Hi, I'm Elijah
We Stay Free is a registered 501c3 charity, here to offer the guidance needed when individuals are transitioning from incarceration to freedom. Here are some personal stories from our members.
Hi, I'm Twilight
Welcome To We Stay Free, Inc.
No More Crimes; No More Victims
Hi, I'm Brian
Hi, I'm Dove
My name is Brian, I am currently incarcerated and I have taken this time to analyze my life: the past, present and future. I have five children who are very dear to me, and so I have to set an example for them so they don't follow my footsteps into prison.
I do my best to stay positive and help anyone who needs help. When I get out and back to my community, I will be a very active member of We Stay Free for the rest of my life. I want to get rid of the negative way society looks at people who make it out.
I want to encourage people who make it out of prison. A lot of you on the outside have committed a crime but it's by the grace of God you weren't caught. It doesn't matter how big or small the crime, crime is a crime.
So help us lower the incarceration rate. You never know you may need help or someone you love may need help.
Stay positive and God bless.
P.S. My children and mother are my motivation.
After completing a semester of Victimology taught by Dr. Kate King of Western Kentucky University, we were informed by the Doc that she was starting a Think Tank. She communicated to everyone what it was about, and asked if we would like to participate.
Wow! I thought to myself, Doc said we have value, and she needs our help to do some Good Stuff in the world. This was a profound statement that really increased my boundary of understanding of myself.
I walked a wicked path outside and inside, but I won't tell the details, because we all have horror stories. When I first met Dr. King, I had already begin to walk a positive path, but my path was full of flaws. You see, I thought just because I did bad things in my past that I was a bad man. Mostly I wanted to be remembered forever, for doing something good. I wanted to fix the world, I wanted to be famous. Now, through the Think Tank, I realize that doing bad things does not make me a bad person. It only meant I made conscious decisions to commit bad acts. I also know now that I didn't break the world by myself, and I can't fix the world by myself. It would be an honor to to be part of the collective solution in repairing our world; that's fame enough for me.
Thank you Dr. King for bringing the possibilities of what the Think Tank could provide. Thank you Dr. King for sharing so vividly with us the conversation about changing the world.
This was a new conversation for me, one that left me with a deep commitment, but a commitment is only a pledge or obligation, and We Stay Free is much more than that. Being part of this gives me a sense of wholeness, a sense of family, a sense of unity, a sense of belonging, a sense of completeness. It is people from all walks of life coming together to do some really Good Stuff. Not because they need or have to, but because they want to Now that's some Good Stuff.
To describe the Think Tank and We Stay Free in one word, it is LOVE.
Thank you for allowing me the pleasure of being a part of this wonderful endeavor.
May 12, 2015 marked my one year free from incarceration anniversary! It's the longest I've been in society without some form of negative legal stigma since 1991, and it feels great!
I met Dr. Kate King while I was incarcerated at Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility. I was desperate for a better way of living, and I needed someone to understand how desperate I was. I needed a second chance at life; a real chance, a new environment, and a new circle of people, even if they didn't truly understand me. I was a six time convicted felon, but I was also willing to take a chance to develop new functional, pro-social life skills in my effort to become an active member in society.
I understand why it may be believed that "once a criminal, always a criminal", which may be true in some cases. And if I'm honest with myself, how can I ever expect anyone to trust me!? Because let's face it, I'm not just a convicted felon, I have multiple convictions. So I guess it's true what they say, " if you let someone bump their head against a brick wall enough times they'll eventually realize that it hurts".
It was hard for me to admit that I was a loser; who does that?! I realized in order for me to obtain better living I'd better get real with myself and real quick. I was a loser who was sick and tired of losing, and everyone I'd surrounded myself with was a loser. So I made a conscious decision that enough was enough and I had no more time to waste.
Since I've been released from incarceration I've been active in supporting non-profit organizations, I've engaged in public speaking and fund raising. I sat as a Panelist at the pre-release viewing of Darius Clark Monroe's film "Evolution Of a Criminal." I've remained employed, and I earned my associate's degree in Electrical Engineering (and made the Deans List!).
I want to express my greatest gratitude to Dr. Kate King for not only believing in me and taking that chance, but also walking side by side with me as I strive to do my own little part to prove that given a real chance, change is possible.
My name is Dove. I was a student at Western Kentucky University. I met Dr. Kate King in one of her Criminology classes at Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility in Nashville. I still remember Dr. King telling me how this class would change my life forever. At the time I wasn't really sure what she meant, until I started taking it. I will forever be grateful to Dr. King for allowing me to be a part of this beautiful journey that totally changed my perception about incarcerated individuals. I can now say with one hundred percent confidence that Dr. King was absolutely right. I was able to meet extraordinary people whom I consider my family. The Inside/Out program and the Think Tank allowed me to see the world from a different perspective, and it made me a better person inside and out.