George Mullins is serving a life without parole sentence in Michigan. He is a reflective elder in the prison environment, a father, a community member, and all around kind and generous soul.

My name is George Mullins. I’ve been incarcerated since I was 19. I’m now 50 years and 10 months old. I have been doing time in approximately six different facilities and over 31 years. To be straight with you, It’s been an experience that only God can prepare you for. Starting out as a teen and currently being an over middle age grandparent who has yet to meet my grandchildren is truly a test by God. 

What has changed over the time within the system is programming. There was a time when all prisoners could sign up for a trade. Now if you have more than six years to serve, you are left to your own devices or, even worse, your own vices. 

What I would bring to the community if I was to be released tomorrow would be a team spirit. I have old school values; I like to call it classical. I was raised around a lot of elders, and I would see how the community would function under their leadership. So the gift that I think God bestowed upon me was the ability to organize people to talk and to listen and give some form of structure and to share what the elders taught me about keeping a community functioning. So, that’s the look that I see for my future, and hopefully, my grandchildren will be able to benefit from the way that the elders would exercise in the community.