Archive for the ‘Incarceration’ Category

You a banger? This is a story about another banger that made it. This is about Victor Rios, but it could be you. God has a plan for you too. Just let him have his way in your life. Read more about Victor at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReQar2BTlKY&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvQzDzBIGR4    (in Spanish)

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/american-graduate/jan-june12/victor_rios.html

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Several informative books on Chicago gangs can be found at:

http://www.ngcrc.com/ngcrc/page4.htm

Gangs are active on many fronts, each of which has different levels of gang involvement and needs different approaches for successful crime and violence reduction. Gangs are active on the streets, in the prisons, and in schools. They have infiltrated politics and criminal justice fields. This report discusses all of these areas. It’s the latest book on Chicago’s gangs.  Loaded with information. Find it at:

https://www.chicagocrimecommission.org/ItemParent.aspx?id=14

This is a great website for those who want to know more about the gang lifestyle and how to resist it as an individual and as a community. The site is based in the Washington DC/Virginia area but has links that are valuable to those confronted by the gang culture nationwide. For more information go to :

http://hidtagangs.org/

This site will also allow you to get a free download of Henry Pachero’s book  Gangs 101: Understanding the Culture of Youth Violence. Here is the link:

http://hidtagangs.org/Downloads/Prevention/Gangs%20101%20-%20Understanding%20the%20Culture%20of%20Youth%20Violence.pdf

Hi everyone-

I know that there are a lot of people reading this blog that believe in prayer. I’d ask you to pray for Cristian Garza. Cristian is a friend of mine who was just sentenced to consecutive jail terms of 6 and 15 years. So, even if he serves 50% of those sentences, it will be 10+ years before he is a free man again. Cristian has committed his life to Christ and I’d like to ask you to pray he is able to continue serving Christ in prison. While this certainly seems like a long time, those few years of imprisonment, when placed against eternity, amount to nothing. Please pray that God will strengthen Cristian and that Cristian will sense a mission and God’s call on his life while he remains incarcerated. May Cristian remember that he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him.

This is a film you may want to see.  It’s not a Christian film  but it does show something of what it’s like to be out on the streets interrupting violence.  The film shows one year in the life of several Ceasefire violence interrupters, including the challenges, frustrations, and joys of the work. Information on the film can be found at:

http://interrupters.kartemquin.com/

Here are three sites that deal with exoneration of wrongfully convicted individuals.

The Innocence Project: http://www.innocenceproject.org/

The Exoneration project: http://theexonerationproject.org/

Center for Wrongful Conviction of Youths: http://cwcy.org/

Please pray for Edgar Fernandez, his brother Freddie and their friend Bernadino. I met Freddie and Bernadino when i was visiting Martin at Cook County Jail. Continue to pray for Martin too.

Please pray for Miquel Huerta who has been in Cook County jail since 2008.  Miquel (aka Sappo) is a MLD from Rockwell and North Avenue. God has plans for Miguel so please pray that God’s dreams for him will be realized

If you want to find out what Gangbangers are talking about, go to Hoodup.com and sign up for an account. Lots of bragging, history, and information (along with a fair amount of misinformation), but its interesting, to say the least.  Caution: This site might be a little raw for some of you!

Here is an old article that still makes you think (and cringe). It’s a hard read but read it carefully and before you think about prison being “cool,” think how this story might apply to your own life.

http://www.streetgangstyle.com/street_gangs/street-gang-articles/real-gang-knowledge/

Last week I shared a post about how gang life affects a Gs family. This is another post with the same message. If you think that your gangbanging doesn’t impact your family, think again. For more on how gangbanging affects a family, look at this:

http://www.streetgangstyle.com/street_gangs/street-gang-articles/leaving-family-gang/

Please pray for Minnie, her brother, and her entire family. God has a plan here. I will fill you in with more details if the opportunity should present itself.

 

Ron

Check out this story by a former associate of the Mexican Mafia.

http://www.streetgangstyle.com/street_gangs/editorials/tour-life-death-street-lamps-city/

 

today’s Dear Abby

HOMEBOY IN JAIL SAYS GANG

IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR FAMILY

 

 

DEAR ABBY: I’m a 16-year-old gangbanger looking at spending the rest of my life isolated in a little bird cage. Every day I ask myself the same question. Was it really worth throwing my life away? All I did was help a “homeboy” from getting hurt. I got caught and was convicted on eight charges that led to more than four consecutive life sentences. That ain’t no joke! The sad part of it is that the so-called homeboy turned his back on me when I needed him most. I should’ve pulled away when I could’ve.

The main reason for this letter is to help parents and teens like myself who are choosing the wrong path to realize what you’re getting into while there is still time. Tell parents out there, if you see your kid is messing up in school, using drugs, hanging with the wrong crowd, anything that would lead to gang affiliation, reach out and help them while you still can before they’re in too deep. They (teens) turn toward gang life in search of the love they need from their family. Or they want to fit in and be cool.

To all the gangbangers who think you’re cool and being a gangster, get away from it while you still can. It may be fun at the moment, but it’s not when you get caught and you have to spend the rest of your life behind bars. There’s better things to do in life than hang around all day frying your brain from all the drugs and alcohol. Trust me, when you’re behind bars thinking about what you did, you’ll be missing your family the most. You think your homeboys are going to be there for you? Well, let me tell you this … they’re not! I guarantee you that the only people who are actually willing to change places with you are your parents. Your real family. Do you think your homeboys want to do time for you? Hell, no!

I hope this letter helps some people out there. I just want to make a contribution to society before I get locked up in the dungeon forever. This is to show you not all gangbangers are evil and cruel. Life is short. Live it smart, not stupid. Now I can finally answer the question I ask myself, “Was it all worth it?” The money, the girls and all the material things go faster than you think and could all be taken away with the snap of a finger from the split second of a decision you make. It’s not worth your life. — HOMESICK HOMEBOY

* * *

DEAR HOMESICK: You write well and your letter contains a powerful message. I’m printing it without editing. Let your experience be a warning to others. I hope from the sad circumstances of your life some other young person will realize that a gang is a poor substitute for a family and the path to success does not stop at the street corner.

If a troubled young person is in school, he or she should talk to a counselor. If there is a church nearby, talk to a priest or minister. There are alternatives to joining a gang, but you need to reach out.


May the joy and peace that surpasses all understanding, that comes from faith in the resurrected Christ, touch and fill you.  Remember YOU may be the only contact the people in YOUR life will have with the Love of our Lord Jesus this day.

OK, this is how I want you to think about responding to this post. Think about the world and all the goals you’ve set for yourself. What do you want to be? What do you want to accomplish). Where would you like to be and what would you like to be doing in five years?  Write it down. Do you think that the goals, hopes, and/or dreams you’ve just jotted down are possible?  Want to have a car, home, job, wife, or kids? Do you want to have a chance to get a better education or do some travelling? Want to help some other people who are down and out too?  Well, let me tell you this, God puts those dreams in your head, and if God puts those dreams there, it’s because he wants to fulfil those dreams. Not only that, he is able to fulfill them, and much more. If you are a Christian, you worship a God is bigger than anything you can imagine. He is the God “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” (Ephesians 3:20). OK, here’s the kicker. Remember all those goals and dreams you just jotted down? Well God wants to do a lot more than you thought about just then.

A few years ago, I met Anthony.  He was a Spanish Lord from Humboldt Park that I had written to while he was incarcerated in Logan Correctional Center.  Those letters led to us getting together to talk after his release. When we first met, Anthony was sleeping on a backroom floor in another Gs apartment. He didn’t have a whole lot to look forward to at that moment in time.  I remember in one of our first talks, I asked him about what he wanted out of  life. He mentioned that he’d like to have an apartment of his own some day, maybe get his driver’s licence and eventually buy a car. That way, he could drive around the hood and help people he saw in need of help. Well, that was a nice vision, but way too small. Anthony eventually committed his life to Jesus and good things began to happen. Anthony now has an apartment he shares with Amanda and his son Vincent. A second child, a little girl, is on the way! Anthony works 50-60 hours a week and not only has a car, but also has use of a company car. He certainly helps old friends from the hood, but has also traveled to Turkey and Nicaragua. In Turkey he helped on an archaeological excavation and in Nicaragua he worked with the poor and destitute.  God has given Anthony way more than he imagined just two years ago as we sat and talked. On top of that, he’s only 22, so can you imagine what God has in store for him the next 60 years of his life? Way more than he or I can begin to image right now. That prospect is very exciting.

Now translate Anthony’s experience into your life. Go ahead, think about it. God wants to do the same thing for you that he did for Anthony. If you think about the dreams you wrote down and think about how God has expanded Anthony’s vision, you might be able to get an idea of what God will do in YOUR life. The message I want to leave you with here is to think big and never underestimate what God can do in your life. He is the creator of the universe and in control of all things. His ability to do more than you can think or imagine is beyond doubt and displayed in the lives of believers all over the world! So sit down, write down, kneel down, and look up. Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God just waiting to expand your horizons and do more in your life than you can ever imagine. Are you game?