What Good Time Legislation Would Mean to Me
In 2008, I was convicted of attempted murder and several other crimes, a result of a short crime spree that culminated in my attempted suicide by cop. After being sentenced to twenty plus years in a state with no good time, my family and I were devastated. Although we expected I would be held accountable for my crimes, a sentence that is twice the national average seemed unfair, particularly for a first time offender who was only 19 years old at the time.
Despite having almost no hope of reducing my sentence, I began to put my inner thought life together by reading everything I could get my hands on. Eventually, I earned a paralegal certificate through Blackstone and a bachelor's degree through Calvin University. I could cite numerous other facts that testify to my rehabilitative efforts, but it doesn't matter. My earliest release date is not until 2029, and nothing I can do will change that.
If I could get out today, I would pursue a master's degree in criminal justice so I could either work in corrections or as a policy advisor in the criminal justice reform movement. I also want to write several books, mostly to help younger people learn from my mistakes. Although I have begun writing and helping my brothers, prison makes everything much more difficult.
Good time legislation would hasten my release, increasing my ability to support my brothers, especially their mental health, as well as contribute to society in positive ways. My dislocation (due to my crime) significantly contributed to my brother Josh's suicide in 2021, and my continued incarceration prevents me from being present in my remaining brothers' lives to mentor them, two of whom have no other positive male role models in their lives.