly where all 
my problems started. 

I'm about to jump ahead because all the other stuff 
behind me is about going to school, ditching and starting 
to fail, mentally and physically. 

1 met one of my closet homeboys named Dust. Since 
my brother got caught up for beating up a rival and got 
sentenced to a couple years in CYA, Dust became my street 
brother. We did almost everything together. 

1 know the people that are reading this have some sort 
of road dog, "brother," "sister," or like family. 

Yes, Dust and 1 drank together, smoked, partied and 
had fun. Along the months that we knew each other we 
became closer and closer. 

I'm about to tell a story that led to the first time 1 tried 
cocaine and how I got all the money to get it. 

So it was my homie. Chipmunk, my homie. Dust and 
1 postin' up at Central Park drinking a bottle I jacked. My 
homie Chipmunk spilled some and 1 decided to strike a 
Safeway by Long's Drugs Store. It was around Midnight and 
we were walking next to Long's to see if it was open. It 
wasn't open, so we started to walk towards the Safeway and 
a cop rolled up and asked us where we were going. 

I said he was trying to go to Long's to get some milk 
for my mom and it was closed so I'm going to Safeway. My 
homies started to walk the other way all nervous, and I went 
into Safeway. I ran towards the other door and ran on the 
back of the store. I ran to the other end by Armadillo Willy's 
BBQ and hid under a bench. I saw my homies running to 
Central Park, and the cop chasing them. I decided to run 
to Dust's house like three blocks away past San Tomas 

So I ran through the drive-through of Taco Bell and 
passed some Asian store and I almost ran into this white 

She got spooked, and I said, "I'm sorry." Then I asked 
her for a stoge and she said she doesn't smoke. I said ok 
and started to walk away. 

She said, "Wait, I'll buy you a pack!" 

I said, "I have no money." 

She said, "I'll get it for you.' 

I said, "Fo' sure." 

We then started to walk towards the Safeway. I walked 
around and stole a bottle of Belvedere Vodka and I walked 
out. She came out with a soft pack of Marlboro Reds and a 
bag. As we were walking, she held my hand and I showed 
her the bottle of Belvedere and she took a bottle out of the 
bag she was holding. It was Gilbey's cheap vodka. So we 
walked by her apartment complex and she asked me if I 
wanted to have a drink with her. I said ok and we went in. 

Once inside, I saw pictures of her two sons. One was 
eight and the other was six. 

I asked her, "Where are your kids?" 

She said, "They're at their grandma's for a week since 
their dad got departed to Mexico." 

I wasn't tripping, so we stated to drink heavily and we 
were listening to some rock an' roll and I leaned over to ask 
her if she wanted to have sex. I started to hear some weird 
noises come out of her mouth ,and then she gave me the 
ok. We went to her room. 

At the time I was a real young teen and she was thirty- 
seven. I tried to be romantic and I lit some candles. We 
played around for a couple hours and then I wanted to 

After, I asked her for like five dollars so I can catch the 
bus to Milpitas. She looked through her pants and she only 
had a credit card. She gave me the pin number so I can get 
$20 out, and I went and got $500 out. I came back and gave 
her the credit card and dipped out. 

I went to Dust's pad and it was like 5 a.m. in the 
morning. He was watching TV and smoking a stoge, and I 
was like, "what's crackin' foo'?" 

He said, "Where the hell were you Chango?" 

I said, "Don't trip." I then flicked the switch on the 

light, and he saw some haters (hickies) on my neck. 

He started to say, "How come you didn't hit 

Then I pulled out the five bills all in $20 bills. He got 
all happy. I then passed out for a couple of hours, and I 
woke up around 2 p.m. We went to the north side of San 
Jose to party, and my homie hit up this foo' for two grams 
of cocaine and a quarter of weed. We got it, partied with it, 
and that's the end of that story. 

To summarize what I've basically been through like the 
parties, the drugs and shhh I've done is simple. 

I've stolen hella cars, I don't want to brag, but I stole 
Camry's and Honda's with scissors. Other cars are like 
keys in the glove compartment or by force. I've partied 'til 
there's no tomorrow. I've done beer runs, cigarette runs 
and hella more shhh. 

I was at 7-11 and I had a 40' oz of Mickey's and my 
homie had tall cans if Old E'. My homie Pee-Wee jacked 
this white boy for his skateboard. He was messing around 
with it, and some white female came and said, "Let me see 
that!" My homie started to book it and she grabbed it. She 
got on it and tried to skate. It was funny 'cause she was 
faded. My homie came back and showed her how to skate a 

To jump ahead, it was me,my brother, my homies :Lippy, 
Pee-Weed, Luck "E", Benny, and Richard. She invited us to 
her pad and we started to listen to oldies from my homie 
Ipod. She offered to buy us some beer and got us three 
twelve packs of Corona and once pack of Pacifica Clara. We 
all got buzzed and my homies Lippy and Luck "E" started 
messing with her. See, my instincts popped in and I wanted 
to swoop on her shhh too, but I found car keys and called 
my homie Luck "E" out the room. Me and Luck "E" are 
hella good at driving, so we dipped out, just me and him. 

We drove around and his phone rang. It was my 
brother. He said, "Come swoop me up, 'cause this female's 

We went. I was driving; my homie Luck "E" had shotgun. 
My brother and Lippy had window seats and Richard was 
in the middle. We had to leave Pee-Wee and Benny behind 
because there was no more room. We smashed to Milpitas 
and smashed around in the Hills. The we drove to Safeway. 
My homie Richard and Lippy went inside and came out with 
four thirty-packs of Coors original. My homie fishtailed out 
the parking lot and we went back to Calaverez Hills. We 
drank up there with the radio on full blast. 

She had a nice-ass Acura TL 2005 with an Ipod cord 
sticking out the radio. We slumped the beats and jumped 
on her car. I heard a noise and freaked out. We all went 
back into the car. My homie was driving, and I stuck my 
head out the sun roof and so did Richard. My brother and 
Lippy stuck their heads out the window, too. We all had 
beers, and then we chucked them 'cause it was hard to 
drink at 45 MPH going downhill. 

After that I drove to Sunnjrvale on Fremont and Wolfe. 
There is a 7-11, and my brother and Lippy went in. My 
brother got four cartons of cigarettes, and Lippy got hella 
beef jerky. My brother ran to the car and Lippy came 
stumbling 'cause he was hella faded. Then he tripped over 
his own foot and face planted into the rim and chipped two 
teeth. We smashed to my pad and dropped them off. We 
ditched the car. 

So enough party stories. I'm going to speak about real 

I've had hella bad shhh happen to me too, but the worst 
thing was when my uncle died. He passed away December 
24th, 2007. It's been a little more than a year he's been 
gone. See, my uncle drank A LOT! He's had drug problems, 
but quit drugs and continued to drink. He'd been living 


mrifwmismwmmr jn f * #//z 

/i/f//mi'/ri//jf. /// ////#/ //. // 

//// // 


wrifwmismMmM r^f * #///_ 

/i/f//mi'//if/j/. /// ////#/ //. // 

with us as long as I can remember. 

My mom and my uncle fight a lot so she kicks him 
out. Since we have no other family, he has to resort to 
the streets instead of a family member's place. When he 
lives on the streets, he has his drinking buddies. He drank 
Vodka every day. I would kick it with him often because 
1 loved his company, and 1 wanted to show him that his 
nephew cares. 

My uncle drank, passed out, woke up, drank, 
panhandled. 1 feel bad because my mom had no choice but 
to kick him out, and most of the time he went willingly, 
since my mom yelled a lot. 

The more he drank he developed some problem. He 
started to bleed internally by his esophagus. Since he never 
had insurance, he never went to the doctor's. 

1 remember when 1 got out of juvenile hall. 1 was on 
house arrest and I went to bring my uncle home. See, the 
thing is, my uncle and 1 are close. 1 can't explain it, but 
it's like that one person who makes you smile, makes you 
happy, who truly understands and respects you. That's 
who my uncle was. I understand you know what I'm talking 

So my uncle was there at my house for two days. 1 was 
trying to get him to quit drinking and he didn't. I made a 
bed for him by me and in the morning he woke up. 

He was saying, "Justin! Justin!" 

I got up hella quick. 

He said to get him a trash bag. 1 did. Then 1 saw blood 
on the carpet. I started to freak out, and he started to 
throw up chunks of blood into the bag. 1 called 911 and 
the ambulance came and took him to the hospital. They 
rubber banded something, and the doctors said, "If you 
drink you'll die." 

He did not drink for a year and a half, but out of nowhere 
he felt healthy and started to drink inch by inch. He left 
again and 1 was on house arrest at the moment. 1 cut it (the 
monitor) off to bring him back. 

1 went and he told me, "Nephew, can 1 just be happy?" 

1 cried and cried and stayed with him on the streets for 
two weeks. I made a deal with him though. I said, "I'll turn 
myself in if you go home." 

He said, "Ok." 

1 gave him hug after hug, and he gave me two tall cans 
and a pack of stoges. I then went to the bus stop to catch 
the 522 Rapid, and went to juvie on August 28, 2007. 

My mom was writing me, and I had dreams of my uncle 
drowning. She told me he got locked up and they let him 
out three weeks later. I did two months and 1 got released 
October 28, 2007. 

At that time, he was still on the streets, but I had no 
way to get him. 

My little brother got out December 14, 2007, out of 
CYA, and a week later my uncle came home. We partied for 
a couple days 'til one morning. 

On December 24, 2007 my uncle passed. 

1 woke up and my brother said, "Uncle Butch wanted a 
trash bag for some reason." 

1 said, "How long ago?" 

He said, "Like 30 minutes." 

1 started to trip out and went in my mom's room. There 
he was lying on the ground. He looked up at me and said, 
"Nephew call the ambulance." 

1 started to panic and cry and I called 911. 

1 said, "Fght it Uncle Butch, please fight!" 

There was hella blood on my mom's carpet, and the 
paramedics came. Two minutes later my mom came home 
'cause I called her too. The paramedics got my uncle and 
picked him up to the living room. While they took him there, 
he was having a seizure and blood started to roll down his 

face. He was shaking so bad. My mom collapsed, while 
they were trying to resuscitate him as they gave him an 
adrenaline shot. The cops told us to go in the den. 

Then those disgusting animals searched us. I tried to pull 
back and the mutha had the nerve to say, "Do you wan to 
get physical?" 

1 said, "Screw you," and let him search me. 

We went to the hospital and the doctor said he passed 
on. Me and my mom broke down. Like I told you, my family 
is really small. It consists of six people now. 

It was six, but during this story my nephew was born 
December 19, 2006. So it was a new addition, then bam, my 
uncle is gone. 

My mom went into depression mode. She lost her 
closest thing to her mom and her mom's side of the family. 
They grew up together, and death is striking once you 
experience it. Life was different from that moment on. 

'Til this day, 1 still think of him every night. He was my 
uncle, my best friend, and my wisdom. RIP Uncle Butch 
2-9-61 to 12-24-07. After that 1 didn't care any more. 

It was six days after his death and my mom took off 
work and she was raunchy. She kept making coffee since 
she quit drinking and crying along the way. 1 stayed with 
her in mourning for three days straight, not once leaving 
her. We missed him so much. 

So, basically, six months later, 1 got caught for a serious 
charge and I've been here for six months. When I get out, 1 
want to be there for my family. It's going to take six years, 
but 1 will get out, so that is just a minimal chapter of my 

I've been through so much shhh. I've been through 
hell and back. All I got to say is try and change and choose 
your choices wisely. Life is hard and it's hard to make it. 

To all the people that read my piece and enjoyed on 
what I had to say, stay up. I see myself in ten years with a 
coo' job, a lady, and possibly a kid. Shhh, it feels good to 
look in the future. Mainly because 1 realize what's ahead of 
me. I'll still handle my shhh, but I'm not going to go look 
for trouble, and not do stupid shhh that led me in here. 1 
want to be with my nephew and be some sort of figure to 
him. He is two, and when 1 get out he might be six or seven. 
1 love children, and when 1 was out, 1 always played with my 
nephew. 1 watched him, changed his diapers, chased him 
down just to make him laugh. 

So my philosophy is that you need three things in life 
to survive, and that's friends, love and family. I have friends 
and that keeps me company. They bring me that kind of 
happiness that a family member cannot. 1 haven't really 
experienced real love with a female yet, but I've had puppy 
love. And to the end, family is everything to me. 

1 regret that 1 yelled at my mom, dipped out for weeks 
at time and 1 disappointed my dad. 

I'm about to end this story, so stay up to all the 
homegirls doing time and to the homeboys doing time. It's 
time for me to close, so remember to keep your head up, 
chest out, nose clean, and stand tall and always refuse to 
fall. From the max, late... 

-Chango, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: There's something you left out of this remarifable tour de 
force, which is this: with all the playing, all the drinking, all the partying, 
all the being there for your mom and your uncle, all the running from the 
cops — where in the hell did you learn to write like this? Are you one of 
those cases we read about, a savant who never iwent to school but can 
write like a college graduate? Even while we are still wiping away the 
tears from what you've been through, from the terrible loss of your uncle 
and your freedom, we have to stand in awe of your story-telling abilities. 
There is not just one book in this brief "confession," but several... and 
you've only just begun! Do ^hat you Icnow you have to do, Chango, to 
return to the world of the living, and don't do what you knoiv leads to 
the other world (like getting drunk...). You have so much to look forward 
to. Anyone iwho can turn this much pain into this much art can shape the 
world! Thank you! 

My Niohtmare 

Playing jump rope 

Chasing boys 

Life seems so easy 

Then came puberty 

Failing grades 

Stressful days 

Getting influenced in bad ways 

Losing faith, lost hopes 

Trying to fix things by using dope 

Dragging friends down with me 

No one should have befriended me 

1 turned into the bad friend 

Kept doing drugs again and again 

Now every day gets harder and harder 

Because 1 have become a nightmare. 

-Jaymee, Fresno 

From The Beat: At one point in most people's lives they have done 
something that has classified them too »s a bad friend. Once you have 
recognized that you have too, all you can do is to be different to others 
from noiw on and ask for forgiveness, whether they can give it to you 

Obama-Obama We Are Free at Last 

Obama-Obama, our first black president. 
We made it we did it. Your journey was relevant. 
You came a long way and believed you could. 
You believed in pulling out of war I think you should. 
Martin Luther King said 1 have a dream. 
You are the dream, a black man just like Dr. King. 
Help us that struggle that are trying to succeed. 
Knock down some of those prisons so these kids can 

Teach us the right way so we all can be smart. 
Teach us how to march... 
because we are free at last. 

Teach us how to love with out running from our past. 
We are all one nation we shall come together. 
Every white girl and white boy is my sisters and 

We should overcome in Dr. King's words. 
We shall overcome words we all should have heard. 
Yes we can Obama, yes we can. 
No more am 1 called a boy because 1 am a man. 

-Lil' Purp, Alameda 

From The Beat: Beautiful, powerful words. YOU are Dr. King's dream too 
- if you step up and live it. A dream that you will be part of uplifting all 
people, wherever they are, whoever they are - starting with yourself. 
It's not just your 'hood, it's all of us: We all we got. 


I would like to say good-bye to all the bad influences 
in my life. Bad influences come in all shapes and sizes. 
While 1 am in here 1 am taking my time to sort these 
people out whether it is my friends or my family. 

These people have done nothing but hold me back 
and 1 am tired of that. 1 want to start fresh and see if 1 can 
do better in life putting myself and my needs first. 

1 hope my decision is the right one because 1 am one 
month away from being eighteen and from here on out, 
my life is no joke. 

-Skid, Solano 

From The Beat: It sounds like you made the right decision. Goodbye 
and good riddance. You are right to realize how crucial it is not to get 
caught up in the adult system. Make your own life, independent from 
those who don't have your best interests in mind — iwhether friends or 
family. Then you can be free to create the circle of friends and family 
you need. 

The Last Words 

When you realize you're about to leave, a certain type 
of emotion races through your body. You feel compelled 
to stay, but you have to go, so you try to fill in as many 
words as you can. For example, when your parents are 
done visiting you, you mainly say, "I love you," and if it's 
your homies, you give them handshakes and props and 
tell them you'll catch them on the rebound. 

So if 1 was bouncing for a coo'-ass minute and there 
is no possible way of communicating with them, then I 
would take off all the weight on my shoulders. 1 would 
go to my closest friends and homeboys and give them my 
respect and honors. There wouldn't be one person that 
1 would just say bye to. 1 would say it to everyone that 
respects me and 1 respect them. 

My final words would be... "Well homeboy/homegirl, 
I'm here to give my upmost respect, loyalty, and honor, 
but I have to depart for now. 1 do not know how long I'm 
going to be gone for, but we will see each other in the 
future. Since I've known you, you've watched over me 
somehow and if for some reason 1 pass wherever 1 go, I 
will watch you over in heaven. Time is of the essence and 
1 loved the company you've shared with me and I have 
to leave, so stay up, stand tall and refuse to fall because 
there are so many conniving backstabbers that will cheat 
you to beat you. Just choose your friends wisely, so I'm 
out. Remember the words I've just said and take it to 

All in all, that's what 1 would say if it was my last 
words. Stay up to the homeboys doing time. 

-Chango, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: It is a testament to your strength Sks a writer, Chango, 
that iwhen we read your farewell words, even Icnowring they are only for 
a "wrhat if" question — a hypothetical — they still bring us near to tears! 
They are so full of your heart that they fill our heart. We hope wherever 
you are, wherever you go, you will never really say fareivell to The Beat. 
You mean too much to us for that. 

Lost For Words 

Too many words to jot down. So little time. 

So many things I want to say between theses parallel 


Today's Thursday. Same thing every day. Same things 

every night. There's so may people in the streets playin' 


In my mind 1 feel like I'm by myself. 

It's hard knowin' you goin' to do hard time at a young 


Even in the system, it feels like there has been 

A lot of young men gettin' sentenced to a decade or life. 

It is a lot, but from the outside point-of-view 

You seem like a small percentage. 

That small percentage might be you. 

Stay out. 1 ain't got nothin' to say. Late. 

48 hours 

60 seconds 

365 days a year 

One life 

Keep it real. 

-Saetern, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: It is hard for us to imagine you lost for words, Saetern. 
In so few words, you manage to express so much. iVot just knowledge, 
but feeling, heart, soul. The same people that hand out hard time liice 
candy would fight liice hell if it were their children paying the price. 
How do we get them to see that you are their children? And, in reverse, 
there iwould be so much less violence if those committing it could see 
that those they are hurting could be their oiwn brothers and sisters, 
their own fathers and mothers. How do we get them to see that? We 
need your wisdom, Saetern, ^whichever side of iwalls your find yourself 


mrifwmismwmmr jn f * #///: 

/i/f//mi'/ri//jf. /// ////#/ //. // 

//// // 


She has more regrets then y'all ever know 

so she hides who she's been wherever she goes. 

She pops, she snorts, she smokes, she drinks, 

anything to get that high, 

anything to just survive, 

the pain she feels is just too deep 

so she pops another to keep the tears from rolling down 

her cheek. 

She never went a day without worrying or tripping, 

'till her first fix 

then she knew she had to keep sniffing. 

She never worries about it being her last, 

she's just trying to forget the past. 
With every sip she feels the pain slip away, 
just trying to feel numb for at least one more day. 
She's in her room drinking shots, 

never tripping bout getting caught, 
never tripping bout how much, 
even when she's yacking up her lunch. 
This daily routine never gets old, 
she's just trying to make herself feel whole. 

-Jordyn, Alameda 

From The Beat: This is a really incredible piece, thanifs for sharing with 
The Beat. The experiences you describe are really common among drug 
and alcohol users. People often use to forget pain, to escape a painful 
reality for a short time. Unfortunately, drugs iwill only work for a short 
time, and they don't fix the problem, they just make you unaware of a 
problem that is still there. Using doesn't fix anything, only facing the 
source of pain will help. 

Jail Life: A Whole Different Tomorrow 

It's a whole different world in jail but I think Juvenile 
is just a Big Daycare until you get to the next level. But 
real jail like Rita or the pen--in Juvenile Hall the staff like 
to talk to you and give you lectures, when you get to the 
next level they're not going to even call you by your name 
they're going to call you by a number. 

In Juvenile Hall you got 42 inch TV's watching free 
movies got game systems like PS2's and Nintendo Wiis 
and the staff bring their Xbox 360s in and different things. 
In the hall you can get a straight through phone call. 

You get to the next level you have to use a collect 
phone. But it's different gangs own the phones so most 
likely you wont even be able to use the phone. 

It's a lot of horrible things going on in the pen 
smuggling drugs, callin' hits, dudes getting they butt 
took and sold. It's just whole different life and world. It's 
crazy you don't know if you gone make it home--you can 
get killed or extra time. 

1 just don't know what tomorrow is going to bring- 
same thing for the outs but in Jail it's a whole different 

What J.A.I.L. Means To Me 

J = to get Juveniles 

A = to get Adults 

1 = Incarcerated 

L = 4 Life 

So Jail means to me: Get Juveniles and Adults Incarcerated 

4 Life 

-Young Boobie, Alameda 

From The Beat: Do you knoiw if you are going on to Rita or the pen? 
Your comparisons maice it very clear that the adult system is no joke, 
and no place someone would want to live. In the outside world it's true 
we never l<now what tomorrow is going to bring, but you can still do 
your best to make plans and set up the life you'd ^ant to live. You may 
have a job and a family that may be interrupted at times by unexpected 
situations.. .good and bad, and you can't control it — but you can guide 
your life because what you do and who you are today pretty much 
creates what you do and who you are tomorrow, etc. Our point, yours 
included we hope, is that it's definitely best to stay out of jail. 

Last Words 

Well, what's good. Beat? This Young Bri. As you know, 
I'm getting sentenced to some time up in Colorado, so 
basically this is my last words to those who want to 
take my advice. I been around here in these streets for 
a long-ass time. I 1 thought I would never get caught up, 
doing the things that I was doing, such as selling drugs, 
robbing, stealing, etc. Now look at me. 

So y'all whose first time in this hole, make sure this 
y'all last time, for real, because being in group homes and 
in places like this ain't cool. Being away from my family... 
it kills me when I see them walking out these doors and I 
can't go. That shhh hurt me. So please do the right thing. 
Go back to school, get a job and do you. Forget all those 
otha ninjas. They ain't going have ya back with you down. 
So do you, for real, my ninja, 'cause, man, these streets 
ain't like it used to be. 

You really picking the way you live, and, trust me, 
I know you don't want to see your grave just yet. So do 
what you got to do. These ninjas who is your so-called 
goons going to turn on you in a blink of an eye. Prime 
example: look at my bro's (RIP CJ and RIP Darious)... Not 
saying that you them, but ninjas really is trying to gain 
control, all for nothing. So be smart, make wise choices, 
and don't lose your life to the system, for real. Learn from 
others' mistakes and make a change. We got a real chance 
now that we have a President that's fin to make changes 
in the states. 

-Young Bri, San Francisco 

From The Beat: All iwe can say. Young Bri, is that you ahways spit real 
knowledge that we can only hope even one young person will take to 
heart and learn from, without having to make the mistaices you've made 
to learn these hard lessons. We truly hope that these are not your last 
Beat iwords. You can write us from anywhere and at smy time, and we 
know you iwill find a neiw experience, new people, new knoivledge in 
Colorado, so we hope we can benefit through your written words. Our 
address is on page three of every Beat iwe do, so don't forget to write. 
Keep your head up, and good luck! 

Illusion Of Perfection 

This perfect little princess 

No one sees her pain 

the way she bottles it up inside 

she'll most likely go insane 

she has everything she could want. 

There is nothing else she needs 

How could she feel so unhappy 

in this perfect life she leads? 

She has all the material things 

She can even get the guys 

but she's searching for internal happiness 

in the perfected life of lies 

if people only knew 

the thoughts that go through her head 

maybe they'd reach out to this princess 

before she ends up dead. 

Luckily she's afraid of death 

the thought of never awakening again 

Hopefully this fear stays with her 

So her life does not come to an end 

everyone sees the small things 

they don't make the connection 

If they were to look at the big picture 

They'd see its all an illusion of perfection 

-Kathryn, Fresno 

From The Beat: We have known many who seem well on the outside. They 
suppress their emotions and are never really honest with themselves 
and then they act out or break down. It doesn't have to be that way. All 
she needs to do is to heal. She can start by talking with someone she 
can trust. She can get help and address her issues. No one is perfect. 


wrifwmismMmM r^f * #///_ 

/i/f//mi'//if/j/. /// ////#/ //. // 

Me And My Family 

The picture I would cherish most in my life would be a 
picture of me and my complete family. 

My family now is absolutely never complete no more. 
My dad got locked up and now he's facing a five-year 
sentence. Me and my older brother are now locked up, 
and I don't know if we're going to be out any time soon. 
But even when me and my brother were out I was always 
stupid, and my brother was messing up a lot too. As a 
result, my three brothers are looking up to me, in a wrong 
path, and now they are beginning to look like they want to 
tack it too. 

My mother has suffered so much 'cause of me and 
I really want to make it up to her. The picture I would 
cherish in my life the most that I want to keep until I die, 
would be a picture of my complete family, and we looked 
like we all loved each other. 

-Jose, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: That's a beautiful-sounding picture, and it sounds liice 
you can actually make that a goal for yourself. As soon Sks you get out, 
woric on showing your brothers a better path, so that they won't be 
locked up when your dad gets out. And Ski for yourself, start thinidng 
about the best iways to make it up to your mom. That will keep you out 
of trouble, too. 

Black Rain 

Black rain, it haunts my dreams. Black rain, 

It muffles my screams, black rain, it's the result 

of all my pain, black rain, it's on the edge of 

my brain. Black rain it's the cause of all your 

Fears black rain, it's the thing that colors your tears. 

Black rain, it's the switch from living to dead. 

Black rain, it turns from clear to red. 

Black rain, it's what will end it all 

Black rain, it puts you back in the hall 

Black rain, it falls it always calls. 

Black rain, it keeps you on the edge of your mind. 

Black rain, it never seizes to bind. 

Black rain, it's the reason your lies sell. 

Black rain, it's the chain that holds you to hell. 

-Ace, Solano 

From The Beat: This is sm effective poem, scary and dark. What can clear 
this black rain Ace? What is strong enough to break this chain? It sounds 
like serious depression that darkens all light. If this is what happens 
in your head it would be good to have some help iwith it. Sometimes 
situations make us sad for a long time, very sad — and sometimes our 
brain chemistry is not balanced and we need help to get some light back 
in there. Please think seriously about what you need, we iwouldn't want 
you to think your life has to be liice this. 

He Was Here And Now He's Gone 

He was as bright as the sun 
And had a smile like a clown 
He walked around 
Getting along with everybody. 
Now he's off this earth 
Looking down on everybody 

Pla! Pla! Bullets into his body 

They took his life like an animal 

As if nobody cared because of a robbery 

I was not there 

To say the last few words 

I had to spare. 

-Arturo, Marin 

From The Beat: Even though you wrote that "nobody cared," iwe can see 
that you cared, and that means a lot. We're sure he never thought that 
something liice this could happen to him, and yet it did. We Icnow you 
will never forget him, and we hope that this tragedy will lead you to see 
why talcing chances with your life |even for moneyl is just not worth it. 
Some consequences are terrible and permanent. We're sorry. 

Howl Feel! 

Man I feel really violent 'cause I am mad at someone who 
has hurt me really bad. 

She thinks it's OK and she's still out there doin the 
same thang. And my step dad too. Both of y'all gone pay 
fo' what y'all did to me. 

I couldn't control him, you know I couldn't he's 
stronger than me! And you sat there and let him do that to 
me for a whole week straight, and I couldn't do nothing. 

I tried fighting , it didn't work. I ran from you and you 
still found me. It's like I can't escape from you! But now 
I don't care because you are not going to hurt me any 

You're just mad 'cause my daddy don't want yo' sorry 
ass no more and you tryin' to treat me wrong to get back at 
him. Well guess what you ain't gon' hurt me or my daddy 
no more and now I've been free ~ 'cause you thought you 
could threaten my life and try to shoot at me for me not 
to tell my daddy. 

Hell no I told him, and you ain't gonna never get to me 
no more. 

And you is wrong about me never going to be nothing 
'cause I am going to go to college and become that doctor 
I want to become 'cause I got the smarts for it and you 
are not going to put me down or make me feel bad 'cause 
I know who I am, an I got all my family who got my back 
100% so you go on... keep doin what you do 'cause me I 
am too . 

But you will never hurt me again an' I bet my life on 

-Ericka, Alameda 

From The Beat: It's good to see you speak up with so much poiwer, and 
let that self-respect guide you to say that NO you will not accept to be 
abused anymore. And yes - you can be whatever you want, never listen 
to Sknywn^ who would put you down... so now, after writing this strong, 
angry piece, tell us what you plan to do to prove them wrong and prove 
yourself RIGHT! 

Hear Obama 

First off, congratulations in the inauguration. Also, for 
being 44th President in the United States. 

Well, I just wanted to say that I'm glad that society 
has changed into a better community, and with your 
help we'll make it even better. And when you said "For 
the world has changed, and we must change with it," I 
agreed with you, because like you said, everywhere we 
look there's change to be made. 

One way to really help out the community is by helping 
those that want to be helped. By giving them jobs it gives 
those in need something to look forward to. Also, those 
that have been here for years and need more economic 
help - immigrants with a good future - need that kind of 
help. Those good souls need more education and those 
without education need it, and you can do this by putting 
more money in all of educational related things, rather 
than in prisons. It's because of that that people are in 
prisons. It's because of that that kids and others think 
that they are not cared for in government eyes. They do 
more crime to put themselves in the government eyes. 

My ideas are to help out the community and myself 
and government as well. Well, thank you President 
Obama for taking this time to read what I have to 

say. Thank you for your time. 


One of your citizens. 

-Adriana, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Thanks Adriana. We'll send this to The White House, 
which is where the president gets to live while he (and one day, she) 
is in office. 


mrifwmismwmmr jn f * #///: 

/i/f//mi'/ri//jf. /// ////#/ //. // 

Put an end to Violence 

People around the world are using violence against one 
another. Violence is happening over money, food, land, oil, 
gangs, and drugs. People say violence is human nature, 
some say not; I say violence needs to end. 

Violence is a big part of African American communities . 
People are getting shot, stabbed, robbed, raped; fights, 
alcoholism, and drug abuse. 

America has caused so much violence in Iraq. Bush 
said America was going over to Iraq to get Osama Bin 
Laden. That was part of it; the other part of it was going 
over to get that oil that's over there and not caring about 
those innocent bystanders that are in the streets getting 
shot at by American soldiers. 

Some people may not realize what this country has 
done to another, and that was bring so much violence 
into another part of the world. 

I'm going to talk about the government for a minute. 
The government is slowly dismantling the constitution; it 
may not seem like it, but it's happening. They say the FBI 
doesn't need evidence to get a search warrant on a person, 
all they have to do is go to the courts, have a Judge sign it, 
and it's valid to search that person or that person's place 
of residency; that's violating our Civil Rights. 1 think the 
government knew about everything before it happened; 
that means 1 think they knew about the Twin Towers and 

Now back to violence. I'm not saying don't use violence 
peacefully; make it peaceful violence. Speak with your 
mouth instead of your fist and weapons. Fine, express 
how you feel, but with words that are the most powerful 
violence there is. And when 1 mean peaceful words, it 
doesn't have to be bad language. 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke with very powerful 
words, and now we are sitting, eating, and drinking from 
the same water fountains, sitting at the same tables, 
and eating at the same restaurants and hanging around 
whites, blacks, Asians, Mexicans, Indian, and all types of 
people because of nonviolence, and we need to continue 
that act. 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, on January 
20, 2009 that dream came true. We now have to change as 
African American people. We have to stop giving ourselves 
a bad reputation, not just African Americans, but all 
people of all races. We now have an African American 
president in the White House; 1 know things are going to 
change big. 

This world wasn't made for people to kill, rape, 
steal, and rob from one another. This world has turned 
into something. It's not violence. The government has 
turned America into something; it's not the police who 
are shooting people for no reason, beating people for 
no reason. The violence has to stop, and it has to stop 
now. If violence continues in the world, nothing good will 
happen. We need to end it now. 

1 think Barack Obama is going to have a good impact 
on America; hopefully we can go over to Iraq and apologize 
for what we have done. 

Hopefully we can move forward with things, and make 
a dream that all violence will end and not worry about 
people committing crimes. That change has to come and 
1 believe it will. 

-Andre, Alameda 

From The Beat: A lot of people share your anger over the violence that 
is becoming more and more apparent within our country. Are there 
things you thinic you can do to help end violence on a small scale in 
your community? Is there a friend or relative you thinic you can talk out 
of using violence just one time? Every little bit helps, and spreading 
wisdom like your can be contagious. Once it starts, it ripples out to 
more and more people. Start the ripple! 

//// //, 

Don't Matter 

It's doesn't matter the seven months I've already done 

They're giving me four more and they haven't even begun 

I look at myself and hate the reflection 

Of all the hard work and endless dedication 

I was hustlen, makin it in the streets 

And all it tool was time a little belief 

But since I'm young it was taken from me 

Everything I worked so hard to be 

Now I'm in a cell like an animal 

They're eating me alive worse then a cannibal 

They say they helping me when they really don't have to 

When I see my mama cry it really don't faze me 

Must be why people call me so crazy 

She didn't cry for me when I had bloody eyes 

Or when I rolled the dice and threw away my life... 

So why should it matter if these handcuffs are on 

I'm just another 

Teen gone wrong 

-Magill, Solano 

From The Beat: If you hate your own reflection that's why it matters 
that the handcuffs are on. This is your chance to STOP and turn with 
your life, into a life where you don't feel like sm animal in a cage, and 
don't hate yourself. Your Mama, iwe're sure, doesn't luiow the whole 
story. If you worked »s hard on your legit life sk^ you did hustlin' surely 
you can make something of it. 


A little About Me 

Hey Beat, what's up? I don't know what to write so I'm 
gonna tell you about my life from ages 11-14. 

You see, when I was two I got taken away from my 
mom and put into state care. I got taken away from my 
mom because my mom basically raped me from the age 
3 and up. I went from group home to group home until I 
drew the line by burning down a school. 

I write this because I want you guys to know that one 
person can mess up your whole life. 

-Stacks, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Thank you for deciding to share this iwith us. Tell us 
about the new you and what your dreams and hopes are for the next 
chapter in your "new" life! We have faith in you! 

Words Of Life 

Tired of being in here, might not get out to see my baby 
born. They tryna give me a year in Fouts but Ima deny it 
and do more time till I'm 18. 

My birthday coming up real soon in February and I 
don't want to spend my birthday in here. I want to get out 
and spend time with my family, try and go down the right 
path cause I don't want to get locked back up. 

I think I'm having a boy, and I need to be out to raise 
him, cause a woman can't raise a man. Since my father's 
not in my life I'm not trying to be out of my baby's life. My 
baby's born in four more months. The system trying to 
hold me down, keep me locked up because of my history, 
my past. 

I'm about to be 18 now and I'm looking at shhh 
differently and the system not seeing what I'm seeing. So 
I would like to get out, get a job, go to college, graduate 
and have a good income to pay the bills. The only thing in 
my way is being locked up. 

-William, Solano 

From The Beat: How is school going? It's a good first step to finish 
school and graduate. It will help your son or daughter if you go to 
college. When you have a kid you have to look at the big picture, long 
term. If you have a history, how will you change your patterns of how 
you deal with things, like being broke, or angry or both? Your kid will 
need a father, you need to become one. Good luclc, and start nowr! 


wrifwmismMmM r^f * #///_ 

/i/f//mi'//if/j/. /// ////#/ //. // 

FiOiitino For My Soui 

They say demons live in the shadows of my life waitin' 
for a chance to show themselves. If there was ever a time 
I didn't truly believe in God, that time has passed because 
if there can be something so evil, why not good? Why is 
it so easy to go down and it takes the world to bring one 
person up? That may be the reason why I doubt a God. 

Is my life supposed to be this way? I promise to never 
give up, to keep fighting for my soul, that piece of mind. I 
know in reality I'm not, but sometimes I feel like I'm the 
only one to suffer. 

I realized a long time ago that there is much more 
to life, much more to me than I give credit for knowing, 
that I love where I'm at — not physically, but mentally. 
Sometimes I wish I could start over, that the life I'm living 
is just a long dream and I would wake up any moment. 
I just hope I grow old. I know demons don't stay in the 
shadows forever. 

-Pinky And The Brain, San Francisco 

From The Beat: It's no wonder you were so upset when you thought 
we did not publish this amazing piece! To be honest (and we hope this 
doesn't mark us Sks "weak"), when we read this, our eyes filled with 
tears. We wish we had written the wonderful line: "there is much more 
to life, much more to me than I give myself credit for loiowing..." Good 
and evil, these are the themes of some of the greatest literature ever 
written, and iwho knows, Mr. Pinky and the Brain, you may be someone 
we remember Sks contributing to that literature sks your mind expands 
and your life is enriched. It's Sks if iwe see it happening before our very 
eyes. We are so proud of you for writing this! 

I never got the opportmltif 
to have "Mo^^if" or "Dad- 
dtf"6isK^e, "d>ahtf, what do 
tfOM want for Christmas?" 

Facino Reaiity 

I'm sixteen years old and all my life I've been facing 
reality. Growing up, I grew up with all the white kids in 
my city. They got everything they wanted, plus more, 
but what they didn't know about me is I'm a dope baby. 
I was born addicted to meth. They didn't know that, did 
they? They think life was hard because mommy or daddy 
didn't get them the new Ipod or digital camera, and all of a 
sudden their lives are ruined. All my life I struggled from 
selling drugs to selling my body to put food on the table 
for my older siblings and mother. I was smoking dope in 
the bathroom with my mama at twelve years old. 

I never got the opportunity to have "Mommy" or 
"Daddy" ask me, "Baby, what do you want for Christmas?" 
My Christmas Eve was helping Mommy in the hospital 
bed, 'cause Daddy decided to beat her to her deathbed. 
Ha! Talk about "Merry Christmas"... 

So for me... I'm facing reality. 

-Anonymous, San Francisco 

From The Beat: You don't need to compare the degree of your pain 
to that of anyone else for us to know that what you have endured is 
something no human being, and certainly no child, should ever have to 
endure. You put us in mind of something Abraham Lincoln said near the 
end of the terrible Civil War. He said, "The fiery trial through which we 
pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation." 
Don't give in to this terrible past, but rise above it. Let your fiery past 
shine a bright light of honor on your future, by climbing from the hole 
that you had nothing to do with digging, and by helping other young 
people to deal iwith the kind of trauma your strength Sks allowed you 

to survive. 

If ifOM hadn't hrought we around four 
sel-ftsk llfestifle that ifOM lived I prohahlif 
woHid looK at life a little different lif, 

Wiiat's on My Mind 

If you were here I think that I wouldn't be in the situation 
that I am in now. If you were around more I probably would 
be being a child instead of tryin' to be grown. If you were 
in my life everyday from the gate I wouldn't look up to 
strong men or any man or boy for love. If you didn't leave 
my mom in heartbreak she wouldn't blame me for your 
mistakes as a man and a father. If you hadn't brought 
me around your selfish lifestyle that you lived I probably 
would look at life a little differently. 

Dad, not that I blame you, but you put a very big 
dent in my heart and life and because of it I became a 
prostitute in these streets choosing the wrong men for 
my life because I wouldn't know what a real one was 
cause you wasn't and making my mother because of it. 
All I ever wanted was for you to be there and now I have to 
suffer because you're not. Why? 

-Ladi, Alameda 

From The Beat: This is a really heartfelt piece, we're sorry you had to go 
through life without a positive male role model. Reading this though, 
we get a sense that you knoiw iwho you are, and you also know what 
you want to become (and what you don't iwant to become too). Be proud 
of that. 

Running My Mama 

My mama told me while I run these streets 

She can't sleep, her phone rings late at night 

She thinks something will happen to her nerves 

So bad right now she can't watch T.V she 

Turns every time she sees the police she 

Scared to look 'cause it might be in the 

Back. Every time she hears about a shooting her 

Heart skips a beat, she heard the feds were 

In town, her knees got weak. When she knows 

I'm at the house is the only time she's at peace. 

I'm golden to these streets ,but to mama I'm 

Still her baby, raise a man all by yourself, you a 

Hell of a lady, shhh killing me to know I'm running 

My mama crazy. I think I'm speaking for every 

Street ninja around I don't think we 

Sit down long enough sometime to realize 

What we putting are momma 

Through. It hurts me to know dog that 

I'm running my mama crazy and it's really 

Killing me to know that I'm helping to 

Kill my momma. 

-Lir Sani, Alameda 

From The Beat: Thanks for sharing this excellent piece about what your 
mama goes through. The question is, what are you prepared to do, so 
that you can stop hurting your mother and make her proud? 


mrifwmismwmmr jn f * #///: 

/i/f//mi'/ri//jf. /// ////#/ //. // 

//// // 

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 you're 
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 thunderstorms and look for the sun. 
The power of a smile can be very powerful. 

At the end of each journey lie 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 and laughter. A smile can make the most 
difficult situations bearable. 

So smile, there will always be brighter days. 

-Nguyen, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: What sm inspirational piece, NguyenI Everyone can taice 
this and apply it to his/her own life. We appreciate you sharing this 
with the readers. What inspired you to write this? Is this something you 
apply to your oiwn rules of living? 

/ harelif hang oMt with mif 
fam//if» I'm alwatfs oMt with 
m/f friends, Now that picture 
is like it was OHlif me in it, 

The Picture Of Me and My Family 

Well today I'm going to talk about my special picture 
that I was in. It was a picture of me my two brothers, my 
mom, and my dad. Now we're all happy. In this picture we 
were all a happy family, but now it seems like we are not 
that kind of family no more. 

We barely hang out like a family but now my dad is 
gone. I don't hang out with him that much no more. I 
don't even know where he is. My middle brother is never 
home that much so I barely hang out with him. But now 
I barely be home. I barely hang out with my family. I'm 
always out with my friends. Now that picture is like it was 
only me in it. 

-Lir Shadow, Alameda 

From The Beat: We're sorry, and we can only imagine how you feel. But 
you knoiw what life is like that. It is what you maife of it. Even though 
your dad is gone, you still have your mom, and your brother. And if you 
really miss being a family together you should just flat out tell them. 
Tell your mom and your brother that you iwant to hang out together liice 
a family. It's up to you to make it happen. And it's better late than ever. 
Life is short and each day that ^skzi^z by that you don't spend with your 
family is just one more day that you ain't never getting back. 

I Love You, Truiy I Do 

If I was going to go away for a while, the last words I 

would want to tell my lady, wife. Baby's mama (she's all 

in one),,, but what I would tell her is, "Happy anniversary, 

and I got a little poem I wrote to you. Listen to my words. 

They're real and from your husband's heart. Listen: 

I love you, truly I do 

You're my everything, forever me and you 

Cherishing every moment created among us two 

No girl could take the position in my heart I have for you 

Elissa, I look deep within your eyes, that directly to your 


I know the pain you've been through, each and every 


No need to try and hide it, I'm here forever since the start 

You're my first love, death can't even do us apart 

God blessed us two you with me, me with you 

So Love, tell me, but be 100% true 

Do you love me like I love you? If so then take my hand 

Let's make it last forever in lover's land - 

I love you, stay true forever, promise me... 

I hope you like it it's from my heart. 

I can't wait to see you." 

All who read this, I'm loyal to my girl. No girl will take 

me from her. That's on. So if you want to talk, do your 

talking. It's nothing. And to all who feel me, stay true to 

your ladies and get it in return. 

-Peanutt, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We seldom designate love poems skz pieces of the 
weeic, but then again, we seldom see love poems like this — beautiful, 
passionate, even fierce and powerful. One of the things that makes this 
such a fine poem is that you not only sog so very lucicy to have found 
this degree of love so early in your life, but that you ioiow how lucky 
you are and will do nothing to risic losing it. 



// - ////// - // - ///«! 

fPJg/ // 

Lost Innocence 

What's up Beat, I have this picture in my cell, and this 
picture is the most valuable picture I have because this is 
a picture of me and my three brothers. 

The reason why it's so valuable is that in this picture 
we are no more than four kids filled with innocence. And 
it's funny how I can take a picture now and we almost 
look like four different people because we no longer have 
any innocence in us. 

I enjoy to just look at the picture and remember 
those times before I even had a thought to break the law 
and end up in juvenile, and it motivates me to be a little 
more like that again. 

-Jairo, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: There is still time to get your life and your brothers lives 
together, Jairo. Your innocence might be gone but the happiness that 
life brings is still available for you and your brothers! You don't have 
to break the law, or do things that'll get you in trouble. These are the 
choices that you made and you don't have to keep going this way if you 

don't want to. 

Tliese Tiiouoiits 


There is so much rage in the back of my heart. 

It's like I can't even think right no more. 

I can't even move. 

I don't wanna move. 

I could make the wrong one. 

I'm sitting in a cell. 

As lucky as I am. 

I know. I'm supposed to be dead. 

My back aches. 

My heart hurts. 

My head feels. Like shhh. 

And I'm supposed to be good? 

That's what counselors say. 

But as privileged as I seem. 

I don't feel equivalent to human. 

I feel like their pet. 

Being told when to eat. 

Being told when to sleep. 

Is that a human? 

And the looks I get from inmates. 

Makes me want to swing my hands furiously. 

'Till I can't feel my hands no more. 

It seems like the right thing to do. 

It's Kraz-e. 

-Kraz-e, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: This is such a raiw and personal piece, thank you for 
sharing it with us. Although it's hard to keep your head up in a place 
like the hall, it's necessary if you iwant to survive your stay mentally. We 
icnoiw you can do it, your mind is a strong tool! Use it instead of y«Mir 
fists, in the end you'll benefit greatly. 

Don't Judge Me 


I ain't really feeling the topic so I'm going to write about 
how there are people out there that judge others by their 
actions. Such as judges, PO.'s, counselors, teachers, etc... 

All these people know about us is what is written on 
paper, what they read only. From then on they put some 
sort of picture and ideas in their heads about some of us 
just because of the actions and mistakes we did. They say 
a person is judged by their actions but 1 do not agree, for 
example, me. Yes, I have done a lot of messed up shhh in my 
past but that does not mean I'm a drug addict, a criminal, or 
the worst son. 

Deep down inside there is good in every single one of 
us. We just made mistakes like if judges, cops and/or PO's 
haven't. For some reason they feel too superior to us. I don't 
know if that will ever change. Hopefully it does. 

-Payaso, Alameda 
From The Beat: We agree, you shouldn't judge anyone by his or her 
appearance, but this seems to be a hard habit for many to break.. .what 
do you do when you meet someone for the first time? How do you hold 
back from wrongfully labeling them? As for there being more to you 
than the iwritten paper the system reads, that's iwhy The Beat iwas born, 
to give you that chance to paint another picture as to who is inside 
these institutions. Nice worlc. 

Last Words 

If I spoke to my dad on the phone right now, the last 
words would be, "dad I miss you. Come back." 

-Francisco, Alameda 

From The Beat: As sad sks these last words are we recognize that they 
are very true. It takes a l«>t of courage to put y«>urself out there and 
expressing sskAnxcss for your dad never coming back. So w^e w«Hild like 
to commend you on that. 

My Opinion 

What's up, Beat? I'm not feeling the topic tonight so I'm just 
going to write about what's on my mind. 

1 got locked up last week. It sucks. All 1 want to do is go 
home. 1 know that can't happen at the moment so I just have 
to deal with it. I don't really want to but I'm going to stay 
strong and tough it out. 1 know I'm here for a reason and I'm 
happy I got locked up. 

I've realized that 1 need help with my drug problem. My 
PO is going to send me to a group home that is going to 
help me. I know 1 don't want to continue going down the 
same path I have been. I want to turn my life around and be 
a working member of today's society. That's one goal that I 
have for myself. I'm going to do it! 

There's hella haters out there that don't think I'm gonna 
do it. All I can say to them is that you will see. I bet you guys 
have heard the same shhh from other peeps. I got court on 
the eleventh of next month. Damn, I hope 1 get out and start 
working on myself. 

This place is crazy! All these damn dogs up in here that 
don't got any respect for anyone but members of their gangs. 
Damn, it pisses me off. All these fools that think they're the 
shhh. All I can say to them is you ain't shhh and if you keep 
with those gangs you just going to end up dead. I don't give a 
shhh what you got to say to me. 1 don't give a damn about you 
gang members or how big you think you are. I ain't talking 
shhh but I'm just saying how I feel. 

Everyone has the right to their own opinion and that's 
what I love most about The Beat. You can say what you want 
without having to worry. Thanks Beat for all your support. 
I'm gonna keep my head up and keep living life to the fullest. 
Peace out Beat! 

-James, Santa Clara 
From The Beat: This was a great, very opinionated piece, James. We're so 
happy that you were able to freely express your feelings in this letter. 
Why do you think it's so hard for some of the guys that are locked up 
to give respect to everyone? You might as well be respectful to the guys 
you're going to be seeing everyday for the rest of the time you're locked 
up. Although this iwas a great opinionated piece why don't you dish out 
some advice for The Beat readers instead? Tell us what you do to keep 
patient instead of going off when you become angry! 



// ' ////// ' // ' ///a^ 

fpjie/ // 


mm l70MiI/ff MaM A 

Freedom To Graduate 

I just talked to my brother on the phone. I'm just here in 
Challenge and I'm doing good. I'm probably going to get 
out two weeks early and my other friend went to Fouts. 

I'm waiting to get out and get my car back, it's a 
Pontiac Buick and put a system in it and go wherever 
I want. In summer I'll go to the beach. Lake Berryessa, 
have a barbeque. 

If jobs get good by the time I get out I'll get one while 
I'm going to school. I'm a trying to do home school and 
I'm gonna catch up on my credits here too. I'm gonna go 
to summer school-and then I'll take the tests to graduate, 
and that's it. 

-J, Solano 

From The Beat: Keep your focus and finish school! You sound iilce you 
have some good places to go, and a cool car. What kind of job would 
you look for? 

I'll Always Luv My Momiiia 


I'll always luv my momma 

Cause she's the only one who puts up with my drama 

So I'll always love my momma 

Remembering the days when I was a little kid 

My mom never thought I would do the things I did 

Smoking weed in the streets, fighting in school 

In my mama's eyes, I was a fool 

Chilling with the homies, straight raising hell 

I'd never thought I'd end up in a juvenile cell 

Even though I'm in a jail cell I know she's 

Right there standing by my side 

Even though I was a fool in my momma's eyes 

Please momma don't stress, I know you only 

Want the best for your son, please believe 

That I'm sorry for what I've done 

That's why I love you and I'm gonna settle down 

I'm gonna make you the proudest momma in town 

I'm so proud to be your son 

Cause you're the only one who puts up with my drama 

So I'll always love you momma. 

-Zuly, Fresno 

From The Beat: Zuly, make sure your mom gets a copy of this poem. 
It's a powerful, heartfelt gift from you, her son, and any mother would 
treasure that. You're so luclcy to have mother iwho will stand by your side 
no matter what happens. IMoiw that you've written your appreciation for 
her, give it to her. We hope these words you've written iwill start you on 
a path toward healing and becoming a better person so your mom won't 
have to stress anymore. 

What I learned In My Life 

I see the light an when I see the light it makes me think 
twice about my life, of people I hurt and did wrong in 
the past, an for the relationships that I had. For all the 
people who cared about me and loved me I'm sorry I did 
you wrong. 

Now that I am about to leave there is something 
everybody in this room should know whatever staff mental 
health tells you do it because it's for your best interest to 
do so, why? Because they have been through things we 
did an seen or experienced even more. 

Since I turned 18 I realized something, people in 
life is not going to give you anything because you have 
to earn it-nor they going to go out they way to help you 
unless want to be help an want to stop committing crimes 
cause at the end the only person your hurting is yourself 
and your loved ones. 

-Cash Money, Solano 

From The Beat: We wish you luck with everything, and hope you don't 
forget what you've learned. 

J L 


What's up Beat? How ya doin'? Me, keeping my head up 
always. I haven't been trippin' much anymore. Actually my 
sister moved in with her man, ex-gangbanger. He abuses 
her mostly. He said he supposedly stopped, but I don't 
know. I just leave it in God's hand and let my days go on. 

But there is one thing that I'm trippin' about; it's my 
other sister. She's been hating cops ever since I got locked 
up, and she says she been drinking a lot to keep the pain 
away. It's more different because I can't stop her. I just 
trip 'cause she might never, you know, and I don't know 
what to do. I just gotta get out to protect them now. 

I'm still working toward my future to get a perfect job, 
house, and beautiful wife, ya know. I'm just hoping court 
always goes by great or perfect, just never want anything 
bad to happen. I'm having faith that I'm getting out soon, 
a new life when I get out. Just never say never... but I will 
never give up for my life. 

-Moe Joe, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We can see how worried you are about your sister, and 
iwe hope she is able to handle her anger without droiwning her pain 
in alcohol. You might want to tell her that when people start getting 
addicted to alcohol, they start looking for reasons to drink, and you 
would hate to be just an excuse for her to get drunk! We believe that 
there is no problem that alcohol iwon't make worse! Hope you get out 
very soon and are able to achieve your dream of a neiw life, and be able 
to give your family the help they need. Good luck. 

Last Words 


If one day I was to leave and I was to talk to someone, I 

would talk to my mom because I love her. I would tell her 

that she has been a good mom, and that she has thought 


a lot. Because of her and what she told me, I got out of a 

lot of trouble. 

No matter where I go, I will always remember her, and 
all her words that she told me — especially when she tells 
me that she loves me. And I know I love HER very much, 
maybe more than I love myself. 

-Lw, San Francisco 

From The Beat: This is a very nice piece expressing love for your mom. 
You don't have to love her more than you love yourself. Love is not 
limited; you can love her and yourself equally. (We c«Hildn't read your 
name; take a little more time to spell it out.) 


I I I I 1^ 

Hustlino to Get Free 

On the streets you were my boy 

but a master of deceit. The only one I trusted 

late night on the creep. Now that I'm in a cell 

I can smell My minds weak 

With out me Another five in a half 

With out my lean to let me sleep 

I'm hungry for meat 

Tryna back at any ninja surrounding me 

Hustling to get free. Stuck in a locked down facility 

Reaching for my peace in my sleep 

Back to back in my cell 

Like I gotta semi auto pointing at me 

It's finna be a tragedy when 

I'm done with this word 

Like rain drops on my sleeve 

I got Jesus on my peace 

Squeezing tightly till you're on your knees 

With hell beneath and Heaven above 

which is it gonna be. 

-All, Solano 

From The Beat: We wonder hoiw you think this question iwill be answered. 
Do you think the answrer will be clear, and then you'll never have to ask 
or ansiwer it again? Or is it something you iwill have to re-visit, and re- 
commit to? 

// ' ////// ' // ' fJIf/A 

fpjg/ // 

ti a 

I'm Ready For Chanoe 

Maybe if my pops would have stayed and made it 

Maybe then I wouldn't be incarcerated 

With my house raided more than three times a week 

They tryin so hard to get me off the streets 

So they put me in a Failed system 

And I don't need it, 

I just need someone who'll Listen 

Realize that I do have hope 

To succeed in life without sellin dope. 

I've seen too many fail, I must proceed 

Show myself I can succeed 

I'm tired of all this negativity 

Usually coming from my bad mentality 

It's not my fault, I was raised this way 

So why am I the one that has to pay? 

Don't tell me, I know why 

For out my mouth came that lie 

-Walnut, Solano 

From The Beat: We think that what you are saying sounds like the 
truth, so we are left iwondering what was the lie? The most important 
person to listen to you is yourself! You iwill find people who iwill see who 
you really are, but find them Sks a free man. Feed the positive side 
yourself, grow it, develop it, get to know it, honor it, become it!! 

I Miss 



I miss my mom 

Love and cherishable 

I miss my house 

A place where I can relax 

I miss my dad 

Putting knowledge in my head 

I miss my girl 

Crying 'cause I'm in jail 

I miss my brother 

Funny and bringing me up 

When I'm down 

Least but not last 

I miss the outside world 

Breathing fresh air and eating 

Foods that have seasonings 

-Taje, Fresno 

From The Beat: We feel you - but the good neiws is that soon you will 
be free, and you will be able to appreciate all the things you have even 
better because you lost them for a little while. 

Not The Last Words 

These are not my last words 
But it just keeps on getting worse 
Feeling the young homies start with drugs 
Having babies and leaving their girls 

As time goes by I see more and more 

And the bm's walk all alone, for the dad was far way 


And that's hella stinking wrong. 

You should think twice 

Before you make the choice 

Think, homie, you still hella young 

Lir homie you only a young teen, and what's the cost 

Lir homie you is no boy, to me you just a boy who's lost 

Think wisely, for you only live once 

Live your life 

-Lovelle, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Even though we had to change some of the numbers 
you used into other rhymes, your advice is excellent, Sks sttways. We only 
hope that your grown-up words Mrill not fall on children's deaf ears. 

Being In a Ging 


Being in a gang is something real, not a game, not a toy 
but life. Where there's no trust and no way out but people 
still choose to be in one. There are all kinds of gangs. All 
of them have different rules but see, I'm in a gang where 
you choose to what you want, where there are no rules. I 
still remember when I got put in. 

Now, I'm a whole different person, fighting with 
people. I don't even know but for my hood. I do it. Now 
the only thing I stand for is my hood. No one could tell me 
what to do or when to do it. I got my homies backs to the 
fullest and for a fact I know they got mine. I grew up with 
them, learning little by little how to live a life of banging. 
I've accepted the fact that representing my hood is either 
gonna get me in jail or in the cemetery. It stays on my 
mind more then life itself. 

Also on my mind all the time is fighting, rivalries, 
expecting rivalries, and killing rivalries. Also retaliation 
is a must. Putting in work is all I know but now that I'm 
doing time. I look back at the past and that's al what's on 
my mind is the hood and the gang. People who don't know 
should know what the life of being in a gang is about. 

-Mango, Fresno 

From The Beat: We agree that people must lead their own life and not 
follow the lead or directions €^ others. Realize who you are and what 
you are here to do in life. It is not to gangbang. Do not be afraid to 
break away and follow your own lead. 

tie I 

Havino Faith 

What up Beat! Tonight I'm going to talk about having 
faith. I wanna talk about having faith because tomorrow 
is my court date an' I might be getting' released tomorrow 
so that's why I'm having faith. 

I have faith because I'm not the type of person 
to just give up on things. I like to stand my guard an' 
think positive about everything I do in whatever's gonna 
happen. I also have faith because I got a family at home 
wanting me to come home. I also have faith because of 
my lir brother and my niece an' nephew. I also have faith 
'cause I made a promise to my grandma (Rest In Peace) 
that I will always have faith and never give up. 

-Young Chop, Fresno 

From The Beat: We hope that even if you didn't get out when you hoped 
to, you will remember your promise to your grandma and hold onto your 
faith. Faith is about believing in yourself and in your tomorrow. Keep 
that alive, and your better tomorroiw will come, even if it come later 
than you wish for. 

Life Old Suck 

Life did suck. Well, at least I can say. I use to think my 
life was horrible until I realized I made it all the way. I 
went from a bad teen to the worst teen, from selling drugs 
and robbing stores to selling my body and doing more. I 
was eleven when this all happened and I blamed everyone 
for it until I realized it wasn't no on else's fault but my 
own. Now it has been six years just for me to realize that 
it was my fault for the reason why my life sucked but now 
I'm seventeen and I'm a classy teen. 

Well actually I have a mind of a twenty-three year old 
and it was me that chose to change my life but it did take 
six years for me to open my eyes. So now I stop all of this 
and moved back with my family and I was the one who 
turned myself in because I was the one who thought my 
life did suck! 

-Veronica, Fresno 

From The Beat: We admire the courage with iwhich you face your life 
and the iwillingness to accept responsibility for your life. We iwish you 
strength and conviction of spirit as you maife these changes. Don't slip 
back. Ask for help and make a great new life. Good luck and God bless. 



// ' ////// ' // ' ///a^ 

///// // 


mm l70MiI/ff MaM A 

I Miss Vallejo 

I'm tired of being locked up I'm trying to get out and get 
back to Vallejo, I need to get back to the lab so I can spit 
some verses I been writing in my room. I don't like being 
in Fairfield because it remind me of the hall, when I get to 
my city I feel it's not gon be the same. 

I feel like I been locked up for too long, well while I'm 
in here I might as well get some rest and chill. Well I got 
to get my life together while I'm in here too. I got to learn 
from my mistakes. I miss my dogs man, I miss how we 
take care of each other and I miss my wifey. She is the 
main one that keeps me out of trouble and we take care 
of each other. All I'm sayin' is that I miss Vallejo. 

-Ray, Solano 

From The Beat: What do you learn from your mistakes Ray? We'd like to 
hear some verses that speak the truth about that. We are happy to hear 
that your relationships mean so much to you, and hope you put your 
energy into friends that have your best interest in mind, and support 
you in truly good iways. We like the way you're trying to get something 
gcKKl out of y«Hir time. 

Last Words 

Dear Twin, 

You and me both know that you're the most important 
person in my life. I'm truly sorry I left without saying good- 
bye. I would have called if I wasn't so selfish. I think the 
least I could have did was told you where I was headed, 
knowing in my heart you're the only one I can truly trust. 
What we got is the best friendship I've ever had. 

We're sixteen years old now. Seems like life was so 
much easier when we were growing up together, playing 
with "my size Barbies." I know we've grown up, but I hope 
we never grow apart. 

Please forgive me for my own selfish feelings. I truly 
do apologize... Not only are you my best friend, but my 
sister. It's crazy how you think what I think, you feel what 
I feel. When I cry, you cry. When I'm sick, you're sick. 
That's sick! 

When I'm gone away, no matter how far, our connection 
is still the same. You know when I'm in pain, 'cause you 
feel it, too. Twin, I never got to tell you I love you and I 
know it was wrong to just leave you alone. Now that I sit 
in this room, all I can tell you is, I'll be back soon. 

Love you. Twin 

-Raynete, San Francisco 

From The Beat: This is a beautiful letter to your twin sister, Raynete... 
but these are not "last words." You will have many more words together, 
and many more experiences to celebrate and laugh about. Do what you 
have to do now, and get ^% much positive SiS you can out of the situation 
you find yourself in. That way, when you return, you will be better 
prepared to remain free and reconnect to your other half. We hope you 
sh«»w this to her. We Icnow she will want to read it. 

I Triel 


I would tell my grandmother that I tried, although I 
didn't succeed to her expectations I am great as time 
has allowed me to be and now choose to live through the 

When you told me, my mom would curse me saying I 
would be just like my dad, I already have. 

True and sad I choose that path, but couldn't escape 
if I got on my knees and asked. I still look over my sister 
and brothers and it's still two fingers to the others. We 
now have a president that's colored wish you could of 
seen it I really mean it. 

-Mont, Alameda 

From The Beat: We hear that you miss and respect your grandmother in 
your iwords. How might she suggest you escape the path you choose? 
Does Obama inspire you? 



Everyone has to make decisions for themselves. 
Sometimes the decisions you make can get you into big 
trouble. I made a decision that got me in trouble, and I 
regret it, not just for me, but for all the people it affected. 
What I did changed my life, and of my family and all that 
were affected. Now I put myself in a situation where the 
courts will make a decision for me. 

-White Ninja, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Living iwith the consequences of our acts — including 
how they affect those we love — can be a very hard thing to do, but it 
has taught you a very important lesson. Look forward, not back, and 
realize that some people never learn what you noiw understand. Put 
that newfound maturity to your advantage, and this will be sm episode 
that will only maice you stronger. 

No Good 

J L 


I was raised in a rough neighborhood up to no good 

I'm looking at the older foo's in my 'hood 

I wanna walk like 'em 

I wanna talk like 'em 

I wanna be a lil' G and hold a gun like 'em 

I wear my dickies creased 

I wanna smoke some meth out of the pipe 

And big homie up a block got a fat money roll and a flrme 64 


I guess its me against the world 

I'm only 17 and I'm raising up a baby boy 

And I'm inducted in a hall of crime 

'Cause they jumped my ass in '06 

Now how you gonna tell me that I should get a job 

Dirty money spends easy so I'd rather rob you fool 

But that's how it goes in the barrio 

And momma used to say that I was no damn good 

I knock on the door about six in the morning 

"Where the hell you been? Now it's the crack of dawn." 

I've been kicking it with the homies from the 


But she knows I was out with some lil' beezies 

It's like that song "It's a thin line..." 

She starving for attention cause it's been a long time 

And when I came home, I smell like a woman 

There's lipstick on my collar 

A phone number on the dollar 

But that's just me 

And just last week she found a hotel key 

Now every single time 

She be hitting star 69 

Not knowing who she might find on the other line 

Will it be my homey 

Or will it be my jaina 

Will she come home early and find me 

Doin' my thing like she knows I could 

My woman used to tell me I was no damn good 

Esta pelada con las jainas (these worthless girls) out 
there today So truchas (beware) with them 'cause you 
never know what they would do just to be with you. Well 
camaradas, that's it for this homie till next time. Alrato. 

-Temper, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: You knoiw what we find the most tragic line in this long 
poem. Temper? It' the one that says: "I'm only 1 7 and I'm raising up a 
baby boy," and the tragedy is that you're only 1 7 and you're NOT raising 
up a baby boy. Without you there to raise him up, who will? Was your 
father there to raise you up? It malces us so sad to think of where you 
are and why, and where he is and why. We're sorry that anyone ever told 
you that "you're no damn good," or that you take some pride in that 
label. Will your child be "no damn good" if he grows up just like you? Of 
course not! He will always have in him the beauty that is there today, 
just as you do. Find it! Embrace it! 




// ' ////// ' // ' //>SQ^ 

///// // 

Losino a Friend 

Losing a friend can be hard 

As to winning a cardsharp in a game of cards 

Losing a friend can be painful 

As to breaking a bone on the blacktop 

Losing a friend in battle can't be brought back 

As to gangsters stabbing each other in the back 

Losing a friend after such a short time 

I would not have traded fame and fortune for that time 

Losing a friend can never be good 

As to the teeth in George Washington's mouth made of 


The last days we spent together it felt like you knew 

The way I felt I almost knew 

The high I felt we spent that last day together 

No drug could give you 

Awaking and hearing you were no longer here 

It went in one side and came out the other ear 

The feeling I felt I've never felt again 

Than those of the meaning 

When you lose a friend 

-Robert, Alameda 

From The Beat: This is a really thoughtful piece. You give the readers 
a really good idea of what it's like to lose someone you care about. But 
if losing a friend gives us anything good, it's that it helps us remember 
how important they were to us. 

M) Futurii 


The only thing I have been thinking about is my future. 

What I might be. What I might do. 

A part of my future is being drug free. 

I see my skin, I'm learning God, I'm loving God. 

I feel like someone, sometimes I feel like everything is a 

waste of time, 

like nothing matters, nothing is good. 
I know something has got to give, especially since my life 
is like starting over. 

I'm a child for a year. I have to get myself together. 
I know love means something, but loving myself means more. 
The only question I have is will I go to heaven? 
Everyone is a judge but Jesus said "no one shall judge but 
for the father is our judge." I'm tired of all the violence, I 
just want to get away. 

Life isn't about putting down or who is better but that we 
are all equal. 

-Brittany, Alameda 

From The Beat: You write a lot of important truths in this piece. Clearly 
you think a lot about life and your place in it. Hoiw has your God 
influenced your views? 

18 Rioiit Around Tiie Corner 

What's good beat this young Nuttso and for me my 18th 
birthday is right around the corner and I been thinking a 
lot about me turning 18. I'm happy because now I can do 
certain stuff and not get question about it. But it's always 
a flipside to it your family depend on you more because 
you're consider on grown up and you don't come to the 
hall no more you go to Rita. 

But I'm bout to get my shhh straight so I won't have 
to worry bout going to Rita. And yeah I'm happy because 
I'm turning 18 because that's what most kids can't wait 
till that day come feel me but I'm getting out the day after 
my birthday but I'm still going to celebrate when I get but 
I'm gone Beat. 

-Young Nuttso, Alameda 

From The Beat: We're happy for you, and we wonder exactly hoiw y«>u 
plan to "get your shhh straight" so you can live a free man, many more 


mm l70Mnff MaM A 

Last Words 


Well, when I do get out of this piece of crap facility, I am 
going to be shipping out of San Francisco. I still don't 
know when or where. I really just wanna talk to my ex- 
girlfriend and tell her that I am sorry about what I did to 
her. All I want is for her to forgive me and at least for us 
to be friends, if not more. 

Even though I have a new girlfriend, I would still do 
anything together back in my life. She was the best female 
I ever had. She stayed by my side the first time I was in 
here. She always loved me for me when she thought I was 
messing up, and that's why I still love her to this day. So if 
I could say anything to her, it would be that I am sorry for 
the things I did, and hopefully we can be together again 
some day. 

What is also on my mind is that I am going to court on 
Thursday, and I know that I might still be in here at least 
two weeks to a month. I don't wanna be here, but I gotta 
do my time. All I know is that whoever offers me a place, 
I'm going to take it. All I wanna do is get out of here so I 
can turn my life around. 

-Tony, San Francisco 

From The Beat: As painful Sks the lesson is, one thing you've learned 
is that some consequences cannot be undone, no matter how much 
you wish they could. We hope your former girlfriend forgives you for 
iwhatever it was you did to her, whether she takes you back or not, even 
sks a friend. We also hope you can apply this hard lesson to the rest c»f 
your life so that you truly can get your life back on track. What's your 
plan? What will you do to change direction? 

I I I I 

Last Word 

If I was to die I would want my little brother to know that 
I love him and I'm sorry I wasn't there for him except for 
when he was born. And teach him not to do the thing I did 
to mess up my life. And just listen to dad cause what you 
going to go through he probably went through himself 
when was young. 

-Fat Stacks, Alameda 

From The Beat: Can you iwrite to your little brother and tell him iwhat 
you feel is important? It sounds pretty important to us. It helps iwhen 
you have someone you want to do right by. You'll be his big brother for 
a long tiine...don't wait! 

Rest in Peace Scriiia 

Rest in peace Scrilla I miss you my man. 

We hit licks together, had stacks in our hands. 

Yes my brother I remember them times. 

We did so much stuff but never got caught for a crime. 

Remember on when we did that dirt. 

Imagine if somebody died when that man got hurt. 

I mean I miss you 

I want you to know that me and you we like brothers. 

We go way back. 

When I heard the news I couldn't imagine it was you. 

Your own partner did you in. Is this fake or is it true. 

I know you up in heaven looking down on me, 

God is the real judge, hope he don't look down on me. 

In memory in love of my ninja, rest in peace. 

You still living in my blood so yo' heart still beating. 

I wish I could be with you. 

It will happen one day, 

so I'm praying every night for you like it's a Sunday. 

In loving memory of D. Michael M. 

Rest in peace Scrilla, 

-Lil' Purp, Alameda 

The Beat Within: We're sorry you lost someone iwho meant so much to 
you ... and as we imagine him looking down on you, iwe wonder iwhat 
he'd think if he saiw you get it together and be the first one to get that 
college degree, representing all he could have been. 



// ' ////// ' // ' ///a^ 

///// // 


mm l70MiI/ff MaM A 



I feel powerless because I'm in jail I can't get nothing 
done in here 1 have to listen to other people's rules that 1 
don't even know but in this world you gone have to listen 
to somebody to whole life but not like this if you get a 
job and they tell you what you have to do that to keep yo 
job but if you don't you can walk out that's a little power 
but that's also stupid because if you walk out on your 
job when they tell you to do something how you gone 
to feed yourself or pay bills but it's different in here you 
just totally powerless they tell you to do something you 
don't do it you get sent to yo room and that's not the only 
powerless thing but that's the one 1 hate the most I'm just 
gone to keep it like that. 

-Boobie, Alameda 

From The Beat: That was one heck of a sentence Boobie. We think 
you are gaining power in your writing, gaining power in being able 
to effectively express yourself, know yourself, and hopefully listen to 
what you really think. Some people say "Change your thinking, change 
your life." You could do that anywhere, anytime. 

ITwant To Graduate And Make My Mom Happy 

I Man, right now 1 feel mad because my PO still haven't 
I came to see me. Man, I wanna get out of here soon. 1 have 
a baby on the way. It's supposed to come in July. When 
1 get out of here, I'm never comin' back. 1 want to live a 
better life. I'm just gonna finish my probation and go to 
school every day. 

Damn! My mom's stressin'. I hate when she stress, 
because she cries about me. 1 love her with all my heart. 
Man, 1 wanna make her happy and graduate, and I want 
to see my dad when he gets out of jail. I can't wait. I 
haven't saw him in hella long. He doesn't know that I'm in 
juvenile. I don't want him to know, because it will break 
his heart. I love my dad, too. 

-Lipine, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Of course it breaks your mom's heart to see you in here, 
just Skz it ^ould brealc your dad's heart if he Icne^. So your plan to finish 
probation and go to school every day is exactly the right plan. Don't 
forget it, because that's gas^ to do when you're back out there with the 
same temptations that led you here before. Keep your mom and your 
dad squarely in your heart and mind, and you won't disappoint them or 
yourself. GcmmI luck! 


I Am Sorry Mom 

I am sorry mom for not listening to you when you told 
me not to join a street gang. I am so sorry I know I hurt 
you bad when you found out that I was in a gang. 

Don't cry, mom. Forgive me for doing all the bad things 
I did. I am sorry for using drugs. I know I did wrong, and 
I Know I can do nothing about it and now I hurt you more 
for being locked up. I see those tears when you come 
visit me here, you try to hide it but I can see it in your 
eyes the sadness in your eyes. 

I am sorry mom for bringing you to this place. I know 
when something is wrong with you. I know when you are 
happy or sad, I can feel it. I know when you are happy to 
see me when you come see me but it breaks your heart to 
see me in here. 

I am sorry mom. I wish I could see you smile the way 
you use to when I was out. but I promise to do the right 
thing when I get out. Screw the gang life, I am done with 
it. You have always been there for me even if I did wrong 
and that is why I love you so much mom. 

-Henry, Alameda 

From The Beat: The love you feel for your mom is so poiwerful, and we 
can tell you know how much she loves you. Are there other people in 
your family that you and she can turn to for support, »s you try to 
rethink how ycHi live so that bc»th of you can be happier? 

\ Wilt I See! 


When I see myself in the next ten years 

I see me in the NFL wearing the Dallas-Cowboys gear 

As I sit here in YGC and I do my time 

I see myself trying to regret, doing my crime 

I miss my family, feels like I'm away all the time 

I like getting' money but sometimes I get it in the wrong 


I stress out in my room thinkin' and thinkin' every day 

So when I use my imagination to see what I can be 

In the next ten years, this is what I see 

-Mike-Mike, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We hope what you see comes true. If getting money the 
iwrong iway threatens your dream of playing for the NFL, it's not worth 
it! Go back to school and be noticed Sks a great football player there, and 
what happens. 

I see 


J L 



Yesterday I started an EMT college course. 

Since I been here at camp, I've a first responder class 
which is like a pre EMT class which certified me in CPR 
and First Aid. I never expected to be interested in that 
type of work, but then the teacher got every one that 
graduated the class scholarships to real EMT school, 
with free books and uniforms. 

I never thought I would actually have an opportunity 
like that coming to jail. I actually think I'm going to 
go forward with this career in my life. In only six more 
months I am going to certified as an EMT, then once I turn 
18 I can work on an ambulance anywhere I want. I almost 
have my high school diploma. So all I have to do after that 
is turn 18. 

-Jay-Jay, Alameda 

From The Beat: It's amazing - if you do this for a living, one day it 
could be you who saves the life of someone who has been shot or hurt 
on these mean streets. And you will understand what they are going 
through, so you can be there for them with your skills AND your heart. 
Keep us posted, we hope you take that class. 

My Experience 

What up with The Beat? They gave us three topics to 
write about, but I chose this one for a reason. This reason 
is 'cause when my sister Jerry died, I never had anyone 
to share my true thoughts and feelings with. I was ten 
years old and too young to really understand what the 
word "death" meant, but it still hit me hard. During that 
time I was in a group home, and I was going bad over the 
tragedy that I just experienced, so they had me on meds, 
'cause I couldn't deal with the fact that I just lost the 
closest person to me. 

Back at the house, my family was split up, along with 
all six of her kids — three girls and three boys. I talked 
with all of them and it didn't hurt as bad as it did to me 
then, 'cause that they mom. 

That's the thing with death. When it happens, you 
need to know how to deal with it in the right manner. 'Til 
this day, it still gets to me when I think about it, but not 
like it used to, and that's because I know how to deal with 
it. It's a lot out there who went through the same things, 
so I shared this with y'all, 'cause y'all could get a better 
understanding of me. 

-B, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We're so sorry you had to suffer this terrible loss iwhen 
you were so young — too young to know how to deal with it. How do 
you deal with it now? Is it just the passing of time that has made it 
easier, or have you developed some strategies that could help others in 
this situation? (We're not sure what you mean iwhen you say it hurt you 
more than the six kids, because that iwas their mom. Why wouldn't it 
hurt them even more?| 


// ' ////// ' // ' ///j^m 

///// // 

i i 


mm l70Mnff MaM A 

I'm Black And I'm Proud 

So young and so pained. 

Sharp like glass. 

Tears of a dog barking in shame. 

Who ever thought some one like me can be fire and get 

burned at fifteen? 

Black or not. I'm still who I am. 

Killed me a long time ago 

Tears of a girl who cried help. 

No one heard. 

They walked right over me. 

Now I'm the earth that company misery. 

Cherish what you have. 

Yet I'm still here. 

So deal with it. 

I'm being blocked by the world. 

My face is smeared. So challenge me. 

I'm black and I'm black, I'm black and I'm proud. 
Faith in me, I'm a heart taking person. 
So if you pass me, look at me like you proud. 
No one above me, I'm past the cloud. 
Don't pick cotton. I might talk loud. 
But it's the black in me that make me smile. 
So challenge me. 

I'm black and I'm black and I'm proud. 
Fly girl. 

You got it all my first boy 
Friend took me down fall. 
Fly girl. 
The good girl gone. 

-Shantell, Alameda 

From The Beat: The days of thinking of yourself sks a good girl, a bad 
girl, a fly girl, a high girl, whatever, are all over... because now you 
are stepping into a newr role, the role of a wise woman. It's time to ask 
yourself questions for the artist in you, the poet in you, about what 
kind of woman you iwant to be. (You said you wanted a challenge, so 
we challenge you!) 

Hello Beat! 

My daily struggle is like a blow to the chest from Mike 
Tyson, the knowledge of myself is enough to tell you what 
I'm going through... 

My life is like Iraq, 
never knowing when I'm going to be attacked, 

the life I live is worthy of a gun, 

my soul is guilty, it's like a bomb, 
my body is hot but my sweat is cold, 
I gotta be smart, I gotta stay on my toes, 
being on the grind is grimy, but I gotta grind it out. 
When I hear those sirens, 
my heart skips a beat, then I say to myself. 
Am I sensing defeat, defeat at it's early stage, 
but I'm about to split like a broken heart on a rainy 

are these words of guilt, 
or are these words of a warrior who knew such a life? 

Who knew such a life 

and now no longer wants to be a part of these mean 

and ally ways that we know as our Iraq! 
From me to you as a young man who was in the game, 
if things continue to go the way 
I it's going in East Oakland it's gonna be a ghost town. 
' -Meezy, Alameda 

From The Beat: Without people like you, yes, Oakland might become 
a ghost town. But see, you have struggled, and you care about what 
you see, who you've lost. It's through your poems, through your songs, 
through your voice, that the streets of Oakland might be saved. But 
first you need to save yourself! 

M) Siblings Anl I 


One picture that I wish I still had to look at to this day 
was a picture of me and my siblings. The picture was 
taken when I was hella young. I think it means a lot to me 
because we weren't always together and in that picture it 
shows us all huddled together all dressed up. 

My life consisted of being apart from my family and 
even though I remember losing my mom to drugs when 
I was one, I always had my brothers and sisters. I think 
that helped me cope with all the burden and struggles 
of being an "orphan" (as my roommate always calls me). 
But lately my brothers and sisters have been fighting. I 
try and bring them together because family is important 
to me. But getting locked up doesn't help and it hurts 
because we've always been there for each other growing 
up and now we seem to be getting further apart. 

I hope they know I still love them. 

-Cisco, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: It must be hard being away from your siblings when 
you're all so close but the fact that your brothers and sisters aren't 
getting along must complicate things more. Do you think they're 
fighting more because you aren't there to be the mediator? 

Never Been Soft, What I Feel Inside 

Life is love ,love is life. 

But I see that. 

See different people different 


Makes me think about life and each individual 

Who realy cares. 

Pain in my chest tears in my eyes 

For those who are now not here. 

I wonder n wonder till I cant stop 


Heart fills weak fills like its 


I blank myself out don't care for 

Fakes who's speaking. 

I never let the system get the 

Best of me I gotta maintain solid. 

Like to meet older people in my life so 

I continue to soak up their knowledge. 

For those who see me and know me 

No I stand tall. 

As time goes on there ain't no 

Telling when my head gonna fall. 

The people close to me could also 

Be my worst enemies 

Thinkin' bout life and what was 

Really meant for me. 

God got a plan for me and I know it's 


I hope when he saves me he'll 

Let me bring the whole hood. 

But till then my head up high 

I may have emotional feelings but I got 

Plenty of pride. 

I'm gonna face my problems in this world 

And what ever else it got in store. 

I'm gonna be a solid individual 

With troubles that can't be ignored. 

Got hopes and dreams for when my 

Baby born! 

-Mousie, Alameda 

From The Beat: It's hard to see you back in the system, but great to see 
you back in our pages. How are you going to %sne yourself now, take 
those troubles and let them be your teachers, and use your pride for 
good and not for bad? Especially now, with a baby on the way! 



// ' ////// ' // ' ///a^ 

fpjie/ // 


I really loved you 

But man 

Why did you do that? 

Let me tell you my true life story 

It all started out 

I seen you on the bus 

I was really sick 

Throwing up all over the bus 

You started talking to me 

You seemed so sweet 

What happened next 

we connected peacefully 

and hooked up 

you took me to your sis' house 

and introduced me 

then you said to me 

you can stay with me 

I can show you 

Some things 

You ain't use to 

Heartbroken heart broken heart 


Heartbroken heart broken 

I gave you 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 

too many chances 

Why you need to lie to me 

I trusted you baby 

With my mine, body, soul, and love 

I cared for you 

And loved you to 

And this is what 

1 get in return 

For loving you 

But 1 know 

What is best for me 

Is to erase you 

But I'm still heart broken 

And my heart don't feel 

Like it's healing 

1 wanted to have 

Your body 

You said 

You wanted to have 

A family with me 

1 checked your wallet one day 

And twenty-females numbers 

On a piece of paper 

And I told you to throw them away 

If you want to be with me 

If not keep goin' your way 

'Cause 1 don't need a ninja 

1 can do bad by myself 

Or find somebody else 

Better than you 

To replace you 

So you decide 

To choose me 

Over the numbers 

So I though you was done 


mm l70Mnff MaM A 


The next thing was 

I found a text message 

From a female 

In your phone 

I called the number back 

Saying my ninja don't want you 

He only want your money 


I told him let's call her back 

Saying my ninja don't want you 

He only want your money boo 

I told him lets call her back 

And tell her you don't want her 

And that is that 

He said no 

I said is that so 

Well than I'm leavin' you today 

So we called her back 

He told her what's up and said 

I don't want you 

I said loose this number chick 

I told you my ninja don't want you 


Haha, click. 

-Karmeisha, Alameda 

From The Beat: Like we said in worifshop, it 
seems like this guy has both his females played 
Ithat is, assuming there's only two). He's got 
you hating on each other, when the real set-up 
artist is him, lying to both of you! You know you 
deserve better, right? 


II Eoidbje Wave 

1 left without any words. ...just a fair goodbye wave was all I 
gave you.... 

Tears fell from my eyes every morning as I got dressed.... 
Everyday.... Thinking of how that day could have been.... 

Only if 1 knew 1 would never see you or hug you again.... 
1 think 1 would not cry as much! 
But Vernon, as every day passes 1 think of you.... 
All 1 could think of is what you would want me to do.... 
Seeing to how those know one didn't care how many people 
they were hurting when they killed you. boy I guess 
that my excuse why 1 don't care for life. 
We fought we argued we done, done it all! 
But can't nobody take you from me! 

-Love you, Alameda 
From The Beat: This is a beautiful piece, a reminder of how many people 
get destroyed and feel pain when one person is killed. Next time we 
hope you sign your name, so you can get credit for the words you say 
and the feelings you share. 

Free At Last 

On My Mind 

"Free at last! Free at last!" 

That's what I hear from Uptown to Downtown! 

"Free at last!" is what they holla 

From the Point to the Rock 

"Free at last! Free at last! Free at last!" 

Is what I hear from Sunnydale to the Towers! 

"Free at last! Free at last!" 

Is what I hear from Mission to the TLs! 

It's a black President! 

We need to holla, "Free at last!" 

-Mr. Free Ya'self, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We like the name you've chosen for yourself, because 
that's what our new blade President would tell you: he cannot free you; 
only you can free yourself. We love the fact that his election has inspired 
so many young people from all the 'hoods to see what is possible in 
their lives. But freedom is not something won in sm election. It is only 
achieved through personal struggle. 

J L 

With all the spare time I have on my hands while I'm 
here, I get to do plenty of thinking. Here I lay with my head 
to the ceiling wondering if anybody is thinking about me, 
and if they are, why haven't they written me. I wonder if 
things are the same with me gone, not just at home but 
also at school and in the community. 

I, being a role model to my lil' cousin, I wonder does 
he know if I'm here and if he does why didn't my family 
wait 'til I get out so I could tell 'em. With all the thinking 
some of us do, no wonder why people are stressed out 
and fed up with it all. 

-Ballard, San Francisco 

From The Beat: It's no iwonder at all why people get stressed out in 
here, with so much on their minds and so much time to think about it. 
It's hard to remember when you're in here that on the outs, there are 
lots of things going on to distract you. When you were out, did you 
think about and write to homies that were locked up? Just remember 
that time in here is temporary, and you iwill be able to deal with your 
concerns directly and face-to-face when you're out. 



aMHinnnMB wMwmim 

//// // 



Man I'm praying for help while I'm looking at the life I left 

It's hard now, I hate myself, but pride is kept right or 


it's just the way I felt 

I might be better off praying for death on my knees 

Still trying to find a way to accept 

Ain't sure I can help anybody 'till I save myself 

Technically I'm still a slave myself 

I got time before the grave myself 

Man I played myself 

While I'm looking past the heart I touch 

I asked how can a man who done so much 

Because they sell dope 

God show them the rope 

Be a father of football coach 

A little mo' something to hope 

Take another approach 

Instead of reading testifying in court 

Handcuffin' them and closing the do' 

So they can be worse than before 

Can you see we only do what we know? 

And you wonder why we don't care no mo' 

Life ain't fair 

I know that's why I hate every^vhere I go 

The next ninja should compare my flow you know. 

-Lil' B 
From The Beat: You poem is very deep and shows a lot of the trials 
and tribulations that goes on in today's society. You do a good job of 
hooking up the missing link to iwhat would seem like a lost world out 
on the street. Keep writing and producing and if you can keep at it your 
words can make a huge impact. 

When I Get Out 

When I get onto the street I want to stay out and have 
a good life and not come back to jail. I want to stay wit 
my mom and I hope she come and see me tommorow. It 
would be good and I hope my brother Casey get out. 

If he's not I'm going to drink a bottle of UV to the neck 
for my brother Casey. And I love this girl name Omq-nee 
and she love me. She is my life and my mom too and my 
brother Casey. 


From The Beat: We're glad to hear you talk about the girl you love, and 
also your family, which are the people that want to see you out and 
doing good. But if your brother doesn't get out it doesn't mean you have 
to drink yourself drunk, be strong, stay solid, and in due time you will 
be reunited with him. 

I I I I I I 



Can You Do 

Can you be my raincoat for those dark and stormy 


Can you be my dream boat when I sail away? 

Can you be my teddy bear? 

I'll take you with me everywhere? 

Can you be the breath for every step I take? 

Can you be the key to my heart, my everything? 

Can you be every empty source in my life? 

Can you be that special someone in my life? 

Can you be that heart to my beat? 

Can you be more than just a friend? 

Can you be that empty spot on my pillow? 

Can you be mine? 

No questions asked. 


From The Beat: This is a very sweet poem! You are a very skilled writer. 
If you iwrote this for someone you really do care about out, you should 
send it to her to let her know how you feel. 


I will show no fear no lie 

When I die 

I will look death in the eye 

-Bill Gates 

From The Beat: And what will that prove Mr. Gates? Death doesn't care 
if you have fear or not.. .why do you think you must be fearless? Why 
can't y«Hi be human liice everybody else? What if you lived a life where 
you didn't have to act hard as cement? and could love and have a wife, 
and idds — a good job and feel good about what you contribute to the 
world — rightly fearing losing all that? 


Well I am being charged for assault but I didn't do it. 
Now some people have told me I should have plead guilty 
and they probably would let me out on ankle monitor or 

They should've told me earlier because now I already 
went to trial and some people said if I lose the trail I could 
get six months in this hall. If I win they might let me 
out with nothing just a straight release, but I regret that 
because I think I should have plead guilty. 

-Young and detained 

From The Beat: Well you shouldn't listen to what smymne tells you and 
the only legal consultation you should get is from a professional lawyer. 
If you say you are innocent than fight it all the way. You should have 
nothing to worry about it and your innocence will reveal in due time. 


I'm Out Tills tliano on EM 

What's up Beat? Tomorrow I get off on EM. I'm too juiced 
'cause I can finally be with my mom, family, friends, bra's 
and all the girls hahaha y'all know how it be with the girls. 
Another reason why I can't wait to go home is because in 
here you can't do shit. You gotta wake up and eat and 
shower when they say so. 

But at home I eat when I want and do what ever I want 
"As long as it's the right thing. Man I can't wait to go back 
home and be back in my own room. And I can't wait to get 
my phone back "side kick Ix." But one things I hate the 
most is these dirty ass clothes in here 


From The Beat: Congratulations and we wish you luck. We hope that 
you don't go back out there and take your freedom for granted. Don't 
come back. You got sm opportunity so don't waste it. You're never gonna 
get the time that you lost back, but you can sure prevent time from 
being lost. 

aMmnnnEB wwwmim 

My Court Date 


Last week at court I thought I was getting out. I decided 
to write a letter and had positive things to write about. I 
didn't do anything that bad. When I found out when I was 
leaving I was mad. I only violated my probation. Being in 
here is like a worse vacation, I have to do some program 
in here. I'm a good person and respect my peers. So I 
don't understand why I'm not getting out of here. 

I'm on honor unit wearing gold. The food here aint 
good, bread full of mold. Sitting in my room alone I feel so 
cold. Police make the world hot. Girls in here pretending 
that they something they not. I feel old in here like I'm 
about to rot. Days are going by kind of fast and I'm slowly 
forgetting about the past. Life is too short so I got to make 
it last. I'm leaving on February 25th, 2008. So I'm going to 
make my last days great. 


From The Beat: It's frustrating getting punished for something that 
seems so small, but what if you think about this from the other side? 
The judge might very well be thinking how frustrating it is that someone 
can't do something as small Sks keeping probation. It may seem stupid, 
but if you follow it you're free from the system. 

Live In Tlie Sky 

How you doing. Baby Skin, just trying to get by. 

I ain't seen you in a while, I'm just doin' this time. 

I'm thinking about all of the days I'm just lovin' to 
Rest in peace Baby Skin, I know you live in the sky. 

If I tell you that I love you man, I ain't gonna lie. 

I bent prayin' to God to let me live in the sky. 

I might not make it to Heaven but I swear I'm gonna try. 

Ain't gotta smoke no more 'cause I'm already high. 
Will I really have mansion, could I see it with my eyes? 

Everybody got a mansion I can see from the sky. 
Picture Hawaii and Bahamas, same place same time. 
Everything so pretty everything so nice I'm gonna live in 
the sky 
with eternal life. 

-Dirt Laden 

From The Beat: Dirt Laden, you often mention Baby Skin, but you 
haven't told us much about him. What was he like? What did he love to 
do? We'd love to hear about some of y«Hir memories iwith Baby Skin in 
your next entry... 



I'm first proud to say I been sober for a month. 

Last Wednesday I seen my mom, every time I see her 
she gives me hope and makes me laugh. She says I'm 
getting out on the 2nd, and everybody misses me and is 
chanting for me. 

As for my dad he's never come to visit me once while I 
was here, and it's been about 15 days. He once told me he 
would never come visit me in jail but I never understood 
how my own dad who has never been in my life can't even 
show he cares now when I need him the most. But my 
stepdad who ain't even my real dad can come and visit me 
even after I cussed and fought with him. 

Through-out my whole life every time something 
bad happen my mom always told me it'll be ok, but this 
time I'm having a hard time believing her. Pushing my 
aunty back after she pushed me wasn't worth this, and 
especially not over no orange juice top that she wanted. 


From The Beat: It must be frustrating being locked up for something 
so small, and wishing you had support from your dad. We're glad you 
have a good relationship iwith your mom and stepdad. They seem really 
supportive and helpful - keep them close. 

Last Words 

Dear Oakland, 

I've been in these streets for 18 years, 
I have seen a lot of people cry a lot of tears. 
Grew from a baby to man and learned a lot, 
went from playing hoops to grindin' on the block. 
Winter to summer and back again. 
I lost family members and a lot of close friends. 
I took a lot of losses and made a lot of gains, 
gotta eat so I grind in the rain. 
I'm gonna miss these streets I swear I will, 
but I gotta go before I get killed. 


From The Beat: We are glad to hear that you will be trying something 
new. What is y«Mir plan? 


Pictures Of You 


Today for some reason I'm not mad that I'm in the hall. 

Even though we been in here for two months I'm just 

happy to be alive! 

Pictures of my father are my best memories because my 

father is dead. Every time I look at a picture of him it 

makes me sad 

because I barely knew him. But it also makes me happy 

because I was in a lot of the pictures I got. 

-Lil' Seag 

From The Beat; It's great that you're seeing the glass as half full - this 
is something iwe don't see in a lot of writings. This «Mitlook on life can 
do great things for you - don't lose it! 


Last Words To My Giri 

I would talk to my daughter because I would truly miss 
her. I would tell her how much I miss her big smile and 
how she makes me laugh when she make the funny little 
faces she makes. I would tell her how sad I would be to be 
separated from her and don't know how long it would be 
when it's the next time I see her. 

The thing I'm trying to say is that I wouldn't want 
to leave the only person I have behind then start from 
something else that my life will be destroyed without my 
baby girl by my side. She's all I have and she will know 
how heart broken I'll be when I tell her that we won't see 
each other for a very long time. 


From The Beat: It can be sad to even think about the possibility of 
leaving your child for a long time. Your showing a really deep and true 
love here, it's really a touching thing to read. 

Clianoe IS Bio 

J L 

I really do want to change and this time I'm serious. I 
believe I could get my life back on track and do good like 
normal kids my age. I do believe that I'm going to come 
up, graduate high school, get a job, my GED, go to beauty 
college, and career college. 

I want to be a model and I will once I go through all 
this and be somebody that I always have I have a bright 
future ahead of me. I'm telling you I'll be famous one day, 
I just have to go step by step. I'm going to have my own 
modeling career when I turn 25 'cause you can't model at 
25 that's why I'm going to have my own career for other 
girls, "kids" like me. I could make a difference. 


From The Beat: You can make a difference, and helping young people is 
a great way to create change. The younger kids are, the easier change 
can be. If you really believe you can reach your goal, and you work hard 
for it, there's no reason you can't get there. 



aMHinnnMB wMwmim 


Once Trapped but Now I'm Free 


Since I've been in here it changed me as a person and a 
lot of it made me worse. 

I was just fourteen when I first got arrested for 
assault and battery against my mother, and I really 
didn't do anything to her. She put her hands on me and I 
pushed her off and ran away. When the police found me 
I was arrested. Every since then I've been in and out. I've 
never got another case except for violations 'cause I kept 
running from wherever they put me. 

I was just a troubled teen going through emotional 
problems, but since I was always running away and 
introduced to the streets and the game of them it changed 
me as a person. I don't regret anything cause it's made 
me a stronger person and grow up more maturely than 
others, but in reality I wish I didn't have to go through all 
this cause I'm not a criminal. 

I If they offered more programs for teens other than 

just locking us up or sending us away than maybe our 
community would be a better place. But then again these 
judges or PC's don't care bout our feelings cause this is 
their job and at the end of the day they going home and 
they getting paid, but hopefully with our new President 
'Obama on my momma" things will change and he'll 
provide more help for the youth! But in actuality I really 
just wish I didn't have such a dysfunctional life or family. 
But I won't let that bring me down because I got too much 
to live for and I know I'm better than all this. 

I'm almost eighteen and I can't be acting the way I do. 
It's time for me to step into the REAL world and it's called 
adulthood, even though eighteen ain't the magic number, 
it's a motivation on what's real to me. 

-Valentine B 

From The Beat: Sounds lilce you've done a lot of thinking about hour 
you got to where you are, and how that's affected you. The next step 
might be to figure out what "stepping into the real world" means. Homt 
I do you have to change your behavior to adjust? 

Picture Of My Grandpa 

The picture that will always remember is one of my dead 
grandpa. He was wearing a black jacket and blue jeans. 
The reason I will always remember this picture is because 
that's the last time I remember seeing him alive. 

My mom always says I look like him but I don't 
remember him clearly. That's why I always try to find 
out more about him so I can remember him and try to 
remember memories we had. It was on his birthday he 
was seating on the chair waiting to leave and my mom 
took a picture then him and my uncle, auntie, grandma, 
and my grandpa they all went to dinner. 

-Remembering Grandpa 

From The Beat: We think it's great that you want to find out more about 
your grandpa, and the life he lived. Does your mother ever tell ycHi 
stories about him? 

Last Words 

If I had to say some last words to my peoples and I was 
going away, I would say: Stay true to yourself, don't trust 
nobody and get money every day like it's your last, and 
stay away from suckers. 

But I won't leave my folks and not come back, and I 
will only say I love you to only the people. I love if I don't 
love you I ain't saying it. 


From The Beat: These all sound like good last iwords. One thing though: 
When you're in the game, no one can be trusted... but is that the only 
way to live? Or are there other possibilities? 

My Girlfriend's Birtiiday! 

What's up Beat, this is yo' boy Ghost. Wow today I am 
going to write about my girl's b-day. My girl b-day was 
one of my bad days I ever had 'cause I couldn't be with 
her on her birthday. 

I was really sad 'cause that's one of the persons that I 
really love and I always want to be with her but something 
I cant be with her 'cause her parents and her brother be 

But it's all good though, I am not tripping off them. 
Her b-day was on 2-1-09 but hope I get to see her this 
weekend. That's all for today, later... 


From The Beat: In a way, iwe can understand that her family might 
iworry about her, because they want the best for their little girl... If you 
stopped going to jail, and started doing Sks well in life as we know you 
can, do you think her family would stop "trippin"? 

Reminiscino In Paradise 

Yes, that picture takes me back. October 31st, 2007. It 
was at the 2007 Halloween Massive at San Francisco. We 
went to that function 18 packed cars deep, and a party 
bus. It literally seemed like the whole neighborhood was 
there. We was acting up, parking lot pimping, and before 
we all went inside the Cow Palace, we gathered up and we 
all took a picture together. It must have been almost like 
50 of us dressed up in crazy costumes throwing up our 
gang sign. Boys and girls. Old and young. 

Time has passed and 10 out of the 50 is in jail and 
2 out of the 50 is (rest in paradise). I would look at the 
picture with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes. So 
much memories in one photo, to me worth more than a 
million dollars. 

-Lady A 

From The Beat: Sounds like you had a really great Halloween that year, 
something you'll remember forever. We're sorry a few are no longer with 
us, and hope that you will soon be in that majority of people who are 
alive, healthy and free. 

My Hood 

Well when my family and I moved I was devastated. Born 
and raised in an area you love and enjoy was hard on me to 
understand that I will be leaving to a neighborhood I don't 
know nothing about. I'm so used to living on Seventy- 
First that I never even thought about leaving 'cause where 
I'm from, we like a whole big family and everybody know 
everybody. All my friends, people I grew up with, known 
all my life, like my sisters. We'll be leaving them soon. I 
was so upset because that same week I had plans that we 
was going to get popping. But when my mom announced 
the news to us at the dinner table, my whole world crash 
before my eyes. I considered this street to be my life, I 
was born and raised and when I say born I mean born in 
a house between Spender and Hamilton. 

Shhh it was like losing my best friend, but eventually 
I got over it because I visit like everyday. My new 
neighborhood is boring, real quiet. That's why when I'm 
at home I'm in the house or my friends that live right next 
door or my other friend that live across the street so I'm 
not lonely. But what I will say to my friends is that don't 
miss me cause I will be back real soon, sooner than you 
think, and I will miss my boo always sitting on my porch, 
him and my potnas, having a big ball. 

-The Baddest 

From The Beat: Moving aiway from where you grew up can be really 
hard - it's a big change. But change can be good too - it can open 
up new doors or give you a chance to start over or change things for 
yourself in a positive way. 

aMmnnnMB wwwmim 

Special Moments 

The picture that carries the most memories would be 
an old picture with all my goons having hecka fun. This 
picture carries memories because that was a night that 
my folks and I would never forget. That's just one picture 
that had captured a moment, but there are many more 
pictures that had a special moment. 

The other photos would be with my family and with 
my two dogs Chops and Bambi that I miss really bad 
right now. The last would be a picture with my lady. The 
memory never fades away and I'm missing her more and 
more everyday. 

-Young Whisper 

From The Beat: Thank you for sharing. Young Whisper. You leave us 
curious about the picture of you and your friends?.. .What are you doing 
in the picture? What moment, exactly, are you capturing? 


I remember when I was 12 years old and it was picture 
day and I got in trouble at school so my mama came to my 
school, and she was hella mad, so she started to pinch 
my cheeks. 

And when I took my picture one of my cheeks was 
bigger than the other and everybody thought I got beat 
up. I could never forget that day cause she got mad cause 
she paid 35 dollars for them pictures. 

-Baby Cakes 

From The Beat: Such a funny story, one you'll probably remember every 
time you see that picture. Is this experience characteristic of your 
relationship Mrith your mother? Do you still get really mad at each 
«>ther ncMW? 

I I I I I I I I ! 

The Insomnia of MyNloiits 


That picture 

The one that makes me reminisce 

The one that makes my mind wander. 

The one that stands out from all of my pictures. 

The one that makes my eyes watery. 

The insomnia of my nights. 

The picture that makes me get lost in pain 

-Sad Boy 

From The Beat: We didn't knoiw if you intended this Sks a poem, Luis, 
but it sure felt like one when iwe read it... a poem of lamentation and 
sorrow. But wait, iwho and what is this picture of? You never told us! 

Do They Really Love Me? 


It's real just like Treal when he say money is what we live 
for, but that ain't real if you a solid ninja like me, 'cause 
if you is, you would knock anybody off for the green. I'm 
solid like steel and to all my ninja's and my loved ones, 
for the money I will not kill, now that's real. 

If money was everything why ninja's stress when they 
got it? 

To me, it's just something people don't wanna live 
without. I love money but I love my loved ones more, if I 
could I'd trade in all the doe to bring back my folks. 

A lot of ninja's told me they love me, and wouldn't do 
it for the money but I can't take a life for ya, and show you 
nothing but love, but when the money's on the line they 
would set you up! 

I see ninja's love me but they love money more. That's 
why I stay to myself 'cause I ain't ready to go. 


From The Beat: You some excellent points Delay, but you make a 
disturbing statement at the beginning, that you would knock people 
«>ff for the green. Are we understanding you correctly? It seems to go 
against what you say in the rest of the piece... 

Walk A Hundred Miles 

God bless Tc. 

To show my lil' ninja I love him, I will walk a hundred 


Kept a gun on me just to make my street snow. 

My young ninja died, I'm on a rampage now. 
My mama talks to me like I need to slow down, 
but she ain't gonna be on the block when shhh go 


Some people say look at your friends been through. 

But what ever happens this just what I'm gonna go 


I told my mama that I'm happy to have you. 

I got love for the streets, but she happy to have me. 

And I will walk a hundred miles to bring back her daddy. 

I look the Lord in his eyes and ask what I should do, 

he told me go back to school and stop breaking all the 


But every time I feel my hip it's like there's nothing I can 


every time a car drives by I be grabbing my tool. 

Like should I shut the engine down and make it do what 

it do. 

I be praying to the Lord, some enemies come through. 

But God askin' me in my mind, is this the right thing to do? 

I take an eye for an eye, the Bible said it was true. 

So if you pull out a gun I'm gonna do what the Lord told 

me to do, 

self defense on my waist put his body to waste, 

and I will walk a hundred miles to be in God's place. 

Walk a, 100, miles to be with my family everyday in bring 

back everybody who gone away. 

-Dirt Laden 

From The Beat: You have the Lord and your mother telling you to take 
the path of education, instead of the streets. Why is it so hard to listen 
to them? What do you iwant for your own future? 

J L 

I'm Not Feelin the Topics Tonioht... 

I'm waiting for a placement to accept me which is 
frustrating me and it is going to be tempting to run again. 
Hopefully I get accepted so I can leave this week or next 
week. I am glad my brother will be released this week, I 
look forward to seeing him free without any worries... 


From The Beat: It's always tempting to run from a place you don't like. 
We hope you keep the big picture in mind though - if you run, what 
will happen next? What will happen if you get caught? Are those 
consequences worth the risic? 

Movlno On 


Moving away isn't always hard but most of the time it 

leaving your friends, family, neighborhood etc... 
you and them might be mad at such an idea 
but it might be the way and direction to head in. 
Like if your family had a final crisis and had to move far 

to a relative's home or if your house caught on fire, 
losing everything and still you have to move on without 
a word... 

it might be hard but that's the only option you and family 

so you move on leaving you friends and neighbors 
all behind in the past. 


From The Beat: Do you think it would help ycHi, If you were given the 
opportunity to move far awray? If so, how? 


x^y.-/rAA/#>^v Mmmmjm// ////// 

Dear Derkeley 


I have a lot of special and memorable times on your 
many blocks and streets from the waterfront to the south 
and have grown to love you with a special passion. 

You were there when I sold my first bundle, hit my 
first lick had smoked my first blunt, bought my first gun, 
ran my first bop, caught my first case and so on. Those 
are a lot of special moments in a young man's life. 

Over the years you became apart of me. Keep it lit for 
me until I return home. Goodbye Berkeley. 

-Berkeley Native 

From The Beat: Appreciate reading your thoughts to Bericeley. But all 
the memories you listed are illegal activities... What other memories do 
you have of Berkeley? We want to hear them all, not just the ones that 
will keep you from being anything in this world! 

It's Me And My Pistol 

In the game 

A respected individual 

Father left early 

Acting real hypocritical 

Got into ma street gang 

Times real critical 

Moms got hit the beef is on 

Make ninja skitzo 

Frisco g from the block, just 

In case you didn't know 

Makin' money on the block 

That's what I live for 

Got no one in this world 

It's me and my pistol. 


From The Beat: Is this really all there is to live for? You've shown a lot 
of talent as a writer and a thinker, there's a lot of ways to make money 
where you don't have to risif your life and your freedom. What about 
giving that a try? 

Love and I'm Sorry 

the last words I will say to my mother, girlfriend and 
my grandma is that I'm sorry for all the stress I caused, 
and that I love them with all my heart and that I'm always 
going to love them. 

And I'm always going to have them in my heart I just 
want say thank you for supporting all this time. 

Well that's pretty much what I had to say ...that would 
be my last words aight then I'm out! 


From The Beat: You could also think of these as first words... first words 
of love and determination that the future will be different from the 
past! The first words of the newr you! 


When I Get Released 

What's good. This is Boo, and I'll be out soon. 

I'm still holdin' it down at camp doin' this time but 
it's nothing I'll be out in two months. I'm gonna be back 
on the block with my real folks you know me I'm gonna 
foo' with it. all my loved ones out there on the streets are 
doin' it live while I'm up here. On some the shhh these 
staff get on my nerves. I feel like crackin' them 'cause 
they be tryin' to control you when they just regular ass 
people. But it's good 'cause when I get released I'm gonna 
be laughin' in they faces 'cause they would of never 
thought I would of made it out but they wrong. 


From The Beat: It's a good attitude, to remind yourself to just let that 
staff drama roll off your shoulder - but remember, the victory isn't 
getting out... it's staying out! What's your plan for that? 

//// // 

My Memory 

There is a picture of me and my cousin at a very young age 
and we both look happy but at the same time mischievous. 
I cherish it because it was a time it was a foreshadowing 
of the trouble we would get into later in life. 


From The Beat: Ychj have left us intrigued. Tell us the story of you and 
your cousin.... 

The DIockHas Drought Me Nowhere 

It's ya boy Ruben from San Francisco again, just chillin' 
in camp, hella bored. 

All I do is lift weights and try to finish my school so 
when I get out I will better myself for me, for my mom, 
and for my wifey. My Shorty really motivates me to do 
good and I'm really feelin' that because honestly without 
her I would have ran away from camp and went straight to 
the block to keep hustlin' and funkin'. 

But I'm not because I've been on the block since I was 
10 or 11 years old, and it hasn't brought me nowhere but 
to the hospital for getting jumped or seeing my potnas 
getting shot and stabbed. 

Shhh... even my mom got hit before. 

But no more. I'm not saying I'ma stop being part of the 
block, but I'ma at least get my priorities straight because 
I'm tired of letting my mom and my wifey down. I wanna 
better myself so I can learn to love them , because my 
mom always said you can't love someone if you don't love 

Well I'm out— 


From The Beat: Yeah, the block has put you through too much drama! 
It's gonna be a tightrope to stay true to the block and to you... is it even 
possible? How will you do it, brealc it down for The Beat! 

Just For You Mama 


Dear mama, I'm sorry about all the stress I've been 
causing you. 

If I could I would buy the world for you, so the earth 
can be yo' play ground. Before you leave this world just 
know you will be the happiest woman on earth. 

Mama I know I'm yo' only son and you my only 
mama, so I'm gonna do whatever it takes to make you feel 

I love you mama. 


From The Beat: Lovely words for your mother. What do you think she 
most iwants for you? Is it really money? Because there are things that 
are more precious than that, things money can't buy... what do you 
think they might be? 


How I see myself in ten years. 
Looking at myself so clear in the mirror. 
All I see is success riding in a range. 
Twenbty-fours on the whip been doing my thang. 
Diamonds look like skittles in my watch or chain. 
They call me the news cause I'm gonna make it rain. 
She say she married me but I'm engaged to the game. 
Diamonds on my neck just to change her brain. 
Pink and blue Benzes for me and my main 

-The Boy Boy Mess 

The Beat Within: The game is gonna fake you, play you and break you, 
make it rain till the lightening comes down, leave you shivering on the 
ground, get out iwhile you can and find a neiw way, so you live on to a 
better day! 

aMmnnnEB wwwmim 



What's up with it Beat? This is yo' boy Kash Money from 
Oakland and I'm still here in Camp Sweeney finishing my 

I'm already going for my 6th month so that means I'm 
already going to get back to my normal life again with my 
familia and on my varrio again. 

Well I'm going to do my last week coming up which 
is the 2-14-09 I been restriction for a month and 1 been 
stressing sometimes, but I ain't tripping of that shhh, I'm 
getting used to this place a lot. 

But that's something bad. 

Well my birthday is February 20 and I'm happy I'm 
gonna come out that day and be with my familia and my 
homies I'ma have a little kick back and be with my lady. 
Well I'm out and one last thing I have to say is I love baby 

-Kash Money 

From The Beat: You're right, no one should 'get used' to being in the 
system. On the other hand, if you are talcing advantage of the programs 
(EMT, Cornerstone, Thunder Road, etc| then maybe you can say that this 
time has truly been good for you and your loved ones? You tell us. 

Last Words Before Sacramento 

Well I can relate to this topic because I will be going to 
Redding which is close to Sacramento. 

I am kind of depressed. All I can say though is I will 
see them soon, which means I might see them in a year 
or two. But now I need to worry about me. So when I do 
come back to my 'hood they would know that I changed. 

I would have me a spot, whip, job and in college. So 
they will be happy and surprised for me. 


From The Beat: We would be happy too! But not surprised, because 
we've SGen hour much talent and heart you have, and how great you can 
be when y«Hi set your mind to it! 


Where I Live 

The person who I would tell that I was going to move 
are my parents because if I move without telling them 
they are going to be really worried. And the person who 
I would not tell are my friends because they don't really 
need to know where I move to or where I live. 

When I talk to my parents and they tell me about life 
in the outs it just makes me feel like I'm never going to 
get out. Also when I talk to my girl on the phone and she 
tells me how much she loves me she makes me feel really 
special, and then when it's time to go I go to my room and 
I think about her and my family. 

-Rigoberto . 

From The Beat: We are glad you have people supporting you. I 

Dear Beat, I'm Bella Sick 

Dear Beat, Today is Tuesday 2-3-09, and I'm kinda mad 
because I'm hella sick. The nurse told me they were goin' 
to call me to the medical after school and they did not... 
So screw it. 

I get my exit meeting this Thursday so then I find out 
by what's next and that's on March or April. I'll be on 
my home passes at Livermore all day posted, doin' my 


From The Beat: We say this to you a lot but we'll say it again: How are 
you going to stay out of jail if you go right back to the spot and "do 
your thang?" Break the pattern, because we'd hate to see it break you. 

Last Words: Be Cool and Be Safe 

If I had some last words to say I would go to my hood and 
tell everybody to be cool and be safe and stay all about 
that money. 

But I would always come back to my hood cause if it 
wasn't for that I wouldn't never be who I am today. 

I wish I could get out this thang, but I'm gonna do my 
time and get out this thang... but I would say just keep yo' 
head up and be easy. 


From The Beat: Of course you love your hood. It's your home. On the 
other hand, can you be a part of it iwithout getting caught up in the 
trouble that gets you locked up? Or will you need to take a break so you 
can get your life where you want it? 

My Cousin 

The picture that I see the most is my cousin 
We were smoking and with some female. 
We were at a party kickin' it. 
So that was it we were just kickin' in it 


From The Beat: What is it about this memory that is powerful to you? 
Is it your relationship to your cousin? Was it the moment in time, hoiw 
you felt right then? What does that picture show you about what you 
care about in life? 


The First Bay I Met my Girlfriend 

The picture that I will always keep and carry with me is 
the first day I met my girlfriend. That was a really special 
day and I'm never going to forget that one day. 

The day that I met her I was on my way to the store 
and she was in the park with another girl, and she saw 
me. I was with my cousin and my cousin knew her and 
her friend. 


From The Beat: When she saw you what did she do? It sounds like you 
kneiw she was affected by you just like you iwere iwith her. 

A Picture of My Grandma 

I hei 

Well that special picture that I will cherish is my grandma 
because she passed away when I was about 9 years old. 

I was spending most of my time with her. She would 
take me to park or go in a long walk around Fruitvale to 
go shopping for me. Basically I was with her all the time 
and I still miss her a whole lot because she was like my 
best friend. 

I will always cherish that picture!!! 

-Lir G 
From The Beat: What a beautiful memory. Do you ever wonder what 
kinds of words of comfort she would give you noiw, to help comfort you 
in your pain while you are locked up? Do you iwonder what iwould make 
her proud? We hope you keep her love in your heart forever. 

Three Questions, Three Answers 


Last words: I would say tell my mom that I love her and 
the rest of my family to my sister, my cousins, my uncles, 
my baby mamas and my kids to. 

That picture: I would take the picture of my family 
because I love them. 

I'm not feeling the topics tonight. Just thinking about 
getting out of here and getting to see my family so we can 
have fun and talk about what I was doing here. 


From The Beat: Thanks for trying out a couple topics, we know it's hard 
to answer a question when what's really on your mind is missing your 
family. Next time remember y«Hi can write on whatever you want! 

t ^ 

SMnnnEinE WMwmifmji ^^if^rr 

BIdn'tGetEnouoh Time 


The last picture was the best 

you must confess 

RIP to all my ninjas that got put to rest, 

it was good while it lasted cause they held on strong 

but some haters took 'em out and did them wrong. 

That picture they took of me when I came to jail 

was so messed up cause I was high as hell 

and the mail I received while sitting in my room 

I didn't even write back to them ' 

cause I was sick and doomed 

I don't get enough time to finish this rhyme 

But I'll get back at y'all next time. 

-J Baby 

From The Beat: You stopped 'cause workshop iwas just about through/ 
but you gave us a hint on what you can do/so next time put it doiwn and 
give us your heat/so you can earn a Piece of the Week! 

I I 


The Key To My Beart 


Late at night. 

When I should be asleep. 

Into my heart. 

You quietly creep, 

I sit and ponder. 

How it could be. 

But you must have stumbled. 

Across the key, 

I know our friendship, 

Could mean so much more 

But it's up to you to open the 


-Lil' Pooh-Bear 

From The Beat: We hope these words were iwritten by you and you alone, 
and that they are written to a person worthy «>f ycHir feelings! 

I I I 

Thanks Mom 

n2 I 

Mom... I love you I just wanted to say thank you for being 
the best mom a kid could get: Best food, fun to play video 
games with, and loving caring and strict. I love you and ■ 
can't wait for you to get better. Love you always I 


From The Beat: You knoiw the best thank you that you can ever give 
your mom is for you to get better, so that she knows her little girl is . 
gonna be OK, no matter what. I 


Man my life is not good a ninja be wanting to go home 
but can't and then up in max 2 ninjas be gone bad for 
stupid shhh get the unit on lockdown so you can't call yo 
fam man this not cool but a that's life in max 2. 

-Lil' Chuck 

From The Beat: Everything everybody does clearly affects everyone 
else there. It's like a micrcKosm of the Mrorld, but out here it isn't so 


The judge and D.A. keep playing with me, don't go back 
until February 20th, stay having my court dates hella far 
apart, waiting to get sentenced so my time could start, I 
aint tripping nobody especially in here, gotta stay strong 
for my family, myself so I don't shed no tears. 

-Lil' Rolo 

From The Beat: This must take a lot of patience and strength to wait 
out. What do you do that helps sustain you day to day? Do you read 
books that are inspiring, or write out your frustration, or wrork «>ut? 

Wtat's On M) Mind? 


What I have learned since I've been here is that the 
system is not playing with me at all they are charging 
me as a adult and giving me a strike and putting me on 5 
years probation. 

They say I might get out next week or two. But the 
thing is that when I get out I cannot do the same things I 
used to do. Like for example I can't smoke weed no more 
and I can't go to school when I want to. I'm gonna have 
to go to school everyday from now on or my PO is going 
to violate my ass. I'm gonna have to start doing good in 
school so I can pass high school and hopefully get into a 
community college and work with the city of Oakland as 
a landscaper and stop messing up in the street before the 
system ends up washing my lil' self. I'm gonna just say 
that when I get out I'm gonna try my best to do good and 
stay out of trouble. 


From The Beat: It sounds like you have a solid plan. What are the 
obstacles you think will be in the way, and how do you plan to deal 
iwith them? 

Last Words 

If I was to die in front of my family my last words would 
be "I love you, and stay strong." 

My patna, when he died, he told me to keep my head 
up in the game and everybody ain't your friend. At the 
time I didn't know what he was talking about 'cause I was 
little, but as I got older I started to understand what he 
was saying. Now I know, he was trying to say there are a 
lot of haters out there and everybody ain't your friends. 
Now I really understand because when I start making 
more money then the people that put me on, they tried to 
have me knocked off, but instead they snitch on me, and 
got me locked up, so I had to keep my head up and learn 
everybody ain't my patna. Stay strong. 

-Baby G 

From The Beat: Hoiw can you tell who the people are you can trust? Do 
you trust your family? Do you trust youself? 

My Lady 

If I had to leave you for some strange reason I would be 
physically and mentally crushed but fortunately I don't 
think it'll happen unless something big happens like a 
scholarship or something. 

The most important thing I'd have to confess to is 
cheating on my girl but it was honestly a mistake. I've 
kept this secret for so long because I'm afraid of the 
outcome so for now I'm gonna keep it to myself. Don't 
tell her I told you. 


From The Beat: How could cheating on your girlfriend be a mistake. 
Explain it! 


I'm doing good because I just made players club, you 
know that's the highest level in unit 2. I been waiting a 
month to make it. Other then that I am doing cool. The 
same shhh different day can't wait to get out, but yeah 
I got court soon and I might get released. That's it for 

-Big Body 

From The Beat: You have to live with a lot of uncertainty even though 
each day is the same. We hope you are making good plans for your life, 
no matter when you are released. 

aMmnnnEB wwwmim 


Sometimes the things that seem to hurt us the most are 
the very things that bring out the best in us in life you 

They are the struggles that help us discover the faith 
we thought we lost in the courage to let go of the past and 
begin again and again... 

Because challenges help us to see who we really are, 
where we want to go, and what our lives can be if only we 
have faith and keep on trying. Practice makes perfect I 
promise that... 

-Lil' Twin 

From The Beat: We love the ideas iwe hear in this piece. Can you give us 
some examples, from your own life - past, present, future - of ways in 
which these words have proven true for y«Mi? 

Last Words 

My mans and them said they bout to go cop that last bird, 
but I never thought that'll be his last word, last words can 
be death words, death words can be safe words, when you 
lock in cell it's a must you gotta take words, I got into it 
with my girl "I hate you" was her last words, the click of 
the one was the last thang that I heard. 

-Young Arco 

From The Beat: We think you have moved, and wish you well. Our last 
words (at least for now) are Taife care of yourself. 

let's Take It Back 


Lets take it back to my first fist-fight 

or how I used to go skating every Saturday night 

growin' up without a father in my life 

Mom's took 'em to court, didn't even want to pay child 


My heart ain't skippin' no beat. I ain't losin' no sleep 

for all I care he could be dead in the streets. 

I got a whole lot to say 

and this goes to my brother Trey 

locked down in Y-A keep yo' head up G only the strong 

Keep doin' yo' thang while I hold it down on the 

I used to let off clips in huddles 
now I'm in the hall telling all about my struggle. 

I used to be the devil without the horns... 


From The Beat: This flow cuts off at the middle/so we'll wait till next 
week for the rest of the riddle/these feiw lines are packed iwith so much 
informationAve feel lilce it iwould take a iwhole book to brealc down your 

New Case 

What's up with it this is yo' boy Snowman. I'm back 
the hall 'cause I caught a new case. I just got released 
from camp December 19th. I was hella happy . 

I am about to get out because the DA doesn't have 
enough evidence in my case. 

I got charged with loitering/possession with attempted 
sales. I can't wait to get out and get to see my kid get born 
sometime in March. It's a boy. so I'm lucky to get that. 
If anyone in camp reads this and you know me what's up 
and stay up don't run finish that shhh. 



From The Beat: We're glad you won't catch this case, but in your heart 
«>f hearts, are you ready to avoid that trouble again? You have a baby 
boy coming, and he needs his daddy! No more selling, we hope! You and 
your neiw family need you «Hit free. 

sed I 

What's Coin On Wit' Me 

I'm just in this thing chillin' waitin' to get released man. 
A lot on my mind man, just cant wait to come home and 
get back in school. 

Can't wait till I can get out an do good and prove 
people wrong to show 'em I can stay out of jail. I gotta 
make wiser choices and be on my toes cause if I come 
back they gon' wash me!! Wish me luck 

-Lil' Fred 

From The Beat: What are some examples of the wiser choices you'd like 
to start malting? And what are you looking forward to in sch«>ol? 

Can't Sleep 

My bed had a creak 

because I lost some pennies in it 

while I was listening to the radio. 

I moved some tile on top of 

it so the bed wouldn't want to shiver 

and I sewn it together, the silence. 

That's how I sewed it back together. 


From The Beat: Hm, we think the bed might jingle with pennies instead 
of creak. What iwere you listening to on the radio, and more than that 
how do you seiw silence back together? If you make your oiwn bed and 
yours is shivering what is that like Sedi? Write more to us. 

My Daily Struoyie 

My daily struggle is knowing that I have to do another 
day without seeing my family. I get through my day in 
here by reading and sleeping. This experience is so 

Some days I don't think I'm going to make it through 
the day. I don't get to talk to my loved ones... that hurts 
me a lot. I wish I could go home soon. This ain't the 
place for me and I'm pretty sure I'm not coming back 
here. This is one of my mistakes in life that I wont make 


From The Beat: As hard Sks it has to feel you can't make it another day, 
each day you DO malce it, you get past it. Doesn't that mean that each 
day you have a victory that ycHi weren't sure of? Victory! 

I Need My Freedom 

J L 

I wanna scream 

Rip these clothes to seams 

I wanna cry but tha tears won't 

Come down but I do frown 

If I do happen to cry I might 


I have no soul 

Lost that at 12 years old 

I have no sympathy 

Nor any remorse 

to relieve my pain a pencil is 

My source 

I would rather use a gun 

But in the hall guns are done 

I hate to get violent 

But I have learned 

Respect is earned 

This is not my kingdom 

I need my freedom 


From The Beat: A person iwithout a soul could never write from deep 
iwithin the soul like you do here! So whatever happened when you were 
twelve, you and your heart and soul are strong enough to fight it and 
rise above. Let that pencil replace that gun. 

aMninninE WMwmifmji ^^if^rr 



We born to make mistakes 

But never sin long 

Another you in tha' world 

You got a twin clone 

That's why I'm tight wit' God 

Relation been long 

But when he tell me go right 

I go left 

So he draw me tha' picture 

Tell me to see death 

And so I sleep on that 

And I bounce back 

Get my hustle on right 

So I could count stacks 

But I was smothered by aliens 

As a rug rat 

Then my pockets got big 

Got drug fat 

Body numb off coke 

Like where my brain at 

Head hella' big like Wayne hat 

I just couldn't fly right 

Like a sick bird 

Devil was in my skin 

Like a flsh burn 

Know I gotta' wear glasses 

When my wrist turn 

But to keep it real solid 

Bra It gotta quit 

Snatchin' purses hittin' houses 

I'm gonna be legit 

Or I'm a be a bum rockin' Fila fits 

Take it from lil' Jon Jon 

You betta drive straight 

Or you gon' starve in this world with a dry plate 

Keep laughing at the clowns 

Cause they lines fake 

Tell 'em it's cold in this world 

Don't let tha time waste 

You gotta move- move mean 

You gotta catch yon evil 

'Cause we still God's children 

When we done wit evil 

But I'm still cold blooded 

Rip Emit, Bin and Carl too 

I know ya'll in heaven 

And I'm thuggin' for my bras 

Always in my veins 

-Jon Jon 

From The Beat: When you first started reading aloud on the unit, it was 
obvious hoiw much talent you had. But noiw, your skills, your heart and 
also your struggles have grown by leaps and bounds. Keep it up, and 
Sks you struggle betiween the two pulls in your life, share that struggle 
with The Beat readers. 

My Life: iiard as iieiia 

Life is hard when you grow up around a lot of things 
that you should have Not been around like drugs and 
guns. Life is hard when you have to be around it all the 
time. Life is hard when you think that you are going to do 
something in yo life But when you are around people that 
tell you that you are not going to be nothing in life. 


From The Beat: It sounds like it has been rough so far. Now as y«Hi 
become an adult you'll have more choice as to who and iwhat you are 
around. Choose to put yourself around more positive people, in more 
positive situations. You are young, you can be what you want to in life, 
if you're willing to live that everyday and not give up. 

//// // 

Last Word 


If I could of said something to my ninjas Bruce Bo or 
Active before they died I would of told them I love them... 
you ninjas was some real ninjas real active we all gone 
be together one day until then I love you ninjas you will 
never be forgotten rest in paradise. 

-Young Boobie 

From The Beat: We're sorry for the loss of your friends. If they could 
speak to you in a dream or from across the divide, what would they 
advise you now? Hoiw would they want you to live the rest of your life 
if they had all the time in the world to think about it, and they could 
see the big picture? 

Me And My Cousins 

One of the pictures I cherish the most is the one that me 
an my cousins took after we made the playoffs when we 
played for the San Leandro Crusaders. 

I will never forget that day. Matter of fact, that picture 
is on my dresser right now, but then my mom probably 
moved it because she told me she cleaned my room up. 
So when I go home tomorrow on EM I will see if it's still 
there or not. 


From The Beat: Why is that your favorite picture? Is it because you made 
the playoffs and you accomplished something that you felt good about? 
What do you remember most abcMit that day? 

Sometliino I Didn't Even Do 

This is Lil' Indio from Livermore and I don't feel this 
weeks' paragraphs because I got so much stress Beat. 
Today's date is Feb./4/2009. 

I would like to talk about how I was already suppose to 
go to camp. Beat... but I guess they try to put some other 
charges on me that I didn't even do Beat. But I guess the 
person that used to be cool with snitched on me, and no 
I didn't even do nothing. 

Now everybody against me like my attorney. He's 
tryin' to tell me admit to the robbery charge and assault 
with a deadly weapon charge, which I didn't do and never 
will do. 

I'm telling you Beat, I be praying all day everyday 
Beat to tell Allah to please forgive all of the sins I did 
and hopefully Allah would forgive me because everybody 
makes mistakes. 

Also Beat, my hearing on the 10th if this month. 
Hopefully they really do drop the charges and hopefully 
still send me to camp. Hopefully even better than maybe 
release even though I don't think that going to happen, 
but you never know for sure. 

I can't wait until get out Beat forreals. I know I been 
saying that but this time I'm real talk Beat when I get 
out. Hopefully soon beat I'm will have me a real good life 
like be on the down low, get a job, help around the house 
more often, kick it with the homies, stick with a female 
and just have a real good life. 

I been in here for three months already and I know my 
time hasn't even started, but hopefully Allah will choose 
the best decision for me, give me another chance because 
I am a more wiser person since I've been in here. 

Wells that's it Beat. To everyone locked up keep ya 
head up and keep it solid. Hopefully everything goes 
good. Thank you Allah.... I am a changed man. 

- Lil' Indio 

From The Beat: You really put your heart into this piece, and we can feel 
the struggle and stress in your iwords. While ive all wait to find out how 
much time you get, iwe hope you also read and write and plan Sks much 
»s you can... right now your focus is on getting out, but our biggest 
dream for you is that you manage to stay out. 

aMmnnnEB wwwmim 

Messed Up 

What I want to write about today is my feelings and what 
I did to my dad. He took me in from the hall and I did 
some bad things to my dad that hurt me and him. I took 
two hundred and eighty dollars and he needed the money 
for food and I left. 

I was gone for a one month's period of time and got 
caught by the police in a stolen car that I had took from 
somebody I didn't even know. And good thing they didn't 
press charges 'cause I would have went to the California 
Youth Authority and they could have charged me as an 

-Lil' Monsta 

From The Beat: Yes in deed you messed up bad. N«»t only did you steal 
from your oiwn dad, but you were acting a fool out on those streets. Not 
only hurting your dad, but hurting yourself. You're lucky that you didn't 
get charged and you should take that Sks a sign. You owe your dad son 
apology, plus 300 hundred dollars. Wake up, man! You're not always 
gonna get lucky like this in life. And as for your dad, you should treat 
him iwith a little more respect because there are a lot of kids out there 
that don't even have a dad to lean on. 

,„goocl thing thetf didn't press 
charges 'cciMse I woM have went 
to the California iot4th At4thor- 
Ittf and theif coM have charged 
me as an ad^lt, 



I'm in here once again for possession of a firearm, and a 
warrant. 1 get out this' place when I'm eighteen. I'm gone 
at least go to school for my high school diploma and try 
to be a more positive person and write in The Beat until I 
leave. That's all I got this week, 'till next week. 


From The Beat: We're glad you want to share your thoughts with The 
Beat while you're in here — and remember you don't need to write 
"positive" for us, especially if you are feeling negative. Just write your 
true feelings - with respect of course - and you'll discover that in your 
truth you discover your true self. 

On My Mind 

What's on my mind is I got a court date coming up and 
I'm doing my best so I can get out and I know I'm getting 
out. But I came 2 weeks ago and they was trying to let me 
out if I told them who it was and nobody didn't tell. So 
they had to drop the charge and then the car that we had 
the lady couldn't identify who took it. So they dropped 
that charge. 

So the judge said wait till the 2-4-09 and then after my 
first court date he detained me. My lawyer and everyone 
said I'm getting out. So I must be going home and I'm not 
coming back. I'm bout to be successful in life so I can be 
something, not like other people on corners and stuff. I'm 
going to get my life straight and do what's going to take to 
make my momma proud of her son. 


From The Beat: This is a very good piece of writing Deaddrian. We're 
glad to see that even though things might not be going your way, you 
still manage to stay positive. You have heart. You're a great example 
and if you stay positive and motivated, positive things will come and 
you iwill succeed. 

What's Next 

Man I'm still sittin' in this burnt out unit in this Alameda 
County Juvenile Hall and it's like I'm sittin' in here hella 
just tired and oh so irritated 'cause cats in here run they 
mouth but don't be 'bout no action. 

My PO be tryin to play me and ship me off to foreign 
lands, and I'm getting news about some girl pregnant with 
my baby but I don't know who the female is but ya'll know 
I ain't never worried bout nothing really 'cause' I'm a do 
me regardless of the fact I ain't really got nothing to look 
forward to. Carl gone, bin-laden gone, so I'm just out here 
waiting to do the do. 'Cause ain't no toppin' me. Rest in 
peace Carl and bin Laden. 

Gone but never forgotten. I love and miss y'all save a 
spot for me 'cause I'll be there real soon.. 

-Lil' Solid 

From The Beat: Sure, let's hope that spot gets saved, but let's also hope 
it's multiple decades before you take it, because Donte you are needed 
right here, in this iworld. You're needed by your loved ones, and your 
own self! 

Finally Gettino Out! 

What's up Beat? Today I am going to write about how 
firme it feels to be getting out this place. The frist thing 
I am going to do is go to my hood and kick it with my 
homies and my varrio(hood), besides spending a lil' time 
with my jefita(mom) and my familia. 

So hopefully I get out of this place. And for all, stay 
flrme(solid) and don't lose your hope. 


From The Beat: We're glad to hear you say you want to spend time iwith 
your mom and your family but you also say that the first thing you 
iwant to do is go back to the block and kick it ivith the homies. We can 
understand that you're looicing forward to getting out, but don't you 
also look forward to staying out. From the looks of it, you're just going 
back to the same things you were doing, and that's only gonna bring 
you right back. 

Tliat Picture Of My Family 

I have a picture that is very valuable the picture has me, 
my dad, little brother, and my little sister. The reason 
this picture is valuable is because it has my Dad and my 
brother in it, and I haven't seen my dad and my sister and 
brother for over 5 years. That's why it's valuable. 


From The Beat: That's a picture to treasure, but if you don't mind us 
asifing why you haven't seen your family in so long? What has been 
holding back? Is it the system, or you? What's stopping you from 
reuniting with your family? 

RIP Andrew 

J L 

Damn this is dedicated to my godbrother-Andrew P. 

Damn lil' brother I miss you man. After you and 
burger died, everything changed. Damn man I'm missin' 
you. I remember when we was all walking to that party 
and Burger was around the corner with the family, and 
some ninja's came through shootin' a chop. 

Everyone ran except me. You told me to duck, and by 
the time I ducked I saw you hit. I was holding you, and 
then burger got out of the car and was trying to help but 
then you died, I love you boy. 

I'm living the life until the death of me. 

Rest In Peace, Lil' Drew, Burger, Tanika 


From The Beat: You are the survivor. You're still standing, and even with 
the pain and loss you've experienced, we hope you feel the strength of 
knowing that you still have a chance. Will you step up and share some 
ideas on how to seize that chance? 




mnnnEB Mswmm/Mm ^^/s^^ ////// 

One Oay At ATlme 


The court system takes your freedom and fun and takes 
us away from loved ones. But there's no complaining 
because you put yourself in that situation. But you have 
to stay mentally and physically strong. 

I live one day at a time because yesterday and 
tomorrow have no importance now, but the actions you 
do will affect your future. It gets harder and harder every 
day to stay happy and hopeful, but I go on and stay happy 
'cause one day Fma be out and have my life back. 

-Nothin' But Time 

From The Beat: When you do get out and have your life back — which 
will happen — what changes do you see in how you live so that you 
won't have to repeat this sad experience? We hope, SkS you live one day 
at a time, that you think about the days leading up to where you are so 
you can apply what you learn to the days that are coming. 



-D Boii 
From The Beat: All we can do is publish our response, but not what you 
wrote, which is just a long piece ab«>ut using your guns to blow people 
away. The Beat is just not going to promote that kind of nonsense that 
leads so many youngsters who don't know any better down a r«>ad that 
ends in a dead end, often literally! Put your talents to better use. 

Stay Solid 

Yeah man, what's up with The Beat? It's that young dude, 
E-Boy. Man, I ain't got too much to say 'cause I'm on this 
EMP thang, man, so stay up. Tell yo' wifey to hold it down. 
Keep that thang tight and we'll all be out soon. Don't let 
this little time degrade your pride. 

Like Bugs Bunny, "That's all folks." 

-E Boy 

Frcun The Beat: We're not sure why being on "this EMP thang" means 
you "ain't g«»t too much to say." What's the connection? 

Last Words 

Well, Beat, this Young Dri. Well, me, I am leavin'. I'm 
going to Sacramento Trindy Program. Well, my sister, she 
need to know that bein' in here, it's not good. She can't 
do what she want. If she come in here, she's not going to 
be able to achieve her goal. I don't know, but my sis just 
needs to do right, take care of her son. 


From The Beat: We've never heard of the Trindy Program (could you 
mean Trinity?), so we hope you write to us from there and educate The 
Beat about what you find. We've benefited from your writing, so ive 
look forward to more, from wherever you are. Your advice to your sister 
is exactly right. We hope she doesn't have to learn this lesson the hard 
way. Good luck. 

Family Plioto 

I would take a picture of my family that I would carry in 
my heart forever, because I love my family, and I would 
always remember them with the picture. And I want a 
picture of my family that I always want to carry with me. 
What I cherish about that picture is that my family in that 

The story behind the picture is that when I was little, 
I took a picture with my mom and a picture with my dad 
and my sister and my other brother. 

-Dude Guy 

From The Beat: We hope that family picture inspires you to stop doing 
whatever it is that lets the system take you away from those you love. 
Where are they now? What do you want to do when you get back with 

'///////#/////. /// ////-#7 //. // 

//// // 

To The Editor 

Dude, you be on yo' straight tweek mode on e'ry thang. 
I don't know what part of the world you grew up in, but I 
don't make threats, and college ain't neva gon' be used as 
a warning. I'm really tryin' to do shhh wit' myself. I'm an 
athlete an' football is my sport of choice. If you want, call 
Fairfield High an' ask 'bout #40. 

Dexter's Laboratory is a cartoon on Cartoon Network, 
an' if I wanted to speak in code, why would I write it so 
somebody like you can try to judge me? You know nothin' 
'bout me, where I've been, what I've done or nothin' ya 
dig? An' "Dunny" ain't a clique, it's a group of people 
who rap, so stop thinkin' you know e'rythang, and do yo' 
research. "Dunny" is jus' a made up word fo' homie. 

-Cam Dunny 

From The Beat: This Editor Dude is won over by your passion. Cam, and 
your willingness to stand up and say what's on your mind. (Some people 
call that "speaking truth to power" and iwe admire ourselves when we 
do it, so we also have to admire you when you do it.) We take your 
iword for what "Dunny" means, but it's hard from our end to know ivhy 
we see the same word appearing in different mouths, and it's easy for 
us to jump to the wrong conclusions. Thank you for your educating us. 
Finally, we don't need to telephone your high school to believe that 
you are sat athlete with ambitions to go to college, and we apologize 
for questioning you to begin with. You have given us real insight into 
iwho you are through fine writing and thinker, and college is where you 
belong! We'll try our best not to judge you (without icnowing you), and 
hope you give us the same courtesy and respect. 

The Year 2000 — Still Here 

What's up with The Beat? This is ya boy Isaiah still in 
this boosie facility going five and a half months doing 
dead time. But they said I may leave this week to going to 
Wyoming I hope so. They better keep their words with me 
or I'm getting active on staffs and cellmates. Lata. 


From The Beat: We understand the temptation to go off on someone 
iwhen you're feeling frustrated, but one sign that you are growing up is 
that you are able to control those feelings. You can have them, just don't 
act on them. When you do go off on someone, iwho pays the price? 

»„ there's ho coHiplaMrtg he- 
caMse If 014 pMt ifOMrself In 
that slti4atlon» But i/ou have 
to St a If me^ta//// and phtfsi- 
callif strong. 

The LlfeOf A Soldier In Iraq 

What's up with The Beat? It's the Young Life. If I was an 
Iraq soldier and I was ordered to kill anything moving, 
like young babies, dogs, families, farmers, school kids, 
I would if my family life was on the line or friends. But 
if it wasn't I'll go against the United States' people, for 
everybody can live they life. I'm going out like a soldier, 
ya heard me? 

-Young J. Newt 

From The Beat: What are the similarities and differences you imagine 
between your life and the life of a young soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan? 
We're interested in wrhat you mean by "going out like a soldier." Why go 
out at all? Most soldiers in iwar return to civilian life and give up their 
soldier's life. Can you? 

aMmnnnEB Mswmmmji ^ ^ / s ^ ^ ////// 

Awaitino Release 

Man, ya'msayin'... Wha's up with The Beat, dawgie? Me, 

happy like the keyword is righteous... Ya'msayin'! 

I been in here for a minute or so for some otha type which 

the police wanted to pin on me 'cause I was with.... In the 

'hood, dawgie. But I'm flnsta touch down, back again as 

usual to cause 

Hell, but be smoother than a baby's bottom, like dawgie, 

wha's up... 

Ay to my lil' puppies, keep yo' heads up, ya'msayin' 

I'm out, dawgie! 


From The Beat: We sure hope your little puppies don't listen to the advice 
«>f you, dawgie, 'cause this is the advice that led you right to where you 
are! Your promise to go "bacic again as usual," is like a promise for the 
system to react, again, Sks usual, not matter how smooth you or your 
bottom is! 

To My Girl 

Baby, I don't know how to explain to you how much I feel 
for you. When we talked on the phone the other day and 
you said you can't see yo 'self wit' no one else. Baby, I feel 
the same 'bout chu. I just don't know how to explain to 
you. Yo' real ninja been hurt before and don't want a fake 
girl no more. I want chu. 

I'm just scared to fall too hard, an' you end up leavin' 
scared, like the one before you. I love you. Baby. I'm sorry, 
but my trust takes time, although you'd be the foo' if you 
take it personal. So, Baby, take it slow, 'cause you got a 
year to wait anyway. I'm sorry. Baby. Don't forget how I 
feel. I love you. 

-Lil' Unlucky 

From The Beat: We hope you leave open the possibility that this may 
be love, but it may be something else. It's very hard to keep a loving 
relationship alive from long-distance — and you may find someone else 
when you're aiway that takes your breath away. We think the best line 
in this love letter is this: "...take it sloiw, 'cause you got a year to wait..." 
Good advice. 

What's The Wlshlno For? 

My life away from home is filled with perilous knots of 
regret. Why did I have to make the decision I made? But 
you feel me, at the time, the only thing I was thinking 
about is being a goon, a solja and ridin' for mine. 

Was that the right decision when I think back? Naaaw 
but you feel me, I ain't gone write "I wish I had a time 
machine," or "I wish I could go back in time." Already 
know that's not a possibility, so what's the wishing for. 


From The Beat: You're right; wishing to change the past is wasting a 
wish. But wishing to use the past to reshape the future, now that's 
something worthy of the time it talces to examine those regrets. As you 
look back, what plans are you maicing for your (much brighter) future? 

'///////#/////. /// ////-r/ //. // 

It All Comes Back 

-Grumpy, San Francisco 

From The Beat; You already know what we think of your remarkable 
skills. Grumpy. And you already know how much more tragic we find 
your dedication to a war you inherited is because of those sicills. But 
we simply cannot keep allowing you to promote your gang dedication 
in «Hir pages. So we've cut the piece and left this response sks a warning 
to other who might be tempted to follow your lead and use The Beat to 
adv«>cate more of the meaningless violence that i s destroying generations 
«>f young people who deserve to live! We think of it sk% waste, waste, 
waste! At a time when your own community, not to mention our country 
and, in fact, the entire world we live in, is desperate for people who can 
think \sis you can), can write {sk^ you can), can lead others {^^ you can), 
you have chosen, instead, to follow. We are not just using words when 
we say this piece makes us weep — not for what you've written, but for 
what you will never write unless your thinking shifts into an«>ther gear 
altogether. It is divinely to be wished... 

I I 

J L 

MyFeellno For You 

My feeling for you is making me go insane. I am feeling 
like I am in love with you, but I don't think so, as I go 
back and forth, back and forth. 

My feeling for you is calling me, so I can be with you. 
My feeling makes me feel like I am in another world. Oops! 
I am thinking again. Damn, I am in love, so I feel like I am 
going insane. I love you. 


From The Beat; Love can make you feel insane sometimes. But you have 
to be careful, because we can feel all the feelings you describe many 
times about many people, so don't jump too fast. You may feel the same 
iway about someone else later on, so take it sloiw. 

Coin' Through It 

Aye, Beat, I'm really goin' through it tonight. I've been 
waitin' on this interview to be accepted to this group 
home, and it turns out I had that interview today over 
the phone. It turned out to be not so inviting. Well, it's in 
Sacramento. The quickest I can possibly get home is ten 
months, an' I'm not feeling that. But I'm runnin' out of 
places to go, and if I run this time, I'm on my way to the 
Ranch up in Wyoming to shovel cow shhh for a year or 
two. God knows that's for surely not what I want. 

I don't know what to do. I'm losing confidence an' feel 
like I'm setting myself up for failure. I don't want to run 
no more. It's time to face the music, yahhh dig? Baby, I 
love you, my Lil' Yucatan. 

-Lil' Unlucky 

From The Beat: You write that you don't knoiw what to do, but it's pretty 
obvious that you do knoiw iwhat to do, iwhich is to "face the music." 
Being grown sometimes means having to do what you don't want to do 
today so that you can do what you do want to do tomorrow. Running 
is a child's solution, and it never works. Ten months is a long time, 
especially for someone your age, but it's ten months, not ten years. You 

Gettino The Hell Out 

People always talking 'bout when they get out they go 
do this and that. Some do the same shhh and expect 
different results, and wonder why they back. I say 'cause 
they insane in a way, and some time need to be here. They 
ain't built for this shhh. They need to do somethin' worth 
somethin', or just stop bein' a juvenile gangsta. Get out 
and make theyself useful. So this for the ninjas that come 
back and forth and say they did this and that and go do 
this. Just shut the hell up and go find yo'self, then claim 

-Rambo Bob 

From The Beat: This is all very interesting about iwhat "they" should do, 
but what about you? What should you do, and more important, what do 
you plan to do so that you don't have to be giving advice from behind 


The Life I Live 



What up with The Beat? This be your boy, C Murks. Yes, 
I am up in this G-thang, holdin' it down. Yeah, I go to 
court on the 29th and I am praying I get out. This ain't 
the way I want to live, in and out of the Hall jails. I hope 
I go home. 

If I was at home, I would be on the block. It is can as 
hell. I need to get out of this G-thang. When I do, I am 
going to get off paperwork, then I'm wildin'. 


From The Beat: What, exactly, are you praying for? How do you think 
God hears a prayer that would put you back on the block iwith a deadly 
iweapon designed to ifill another of God's creations? What good will it do 
you to get off paperwork if you put yourself right back in the box? 

mnnnEB Mswmm/Mm ^^/s^^ ^^if^rr 

•/j/fsfjm^//j//jr. /// ////-#7 //. // 

//// // 

Beino Yourself, Dawole 


Man, wha's up with The Beat this week, ya'sayin? I 
mean, it's coo' to look up to somebody, but chu ain't 
gotta imitate they every move, ya'msayin' my lil' dawgie... 
Ya'msayin' I'ma do me and let that be that. 

I don't act like nobody. I'm goofy when I wanna be, but 
cha know when it pop off... 


From The Beat: You just keep doin' you, Jabba, and you'll be handing 
aiway larger and larger chunks of your life to a bunch of strangers 
telling you what to do and iwhen to do it. (We had to take some of the 
nansans^f like the threat at the end...| 

Ownino A Car Dealership 

I like cars because they are really fast and furious. I like 
sitting cars on 26-inch rims with beat in the trunk. In a 
couple of years I'm going to own my own dealership 


From The Beat: What kind of cars iwould you like in your dealership? We 
hope the economy gets better, because right now, people aren't buying 
neiw cars and car dealerships are closing doiwn! 

It Ain't RIyht 

Look at what we wear, we look like a mess 
Always kept my mouth closed with every case I catch 
I'm in my box counting every brick on the wall 
Doing otha ninjas' time inside of juvenile hall 
Wait until I get out, shhh ain't gonna be the same 
I gotta repent where I'm from and my last name 
I'm all about my money, use dollars as a napkin 
To wipe my sweat, don't ask any questions 
Where them ninjas, where they at? 
You wanna see, I'll be back 


From The Beat: Your direct threat (which we removed) at the end of 
this piece makes us think you haven't learned much from "each case 
you catch." What is it you plan to "repent" if you also plan to take your 
revenge? As long Sks your life revolves around getting your money, you'll 
keep putting money in the pockets of your keepers. We icnow you don't 
believe us yet, but we hope you don't have to learn that hard lesson 
the hard way. 

When I Leave, 

When I'm leavin' I'm go smoke me a Mac-DRE and hug 
the Fam-Bam and everything, and tell friends and homies 
to stay up and be safe. I'm go say, "Speedy out," because 
that's what my mom say when she tells me to get out 
her room. And hug my nieces and play with them and my 
little sisters and my little cousins. And I would've told my 
dad and uncle to be smooth. And that's all from ya boy 


From The Beat: Do you ever tell your mom to leave your room the : 
way she tells you to leave hers? 

I Don't Cry 

t ^ 

What'd poppin' with The Beat? This Hot Boi Jeez, man. 
My situation ain't nothing nice right now. They tryna 
throw ya boy a year or two in another state. But I did the 
crime, I could do the time. I'm just gone stay solid and do 
me fa real. Lots of boys'll cry. Not Jeez, I'm too solid. 


From The Beat: Everybody cries at times. Jeez. Sometimes tears are the 
most appropriate reaction to what is happening in your life. We hope 
you are able to find the best out of whatever program they send you to, 
and that iwhen you come bade, you won't have to do more crime, so ycHi 
won't have to do more time! 

I'ma Deat The System 

The system, it's playin' me like a tornado twista 

They giving me mo' time, they killin' me, sista 

I'm screamin' out, "Jesus, please help me bounce back 

and get on track" 

I need to get to my family, 'cause they the only ones that 

understand me 

We need each other like lions in packs 

'Cause we don't take no BS 

So I'ma beat the system like how my mom used to beat 



From The Beat; We had to change up your poem, Kirstin, because we 
don't allow you to use The Beat to hate on anyone or single out someone 
else, or to communicate at all with another locked up here. But we left 
your poem in because we hope you do beat the system. But the only 
iway to do that is not to play the game that leads here. We don't iwant 
you to beat it the iway your mom beat you, because it should be obvious 
that violence against children doesn't make them strong, but only hurts 
them. Beat the system by rising above your past and changing your 

They Playin' Me 

I wanna go home ASAP. The system got me trapped, in 
and out of jail every otha month. A ninja can't even get 
an education. Wha's up with that? They be tryna play me 
and keep me in here longer. They also got me trapped 
mentally, because they messin' wit' my head. I be thinking 
I'ma never get out. 

-Yours Truly 

From The Beat: The terrible truth is that you are giving them all the 
ammunition they are using to play iwith your head. If you want sm 
education — and we hope you do — stay in school. That means stop 
doing the things that lead you to feel trapped in a system that will 
ahways react the same way if you act the same way. It's not rocket 

Three Topics In Due 

I would get freaky with my girl, tell grandma I love her 
and I'm sorry. 

The picture is a picture of my mom that passed away 
during the summer. Look at it and remember it forever. 

I am about to have court in a few days and I have the 
chance to get out. I'm in for two cases in the same black, 
so I don't know what to think. But I know I ain't ready 
to call this my home, and I figured that in the outs is 

With an education you get a bigger profit then with 
selling weed. So I'm ready to change. 


From The Beat: First, Racoon, The Beat wants you to write about just 
a single topic, not all three. When you iwrite about all three, you really 
can't tell us very much about any of them. That's why we put all your 
topics together into this one, so we could publish all of it. But what 
iwe want to say is that your last sentence is the best of all. You are 
so right — it's better to be on the outs than locked up, and the best 
ticket for staying on the outs and living the life you want is to get your 
education. Don't forget. 

It'sDralnIn' Me 

Man, check this out yo! Pm hella bored up at this YGC 
thing. It's drainin' me out. It's makin' me lazy. I need to 
get out and active in a positive way. I can't keep being in 
here locked up. 


From The Beat: We don't know how we would keep our minds active in 
a place like this, or what wed do to avoid the temptation to do nothing, 
which is always a temptation when everything is done for you. But you 
have a fertile and active mind, so we know you won't give in to this 
temptation for long. Best get out and get on with your life. You have a 
lot to l«>ok forward to. 

aMmnnnEB Mswmmmji ^ ^ / s ^ ^ ////// 

•/j/fsfjin^//j//jr. /// ////-r/ //. // 

//// // 

What Is Love 


Love has no limits, love has no due 

It could last forever if you want it to 

Love makes life feel so complete 

But when someone steals your love away like a thief 

It can't be felt in the heart 

But it can be felt when you're apart 

Love may make you do crazy things 

Making love feel more real than it seems 

But to me it means it's not over until the fat lady sings 

-Luv Hurts 

From The Beat: Love is that poiwerful emotion that can hurt so much at 
times, and wash aiway all hurt at others. Poets and iwriters have tried to 
describe it for thousands of years, but no one has ever succeeded. 

So Much On My Mind 

I really don't feel these topics tonight, but I really do 
have a lot on my mind, such as my court dates and life on 
the outs. I'm not sure if I'm getting out soon. I just found 
out that my favorite aunt has throat cancer, my grandma 
has kidney problems, my other aunt is in and out of the 
hospital because of her breathing problems. But good 
thing that my mother is healthy. 

There is some other bad things such as my dad passed 
away when I was two years old. He went to the hospital for 
a normal check up and the doctors gave him two different 
shots. It turned into toxic poisoning and he died. But if 
you ask me, they murdered him in cold blood. 

Enough about my life story. 


From The Beat: We can see there is a lot going on that is weighing you 
doiwn. When you get out of here, we hope you find a way to stay out so 
you can give whatever help you can to your family members who need 
it. We're sorry about your father's death in the hospital, but we don't 
understand why you thinlf he was deliberately Icilled there. What would 
be the hospital's motive for doing that? 


It's hard out here, Beat. People judging me on my 

sexuality because I prefer to be gay. I grew up wit moms 

and got her habits of liking boys. Because I represent the 

gay 'hood, my self-esteem is low. I don't care though, I 

love me and it's who I am. 

-Lil* Two-Man 
From The Beat: We don't think y«Hir mother's liking boys had anything 
to do with your sexual preference. You are who you are, and even if she 
had liked other women, you would still be who you are. We have only 
admiration for you for knowing who you are and for your courageous 
willingness to stand up and be who you are, whatever others may say 
to you or about you! When you get out of here, you should see the 
movie, "Milk" It's a great movie (everybody should see it) that explores 
the revolution in the human right to be who you are, a revolution that 
started right here in Zm^ Francisco. Whatever you write next time, give 
us a longer piece that this. You have a lot you could say... ^ssy it! 



This ya boy Daddy-O. Man, what's good with The Beat? 

Man, I'm speaking on this topic beef 'cause all these 
people out here be trying to beef, ya dig. Most of these 
people out here be beefing with no money. Man, how you 
go beef with no money. If you ain't got no money, you 
can't beef, 'cause if you ain't got no money, you can't 
even buy yo' own thang. How you go be on the block with 
somebody else thang. So for real you can't beef with no 

-Daddy O 

From The Beat: Great! You get money to buy your "thang" so you can 
beef. And Where's that money going now? Is there anything else in life 
you're interested in besides beefing? 

Last Words 

If I had a chance to tell my loved one's something before 
I was to go, my words will be, "Stay strong . I love you 
and don't trip. I will be back. Time ain't nothin'. It all in 
yo' mind 'cause a ninja like me will bounce back. Love 
always your only," 


From The Beat: These are comforting words. We hope you never have 
to use them. 


Hani In Tkere 

While I'm in this cold cell, I think about all the things 
I miss and missing. I feel so much regret and wanna go 
home. I'm wasting so much time in here, and I feel like 
my mind's playing tricks on me. 

But what I learned from being in here a couple of 
times — you gotta look forward and keep ya head up, 
because if you keep thinking the worst, you just keep 
hurting yourself mentally. Just hang in here and you will 
be fine. 

When you locked down in the cell, you shouldn't let 
all those memories you have from the outs get to you. 
If you do that, it will make things more stressful for 
yourself. What you should do is look forward and get 
yourself together. Think what you really want to do in 
life. Keep yourself occupied like workout, read a book or 
something you like to do. 


From The Beat: We put your two pieces together, Ju, because they gave 
the same good advice. But maybe it isn't worlfing so well for you if you 
feel like your mind is playing tricifs on you. Can you write a longer piece 
about that? Give us some examples of iwhat you mean, and hoiv you 
deal with it. When you thinlf about what you really want to do in life, 
iwhat do you come up with? 

J I 

Keep My Nine Out Vail MDUths 

Ya dig? This the Shotty Ninja. I'm comin' live and direct 
at y'all, so put ya 3-D glasses on. This jail-gangsta shhh 
gettin' real old, and I'm tired of they shhh. My twin just 
went down fo' some buUhhh, but, ya dig, can't nothin' 
these crackers do to break a goon like me, ya heard? But, 
yeah, word 'round town Shotty G supposed to be touchin' 
down real soon. I guess y'all scared or y'all must realize 
Shotty G ain't playin', but whateva it is, y'all need to keep 
my name out y'all mouth. 

-The Shotty Ninja 

From The Beat; If Shotty G "ain't playin'," we hope he can open his eyes 
enough to see that the system "ain't playin'" either. They can take your 
life, for real, and put you in a box forever, if you give them the power to 
do it, even if you believe they can't break you. If you go after whoever 
has your name in their mouth, you're giving the system all it needs to 
control your life. Think hard before you find yourself in a situation 
where you're thinlcing "if only" from behind walls... 


Ain't Scarin' Nothino 

J L 

Yeah, man, it's that young Grimey. It's a new year and as 
you can see, I been doin' my thang out there wit' my ninjas 
and shhh, tryin' to get that paper. That's why I'm in this 
thang right now, y'am sayin'? They 'bought ta send me to 
a grouper, but for all you clowns, stop actin' something 
you ain't and get on my hype. I'm holdin' it down for my 
'hood while I'm in this G-thang, y'am sayin? 


From The Beat: At least you can see the link between going after that 
paper and handing away your freedom. The only "paper" you're getting 
now is going straight into the pockets of those who you've given control 
over your life. Might be time to rethinic your lifestyle... It doesn't seem 
to be working for you. 

mnnnMB Mswmm/Mm ^^/s^^ ^^if^rr 

He Gone Be Free 


"Free ma ninja!" That's what my girl yellin' 

"Free 'im fast, before I get to yellin' 

That's ma baby, I love him to death 

If you let him go, I keep him on point 

He gone do better 

He ain't gone smoke no' mo' joints 

He gone be free" 


From The Beat: It's nice to have a girl in your corner yelling for your 
freedom. But in the end, all the yelling in the world won't Iceep you free 
when you touch down. That's in your hands, not hers. 

Stelen Heart 


My heart once had been nothing but fiery coals 

But I met this girl who's smile was gold 

She had ten pretty toes, and she was smart 

Sexy and confident, she somehow moved in and stole my 

heart Only to bring it back with new meaning a heart that 

was once mean and cold 

Is now loving and bold 

But I just met her 

And already I'm starting to love her 

I don't understand how I can have such feelings especially 

since I barely know her 

I never thought I would be in love 

Without even feeling her touch 

But somehow it seems like I knew her all my life 

Maybe this was God who brought her into my life 

We both have the same goals. We have so much in common 

that it's kind of scary 

Maybe one day we will get married 

-Loving And Bold 

From The Beat: You didn't put your name on your piece, so we had to 
give you one. What you've written prove — again — that nobody icnows 
the future and nobody can be certain that they will not change. This 
chance meeting has melted your heart, and that's a wonderful thing. We 
hope it works out the way you want it to. 


What's good with The Beat? It's ya boy. Young Tizzle, 
down here at the Ranch, waiting to get up out this place. 
I been waiting for a long time to go back home to my 
family. It's a lot I'm go' do when I get out. One thing... I 
ain't getting back into trouble. I'm 'bout to be eighteen. 
I've done a lot of time at a young age, but that's a lil' 
something on my mind this week. I'm gone. 


From The Beat: It's great that you're using your time at the Ranch to 
think hard about your life on the outs. Use the strengths and talents 
you know (and we know) you have to move your life beyond your 
troubled past. The streets are the same sks when you came in, but ycHi 
soG different! Don't forget! 

Forfeit The Game 

t a 

Forfeit the game 

Before somebody else take you out the frame 

And put your name to shame 

Cover up your face 

You can't win this race 

The phase is too fast 

You just won't last! 

-Can't Win 

From The Beat: We had to change your Beat name because you only 
used numbers and letters, which we won't do. Does this poem mean 
that you want to give up the game and find something else to do? We 
hope so, because you're conclusion is correct: you can't iwin except by 
not playing in the first place. 

'///////#/////. /// ////-#7 //. // 

//// // 

Fverybody Likes Me 


I like money. I like cars. I like girls. And I like school. 
Everybody is nice, so be like me 'cause I'm so icy. So stay 
cool and do yo' time see you later. 


From The Beat: What's the value of writing like this, DR? All that it 
tells us is that you are too lazy to do the thinlcing that might lead to 
some real writing that really says something, teaches something. Time 
never comes back. Once it's gone, it's gone forever. So our advice: stop 
wasting it! 


Some Topic Ideas For Tiie Beat 

I'm not feeling the topics tonight, so for another topic, 
how about "Life In The 'Hood"? "Living In The Street" 
and "Surviving In The Street"? But to live there, it is a 
very dangerous thing, a lively task to survive on these 
streets, ya know what I'm saying? One love. Beat. It's yo' 
boy. Young D. 

-Young D 

From The Beat: We appreciate your topic suggestions. Why don't you 
take one of them to write on, and give us a full page of your thoughts. 
These are not easy topics, because some of the things you might be 
tempted to write about may no be appropriate for The Beat. But we'd 
love to read what you have to say. 



Daym, I never thought I would ever end up in the halls 
but here I am. It's hella can up in this place. Right now, at 
this moment, I would probably be holdin' it down on the 
block with the big homies, but instead, I'm here, doing 
time. I got court tomorrow, an' from what I hear, they ain't 
tryna let me out fo' a minute. 

Another thang that's a trip is I came in the same week 
my brother got out. Mayne, I wonder how my mom must 
feel. She must be dying inside. I know I am, but, hey, let's 
just say, "Karma's real." 


From The Beat: When you think of your mom "dying inside," does it 
make you iwant to change anything about how you are living your life, 
so that you don't bring so much pain to her? Do you see a connection 
between "holdin' in down on the block iwith the big homies" and getting 
locked up? Can you serve the big homies on the block without leaving 
your mom in tears, "dying inside"? 

M]f Life In Las Caiies 

What's up Beat? I don't feel the topic today, so I going to 
write about my life in las calles (the streets). 

Bueno pues, my life in the streets was hella cool 
'cause I meet new personas and cultura. I live my life al 
estilo pandillero (gangster style) 'cause I'm a pandillero 
and I start ripando mi barrio cuando (repping my 'hood 
when) I was first a teen. Bueno mi vida in the calles (My 
life in the streets) is always running de la jura (from the 
cops) and looking for enemies. 

I'm in this stinking jail for murder, but I don't care do 
long time here 'cause I love mi barrio and I still flrme. 

Bueno Beat, I want to tell you that I like live my life 
always running from la jura 'cause that's the way I take. I 
read The Beat the people cry 'cause they are in jail. Forget 
thatl I still down for mi barrio no matter what. 

Bueno Beat, this vato is out. 


From The Beat: What a shame that you're having to learn English inside 
a jail! You're still a child, thinlcing like a child, and the real tragedy is 
that you will grow up behind iwalls, one day waking up to the fact that 
life and freedom are gifts not to be given away so easily! Maybe you 
like running from the cops, but you're not running from the cops noiw. 
Now they Icnow where to find you 24/7. You have so v^r^ much to learn 
about life, Duende, Sks everyone your age — and really, everyone of any 
age — does. We don't know if you believe in god or not, but if you do, 
is this the life he created you for? 


m/u j^ji ^^if^rr 



Ice can be made to cash 

Cash can be made into ice 

Ice slowly kills 

Cash can heal 

Ice is cold 

Cash can bring heat 

Cash brings life 

Ice brings death 

Ice comes with tears 

Cash comes with joy 

So next time you buy ice 

Don't forget 

It doesn't come nice 

Ice is everything 

It's in the street 

It's in the schools 

It's even in your homes 


From The Beat: We agree that "ice brings death" if you mean meth. Speed 
kills for sure. But cash doesn't always bring life. How many people do 
you know who have lost their freedom or even their lives because of 
their pursuit of cash? (Do you know the poem by Robert Frost called 
"Fire and Ice"? It begins, "Some say the iworld will end in fire, some say 
in ice..." You should read it. 


What it do man? It's ya boy Nick G coming from the hole. 
Ha ha ha what a joke! Well I just got done writing about 
that picture, but I think I'll drop some dope to let ya'll 
know I'm out this place in a few days! 

Yeah I get out Sunday February 1st and I feel really 
good about it. I got a strong plan of what I'm gonna do 
once I get released. 

I start at West Valley on the second, the day after I 
get out. And I'm gonna get a job. I'll start looking right 
away. I should be getting a car within a couple of months 
and I'm good after that. I'm just gonna focus on messing 
with hella girls and getting massive amounts of money 
the right way this time. Before, I was just robbing houses 
slanging dope and that fast money burns a hole in your 
pocket for real. 

Anyways I'm out. 


From The Beat: Sounds like a good plan for you and your future. We 
hope you maice it through this time Nick. Good luck and stay away from 
what can get you bade in here. "Si se puede." 

On M) Mini 


What's cracking Beat. What's up with all you guys? How 
ya'll doing out there. 

Well as for me, I'm just chilling posted you know. 
Well, court went all bad. I'm about to lose Fitness and 
that's hella gay. 

So by March I should start going to adult court. Who 
would've thought car jacking was that bad, but whatever, 
I brought it upon myself. I was tripping out 'cause I heard 
the YA's are getting shut down, but I'm not sure, so if 
that's the case I'll be here for 1 V2 until I turn 18 and then 
go to the pinta (pen). 

Well Beat stay up. To all the gente (people) out there 
stay up, keep trucha, keep your friends and enemies 
close. Gone. 

-Mc Eagle 

From The Beat: Right! We all make mistakes that bring unwanted 
consequences. We hope you find the strength that you need to overcome 
your situation. Try your best to behave better and do your best to reduce 
your time sentence. Learn something out of this time that you will be 
here. Teach others. 

'///////#/////. /// ////-r/ //. // 

Just Checkino In 

What a trip! Today I met somebody who knows someone 
I knew on the outs. I always get to thinking about old 
times when that happens. 

Other than that Beat my brain is on freeze right now 
I am sitting here chopping it up. I got an idea for a topic 
though, what people think about gang enhancements. 


From The Beat: What do you think about gangs enhancements? We 
kncnw one thing, it's dangerous charges, if you have to folloiw the righjt 
path, you should be ok. 


You see me slippin' on the night with the devil by my 
side. He tells me that I'm halfways dead because I refused 
to go back in this life of sin. Growing up as a warrior, 
I never fell down, but the devil still haunts me and will 
never stop. 

I gotta keep on the down low, can't trust anyone 
except a few, but they're hardly around. I tell my sisters, 
"Everything's gonna be all right," when I'm living in 
Satan's territory. I try to be a Christian, but everyone 
think that I will never let Satan go. 

I was a slave; I was a psychopath killa, still showing 
no fear. He scared to death; he's scared to look in the 
mirror. I'm a warrior. Got the world on my mind. They see 
me bouncing and there they go hatin'. 

I had a lot of enemies, and now being in Juvi making 
it worse. The only way I know to get back out there where 
I lived in the sick side of town, creepin' in the night. I 
see you comin' down the block and don't know if you're 
ducking or gunning. Juvi lockdown coming straight from 
hell. I gotta be strong, so why do you keep playin' mind 

-Moe Joe 

From The Beat: There are two things we hope you concentrate on. First, 
you are trying to be a Christian. Just remember hoiw much power for 
good that represents, and use that poiwer to control that evil side you 
write about. And the second thing is that when someone or something 
is playing mind games writh you, then remember it's in your mind. It's 
only real if you let it be real. 


J L 


Ey, what's up people? How you camaradas doing up in 
the Cali sun? Well hopefully, all the homies are keeping 
their heads up and ain't stressing about them jainitas. 
Por que como que esta pelado Q'^o (That situation is 
kind of messed up, no?). 

So what should I talk about today? Hmmm. Shhh, 
I don't know. I can't think right now. Oh yeah, I got 

Well, I just wanted to say that I'm gonna miss 
Samantha and Dave 'cause I'm gonna be out by this place. 
I'm gonna be hitting county in March, so I'm not gonna be 
able to write on The Beat no more. Unless they send me 
a Beat over the county. Shhh, I know that would be firme 
'cause I would like to stay in touch with you guys. 

Well Beat, that's it for now. I'm gonna try to write some 
lyrics for the homies. Orale pues, much love to all out 
there. By the way I would like to stay Q-vo to my primo de 
mi barrio. 


From The Beat: It's not going to be the same without you in the 
wrorkshops. Temper. We're going to miss you. But we sure don't have to 
miss your writing. You can write The Beat from the county (or wherever 
you are|, and we will print what you iwrite in the Beat Without section 
and send you a copy. Our address is on page 3 of every issue. We hope 
you follow through, because iwe don't want to lose touch iwith you, 
either. Good luck. 



r//// ////// 

//// // 



Adios mi cielo (good-bye my angel), today I say goodbye 

Good-bye forever for the rest of our lives 

Just turn around blind, walk away mija 

Don't look back 

Cherish the moments that we used to have 

I can no longer kiss your tears falling from your face 

Until you win some sweet and proud 

I would hold you all night kissing your forehead when 

you sleep 

After you had a bad dream 

No longer will it be me by your side cambia mis 


(My feelings are changed) 

Se que estas arepentida 

Pero mujer yo lo siento 

(I know you regret it, but baby, I'm sorry) 

I'm sorry I loved you pero you already had your chance 

Took my love for granted 

And lost it with this men 

You never thought I would give my life for you 

Just to make you smile when you were feeling sad and 

feeling low 

You did this to yourself 

If you would have let go of your pride 

But now I'm gone, and I leave you with this letra 

Of good bye... 


From The Beat: How sad this good-bye is. Temper. "Walk away and don't 
look back..." ohhhh, that hurts us to read it, so we can imagine how it 
hurts you to write it. Love that lifts us to the heavens can also cast us 
doivn to hell. We're sorry you've had to write this letter. 

Last Words 


9-vole Beat? This is Lil' Casper once again just kicking 
back in the max. Today's topic is "Last Words." If I had to 
go out of town for a long time, the last person I would talk 
to it would be my jeflta (mom) because I know how she 
loves me and cares about me. I would tell her that I have 
to leave town. I'm gonna be okay and that she doesn't 

I have to worry about me. 
Every time I leave the house without telling her where 
I'm going, she always calls me just to make sure I'm okay. 
Well this is all for today! 

-Lil' Casper 

From The Beat: We're sure that she would appreciate that you count 
on her in every single move that you make in your life. She will always 
worry about you because you're her son and she loves you so much. 
I Dont you think your mother deserves more than a few words? 


SIttIno, Wonderino, Waltino 

Well, I sit in here and wait for my time to go by. 
I think about what's going on outside these walls. 

I wonder what my moms is doing. 

I also wonder what my man is doing out there. 
He's on the run, playing games, 

saying all this stuff about me and him, and how he wants 
to have a family. 

But then he ran away and since he's been out there, 
he hasn't written me or nothing, so it makes me question 

But I hope he's cool and ain't doin' anything stupid. Well, 
to all, stay up. 


From The Beat: We hope your guy faces his problems. Being on the run 
isn't a picnic. And we hope you'll have learned something important 
from your stay in juvy. We don't iwant you doing, Sks you say, "anything 
stupid", either. Time to get your act together! 

Thiols Shady 


What's up Beat? This Ld. They tryna send me away for a 
long time. I'm gonna get a lawyer and beat the case. 

Speaking from the max, this shhh is not fun and also 
Santa Clara County is shady. Santa Clara is one of the 
shadiest counties. But I'm gonna just keep my head up 
and hopefully get to go home. 


From The Beat: What makes Santa Clara one of the shadiest jail of all? 
Would you prefer to be loclced up in a different juvenile hall detention 
or some other place worse? You g«>t the hey to your freedom. Pull it out 
from your pockets and let yourself free the next time y«>u have that 

I Want To Be Completely Free 

I like freedom 

I don't like being locked up 

I remember being young 

I don't remember being old 

I get mad when I'm wrong 

I laugh when I'm right 

I wish I wasn't alive 

I want to be completely free 

If only I was good 

I am sad right now 


From The Beat; We can't believe that you wish you were not alive. Cash, 
because your wish for freedom is much stronger! Don't let your emotions 
at this minute lead you to believe you'll always feel this way. IMone of 
us is ever really "completely free" (we all have our pasts, our limitations, 
etc.l, but you can be happy and free. Just don't give up. 

Last Words 

Wha's up Beat? I want to first give my love and respect to 
the homeboys. This, that homeboy G coming at you from 
the max unit. 

If I left my country and I didn't get to say good-bye 
to someone I cherished, I would regret it. For instance, 
if I left and wasn't able to say something and then I got a 
chance to say something, I would tell her I love her and 
that I would always be there for her. I would tell her the 
reason I kept it to myself was 'cause I didn't want to feel 
like I was going to lose her. 

That is what I would say if I wasn't able to say some 
last words to someone I cared about. 


From The Beat: Don't wait! If this is how y«Hi feel, tell her noiv because 
you never know what tomorrow might bring. 

' I I I I I I I I I I 

Almost But 

Hey what's up Beat! Well I'm just here chilling in this 
unit, waiting for my time to go home, finally. I haven't 
been home for a year, so I think it's finally time to go out 
there and do things right because I won't be coming back 
here anymore. 

I'm planning on laying low for a while and just be 
kick back out there and get a job and try to help out the 
homeys and my girl you know, so I got to do something to 
keep myself from going next door so that's all I got inside 
me right now. 

I just want to say to keep your head up to all. 


From The Beat; What are those "right things" that you are planning to 
do? How are you going to help your homeboys? Are you thinlcing of 
setting up a good example to them, so they can look up to you and start 
siwitching roads? Like you've said it is time to get out of here and never 
come back. You can live a different life if you like. It's your choice. 


i^r>/// ////// 

Ready To Get Out 


Hey yo, it's me again, just chillin' like always. Another 
day goes by. Just look out the window, imagine me in the 
outs. I just can't take it anymore. I try to control my anger, 
but it's just every time I don't see my family I hit the wall, 
sometimes leave marks, but I try so hard to control it. 

I've changed a lot about me, mostly everything now, 
just my looks now. I could really control my anger, it's 
just I think that my parents don't see me sometimes. I 
think they see me as a criminal. I know it ain't true, but I 
gotta keep the evil deeds out. 

Well, gotta go. Catch ya later. Heads up. 

-Moe Joe 

From The Beat: So tell us, MJ, if you know that you are not a criminal, 
who are you? Who do you want to become? Hoiw will you get from where 
you are to where you want to go? 

Witli Much Hate 

The system treats me and my ninjas cold 

When I heard what was about to happen my body was 

bout to fold 

I used to be a boss and I used to be a playa 

With a gwap in my pocket saying shut the fluff up hater 

Grew up with hate for the 5-0 

But now I'm contemplating 

Man, they helping San Jose 

And when I get out, I ain't doing no wrong 

So I'm a say it now fluff the bad and I'm gone. 


From The Beat: You need to find a way to release all this hate you feel 
inside of you. This might the problem that's keep bringing you bade in 
here. If you won't do any wrong anymore, what will you be doing? 


What's up Beat it's Elmo from Watsonville writing from 
the max. Well my PO told me I'm getting close to getting 
released to the YA Alternative in Nevada. So yeah I'm kind 
of happy for myself. But who knows I may not stay. 
Yeah I'm going to miss my Watsonville. 


From The Beat: You are given another chance to fix your mistakes, but it 
seems liice you are not thinking in using it to your convenience. The way 
you think and the iway you are planning things for your future will get 
you back in here and lose more than ycHi've already lost. Wise up! 

Happy Birthday Mom! 

Mom, I'm sorry I couldn't be with you tomorrow, on your 
special day. 

But I'll be sure to make it up to you whenever I get out 
of here. 

I know we've had a lot of bumpy roads through the 

but through it all, my love for you has always been 

I know me being in here doesn't help you any, 
so I want to do better when I get out. 

There are no words to explain how much I appreciate 
everything you've done for me. You inspire me a lot. 
I've seen you grow so much throughout my life. 
Especially raising a child by yourself. 

So mommy, I hope you have a good birthday tomorrow 
and try not to stress too much. 

I love you with all my heart. Your daughter... 


From The Beat: We send our best wishes to your mom on her birthday. 


'///////#/////. /// ////-r/ //. // 

J L 

Thoughts On A Paper 

"I'm not feeling these topics," seems like a cool topic. 
Shhh the outs is the same as I hear from the loved ones. 
And nobody I care about has died lately so it's cool. 

I've been writing this jaina in the outs who I've known 
for a while. I never thought much of her other than a fine 
piece of girl that would always be around. Not that I'm 
locked up and looking at a life sentence, she still there, 
telling me she always gonna be there no matter what. And 
she knows my max, but she still jockin'! So I use it and 
take advantage of that. I tell her what she wants to hear 
and some. 

I see it as money in my commissary in the future. But 
yet it hits me that all the females I was messing with ain't 
here. But she still is. That's a keeper. Shhh I might marry 
her when I hit prison, get a couple of conjugal visits, get 
her pregnant so I could have a son to carry my name. "Lil' 
Jon Jon," 

Simon! But my ex-lady started getting at me like that 
too in recent letters, so I guess, I'll choose whoever I feel 
the most, gonna stick with me, and make the cuter baby. 
Haha. I know it seems messed up, but shhh a homeboy 
gotta do what he has to do that he could benefit from. But 
yet again, these are just my thoughts written on a piece 
of paper. 

-Jon Jon 

From The Beat: Now you have someone wrho accepts your current 
situation and is willing to give you the support you need, and you are 
taking advantage of it. How do you feel about that? Then you're going 
to get her pregnant. For what? Just to carry your name? What hind of 
man are you? You're iwilling to have a child, without the warmth and 
the support of a father. This is wrong. Life is not a joke. Having a baby 
and not taking care of responsibility is not the iway it goes. What are 
you or her going to tell her when, if you had one, he/she asks for his/ 
her father is? How do you thinic he/she is going to feel iwhen finding 
out the truth? So, think about it maturely! 

I Know Where I'mGoino 

I went to court and they said that I am going to the 
Ranch. I am not so happy about that. I want to go home! 
Well, don't we all? It is so hard to be away from my life. I 
hurt because of what I have done to my mom. I cry myself 
to sleep at night. I have so much guilt and pain inside. 
But I'm on a happier trip now that I have a sentence. I 
know I'm leaving soon -just not where I want to be. Well, 
I got to go Beat. 


From The Beat: Try thinking about the ranch like this. There are people 
iwho pay big buclcs to go to ranches and be told iwhat to do. Of course 
they're called Dude Ranches, but still.... The ranch you're headed to will 
cost you some time, but if you listen carefully, and do what's asked of 
you, the payoff iwill be freedom. That's a pretty good deal. 


It's been about a year now. You ain't here now. I miss you 
little ninja. I shoula been in your ear. That chick got you 
caught up... I shoulda went with you that night. I shoulda 
helped you fight that fight. Because of me you lost your 
life. Don't worry little bruh. I got you, though. You gone 
live through me. 

This is dedicated to my lil' cousin. He was only 16 
years old. 

-Young Dash 

From The Beat: We're so sorry for your loss, and another tragic death 
of a youngster iwho didn't need to die. But you are not responsible for 
him being gone. He made choices, just as we all make choices, and every 
choice iwe make, and every choice we don't make, carries consequences. 
Sometimes, those consequences last forever. iVothing you can do wrill 
undo that, so we hope you don't do anything to risk your oiwn life or 
freedom so that Kev can, indeed, live through you. 




r//// ////// 

//// // 

Keepin' It Cool 


What's up Beat? How ya doin'? Me, just keeping my head 
down always because it's the first time in here in Juvi. I'm 
kind of sad because my lady locked me in here because 
her mom forced her to. But it's all cool. I know one day 
I'ma get out and I'm just gonna keep it cool. 


From The Beat: And when that day comes when you get out, what are 

I you thinking about doing so that you Mrill not only stay out, but succeed . 
and grow? I 


Good News, Bad News 

Check this out Beat. This yo' boy Dre. They got yo' boy 
in the max right now because I'm 18. But anyways, there 
some good news and some bad news. Your boy beat a 
strike because my attorney blessed the DA with some 
game, and yo' boy got lucky. But anyways, the bad news... 
Yo' boy got life skills, a 180 days and now time served, 
and I been here for five months. 

- Young Nasty 

From The Beat: Well, whatever time you have to serve, it beats getting a 
strike, so let this be your chance to figure out hoiv to do your time, get 
€Mit, and never come back (or go to anyplace even iworse)! 

flue Bay 

You say you want change 

But will it take away all this pain 

And get me through the rain? 

Sittin' in this cell goin' insane 

With one face flashing through my brain. 

Watching these eyes of mine drain. 

Thoughts rooming through my mind - 

But that answer. 

Why is it so hard to find? 

So you say you want the truth. 

Alright, hold on, this'll be a bumby ride! 

Since age twelve I been on my grind. 

Ain't too many people in these streets kind! 

All they do is express what's on my mind. 

Ain't nobody take the time 

To learn about this shhh. that's one of a kind. 

Too many people are just blind! 

Now I'm 'bout to switch this up. 

Baby, this is for you Butter Cup. 

Dry your eyes. 

No need for all your cries. 

I know I ain't there right now - 

But baby just be patient. 

I promise we'll make it. 

Each day that passes by 

Makes me want to cry. 

Please baby, don't say good bye! 

To me, time seems to go by so slow. 

But just thinking about 

All the good times that are soon to come 

Makes this face of mine glow! 

So please, Tabitha, don't go! 

I promise when I get out 

We'll get this show on the road. 

I love with all my heart & soul. 

I never want to let you go. 

Please baby, tell me you won't go! 


From The Beat: Every now and then we get a love poem that makes us 
back off of our reluctance to print love poems in The Beat. And this is 
one of them. You're a real word slinger, Stormee. We iwould like to hear 
a bit more about your life on the streets. Maybe next time. And we'd 
especially like to know wrhat you've learned. 

That Picture, My Ninjas 

What it do Beat Within? It's Nick coming at you from 
this so called max unit here tonight to talk to you about 
that picture that means hella much to me. 

Well, that picture is of me and my ninjas on the beach 
out there in Santa Cruz just, posted posing and ya boy 
looks hella sexy flexing on these ninjas, haha. 

Yeah that was my boy Kraig's birthday. We had a fat 
few day parlay at a campsite just on the coast man. There 
was a cliff and then below was the beach and we had a 
keg, tents, grapes, but most important all the homeys. 

My lady was in rehab for that, so I couldn't bring her, 
but you know I had to get some, so I brought her older 
sister like a sav! Lol. 

But yeah man that was one of the best weekends I've 
ever had, but really though what makes the picture special 
to ya boy is how I got it. Everyone always says, "Your 
homeys got you here and now where are they? Do they 
write? Do they visit?" Well yeah two of my boys and my 
homegirl slid through and tried to visit, but staff wouldn't 
let 'em in. So they dropped off a book, some cards, and 
that picture. I'm out man stay up ... 


From The Beat: It sounds like you had a good time. Well, we hope your 
girl doesn't get a hold of this piece and find out about her sister. Thank 
you for sharing the experience with us. 

I I I I I I I I I I I I 

Hard Times 

These are my hard times right now. I got myself locked 
up and can't see the people I love. I fudged up and got 
myself caught. I should've gone home that night. I didn't 
though. Instead, I decided to chill with the homies and 
because I did, I got caught and now I'm here. 

Most of my homies tell me to stay low "lay low" and I 
never listen. I'm always being a mentirosa (dummy) and 
doing bad shhh, 'cause I usually don't get caught. Now I 
know my homies are just looking out. Man, sometimes I 
wish I would've layed low, but that's my plan when I get 
out. I'm going to do good. I really miss my family and that 
hurts a lot, especially my mom, and my street family too, 
like my brother L. I wish he would just do good, but that's 
really being hypocritical, 'cause I'm in here too. But I'm 
just trying to be good so I can finish my program and be 
free, and out this system. Well, I'm out - lates. 


From The Beat: We hope you're sorry for more than just getting caught. 
The sure way to not get caught is to not do anything you can get caught 
for. It's an old question, but we must ask you - what's your freedom 
iworth? Sounds like your friends were trying to save you from a lot of 
trouble. Those are friends worth keeping, and worth listening to. 


Where do I think violence comes from... Well, what I 
think is that violence comes from people. I think it comes 
from people because usually people think that by making 
someone else hurt inside, or by hurting them in some 
way, they will feel better. So, they start doing all kinds of 
things to innocent people. Then when someone finds out 
they did something to a friend of theirs, they go after that 
person, and that causes all kinds of violence. Well, that's 
what I think about violence. 


From The Beat: You've described the endless cycle that violence often 
creates. At some point, someone has to say - "iUo". Someone has to say 
no more violence, and mean it, as evidenced by her behavior, or his. 
That person could be you. It could be any of us. When enough of us say 
"No" to violence, it will become the exception in our lives, and not the 
commonplace. Are you ready? 

aMmnnnEB MSFMMmimmu j^ ji ^^if^rr 

Imitatino Violence 

I don't think someone can be born violent. I believe that 
they get it from who they live with, or whoever, but that 
no one is born violent. People imitate what they see. 


From The Beat: We agree with you. At the same time, we believe that 
any of us are capable of violence. We can ch«K>se to be peaceful or we 
can choose violence. If we grow up around it, or with it, in our families, 
the odds are greater that we may resort to it ourselves. And clearly, 
that's not good. So, teach your children well, and choose your friends 
well. Don't pass violence on to those around you. 

Hard Times 

These are my hard times right now. I'm back once again, 

up in here. 

I'm hella missing my baby right now. 

I just want to hold him in my arms. 
Look into his eyes and tell him "I love you baby!" 
Man, it bring tears to my eyes just thinking about my 
husband and my son (little cousin). I look at their 
pictures. I miss when I would be cooking for my son and 
my husband would just sit at the table, with him talking. 

I hella miss those days, but I know I will get out soon. 
Well baby, if you ever get to read this, know that your wife 
is keeping her head up 
and staying out of all this wack drama. 
Also, baby I want to write a little part of a song to you. 
It's by Selena it goes like this: 

"I'm missing my baby" 

"I'm missing my baby" 

I want to hold you tight and never let you out of my sight 

I'm missing my baby 

I'm missing my baby 

I need to feel your heart- beat next to mine 

Got to hold you 

Got to have you 

Got to have your loving 

And tell you that I love you 

And I really miss you! 

Well baby I hope you like it. To everybody God Bless and 

take care. 


From The Beat: Whatever you were doing that caused you to be separated 
from your family - was it worth it? If it takes help to stop whatever it 
was, asic for help. Your family needs you and you need your family. 

Bad News 


Today I want to talk about how I've been feeling this 
whole time I've been here. 

It seems like all I am hearing is bad news. All my 
patna's in here are hearing bad news. It seems like the 
D.A. and the judge don't want to send no sunshine our 
way. It seems like they let certain people off with shhh 
but others they don't. 

Some girls is getting dumb lucky with their court 
dates, shhh, I wish I was going to juvenile court but I 
pray for all of us. I wish I could stop stressing off this 
shhh. It's not only my case I'm stressin' off of it's also 
my buddies. Don't worry, friends, we are all going to get 
through it. Only the strong survive. 


From The Beat: Wow, your friends are so lucky to have you in their corner. 
We know that the environment your in is a big cause for stressing out 
but when you have friends or family locked up along side you then the 
stress becomes paramount. Just keep your head up and try talking with 
your friend as much Sks you can, it might not take away all the stress but 
it might help somewhat. 

•/j/fsfjin^//j//jr. /// ////-r/ //. // 

Messed Up Case 

What's up. Beat? This is Droopy. Well, I'm gonna write 
about my case. Like two weeks ago I went to court and 
my PO is trying to do me over and send me to the Y, but 
the judge is being cool but the scandalous thing about 
the story is the Ranch orientation guy came and screened 
me for the Ranch and said I was gonna be leaving to 
the Ranch by early February so I thought I was gonna 
be leaving then I got sent to this unit for like two weeks 
then it came out that they got confused with my case and 
somebody else's. 


From The Beat: It must have been so frustrating to think that you're 
making progress with your case and then something like this happens! 
What now? We hope that they get it right! 

You Didn't Pian To 


As I'm here writing this. 

Thoughts in my head come to me 

With all the pain you caused 

And all the tears I shed 

Sitting, wondering, reminiscing on my bed! 

Questioning myself, what have I done wrong? 

But slowly understanding as this poem comes along... 

My tears aren't out of frustration and hate 

Because I know you didn't plan to make a mistake! 

But as they roll down my eyes 

And I slowly start to cry, 

I convince myself you're my soul mate 

And all this is happening because of fate...! 

These emotional feelings that work up inside me 

When my eyes get watery 

And I need you beside me 

To pick me up when I'm down 

Or to make me laugh when I frown 

I always want you to be there 

And promise to try and never let me down! 

It's slowly coming together as I speak my mind 
But listen to me please just this one time...! 

As I cry in your arms 

And you hold me so tight 

Whispering in my ear telling me every things alright 

I feel safe, protected as if away from all harm 

Just with the touch of me in your arms... 

When I look into your eyes or send you love letters 

Telling you I miss you and things will get better...! 

When I say I love you 

And I'll always be true 

Or when you just hold me at night 

Taking in all the pain I went through 

The thoughts of it only being us two 

There's nothing in the world I'd prefer 

Then to just be with you!! 

But as this poem comes to an end 

And I reread everything in my head 

I realize it's not only me making mistakes 

But you to make them again and again!! 


From The Beat: Tenesha - we think you should send this directly to your 
sweetheart. We want to print what you have to say to the thousands of 
Beat readers, not what you have to say to just one person. We'll make 
this one exception for you, because you put so much effort into it. But 
next time, write something to all of us. 





Hey Beat, what's up? Me nothing just sitting here in my 
unit and just want to drop a few lines about my son. Well 
anyways, my son is 8 and a half months and he already 
has six teeth and two on the bottom. 

Well, I am sad because today I had court and saw my 
mom and she was telling me all the things about my son 
and I was like damn, I wish I was out to see him do all the 
these things and for him to be only 8 months he is pretty 
smart because he already knows how to crawl and stands 
next to the coffee table and he drinks out of a sippy cup 
and eating regular table foods. 

Well his b-day is on May 8, 2008 at 5:52 

-Mommy loves you son. 

From The Beat: It's amazing how fast kids grow, isn't it? One morning 
they're not even crawling and another they're asking if they can go on 
a date! Hoiw do you handle being away from him at such a young age? 
What do you do, if at all, to ensure that your baby boy knows who his 
mommy is while you're gone? We wish you the best, and we hope you're 
reunited with your son! 

I Love M]f Baby 

Today I saw my baby boy. I cried when I saw him because 
I hadn't seen him for a whole month. Every night I pray 
to God for him and that God will hopefully let me out so I 
can see his first birthday. My son is my life. I don't know 
what I'd do without him. I love my baby boy Jr. 

-La Foolish 

From The Beat: We wish you the best. Foolish, and we hope that you're 
able to get out to see your son's birthday too. Has this incarceration 
made you want to do things differently in your life? Hope so. 

I I I I 1 1 

I I I I 


What's good with it tonight. Beat? Man, I been struggling 
a lot lately, I got like four more months in this place but 
it's cool though, I try to look on the bright side of living 
this B.S. life. I just wanted to say every time a homey gets 
out from jail, another falls into the game. Man, I know 
that a lot of my soldiers feeling the same way that ya boy 

It's also hard because there is a lot of my soldiers in 
here and in county and pen doing time. But anyways, I 
just wanted to say that life is a game and to all my fallen 
soldiers keep ya head high and stand tall and never fall 
and if ya do get back up and keep on going till you rest. 
But in the mean time ya boy is out living this b-s life. 


From The Beat: What do you mean by b-s life. Tanks? Is it life in general 
that is b-s. or life in the halls? Is it because you think life's a game that 
makes it b-s? Living your life in the game is dangerous and the only 
thing that's b-s is THE GAME. Why not live your life like it's your life, 
something to cherish and respect? 

Tiie Beat Witiiout Writers 

I wanna give big props to all the people who write in the 
BWO, I think that all the writings are so inspiring and I 
look forward to reading them every week. 

I would like to hear from the Beat Without writers 
more often, see what the regulators have to say, give some 
knowledge to these youngsters 'cause there so many of 
us who are off track and ain't living our lives right. 

I see so much false acts these days, I'm 16 myself, but 
I know what's good. 


From The Beat: We know that the men and women who contribute to 
the BWO will be so happy to read this and know that their work is 
appreciated. Tell us what's good, since y«Hi know!! 

r//// ////// 

//// // 

Breamino casuaiiy 

Once in a while, just once in a while, 

I wish you would come back to me and tell me what you'd 

like to be. 

Would you like to be rich and famous? 

Sure, no one else could blame us for dreaming casually. 

Once in a while I wish our cares would drift into space. 

We can always find a time and a place. 

Maybe Saturn or maybe Mars, 

The both of us just searching the stars. 

While I am dreaming casually. 

When I want you in my arms. 

When I want you and all your charms. 

Whenever I want you all I have to do is dream. 

I can stare into your eyes. 

Taste those lips of wine, anytime night or day. 

Only problem is gee-whiz I 'am dreaming my life away. 

I need you so, all the time 

I need you so that I can die. 

Whenever I want you all I have to do is dream. 


From The Beat: This is a pretty song, Joanna, iwhere did you hear it? Did 
your mother or father listen to this a lot iwhen you Mrere growing up? 


What's cracking. Beat? It's Ricky. Well Beat, I'm not 
feeling the topics tonight so I'm gonna write about how 
I'm back in the system. 

Well, I failed aftercare for blowing trees. And so now 
I'm back in paradise again. My PO is trying to give me 
Advent Group Home for three months. It's whatever 
though, if I could do ranch then I could do three months. 
I'm gonna handle my time and get out back to the familia 
and the jaina. 

Well my homie gets out tomorrow. I wish him luck. 
Well as for me I'm just gonna wait until my court date. 
Until then, I'll keep my head up like my nose is bleeding. 
This homeboy's gone. Alrato. 

-Lil' Man 

From The Beat: It sounds like your RO. is trying to help you out, get you 
out of the Hall. You say you'll be able to do three months, but remember 
how you got sent back here. Don't mess up and do anything stupid, and 
you'll be back Mrith the people you wranna be with. 

TiiatKissino Picture 

That one picture I will always keep in my mind was when 
my man and me were kissing. The picture was taken on 
my phone and my other picture that was taken on the 
phone was when I took a picture of him laying down and 
you could see all his tats and his muscular body. Damn, 
don't I really miss that. 


From The Beat: He sounds like a great guy. Do you and your man iwrite 
to each other often? What do you do to keep your relationship alive 
while you're gone? 

Mixed Feeiinos 

Well, the other day I ran into my ex vato. I felt happy but 
then angry at the same time because I love him but he did 
me wrong so I hate him because of that. I just don't want 
to love him anymore because I know he doesn't love me 

-La Foolish 

From The Beat: Hate is a strong word to use. Foolish. Do you think you 
iwould ever try to reconcile your relationship with him? How do you 
know that this vato doesn't love you anymore? You'll never know unless 
you try talking to him. 


m/u j^ji ^^if^rr 

Today At Court 


Well, today 1 went to my court day. I was waiting with my 
jeflta in the court waiting room. While I was sitting there 
waiting to be called in to court, in my mind my thoughts 
were going crazy. Thinking that 1 was going to get out 
JHall but once I stepped in the courtroom. 

There 1 was sitting in front of the judge, telling me 
that I am going to stay here two more weeks, until my 
PO comes back from her vacation, to see what programs 
I could get into. Since the point 1 heard that, I was mad 
because 1 have to stay here and see my mom is really sick 
and my PO knowing that she is does what she does. 

My mom needs me at home. 1 been here and she 
knows that my mom might be gone the next day and what 
could 1 do? Nothing, 'cause 1 am in here the one thing 
that I could do is just go crazy. 


From The Beat: Your PO has a life outside of her work so this vacation 
might have been planned ahead of time, thgouh, iwe bet it must have 
been so frustrating for you to find out that it was going to be another 2 
weeks before you could find out the programs available for you. When 
she gets back, work with her and tell her your situation. Communicating 
with y«Hir PO is crucial, otherwise she won't know what's going on. 

Tlie Tiianksoivino Picture 



What's up Beat? I'm going to write about a picture I 
remember, it's a pretty good memory. 

One day on Thanksgiving I had a bunch of family and a 
couple of friends over and we hella ate, listened to music, 
and had a cool time. We had someone take pictures of 
everyone that was there and that picture just brings back 
good memories. 


From The Beat: It sounds like you had a great time that day, Marlene. 
Do you do the same thing every Thanksgiving? 

Enterino Adulthood 

Dear Beat, 

Well Beat, I'm not really feeling this topic so I'm just 
going to write what 1 got in my mind. Well, 1 got like 23 
days left, you know it's not that long. Well, I really kind of 
like being in here. For real, 1 been getting locked up ever 
since I've been young and now that I'm older and 1 get 
released to the streets I start doing the same things like 
looking forward to smoking weed and not think to myself 
that I got a problem with drugs. 

But I'm getting really old, 1 guess you can say not 
really just entering the stage of adulthood and I'm 
building my mind strong with the right tools so when I 
get out I can stay away of any negative decision making. If 
you're probably wondering why 1 would like being in here, 
because it takes me away from the real world for a second 
and I'm able to really think what is going on. 

Well Beat, now what I'm looking forward to is getting 
released and having my girl pay off my restitution so 1 can 
get off probation and just work with my mom and brother 
cleaning houses till I'm able to find a real job and stay 
sober, go to school, and maybe just move far away to a 
place where there ain't no negative activities and I'll just 
be able to live a peaceful life and maybe have a family. 

Well Beat, hope you like this piece 'till pen meets 

paper, till next time bye. 

From The Beat: The road to change is hard, we ioiow that it won't 
be easy but if you really want this for yourself then we know you'll 
succeed! What will you do to keep yourself from falling back to your old 
ways of smoking and drinking? 

'///////#/////. /// ////-r/ //. // 

J L 

That picture 

The picture I will carry every were I go in my heart 
would be a picture of my mom and dad, 
my two sisters, my brother, me, and my little niece. 
I would carry that picture around with me in my heart 
because those are the most important people in my life 
and always will be. 

Well Beat, that is the picture I am going to carry around 
my heart. 


From The Beat: Sounds like a beautiful picture. 

I Stiii Love Her! 

Well, this girl 1 met throughout the worst people 1 know. 
The guy that got me into twistin' that pizzle, he brought 
over some girl once. Damn! Drama! That's what I was 
thinking but 1 said what's up to her, introduced myself, I 
couldn't judge her without knowing. She was on the run. 
She smoked and that idiot got her into smoking, kind of 
like me except I was just a runaway. We got along right 

We lived in the same house for a couple of weeks and 
we had so much in common! One night we got all gaked 
and just went in the walk-in closet from our friends room 
away from all the guys and just wrote... wrote... wrote! 
Then we started talking. She read what she wrote, what 
she wrote made me tear up! I looked at her and she was 
crying too! We just talked and talked. 1 told her things 1 
never could tell nobody, she told me some things that she 
also said she hadn't told anybody. Yeah, we lived together, 
we partied together but we never talked about us, the way 
we felt, we just kicked it. She was hella flrme though. 

Tweekers, they are some crazy people. So one day 
I had told her we were going to visit her mom and we 
were but 1 wanted to see mine too and then we could fix 
ourselves hella nice to go see her mom but I just told her 
let's go to my house and 1 guess she took it in the way 
that 1 didn't want to go with her anymore. She just told 
me so many things and I got so mad, 1 just grabbed all my 
things. We had left my shoes at someone's house, 1 don't 
remember whose, and 1 had her slippers and she made 
me take them off so I was about to walk barefoot! 1 got 
even more mad! Then she tells me "let me borrow your 
make up?" 1 just got heated, walked out, and slammed 
the door! She yells out the window some tweaker status 
things, that she was going to beat me up when she seen 
me out in the streets! 1 couldn't believe it! 

Now it just seems like the stupidest thing to me! 1 saw 
her like a sister and methamphetamine tore us apart? 
Nah, from the bottom of my heart 1 knew if we talked 
it over we would forget about it. Nope, I was kicking it 
and she shows up. ..she wanted to box! 1 stood face to 
face with her, yeah, they held us back but 1 know if she 
really wanted to she would break free and throw the first 
punch. ..she didn't! 1 don't know her side to this, 1 never 
talked to her about why exactly she got mad but 1 still 
love her! 

If she ever wanted to talk or needed anything 1 would 
be there with open arms! Crystal meth isn't going to be a 
reason for me to be mad at her! 


From The Beat: Even though your friendship hit a rough patch (probably 
helped along by the meth) you still loved her through it all. You are a 
true friend. Blank, and we hope that one day you two will be able to 
patch up your relationship. Would you be the one to ever initiate the 
mending of your friendship? Do you think you'll wrait until she comes 
to you? What about meth? How are you sobering up and living a drug 
free life? Is it possible? 




My Freaky Funny Picture 


Que-vole, this your Home Girl. Today I'm actually feeling 
one of these topics. In this picture, me and my sister's 
got out of my swimming pool, 1 thought I was all covered 
up and everything when me and my sister's were posing 
for a picture then my brother took the picture. 

A couple of week's later my mom finally noticed 
that my snatch was all showing. That was freaking 
embarrassing but freaking funny at the same time. 

-Home Girl 

From The Beat: This is a really funny story. Home Girl! Do you ever 
tell this story at parties or »s sm icebreaker if you're meeting someone 
neiw? What about that brother of yours! We'd keep him away from the 

Last Words 

What's cracking Beat readers? It's the homey Shrek up 
in the max unit. Anyways moving on. If 1 was to leave for 
hella years without a word, 1 would write Wyno how much 
1 love him and miss him. 

II would also tell him that I'm sorry for just leaving 
him out there on his own without his carnal by his side. 
But that would never happen unless I'm locked up like 
right now. 

Well I'm out. 


From The Beat: What about helping your brother out from the wrong? If 

I you really love him so much, why don't you sh«nw him the right wray to 
live a life? He needs more than just being on his side. 

I I I I I 

What Am I to Do? 

Hey, I'm locked up and I'm losing my mind. I'm looking 
at the walls and I'm thinking to myself," What am 1 to do?" 
Time goes by and time is money and I'm losing money. 


From The Beat: How do you get your money, legitimately or illegally? 
Does money give you the motivation to do good and stay out of the 
halls or set you up to fall? 

Broken Heart 

I hate you 

But I loved you 

You were my everything 

Now you are my enemy 

I thought I could trust you 

But that goes to show you can't trust no one 

You had a mask all this time 

I just hope you're happy for what you've done 

Next time 1 fall in love 

There'll be a snowball fight in hell 

You left me to die 

But I'm still alive 

But let me tell you something 

Payback's karma, then you die 

I should have listened 

But I believed your lies 

Not the DA or the cops 

Could break me 

You broke my heart 

The day you came alive 


From The Beat: Unfortunately, this sad love-lost poem describes 
something that many of us have experienced in our lives. When it 
happens, it always feels like the end of the world, the worst thing wre 
can imagine. But time has a great ability to mend broken hearts, and 
we believe yours, too, will come back to life and find another to put 
your trust in. 

r//// ////// 

//// // 

The Good Days 

What's good, Beat? This Travieso. I ain't feeling the 
topics today so I'm just gone write 'bout the good days. 

The good days to me were when me and a few homeys 
were just kicking it everyday drinking with no worries. 
We were just a few kids up to no good. 

Sometimes we would do things when we were drunk 
for no reason, like one day, me, Raskal and Gumbie, were 
at the light rail station and Raskal tried to pick a fight 
with a random white guy and he almost got beat up. The 
guy just grabbed him by his throat so me and Gumbie 
jumped in. We got him pretty bad and this was all for no 
reason but it was still pretty fun. 

In my room me and my roommate just tell a bunch 
of stories 'bout the good ol' days and laugh. To all locked 
down, stay up. 


From The Beat: What makes fighting so fun? Your friend might've not 
gotten beat up if he didn't pick a fight with that man and then you 
and your friend wouldn't have had to jump in. Random violence is just 
that, random. It's unnecessary and you guys could have been doing 
something constructive with your time. Now is the time to think about 
iwhat you want because it seems like you are highly influenced by what 
your friends want. 


Hi Beat! Jacki back again. Ugh. Ok, I'm most likely 
leaving soon, so this may be my final one. 

Well the topic is 'words'. My words are a lot worse 
sometimes, than I mean them to be. I don't want to say 
them, sometimes, but I'm working on it. But I can get a 
lot out with my words. And I've had hurtful things said 
to me. I really don't know what else to say. So, yeah - bye 


From The Beat: Getting a lot out with your words - yes. That's why we 
exist. We're here so you can use your pencil instead of your fists. And 
iwhen you write what you want to say, it gives you time to find the right 
words, which sometimes is difficult to do when all you have is your 
tongue. Here's to the power of the written word. 


Violence comes from anger in your family, 
violence is in your blood. 
People killing people, 
little kids getting stuck. 
Hating red like a bull, 
hating blue like a lie, 
that's not true. 

Things are not crazy in the world; 
the world is crazy for the things 
violent people take over. 

Nonviolent people let themselves get walked all over. 
Until nonviolent people take a stand and unite, 
walk all over the violence and don't let it be a crime. 


From The Beat: We hope that the people who are fed up iwith all of the 
crimes going on in our cities and who are tired of our youth getting 
sucked into the system will read this and think of something positive to 
help change our cities for the better! 

Thanks Mom 

I want to thank my mom for always being there for me. 
I am very thankful for having a good mom. Well I just 
wanted to write about what was on my mind. 


From The Beat: That's a good thing for a son to say. Be sure you tell her 
in person, too, or show her this issue of The Beat. She'll be proud to 
read what you've iwritten. 


m/u j^ji ^^if^rr 

Sat Times 


I want to talk about my court day and the outside. In all 
my court days that I had they Just made my parents sad. 
I don't like that because they tell me that I'ma go out but 
I haven't seen nothing and my mom tells me nothing but 
bad news. 

People talking shhh about me and a lot a stuff that 
makes me mad, that's why 1 am not tripping if I am here 
'cause I'm not missing nothing in the world but hate and 
enemies out there. The only things that I am missing are 
drugs and girls are fun. 


From The Beat: There is so much more to living than drugs and girls! 
Isn't there anything you worth keeping yourself out of jail for? Ljke 
your mother or father? You're young, so it's hard to see past now but 
in the future things won't be so easy. County is a lot different from 
the halls and there are Mrorse things done than someone talking shhh 
behind your back. 

I I I I I I I I I I M I I I I 

Locked up 


Well I'm not feeling the topics today so I'm just gonna 
write down something that I wrote in a single cell: I'm 
feelin' like I'm locked up in a single cell casket. I want 
to break out, but I don't want to chance it. I can't go to 
sleep because my mind wanders deep. All I could do is 
peep, out the window of my cell. Wondering when I'll get 
my mail. This is going out to all in jail. Keep your head up 
and eyes on the prize. Keep working out to build up size. 
Smile now and save the cries for later. 

-Vato L 

From The Beat: We can understand the desire to break out, but you're 
smart to not want to chance it. The consequences would be far worse 
than MThat you're going through now. Keep your head up and ycHi'll be 
done with your time without adding more too it. 


M]f Lady 

Girl you're beautiful 

I been waiting to hold you again 

You're so fine you blow my mind 

And a girl like you is hard to find yo te amo. 

I love you so much you're my life 

And without you my life is nothing 

You mean everything to me mi amor 

You and me are meant to be together for all eternity 

I love you valentinaco todo mi crazon 

And one day I will make you my wife 

'Cause loving me is a way of life 

You are my baby girl 

You're my baby girl 

You are my baby girl 

Valentina para siempre. 


From The Beat: This is a sweet poem! Did you ever send it to the special 
girl y«Hi wrote it for? 

'///////#/////. /// ////-r/ //. // 


What's up Beat? Today I'm gonna talk about appearance. 
I hate when people judge you about your appearance. 

Like when I had long hair my PO told me to cut it 
'cause of my gang probation and supposedly it was gang 
related. But now I'm bald and growing it out again and I 
don't care about nothing and ain't letting no one judge 

-Baby G 

From The Beat: No one iwill know who you are inside just from looidng 
at you on the outs. But iwhen you are in the system, you have to abide 
to the rules 

Consider Yourself Lucky 

Aye what's good. Beat? Me, just chillin' up in this baby 
jail. Well, today Ima write on the topic "I'm not feeling the 
topics tonight". So I'ma just write what's on my name. 

What's on my mind today is jail. Obviously this is on 
my mind 'cause I'm sitting in here while I'm writing this. 
But also because there's a little something I wanna say. 
I'm going to be sent to Wyoming within the next couple of 
months, although I'm going to be locked up for well over a 
year altogether, I consider myself lucky. The reason I say 
that, is because I got a lot of homies doing life, or close 
to life. I also got a lot of homies in the max units doing a 
coo' minute. 

So to all getting ranches, alternatives, group homes, 
etc. ..consider yourself lucky. To all in here, do your time 
and think about others in worse predicaments. 


From The Beat: This is so true, Tarvieso. There are so many kids out 
there getting placed in group homes or Ranch and they run instead of 
doing their time! There are kids facing life and they iwould gladly trade 
places to go to the Ranch and change but they can't. We hope that The 
Beat readers iwho read this piece listen up because running is not the 
answer. Running from your time only gets you more time, so Mrhat's the 

Ceii Plione Equaied Troubie 

I remember that time when I was a young teen. My mom 
bought me cell phone and that's when all the contraband 
started. I was a dumb little kid involved with drug dealers 
and girls. I became something like a pharaoh. I had 
everything in my hands and I was getting power as I grew 
older. I took a pice of my 13th b-day, me and my mom with 
the cell phone. I thank her for giving me that present but 
it got me in trouble. 


From The Beat: Why do you think your cell phone got you into trouble? 
Maybe for your next birthday you can ask your mom to start a savings 
account for you instead of spending money on a gift? That way you can 
save for college and not have these things that distract you so much. 

I'm Not Feelino Tills Topic 

I aim 

The people on my mind are the only people I love, which 
are my brothers and my cousins and my lady. They're 
always on my mind, every day, and I think about them 
and sometimes dream about them. It's hard to sleep every 
day and it's still hard. I miss them all and hope they do 


From The Beat: They're undoubtedly thinking about you too. We knoiw 
that you want the best for your family and you want them to do iwell, 
but what about you? Do you have these same wishes for yourself? 
Remember that these trips to the Hall woric both ways - you're taken 
away from the people ivho care about you, and they have the same 
thoughts that you do. 

I'll See You Aoaln 


J L 

The picture I will always remember is one with me and 
my homey, Archie Z. He passed away in early September 
2008. 1 miss him and wish he could come back but I know 
I'll see him again one day. 

So to Archie, rest in paradise. Gone but not forgotten. 
We love you and miss and you'll always be in our hearts 
and I'll see you again one day, much love. 


From The Beat; We're sorry to hear that you friend is gone. Speedy.. .It's 
hard to deal iwith death and even harder iwhen the person is so young. 
We think that we can only die when we're older but that's not the case, 
iwe can go at any moment. This is why iwe should appreciate our lives. 
Does your friends death make you iwant to live your life differently? 



r//// ////// 

//// // 

Impressions of Me 


Now considering the fact that I'm incarcerated, 

people tend to look at me like I'm an animal. 

I get the impression people feel that I'm not human. 
That I am not of this world. 

Well I breathe. In fact, I do need oxygen and I do need 

My mind is learning, still. 
Although I don't have emotions anymore, 

although my body is drained of tears, I still feel, I still 

But maybe that's it. Yes. The cold blank stare, and the 
smile of evil. 

Maybe that is what gives them that impression. 
Of the animal, of the non-human. 
Or maybe it's the hair. The hair that tells the story. 

Or possibly the way I speak. 

Maybe it's how I act and my reaction too. Everything. 
Maybe it's 'cause I'm Kraz-e. 


From The Beat: Or maybe it's because people are quick to judge? We don't 
think you're crazy or emotionless, Kraz-e, how could and emotionless 
person iwrite such a raw piece? What makes you feel this way? 

Me And My Ex 

A picture that I would always remember is one time 
when me and my ex sister and brother were in my room 
just kickin' back listening to oldies me and my ex were in 
the bed and we took a picture together. 

-Crazy One 

From The Beat: Do you ever find yourself iwishing to go back to the old 
days? We bet it is g«>od that you moved on... 



Hey what's up? Today I'm going to talk about Obama. 

Well, today is my first time writing to The Beat. Well, 
I'm going to talk about Obama. I wish him good luck 
because he is the first black president and I hope he'll do 
what he says he was going to do to change and make a 
better country and state. 


From The Beat: We hope so too! 



If I could go back, I'd take a picture for the senior 
yearbook. I stopped going to a regular high school after 
my freshman year, I was never in a class picture so I have 
nothing to look back on. 

-Missing High School 

From The Beat: T^y l«>oking back on other things if you don't have a 
picture to connect you to those days - do you have anything from your 
class that would remind you of how things were? How about gifts from 
friends or something you wrote? You can use those sks reminders even if 
you don't have a class picture. 


Well I'm just going to tell you bout this group home I'm 
going to, it's my third one. It's out in Turlock but I'm just 
going to run so I could get Hall time. But I hope you guys 
put me in The Beat. Probably not, but it's coo'. Late. 


From The Beat: That doesn't sound like a smart plan- and it wasn't, 'cause 
you are now locked up! Now that your back in the Hall, are you looking 
at more time? The group homes are there for a reason - they're trying to 
help you stop coming back to the Hall, why not give it a shot? 

Just The Four Of Us 

A picture that I will cherish forever would be one with 
me, my brother, my mom, and my dad. It was taken when 
I was about in 6th or 7th grade at a prison. It was at a 
prison 'cause I know that my family will never be the way 
it used to. And also 'cause I haven't seen my dad since 
then. He'll be out soon though. I can't wait... But it ain't 
gonna be the same. 


From The Beat: We're glad that your family will be reunited again. 
Maybe you can take another picture with the four of you to remember 
happier times when you're all together. Though things may never be 
the way they used to, you can still build a future that is just as good 
sks the past. 


Last Words 


Well I am leaving to live a better life and I'm planning on 
leaving everything behind - my lady my family everything. 
I'm gonna live a life and live it on my own, without saying 
nothing. I'm gonna leave with a plan to stay away, hopefully 
never come back. The reason I would keep it to myself is 
because they can't be with me in my bad times they don't 
deserve to see me on my good times so I wouldn't tell no 
one nothing, I don't even think they care so screw it. 

-Saying A Lot 

From The Beat: Are you leaving for your oiwn good? Sometimes leaving 
your hood is a good way to break ties with gangs and other habits that 
keep landing you back in jail. We're sure that your family and lady love 
you enough to want to at least know where you are and what the plans 
are. They ivill worry about you if you simply disappear one day. 

I Love You 


The grass is greener on the other side, 

she's the only one who sees mercy. 

Warm her up and take me high 

Mary Jane and I, 

Take our mind to the sky. 

She and I can fly. 

Higher then high. 

All I feel is a lie. 

Before I was fried, 

Before the love of my life, 

I wanted to taste the pie, 

All green in my eye. 

She was always fine. 

We were always high, 

Mary Jane and I. 

-Slow Poke 

From The Beat: DO you think you'll still smoke once you're out? Instead 
of smoking why not write about it instead? Stay sober and your life will 
become a lot clearer/brighter. Svtesal 

I'm Not Feelino the Topics Toniolit 

Q- onda Beat? Pues, this is Hersheys again. Well, today 
I'm not feeling the topics, I'm thinking about when I get 

I'm trying to do good when I get out but I always end 
up doing wrong. Pues, I'm gonna try to get my high school 
diploma. I just need 60 credits and the English part of the 
exit exam. 

Pues, that's it for today. 

- Hersheys 

From The Beat: Great job on the exit exam! You've already gotten one 
part down you just need the other half. What have you been doing to 
prepare for the English half of the exam? And we know that it's hard 
to do good on the outs when you see everyone else doing all the stuff 
you're used to but why be like everyone else? Your life is your life, iwhy 
mess it up? 


m/u j^ji ^^if^rr 

The Graduate 

Today I'm gonna keep it simple. It's your boy Young L. 
Today I'm gonna write about how things are going for me. 
I just graduated in December of 01, and now I'm enrolled 
in a trade school. 

I get out in two months with no probation. So basically 
in two months I'm out the system. So that's coo'. I can't 
wait to get out and start stacking and smacking every 


From The Beat: You'll be out of the system and on your iway to a solid 
job, keep that in mind. Starting a trade is a good step for your future. 
And getting out with no probation is not a common thing, so you should 
be thanicful for that and try not to taice it for granted. Forgetting the 
situation that you could be in is an easy wray to get locked up again. 

TheThinos I Reoret 

The things I regret is not being with my family. 

I write to them every day and they say it is not the same 

without me. 

They say it's not fun to see me locked up. 

I regret that I'm making my family worry and that I'm not 

able to see 

my grandma, I'm sorry that I made her cry. 

I regret not staying home 

I wouldn't be in this mess if only I had listened to my 

The only reason why I'm here is because I was chillin 
with the wrong people. 

I need to change the way I look and choose the people 
I hang around with carefully. 
Like my dad said, "son, just be yourself 
you don't need to prove anything to anyone." 
The things I regret are all the stupid things I've done in 
my past. 

I just wish I could turn back time and undo all the dumb 
mistakes I did. 


From The Beat: You might not be able to turn back time, but you can 
decide your future. When you get out will you hang with the same 
croiwd »s usual or will you finally listen to the advice your family gave? 
We hope that this time is your last time in the hall. We iwish you the 

The Last Words To My Family 

What's up Beat? This is Young Uso Kefi. Today I'm going 
to talk about my last words. My last words would be to my 
family. It won't be that hard to say goodbye but it would 
be hard for me to go somewhere and not know when I'm 
going to return, so I think that will be hard for me. Until 
next time. ■ 

-Yung Uso Kefi 

From The Beat; You've already had to say goodbye to your family for a 
certain amount of time when you came to the Hall, is that the reason 
why it would be easy for you to say goodbye for another reason? 

'///////#/////. /// ////-r/ //. // 

This Road 

Hey Beat let me start this off by saying I do see a road 
that I have almost reached. It's some what good but I know 
that there are successful gangstas. I could be one too. I 
want to focus on school and graduate. I ain't going to ever 
get put to rest. I'm going to go out with a bang in life. 


From The Beat: By successful gangsta we hope you mean someone who 
has put the gang life behind them and has moved on to better things - 
things like school and a job. If you want to go out with a bang in life, 
why do you want to put the time and effort into school? 


M) Life 

Everyday is a struggle in San Jose. 

People fighting war in Iraq and I am fighting my own war 

with my rivals. 

Everyday is a struggle to survive in these streets. 

I am on my grind trying to make a dime 

to get a crumb in my tummy 

'cause it's ruthless in these streets. 

Gotta stay strap 'cause I ain't the one getting shot. 

They better shoot before I do. 

That's everyday life in my hood/shoes. 


From The Beat: This is the war you are developing and the way that 
iwill never end if you don't stop it. Whether you want to put an end to 
this Mrar or nc»t, the decision is yours. It doesn't need to get really far in 
order for you to stop the road you're walking through. It's your choice! 

It's Gonna Get Rotter 


A yo' Beat, this is Pedro, 

I hate cops that are racist. 
The one thing that pisses me off 

is they can lock you up and have a reason to lock you 

but they lie about it pretty much and that's how I ended 
up in here 

in this lonely cell, 
but if you got locked up because a messed up cop, 

don't let that get you, keep your head up 
soon karma would get that cop and it will come hard. 


From The Beat: It sucks that there are crooked cops out there keeping 
us down. What do you think we can do to change this? We hope you 
will make a change in your life so you have better odds in not meeting 
these crooked police officers. 

Q-Vole Root 

What's up Beat! It's Mikeyo coming out of this unit. Well 
tonight's topic is going to be about my last words to my 
loved ones. My last words would be that I love them with 
all my heart and I'm always going to be thinking of them 

I would also tell them to stay up and I will try to be 
home soon, and I will try to come home soon, I would give 
my little brothers and sisters hugs and tell them to be 
safe. Well that's it for tonight, until next week, gone. 


From The Beat: Have you ever told them iwhat you feel about them? You 
don't need to be against the last minute to express how you feel. You 
should try it. We're sure they would appreciate it so much to know this. 
Thanks for sharing. 



Once again salutations it's got to be Lil' G from San 
Jose. Well Beat and Beaters I'm going to write about my 
last words. 

If I was to die in my death bed and all my loved ones 
were around, I would pour out my heart to them and tell 
them that I hope I will go to a better place and that I'm 
sorry for the way I was and that I wish I can go back into 
the hand's of time and change. 

Well Beat that's about it until next time with my 

utmost love, respect, loyalty, and pridem alrato. 

-Lil' G 
From The Beat: Well, you g(»t a life, you're still healthy and they are 
still around, so make that change for them. Open your heart, release 
iwhat you feel, and make that change that can bring joy and happiness 
to your life. 





Last Words 


If I was to move, my last words would be to my dad and 
that will be that I'm moving away and if you need anything 
to call me because I'm still going to be there. 

-Lil' Green Eyes 

From The Beat: We're sure he'll appreciate your call. Beside that, what 
else would you tell him that you've never said to him? 

Last Words 

My cousin P is dumb, and my last words to him are 
"you're retarded and what were you thinking." Well 
brother do good and also "don't take that deal of two 
strikes and ten years 'cause your gonna get the third one 
when you hit the pen." 

Well I wish you were out because I miss you bro' and 
we would have been blazing it up "stupid kid." Well that 
all I have to say so I'm out. 

-Lil' Green Eyes 

From The Beat: Why would you say that to him? What did he do? What 
would be the right thing to tell him to do to help him out of this ugly 

My Loses, Gains, and What I Still Rave 

You see. 

I've lost a lot. 

Mostly what I got. 

Got taken on the spot. 

For example "the top". 

I used to be a lot. 

But now I'm just a dot. 

Given a cell to rot. 

And tie a few knots. 

But it's all good to me. 

I still remain a G. 

I still am to Kraz-e. 

And have a lot to see. 

But what's to be a G 

And be to Kraz-e 

When you're on your way to see 

The penitentiary 


I lost my only daughter 

And she lost her father. 

Although I cry for that. 

I'm glad that mommy got her. 

My brothers have betrayed me. 

Except for Ray and Laz-e. 

When times got really crazy their feet. 

Never moved placing. 

Guns been at my head. 

Girls been in my bed. 

But just like reading a book. 

It's all done and said. 

But now I sit in a cell. 

Twenty-three hours a day. 

Three meals to eat. 

And a lot of time to think. 

So go ahead and blink. 

But leave your eyes closed. 

And pray for me. 

For my life, is cold. 


From The Beat: Your pieces just keep getting better and better. Each 
one is raw and personal but so different form the last.. .we hope you 
won't stop writing, not only is it great to read but it's a great outlet 
to let loose the frustrations in our mind and life. What is your plan to 
bettering your life? 

r//// ////// 

//// // 


When my cell phone starts ringing homeboy say, 

"what's up? Let's chill." 

A few freaky girls want to meet you for real. 

Yup, so come on through. 

Cool that what I'm about to do. 

Hours later, I get to his pad 

looking dirty and feeling hella mad 

homeboy says "what's bad?" 

"Well, I was walking and I got stopped. 

I was off my toes and I got dropped." 

"Who was it? It was an enemy from the 'hood" 

"Well let's go" 

So we get our toys and are ready to ride, 

changed our looks to unidentified. 

Now we're cruising down their street 

and homeboy driving me in the passenger seat. 

We plan alright, and this is how it's gonna go 

tell 'em your 'hood and telling your Niko. 

Hey homey look to your right, 

damn that fool is clean out of sight. 

Pull over homey. 

Alright go ahead and do what you got to do, 

be careful Niko with leaving any clues 

for who the white boys. 

Don't trip just be ready to dip now. 

I'm creeping tip-toeing. 

It's like I'm floating 

on thin air, 

it's like my weight is less than hair. 

I get close enough from behind fears, 

nerves, anxiety is running through my mind. 

I couldn't get my mind 

to reality guess it was mentality inside my body. 

I felt a snap. 

It was a damn enemy. 

My eyes and my mind couldn't take anymore. 

I took off wrong way running left, 

homeboy thinking I was coming, 

my ears are ringing, 

it's hard for me to hear, 

but cop sirens told me they were near, 

and my heart is pounding. 

It's like I'm drowning. 

I'm trying to hit fence after fence, 

but this gateway is too intense, 

too intense for my body so I stop, 

stop to catch my breath, 

my heart beat is faster than some fool on meth, 

catching my breath 

I look up what do I see? 

from a helicopter reading SJPD. 

"Drop your gun and put your hands in the air." 

Forget that I took off like I didn't care 

now I'm in a dead end 

and I stare straight at twenty pistols 

and I said, "shoot if you dare" 

a tear drops from my eye 

'cause I knew I couldn't lie 

the DA will beat me at trial. 

The system won't hesitate to give me 25 with an L 

so should I just see the homeys in hell. 


From The Beat: This is a very creative piece, but a very disappointing 
choice to do. Can you see the situations you get yourself into? You 
iwere lucky things didn't get to the next level. If it had gotten to the 
next level, it would have been your homie who was driving to tell the 
story. You're risking your life at a very young age. It is not worth it! 
The lifestyle you are living is nothing but a dead-end, equaling a life of 
pain and zstAness for you, your family and all those you effect by the 
poor choices. 


m/u j^ji ^^if^rr 

•/j/fsfjin^//j//jr. /// ////-r/ //. // 

I'n Out 


Well what's good Beat? It's me again. Well this will be 
my last Beat so everybody that is doing hard time stay up 
'cause this is my last Beat. 

Well I'm out next week on Tuesday, and hopefully 1 do 
good. 1 don't want to come back and I'm not coming back 
1 know that for a fact. I'm tired of being in here so I'm cool 
of this I have a baby it's a boy his name is Andrew. 

Well 1 also have a baby sister and a mom that care 
about me, so 1 have to be there for them. Well that's it 
Beat stay up I'm out this hell. 


From The Beat: If you don't want to come back, forget about the word, 
"hopefully." Do it. You're not alone anymore. You have a child that needs 
a father like iwe all needed one. He's your blood and you have to step up 
like a man and face the responsibilities. Stay out and safe. 

M]f Letter to Obama 

Dear Obama, 

You should keep checking the cops because there's 
a lot of racist cops out there picking on everybody and 
locking them up for no reason. 

The cops are hurting and killing people in Oakland 
and the Bay Area and pretty much they're winning and 
we're losing so just help us out with the few racist cops 
out there, please. This racism that the cops is doing 
should end 'cause it ain't right. 


From The Beat; Thank you so much, for writing this letter. We hope that 
President Obama does take a look into this problem because too many 
«>f us are affected by racial profiling from the cops in «>ur areas. 

No Point In Life 


What's up, Beat? This is Jr. 1 just wanted to let you know 
I just like my title, there is "no point in life." 

Some people spend their whole lives in school. But 
what's that going to do for you when you're dead? So you 
might as well live life however you please. 

For instance, my choice of life that pleases me is 
getting involved with gangs and it won't really matter one 
bit to me if 1 die because of gangs because I'll die doing 
what 1 enjoyed. 

Also, I know that I'd be going to heaven and be 
watching over my family. Eventually, we'd be united in 
heaven sooner or later. 

Well, that's all that's on my mind for this week, so 'till 
next time I'm out. 


From The Beat: Have you ever thought about the purpose of someone's 
life? Yours? Or what's after this life? Why do you think you enjoy being 
in a gang? What's the point of giving aiway the only life you got over 
something that isn't iworth it? The way you think is wrong. And we hope 
you get the true meaning of life before it's taken away. 

I sal 

Tiiose Pictures 


Q-vo Beat? It's that homey Darky just telling you vatos 
about some flikas (pics). Pues flikas are flrme (Flicks 
are sick) especially when it's with the homeys and the 
hynitas (girls) in kick backs. Just thinking about those 
firme (good) times that we have. 

Also 'cause pics are memories that forever live. Pues 
that's it for now. To all, keep your head up. 


From The Beat: Do you have another picture iwith your family and you 
in it? Thanks for sharing! 

Her Imaoe 

Well, what's really going on Beat? How are ya'll doing? 
Me, I'm cool. But 1 just want to pull the sheets off a topic 
that I'm feeling. 

Well yes, 1 do got a picture that's more than likely my 
favorite one. Well it's ok me and my girl Rebecca. Well 
in the picture her and 1 are posted on my couch. It's me 
and my favorite one because we were so happy with no 

Now I'm in here hella sad without my gummy bear, 
and 1 know she's going through it too! But I'm getting out 
late June or early July. 

So anyways, every time I look at that picture, it 
reminds me of the good days. I won't have another one 
of those 'till 1 touchdown, ya feel! But you all know my 
second anniversary is in the beginning of February. So it's 
the second year that I've dedicated my life to my baby. 

Well 1 got to go. Keep your head because pain is only 
temporary. And remember, you can't keep a good man 
down. Yea-hooo! 

-Johnny Blaze 

From The Beat: It seems like you got a nice girl waiting for you. Don't 
keep her waiting. Remember hoiw hard it is to find someone lilce her in 
these days. Keep that picture and try to keep the love you feel for her 
and her love towards you active. Thanks for sharing! We are sure that 
she feels the same way you feel when she l«>oks at this picture. 

Tiie PictureOfMjf Niece 

What up Beat? 1 am about to talk about a picture I would 
always have in my heart. 

Well anjrways I would have to talk about my little niece 
because she is hella cute. 1 love my little niece because 
she looks just like my mom and 1 ain't never gonna forget 
about her even though I haven't seen her for a long time. I 
wish I could hold her in my arms because 1 hella miss her 
because she is far away from me well that's it for now I'm 
out late! 


From The Beat; She might be missing her uncle sks well. To experience 
the first days, months, and years of a child's life is the most beautiful 
thing anyone can experience. You're missing out a lot by being in here. 
The time is now to get your act together! 

M]f Last Topic 

This is your one and only Chino from Milpas. Today I'm 
a talk about my last words. For some case, I move out 
from California, I will tell all my homeys to take care and 
that I'll be back to do all the crazy things that we always 

1 am aguitado (sad) 'cause I'm getting out this Saturday 
and that's all I have to say. 


From The Beat: Why are you sad if you're getting out this Saturday? 
Well, back to the point of your piece, are you also going to say the same 
thing to jail? If you were to leave and come back to the same things, 
you might also end up in here. It would be a shame not to ssii^ good-bye 
to this place. Get it right! 


Tlie Picture Of Love 

J L 

What's up Beat? Me, nothing, I'm just thinking about 
my girl and how we went to go take pics. She look so 
beautiful in the pics and pics say a thousand words. 1 got 
more than a thousand to say how much I love her. Pic' 
last forever just like any love, but yeah, all 1 got to say is 
I love you Bionca. Memo and Bionca. 


From The Beat: What are you waiting for? Go ahead and tell her hoiw 
you feel about her. 





Good Times 


1 miss waking up and annoying my boy. 

I miss arguing with the homie, and proving him wrong. 
1 miss my other homie, always understood what 1 felt. 
We've been able to help each other 
get through the days and months. 

I miss you guys. 
1 realized that 1 got a chance to change, 

I've realized that you guys really cared when I would fall. 
You guys would help me up. 

When 1 was stressing, you guys listened and help me 
cheer up. 

1 miss seeing you guys laugh when 1 would say dumb stuff. 
1 miss you guys all when you feel bad. 

Help each other out. 
Miss you guys. 

Thanks for understanding me. 
Remember you got a friend that cares. 


From The Beat: Maybe you can ask your friends to be your support 
system? For example, whenever you feel like doing something that ycHi 
Icnow could get you back in the halls, call one of your friends. If they're 
real friends then they'll put your mind back on track whenever you feel 
yourself slipping. Having friends that support you during all the good 
and bad times is something positive to look fonward to when you get 

Vioience: Nature Or Nurture 

Violence is here, violence is there, 
violence is basically everywhere! 
Violence comes from me, 
violence comes from you, 
try and stop us and guess what we'll do! 
Whether it's beating people up, 
or robbing someone's purse, 
this shhh here will just keep getting worse! 
Out on the streets or in your own home, 
violence around here is surely known! 
You can go to church, 
read the bible and pray, 

but violence will never stop, not even for one day! 
You can cry, moan, even throw a fit, 

I'm just giving you the history of violence from where I 


From The Beat: True violence is everywhere, but does that mean it can't 
be stopped? Why do you think so many people take such a negative 
view when it comes to stomping out violence? Instead of saying," Oh, 
violence can't be stopped," iwhy not say to yourself," What can you do 
to try and stop the violence happening in your city? 

I i I i ! I 





i t M i L 

Settino Goais 

Well Beat, it's Sneaks. Well, I want to talk about setting 
goals for ourselves. 

1 just found out that 1 passed my CAHSEE, I 
accomplished my goal. You know, I can never leave the 
gang life, but 1 want to be a better mentor for my people 
and set goals for myself. My next goal is to graduate then 
go to college. 

To all, make a plan and stay out of institutions. Much 
love, I get out soon. I've been in here for seven-plus- 
months. 1 got a plan and hope to stay out and become 
somebody one day. 

To all, maintain your composure and head high. 


From The Beat: Setting goals will take you farther in life. Gang life 
doesn't have to define who you are, thanic you for proving this to all 
the skeptics. But why do you think you'd stay with the gang life if 
you know where it takes you? Congrats on passing the CAHSEE and it 
makes us happy to kn«»w that college is in your future. 

r//// ////// 

//// // 

I Love You 

Baby, 1 love you for many reasons, so many that 1 can't 
even explain if words could explain how much 1 truly do. 
I would, would jump from wall to wall. There isn't a day 
that goes by that I don't think about you. 

You are my world just as much as my son. 1 will stand 
by you forever as long as you stay by mine. I know that 
you will, no matter what 'cause you have been here for me 
when I needed you the most even through the good and 
bad you're the only one that calms me down when fools 
talk shhh. You know what I'm about and people will never 
know 'till they push that last button and feel a true hit. 

People talk shhh, but it don't phase 'cause baby you're 
the only one 1 need. Babe you and the way you make me 
feel. 1 need you just as much as you need me. 

As we stand strong, we'll see people around us fall 
nobody has what me and you have. I thank you for being 
by my side and always loving me, baby. 1 will always have 
you in my heart forever and always 1 love you beautiful. 


From The Beat: This iwas touching but do you think you'll go back to 
doing the same things once you get out? From the way you describe 
your love for her, it seems like you got a good woman that is sticking by 
you even through this incarceration. You have your girl and baby boy 
iwaiting for you at home; they should be your motivation to do good 
and go back to them 


Mama, I'm really sorry for the last few years. 

Mama, I'm really sorry 1 made you shed those tears. 

I can't say why 1 do the things I do 

But 1 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 crazy. 

I know I chose to live this life 

I know its 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 you got the best of me 

Mama, don't think less of me 

'Cause I know that's why you're 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. 


From The Beat: You should send this to your mother! We know she'd 
loved this Sks much or even more than we did. But we were wondering, 
iwhy tell your mother to wait until your dead to cry? You have to 
understand why your mother cries now. She wants something more for 
you than this juvenile lifestyle! We knoiw you're worth more and so does 
your mother. We hope that you learn to appreciate your life before it's 


Well, I think it's cool that a black president is running 
for president. I think it's cool because probably the black 
president is gonna help the minorities to come up in the 

I think the white president helps in the violence 
between gangs because probably Obama could make 
some laws up and help out the poor. 


From The Beat: There's only so much that the president can do without 
the people's help. What do you think you can do on your part to help 
Obama make the important changes that our hoods, our country, really 


m/u j^ji ^^if^rr 

•/j/fsfjin^//j//jr. /// ////-r/ //. // 



Aye, it's Shabbs once again coming at you with all the 
love, loyalty, and respect I got to give you. 

I feel hella heated today, with a little under a few 
months to go, and start looking for work. I hope I don't 
run. I think I won't. I just want to get out. It's good though. 
I'm planning on going back to Great America for a job. 
They hire anybody. Well, that's it today. Peace out. 


From The Beat: Keep your head up Shabbs things will get better, just 
stay focused and worif hard on what you iwant in life. We all start out 
at small time jobs, they help build our characters (and resumes) and it 
maices us better people in our life. 

La Foto (The Picture) 

My baby's brothers first birthday is the picture I always 
remember. The reason why I would remember it is 'cause 
it's his first and well it was a cool day. 

My mom made him a chocolate cake and it was 
delicious. He looked so cute that day. 

Well I can't remember that much on that day, so pretty 
much this is where I stop. Late and to all, stay up. 


From The Beat: Thanhs for sharing such as moment. We are also sure 
that y«Hir nephew might be missing Uncle Sneaks. Right? 



Well, I'm gonna write about something that happened 
me when I was in here. The day I got arrested my mom 
told me that she got fired and she also had seven days to 
move out of our house. So then I was like, all right forget 

Then my mom came to visit me a couple days later 
and said I have to tell you something and I was like aww 
crap this is gone be some bad shhh, and then I was like 
damn, just tell me and she was like, "we are moving to 

I was like, "damn when are we going?" 

She said, "we already started to pack." 

I was like, "are you serious I want to say bye to the 

She was like, "naw." 

I was hella mad and I left the room and now that I am 
thinking about it, it's kind of good because I know some 
fine ass females and my homey from the set that's been 
there for me since I was in diapers, in Sacramento. I'll be 
kicking it with him at my pad and smoke some bud and 
drink some forties. 


From The Beat: That suclcs about your house, and it must be rough 
on your mom to have to move all the way to Sacramento, especially 
with you still locked up down here. It's also not her fault that you 
have to leave so quick^ and don't have a chance to say goodbye to 
your friends. As for icicking it drinidng and smoking, well, you are only 
setting yourself up for another fall! With a name like Obama, you need 
to think big!! 

Going Id A Prigram 


I'm going to get sent to a program called Advent and I'm 

going to be there for 9-12 months. They going to send me 

out of town to Morgan Hill or Gilroy and I don't know if 

I'm going to run or not. So yeah I'm out I just wanted to 

spit what's on my mind. 

From The Beat: We hope this gets to you in time. Don't run. You iwon't 
get very far, and you'll just be locked up again. Think before you act. 
Think about the ways you can improve your situation instead of actively 
trying to make your situation iworse. 

Keep Your Head Up, Hrotiier 

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 


and again I'll say, segregated and discriminated 

Are the ways I feel. 

But I'm still chignon (the toughest) 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 late 

To want to succeed 

But I'll tell you this. 

Stay true to your heart, 

be real to your soul Because I know I'll always be a mas 


I just the tell eagle keep your head up brother. 

-Mc Indio 

From The Beat: What a truly iwonderful piece, Mc Indio! We icnow that 
The Beat readers will find this piece inspiring and uplifting, sks did we. 
What iwent through your head as you were iwriting this piece doiwn? Do 
you think you'll really try and help the at risk youth? You never know, 
you might want to make a social worker your career choice? 

Tlie Generations Uf My Life 

The one picture I would want to keep with me would be 
the picture of my grandpa, brother, dad and I that we took 
six months ago. I would cherish this picture because 
some months ago my grandpa died and he was like my 
father , because my real dad was always locked up. Two 
months ago my brother was sentenced to five years in 
prison next to Mexico. That's why I would cherish this 

-Lil' Clumsy 

From The Beat: Having a record of several generations of family is 
touching, because you can see the progress of your family from person 
to person. If your grandpa was great, but your dad was always locked 
up, wrhat are you going to try to be? 



annznnn^ Mmwwm 


Vioience: Nature Ur Nurture 

I do think non-violence is more effective. I think that 
because with violence, somebody always ends up getting 

I don't think people are born violent. If you are a 
violent person, it's because you were influenced in bad 
ways by the people around you, at an early age. 

I don't think I could list all the violent things I've 
done. But I could list a few. The first time I got locked up 
I was a young teen, but it was just over night. The cops 
pulled me over and I had a concealed weapon. Another 
time, I did something without thinking. I just snapped, 
and it happened so fast. 


From The Beat: Well written, M. So, how can you train yourself not to 
snap, but to thinif everything through, before you act? We suggest you 
pay attention to your body. Not every message comes to us in words. 
These tiny tiwinges or feelings can save us a great deal of trouble. When 
we feel them, it's time to stop acting and to start thinicing. That's when 
the words kick in. That's when we can hear ourselves saying - sIomt 
down - you ioiow where this could go if you don't sIomt d(»wn. 


These walls don't mean jack shhh. Through all these 
times there'll always be a brighter day. Does the machine 
stop working? Heck no. It fills up with physical strength 
and true knowledge. So educate yourselves. 

Education is what separates the real from the fake. 
That's real talk. So spread the word, my highly articulate 

Stay strong. Only the strong survive, and only if you're 
strong in the mind. Much love. 


From The Beat: You stay strong. Read yourself silly. Become a walidng 
book. Learn every word in the dictionary. And read very widely. Read 
history, politics, novels, poetry. Use your time wisely. And iwrite. Write 
to us. We want to icnoiw how you're doing. 



Violence is not something that people are born with. 

Martin Luther King was the main one. He said to 
protest in the streets non-violently. Let them arrest you. 
Don't resist. 

And violence comes from people living their life styles 
like cops, gangs, criminals. I was about to hit someone, 
but I didn't, because I knew that I would get a lot of 
consequences. I was very mad, but I stopped because I 
didn't want more problems. I just have to relax and let it 
go. I thought of something else - of my family, of my mom 
telling me I'd be OK. 

My mom has the power to calm me down. The other 
day I was going to get into a fight. I was all pumped up, 
but she took me by the arm and said: don't do it. I just let 

I it go. 

I -Gerardo 

From The Beat: That's wise behavior Gerardo. That's using your head and 
your heart. We hope a lot of people read your piece. 

Uear President Ubama 


Here are three ideas. 

1: Like when you go to college, you don't need to pay. 

2: Congratulations on helping the poor people. 

3: Give good houses and good jobs to everyone. 



From The Beat: We will pass your letter on to President Obama. 

//// // 

Leader, Not AFoiiower 

I'm a leader, not a follower. 

I'm the omnipotent ruler of myself. 

I continue to educate myself, daily, 

to defend myself with a positive approach, and to avoid 

I must incorporate professionalism in all aspects of my 
daily life and routine. 

To eliminate strife with adversaries, I conduct myself in a 
civilized manner. 

When I say I am an omnipotent ruler of myself, it means 
I can do what I want 

with myself, that I have the control to do so. 
I have great and absolute power to think freely, even 
though I am locked up. 

No one can take the power of free-thinking from me, or 
my striving for education. 

It never ends. 


From The Beat: Well said. You're on the way. We are keenly aiware of 
your striving and your weeicly progress. Your assiduousness impresses 
us. And here is a suggestion. We would liice you to incorporate a 
consideration of kindness into your studies. Kindness - such a simple 
thing, yet in such short supply in our hectic, often mean-spirited, world. 
You could make a difference in this iworld just by studying kindness. 
There is a great and quiet power in kindness. Let it become a part of 
your education. Lead writh kindness. 

About My Famiiy 

Let me tell you about my family. All I want for them is not 

to worry about me being locked up. It's nothing bad. I just 

chill and eat and work out. My family thinks it's worse, 

but I ain't tripping. I'm getting out in a few months. 

-Young Lock Up 
From The Beat: Maybe it's you who should be a bit concerned. And 
maybe if your family thought you weren't concerned about being lociced 
up, they'd be even more worried about you than they sure now. Losing 
your freedom is no joke. Use these months to thinic about what you 
really want in life, and then think about how you can get what you 
want, legally and honestly. 



What happens 


you dig 

a tunnel and 





What happens 

if that tunnel is 

your life? 


From The Beat: Leave youi 

shovel on 

the surface? We don't know. Tell | 

us. What's the answer? 


Caiifornia Lifestyie 

California is the land of tourists and surfers. 

But mainly G's and young crazies run California. 
Everyone has to enjoy the California sun, though 

- whether you're working, surfing, or, drinking and 
smoking weed. 

I know it's wrong, but that's the lifestyle you choose. 
We all can agree that we love palm trees and the clear 

Whether you're a hiker, biker, or banger, we all love the 
beautiful beaches. 

From the blocks, avenues, or parks, and ocean sites, 
California will always be beautiful. 
I am California born and raised and will never leave. 


From The Beat: We can't recall a piece quite like this. You have an 
appreciation for natural beauty, and a generous way of looking at 
people. You're wrong, though, about who runs California. If you iwant 
some proof, just remember where you wrote this piece. We do like your 
wrriting style. We'd love to see more. 

aMmnnnEB MMMi/m 



We live for better days... well, I know I do 

Most of my boys is locked up, as I think of a few 

Real boys that neva cowards 

Real boys that get active, but believe, we ain't actors 

All the struggles I been through 

I look back, they laugh at them 

Oh, my answer machine 

I say to leave a message and God bless ya 

But if it's safety, call 911, 'cause I can't help ya 

See, my name is Obie 

People can cuss me out, but 111 walk past like fa' show 

Free ya boy boy, 'cause I'm smarter than before 

See, I'm dedicated to music, 'cause it motivation to stay out of 


From The Beat; Sorry, Obie, but we had to cut the names and spots 
«>f your homies, and that kind of messes up your poem. We're very 
interested in you telling us iwhat makes you "smarter than before" and 
hcnw you plan to use that to your benefit. Maybe next iweek you can 
write about the music that inspires you to stay out of trouble. 

I Didn't Do It 

I don't think I should really even be in here this time. Actually, 
I do deserve to be serving time for a violation of probation, but I 
don't think people should get in trouble for just smoking weed. 
But I got arrested for something I didn't even do. Some sucka 
said I did something to him and the one who did it ain't even 
doing time. I ain't gonna cry about it, though. I had to do fifteen 
days and I'm out next week, hopefully. 

-Lil' D 
From The Beat: It must be hard to be locked up for something you didn't 
do. It just proves that the system makes mistakes, like all of us. Smoking 
weed at your age may get you in a different kind of trouble. They just 
published a study showing that if you smoke a lot, and especially If you 
start Sks a teenager when your body is still growing, you may have twice 
»% much chance of developing cancer of the testicles as those iwho don't 
smoke. Is that worth it? 

Last Words 

If for some reason I were to have to leave Marin, I would let 
it know that I'm happy to leave this dumb-ass place, and that 
people will do anything for attention down here, even if it means 
talking shhh about someone that used to be your friend. People 
are so dumb; they have no problem going up to you, talking hella 
shhh when they're with friends, but when they're alone, they 
just act like they don't know you. I swear, down here beezies are 
sooo dumb and do anything for attention. 

From The Beat: Well, this kind of thing goes on all over the place, not 
just in Marin and not just in the hall. It's just one of those things we 
have to live iwith, and try to ignore. As long sks you are honest with your 
friends (and iwith yourself), you should attract other honest people who 
say one thing to you and the same thing about you to others. 

Wakin' Welnesdaj 


Fireworks flashed and rockets roared 

The day that 1 met you 

Nothing would ever be the same 

Good or bad, but true 

Picking out your seeds and stems 

Thoroughly smelling sticky green 

I rolled you up and smoked you 

And I knew that I was free 

Soon it all was over 

And I knew something was wrong 

And I packed a couple bowls 

And took five hits on the bong 

-Grand Master Flash 
From The Beat: Your love song to Mary Jane is funny, but you may iwant 
to rethink your devotion to this fickle lover. A brand new medical study 
demonstrates a strong link between those who smoke a lot of mj — 
especially if they start as teens when their bodies are not yet developed 
— and cancer of the testicles, one of the most common cancers in young 
men. We don't icnow about you, but for us, between a bong and our 
gonads, iwe know what we'd rather hold on to... 


Wha's up? Me, kinda just relieved I don't have to go to 
placement. I was starting to think of all the good things 
about that place, but I don't even have to go. I just have 
to be extra good when I get out so I don't get sent out. 
Damn, well, now I'm just waiting to get outta here. I've 
already been here for a hot minute and I'm not sure when 
I get out. And, damn, I'm still once again the youngest 
one here and one of the only females. 

This place isn't that bad. You get used to it after a 
while. The only bad thing about it is that you're bored most 
of the time... well, and the food, clothes and shampoo... 
ummm. Well, free the caged and let the people all the way 
out in placement just go home. 


From The Beat: It's good that you were trying to think positive about 
the placement, even though in the end you don't have to go. You can 
use that ability to be positive about any situation, and that can help 
you on the outs, too. We're glad you don't find this place too bad, but 
we sure hope you never really get used to it. You're made to live in 
freedom. Get used to that, and don't do anything to risic losing it iwhen 
you're again breathing free air. 

I I 

I I 

Mons, Ton Are M) Heart 


Madresita, tu eres mi corazon 

Tu me ases complete 

Moms, you make me complete. You are my heart. 

Madresita, tu eres me sentimillentos. 

Moms, you are my feelings. You are how I feel. 

Madresita, si tus sentimillentos estan eridos, mi sentimillentos 

estan eridos. 

Moms, if your feelings are hurt, my feelings are hurt. 

Madresita, yo se que tu solo quieres lo major para me, y solo lo 


Moms, 1 know you only want the best for me, and only the best. 

Madresita, tu eres mi corazon. Tu me ases complete. 

Moms, you make me complete. You are my heart. 

From The Beat: This is the most beautiful valentine you could ever iwrite 
for and about your mother. We hope you send it to her for Valentine's 
Day, because iwe will bet it's nicest one she ever got. 





//// // 

God, what's life? 


Roses are life and thorns are death 

What's life without death? 

What's a baby without a mother? 

What's violence without crime? 

What's sex without people? 

What's the world without living things? 

What's gangs without streets? 

What's God without us? 

What's drugs without drug dealers? 

What's cops without thugs? 

What's ho's without pimps? 


From The Beat: It is a perfect balance. We appreciate life and love 
every minute because iwe ioiow death is at the end. The bad balances 
with good but we must never forget it is the good that makes it all 
worthwhile. The good is what we live for. Make a gratitude list and 
decide to be happy and enjoy it noiw before it's too late because iwhat's 
the good in giving up when you can keep walking? A baby without a 
mother is an opportunity for someone else to step up and love that 
baby and raise him or her up. Ljfe is good and we have to fight for the 

Valeria -Y- Joroe 


For my man Jorge. 

You are a part of me that I could never live without. 

I love you for loving me just the way I dreamed it would be 

time passes by and by and I fall more and more in love 

with you 

You are far away but remaining near my heart 

Too many haters out there trying to break us apart but 

no matter what 

I'll be here for you. I got something to say so listen. 

Other females filling your head with nothing but lies 

So put those relationships aside and let me show you 

the true meaning of love. There's nothing I can say or do. 

I'd rather spend my time with you 

I'll tell you I love you and I truly mean it. 

Distance is distance but time with you ain't nothing but 

a clock. 

-Love Lady Brown 

From The Beat: Well love is a mighty splendid thing. We were wondering 
if you love Jorge so much, why did you do something to take you aiway 
from him? If I loved someone so much, I would stay squeaky clean so 
there was no way I would ever be separated from him. 

Make ANewClianoe 

I'm gonna choose a better life. Try to show my siblings 
the right path. Well I'm kinda glad that we have a black 
president. I thought this day would never come. I'm proud 
of Obama and I hope that Obama rides it out for us. I like 
that speech that he made. "Starting today we're gonna 
pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and start a 
new life." That speech meant a lot to me and ever since 
Obama became President it feels like a new world cause 
he's trying his best to help the world since he's making a 
better change for us. 

I'm making a better change for myself. I want a better 
lifestyle for me and my friends and family but I wish one 
day I can make it to be the first black lady president. Well, 
when I get out I'm just doing good. Not just Obama the 
president says so. I'm going to do good because I want to 
support the president. 


From The Beat: It is wonderful to be inspired by others, especially the 
president of the country. We admire your accepting responsibility to 
change your life and to improve yourself. If more people have your 
attitude iwe will turn things around and return our country to its success 
we are useA to. 

Wlioever Deads Tills 

I'm waiting to get sentenced to the camp, banging on 
these fools. I'm thinking about what's going on, on the 
outs. My baby mama's trying to keep my little daughter 
away from me. That's stressing me out, especially when 
I'm behind doors all day. My life's been rough for me ever 
since I can remember. Whoever reads this, you don't want 
to be in my shoes. I hope I can get this time over with 
cause my little girl needs me. 

-Lil' C 

From The Beat: Thanks for sharing your message! You're wearing some 
very difficult shoes right now, and it takes courage and strength to 
overcome those difficulties. Can you think of a way to make amends with 
your daughter's mother, so you can at least be part of your daughter's 
life? Good luck, and keep us posted. 

I Date Violence 

Violence is some thing that does not and should not 
be done. It is a waste of time and it has killed a lot of 
people and gotten many people hurt too. When people 
get violent, it's usually for stupid reasons life fighting 
because somebody looked at you weird. 

When I went to Jr. High there were a lot of fights. I got 
in three fights while I was there just because some girls 
didn't like me. I didn't really want to fight but I had to 
defend myself when the girls jumped in. For some reason 
people like to fight and be violent. 

Half the time people are only fighting just because 
it's fun and entertains the people around them. Many of 
my friends would get in fights and most of the time it was 
just for attention but some of the time it was because 
something stupid was said. 


From The Beat: Yeah violence is stupid. People usually revert to this way 
of working out their problems because they do not understand how to 
iworic through their issues. The best thing to do is to stay away from 
these people. We realize this is hard when we are younger but iwe have 
to take the responsibility to not react if they say something. They are 
going down and they want to take us down t«>o but we don't let them. 


How It Is 


So you have asked me what one thing I have always 
wanted to do in life is. Well, I have always wanted to get 
off of probation, and I have always wanted my life to be 
easier too. Well I guess you can't have everything that 
you want. I want to tell you people out there something. 
Being locked up messes up your head and your life. Why? 
Because when you hit the number 18 it's going to be hard 
to get a job, especially if you have a kid. Take it from a 
mom who knows. 


From The Beat: Most people iwish for their lives to be easier, but a life 
worth living and growing in, is never one that comes easy. It is through 
hard work and faith that one's life becomes fulfilled and those of us out 
there that are chasing the easy life Mrill probably never find it. 

My Life 

One thing that I have always wanted to do was to stay 
out of trouble, but it seems hard when you have negative 
people in and around you. But this time when I get out 
I have to do the best I can for myself and my unborn 

I want to give my baby a better life then my mother 
gave me. This time around I am going to do my time and 
then surround myself with positive people on the outs. 
People that want to do something with their lives. I am 
getting too old to keep following the same cycle, and I am 
tired of it. 


From The Beat: You have some hard decisions on your plate, and no 
one can tell you what is best for Raemeshia, only you can decide that. 
It sounds liice you have a good plan to turn things around, what will 
you do first? 



If I were to leave my hometown or move away for a long 
time, I would probably regret not telling my parents 
"thank you" for everything they have done for me. I would 
also regret not showing them in some way that I have 
changed and have become a better person. 

I don't have a certain picture of myself that I cherish. 
I don't really like taking pictures. But my parents have a 
picture of all of us on vacation. It was of my mom, dad, 
brother and myself before my parents divorced. We were 
at Shaver Lake and we were standing on the dock and 
we all caught a fish and were holding it in the air. I don't 
know why my parents like that picture but they do. 


From The Beat: You remind us that if we appreciate someone, iwe 
should let that person know. Have you told your parents how much you 
appreciate them? If you haven't, maybe you should write them a letter. 
And what a memorable picture! Those kinds of memories iwill always 
stick with you. 

Last Time Around 



This is my fifth and last time in the JJC. I don't really 
have anything to talk about, so I'm going to talk about 
when I got jumped. My boyfriend and I were walking and 
five dudes came running out of some apartments. They 
were taggers and my boyfriend was a tagger too. They 
jumped me and my boyfriend pretty bad. My boyfriend 
was really high and drunk so it was all bad. 


From The Beat: It seems ridiculous that people would jump someone over 
something as petty as tagging rights. People should encourage each 
«>ther to share their art in less disrespectful iways, and quit worrying 
about what group they represent when they should be focusing on 
representing themselves. 


If I were to leave and never come back I would go to 
Hawaii. There really isn't anyone that I would want to say 
something to before I left except for my baby girl, soon to 
be my baby mama. She's a pretty little lady, thicker than 
my skull. She is more beautiful than a butterfly, floating 
in the sky. I would tell her my feelings and show her my 
affections before I left. 


From The Beat: If going to Hawaii is a dream of yours, what can you do 
to see that dream come true? 

Last Words 

My last words before I die: Tell my mama not to cry 

Tell her sorry for the way that I lived, at certain times 

Doing time for the way that I lived, committing crimes 

I don't apologize for things that I said, inside my rhymes 

I might apologize for things that I did I know was wrong 

To my homies out there, keep it strong 

To the homies that died I will see you there 

Don't be mad because of the way that I died 

We live unfair 

To my daddy who never raised me and made me a crazy 


I hope that you regret what you did 

You didn't faze me 

And last but never least to the God up above 

Send me down or send me up 

I will continue to thug. 

-Lil' Whodini 

From The Beat: That's the thing about being so young, you don't knoiw 
everything, so how do you icnow if what you are doing is wrong? Hoiw 
will you knoiw if you should have apologized for things that you did? 
How will you learn if you are dead? 

My Family 

My family is everything and I would not trade them for 
anything. They are more important than gold or silver. 
They are even more important than the streets. That's 
why I had to get out of there, before the worst could 
happen to e or my family. 

I do have a few battle scars, from the outside to the 
in. You can't see them unless you get to know me. You 
would know that every trick I turned took a piece of me. 
It left me lonely and dirty, confused and sad. That's why I 
left the streets before the streets left me. 


From The Beat: You have made a very hard and brave choice to leave 
the streets. There is nothing wrong iwith walicing forward why you try 
to heal from the past, no one has to know iwhere you have been if you 
focus on where you are going now. 

Don't Get Mad 

J L 

These staff people are making me mad. It's hard to 
control my anger and hate. But it's not that it gets me 
mad, it's how I react when they treat me wrong. It's hard 
on me. In court, it's going bad. In this facility, it's going 
bad. All I gotta do is my time and leave this place and not 
come back. So don't get mad because of what you did. 
Think through and stay up! 


From The Beat: It can be difficult to control your anger if you're stuck 
in a negative environment. Here's a suggestion, whenever you get mad, 
maybe you can think of something funny, lilce a cow and pig pinching 
each other's bottoms. It might help, and you might end up laughing 
instead of being angry. Changing you attitude not only keeps you out 
of trouble, but it helps you to feel less stressed out. 




//// // 

Last Words 


If I were to leave and never come back home, I would 
regret saying good-bye to my mother, brother, and sister. 
If I could have told them something before leaving I 
would tell them that I had to go because I had something 
important to do. I would let my mom know that I loved her 
and to not be sad. 

I would apologize for everything that I did that was 
wrong. I would tell my brother the same, including 
thanking him for everything that he had to go through to 
show us, me and my sister, better. 

He, being the oldest and having to go through bad 
things, showed us what not to do and how to learn from 
our mistakes. As for my little sister, I would tell her not 
to do anything she knows is bad, and to second guess 
everything that her conscience over looks. I would tell 
them that I love them all, one last time and then dip. I 
wouldn't leave them though. 


From The Beat: It sounds like you care about them very much. But wre 
hope you see that you don't have to be leaving people to tell them how 
you feel about them. And you can do even better then telling them by 
showing them how much you care by being the best brother/son y«Hi 

Miss My Baby 

My name is Mai and I have been in here three times now. 
It is really hard for me to stay away from here. I just keep 
coming back and forth. This time I am going to be real and 
not come back here. I do not want to go to a group home. I 
miss my baby so much; it has been four days since I have 
seen him. I am afraid that I might not get to see him if I 
go to a group home. On our second month together I was 
supposed to be out there with him but instead I was in 
here. I hope I get out soon so I can tell him how I feel. 


From The Beat: The one's we care about give us reasons to want to 
go home, but if you don't work on your other problems, the things 
that brought you here, not even a close relationship can keep you from 
coining back. 

Losino A Friend 

The other day, my mom came to visit me and she told 
me that my homie killed himself. She told me he was 
stressing out on life and he did some drugs, then he hung 
himself in the backyard. I was mad because I couldn't be 
out to help him with his problems. Sometimes I think if I 
were out I probably could have helped him. But I couldn't 
because I was locked up. I couldn't even go to his funeral. 
I hope it was the drugs that made him do it and not his 


From The Beat: We're sorry to hear about your loss. It's not easy to deal 
with a suicide, especially if that person was close to you. At least ycHi 
can hope your friend is in a happier place. Keep the memory of him in 
your heart. Remember him as he was. 

Wiiat Life Is About 

Life is about getting money, a fast car, partying with a 
girl, and living like there is no tomorrow. So I am around 
town with my gun, not giving a frick, ready to buck at 
fools that don't like me. I love the way life is. 


From The Beat: Life is about so much more then living for today. Because 
when you are gone y«Hi cannot take your cars, and your money and your 
girls with you. You may not realize it now because you are young, that's 
why if you look out for yourself now, you can live to understand how 
wrong you are. 

Dear Mom 


I want to say that I miss you and that I love you with all 
of my heart. I want to change my life and to meet new 
friends. I want my grandma to know that I think about her 
every night. I know that one day I will change. 


From The Beat: Change is not something that happens one day. Change 
is something that takes many days, ones that can be taken one at a 
time. If you really want to be different when you get out, make a plan 
and tell those you love what they can do to help you. 


I miss you 

I miss your smile 

And yes I might shed a tear 

Every once in a while 

And it's because you 

Are not here with me. 

And if you were I wouldn't miss 
You so much. 

I miss you 

I miss your smile 

And yes I might shed a tear 

Every once in a while 

And even though it's different now 

You're still here with me, somehow. 


From The Beat: So many people write about those that they miss, but we 
iwant to know when you make time to shed a tear for yourself? A tear 
for the situation that you have put yourself in, and the opportunities 
ycHi rob ycHirself c»f by being l«Mked up. 

i } 1 i } t i i 


What's on my mind? I'm thinking about the positive 
things I want to do when I get out. The first thing I need 
to do is finish school. All I need are like 50 credits. Then 
from there I need to get a job so I can start making some 
money the right way. Then I am going to buy a car so I 
can be mobile. And during that time I am going to attend 
Fresno City College, but only a couple of classes because 
I am going to be a busy person and I don't want to stress 
myself out. Then after that time has passed, I could 
probably get my own pad and have a family. Then I am 
really going to be myself and won't hopefully have to live 
off my mom. 


From The Beat: What a great plan to get back on your feet! Stick iwith 
this plan, and in no time, you'll be independent and taking care «>f 
yourself. Good luck to you iVino, and thanks for always writing. 

Split Feeiinos 

Today I went to court and the judge told me that he was 
going to keep me detained until my next court date. I 
really wasn't trippin' because I saw it coming. Everyone 
always says to try to keep positive but it is hard because 
what happens if you do stay positive, and then you get 
sentenced to six months and all your positiveness gets 
crushed? That's why I say to hope for the best, but to also 
prepare for the worst. 

-The One 

From The Beat; Sometimes having a positive attitude, even at the worst 
of times helps you to realize that things could be worse. So if you get 
six months you could say at least it iwasn't more. Planning for the worst 
is smart too though, because it helps you to realize what is at stake so 
you can remember that feeling wrhen other hardships come up in life. 


Who I Carry With Me 


One picture that I carry with me is my boyfriend. I really 
cherish this picture because it means a lot to me. His 
smile makes my day and he has changed my world. Most 
people do not understand, but 1 don't care. 1 don't care 
what anyone else has to say because he makes me happy. 
He and his picture will always be in my heart. 


From The Beat: You are right, no one else can tell you how you should 
feel about other people. But that is spate from what is right for you and 
your life, so maybe you should listen to those others that care about 
you and might have a different opinion than yours. 

My Last Words To You 

I wish that I had gotten to say goodbye to you, but I 
didn't. When you left I cried and Ul cried. I never thought 
that I would find a man that treated me with respect, but 
you did. I can't think right now that you are gone. 1 always 
wanted you to know about me but 1 was scared because I 
thought you would leave me if you knew who 1 really was. 
You made me feel so good inside but now I feel sad and 


From The Beat: It is so hard to get over the loss of a loved one. But iwe 
think that the best way you can honor that person is to do right by the 
life that you have ahead of you. Good luck Bethany. 



What's been going through my mind is that I don't know. 
I've been thinking if 1 am going to get out of here this 
month or if they are going to keep me here, or if my mom 
and family members are going to come visit me or not. 
How are things on the outside, at school, and what do 
the homies and family think about me since I've come 
here. I've been thinking about what people are going to 
say about me. I don't know if I'm going to be here next 
week or not. 


From The Beat: If you are wondering how others are doing, you should 
write to them and ask. We're sure everyone misses you too. Be strong no 
matter where life takes y«Hi. 

City Of Anoels 


The city I come from was so cold. The game I tended to 
play was heartless. You had to be tough and rough, if not 
someone might have left you slumpt. When I was eight 
years old I was kicking it on the block. 

By the time I was eleven I was carrying a glock. When 
I was twelve I got my first nickname. Later that year I left 
the hood. I would never forget that day because I cried 
a lot that day. Even now when I moved to Fresno, I went 
back to my old town every weekend and almost every 

When I go there I get updated on the latest beat and 
try to make some money. I pray every time I go back that 
my homies ain't on crack. It seems like every time I go 
back I have to pour a forty to pay my respect to one of 
my dead peers, six feet deep of swimming with cement 
feet. It's gonna be a minute before I see the streets but 
I know my gangsta are gonna ride for me and my city is 
still going to love me. 


From The Beat: Many of us have moved away from what we know and 
what we miss the most. But to truly be happy where you are now, it is 
necessary to let go of where you are from and to recognize the gift that 
you have been given to start over, and not live the same fate as the 
«>thers that you mourn. 

J L 


Well, I have a picture that I used to carry all of the time 
and this picture means a lot to me because my baby is in 
it. I will carry this picture all of my life. 


From The Beat: Even if we don't have the physical picture, that picture 
carries with us in our hearts and we hope that it helps you to work 
through your time at the Hall. 




Wty I Am Here 

I am in here because I got caught for something that I 
ain't supposed to do like robbing a house. This place is 
boring as heck and I would rather be in the hood getting 


From The Beat: The Hall is not a vacation spot, it is where people go 
when they disrespect others and their personal things. If you don't 
iwant to put up with the boring hall then learn to show some respect 
and quit being so selfish! 

NotFeeiino Good 


What's up Beat! This is your boy. Peanut. Still in this 
cell. The only thing going through my mind right now is 
my court date. It has me tripping. My court date is later 
this month and I'm really stressed out. I don't know if I'm 
going to get out, plus my mom and dad haven't come to 
visit me in a while. I'm not feeling good because I heard 
my newborn nephew ended up in the hospital not that 
long ago. 

When you're in this crappy place, all you think about 
is your family and it stresses you out. My daughter is 
also on my mind right now. I'm wondering how she is 
doing. I know I'm very young to be having kids, but crap 
happens. I just hope I get out because I really want to see 
my family. 

The last time my dad came to visit me, he asked me if 
I wanted to go stay with him but I don't know yet. I know 
all he wants is to keep me out of trouble because he said 
he doesn't want me to end up like him, in and out of jail 
my whole life. It's very hard to change once you're in the 
system. It's hard to get out. Well, thanks Beat, for coming. 
I know you guys really want us to stay out of trouble. 
Alright then. Beat. 


From The Beat: Thanks for writing Peanut. It's hard not being with your 
loved ones. But you have to stay strong and ioiow that positive things 
will come your way. We know someone who was in a similar situation. 
He iwas locked up for one year for doing something dumb. When he was 
released, he told his family the only thing he did was pray to get out so 
he could see them again. He also had a daughter who was born when he 
got locked up. He missed her first birthday and first Christmas. You're 
a smart kid, and you'll get out soon. Think about what your dad said, 
and iceep your head up! 

wtat I wiuii Sai 


If I were leaving I would tell my family that I am sorry for 
what I have done, and apologize for springing the situation 
on you all at the wrong place and the wrong time. I love 
you so much and hope that see you all again. The Lord 
and Savior knows how I regret what I have done. 

I remember the picture of my mom, dad, sister and 
me that came out really pretty. I hope to see them really 
soon. When the lord sends me home I will go back and do 
right so I never have to come here again. 

-Shyness Yancy 

From The Beat: The good thing about not being gone forever is that 
you do have the opportunity to say what you haven't yet. We hope that 
you remember what regret feels like iwhen you get home and harder 
decisions come your way. 

h a 


//// // 

Wantino To Go Home 


My week was fun until I got locked up. I just want to go 
home for the fact that I miss my family and girlfriend. 
The thing that always goes through my mind is my family 
and girlfriend. They're always there for me and now that 
I'm locked up, I don't know who to talk to, who to depend 
on, and who to trust. To be real, I pray everyday to God 
to help me on my court date, which is coming up. And I 
hope they won't give me time at boot camp. That's what 
I think about. Everyday in JJC, just doing my time and 
waiting to go home. 


From The Beat: We feel ya! We hate being aivay from our own families 
too. Keep your head up, because looking down is the same as looking 
bade — you can't see iwhere you're going. But look straight ahead and 
keep on track so you can focus on the future and going home. 

Me miht Niw 


I am going to go into a group home now. I am going to 
try my best to do my time there and then to get out quick. 
I also really want to join a gang. I want to be a part of 
something interesting and to get down with everyone that 
it respects. I would love to give my pride to the gang. 

-Crazy Gurl 

From The Beat: Let us tell you, there is nothing interesting about gang 
life. All that is in store for you there is pain, hurt, crime, and probably 
death. If you truly want to be a part of something that earns you respect 
and maices a name for you, there are many organizations in Fresno that 
you can get involved in. If y«Hi are interested write to us and we will 
I share them with you. 

I I ' 

Good Advice 

I wish that I could relive this memory: 

I was young and I didn't know much, but my dad used 
to tell me that whenever you feel mad, you should take a 
second and think about it before getting upset. 

This memory helps to keep me calm now, and so 
I think about what he said and I take a second before 
getting mad. 


From The Beat: It sounds like you iwere lucky to have people around to 
give you good advice, the best iway to keep that memory alive is to pass 
that advice along to others that you care about. Keep your head up. 

Mucii Love 

I want to thank the Beat for always allowing us to express 
our feelings and problems. 

-Lady Brown 

From The Beat: We iwant to thank you for sharing yourselves with us 
and teaching us how to listen and guide you all. 

To Ike Staff 


The staff doesn't know how it feels when a girl walks 
into the pod and we all haven't seen a girl in a long time. 
So if we whistle then we get in trouble and the staff acts 
like jerks by taking our points away of moving us down a 
stage. It is a normal reaction to act like that when a girl 
comes in and I hope that the staff learns about that. 


From The Beat: Part of learning to be a man is to learn h«»w to control 
y«Hirself, no matter the situation. We at the Beat stand behind the staff 
and hope you learn how to treat other people appropriately. It is not the 
female's fault that you are in here, it is your own, and so you have no 
excuse for disrespecting w^omen that way for your own selfish benefit. 
Also, try to putting yourself in an«>ther person's shoes. Have you ever 
walked down the street and been harassed by people you didn't care 
for? What you are doing is intruding upon other people's space. Please 
be respectful. 

west 2 The East 


I was raised on the west side. When I was growing up 
there, it was a good place, but now, drive-bys occur 

When I was leaving the west side, I gave a little cry, 
not because I was leaving but because I didn't have any 
idea what the east side had in store for me. 

When I arrived to the east side, it felt like I was home. 
I don't know where the feeling came from, but the east 
side did have something in store for me. The east side 
wasn't perfect, it had shootings too. 

But the east side was where I could grow up and 
learn from my mistakes. A place where I could get my 
education. If I would have stayed I probably wouldn't be 
here today. 

I admire the east side because it was home for me, my 
brothers, sisters and mom. I found out that my grandma 
lived on the east side so I had more heads looking over 
me. I really was home. 


From The Beat: Great story Joshua! Home is where you make it, and it 
seems like you're starting to plant your roots somewhere. Family is a 
great thing to have to look after you and keep you on your feet. Good 
luck to you! 

My Littie Giri 

1 1 1 1 1 I ^ 

Was up Beat! I'm going to write about this picture topic 
cause I got a picture of my little girl in my room, and 
that makes me feel hella good cause I get to see her 
every morning when I wake up and every night before I 
go to sleep. Man I miss her so damn much that I feel like 
crying right now. But I know she's gonna visit me today 
or tomorrow so I gotta stay strong for her and for myself. 
And this time when I get out I'm gonna stop all that gang 
banging stuff cause she's getting older. 

I'm in here wasting my life in this crappy place and it 
hurts me knowing she is growing up with out me. That's 
why I need to change my life. No more playing around in 
the streets, I got a daughter to look after. That's about it 
for now. Thanks for listening. Stay up Beat! 


From The Beat: We're so glad you shared the story of this inspiring 
picture. We also agree that it's important for you to stay out of trouble 
so you can stay in your daughter's life. She needs you. And we're always 
here to listen so write us anytime! 

Leavino Beliind 

Having to move away from my hometown to a place 
where I am locked down is something I regret. Getting on 
the freeway, seeing my town left behind. No idea when I 
will be able to return and see the people I love. 

And friends too, I miss chillin' with them. It was a 
hard sight to see. One thing I hope I never have to go 
through again in my life. The worse thing is to see my 
family come here and see me like this. This is not a good 
example for my nephews or future kids. 

This place has had a great impact on me to get out and 
be able to do things I want to do knowing I am a changed 
man when I return. These are my thoughts of having to 
go through this and leave my loved ones behind. Giving 
thanks to people who have helped me through this time. 
Much love and respect to all those people out there who 
helped me in life. 

-Lucky Charms 

From The Beat: Leaving the people and places you love can hurt a lot. 
But just think, in time, you iwill be reunited. And when you are reunited, 
that will be your chance to show them hoiw much you missed them. 


Another Sunny Day 


As time passes by I think in my cell about my court 


Whether I will end up on the outs or back in jail 

Life in here is not heaven 

It's hell 

And if all goes well 

I will be filled with joy and feel the rush through my 


On the outs it's fun and outgoing 

I live life to make serious money 

As days pass, my stomach is filled with butterflies 

Now I wait until my court date to see if I will see another 

sunny day. 


From The Beat: It's not easy and fun being stuck in JJC. It sucks to be 
worried about your court date, but hopefully everything will iwork out. 
We wish you the best and hopefully you learn from your mistakes and 
make better choices in the future. Trust ycHirself and stay up! 

I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 


I hate that people are running game in the stories that 
they write for the Beat. That is how they figure us out 
and make the law enforcement harder for us. So keep it 
zipped and don't ruin it for the rest of us. 


From The Beat: We have published this piece because The Beat Within 
has nothing to hide. We do not share the pieces that you all ivrite with 
anyone but you. That is why we do not publish full names and encourage 
anonymity. We are here for you to share your feelings with each other in 
the hopes that your story Mrill help another like you in the Hall. 


The Day At The Lake 

On my birthday I went to the lake and took pictures of the 
lake, and the fish that we caught, and of us swimming. 


From The Beat: We are guessing that these are the pictures that you 
cherish the most, and we hope that you get to have more memories liice 
this when you get out of the Hall. 

. . . : 1 1 I til f 8 a 1 i t j ! 

My Little Sister 

My life is stressed out right now. 1 am in here and 
waiting for court. Last Saturday, 1 heard my sister was in 
crutches at visiting. When 1 came back to the pod, 1 was 
crying and it was hard for me on that day. 1 wish 1 were 
at home right now instead of being locked up. That way, 
I can help my little sister. I care about my little sister a 
lot. 1 go to court next week. I hope I get out soon so 1 can 
help my little sister. 


From The Beat: We're sorry to hear about your little sister. We hope she 
gets better soon. She's lucky to have a helpful big brother who looks 
after her. She probably looks up to you too. What can you do to be a 
positive role model for her? 

II New Hinii 


I recently found out that there is bed space available at 
a group home. I was happy about this. I should be going 
there in a few days. 1 look forward to leaving the hall. I 
am in here because my anger got the best of me. 1 plan to 
attend anger management classes when I get out. 


From The Beat: That's iwonderful neiws! We share your excitement. 
It's ahways good to start afresh. Stay focused in school and keep on a 
positive path. Whenever you get angry, a good idea might be to write 
doiwn your anger. Good luck to you! 

J L 

Food Sucks 

I'm telling you about the food in JJC. The food isn't 
always all the way cooked and then they give you a small 
portion and you're still hungry for about five hours. No 
meat. No seasoning. Old hard bread. Oatmeal with no 


From The Beat; That's terrible, we're so sorry to hear the food isn't all 
that great. When you get CHit, what do you think will be the first thing 
you want to eat? 


A Life You Don't Want Behind These Waiis 

Life behind these walls 

In the Juvenile Hall 

You don't wanna be in here 

Cause you can't get a cell 

You gotta be good 

Can't be better than all 

I took the wrong step 

And I had a hard fall 

But when I get out 

I'm gonna be back on my feet 

Eating hamburgers 

Made out of real meat 

Cause in here you don't eat 

As well as on the outs 

No more of me in the streets 

And for that there's no doubt! 


From The Beat: We like this creative piece! It sounds like you've had 
enough of life in the system and you want a real home-cooked meal. Be 
sure to set goals and keep them, making sure you stay off the streets 
for good! 

I I I I 

I I I I I 111 



The rhythms that 1 sip 

I spit them out loud 

Loud and clear 

So everyone can hear 

I talk about life 

Brag about money 

Laugh at the unfortunate 

Smile at the funny 

Use metaphors when I 

Rhyme and 1 rap 

So I exaggerate every time 

But I don't take it back 

It's clear to me 

That 1 won't be a G 

But that don't mean 

On me you can get it for free 

I'm not hard 

But I'm solid 

Smart enough to maintain control 

And launch off rockets 

I'm gonna be somebody 

Make something of myself 

So all your thoughts 

And your feelings 

You can keep to yourself 

Please believe 

I got what it takes 

What you need to succeed 


From The Beat: Very cool rhymes! Your piece ends on a high note. Just 
reading this we can tell you are sm intelligent young man who has a 
passion to improve his life for the better. Keep using your rhymes to 
inspire yourself and others to succeed. 


//// // 

Graduation Picture 


One day, my brothers, sisters, mom and 1 took a picture 
on my graduation day and it was a very happy moment. I 
will keep that picture in my heart forever. It was a loving 
moment. 1 love them all. That picture will forever be in 
my heart. 


From The Beat: What a beautiful picture to represent a proud moment 

I in your life with the ones you love! Let that picture inspire and uplift 
you in your sad times. 


1 just want to get out of here so that I can start my life 
again. I am so depressed that I cannot see my family and 
my friends. 1 hope to get out because I am not supposed 
to be here, this ain't the life for me. When 1 get out I swear 
1 ain't coming back. 1 just want to be there for my son and 
to play football. I hope that I get the chance to tell my 
mom and the judge. 


From The Beat: People come in and out of the hall for many reasons. For 
some it just takes one stay here to change their attitude. We hope that 
is true for you too. Good luck out there. 

My Main Man 

1 would do anything for my man; he is my ride or die. I 
am missing him like crazy. I miss his gangsta ways and 
how he carries himself. He is my other half and 1 feel that 
1 am not whole now that 1 am locked up. 1 just can't wait 
till 1 see him and we can be like Bonnie and Clyde. 


From The Beat: Wow this sounds like a very dangerous situation, and 
we are surprised that you actually want it. If you truly loved this person 
you would be trying to get them out of this lifestyle instead of cheering 
it on. We hope you walce up before it is too late for you both. 

I Bate The System 

I'm going to write about my last court date. It was a 
bunch of BS. I hate my attorney. He's a jerk. Like they 
say, an attorney only gets you a ticket, locked up. 1 went 
to court recently and they just kept rescheduling my 
court days. I go back later this month because they set 
me up for trial because 1 didn't plead guilty to something 
1 didn't do. If 1 lose, it's mando — I got more than a year, 
but if 1 win, 1 might get a chance at 365 in the camp. Most 
likely I'm going to lose. They're trying to prove me guilty 
and say I was going to shoot someone. There's not much I 
can do. I mean, 1 got caught with a gun so they think 1 was 
probably going to use it. I'm gonna stop getting my hopes 
up because 1 know I'm gonna lose this case. Every time I 
go to court, my stomach gets to hurtin, wondering what's 
going to happen next. 


From The Beat: You're in a difficult situation and we hope things work 
out in your favor. It's challenging to pull through these moments, 
especially when you don't Icnow how things will turn out. It can feel 
like the people ivho are supposed to be your allies are in fact not trying 
to help you at all. Keep your head up, and stay focused. We wrish you 

That Picture 

h i 

1 have a picture in my house of my uncle and to me it is 
special because he taught me how to drive a car. 


From The Beat: We hope that someday you can do something for 
someone else and pass that life experience on. 



I always carry around a little picture of all of my family 
because I miss them, and carrying it around with me 
brings much love. 


From The Beat: We hope that you get to see them again and tell them 
how you feel in person. Good luck. 

Much Love 

To the Fresno people, just letting you know that this 
juvie life ain't for all the people doing time. All I got to say 
is stay up and do your time. Don't let the time do you. If 
you come up in here, don't snitch cause then you will end 
up with more enemies or even get killed. If you don't want 
crap to happen to you, then don't snitch and if you do a 
crime, then be prepared to do the time. Until pencil meets 
paper, much love. 


From The Beat: We enjoyed your piece, you're a cool iwriter. You seem 
to have a positive personality even though JJC isn't the most positive 
place to be. Keep it up! 

I I I I I I I I I I I I 

Gone For So Long 

I really don't write but 1 got something on my mind, like 
when I go back to court and what they are going to give 
me and how 1 hope to see my the family soon when my 
mom comes to visit me, and tell me about the outs, or tell 
me that one of my homies is locked up. It makes me feel 
like I've been gone for some years but hopefully when I 
get in front of this judge, he won't give me some years. 

-Tha Boi Boi 

From The Beat: We have to continue to be hopeful and pray for the best. 
All things iwork out for our own good. Just keep on writing and thinking 
positive thoughts. Even when you don't feel like writing, scribble down 
how you feel and watch the words begin to flow. 


Last Time 

I sit here wondering what to do. I have court soon so 
I think about what to change for my mom or should I 
stay true to my homies? 1 know what I'm going to change 
because I love my mom and she stuck around even when 
time's got bad. 1 never felt down because 1 always had my 
mom by my side. 

It hurts to know she has to worry or has to come to 
each court date wondering what's going to happen to me. 
To tell you the truth she doesn't need that and 1 don't 
need this either. So, all my mom needs to know is that 
there's going be changes when I get out and that's the 
truth. It feels good knowing that I'm going to change and 
can't wait to make my mom proud. So far this is the last 
time in here. Time is going fast. 

-Mom's Son 

From The Beat: For us to change we have to do more than just say iwe're 
going to change. We have to have a plan. We have to have steps iwe are 
going to take. What will you do the first day you get out? What iwill you 
do the first week ycHi get «Hit? 

The Best Picture 

Once upon a time, I was swimming with my mom and my 
dad took a picture of us, swimming together. And we were 
looking cool together. I always have that picture. We've 
taken other pictures but that's the best one. 


From The Beat: It's great to have this cool picture to treasure. We hope 
whenever y«Mi look at this picture, it leaves a smile on your face. 




Words could be violent even when they're silent 

Sometimes they leave us broken 

Sometimes they leave us smiling 

Stronger than our thoughts 

But weaker than our actions 

Causing us to think in deep reactions 

Take away what I hold deep inside my mind 

Let loose what 1 hold to be within time 

Give me rhythm 

Give me rhyme 

My words, they give me art 

The ability to rap and what I'm rapping's from the heart 

When my words and me part, I expect to be heard 

To the very voice speaking to the meaning of the word 

So say what you feel with no regrets 

Your speech is promised freedom man 

Don't you forget. 

-Lil' Whodini 

Frcun The Beat: Thank ycHi for your reminiscences about words. I 

Dear President Obama 


Congrats on the victory. I watched you in D.C. I support 
you on most of what you said you're going to do. 

You also said some things that rubbed me the wrong 
way because it would affect me big time. 1 like how you 
said you're going to reform. I think that's a good idea. 
I think you should change it up for people who need it 
instead of for people that abuse it. Like we should go 
back to depression days and make them show proof that 
they are trying to help themselves. 

I'm so happy that you're trying to get us out of this 
war with no end. I have no clue why Bush went into Iraq 
to fight a religious war. Please tell me you're going to help 
this money issue we got going on. Just keep in mind that 
we are a capitalist economy and please don't do anything 

This is the land of opportunity and you can do 
whatever you want job-wise. You can make whatever 
you like if you work hard enough. 1 don't think it's right 
to share wealth with someone that's not really helping 
themselves. To conclude this letter I wish you luck and 
your going to do great things. 


From The Beat: We appreciate your courage to step up and speaif your 
heart and mind. We appreciate your spirit and hope. We wish you and 
President Obama well and we believe in both you and President Obama 
and iwe need your and President Obama's contribution in order to be 
successful in this country. 

Life As A Struoflie 

The life that I live 

It's not simple or easy 

The ideas and choices you make 

Can be quick or simple to take 

I can take lines, from friends I've lost 

Like, "Life is like a gamble. 

You either win or you lose" 

Living life as a struggle 

We all die soon 

Rest in peace "Bad Ass" 

One Love 

-Lil' Lophy 

From The Beat: Great poem! Sometimes we thinic death is the only iway 
«Hir struggles will end, but does it really? Will our struggles continue 
on to those we love? That's just something your poem made us thinic 

J L 

Just Anotiier You 

Well to start with, being locked up is more whack then 
the dang food that we eat... I am doing a year for some 
bull shhh. But I will be out around next thanksgiving, 
kicking it with my squad, unable to stop, mackin' at girls 
in California. 

-Free Maroe 

From The Beat: You don't have to be just another boy in the Hall, you 
can face life like a man and quit with all the Idd stuff, if you thoose to. 
N«»w is the time to plan for the future, what do you think? 

Makino A Difference 

What I will do to help remake America is to change the 
way I make decisions. I'm going to start with me before 
anything else. I have a lot to live for especially for my 
daughter. It will not take long. I made a mistake and I have 
learned from that so that's what I'll start doing to help 
make a change and to change America. We when make 
mistakes today, what are we doing? 

Violence on TV and in our sight. Change! That's what 
needs to happen. We don't want the next generation to 
copy the bad habits. 

I think that society is what influences people to 
do what they do. There's always going to be prejudice, 
poverty and violence but it does not hurt to try to change 
it and make things better. 


From The Beat: We admire your spirit and we will work to follow your 
lead. We ioiow there are small things we can do in our lives to make our 
lives better and by doing that we will make the lives of those around us 
better. We are going to start by sweeping the sidewalk in front of our 
house and making it look good so iwhen people walk by they feel better 
from looking at it. 

Someone Care? 


It seems as if everything is going wrong, day in, day out 

I am steady feeling alone 

Don't know what to do or which way to go 

They say it's healthy for your self-esteem to be high but 

what happens when it's low? Some people say just go 

with the flow 

Everybody plays as if they understand but they really 

don't know 

They just pretend and put on a show. 

All I asked was to be with my family but the answer was 


Or that it's in the process, but it seems to go slow 

It seems like no one cares 

Sometimes I look at my life as being screwed up but no 

one said life was going to be fair. I try my best but where 

I'm trying to go I'm just not getting there 

So what do I do? Where do I go now? 

My son is the only person that makes me proud 

My dream has nothing to do with hanging out or being 

with a crowd 

So please hear my cry, or spare a handkerchief to wipe 

my eye 

I promise this from my heart 

No lie 

But until then 

I'm burning and sizzling like chicken when it fries. 


From The Beat: Life can put us in some difficult situations, balancing our 
emotions, our actions, our loved ones, and our future. So much seems at 
stake. You strilce us as an intelligent young man with a positive future 
and a genuine desire to be the best dad you can be. Don't give up in this 
difficult moment, Orlando, keep moving forward, and in time, positive 
things will come your way. 

h i 


//// // 

It's uncomfortabie iiere 


I've been locked up for about 2 weeks now. It is hell. I 
can't see my girl. The food is always bad. It's always cold 
and I don't know how long I have to stay here but when I 
get out I'm going to IHOP and McD's. 


From The Beat: There is a reason life is not enjoyable iwhen we are 
incarcerated. Our prisoners want us to take this time to reflect and look 
at life. 

Dard To Leave 

If I were to leave my town for a long time and not know 
when I would return, I think it would be hard for me. I 
would regret it so bad. I'm not the type of person to be 
like that. I'd make sure to spend one last time or night 
with that person or people, you dig? And that person is 
no one. I'll make sure I bounce out of here with my baby 
momma, my kid's and my family. 


From The Beat: Leaving our hometown or people we love behind is never 
an easy thing to do. But new journeys can be paved iwhen we seeic out 
a new course. We're glad you've decided to take your loved ones along. 
Keep them with you in your life's journey. 

Goino toY.A. 

As you see, I'm going to Y.A. I'm just waiting to get picked 
up. The truth is that I'm tired with JJC but I don't want to 
leave this place. I prefer to do my time here because the 
girls here tell me YA is bad. 

They say they pick on you and you could get stabbed 
but you know what if I got to go then I got to go. I don't 
have nay other option, do I? Well, when I get there I'm 
gonna just do my time and get out because prison is no 
place for me. 

So, I tell you youngsters stay out of trouble or else 
you'll end up in prison. This is just advice from me to 


From The Beat: We appreciate you examining your experience and 
offering advice for others. That's all there is to do once we wind up in 
here; is to do our time and get out. But what did iwe do to get in here 
in the first place? How do iwe know we are not going to go out and do 
I something that sends us right back in? 

It's Crazy Dow Tiiinos Dappen. 

I just found out my ex-boyfriend got almost four years in 
county and my homeboy overdosed on Ectasy. I'm in here 
again for running away from group home and for what? It 
seems just like yesterday that I was out doing my thang 
and not caring what was happening. We do things without 
thinking and then we pay the consequences and think 
that things are not fair. I'm about 18 years old soon and 
still they're trying to keep me in the system. 

I know I did it to myself but on the outside I'm laughing 
and I think it's funny but on the inside I just wish I could 
be the little girl I used to be innocent, pure and full of joy. 
I was a girl who loved to be home and now I'm the total 
opposite and sometimes I wonder how I became who I am 
today and I think about what it would be like if I didn't do 
all the bad things I've done. But I am who I am and I'm not 


From The Beat:We agree. Don't be ashamed but take responsibility. Take 
a good look at what was done and ask yourself why you did what 
you did. Maybe you iweren't thinking? Take this time to think and 
contemplate. We all know if we keep going the way we've been going 
then we're just going to wind bade up in JJC or county iwhen we get 
older so why not change what we're doing and change how we think. 

Vioience in My Dood 

I think my violence comes from my hood and it showed 
me how to fight and I think that people that grow up in 
the hood are exposed to drugs and violence. They see 
more than kids should see. People get stabbed or shot; 
that is what happens in the hood. I have gotten jumped 
and I started jumping people too. That is why I love my 
part of Fresno. 


From The Beat: Did it feel good being jumped? We presume it didn't. 
But you turned around and did to others iwhat you didn't lilce having 
done to you. When will the cycle stop? You control it? You can choose 
to stop it. We hope you do thoose to stop. Be a leader. Remake your 

Lettino You Cops Know 

This is your girl. Pebbles. Well these probation officers 
or parole officers, well they lie to your girl again. I mean, 
they judge us by our past. All a gangster wants to is just 
be free. It ain't our fault that we had a bad influence 
to the community but we ain't going to let nobody put 
us down. Plus when we try to do what we have to do we 
always get messed over, right? Yeah, so keep the game in 
your head. 

We struggle in the outs and try to make life better 
but pigs make it worse cause we have gangbanging 
background. Plus cause we in Fresno, well then we just 
gonna make your job worse. We're dogs off the leashes. 
All we want is some respect and we'll give respect back. 


From The Beat: Until we check ourselves and change our lives it is 
useless to blame the police or our parents or our community and we'll 
keep coming back to JJC. It is not until we take responsibility and see 
the things we did that iwe can then decide not to do those things again. 

I I I I I I I 

Due Day At A Time 

I try to take things one day at a time here in JJC. I've 
been in here going on four months. I miss my kids so 
much. I feel like I am going crazy. I do this BS program 
and I get nowhere. You got so many personalities in here, 
so you watch what you say, but if you're like me, you want 
to tell them all to get the hell away. When I get out, I can't 
wait until that day and when trouble comes around me, I 
will tell it to stay away so I can straighten up my life. Or 
else it's CYA. 


From The Beat: Be strong Samuel. We're sure your kids miss you t«M>. 
It's great to hear you want to straighten up your life. What do you 
think you can do to make your life better? Sorry the program is not 
iworking for you, but thanks for writing. We hope you get to see your 

Good Times Witii My Doy 

I want to write about all the good peeps that the prison 
system has taken from me, like one of my boys. He and I 
were like fire! Every time I got locked up he was there and 
we both put it down. I remember when he took the wrap 
for me cause I had bullets and he took them. We both got 
booked but all I got was a violation of probation. He ended 
up maxing out at Juvi and I got thirty days. I was released 
but came back to the Hall within five days. Man was my 
boy heated! Those were good times. 


From The Beat: You're lucky to have a friend who's got your back. What 
are some iways you can both support each other in life so you don't end 
up back in JJC? 


My Life is Heii 


My life is hell because I have been in trouble with the law 
for a while now. 1 have been thinking of how 1 constantly 
live a life full of fear. As 1 grow up, I finally realize that I 
need to put the past behind me and move on. 1 have just 
been thinking about other things that 1 need to be a part 
of. The stuff 1 need to do is to be part of my family's life 
because they are depending on me but most of all, I need 
to be there in my baby's life. 

The reason why 1 need to be a part of my family's life 
is because they are depending on me to change my life 
around and help my brother to do right. Some other stuff 
is life I been thinking 1 need to change my life around. I 
think I can help other people not to do what I did or to 
go through the stuff 1 went through. Now 1 leave you with 
this think about; how would you feel if some one in your 
family did something in their life to be taken away by the 


From The Beat: We would feel sad for our family member if they got 
taken away. We would be worried about how they would be looked 
after. We would iwant to get them out immediately and it would kill us 
when we thought of them because they are someone we love deeply. 
We encourage you to change your Mrays for yourself and for those you 




I'm back in this place and I am so stressed out and 
people are getting on my nerves already. 1 have only been 
here since last week! 1 feel so confused cause I'm back 
in here once again because of a warrant and I might be 
getting sometime for what 1 did. I feel bad for what 1 did. 
This is not cool. 


From The Beat: Yeah, JJC does suck. They make it that way. We ain't 
suppose to like coming back although some people do. Hopefully Ashley, 
you will take this time to reflect and identify a more positive path to 
walk go by once you get out. 



I feel the beat to basketball. Why? Because 1 love scoring 
a basket. I also love running cause it keeps my adrenaline 
pumping. Basketball makes my life famous. I'm really 
good at basketball. I even play people for their shoes. 
Also, 1 feel the beat for rapping cause rapping shows my 
expression and shows how 1 am toward people. I love 
girls. Girls keep me out of trouble and make me stay in 
school. 1 love being close to a girl, that's the best thing. 
But yeah, 1 feel the beat to everything. 


From The Beat: Adam, it sounds like you've identified some of the 
things that can help you express yourself and release your energy. Keep 
at those things because they'll help you relieve stress. 

Bad Woman Gone Good 

Everyday I think about all the things I've been through. 
The bad things and the good things. All the bad things I 
did, I regret it cause look at me now, I'm locked up and 
away from my loved ones. In here there's nothing to do 
but think about someone you miss so much. But at the 
same time it's payback for what 1 did. 1 will get out soon 
and be a better woman and just worry and out myself from 
now on. Life is hard when your alone. Love always. 


From The Beat: Ljfe is hard when we are alone but wre always have 
friends and we can ahways reach out to others to help them and as we 
are helping them, we realize we are not alone. 

I Can Piay Baii But Not Sciiooi 

My name is Sidni, 1 don' care about using my real name 
because everyone will know it one day. The reason why I 
say that is because I'm one of the best high school foot- 
ball players. I feel if I got an opportunity to play pro ball, 
I would. I'm not noticed too much because I didn't play 
the whole season. I had dislocated my arm and didn't get 
a scholarship. 

lus the school I went to nobody wants to go and see 
anyway. But I am hooked and may not be able to graduate 
from high school on time. 

I try to stay away from drugs and gangs as much as I 
can but I live in the neighborhood and plus, a lot of them 
are my friends. As far as drugs I only smoke weed and I'm 
still trying to stop. It didn't really affect my game on the 
field so I kept doing it. 

But it got worst after I started to steal and say things 
that I know were not me. Drugs really take you out of your 
character. I get out of here in 22 days and this maybe, is 
my last Beat writing. 

I will have a lot of problems when I get out of here. 
I'm not excited to get out of here. I'm just looking forward 
to it. I don't want to go back to school. I was going to 
because I haven't been there in a couple of months. Plus, 
I don't think I will graduate on time. 

I want to drop out and get a job and walk-on for 
football at Fresno State. If I don't make the team then I'm 
going to go to Reedley college and play. Where ever I go I 
will try to do my best to go to the NFL because I believe I 
have the skill to get there. But look out for my name and 
face on your TV screen one day. Either bad or good, I'll be 


From The Beat: The best player we ever saw play in high school, never 
played on the college level because he didn't have the grades. You have 
to stay in school to be successful in football. Don't drop out and stop 
maicing excuses. Instead, work at it and make it happen. We wish you 

2 Youno Minded Femaies 

To the Beat. Hey this is your girl Pebbles. Yeah, What it 
is? I'm a dog without a leash. Well, I'm 17 years old and I 
started banging when I was 10 years old and I had a baby 
at 15. It was hard, not even close to easy, always worried 
and busy. 

To you like-minded females, I say, ain't no baby gonna 
make you famous. So you better think you young minded 
females cause I'm a mother but I'm locked up. How about 
that one? I'm telling you to think. 


From The Beat: 'Think before you leap," that's what old folks used to 
say to us when we were kids. One kids jump off a bridge into walic and 
broke his back. Think before you leap, my little ones. God gave us a 
brain. It ain't no use unless we use it. 

Life Is No oame 

Either you are living it as a game in the game or doing 
good. Well, I'm in the game so I have to play it well and 
fast or it will play me. I have been in the game for two 
years now, since I was 13. I'm 15 and in here for the 3rd 
time. I got locked up. It's no fun. Stuff happens so fast in 
the blink of an eye. I've never thought I would get caught 
up for what I did but I did. 


From The Beat: iVobody thinks they'll get caught but everybody gets 
caught. That's the way the game goes. Now, you can make some 
decisions. You do not have to go back into the game. You can make 
decisions and take actions liice going bade to school and being legit. 

J L 



//// // 

63 Bays 

This is my 7th time being locked up and the most time 
I've ever done was a week. Court is soon and I'm probably 
going to do 63 days. ..thinking about that gives me an ugly 
feeling in my stomach for a lot of reasons. 

I've never been this close to my mom and not they're 
basically taking her away from me. I've ran away at least 
30 times but this last time I was gone for five and a half 
months. I wish I would've stayed home with my family. 

Now my cousin, my tia, and my grandpa are gone. I'm 
very disappointed in myself and the decisions I've made. 
I wouldn't be in here now if I would've just talked about 
what was in my head at the time and asked for help. I'm 
grateful to have the people by my side. I've done a lot 
of wrong things to them and hurt them. I'm not gonna 
make the same mistakes I did anymore. I just want to go 


From The Beat: We are sorry you are realizing you missed out on some 
important relationships but remember many people go through this and 
many people get out of this. There is a lot more life left to live and there 
are many relationships that we will have an opportunity to be with. The 
more iwe return to Juvi the more time we'll get and the more unforgiving 
the authorities will be. It is easier to stay out of the system. 


Youno People Learn Vioience Bifferent Ways \ 

I think young people learn to be violent in different ways, 
like my cousin for example. She used violence against 
her dad who used to beat her. That is all she knows. Also 
I learned how to be violent toward another person who is 
not part of my barrio. 

I learned it from my homies that if that person ain't 
from my barrio then that person ain't worth anything. I 
became part of a violent gang and I learned somewhat of 
it from them. They are all I have at this time and I devoted 
my life to them. 

I also got some of my violence from my home. Just 
like a lot of other young people did. A home can take a 
lot of effect on how violent a young person is. It ain't just 
from the streets. It's what you go through as a child. But 
I believe my violence came from both my home and my 
barrio. Either way it keeps going, and I do wish to get 


From The Beat: Yeah, violence is pervasive and it grows in our life like 
weeds if we don't stop it but how do iwe stop it? How do we stop the 
violence? First what we have to do is think about it. No matter if we win 
a fight, if we throw a punch that punch hangs out there waiting to come 
back to us. First, we have to thinic before we get violent. Sometimes wre 
get violent because we are stressed out. In those cases, it is better to 
relieve our stress in a way that doesn't piss people off or get the police 

Bear Mom 


Sorry for all those nights I kept you up until dawn 
wondering where I was. Sorry for making you go through 
all this drama with me and then for keeping to mess it up. 
Sorry for manipulating you so I can have so much freedom 
and a twenty year old. Sorry for sneaking in people when 
I rarely was home. 

Sorry for smoking in the house after you constantly 
told me not to. Sorry for gaining back your trust and then 
losing it just as fast. Sorry for all the times I scared you by 
telling you I was going to hurt myself. Sorry for smoking 
weed and cigarettes in front of my little brother. 

Sorry for drinking and doing drugs in your home and 
lying to your face about whether I was on them at the 
time or not. Sorry for lying to you repeatedly and when 
you found out, lying some more about my lying. Sorry 
for all the times you trusted me when I said I hadn't been 
smoking and when I went to court and got dirties. And I 
am sorry you are not going to see this cause I doubt I'll be 
able to show you. 


From The Beat: We admire the courage and honesty you display. Of 
course, by apologizing for bad behavior means that we iwill not continue 
iwith that behavior. A true apology is admitting iwe did something wrong 
and then changing our ways. Easier said then done. The truth is in the 
actions. Talk and words are cheap. We wish you the best of luck and 

' ^ 

Lock Bp Is Bard 

I would like to take this opportunity to tell everyone 

that being locked up is hard. But it is not the staff who 

are making it difficult. We are the one who are putting 

ourselves in here so we have no right to get mad at the 

staff here. They are just doing their job. I know most of 

the girls in here have been here a couple of times and they 

should know their rights. I have been here three times. 

I know what I have done and I can't blame others 

for this. I'm glad to be here because if I were out there 

right now I know I would be struggling out there right 

now. Also who knows I could have been dead or hurt. 

I want to thank the beat within for letting us prisoners 

express ourselves. Also for visiting us in here and also 

the supportive from other writers. Love. 

From The Beat: This is a great beginning. ..taidng ownership of your 
problems. It seems that you are also appreciating the positive things and 
people around you. By changing the iway you think and look at things 
positively, you are on a better path in life. Peace, luck and Love. 

aMmnnnEB Msimw/imA 

My Thouohts 


What's up Beat the things going through my mind this 
afternoon is kinda unbalanced. I'm getting out real soon 
or I might be doin' more time before I get out. I've been 
feeling better though, I've come to accept any out come 
that I'm going to face. But peep this you're in a program 
and your runnin a cool program, everyone's all good with 
you. You mess up one time and they treat you like shh. I 
don't know Beat I guess that's my thoughts for the day. 


From The Beat: It's hard to be «>ut of control of your own life. When 
you enter the system you let go of that control. We guess they want 
to make the point clear that it's important not to "mess up." What's 
most important is to get it together to live your life well, where you're 
g«>od with everyone, and everyone is good with you — and you treat each 
«»ther well; loved and free. 

Streets Of Vallejo 

What's up beat? This Mille, I'm tryna get up out of here.I 
aint thinking bout changing you feel, I'm Anna be on, ya 
dig. I'm finna go right back to my city of Vallejo, getting 
money is all I'm about, if it aint about cheese it aint 
relevant to me, cause these days you ninja a get you for 
that paper, but I trust everybody in my circle my ninjas, 
I get out in June, so I'm finna do this little time and get 
right back to the hood and get on and do my thang. 


From The Beat: Many people these days sae stressing about money... 
however, and yeah we edited. How long do you thinlf it will be before 
you're bade in Juvenile Hall? When do you turn eighteen? If you had 
to go legit, because someone needed you alive and free — what Icind of 
work would you try and get? 

Krazy's Last Words 

My last words would be "heck with" the world! Cause 
I don't see nothing in life that's really worth cherishing 
cause nothing good lasts forever. 

I really like what Mac Dre meant when he said life's a 
" — " and then you die. Cause that's true cause life's just 
full of problems so what I recommend to everyone is live 
life to the fullest cause you never know when is your last 


From The Beat: You're right nothing (good or bad) lasts forever. Why 
is lasting forever the resksan you would cherish something though? 
Sometimes it can be hard to lose what you love, but even so it's still 
worth cherishing. Life can be challenging for sure, and we hope that 
your ability to love makes it worth it. 

Hunory Hunter 

What's up wit it Beat? Today I aint really feelin the 
topics. I'ma write a lil some off of track. Well today I'm 
just thinking and waitin bout tomorrow. Can't wait for 
visiting time. My mom finna bring me some of that good 
Mexican food. Man, that's all I think about everything 

I'm sick and disgusted of the food they be feeding us. 
It be nasty most of the time. I think I rather eat tacos with 
beans and nopales for the 4 months that I'm gonna be up 
in here than this nasty food, well that's a lil some that's 
on mines for now. Til next time. 

-Baby L 

From The Beat: The system doesn't want you to relax and lilce it here, 
get your three meals and plan on staying! You are so lucky to have a 
good visit with homemade food. It's good to be taken care of by people 
ivho love you instead of in sm institution. Don't forget that! What do 
you need to do with your life so that you never come back to this food 


Mi Jefita 


She is always there no doubt regardless what it was about 
she's the only homegirl I trust. My love for her always 
would last she always gave me what I need, without her I 
won't succeed... 


From The Beat: How is your relationship with her now? We expect she 
may be very worried about you and your future. Moms see who their 
kids can be and yet fear for them at the same time. 


I I I I 

Tlie Front Seat 


Always losing points, why is my behavior here so bad? I 
wish I could cut my self in little pieces and build myself up 
with goodness. I wish I could follow in Jesus' footsteps. 
Why, why was I born like this? 

Some kids act real good as if they already have their 
ticket to heaven. It seems like to me the bus of pain and 
no return. I's ready to give the front seat. Why? Why me? 
Help me-help me. 


From The Beat: We are hoping that since you signed yourself medication 
that it is something you're trying, and that it will help you feel more 
comfortable in your own shin if it's the right thing for you. Some days 
we're on the bus to heaven, and some days we're just on the bus! Hang 
in there, the important thing is you Iceep talcing steps. 

I'm Ready to do itMovin' 

What's wit it? Man I've been having a bootsy week. I keep 
getting into trouble for stupid little stuff. People in here 
are getting away wit hella serious stuff and I'm getting 
taxed for petty stuff. The more I get into trouble for dumb 
stuff the less I care about this program. 

All I wanna do is get money wit my patnas and just 
have fun and chill. I aint a trouble maker. I can't wait 
to touch down. These people in here think they run my 

They just act like I gotta do what they say talk when 
they say talk, get up when they say get up like I'm some 
kinda dog or sucka or something. If I was on the outs 
that's wouldn't be happenin', aint nobody I don't know 
yoking me and runnin nothing. 

I just wanna get money wit my boys, talk to girls and 
have fun. Is rappin 4 Tay an editor for The Beat I read he 
was in a magazine? But aight then I'm gone... 


From The Beat: When you enter the system you lose your rights to doing 
iwhat you iwant, getting up when you iwant to, etc. etc. Don't forget 
that you don't like that when you are released. We're glad you're not a 
trouble maker, and hope you are talking about legit ways to get money 
with your boys, or else you may as well get used to being yoked. 



mnnnEB Msimwrnm 

Howl Live 


In the streets I'm a cold ninja 

thou shall not murder gone against the scripture. 
Looking death in the eye I tell em (what you wanna be 
when you grow up) a dope deala? 

-Shawny D 

From The Beat: Are you cold in the rest of your life-off the streets? We 
get the feeling from you that this life isn't making you happy. Who 
could you be? You can write, though we had to edit many of your lines 
because you incriminate yourself. What's the answer to the question 
you're asifing here? What do you WANT to be? 


I want to change, but in all reality I aint going to. I like 
the way I am. I can't wait to get out of here. When I get 
out I'm gon go back to my hood. I will do anything for my 


From The Beat: We edited your piece. Why would you put that 
information out there Twin? You say you want to change, so why give 
up? Maybe if you change your brother iwould follow you. ..some day. 
Maybe you'd have a future. 

More Time 

What's goin thru my mind today is that today Jan 28 was 
my release day after 120 days on sum dumb shh got me 
4 more months in here but I'm just thinking dang if I was 
out today what would I be doin rite now? But I'ma do this 
time with my couple real friends that's left in here. 

-Young Freako 

From The Beat: You iwant to be sure that you figure out how to stay out 
once you get out. What would you be doing if you iwere out? Are ycHi 
planning to finish school and get a job? What is something legal that 
you like to do for fun? 

I AintFeeiino Tiie Topics 

Yea I don't know what to talk about so yea though I got 
like four more months and I'm gone man I'm getting tired 
of this shhh man same old food same exact thing every 
day so yea man I'll holla at ya later. 

-Same Exact Thing 

From The Beat: Four months will pass pretty quickly. Are you making 
plans that will give you a future where you won't know what will happen 
day to day, because it's growing and everything's always changing? Get 
as much school finished while you're there skz possible. 

Cuttiiroat Life 

Mom and dad listen up cause I got a confession. 

I been in and out of jail but I still aint learn my lesson. 

As soon as I get out I'm out on the block maken sells, 

I didn't want y'all to know but it aint really hard to tell. 

Moms tell in me to grow up but I'm still riden big 


24's two tone Speakers In da grill. 

Ya'll didn't raise me like this. 

Mom said don't hang around them 

they gone bring you down. 

Now I'm that kid the parents don't 

want they kids around. 

Dad said go to school don't be no dummy 

But I was like heck with that I gone go make some 


While kids was learnin math I was learnin how to bag 


-Young Keak 

From The Beat: What do you end up with? and what do the other kids, 
iwho iwent to math end up with? Are they in the next cell? Everyone 
likes money, it's true, but what is it really worth to you? Your freedom 
and future? How do you feel about yourself when you say "now I'm 
that kid the parents don't want they kids around." Why not just learn 
the lesson? 

You Got Me 

You a females that's confident, attractive, and smart. 

Will have the key to my heart, 

classy but hood, with a mentality like I wish a bz would, 

a real goon, never scared to fight, 

but loving, caring, and polite, 

joyful, respectful, success, 

stays looking cute, know how to dress. 

Damn girl looks like you're the one for me. 

Now, can open my eyes and see, 

baby we was meant to be... 

-Lil' Phil 

From The Beat: Hey how's Fouts? Write to us and let us know how you're 
all doing out there. 

aMmnnnEB mmm/mFm 

La Vida En El DE, Mexico 

^9ue onda raza? ^Como estan las cosas alia afuera? Yo 
les a contar la vida de Mexico, DF. Ahi son puros rateros. 
No puedes salir a ningiin lado porque te estan cuidando 
a que horas sales para robarte la cartera. Ahi matan a los 
perros y venden tacos de perros. ^Como la ven raza? 

Una vez quise ir para alia, pero no me gusto porque 
nomas andan robando a los probres, personas que apenas 
tiene para comprar su comida y andan trabajando para 
salir adelante. 

From The Beat: Es increfble pensar en lo desesperado que esta la 
gente en el mundo por obtener dinero. Donde quieras que vayas a ir, 
la violencia y el hambre existe. ^Alguna vez has pensado en alguna 
posibilidad que podria desminuir estos actos voilentos? 

Life In DE, Mexico 

What's up people? How are you out there? I'm going to 
share something about the life in DF, Mexico. People 
there are thieves. You can't go anywhere because they 
are watching you at all time to take your wallet. There, 
people kill dogs and sell them into tacos. How do you 
view this? 

One time I went there, but I didn't like I because they 
rob poor people who work hard to succeed, and to at least 
bring food to their homes. 

-Paco, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: It's incredible to thinif how desperate people are in this 
world to obtain money. Wherever you go, violence and hunger exist. 
Have you ever thought about a solution to decrease these violent acts? 

No Sabia 

Pues yo le dije a mi novia que sabia cuando me iba a ir 
a Mexico. No sabia que la iba perder. Ahora ya no siento 
nada por ella, pero aveces siento algo. 

From The Beat: Asi son las cosas. Hay que aprender a ganar y a perder. 

I Knew It 

Well, I told my girl when I was leaving to Mexico. I didn't 
know I was going to lose her. Now, I don't feel anything 
about her, but sometimes I feel something for her. 

-Edgar, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: This is hoiw things are. You have to learn to win and 

Me Siento Mai Aqui 

Bueno, les voy a contar lo muy mal que se siente al estar 
aqui encerrado. Ya tengo un mes sin ver a mis padres. 
Solo puedo hablar con ellos una vez a la semana. 

Hoy en dia les pongo muchas ganas para salir aelante 
y asi cumplir mis metas. Ahora que me van a deportar, 
voy a ir a ver a mis jefes que tanto los quiero. 

From The Beat: Que bueno que les hayas puesto ganas a salir adelane. 
fCuales son tus planes? 

I Eeel Bad In Here 

Well, I'm going to share about how bad I feel being locked 
up. I have a month without being able to see my parents. 
I can only talk t them once a week. 

Now I am making an effort to succeed and to 
accomplish my goals. Now, I am getting deported and I 
am going to see my parents who I love so much. 

-Lil' Mayk, Marin 

From The Beat: It's good that you still have the belief of succeeding in 
life. What are your plans? 

Mi Jefa 

No pasa un dia que no pienso en ti. Espero que estes 
bien y tambien que estes feliz. Te prometo que voya tratar 
de cambiar y me la voy a llebar tranquilo. Te amo y espero 
que todavia me dejes quedarme contigo. Espero que 
Azucena se porte bien y que no de muchos problemas. 

From The Beat: Esperamos que tu madre llegue a recibir tus palabras 
y que cumplas con tus promesas. Recuerda sientpre este dicho, "nunca 
prometas algo que no lo puedas cumplir" 

My Motiier 


J L 

I can't let a day pass without thinking of you. I hope you 
are OK and happy. I promise that I will try to change and 
be more calmed. I love you and I hope you let me stay 
with you. I hope Azucena behave well, and don't cause 

-Luis, Marin 

From The Beat: We hope your mother gets your message and iwe hope 
you Iceep your promise. Ahways remember this saying, "never promise 
something you can't keep." 


mnnnEB mmiMmrswu /////// 

DejeTodo Por Ellos 

Yo deje a mi pais, a mi mama, a mis dos hermanos, y a 
mi novia. Los deje a ellos para juntar un dinero pero cai 
en las drogas. Empece a robar, a meterme en problemas y 
cai aqui. Aunque saiga el 29 de Marzo. 

Ahora el domingo que vino mi papa me dijo que 
quiere que me vaya para Mexico para cuidar a mi mama y 
a mis dos hermanos que son menores que yo ya que ellos 
estan solos en Mexico. Llebo unos cuantos arios en este 
pais y ahora que regrese le voy a decir esas palabras que 
por miedo o por meno a que piensen que soy devil no lo 

A mi familia y mi novia le digo "te amo." 

Ahora que estoy en la juvenile aprendi que no por decir 
un "te amo" a la persona te convierte en un covarde. 

Todos mis homies me dicen que soy un joto noda mas 
por darle un abrazo y un beso en las quijadas a mi papa. 
Pero no me importa porque yo le estoy demostrando lo 
que nunca hice. Bueno, e ste fue un poco de mi vida. Al 
rato homies. 

From The Beat: A lo mejor sera la mejor decision que vuelvas a un 
lugar donde el peligro y las malas influencias SGsai menores. A lo mejor 
tu familia te necesitan alia para que los cuides como el unico hontbre 
despues de tu padre de la familia que eres. Y no, no es ser cobarde ni un 
homosexual al expresar tus sentimientos a las personas que uno ama. 
Olvida lo que la gente digan de ti o digan en general, y preocupate en 
cuidar de aquellos quienes te necesitan. 

I Left Everytiilno EorTiiem 

I left my country, my mother, my two brothers and my girl. 
I left them to gain money, but I got into drugs. I started 
to steal, getting into trouble and end it up in here. I'm 
getting out March 29th. 

Sunday my dad came and told me that he wants to 
send me back to Mexico to take care of my mother and 
my two younger brothers who are alone. I've been in this 
country a few years and when I go back there, I'm going 
tell them what I was afraid of saying to them. 

To my family and my girl, "I love you." 

Now that I am in juvenile hall I learned that by saying 
"I love you" to the people you love doesn't make you a 

All my homies tell me that I am gay because I gave 
my dad a kiss on his cheek and a hug. But, I don't care 
because I am showing something to him I didn't show 
before. Well this is a little something about my life. See 
you later, homies. 

-Chino, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Maybe it's the right decision for you to go bacic to a place 
where danger and bad influence are minor. Maybe your family needs 
you there to take care of them, given the fact that you are the only 
man after your dad in the family. No, it's not being a coward or a gay to 
express your feelings to someone you love. Forget what people say in 
general, and start caring for those who need you. 

//// // 

No Puedo ReoresarAtras 

Hey Beat, le Saluda su homie Lil' Pelon de aqui. Es 

verdad que no me gustan los poemas de esta noche, pero 

esto es lo que siento. jMiralo! 

Es verdad, me enamore de ti cuando menos me lo 


Quisiera que no fuera sierto 

Pues mi pecho esta cubierto de un dolor que no acaba 

Hoy no puedo regresar atras y evitar esto que siento 

Solo mirame un momento 

Dime que nunca me dejaras por fuerte que fueran los 


Y quiereme como yo te estoy queriendo 
Siente lo que estoy sintiendo, quiereme 

Y quiereme que la vida y el pasado esta esperandote 
A mi lado 

Quiereme, y quiereme que el tiempo 

mas bonito es cuando te necesito junto a mi 

Y quiereme que quererte es muy distinto 
Solo marcame el camino y quiereme. 

Esto va para todos los que quieren realmente 

A las personas que estan cautivas en Santa Clara Juvenile 


From The Beat: Que Linda dedicacion! Parece que esta muchacha te ha 
robado tu inspiracion y tus pensamientos. £La pregunta, es como va a 
quererte si tu no estas ahi para que te quiera? 

I Can't Go Back To The Past 

Hey Beat, this is your homie Lil' Pelon. It's true that 

I don't like tonight's topic, but this is how I feel. Check 

this out! 

It's true. I fell in love with you when I least expected 

I wish it wasn't true 

My chest is covered with a pain that doesn't have an end 

I can't go back to the past and avoid what I feel 

Just take a look at me for a moment 

Tell me that you would never leave me even if the wind 

was blowing hard 

And love me the way I am loving you 

Feel what I am feeling, love me 

Love me that life and the past is waiting for you by my 


Love me, and love me because time is 

More beautiful when you're with me 

And love me because this love is different 

Just mark me the directions and love me 

This is to all who really love someone 

To the people who are captivated in Santa Clara Juvenile 


-Lil' Pelon, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: What a nice dedication! It seems like this girl has stolen 
your inspiration and thoughts. The question is, how is she going to love 
you if you're not there for her to love you? 

///////#/////. tge ////#/ //. // //// // 

^I^I^^^^^^^^' ^JF^ f .lLLJU (J. 

f/fgf/^fK'/f/lf. /// ////#/ //. // //// // 


^I^I^^^^^^ ^^VLL 'iI m. ^L ifi L 

'Dn^TBL, WXL^L^X^MS cnnr' 

Will Callfornlans Just Say "No!" To The Failed 
War OnDruos? 

When it comes to prisons, Los Angeles County is the 
bottomless well that just keeps on giving; feeding the 
system's voracious, beastly appetite. No other county is 
affected by California's failed penal model more than the 
County of Angels, which contributes to over two-thirds of 
the state prison system. 

Latinos are impacted most severely, topping the 
inventory list, with Blacks trailing not far behind in the 
dark dust. Mirroring the rest of the nation, most prisoners 
are male, between the ages of 25 and 47, ripe and in their 
prime. Over 25,000 of these political "strange fruit" are 
lifers; the victim- spoils of "holocaust" politics pushed 
by tough-on-crime showmanship and barbaric mandatory 
sentencing schemes that countless courts and criminal 
justice experts condemn. 

Adding to the injustice is the fact that, according to the 
Los Angeles-based Drug Policy Institute , and other respected 
prison reform experts such as New York's nonpartisan 
Sentencing Project, 85% of all arrestees' offenses were 
drug related. 85 percent! That's fairly consistent from coast 
to coast. Yet less than 10 percent are offered drug-detox, 
substance abuse rehab, or toxicity education. 

With appalling discrepancies like these, even a brain 
that misfires could deduce why California has the highest 
return-to-prison rate in the country ~ 69 percent recidivate. 
California also has the highest cost per prisoner ~ at 
$93,000 a year figuring in AB 900; the most massive prison 
expansion plan in history, soon to add 53,000 prison and 
jail beds to ease overcrowding. 

Overall, one-in-four Californians know someone on 
drugs. As it stands, California's motto might as well be: 
"Use drugs, go to prison!" In fact, that seems the American 
way. As a Generation X life prisoner I can only read about 
the success stories of yesteryear. How in the '60s and '70s, 
California was the envy of the nation with its marquee 
universities and its proud, constructive prison system, 
with a $10 billion annual budget today, our 33 mackerel- 
gray prisons, dotting across the state terrain like a land- 
based archipelago, not only far out number universities but 
eclipse higher education in funding as well. 

In contrast, right across the border to the south, 
Mexican President Felipe Calderon took the spotlight in 
early October in both human rights and human care. El 
Presidente defied the red, white and blue by abandoning 
the gringo failed policy of criminalizing small amounts of 
drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. Mr. Calderon 
stated that addicts should be treated as patients in need of 
help, not criminals. (Maybe he watches Dr. Phil or Oprah, 

After 30 years of failed drug policies, a defeated war 
on drugs, and 2.2 million American citizens behind bars, 
perhaps it's time that America got "smart on crime" ~ 
particularly in regard to its substance abuse policies. 
I mean, really, how many people are locked away behind 
warped bravado instead of clear thinking? "Tough" is not 
always a panacea. 

Meanwhile, the California prison system is bursting 
at the seams with overcrowding. There are over 170,000 
prisoners crammed in lock ups designed for half that 
number. And the cost of incarceration has increased on 
average about $1 billion a year for the past decade. The 
federal courts are closing in on the beleaguered system for 
inadequate prisoner health care, mental health deficiencies 
and obscene dental neglect. Not surprisingly, California has 
the highest suicide rate in the nation. 

Still, Californians can once again be a leader in 
"corrections," at least in its approach to combating 
drug demand: Perhaps not as dramatic as outright 
decriminalization but in treatment; treatment of the sick, 
not incarceration, deprivation and neglect—which has done 
nothing but exacerbate the problem. 

Our next writer has been spilling knowledge throughout the pages 
of our publication for quite some time now. He's always coming 
through with some empowering articles and advocating for a lot of 
the fellas that are locked up in Prison right now. Dortel even has his 
writings posted on the internet at Writing to 
us from a Correctional Facility in Lancaster, CA, Dortel reaches out to 
everyone, young or old, to spread knowrledge and facts about politics 
and prison life! 

Californians will have a grand and historic opportunity 
come November 4 ~ particularly the 10 million Los 
Angelinos (nearly a third of the state population) should 
they vote in sufficient numbers to reverse the wreckage; 
and repair the community collateral damage by approving 
Proposition 5: The Non-Violent Offender Rehabilitation 
Act of 2008. Proposition 5 would expand the successes of 
Proposition 36— the 2000 drug diversion initiative, approved 
by 61 percent of the electorate— that gives nonviolent 
substance abusers a fair shot at rehabilitation instead of 
the slammer. 

According to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst 
Office, Proposition 36 saves tax-payers over $1 million a 
year. Proposition 5 builds on that success by expanding 
rehabilitation to the vast majority of state prisoners, and 
explicitly bringing drug rehab inside the prison walls 
where it is so sorely needed. Following a recent review of 
Proposition 5, the Legislative Analyst Office concluded that 
the revolutionary measure would be a win for tax- payers 
and prisoners, saving between $1 and $3 million a year. By 
this approach, California's notorious recidivism rate would 
decrease significantly, and by giving discretion back to the 
courts at sentencing, the state's persistent overcrowding 
problem would be dealt a devastating one-two-punch. 

Once again it's time for the savvy California electorate to 
upstage their sleeping Congressional representatives and 
show them what they really want: sensible, humane crime 
policies that are proven and give offenders a pragmatic 
path back into society and their communities where they 

Yes! On Proposition 5 

With all the sour news about failures, prisons and financial— 
finally, there's an initiative that is prudent, fair and offers to 
actually reverse the growing costs of prisons. Initiated by 
the Drug Policy Institute, Proposition 5: The Non-Violent 
Offender Rehabilitation Act of 2008, would improve on the 
successes of Prop. 36 (of 2000, approved by 61% of you), 
and expand drug treatment programs for the substance 
addicted, including youth. 

Apart from Prop. 36, California's response to the state's 
drug epidemic has been to simply lock people up. The 
non violent with the violent youths with adults; creating a 
caldron of chaos and destructive delirium behind the walls. 
Once inside, little or no assistance is offered to help them 

As should be expected, once released they fail, they 
recidivate, hamster-wheeling in a circle of failure, crime, and 
cost— until their third slip-up. Then they become permanent 
wards of the state under Three Strikes. Not only are these 
policies immoral but also telling as to why California has 
the highest recidivism rate in America. It also reveals why 
Californian's pay the highest rate per bed than any other 
state- between $40,000 and $90,000 a year. 

Frankly, with 90 prisons, jails and penal camps 
overseeing 300,000 prisoners and parolees, California 

cannot sustain this social and monetary drain. The 
state prison budget is currently about $10 billion, with 
expected cost overruns if the pattern holds. Since around 
2005 the prison budget has been-lined upwards about $1 
billion a year, and from fiscal 2007 to 2008 it jumped a 
whopping $2 billion. 

That said, and given the state and national financial 
crisis, Californians need every opportunity to stave off 
the drain. Prop. 5 offers those savings, millions on top of 
what Prop. 36 already saves ($1 million annually); and an 
immeasurable moral salvation on your part for the hundreds 
of thousands of souls who simply needed help. According 
to the Legislative Analysts Office, Prop. 5 could save you 
between $1 and $3 million a year. 

Still, California cannot continue rolling roughly along 
in fiscal and human failure. We're taking a step backward. 
To close the budget deficit— this time— $19 million was cut 
from Medi-Cal, $7 million was slashed from food stamp 
recipients, and $6 million was snatched from underneath 
mental health care patients. And still, millions more are 
expected to be excised without a drop of anesthesia. 

In contrast, billions are steadily being added to this 
failed prison model. This must change, and come November 
4 Californians can say it loudly and clearly— "Yes on reform, 
yes on Proposition 5!" 

Danoerous Cellmate 

Chops has gone nuts. On any day you can hear him yelling 
and screaming unintelligibly. In fact, at all times of the day 
you can hear him yelling and screaming from his cell. He 
makes loud, primitive, guttural sounds; like a wild man, 
especially on lockdowns when he can't get out of his cell. 
He shares an extremely small cell with another man, an 
incredibly patient man. 

There's another prisoner who stands in the shower, 
says a fella I'll call Jack DeWalt. "He hits and beats on 
himself until he draws blood." DeWalt told an officer who 
apathetically sent him to another officer, who, in turn went 
him to another officer. "They don't really care," says DeWalt. 
"It really hurt me to see that man doing that to himself." 
Mental illness and inadequate medical care are pervasive 
throughout the California Department of Corrections and 
Rehabilitation. Prior to taking charge of the medical wing of 
prison system last year, now former federal receiver Robert 
Sillen found that an average of one prisoner per month was 
needlessly dying due to neglect. 

In July 2007 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals 
appointed a three judge panel to also intervene in the 
custody department. A dramatic move, no doubt, after over 
a decade of unfulfilled court orders and nudges to reduce 
the population. We're talking about a $9 billion debacle, 
with 172,000 prisoners crammed and stuffed in the 
space designed for half that. In his order confirming the 
intervention. Justice Thelton Henderson, of the Northern 
District Court, said: "The court has given the department 
every reasonable opportunity to bring its prison medical 
system up to constitutional standards, and it is beyond 
dispute that the state has failed." 

The incarcerated mentally ill aren't just a danger to 
themselves, but also to the many others imprisoned with 

them. To make matters worse, prison officials have no 
qualms about mixing them with the general population- 
-even to the detriment of themselves. Just the other day 
one of the brothers I attend church with shared a rather 
disquieting but not-so-surprising story about a really 
disturbed man he was forced to share his cell with. 

My brother Sean, we'll call him, had come in early 
from the yard one day while dayroom was open inside the 
housing unit. His cell partner, Craig, which sounds like a 
good name to call him, walked about, looking nervous and 
stranger than usual. Sean noticed the oddity but simply set 
his suspicions on the back shelf of his mind. 

Moments later Craig attacked a guard. Of course, that 
was cause to suspend the program for the night. When Sean 
returned to his cell he noticed that his personal property 
had been riffled through. He also noticed that all of his 
candy had been eaten, wrappers all over the place. And 
Craig's personal belongings were neatly packed in bags, 
ready to go. It was apparently all planned. As if that weren't 
enough, Craig had poured water in Sean's TV. 

Later Sean learned that Craig had a history of turning 
on his cell partners, accusing them of stealing from him. 
He would attack them out of the blue and destroy their 
personal property. Not long after, Craig was released from 
the hole. Of course, he wasn't liable for his actions because, 
well, he's mentally ill. Unfortunately such immunity isn't 
available for those he's housed with. Craig was eventually 
assigned to share a cell with a fella we call Bam. 

Bam wasn't warned of Craig's violent proclivities. Within 
just a few weeks Craig was accusing him of messin' in his 
stuff, and other outlandish accusations. Craig eventually 
attacked Bam, swinging violently at him. Of course. Bam 
defended himself. While prison officials may not care, the 
feds apparently have had enough. Never have I seen the so- 
called criminal element so eager for the feds to come. 

///////#/////. tge ////#/ //. // //// // 

^I^I^^^^^^ ^^ftL 'iI m. ^L ifi L 

ff///JfH'/f»///. ffgff ////#/ //. // /7// // 

'Dn^TBL U/XLLX^MS cnnr' 

Honor Yard Workino 

(Published in Antelope Valley Press on Sept. 21, 2007) 
It isn't often that prisoners can claim any victories. By 
the very nature of incarceration, we're losers. We've failed 
ourselves, our families, and society. And in prison, failures 
of the state conspicuously bear our name, regardless of 
how little control we have over the circumstance of our 
confinement or policies made in Sacramento. So bear 
with me as 1 brag a little. 

Back in 2000, several prisoners here at the state 
prison resolved to make something of ourselves. With 
the tacit backing of some progressive staff, the prisoners 
developed peer support groups, positive programs and 
classes. Here, the educated teach the unlearned, the 
strong encourage the weak, and the talented spread their 
gifts like an academic potluck. We call it the Honor Yard. 

Here, we agree to random drug testing. We're not 
separated by gang membership, and everyone strives to 
get along. In this maximum-security setting, we haven't 
had one major incident since the inception of the program, 
a claim not even lower-level penitentiaries can make. 

Last year 12 prisoners earned their General Equivalency 
Diplomas and earned an associates degree out of his own 
pocket, with outside support. We expect the numbers to 
increase this year. The Honor Yard was recently granted 
permission to donate five of our acrylic paintings to the 
Special Olympics in Beijing. 

We've also earned the backing of the Legislature for 
SB 299, or the Honor Yard bill, introduced by state Sen. 
Gloria Romero earlier this year. The bill would require 
the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to live 
up to its name by spreading such voluntary yards to every 
Maximum-Security Prison. 

There's no question the current model has failed, 
miserably. Would you rather have prisoners released 
from facilities where they mutually support each other's 
success or from facilities where thick negativity thrives 
and 79% of prisoners are likely to return? Effective prisons 
can reform prisoners, and this is a win for everybody. 
Check us out at and then urge 
the governor to sign the upcoming bill. 

Effective prisons can re- 
fom prisoners, and this 
is a win for everifhodif, 

A Plea for Rehabilitation 

It's always a teeth-gritting experience for reform-minded 
prisoners to see parolees get out and commit new crimes. 
Their failures are a black eye to the multiplied others 
who strive against the destructive prison culture that is 
fostered by a cycle of political showmanship. 

Imagine prisoners fighting-- for rehabilitation: writing 
mountains of letters to the legislature, praying for common 
sense intervention and aid to change their lives. Picture 
a slew of prisoners who actually get it and volunteer to 
mentor others, donate their time and personal funds for 
community causes. That is what you have right here in 
Antelope Valley at the state prison in Lancaster, called 
the Honor Yard. 

In contrast there were deadly and resource-gouging 
racial riots throughout the Los Angeles County Jails. 
There were all-out riots at the state prisons in San Diego, 
Pleasant Valley, Chino —where one officer was killed in an 
isolated incident, and a number of other penal facilities, 
all within tragic memory. But not here in Lancaster. 
Millions of tax dollars have been saved. Scores of lives 
improved. And the threat of release from those who come 
from this volunteer program is greatly reduced. 

The legislature had it right when they overwhelmingly 
passed the bill SB 299, introduced by Sen. Gloria Romero 
with bipartisan support, to make such programs available 
throughout the state. It was the governor who dropped the 
ball when he vetoed it. Help him pick it back up by visiting and 
Dortell-HonorYard.htm before it's too late. 

^j/^^wj E/mrmm^mmtr ' # ////// 


To My Younosters 

I have so very much to say that, I don't know where to 
begin. First, you youngsters cannot and must not pattern 
your lives after fictional lyrics in rap songs or things you 
see in a "John Singleton" Movie. What I mean is that, now- 
a-days just about every rapper is telling a tale through 
cleverly arranged words about a life-style of "selling drugs, 
shooting people, having prostitutes, smoking and having 
huge amounts of pot," etc. 

Well, November 21, I turned 40 years old and am on 
the last ten months of my fifth prison term. I've been to 
about ten different prisons and/or sub-facilities throughout 
California, since January of 1990: Chino (East, West and 
Central), Soledad (North and Central), High Desert State 
Prison (B, D and A Yards), Wasco (3 Yard), Susanville 
(Lassen and Cascade Yards), "New" Folsom (C and B Yard), 
Tehachapi (A Yard and Level-2), Avenal (Level-2) and Delano. 
I have never once seen, met or ran into one of the rap thugs 
I see on TV or in videos! How is it possible that these wild 
people have lived 20 years or more shooting people, smoking 
pounds of pot, and selling all these narcotics without once 
having been arrested and convicted? 

Sure, I see them in court on the news for doing stupid 
things "after" they're already famous but, what about their 
whole life before they made CD's and videos. Myself and just 
about everyone I know who have done and experienced the 
things these guys rap about have had numerous contacts 
with the law and the courts! 

Someone is not being totally truthful. You must be 
informed-there are huge corporations behind these labels 
(manufacturers and distributors) like Sony, BMI, EMI, 
and others who market certain images to you youngsters 
because it's very profitable; the same type of imagining that 
tobacco companies used with the cartoon camel character, 
trying to get younger kids to smoke. 

Don't get me wrong, I love rap-even some of the rap that 
others think is negative, but only because I've actually lived 
and experienced some of the ills mentioned in the verses. 
As an adult, I'll never allow a song or music to pump me up 
to behave or feel a certain way that contradicts truth and 

Our next writer has really kicked off some icnowledge for you 
readers out there. Big Mike has been there and did it ?ks his rap 
sheet is long enough to consist of him spending a huge amount of 
time incarcerated. Big Mike feels obligated to reach out to the youth 
out there because he doesn't want to see the new generation be blind to 
the facts. Mike does a great job of pointing out what the consequences 
for the decisions that iwe all make. He said it best everybody ss^s the 
flashy cars, jewelry and women, but nobody sees the 22 to 24 hour 
lockdown, the riots, the fights, the blood spilling. There is no glory in 
that! Writing to us from a California State Prison Sacramento (Folsom 
SHU), in Represa, CA, Big Mike has a Big Message for all you readers 
out there! 

my reality. 

The reason I caution the youngsters about its influence 
is because I myself (as a teen) could not read clearly at times 
the true consequences of my acts. As a "G", I understand 
that myself and others of my age group were not there for 
you guys to help mold and shape, who you were to become, 
and for that I apologize. But one thing is certain, the traps 
that have been laid out for you guys are far worst than what 
was in store for us when "we" made the same or similar 
mistakes. Just look at the sentencing laws and some of the 
new stuff they're coming with. 

You've got to pump your own brakes YG's, and find 
the true meaning of love, family and self, 'cause when it 
all comes down and the smoke clears nobody will be there 
for you but Mom's and your family. You have to be just as 
serious about what you want out of life as you are or were 
about banging, slanging or whatever else got you in trouble. 
Be willing to make an investment in "yourself by getting 
your GED going to City College or even opening your own 
business. You can do it, if you're true to it. 

You may see the "Denali's and Yukon's on 24" spinners 
and all the other flashy things but, what you don't see is 
the price you have to pay when you're caught. The other 
side, the riots, the having to constantly watch your back, 
the 22 hours a day I spend in my cell in the S.H.U. (10 hours 
per week outside time). Nothing is worth this. I am willing 
to give up and sacrifice whatever I have to not to do this 
ever again. 

You guys all have a choice. Ask yourself this question; 
if I were to die today what would the world be missing? 
Keep your head up so your "crowns" won't fall off! 

'^nu//^/? ffna/?BLiLiB ^/?ns^B/?' 

Look Wiiat it's Got Me! 

First and foremost I would like to start by saying that I am an avid 
reader of all" literature I.E: poems, short stories, books, periodicals, 
The Wall Street Journal, etc. 

My 2nd (and God willing last) time around with my 2nd 
consecutive sentence will not be in vain. Granted, I did manage to 
remain on the opposite side of the fence for approximately 4 1/2 
before my subsequent re-entry several months ago. I am well aware 
of the circumstances of my crime and the inevitable consequences 
of life in the Pimp-Prostitution game. In retrospect, some, or shall 
I say maybe the vast majority, of your readers can relate to my 

My case was the product of a 2-year investigation. A joint effort 
nationwide STING, courtesy of The Houston, Los Angeles, Las 
Vegas, Miami, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Minnesota, FBI and other state 
and federal law enforcement entities. 

Never the one to preach, but I say this to all players, macks, 
pimps and hustlers, real, wannabe or otherwise: The GAME of 
playing females is a lucrative one, however, I received a 10 year 
sentence accused of compelling prostitution, benefiting from the 
proceeds of prostitution, trafficking a minor under the age of 18 
across state lines to promote prostitution etc. 

These people are not playing about this business any more! 

Our next writer is dropping a few lines out of a Correctional Facility 
in Beeville, Texas. He's a first time writer with a lot of knowledge and 
good advice to offer. Anwar was caught up in the game, sks many might 
have experienced, and his game (nothing we support or encourage) was 
niackin' or better yet known as pimpin'. And doing what he was doing 
got him where he's at today, which is not a place where you want to be. 
So we're honored to have Anwar drop words of advice on the pages of 
our publication. WE look forward to his next contribution, maybe he'll 
tell us what the new Anwar plans with his life upon touching down...? 

The time that's being dished out is unbelievably draconian. Some 
of the guys in my sting were handed down sentences as paltry as 
5 years and as much as 45 to 100 years in the FEDS. Real talk. 
In addition, there is no honor amongst thieves and a lot of us are 
statistical victims of snitches turning states evidence. 

My actions and contribution run the spectrum. I am not 
acting like I am totally innocent because 1 am not. Although 1 was 
kind of screwed on this case. Nonetheless, emancipating myself 
from mental slavery is my daily regimen. I attend school, work, 
and whatever else the powers-that-be demand of me in this grand 
industrial complex. 

Also, I am not glorifying nor encouraging any of you young 
cats to do what I did. But I have been there and done that. If you 
choose to be a pimp, mack, etc, my sole advice is, and platinum 
recording artist Young Jeezy said it best, "Don't Get Caught!" 


The light inside shines strong creating beats within 

We live and learn through everything we do, lose and win 

To this game of life we're all kin though were brown, white 

and black 

The human soul has no color, I see through eyes of purity 

Beats within shines bright humans glow is all I see 

Captivity of the free set loose by the beat 

On my every thought you dine, my treat 

The street is where we take it for, because it's all we know 

Tattooed tears brought on by dead many years, ho-ho-ho 

Budda's luck is like a clover for the four-leaf we search 

Shifting shapes, bells and whistles, one people, the player, 

one church 

Many divided weakens the beat within each and every one 

Come together in tune, the earth, moon, and sun 

Basic instructions given as a child seems to fade away 

A world with no law when the corrupt thrive, is that ok? 

Questions without answers, who, what, when, where and 


All I know is, The Beat Within must never die. 

'CH^/PLiXB SnHU//^/?M' 

Charlie Schwann aka Jumpy has been a part of «Hir publication for 
a very long time now. Jumpy has always been coming through with 
great poetry, sa\^ wisdom to spread to you readers out there. Not just 
a leader in his own mind but Jumpy creates ways to get his message 
and point across. 

us his latest poem. Writing to us from Corcoran State Prison in Corcoran 
California, give it up for Jumpy sis he's back with a couple pieces to let 
you know what it is going on through his mind. 

Love's liope 

A prayer to the air floats off a thought 

This lonely love's hope- hot 

One speak is all it takes to light a flame inside 

Fire and ice deep in the soul is where I hide 

Like the tide, smooth and ruff emotions run 

Love's hope, sea, earth, moon and sun 

My kisses to you on a breeze 

I send one you cannot see 

Love's hope, with you it's free 

Crazy pleasure is what I treasure the most 

Your love's hope.... Coast to coast. 

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

j^^wn/mrmm^Komkr * £/ /£ / / / 

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

'LXL' ^n^CH' 

Keep Livino 

Hard times have always come along 

No matter what 

I've always been in the wrong 

Ups and down 

No way around 

But I keep living and keep breathing 

God keeps me around for a good reason 

Still wonder why and for what? 

All I know is I keep living 

Even though I've had enough 

Still strive in life 

And wonder what's the meaning 

Keeping my head up high and believing 

A lot of times it could have been the end for me 

But God has shielded and protected me 

Spared me and allowed one more breath 

To let me live instead of death 

My legs still work 

My heart still yearns 

My eyes still see 

I am still me 

I am still here 

Living while waiting 

For love to be near 

Why am I still alive? 

Years have gone by 

But I've only laid my heart on one woman 

Because I've loved her and from the beginning I knew it 

My heart is still alive and I keep living another day 

As much as each day hurts 

I breathe all I can before it's too late 

A whole year has passed by 

With my heart mourning each night 

Still thankful that I'm alive 

I keep living and have not died 

Still in search for that flight 

Waiting to go home to my wife 

I keep living and I will shut my eyes 

And still wake up after tonight. 

Lir Roach wrote for The Beat from San Francisco's Youth Guidance 
Center until ten months ago, when he was transferred to Glen Mills 
School in Concordville, Pennsylvania. At Glen Mills he has earned 
his GED and a shop certificate in video, and was planning to go home 
on a home pass at Winter break. We hope Lil' Roach will continue to 
write The Beat Within as he graces our pages with some heart-felt and 
inspiring writing. 

It's For You, Mom 

For so long I have searched for success 

Even though I went through hard times and distress 

For years I have done nothing 

Always making mistakes, always running 

But now it's done 

This... it's for you. Mom! 

I have made you mad 

I have made you sad 

I've done everything a kid my age shouldn't had 

I've made you cry 

And to you I have lied 

My teenage struggles are done 

And this... it's for you. Mom! 

Been in and out; gone back and forth 
Five months is the most I've been out 
All to represent (my neighborhood) 
I've made you worry 
And I've tried to grow up in a hurry 
Tried to make a man out of a son 
But this... it's for you. Mom! 

You've seen it before 

Me saying I'll change and go back to the worst 

Never knew if I would make it through the night 

Never knew if I would fail or survive 

But I've proved that wrong 

Because this... it's for you. Mom! 

I'm sorry for everything I've done 

I know it was wrong 

I'm sorry for all this pain that I've caused 

I love you and the good is soon to come 

Because this diploma 

That I'm gonna hold in my hand for so long 

Yes... it's for you. Mom! 

Entered My Lunos 

Why did it ever enter my lungs? 

How it took me over and I thought it was fun 

Used to say, "I can quit any time" 

How wrong was I? 

I don't want to, but I love it 

I want it and I need it 

How it entered my lungs 

Every morning, to wake me up 

Every day, whenever my lungs needed some 

Every night, to allow me to sleep 

I inhaled the last one 

I miss it so much 

My lungs scream for it 

But it gets none 

How it relaxed me in time of pain 

Something I deeply want to regain 

Why did I ever start? 

How it seems like we will never part 

It seems like I would never let it go 

Each time I think about it 

It makes me want it more and more 

The pure white cloud 

Floating all around 

I clench my teeth, shut my eyes 

That smell, a smell that makes me want to cry 

That smell, so strong and so great 

A smell that puts me in a lachrymose state 

Why did it ever enter my lungs? 

How I regret inhaling that first one 

Now, not having it, it debilitates me 

Don't know what to do 

But right now I need it more than ever 

One, just one, would put me back together 

Take it away from me? Never 

I choose when to stop, when I'm ready 

Not knowing if I would really stop 

Or let it burn with me forever. 

^J^^^^^JBrn^^m ntr r/,fJJJJi, 

'RHTHnn^ af7HBff' 

Reactivate the Cause 

Dear all people of color, much love and solidarity. Greetings 
today with the holidays upon us, behind and outside the 
raze wire plantation. 

I wish to open not only the eyes of our youth, but all the 
oppressed people of the world. People, it is NEVER right to 
do wrong or to requite wrong with wrong, or when we suffer, 
it's to defend ourselves by doing evil in return. However, 
people, given today's harsh realities, the need to organize 
and reactivate the movement is much greater now than 30- 
40 years ago, and this is threatening to get worse because 
in the near future a crisis is approaching that will unnerve 
and cause this government to tremble for their very safety 
of this country. 

The reason why is because the civility of no race can be 
perfect while another race is degraded. This is a doctrine 
alike of the oldest and of the newest philosophy, that man 
is one and that you cannot injure any member without 
sympathy to all the members of that race. The result of 
this is the destruction of our families and communities. 
We must, more so than ever, reactivate the struggle and 
emancipating our freedom fighter will be no easy task. We 
depict this phenomenon to statistically and in terms to 
intellectually clear cut to represent the vague moods of an 
entire community. 

So, my dear youth and all oppressed people of the 
world, we must not only reactivate the true cause, we must 
have culture- allegiance which will help create a positive 
harmony for the people. This will only come from our true 
freedom fighters. But if we look deeper we'll see how this 
very process is the only course to take. Here in the U.S. we 
often boast about people of color having more and more 

Our next writer Is an intelligent man and should be a motivational 
spealcer by the way he just sits and writes these speeches. But real 
talk Anthony's piece filled with some intellectual writing is just trying 
to send a message for all the youth out there to unite Sks one, no matter 
what race, religion, etc. Let's help each other out and take this system 
down! And he couldn't have said it any better. Writing to us from a 
Correctional Facility in Vacaville, CA, Anthony is giving us a cause to 
fight for! LISTEN UP! 

political power in local, state, and federal government. Yet 
I ask you people, if this is so, then why are the lives of the 
people so miserable, so threatened, so endangered? 

Why? I'll tell you, because these so-called people of 
government have confused us with their presence, not 
their power. So once again, we must reactivate the struggle 
and get our youth to understand that politics is great for 
changing forms, but it stumbles at changing people's basic 
essentials. See, people, at the very bottom, politics are the 
elevation of symbol over substance. 

Why, it seeks to create the illusion of change but leaving 
it unchanged. This is essential power-relations, which is al 
the lowest level of our so-called society. But the real truth 
of the matter is, as you and I know, a great financial element 
has owned the government of the U.S. since day one. 

So, in closing, let me repeat. Unity is the state of being 
one. Most of us want it, because in unity there is strength. 
So let us reactivate our cause to its truest form. Because 
here in the U.S. and all over the world, we must always 
struggle to get our youth to focus on the reactivation of 
cause and to always remember our aim to unity for all 
people is not simply for unity's sake but to set and reach 
goals for all oppressed people of the world. Let our unity be 
to win whatever battle we take up. Dare to struggle. Dare to 
win. Knowledge is power. 


Evil Dreams 

Was it all a dream? 

In the morning will I die before I wake? 

I ask the Lord if I have to go. 

My soul please Lord "you" take 

I'm lost in this dirty game but I'm winning. 

My mother tells me change 'cause she knows I'm 


And that's how I know I'm dreaming 'cause my momma 


And I shed so many tears for my daddy when he fled 

But a man gotta do what he gotta do 

Hopefully the road that he choose don't end on him too 

I moved down the street life with my heat tight 'cause I'm 


It's cold outside playboy, ya' dig 

I try to open my eyes but they ain' letting me 

I pray to the Lord that He help me. 

'Cause my daughters don't deserve to have a deadbeat 


And my wife don't deserve to have her husband dead 

Tears I've shed 

'Cause the pains too great 

But I'll make it through this evil dream and awake one 


Our next writer, use to write for our publication in our workshops, 
but sks many do, lost touch with us due to his crazy life in and 
outside of these walls. Bouncer comes through with some outstanding 
writing sks he delivers a poem about his "Evil Dreams" that encourage 
him to sticic with his evil ways. In a battle between evil and trying to 
do good. Bouncer let's us Icnow his struggles, and his plans to overcome 
them. Sending us his poem from Deuel Vocational institution in Ttacy 
California, Bouncer let's us in on the journey of his "Evil Dreams." 

1 1 

Tlie Beat 

First, allow me to extend my utmost love in your 
direction! Well, it's been to cool minute since you heard 
from me. I know, I know but aye, life is crazy for me on 
the outside of these walls. I'm glad to see that The Beat 
is still alive and strong! I hope that you guys allow me to 
jump back into the action as well receive The Beat once 
again! I'm in a dying need of focus in my life at this time. 
Man, it's crazy how life is a roller coaster! You could have 
it all together one day then the next it could all be taken 
from you! 

But I never let my headrest in the mud. I keep 
pushing, pick myself up and dust myself off. Try again 
you, feel me? I'm back on a new term. This is my third 
prison term. When or if I get out I'll have had my prison 
number 10 years and I'll be 28. Crazy how time just fly's 
when your having fun isn't it? But always I'll let you go. I 
hope all is well for you. God bless. 

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

^I^SJ^^^^^^^^ ™!^!'/' iU, ^.IIJ. 

///////#/////. ffgff ////#/ //, // //// // 

'HBnrn^ i/BHDffBLL' 

No Name Actor in a No-Name Movie, Part I 

I chased a name, I chased fame 
I chased a reputation, on the street 
I wanted to shine, I wanted my time 
To make my hood feel my heartbeat. 

I dreamed of strangers mouthing my name 
In careful hashed-down whispers 
In the theatre of my mind untamed 
I starred in countless motion-pictures 

I got high off of fear and respect 
The center of attention 1 had to be 
1 wore my name around my neck 
1 was so greedy for flattery 

1 loved my 'name' for the highs it gave me 
1 loved the adjectives placed in front of it 
Words like 'Wicked,' 'Heartless,' and 'Crazy' 
Made my name the most repeated and coveted 

To make my name more memorable 

1 took my wickedness to higher levels 

That meant making more angels uncomfortable 

And making friends with new wickeder devils 

There wasn't a hell 1 wouldn't have stooped to 

To protect my 'name's' honor 

There were no limits to what 1 would do 

To enhance my imagined aura 

But then came a day 1 hated 

1 was forced to give up my 'name'-plate 

All my necklaces and bracelets were traded 

For the handcuffs of cold 'FATE' 

1 was thrown into a dungeon of silence 

1 was shocked by the quietest thunder 

1 was awakened with such calm slow violence 

1 was forced to call myself a 'number' 

O' how 1 wished for the mirrors of those eyes 

That once exalted and respected me 

O' how 1 longed for my beloved disguise 

But there was no one to say my name affectionately 

All 1 had were walls and rusty bars 

That would stare at me cold and cruel 

They cared nothing of my stories of whores and wars 

They seen the best and the worst of fools 

O' how 1 missed those streets that brought me fame 

And put yeast into my self-esteem 

Could it be those same streets have now forgotten my 


And never cared for my feelings or dreams? 

Could it be that all that chaos and confusion 
1 brought into this world was vain? 
Could it be 1 was only preserving an illusion 
At the cost of future pain? 

Now there's no one here to applaud my memory 
There's no one to help play my game 
All alone in my cell 1 slap box my misery 
With no one to call me that 'name. 

Our next writer is a fairly new contributor starting to step his 
game up and ciisli out to you young folics. Matter fact, young or 
old we truly believe that anyone can soak this advice in. Sending us 
his thoughts from Walfulia Correctional Institution in Crawfordville, 

■ We 

all are in search of something, whether it be a reputation we seeic to live 
up too, a name, or ^whatever. Hector lets you know his thoughts, and 
consequences on what the outcomes can be. 

No Name Actor in a No-Name Movie, Part II 

1 have now watched all the movies of my life in my mind 

Every scene and episode 1 shined in 

To where I'm sick of watching 'me' and all my slime and 

my crime 

I'm sick of pausing, fast-forwardin', and rewindin' 

Watching myself from the standpoint of someone else 
Much older and lonelier and hardened 
1 see so many new ways to play the hand 1 was dealt 
1 see so many other movies 1 could have starred in 

O' how it hurts to see me do those horrible things 
O' how I hate to ever hear that 'name' 
1 can't believe that 'name' made me feel like a king 
Because now, it just burdens me with shame 

1 wonder what evil forces 1 was a blind pawn for 
1 wonder what kind of spell 1 was under 
Why did I knock for 'Love' on the wrong door? 
Why did I continue to commit the same blunder? 

Was I merely just a child throwing a tantrum? 

Craving some unbroken attention? 

Why did 1 chase that 'name,' that ole transparent 


Why did I go on an impossible mission? 

Why did it please me to see people tremble at the sight 

of me? 

Was 1 really just scared of appearing vulnerable? 

Was 1 mad at myself or mad at society? 

Was 1 seeking a revenge unquenchable? 

Why was my given birth name unsatisfactory? 
Why did the streets feel more like home? 
Why was praise something like crack to me? 
Why in a big crowd 1 still felt alone? 

How did I end up making so many wrong choices? 

How did my 'Real-VOICE' become so inept? 

Why couldn't my conscience speak up louder than those 


That tricked me into thinking 1 was my 'rep?' 

O' 'name,' 1 once would have chased you unto infinity 

But now 1 have come to a stop 

No more 'movies,' I'm all alone with no 'name' and 


And no friends but these salty teardrops 

No more 'reps' for me, you can call me a 'square' 
My peace comes from heavenly dialogue 
The only 'name' I want, is the 'name' we all share... 
"A Child Of God"... 

^l^^^^^^^^ ^™{ ^' ^JJ/Jfj L 

My Tiiouoiits 

Greetings. ..Thank you for responding so quickly to my 
letter, 1 immediately got to work on this poem 1 just sent 
you all. I went back to my days as a Juvenile offender and 
thought of everything 1 was going through in those days, to 
better put myself in what 1 believe is their present frame of 

1 wrote this poem "No-Name Actor in a No-Name Movie," 
for any young soul caught in the destructive patterns of 
reputation-seeking. I believe this is a universal problem 
amongst young adolescents going through puberty and 
also those a little bit older who have to make the transition 
from boy to "man." Being that we as a collective society 
don't all share the same "rights of passage" for our young, 
and being that there is a very great percentage of our youth 
who have no "MEN" around to assist them in making the 
passage to "MANHOOD," many young boys seek their own 
ways of proving to themselves and "society" as a whole that 
they are capable of overcoming obstacles, enduring pain, 
looking "death" in the face without blinking. 

They look to the streets to prove their "manhood" and get 
caught in an unconscious whirlwind of trouble to maintain 
their own self-concocted sense of self-worth. So hopefully, 
if you guys, allow it to be placed in your publication, 1 hope 
that it may enlighten some young fellows or some older 
men who don't know that there are a lot a young kids with 
talent and potential who need them to help actualize their 
potential, before they misuse and abuse their gifts in the 
name of false-bravado. They can't take it from one such as 
"1," the No-Name one who once thought he had a name. 
They can see by my example what can happen when a 

person becomes a pawn in the impossible game of rep- 

If 1 walk through the same streets of Miami 1 used to 
walk through now with the same attitude I had 15 years 
ago, 1 don't believe 1 would survive, because my "rep" 
does not exist. For those young cuts out there trying to 
make a "rep" for themselves; I would have to join their 
unconscious-vicious-cycles of trying to be known for some 
kind of particular trait or characteristic that makes one 
seem fearless or unpredictable or crazy. 

This trying to make a "name," can take over a person's 
soul to where they have to always depend on people outside 
of them, usually uncaring strangers for self-validation; a 
self-validation that can be taken in the blink of one eye. So 
young boys need better ways to get to know themselves as 
they ARE, not as they wish to glorify themselves to be. They 
need better images, role-models to pattern their intentions 
after. They have to leave to accept themselves as they are, 
all their imperfections and all their gifts and strengths and 
talents can be put to constructive, beautiful use for people 
who really love them, not those "streets." 

Those streets love no one. And if there is a young soul 
out there you see that feels unloved, as if he has no one in 
this world who cares of his existence, I believe it is our duty 
as elder human beings to help that young soul with our 
love and guidance before he becomes the next MENACE, 
seeking a revenge on a world he cares nothing for. 'Cause 
that self-same world cared nothing for him when he was a 
puppy in need of a family or some "BIG-DOG" to show him 
how to make it in this "Dog eat Dog World." I'm here for 
anyone who wants to communicate. Have a lovely day. 



Been There 

^^ T/?nUIIB^' 

A Word from "The Beast" 

straight from the pit 

Look what you did 

Look where you sit 

Sitting in a cell stay doing time? 

Listen to my words, as I write you these rhymes 

This is "Trouble", "The Beast," 

I've been there and done that 

I'm sick of these walls and these are the facts 

I know it's hard growing up in the hood 

I've been that little homey who was up to no good 

Earning your stripes to come up in the game 

Wanting all the big homies to know my nickname 

Always was down 

But I was locked up, so never around 

Stayed an eternal thing 

Showing no love 

But is it worth the pain? 

Being stuck in this game 

Every time thinking I'm back again 

Now your stuck in the pen 

Going insane 

These are the games sick seductive flames! 

Left your family and girl home alone 

Don't know if you'll ever come back home 

So now you know the real 

And the years and love the game steals. 

Our next writer is a talented young man writing from Deuel 
Vocational Institution in Tracy, CA. We've seen a number of great 
pieces from our boy J Troubez, as he always writes his pieces based 
on his own experience and tries to get you readers to look at your oiwn 
lives from another standpoint. We appreciate the love he shoots our 

B^t/s It worth the palH? 
Being stMcK fh this game 

Dear Beat 

How are you all doing? Well this is ya' boy Trouble also 
known as J-Troubez. Born in Hajrward, CA raised in 
Irvington, CA. now I reside in Tracy Prison. I caught a 10 
flat violation. Lucky me! You ask why I say "lucky me"? 

Well...I get to go home soon. As for my celie he's doing 
a long time for something he didn't do. I told him to hit 
y'all up soon to be in the pages. He has a lot of knowledge 
for y'all youngsters. Well I wrote this poem so enjoy. 


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

^j/^^wj E/mrmm^Komkr ' #v///^ 

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


Help Me, Lover 

stuck on a deserted jail landscape [per. my mind], 

with not even Mr. Willson to talk to 

Hey lover, come rescue me 

I sent a signal to you 

Hey lover, where are you? 

I wrote your name across the sky, letter's 10" feet tall. 

I wished on our flying star 

But, like you 

It was far away from me 

Please come back 

Without you girl, my life span isn't that deep 

Detached for so long, it's like you were a figment of my 


But, our first kiss still makes my lips quiver 

And I'm not gone speak on the thought's of my cold 


You're what keeps me brand new 

It's kind of sick how I'm stuck on you. [No Pun intended] 

You took over my soul 

I've been on my knee's waiting and they're bloody red 

You're that far away distant light at my tunnel 

And I'll be waiting! 

I love you. 

Our next writer has dazzled the pages of our publication numerous 
times before. Contrite delivers masterful poems every time he writes 
as his words cut deep lilce swords piercing through a Icnight's shining 
armor. Contrite is not often published but when he is you can tell that 
his writings separate him from the writings of others. Writing to us from 
a Correctional Facility in San Bernardino, CA, our boy Contrite delivers 
exceptional writing once again! 

A Hlghmare, Im a reflection of 
lifeless eifes staring sightless 
hcicK^twe? i 


Ooh, you got me spinnin' around- the embrace- oh so 


Giving in to you, directly on a, not even a lot of bit limb 

The combining of our heart beats faster than the air 

coming in and out 

Rarer than love at first sight 

Prize in my eye's from the Kodak 

Perfect #1 love of my life I will not doubt 

Always be a prisoner on yo' ship 

Never to be released, to face a lovesick hardship... 

Under the single's sea. 

Recipe For Disaster 

Images of my life scene, lodged in my brain like pieces 

of jagged glass 

At any given moment a blinding spotlight could hit anyone 

of those images 

Transporting me back there, plaguing me with the acrid, 

sour smell of terror 

Searing my organ's, melting the edge's of my brain 

Holding my breath in anticipation of what would come 


A nightmare, in a reflection of lifeless eyes staring 

sightless back at me? 

Assessing myself with a critical eye, another statistic? 

Naw, but it ain't a sunny outlook either 

More so like, having cracked ribs on a stretching device 

But, I am a vision, a mythical creature 

Exotic, a dream to reality in its image's 

Like something reaching out of a black water canal for 

help but, it's far too late to come 

Eyes bloodshot red, like rupturing veins and arteries 

Panic gripping my throat choking 

But I'm frighteningly well adjusted 

I bought it all! 

''ff^Lfi'H nFTTBLD' 

Roman Stone 

Time and time again everything always seems to change 
My one-way-ride to a dead-end of heartache and pain 

I don't pray for angels to come down to flx my broken 


I simply wish for that one woman whose love is as strong 

as roman stone 

Maybe I should pray for those wings of solitude and light. 
After all this chaos and loneliness what would it hurt, 

Even though it's impossible to make it out of life alive. 
Why does every woman I love just seem to fade away and 

I've drank myself down, got track marks to hide the dust 
Blew away all the memories as I consumed myself in lust 

How many more nights do I have to swim in my own 

It's not too often that Ralph Offield graces the pages of The Beat. 
But when we're lucky, he sends us a piece of his very expressive 
writing. In the following piece Ralph compares a woman's love to 
that of a "Roman Stone." And he let's us know about his sorrows and 
mistakes. But one thing is certain, Ralph is ready to give love a try. 
Writing to us from Western Missouri Correctional Center Cameron, MO, 
check Ralph out as he expresses himself with elegance. 

To keep myself from drowning in my own pool of self pity 
and regret 

Sometimes I think if second best is all I have 

Then second best it is 

I'll love that woman regardless 

And help raise another man's kids. 

One of my greatest fears is to be old and all alone. 

Just staring out at nothing as that nothing wraps its chill 

around my tired old bones... 

To the woman who reads this whose face has yet to be 


Maybe it's your name that should be etched under mine in 

the wall of roman stone. 


^j/^^wj E/mrmm^mmtr * #/ ///// 

'fff7H fff7H' 


Brick walls, fences, and razor wire 

criss-crossed in a bind 

Feelings overlooked 

'cause remorse is the punishment of crime 

No warmth lives here but the wind that chilled 

Where it's a lot of counterfeit 

'cause fake outweigh the real 

Not always behind walls and locked doors 

while doing time 

But in the outside world, incarcerated in the mind 

Not always what it seems, sometimes a blessing 

Only what you make of it, not always unpleasant 

A learning experience that's strongly reckoned with 

A chapter of one's life that'll never just shift 

Forever with you, they're all the way to the end 

But what will you gain? Strength? Or will you bend? 

Clouds, fog, and smrnf datfs 
in the lenses I use to see 
I Just wish If on could see thew 
So If on can see what I see 
Pieces of we. 


I wonder if I'm loved and who really cares 

I wonder if I'm treasured like gold and if I'm rare 

I wonder what's real and what is fake 

I wonder what's love and what is hate 

I wonder about life and thought about death more 

I wonder about both but carry the mentality of a storm 

Family and friends are what I think about 24 hours a day 

Wondering who's here for me and who's here for play 

I wonder about love and if I'll ever flnd it again 

I wonder about my life and if it's gonna' end before it 


I wonder 'bout me as a king and if I'll ever flnd my queen 

I wonder about a lot but will I just continue to dream? 

I know I'm a young boss and doors will open up for me 


But 'til then, I'll be that star that glides across the moon 

Darkness of the sky and shine of the golden sun 

A crowned king that'll always remain number one. 

The Beat is honored to hear from our friends. The Free IHinds Boole 
Club and Writing Workshop, which is based in Washington DC. Free 
Minds not only works in the DC community, but they also go into the 
adult jail each week to conduct workshops with the young men who are 
being tried as adults. This week. Free Minds' new program coordinator, 
Juliana sent us the work of Rah Rah, who we are told is thrilled to 
be featured in The Beat Within, We do not know too much about this 
writer, other than what he shares in the following poems. We hope this 
is not the last time we hear from this extremely talented writer. 

The Eyes 

The eyes are a story ready to be told 

The eyes speak the truth and tell you who's gold 

Real, solid, fake and who practices what they preach 

The windows of your soul and link to your heart 

Combined as a blend like masterpieces of art 

Stop and state as the eyes tell a story of life 

A story of pain, joy, happiness and strife 

The eyes are true and never lie to the seekers of mystery 

They know but just can't prove their theory 

The eyes are the beholders of self and guidance 

The eyes are the tellers of absence and presence 

The eyes tell my life and why I struggle 

The eyes show determination and why I'm so humble 

My eyes show a lot, but they don't show games 

My eyes show I'm blessed and why you'll always see a 

trace of flames 

Clouds, fog, and sunny days in the lenses I use to see 

I just wish you could see them 

So you can see what I see 

Pieces of me. 

I«y Kind 

When I speak, please know it's the truth 

Real as steel 'cause it's only a few 

Soldiers of victory that's wounded from life 

Souls of a lion and sharp as a knife 

Hip to all the dos and don'ts 

Hip to the sails of fate 'cause only they steer their boat 

A cruise beside joy with bundles of pain 

A ride to deal with 'cause it's of our domain 

Keepin' it one-hundred and always stick to the script 

A realist that moves when their heart starts to shift 

Only make moves 'cause your heart is in it 

Instilled wisdom of survival that's built up to win it 

Whatever it may be, I can spot one of mine 

Like a good book 

'Cause only a few can read and comprehend my kind. 

Your Faithful Lover 

1 will be your faithful lover 
Everyday when I wake up 
1 will talk to you about love 
And from the garden 

1 will bring you a rose 
And kiss you everyday 
And caress your body 
All nights when you go sleep 

1 will hold your head 
Against my chest 
And promise you 

'HJ^ffLHS f^WTLBS ffffMBHTJ^' 

Our next writer is going to be giving us a late Valentine's Day treat for all you lovers out 
there. By the time you readers read this poem Valentine's Day has already passed, you may 
or may have not have talked to your significant other (if you do have one.) Or you might have 
mailed your Valentine letters off already. Whatever your case may be, we would like to give you 
a Valentine's Day treat and a chance for Carlos to express his feelings to his significant other. 
Sending us his heartfelt writing from a Correctional Facility in New Boston, Texas, listen to Carlos 
?ks he pours his heart out! 

Be your faithful lover 

The first time 1 saw you 
I said to myself that 
You was very different 
To other people 

That your eyes and your lips 

Was to be my heaven 
And your love and smiles 
My endless wakefulness 

In a sea full of your love 
Careless and kisses 
And promise my baby 
Be her faithful lover. 

As I prayed I said, "God I'm hurt. 
And God said, "I know. 
I said, "God I cry a lot. 
God said, "That is winy I gave you tears. 
I said, "God I am so depressed. 
And God said, "Tiiat is winy I gave you sunsiiine. 

T cairl "fZr»rl lifo ic c/-» harri 


I said, "God life is so hard. 

And God said, "That is why I gave you loved ones 

I said, "God my loved ones died 

And God said, "So did mine 

I said, "But your loved ones lived 

And God said, "So does yours 

I said, "God I miss them 

And God said, "I know but worry not for you shall all be together again 

J. .. * - - vt. M '