By Tammy Englerth

I am just a normal inmate. Like many others I have transformed from a silent onlooker to a vocal activist. Prison walls don’t stop you from using your voice. My outward circumstances have not changed – I am still just another prisoner. But my inner world has shifted dramatically. I am an overcomer, and so can you be. You can’t change your mistake or circumstance, but we can make our time useful by helping others and most of all ourselves.

People will always judge, but it’s up to use to succeed. Make your time useful by working on you. Don’t stay silent. Your voice is there. Things can’t happen until your voice is let free. Show society that you are a good person and you are just a human who made a mistake and that is striving to achieve and better yourself. No walls or gates will stop you.

We already live in a harsh environment so make the best of what you got now. Be king to yourself. Others hatred, anger, etc. doesn’t get you nowhere. A pen, paper, etc., whatever it takes your worth being hard. Determine to take your prison time and turn it into something good. We might not be able to change our circumstances, but by using our voices we can help others, so this won’t happen to them. That is a blessing itself. -We are survivors- ■

Originally published in the Fall/Winter 2018 edition of Stateville Speaks.