There are a special group of forgotten men who live in the Stateville Correctional Center, a maximum-security prison located in Crest Hill, Illinois. Each of them spent their early years as gang members on the streets of Chicago. All three were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole. Each has served over 25 years in an Illinois prison.
The temptation to continue their gang activity while incarcerated was strong. Protection, contraband, money, and the allure of a prison family fulfilled their immediate needs. But amidst the violence and quiet roar of 2,550 troubled inmates, a miracle happened. Three like-minded inmates – Adolfo Davis, Patrick Pursley, and Stanley Davis – sought redemption as well as a need to give back to those they have harmed.
Words give testimony to their lives, thoughts, and concerns as they reflect upon their youth and the freedom they once had. Their intent is to help transform young people on the streets and promote life, not death. These men share the history that steered them towards prison. It is their hope and prayer that this book supports healing, thoughtful reflection, and awareness of the 2.3 million adults and juveniles incarcerated in America’s state and federal prisons. And for the at-risk youth who are making choices that will determine their chosen path; and to those who yearn to understand the violence on our city streets, they offer a path to salvation as a model for a better way.
Father David Kelly C.PP.S. – Precious Blood of Ministry of Reconciliation. Doctoral Thesis — “Responding to Violence among Urban Youth: A Restorative Approach.”