My name is Jeffrey Hall. I am serving a life without parole sentence at Solano State Prison. I’ve been in prison for 25 years in July.
I’ve been reading (Kid CAT Speaks) articles… and I find them intriguing. We have a fair amount of programs here at Solano Level 3, yet I really enjoy your articles and the cause.
Is there something LWOPs can do to help under the Kid CAT banner and/or to create a branch of Kid CAT? I’d be very grateful for any information/guidance you can offer.
Kid CAT Response:
We appreciate your letter and willingness to be of service to your community. We receive letters from juvenile lifers including those with LWOP sentences who desire to contribute to rehabilitative programs. It is encouraging to see leadership in various prisons reaches out and steps up with the desire to create programs such as Kid CAT.
We would like to help by creating an informational packet of the Kid CAT group so that our community partnership manager could send it to the community partnership manager at Solano. We would work to secure approval to make this packet available.
Meanwhile, Kid CAT holds monthly writing workshops with The Beat Within. The workshops are based on pre-selected quotes and writing prompts created by juvenile lifers. The participants discuss the prompts, then break off to write responses. Thereafter, the participants read their pieces. The prompts are general and intended to stimulate thought.
You may contribute by writing about your personal transformation, realities, and experiences as a juvenile serving LWOP. If published, you will receive a copy of the issue in which your story is featured. When possible, beginning this month, we will publish in Kid CAT Speaks one prompt from the monthly workshop so other incarcerated men and women may contribute their stories. Please keep us updated on your struggles and achievements.
Send writings to:
The Beat Within
P.O. Box 34310
San Francisco, CA 94134
Send word: Write a letter to the youth in the Juvenile Hall that you came from. Write the letter as if you would read it in person to them. Write the letter so it is gender neutral. Explain what juvenile hall you were in, what unit, when, why, and your age at the time. Were you in and out? Were you released, sent to CYA, tried as an adult and sent to county jail or prison? What is your sentence, how long have you been incarcerated, and what is your age now? This is your letter; tell your truth. Include what can be valuable to the youth. Keep in mind the advice or message you would or would not have listened to at that age and time. Avoid preaching and talking down to them or at them; instead go to them where they are at in their life. If you were never in juvenile hall, write a letter anyway.
Prompt by Miguel Quezada