My name is Jerome Walker, but most people call me Don’Jay or DJ for short.
I am here to talk about how essential it is to having family & friends support while being in prison.
During my first 5 years in prison, I had little to no family support due to the crime I committed, or from their misconception on what had took place.
By not having any support, I let it dictate the way I did my time. I was considered what most called a hard ass. I didn’t listen and came in as if I had a chip on my shoulder. I began to lash out as I was catching unnecessary tickets and constantly getting in trouble and going to the hole. To me, it was like without family being by myside, I began to contemplate was life really worth living?
The saddest thing is when I got locked up, my daughter was only 8 days old. I didn’t have the support of her mother, nor did I had the support of my family.
I only could hear through new prisoners coming in telling me how such & such died, and how my daughter’s mother is out there struggling.
There was barley any pictures coming in, any money to buy the necessities.
A lot of people had to rob and steal because they were unable to have that family support that all people in prison needs.
5 years into my time, one close member in our family died from cancer. The family came together and reached out to me and decided that life was too short to harbor unwanted feelings.
I was reached out by many family members and friends.
Having family and friends write to you and tell you to keep your head up, and we are in this with you made everything felt like there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
I instantly changed my behavior. I put away my childish ways and became a man. I managed to get my GED, some certificates in Culinary arts, Custodial maintenance and many others. I started to interact with family more, and my dark days seems to have light in them.
Family support is so essential for us on lock down, because without it, it seems like we are fighting the world alone. Sometimes we become depressed and want to give up on life. It’s like, if they don’t care, why should I?
My happiest moment is when I had help from family and friends in finding my daughter 3 years ago. We have built an unbreakable relationship, and she is part of my support system.
My biggest support system now is my mother, sisters, daughter, uncles, father, cousin, and many of friends. There’s light at the end of my tunnel as I strived to be a better person for my family, myself, and friends.
I have a petition going towards my release in accordance to the change of law dealing with juvenile lifers, please go to my facebook page at Jerome Jay Walker click on the link and signed the petition I have on there. If you don’t see it, please send a friend request and I will accept you as a friend, you will then see the link and be able to sign it, and please, share it with your friends. Thank you for signing.
Jerome Walker #277651