Ask me a Question...

I have extensive life experience in the area of troubled youth, including early drug and alcohol usage. I started developing a habit for stealing at the age of 5, with the use of alcohol and tobacco and inhalants by the age of 7. I am well versed in the "law of the jungle", and "survival of the fittest" that is required to live on the streets of any city. I dropped out of school in the 9th grade, and left my mothers home at the age of 14, dealt drugs, committed armed robberies and burglaries to live a better life until I was 17. At the age of 17, I was arrested and charged as an adult, sent to jail to do the first of two jail and two prison terms that would stretch over the course of a decade and a half. I am a recovering alcoholic and addict with 25 years of experience; in and out of recovering programs that span from the east coast to the west, with an half of dozen psychiatric hospital stays, 7 rehabilitation facility programs, 3 prisoner reentry programs, and two psychosis trips. I know what is like to live with the rich and dwell with the homeless, gotten "pumped" with the thrill of guns, and slept on the grates of New York City...I "been there and done that"...and can be a smart ass at times because I know I have done what only a few men could do. Jails and prisons were a waste of my time for me, but in the end I was humbled; broken and defeated by the love of God.

You can ask me any question, ranging from what kind of shoes do they wear in prison to how to get back your life after release. Dealing with a loved one in prison or for that matter, the loss of a loved one to prison? The question can be big or small, I will give you an honest answer based upon my life until now.


  1. Hi Gary,
    Read your story with great interest and think you've done a good job in changing your live,congratulations!!
    Now my question,I am a 68 year old widow and thinking of writing to an inmate, but most inmates are much younger.My fear will be that I will make a fool of myself in doing so.I just like to write about all things on the outside and also listen to their views,interests,feelings,etc.as a pen-friend.
    On the WAP site I read that female inmates get far more mail than male inmates,so my choice would be male.Will I be doing the right thing??
    Awaiting your reply,I wish you all the best.

  2. Hey Scotty...first let me congratulate you on making the choice to connect with a prisoner. So many people need help in so many ways, and prisoners are often last on the list to consider helping. Let me just break one myth about prisoners...most of them are like you and me. Like us...they too need to feel wanted, know that someone cares about them,and most of all, they need to communicate that to others.

    Another myth is that "most prisoners are too young and immature" to really hold their attention. Untrue...while there are over 1.5 or more million prisoners under the age of 25, there are another 1.5 million men/women who are over the age of 30 and up and up and up...into their 80's whose emotional, physical, and spiritual needs are not being met.

    I encourage you to continue reading posts on WAP and get to understand prisoners, and those who write to them as well. I also responded to you intro: post.

    Anytime you like to further understand people from our background...feel free to ask.

    Good luck,

  3. My son wants to use this site to hopfully meet a female to be penpals with. He wants to know if you can use his picture from the IDOC website ?