Aaron F.

REPRESENT JUSTICE X JR: TEHACHAPI

I guess I'll just start with the... JR asked me something in there, you know how I felt about the program and what he was doing and I just..I told him I was honored to be a part of it because it's good to be - to bring the voice to a lot of us who don't really have a voice in and no one gets to really see us for who we are. All they see is our crimes or statistics like the media, the news always brings, shows the negative, the crime and what happened. They don't show what happened after, you know, the progress that we can make while we're in here and like I know for myself I have 14 years, I was busted when I was 19, but like I've been down about five, almost six years and I've made a change just in that and that amount of time like I've been doing these programs, you know, I'm trying, I'm trying to change myself, and one thing that was an inspiration for me to do that was my dad. My dad has been in and out of prison my whole life, my mom, my sister, so I grew up in that.

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So every time, I’ve been in and out since I was 13. So every time I get out I get busted and I get out I kind of got out to that same mentality the same place, you know, or as I got a little older I didn’t even have a place to go. So I was just on the street. So it’s kind of hard to do good without a foundation, a solid foundation to support system to do good.

So this time I know when I get out I have a support system. I have my dad who’s been doing good. And since he got out he has just been out a couple of years, he’s been clean. He’s been doing good. So it’s inspiring for me to do that to be able to have that foundation and know that it could be done.

You know, my dad is proof of it and he’s been there for me since he’s been outside. It’s really inspiring for me and just to show that it can — that in itself shows that can be done and I strive to show that as well. So that not everyone who commits a crime when they’re young deserves to be in prison for life or it doesn’t necessarily say they can’t change and my dad is proof of it.

You know, I strive to be proof of it you know, I find I struggled through things every day as I mean, I’m still young 25 years old, but I struggle through things every day about changing myself and not falling back into the old mind state. And one thing I struggle with is pride. It’s easy to… It’s easy to let your pride take advantage of your emotions and to do things based off of a prideful satisfaction.

That’s one of the problems I have with since.. since I’ve been getting into trouble is… where I grew up someone offends you, or, you know, any slight imagined or not it’s just supposed to be handled and most of the time it was with violence, unfortunately, you know, and that’s something that I’m striving to change for myself and I’ve been improving I’ve been incident-free for three years.

So, you know, and I was a pretty violent person, you know when I was younger and it was really easy for me to get there. My anger was just — I have so much anger. So I feel like I’ve come a long way and that it can be done and as long as you – you work at it and you consciously make the decision. It could be done.

I just hope that this program and what’s going on here reaches people and reaches younger people and not to come in here and it just it brings a voice to the voiceless I guess you could say, which is a lot of dudes in here who, who are changing and it doesn’t get recognition because they’re not famous, because no one wants to hear about what criminals are doing, even if they are bettering themselves because well, they’re criminals they deserve to be they should be doing that from the beginning but it’s a when you grew up a certain way, it’s a struggle to do the right thing when you’ve only been taught the wrong thing. It’s a righteous conscious decision that you have to make other than when you’ve been taught how to live righteously and do the right thing always do the right thing not saying everybody does but as far as you know, they say for instance not gangbanging, you know, normal people. Why would I want a gangbang? Why would I want to hurt someone just because they live on a different block or whatever, you know, that’s the way we were taught.

So to change that mentality and just that way of thinking it takes a conscious decision, you know, so for a lot of guys in here and for myself making that conscious decision in itself shows change. You know if we could with this program help people not to start making the bad decisions or who are already on that path as kids making bad decisions not to make them to the extent where they come here and end up doing 15, 20, a lifetime in jail through those bad decisions. Just by this art piece. Just bringing recognition to everything on social media. I just I am honored and proud to be a part of that.

I got nieces that broke my heart the other day. They’re watching American Me, Blood In Blood Out and they thought it was cool. I flipped out on the phone. It’s not cool man. What’s cool about it? Look how long I’m away from you guys… and it’s just those things those movies and little TV shows and shit. Like they make stuff kind of look cool sometimes or appealing and I just want to bring awareness for them not to do that. You know, okay. I don’t know what I’d do without with my nieces… and their moms in prison my sisters in prison for 15 years as well. So when she got busted when I was about 11 or 12, she just had her kids. So I grew up kind of like I grew up quick. So I always try to show them that nah you don’t want to kick it with me you don’t want to do this. I’m not there no more to do that or to say that so it’s my main thing is just helping them stay straight and any other kids not fall into the same path I do.

My turn for a robbery is up. I’ve done four years four months for robbery but I used a gun. I didn’t discharge or nothing. I used it and I pointed at someone so for that they gave me ten years for using the gun. And the robbery itself, I got four years. I’m done with that. So now there’s a new law about gun enhancements not exceeding the crime and a mandatory minimum which was 10 years, but it’s for new cases. So since I was already sentenced, it doesn’t technically apply to me, but I’m looking, I’ma file it, I’m looking to appeal it and take it to the superior court and hopefully get my sentence reduced.

If not, well I’ll do my time and just use my time to work on getting better.