ESCAPING RECIDIVISM

by Kevin Hewitt

Prior to coming to prison I was a gun totting gang banging, drug dealer that committed assaults, strong-arm robberies, and car thefts, all before my eighteenth birthday. Once I turned eighteen I was convicted of second-degree murder and I was given a sentence of 14 to 20 years. Once I entered prison I held on to much of my destructive ways. It was until my third or fourth time in segregation, all within my first three years of being in prison, that I had succumb to the reality of where I was at and why I was here.

During that time I realized that I missed and wasted some many opportunities as a result of my self-destructive behavior. Through this introspection I have been able to set and obtain many short-term and life changing goals for myself but, the one that will prove to be the most essential has been the most elusive of all my goals, a college degree.

At some point in every convict’s incarceration, s/he contemplates an escape from his/her confinement. But, I give more thought to not coming back to prison. Recidivism is a possibility that plagues every ex-con throughout the country. With very little or no means of rehabilitation while in prison, Ex-cons are being released unprepared to find and sustain adequate jobs. They are reduced to reverting to their criminal tendencies to survive. This is why, by way of my prison job, I have been trying to accumulate enough funds to participate in a college correspondence course. I believe that a college education will be a vital instrument in my escape from the clutches of recidivism. But as many of you know, prison jobs don't pay enough to do too much of anything and this is why I am seeking the help of Cell Door Magazine readers. If you know of any programs, organizations, and/or charities that will assist in the payment of college correspondence tuition, please send the necessary information to:

Thank you for your assistance, it is greatly appreciated!