#MYPOTENTIAL

My Potential is a digital storytelling project that highlights individuals affected by America’s criminal justice system, including leaders in the field, union workers, currently and formerly incarcerated individuals, and their families.

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Hector

By , January 12, 2017

Prison is not set up to rehabilitate anybody. It’s just a holding tank of like-minded people. The non-violent become violent. The little drug dealer becomes a bigger drug dealer.There’s no healing involved.

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Tauheedah

By , January 12, 2017

I’m not excusing my father’s actions, but we as people have to work together to make a better system; people that did nothing are still being penalized for their loved ones’ mistakes.

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Alex

Alex

By , November 30, 2016

It was difficult to be a father to him from prison. We are in this land and we need to be together with our families.

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Francisco

By , November 30, 2016

Solitary confinement does more harm because they don’t see us as human beings. They don’t see young people as lives that matter.

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Juan

By , October 13, 2016

When I was 10-years-old, another student was caught with narcotics and he blamed it on me. At the time I was really trying my best to learn English, and really be a good kid. Students and teachers seeing me get handcuffed brought a bad image of me.

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Dona

By , September 27, 2016

We developed a new model for this facility for the inmates and it’s that Hope Lives Here. I think we need that in a lot of the communities across the country as well.

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Kim

By , September 10, 2016

The If Project started when I asked the question, ‘If there was something somebody could have said or done to change the path that led you here, what would it have been?’ And the number one answer was no positive adult role model.

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Norris

By , September 4, 2016

I did 27 years, 10 months and 18 days in prison for a crime I didn’t commit. It’s been my journey to not allow that to happen to anyone else if I can.

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Kiesha 1

Kiesha

By , September 2, 2016

When I first got locked up my daughter was in high school. I missed her prom, her graduation, her first day of college. It hurts to know she has to put money on the phone for me to call her, and I’m the mother.

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Tyrone

By , September 2, 2016

You go into juvenile hall and you learn stuff, stuff that a nine-year-old isn’t supposed to learn. You learn how to manipulate. You really learn how to lie. You really learn all these bad things that later come in handy when you hit the joint and you’re exposed to older inmates.

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Andrea

Andrea

By , August 31, 2016

It’s incredibly difficult to parent from a prison payphone. Most of the women who are incarcerated are mothers, and most of them did not have the means to afford the phone calls…They had to literally decide between buying feminine hygiene products and making a phone call home to their children. Most of the women who are incarcerated in prisons across this country are mothers, and most of them were the primary caretakers of their children.

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Hector

By , August 31, 2016

Prison is not set up to rehabilitate anybody. It’s just a holding tank of like-minded people. The non-violent become violent. The little drug dealer becomes a bigger drug dealer.There’s no healing involved.

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dorsey

Dorsey

By , August 30, 2016

The bane of our existence is the question on the application, ‘have you been convicted of a felony?’ The discrimination I face is structural in nature. It’s institutionalized.  

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eddy

Eddy

By , August 30, 2016

We are always told by adults what it is to be good and or be bad; yet we don’t realize that the environment that we live in creates a lot of those narratives….When we place education second to incarceration; that is what feeds the system.  

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steve

Steve

By , August 30, 2016

Joining these apprenticeship programs, becoming a union member can become a lifestyle; a healthy lifestyle. When people can get into a trade that they like and express themselves, it changes lives.

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kenneth

Kenneth

By , August 30, 2016

My life is way more than my criminal record. My criminal record speaks of what I’ve done wrong. My life since then has changed laws in Alabama, Georgia, West Virginia, and Florida. Even a bill for automatic restoration of people having the right to vote when they get out of prison.  

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george

George

By , August 30, 2016

Probably my earliest memory was witnessing my father – when I was 3 years old – trying to kill my mother. The violence that was produced in my home, I reproduced on the streets later against other men that looked just like me because I look like my father.

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tonie

Tonie

By , August 30, 2016

I just believe that it doesn’t always take a person who commits crimes over and over and over again to wind up in prison. Something can happen in your life – and it can take thirty seconds – and it can change your entire life.

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