Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

My Last Prayer: A Women's Correctional Inmate Invites you to Pray With Her

Sometimes I'm not sure how to feel about freedom or what to pray for.

I wanted to take a moment and just share something deeply personal. You see, I'm a "lifer," about 3-4 years away from freedom. And yes, I will be living in or around Santa Monica. I have been in for 16 years. Sometimes I'm not sure how to feel about freedom or what to pray for. After 16 years in, I don't even remember what it's like to be free. Gavin Newsom had to outlaw Menthol Newport cigarettes and that made me think carefully about this uphill battle for freedom. Just the ability to enjoy simple things!

This poem came when I was in an earnest and sad state of mind and searching for hope...

My Last Prayer

God, if you can hear me, this is

"My Last Prayer"

I'm searching for an Answer

I wondered if you cared?

I need a lot of help

As I think you know

I'm trying to earn my life back

I need to free my soul

God, I need your help!

So that I can make it happen

They sentenced me to physical prison

I'm in spiritual entrapment

I've done by rehabilitation

In this giant cage

I'm stuck in this chapter

I need to turn the page!

God, please understand

And know that I'm sincere

I'm crying out for help!

Can anybody hear??

I know I made mistakes

I'll never deny that

When I look back on my past

Where was my mind at?

God, I pray that you can

hear me as I look up at the moon

And hope that you'll

forgive me

And that I'll get out soon

God, this is "my last prayer"

Please come through in time!

Give me one last chance

And let freedom be mine!

I hope you enjoyed my poem. I welcome any comments or questions you have and I'll address them in future articles. Even when I'm released, I plan to share with you my transition and all of the ups and downs I'll go through.


can be directed to

Amber S. Jackson #X15530

Mail: California Institution for Women

16756 Chino-Corona Road

Corona, CA 92880


Editor's note:Ms. Jackson wrote to us from C.I.W. asking if she could write a regular weekly column about life in prison. After growing up in foster homes, she entered prison at age 20 when she disfigured someone. She spent the next 16 years in prison, where she now awaits a parole that may not be for another 4 years. "I want to make people think," Jackson wrote us. "When it comes to foster kids, most of them end up in prison at some point! Yes! Now, that is no excuse...I own every mistake I've made. I'd just like to share my story and how I made it to this point."


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