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In our Strive Toward Freedom we must focus on three seasons of our sentences. The first season is the transition from society into prison and the last is our transition from prison into society. The years in between we must maintain our health, our mentality, our family, and find direction and purpose for our lives. The Strive Toward Freedom movement represents a group of men who have become experts in these aspects of serving our sentences. It is our goal to come together to create a safe place to develop ourselves as contributing members of society. We do not have to wait for our return to our communities to be a contributing member, we can start now.

The transition from society into prison is traumatic in every direction and upon every step of the process. The harm that we have caused by our iniquity is far reaching and overwhelming to many parties. The first step is to assume responsibility for our actions and the effects it has had on our victims and their families; our communities; and ourselves and our families (specifically our children). This step is the toughest step that many men cannot take for years into their sentences. It is this step that is necessary for the men who are truly striving to be free.

The time between the transitions is filled with transition. We get moved from dorm to dorm, wrestle with social aspects of prison life, and try to develop our character amidst the environment of chaos we find ourselves in. We have all witnessed tragedy. We’ve seen men killed by violence and also by negligence. We’ve watched men lose their minds to dementia or other psychological monsters and to chemicals. The list of tragedy could go on forever and we have to be careful not to be desensitized to nor fixated on these tragic events. Men who strive toward freedom must lend a hand to those we can reach. It is amongst tragedy that true character is forged. There are men who use this time as a training ground to develop their character and God given talents to be contributing members of society before, they walk through the front gate of whatever institution they are passing through.

The transition from prison into society is the day that men striving toward freedom focus on. It is that first step through the front gate that dominates our thoughts and becomes our goal. We must also cast our vision far beyond this first step and into the future beyond. It is that future that we are currently training for; to be community activists, entrepreneurs, public servants, pastors, writers, artists, or whatever gift you have developed during your incarceration. We invite the men who have taken this step and are currently living their dream to join our strive toward freedom, men like you are our hope. We also know that as we need your support it is important that we support you in your journey as well.

Doing well in transition is something that we must learn to master as incarcerated men. If we do not prepare for transition we will be stuck in old habits, uniformity, or institutionalization (a 20-letter word that we have to fight against every single day). This is an invite to men in this struggle, those who are looking back on this struggle, family members struggling with us, victims who are willing to open dialog with us, legislators, judges, solicitors, prison officials, those in executive positions, and whomever else knows that a man is not defined by his worst mistake and can become a blessing to others. Join with us to create a safe place for change and forgiveness.

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