Every Sentence Has a Story
When you learn someone has spent decades—or longer—in prison, it’s tempting to judge them. But, each one of the 13,000 people in Michigan serving life or long-term sentences shares with us a common humanity.
How Prison Harms
Michigan’s prisoners serve longer sentences, on average, than all other prisoners across the nation. They are living proof that extreme punishment doesn’t work.
People serving life and long-term prison sentences are proven to age out of crime, but they’re trapped in a merciless system that doesn’t recognize growth. Meanwhile their families and communities suffer, robbed of vital connections and resources.
Healing is possible, even in the hardest circumstances. Redemption is possible for every person.
Let Me Tell You is a collection of first-person stories about the experience and impact of long imprisonment in Michigan.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT
Things You Can Learn In Prison (But Don’t Have To) by Gene Anderson
The title can mean at least two things. One is that even if you go to prison it doesn’t mean that you will learn anything. The other is that you can (and should) learn many things that prison can teach you without having to go to prison. It’s this last point that...
Imagine Dying Waiting To Be Free by Larry R. Carter
Prison is a kicking. They kick you, and they kick you, and they kick you. If you die behind these walls, they kick you again to make sure you are dead. It is a figurative kicking, but it is a kicking all the same. In 1997, at the age of 44, I was convicted of...
Paintings by Theodora Moss
The Bible states “Your gift will place you in front of great Kings and Queens” Pov. 18:16 First, let me start with a brief history of myself. I've been incarcerated for 32 years and I’m an artist who can work with...
What is Forty-Five Years of Your Life Worth? by Michael Edgerton
Every day I wake up with a sore and aching back. Bones that feel every bit of eighty years old, and I wonder, how in the world did the Michigan Department of Corrections figure out how to make a mattress made of lava rocks? After 25 years of sleeping on these beds...
Before Prison by August M. Williams
My name is August M. Williams, and I’m giving you, the reader, brief insight on me as a young person. I was born in a middle class homestead, and was blessed enough to experience more joyful moments than sad ones. Both of my parents were in the house until I was...
The Clandestine Blessing by Robert Lee Bates
My name is Robert Bates. I was born in Detroit, Michigan into a family of seven sisters and two brothers. My father died one month before my birth. Mother was from the deep south with no education. Having been a domestic abuse survivor, she did her very best...