"I've been wanting to share my story for a while..."

I am Dre.

06.12.2014

Hey how are you? I got your letter today. If my mail takes a while to reach you, its not because im ignoring you, its because the prison plays games with the mail here. Sometimes the mail is weeks late.

I thought about everything that you said in your letter and I would love to share my story with you. I've been wanting to share my story for a while, I just never had the chance to.

I answered all of the questions that you asked except for the last one. I didn’t answer that one because I don’t feel comfortable telling you anything else about me and my life because I don’t know anything about you or your program, “The One.” Besides what you told me in your letter.

I’ll tell you everything about my life and everything that I’ve been through, starting from my earliest childhood memory, up until my life as it is now and the things I go through everyday. But if you don’t mind, first I would like to know a little bit more about you and your program. And how I was chosen for you to write, out of all the other young adults that are in prison. I just want a better understanding of who I’m dealing with, because I don’t know you and I haven’t heard of your program before.

I also agree with everything that you said about the discrimination against black Americans & racial minorities. But I don’t think that problem will be fixed anytime soon because no one is doing anything to change it.

The criminal justice system is also pretty bad. But its a lot worst if your black or Hispanic.

I think what your doing is great though, and I would love to share my story with you & help because I think it can really make a difference.

Take care,

Dre

I’m answering the questions that you asked on a separate piece of paper because there wasn’t enough room on the original sheet that you sent.

I was born and raised in a town called [Location removed]. I grew up living with my older brother [name removed] & my older sister [name removed] My brother is 21 & my sister is 22. I also have a half brother named [name removed] who is 23, and a younger sister [name removed] that is 4.

My mom raised us on her own. My dad was an heroin addict & was always in & out of jail. He never lived with us for more than a month at a time. Eventually he moved to Ohio & stayed there.

My neighborhood was on the Southside of town. There really wasn’t anything positive about the neighborhood besides the Boys and Girls club. I liked going to the Boys & Girls club as a kid.

There wasn't much that I didn't like about my neighborhood as a kid because that's all I really knew. The gangs & drugs & violence all seemed normal, so it didn't bother me much.

My earliest child hood memories are mostly all of when I was about 6 or 7 years old, and I just remember all of the family holidays & just spending time with family.

I haven’t been told anything about what I was like as a baby.

Growing up my child hood friends were my 2 older brothers and their friends. I didn’t have any friends at all that were my age. Some of my friends were all teenagers & some grown men. I smoked & got drunk a lot. That’s what people in my neighborhood considered fun. It wasn’t until I moved to another town called [location removed], IL at the Age of 10 that I made new friends that were my age and I enjoyed playing video games & sports for fun. But I still spent a lot of time in [location removed] because it was only a 20-30 min drive away from my new home.

I didn’t stress too much as a kid growing up. I stressed a lot about trying to fit in & be accepted by the older guys in the neighborhood. I never stressed about things I couldn’t control, like food and clothes & bills.

My childhood pretty much ended at the age of 12. That's when my life really changed.

I went through a lot as a kid. But it was mostly just me seeing a lot of things going on around me & sometimes being hungry or having the power being cut off. But once I turned 12, that’s when I started experiencing with hard drugs, gangs, guns, money and women.

I got in trouble a few times for petty stuff, and I ended up on probation when I was 9 or 10. I also haven’t been home since I was 15 because of my charges now.

I hope this answers your questions.

Take Care,

Dre