That Was Then, This Is Now

Hello everyone. I’d like to take a moment to talk about my past, and my present. The good and the bad. I feel it’s necessary because I’m about to be betrayed in a negative manner (on the Dr. Phil Show) that is completely inaccurate, and based largely on the stereotypes that are depicted in prison.

To see how I once was, all you have to do is ask anyone who knew me back then. Or you can read my ebook, “STONE CITY: LIFE IN THE PENITENTIARY.” I was a mess! Always fighting, disrespecting staff, breaking the rules, selling drugs and tobacco, smoking weed, drinking pruno, and going to the hole.

I even smuggled in a cellphone and documented prison life. I took over 300 pictures of massive misconduct. These pictures show actual footage of guys shooting heroin, making pruno, smoking weed, tattooing, and engaging in a variety of criminal behavior. I was right there in the thick of it all.

My turning point was when I got caught with that cellphone and did 7 months in solitary confinement. That’s when I reflected on a lifetime of crime and misconduct. I’m not talking about a casual reflection. I’m talking about a life changing, deep, intellectual, spiritual, soul searching endeavor.

Isolated with only my thoughts, and confronted with my reality… prison, 43 years, solitary confinement… I broke down and cried my eyes out, for days. I knew I was parked in this lonely cell for a long time.

So I decide to write a book. My story. My life as I knew it up to that point. In the ebook “STONE CITY: LIFE IN THE PENITENTIARY” I put in dozens of the illegal pictures, raw and uncensored, straight from the depths of prison society. Viewer discretion is advised.

As I wrote, I was confronted with so many emotions and realizations. In some instances I was proud. And wrongfully so. In others instances I was extremely ashamed. And rightfully so. One thing was abundantly clear…I needed to change my ways. Completely!

That was back in 2008, it’s now 2019.

I’ve worked extremely hard at turning my life around.
Browse my blogs…you’ll see.
I used to get in fights regularly.
I’m now going on 8 years without a fight!

How is this possible? I’m still around the same mentalities and I’m still in the prison environment. So what’s changed?

I changed! I found a better way. A way that’s rooted in love and compassion. A way that revolves around dignity and respect, for myself and others.

I have discovered and I fundamentally accept Universal Law. Such as: The Law of Attraction, Cause and Effect, You Reap What You Sow. My life is a testimony to these laws. I accept the fundamental teachings of Christ and I incorporate them into my daily living. Being odedient to Gods Word is reflective through my thoughts and actions. Therefore the Universe reacts accordingly.

These are laws you can’t fool or manipulate. These are laws that cannot error. My truth is within my actions. Look at my actions to determine my character.

Today I am a man of God, family, peace, love, and harmony. As a result of my changed lifestyle, I was accepted into the “Honor Unit” before I was transferred to The Dog Program.

I am happily married to my beautiful wife of 5 years. We get EFV’S and we’re seriously considering having a baby.

I respect staff and all forms of authority, rules, and policies.

I fear the Lord, because I know if my thoughts and actions are not in accordance with His ways, then there will be a price to pay. One way or another, EVERYONE reaps what they sow.

So no matter what, I always do my best to obey the Word of God. This truth can be found in my actions day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. That’s why my life has changed so much for the better. My life is full of blessings. I no longer live from crisis to crisis. I now live from glory to glory… from victory to victory.

Sure, problems still pop up from time to time. But now I have the ability to learn from them, grow from them, and become stronger because of them. I acknowledge my mistakes, take full responsibility for them, confess them, ask for forgiveness, then move on even stronger so that I never repeat them.

If I was still a bad man doing bad things, then my life today would reflect that. My infraction history would reflect that. My behavior log would reflect that. Instead, every metric the penal system uses, shows that I’m a changed man doing great things: Marriage, EFV’s, Dog Program, Real Man Ministry, Blogs, Published Author, Mentor, Championship Coach, and overall a Model Inmate.

This is not a front, or a manipulation tactic.
This is genuinely who I am and how I live my life.

“See me for who I am, not where I am.”

 

Steven Jennings

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Author: Steven & Suzie Jennings

She was raised as a Mormon, and he is a convict serving 43 years in prison. This blog offers a glimpse into two vastly different worlds that somehow came crashing together. Join them on their journey through prison life & married life.

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