Sherrard Owens Williams
On July 22nd, 1994, I entered not only another cold world but a cold environment within the labyrinth of the Texas Penological System. I was only able to breathe for a brief period, (15 years), through the respiratory system of my own freedom in society, as I started to proceed through three phases: juvenile detention, county jail, and then finally, multiple prison main lines. I will honestly admit that this is a process that I wish I had never had to go through, but for me to cleanse myself of all sins that I’ve committed and metaphorically transition from a naïve adolescent, this was the process that I needed to go through for me to become the man I am now at 39 years of age.
Crossing the 23-year line of scrimmage within the incarcerated abyss, I clearly understand now that this was the very beginning of God’s plan, the absolute self-discovery of my faith and no matter what the outcome may seem to represent, I must trust in God’s plan and the purpose that he has carefully mapped out for me.
I never understood what was going on in my young life or what was about to occur in my life, but I’ve come to realize how silence, isolation depression, and anti-social behavior received the best of me, not only as a child but as a teenager as well. This, I believe has cost me my life and freedom and everything that involves the pursuit of this world’s happiness.
In 2002, I was placed in administrative segregation, where I could dig real deep within myself. I thought about everything and all the wrongs that I did as a child and all the wrongs that I believed were done to me.
In 2002 the man who testified against me at my trial wrote me a letter and sent me an affidavit recanting his trial testimony about my involvement in the crime. I cried because this was a feeling that I felt when I had been done wrong in my childhood all over again. I sought out God and asked him, “Is this punishment for all that I have done wrong in my childhood? God’s message was clear to me… “STOP DOING WRONG, MY SON.”
The first step I took was to forgive the man who had falsely testified against me. For me to focus on my purpose in life, I had to obey God’s words… “STOP DOING WRONG!” I did and I gave God my consent to rebuild me from the inside out.
In 2005, I was released from administrative segregation and my odyssey to “STOP DOING WRONG” had begun. In 2007, I was afforded a chance after a 2-year investigation, to complete and sign my Gang Renouncement and Disassociation (GRAD) papers and I changed my life and rediscovered hope faith and purpose to help others to change their lives from “Gang Poverty”
I have fully applied myself to not only become a better man and mentor but also a child of God. I have certificates and accolades for my accomplishments and achievements in church and educational programs. I have maintained all my jobs in prison without misconduct ranging from bldg. and dept. general library clerk, gym instructor for overweight elders and Chapel mentor. I have completed a fourteen-week program (Bridges to Life) that consists of victims of crimes, peer education about prison abuse…sexual assaults, Peer education about AIDS, I have completed my GED, Toastmasters (Public Speaking). I am a member of “Mighty Men of Valor” and a host of other things.
I have a string of current projects such as the self-publication of my own writings (Elevator of Self) and a youth redemption program as well as mentoring troubled youth.
As a “Second Chance Kid” and given such a chance at my freedom, I anticipate applying for job opportunities as well as growing as an entrepreneur, but most importantly, attending community affairs, public engagements at schools speaking out against gang violence as well as authentic topics that will help guide the youth to a higher understanding of elements in their lives they can positively identify with that will not only define them as men, but also civilized persons.
Sherrard Owens Williams 797653
899 F.M. 632
Kenedy, Texas 78119