That’s Institutionalized is a blog series about inmates. The series showcases the anonymous writings of offenders in Virginia. The writings include narrative accounts on past lives, convictions, dreams, and future plans.
“We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and felt like free men. Hell, we could have been tarring the roof of one of our own houses. We were the lords of all creation. As for Andy – he spent that break hunkered in the shade, a strange little smile on his face, watching us drink his beer.” ~ Red, The Shawshank Redemption
Below is a letter written by an inmate to his future self.
This is you from the past. I was sitting here thinking about what I wanted from myself in the future. So, I decided to send you a letter and I hope it gets to you in good health. I just wanted to let you know no matter what happens that I will try my best to better myself and be the best person I can be. Hopefully everything is as planned because I don’t want to have to send my future self a letter telling me to get it together (laughing to myself). Okay, let me get to some things I want you to keep doing. First, I what you to stay on the same course with the things I have in mind as of today. Like staying focused on the things I need to help take care of, like myself and my family. Also, that life is short (probably shorter now that’s it’s the future) and you should make the best of your situation and never give up on a goal you have in mind. One thing I learned so far in life is that it is not easy and it might get harder but that’s how life goes and it doesn’t stop, it moves on. So never stop to stress over the little things keep your head up and push on. If you fail at one thing don’t give up and try again because there are no mistakes in life, only lessons. About the time this gets to you surely you will know all the things I’m telling you but you can never be too sure. So when you get this…keep in mind everything will be okay.