Dear Kid CAT,
I am writing this letter to show my appreciation to you for allowing those of us sentenced to Life Without Parole (LWOP) as youths a voice to the world. Despite being excluded from recent law changes pertaining to youth offenders, we remain hopeful of future law changes that will include those like myself who are left out.
With recent changes in CDCR pertaining to LWOPs in February 2017, many of us LWOPs were allowed to come to a Level 2 (a lower level security prison). I am proud to say that we have successfully integrated with the Level 2 population in a dorm setting.
Although we continue to be excluded from vocational training, LTOP (Long-term Offender Program) and PIA jobs, we are afforded more opportunities here on Level 2.
These opportunities will allow us to continue our positive growth to improve the lives of ourselves and our community while awaiting our second chance at freedom.
By programming peacefully on a Level 2 facility, it shows that LWOPs are serious about our rehabilitation and that we have taken the necessary steps to show that we are worthy of a parole suitability hearing. I believe we can contribute to society, if only given the chance. We are not a lost cause, because we have found ourselves through redemption.
I want to close this letter with honorable mentions of outside organizations that have supported LWOPs throughout our endeavors: Scott Budnick, Anti-Recidivism Coalition; Elizabeth Calvin, Human Rights Watch; Aeri Silva, Fair Chance Project; and Catherine H., Defy Ventures.
Thank you for hearing me out.
H. Ly, California State Prison- Solano
Dear Mr. Ly,
Thank you for your inspiring story of hope. Your decision to change your life is a powerful testament of your resolve to correct the errors of your past. This is despite not knowing if you’ll ever get to go home. Keep up the good work and don’t lose hope!