Trouble at a Young Age
Jessie got involved in criminal activity at a very young age. He first encountered trouble with the law for shoplifting when he was just nine years old and had joined a gang by the age of 10. By the time Jessie was 13, he had stolen cars and sold drugs. At 15, Jessie was carrying a gun and was arrested that same year for shooting at his mother’s boyfriend.
Decades of Confinement
Over the next few decades, Jessie spent most of his time in prison. Except for four months between 1995 and 2010, he spent nearly 18 years of total incarcerated. Jessie’s first prison sentence was served at a reentry facility, however, after 90 days, he was transferred to a higher security prison where he spent his 24th through 37th birthdays. Upon his release, Jesse only spent 60 days free before he was rearrested. He then decided to change.
Reflecting, Jesse remembered the impact that the staff made on him during his first sentence. “Those first 90 days I learned something about myself. They told me when I was there that I had criminal thinking and if I didn’t change it, I’d be in and out of jail my whole life. That night, when I was going back to prison, I realized they were right,” says Jessie.
Since his release, Jessie has married and is enjoying things he never had before– having his own place to a car, credit cards, and taking trips with his wife. He is finishing his college degree and working part-time as a recovery coach helping men on parole readjust back into society.
– Jesse H.