Frank S.


My name is Frank Silva. I've been incarcerated going on 15 years. I was a juvenile tried as an adult. Growing up in the streets of South Central Los Angeles had its ups and downs. I didn't really appreciate life for what it was. I was a teenager when I was out and I ended up making a mistake. I got busted for two attempted murders, which is a horrific crime that I admit to committing. Throughout my time, I've managed to stay productive. It took me a while to give up gang ties, violent activities and stuff like that, but I've matured into a man with great character. I've stayed disciplinary free for almost 9 years.

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I’ve obtained an Associate of Arts degree in Business and Technology. I got my GED. I have over 30 certificates. I’ve contributed in many ways as a literacy tutor to prepare people that are taking the GED test. I try my best to surround myself with like-minded individuals that are on the same path that I am, which is a path of redemption. Trying to better our lives, trying to make our way to a transition to where we can finally be home with our families and earn a second chance.

For the most part, I appreciate this opportunity. I don’t really know what else I could say. Who can I address as far as? Anyone?

Interviewer: Anyone who would you’d like to address?

Frank: Scott, for giving me this opportunity. I’ve known him since I was a kid and now I’m over here getting gray hairs already. He still kept in contact with me, even though I was hard-headed at times. He gave me a second opportunity and… I don’t know what else to say. I’m just kind of stuck, bro. Can I say a poem?

Interviewer: Absolutely

The man I was
The man I am
To the man, I will become

A transition with each day that passes
Rising and setting like the sun
I’m living by a set of principles
Yet at times I lack the discipline
I’m clenching, but it’s difficult
My own seclusion
No one’s listening

I’m hit by an exhaustion
My thoughts are getting heavy, nauseous
Superific m second chances
There aren’t many

Hope at times feels as if a mental realm of deception
Then at times, hope
It’s also my escape to a beautiful dimension
A dimension of how the future may exist
Yet the truth seems so blurry and dismissed
The mist is caused by these walls
That surrounds this dark society

I’m dwelling in the darkness
Yet a spark of light
Still resides inside me
The light is the way
Your heart cannot follow
If I’m physically shackled
You tell me that I’m only physically imprisoned
But what if I end up mentally captured

Questions that hamper my transition
Of becoming a better man
Inspirations get trampled
In this distant land
I’m not who I used to be
And I’m yet to recover
All I can say is
What I want the most
Has yet to be discovered

Frank: I did something for JR, should I do it in here?

To us it was a norm
They made it seem appealing
We were the cause of a storm
To reveal what we were feeling
No comprehension
Now the system agrees
It’s no exception

Let’s help the youth believe
Believe in themselves
Motivate them to excel
Provide them education
Instead of isolation in a cell

I used to dwell
Had a lack of obedience
Now I seek hope
With the positive resilience
Education and awareness
Of my ingredients
To obtain my achievements
You must believe this

This is the time of opportunity
Redeem yourself to your family
As well to your community
All of these positive changes are new to me
And I’m just trying to adapt
When in the past
I used to fall back
I guess it was the ignorance
Now I speak and write in a form that’s elegant
So that I may have you figuring
About this life we were living in
It was all a lie we were giving ’em
Bullets left ’em shivering
Stiff and cold

It’s time to change
Time to rearrange the code
This prison system is a cycle
Going round and round
It leaves you, psycho, on the truth
They got me speaking here to you
While my brother’s in the grave
Listen to my mindstate

They got me asking
Where’s the compassion
There’s no remorse
Let’s reinforce,
Let’s find a course and commit to it
It’s all about life
And the way you pursue it
See, this is the street’s depiction
Heinous crimes impacted our lives
Revenge turned into addiction
I remove myself
When knowledge is the precision.
See, I discovered
Predominant words to wake the stubborn
When at times I was compulsive
They gave reason, they handed me the motive

Senate Bill 260
Made my mind frame turn,
I’m talking straight 360.
Now I’m committed to the progress.
Forgiveness of oneself,
Forgiveness just by itself
Will clear your conscience.

Words to paper,
My soul’s contents
Exclude the nonsense
No need for sympathizing
But this I’m emphasizing
It’s best to lend a helping hand
Instead of criticizing
Let’s stop the minimizing
Let’s see it for what it is
Today we’re grown
But at one point we was all kids

So I’m here to articulate
These words that’ll compensate
I put myself on a stage just to demonstrate
That these walls don’t dilapidate
They just help create

Anti-Recidivism Coalition
Positive change is the objective
Means the motivation is the mission