Many of us serving a life sentence, committed our crimes when we were young, well before we were able to appreciate life or the consequences of choices.
One of the first things I had to learn 20 years ago when I came to prison was “how do I LIVE, while sentenced to die in jail?”
Finding purpose seems like a term reserved for 30 or 40 years old, but we all need purpose at every age.
Life is precious but with all the tragedy we face, we have equal incentive to live. 17 years into my life sentence I had a huge setback. After being told I could go home in a few years, I was told sorry this was a mistake. I was then told I could die here again. I had to dig deep and find reasons to hold on to life. I was given a job as an ADA worker, an assistant to disabled people and in it, I found my reason to hold on.
I came to realize that no matter what I was feeling inside I can bring joy or comfort to another and that made me feel better. I found my purpose, which was being of service.
A life sentence can weigh on you as a constant reminder of your past misdeeds, but I’m here to tell you, your crimes are something you did and it’s not who you are, your time doesn’t define you, we must live with the attitude of freedom and be worthy of the freedom through our behavior today, not who we are 20 years ago.
Recently at CSP-Corcoran in California, formerly known as one of the most bloody prisons in America. We recently started a skateboard painting program to raise money for underprivileged kids.
I was also able to help organize a fundraiser charity for Corcoran High School’s Mecha club and Initiate Justice.org in Los Angeles, raising a combined total of $7,000. We sold pizza from little Ceaser’s to raise the funds.
Notice the smile in the photos. My attitude is a ten because I choose it to be. I committed attempted murder and got 174 years plus 6 lifes and my victims support my release. I could choose to be better but what joy would that bring? What purpose is there in that? I can work to change the situation I am in but the one thing I can control today is my attitude. And having a great attitude will help me achieve my goals. And what better way to spend my time than helping others along the way.
By: Jessie Milo CDCR#P40495
Housing: Yard 3B Building 04 Cell 203Low
PoBox 3466 Corcoran, CA 93212
I welcome feedback and people may write me at the address above.