March 14, 2014

Prisoners write to their younger selves [Photo Series].

prison decisions

The Decisions we Make.

“…there but for the grace of God, go I…”
Here’s one, transcribed (more below):

It hurts to be sitting here writing you this letter. Our journey has been tough, it has been filled with pain, tears, and heartache; I made a lot of mistakes. I write this letter now in order to caution you of what may lay on the road ahead if you don’t open your eyes, and also to tell you what has become important in life as a result of where I have been. The year is 2013, and you have been in prison for four years now. The specifics of how and why aren’t what’s important right now, there is a bigger picture. You get here because of ignorance, because of a mind set, and because you were trying to be someone you are not. Just know that people will always try and test you, and no matter what you think, only a real man can walk away. Anyone can fight, the weakest people can fight. Anyone can act or react with violence, but a REAL MAN can turn the other cheek and walk away. Things are going to happen that will make you bitter with those closest to you; you have to be the bigger person and confront your problems, talk them out. Express yourself. Don’t run away from your problems. No matter what happens your family loves you unconditionally. They will be there when you need them most and you least expect it. They will always pick you up when you fall. Love them and help them at every opportunity, they deserve it. Don’t be afraid to love, and when you do, love completely. Being young is no excuse, if you love someone show and prove it. Do the right thing now so you won’t look back and wish you had done better, or done more. Watch the company you keep, your true friends deserve the world. Dedicate yourself to things that are worthwhile. Do something positive each day. Always have courage, “with courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity.”(Keshoran Nais (sp?)). No matter what, always love yourself. Sincerely, YOU


In early 2013, commercial photographer Trent Bell was shocked by the news that a friend – an educated professional, a husband, and a father of four children – had…

For much more, the photographer’s web site.

“Photographer Trent Bell asked 12 convicts in the Maine prison system to handwrite sincere letters to their younger selves. The series is called “Reflect”.” (imgur.com)
More photos:

Can’t read easily? Here’s transcriptions of a few.

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