“Dear Scars and Bars, I am currently an inmate at Lake Erie Correctional. The
reason that I'm writing this letter is because I'm grateful and thankful for what
Scars and Bars is doing in Ohio prisons. I believe one thing I'm missing in my
life is a mentor to walk through life with. I found your newsletter laying around
in the pod when I was at the reception prison in Lorain. I felt drawn to what you
guys are doing. I began showing people the newsletter and everyone could relate
to an article or two. I'm asking to be a part of what you're doing. I want to help.
Is it possible that you could bring the prison tour here to this prison, Lake
Erie Correctional? Can you bring your newsletters here too? I would love to
hear back from you.” -Inmate (Lake Erie Correctional)

“Thank you for taking the time out to come here and give us hope. You
and your crew did more for us than you probably realize. Thank you for
the opportunity to write this newsletter cause if I can reach out and just
save one person with my story it would make going through this hard life
worth it.” -Inmate (Northeast Women's Pre-Release)

“You all were such a motivation and positive force during your visit to
NEPRC. When I read the flier about you before you came, I knew I
wanted to check you out. So cool and real! You stirred the fire in my
soul. I'm about ½ way through an 8 year sentence for vehicular homicide.
I'm married with 3 children. I have fought addiction for a long time. Finally
I'm finding some freedom, I'm no longer empty inside. I feel called to speak
to juveniles about driving under the influence and making responsible choices.
Soon I will be guest speaker at Hiram college to speak to Seniors in high school,
about 2,000 of them. Last time I went some where to speak, even though I
was shackled and handcuffed I felt free. Like I was helping give back. Thank
you for what you're doing. I hope to hear back from you and get your
newsletter, I've been telling everyone about the Scars and Bars movement.”
-Inmate (Northeast Women's Pre-Release)

“I am a prisoner at ORW. I'm finishing up an 11 month sentence. I'll be
out soon and I really want to do something different with my life. This
way of life is all me and my family have known, and I want to break the
cycle. I've got a 6 year old son who needs me. I'm the youngest in my
family, I have 3 older brothers. Our dad skipped town before I was
born. In all honesty, I'm pretty sure he was just one of my mom's
tricks. She has no clue who he was. I was born addicted to crack,
because my mom use it through her pregnancy. Since I was a young
kid I can remember our house being a drug house. One of my earliest
memories is my mother letting a dealer strip me naked at 6 and touch
me so she could get high. My mom was always gone, or locked herself
in the basement to get high. Before I knew it I was selling my body,
stripping and smoking crack with my mother in the basement. There
were a lot of older men in and out of my life. I thought they cared
about me, but to them I was just a trophy and a sex toy. I went
from pills to heroin to crack, and at 17 I began pregnant
by one of my Sugar Daddys. It's only through the grace of God that
I'm still here and being given a second chance at life. I know I
need some sober, positive people in my life. People who can relate
to where I've been. If you guys have any support you could offer me,
to be honest anything way you can help me I would love to take
advantage of it! I know it won't happen over night and is going
to take a lot of hard work on my end. But I've never been more ready.”
-Inmate (Ohio Reformatory for Women)

“First of all I want to thank you and your posse' for an amazing time
at the event you did at ORW! You all are such an inspiration. I've
turned my life around, this is my second number and I'm realizing I
was my own worst enemy. I am highly interested in your mentoring
program, I would love to receive a mentor when I get out. I'm also
interested in joining the movement. Thank you again for giving me
hope.” -Inmate (Ohio Reformatory for Women)

“I was at another meeting the other night so I didn't get the privilege
of seeing you guys. But I could hear you next door. My cellmate came
back and showed me your newsletter and I just think it's so great the
things that you guys are doing. I just want to thank you for all that
you're doing for inmates and ex-felons. I hope to meet you next time
you come to ORW. -Inmate (Ohio Reformatory for Women)

“When Scars and Bars came to ORW it caught my attention. I'm very
interested in your program and what it can offer me when I'm released.
I have 9 months left. This time I did 5 years, but I've been in and out of
prison my whole life. I've done 21 years total. I want to make this the
last time I'm incarcerated. I want to help juveniles before they get here,
I want to give back to my community. I'm hoping I can link up with you
guys when I get out. I want to change all the negative in my life into
something positive. My help is limited out there and I need all the
help that I can get.” -Inmate (Ohio Reformatory for Women)

“Wow, what a moving experience! Listening to Patrick rap his story, I
loved it. Really cool. I think what you're doing is awesome. Thank you
so much for coming to ORW and sharing with us. I have to say I enjoyed
your music and style more than any other I have seen here. I would love
be a part of your organization, any way I could help. I would love to
get your newsletter anytime a new issue comes out. This is my first
trip to prison and I know it will be my last. Please stay in touch!”
-Inmate (Ohio Reformatory for Women)

“I wanted to write to let you know I love each and every one of you.
To take time out of your life to come here means so much to me. I've
been here for 5 years, and you guys are one of the best things I've
ever seen come in here. You speak real life, truth and you keep it real.
I loved your newsletter. I didn't get one but a woman in my cottage
let me read hers. I'm looking forward to you coming back, when I
saw you guys and heard you I felt right at home.”
-Inmate (Ohio Reformatory for Women)

"I recently had the opportunity to see "Scars and Bars." The
message that you all brought was very liberating as well as
encouraging. You guys are part of something great, what you
do is powerful. I've been incarcerated for 10 years, and you
guys are the first ones and the only ones that I have seen
that have been where we are and actually took the time out
to remember those of us that are still here. I will be out
soon and I'm definitely going to reach out to you guys
because what you do is vital."
-Inmate (Northeast Women's Pre-Release)

"I saw you last night at Northeast Pre-Release and it sounds
like you guys are exactly what I need and want in my life.
My family has left me with no mail or money and made me
feel that no one loves me. When I was a kid from the age
of 5 or 6 and on my dad, brothers and their friend had their
way with me. You can read between the lines. Because of
all this, I never wanted to marry. Eventually I did, he loved
me and I loved him. We had two kids. But unfortunately
my husband died in 1996. He hung himself and my daughter
found him. She was a daddy's girl too and was devastated.
I began smoking crack to hide my pain and eventually my
kids ended up in foster care. I feel like God is making a
way for me and helping me through the pain. I'm getting out
soon and want some good sober people in my life to mentor
and help me. Pleae help me, I'm so afraid. I want to do
the right thing and have been praying God would send
someone to help me. I believe you guys are what I need
and want in my life." -Inmate (Northeast Women's Pre-Release)

"I was really moved by your event here at Northeast Pre-Release.
I would love to become part of your movement. I would love to
help juveniles find a way out and off the road of destruction. 
When I was sentenced I was a very angry person, fighting
staff and other inmates. Especially after losing my 26 year
old brother to street violence while I was in here. And then
my mother died of heart failure. Everyone in my family
has either died or walked out of my life. I wondered
if anyone cared if I lived or died. I tried to kill myself
in prison and at one point had four teeth knocked out
after attacking more staff members. Finally at one point
in my sentence, I broke and realized the disaster my life
had become. I reached out to God and decided to change
my ways. It was like a thousand pounds were lifted from my
shoulders. All the sudden good people started crossing my
path and helping me on my new path in life. I can say I've
truly changed. I would love to be a part of your movement."
-Inmate (Northeast Pre-Release)

"Your letter truly came at the right time, I can tell you that much.
It was very encouraging. I've been through a lot. At one point in
my life I found myself prostituting for crack and beer. I would have
tears rolling down my face while I hit the pipe. I didn't want
to live this way but was addicted. At one point I was abducted
at gun point and raped. But everything in my life is finally
starting to come together. I've truly had a spiritual awakening.
I've been transformed. I now want others to know they are loved
and it's not too late no matter what. I want to help other addicts
and victims of  other traumatic events find healing. Thanks
you so much, hearing from you was so encouraging and
confirmed a lot of things for me. I will let you know as soon
as I get out, so we can stay in contact. I'm very excited."
-Inmate (Dayton Women's Correctional Institution)

"Thanks for your support and wanting me to be a part of what you do.
I'm working on my anger with the help of God and the classes I'm
taking. I'm going to keep working on it in here and when I get
out. I'm willing to go to counseling or whatever else it takes
to change my life and take responsibility for my actions."
-Inmate (Noble Correctional Institution)

"I am so filled with joy and so excited and eager to meet you guys.
Your letter has me in tears right now. I have to be honest, I never
thought I would receive a letter personally to me so quickly. Your
letter has brought me so much hope and strength. I feel so drawn
to this movement. So at home if that makes sense. I loved the
newsletter and am intrigued by your article. I would love to hear
the song you share the lyrics of, what powerful lyrics! The words
from Scars and Bars made me feel special, loved and wanted.
Thank you for the encouragement, it touched my soul."
-Inmate (Dayton Women's Correctional Institution)

"Thank you for your reply and your newsletter. It was greatly
anticipated so I was super excited to receive it. We are ecstatic
about Scars and Bars coming to speak to our inmate mentoring
program at Dayton Women's Correctional Institution. The girls
we mentor are so broken at the core level. Our goal is to love
them to wholeness with the help of Jesus and to address the core
issues of pain, anger, abandonment, rejection, violation etc. A
lot of them are love starved. I lived a very sheltered life prior to
prison. I had a stable home growing up and worked as a registered
nurse in the E.R., was married and had three boys. I grew
discontent in life and things fell apart. I left a party and got in
a crash. I cannot tell you how much I have had to struggle with
guilt, shame and condemnation for the pain that I have caused.
I was use to savind lives, not taking them."
-Inmate (Dayton Women's Correctional Institution)

"I've never had a felony before this. I have had prior D.U.I.
convictions though, but haven't drank and drove in 7 years
until this happened. This is a prime example of how one stupid
choice can alter your life forever. I don't want sympathy, I did
this to myself. I made the choice and now two people are dead.
I never thought what I did was wrong. I never thought that I was
the problem. Now, I see the error of my way. My heart aches for
all those I've hurt. I am trying to find my way. I hope at least
one person can learn from my story."
-Inmate (Belmont Correctional Institution)

"I first want to mention how flippin awesome your visit was
yesterday. I'm kind of a loner. I have low self-esteem and
struggle with my confidence level. I've struggled with
a crack addiction for 18 years. I'm still trying to figure out
who I am. Why am I here? I'm a little confused about
my life and some times I still only picture myself doing
drugs cause that's all I've ever known. I need some words
of wisdom because I honestly don't ever want to disapoint
my family or kids ever again. Please help me."
-Inmate (Northeast Women's Pre-Release)

“Your newsletter moved me. The simple fact that you guys do the
deeds and compassionate action speaks volumes to me. I have never
seen or experienced this level of support, encouragement and
uplifting of my hope in my entire life. I really do appreciate
Scars and Bars from the bottom of my heart. On behalf of prisoners
everywhere in Ohio I thank you.” -Inmate (Lucasville Penitentiary)

“You've played a major part in the impact of my recent choices to
change my life and moved in a new direction. I want to be involved
and help juveniles not end up in adult prison. I've got a lot of ideas
for your organization that I think will help create new paths. Thank
you so much for the chance to write an article in the newsletter and
for sending me a copy of the final version. It's amazing for me to
see it.” -Inmate (Ross Correctional)

“I come from a rather rough life. I grew up with sexual, physical, mental
and emotional abuse. I never learned how to handle it all. My dad would
get drunk when I was a kid and want to fight me. I got lost in a rough crowd,
snorting drugs and wound up in prison. You guys are doing a great work. You
relate to people with the words you speak and the rhymes you speak. Things
are rough for me right now, I haven't been getting any mail. It always feels
good to hear your name called at mail call. You're words were extremely
powerful yet very touching as well. It was a message I needed to hear,
things I needed to be reminded of. I'd like to know what I can do to help
you guys in what you're doing.” -Inmate (Noble Correctional)

“I was asked to read an excerpt aloud today from your newsletter in
which you spoke about your visit to this facility. I help run the inmate
mentoring program here. We work with the higher security level inmates who
are in trouble or struggling. We talk about forgiveness, grace and dealing
with our anger. We would be honored if you would come here and speak
to those of us involved in the inmate mentoring program. I've served 5
years of a six year sentence and it has been a life changing, eye
opening experience for me. I definitely want to do something like
what you're doing when I get out. I would love to have one of your
newsletters and would love to know more about what you do. Thank
you for your service for “the least of these.”
-Inmate (Dayton Women's Correctional)

“I would first like to say that I truly enjoyed both of your
visits to Belmont. You reach people in a unique way. As I sat there
and listened to your performance and presentation an overwhelming
presence came over me and brought me to tears. I really can't explain
it. I felt things that I don't know how to describe. Things I want to say
and ask you but I don't know how. It probably sounds crazy. I'm
struggling to figure it out.” -Inmate (Belmont Correctional Institution)

“I'm incarcerated at Dayton Correctional for Women. I've
been to prison four times including once in Tennessee. I have
spent the last ten years off and on in prison. I grew up in a very
upper-class family. My parents are still together and gave me
every material thing I wanted except what I needed.... love.
They tried their best and I don't blame them for my predicament.
I was sexually molested as a child and when I got older. Again I
don't blame this for my situation it was my choice to come to prison.
I had an abortion and the guilt and shame haunted me for years.
A few weeks after the abortion I lost myself. My second son I had
in prison while addicted to methadone. I've been an addict my
whole life. In prison because of my addiction and baby I had
to be isolated from everyone.

I haven't seen or talked to my parents in over 8 years. I haven't seen
my children since I got locked up. When I came back to prison,
I lost it had a nervous break down and shaved all my
hair off. But things have changed. God has delivered me and
for the first time in my life I know my worth. I helped
start an inmate mentoring program in here, it's the first in
the state. Our lives are being changed and we're changing
the lives of those we're mentoring. We were so motivated
by Scars and Bars we would like you guys to come and visit
with us and teach us more about how we can grow and help
those we're mentoring. Also send us any newsletters and info
about what you guys do, we want everything!”
-Inmate (Dayton Women's Correctional)

“I was in awe at the performance and presentation you did at
our prison recently. The dedication and care of the Scars
and Bars team was moving. I want to be a part of your success
story with your help. I'm a 52 year old black male and started
getting into trouble when I began doing crack at 41. I've been
to prison four times. I've finally got clean and don't want to start
again. I need help, a mentor would be a great thing for me. I
think with the help and guidance of Scars and Bars I can get
my life back and on the right path.” -Inmate (Belmont Correctional)

“Thank you for the newsletter. I always enjoy it and it reminds
me that I am not alone on the journey and there's still
others holding on. It gives me immense hope.”
-Inmate (Dayton Correctional Women's Prison)

“I'm doing a 3 year sentence this time. But the crazy thing
is this has been the best 3 years of my life. I was the leader
of the biggest gang in this prison for a year and a half. That
was until I got tired of the violence and hurting people.
God helped me leave the gang and still be alive. I've got
my life back on track and have since got an education,
counseling and more. I've even helped some of the other guys
leave the gang and get their lives together. I need a mentor. I
don't want to let my family or children down anymore. I want
to succeed and be a good dad. I need help when I get
out, please consider helping me. I want to work with
you guys when I get out.” -Inmate (Ohio Prison)

“I've read the Scars and Bars newsletter and love what you guys
are doing. I also want to change my life and help people not
come to prison when I get out. I'm a writer and am working
on writing my story. I'd love to write an article for your
newsletter and help some people.”
-Inmate (Ross Correctional Institution)

“ I am currently incarcerated in Dayton, Ohio. I'm from Lorain
County and have three children. I have no driver's license and
no place to go when I get out. I heard you at a concert here at
DCI and I was hoping you could send me any information
that would help me while I'm in here and when I get out soon.
I want to stay sober, keep a job and get my kids back.”
-Inmate (Dayton Women's Correctional Institution)

“Great to hear from you again. A lot of us get a bad rap due to
sensational movies and documentaries about prisons. We don't
all fit the typical description. Times get extremely hard and
depressing, but I try my best to stay focused on hope and my
freedom. Some days I don't want to live. The pain and depression
weighs so heavy on me. Keeping in touch with you guys is the
sunshine through the ominous clouds. Being confined to this
place with no connection to anyone on the outside makes me
feel like I'm literally dying. Thank God you guys check in on me
and genuinely care.” -Inmate (Lucasville Correctional)

“Thank you for coming here to share and do some music. I have four
kids and want to sign them up for your camp. I've struggled with
anger for years and am in here for hurting my son when he was a small
child. I was upset over something else and took it out on him. I've
been in and out of jail and know it's because of my anger being out of
control and not dealing with stuff. I'm learning to take responsibility for
what I've done and my decisions and am getting help. I would like to
help other parents not to abuse children like I did. Thanks for listening
and keep doing what you're doing. You give hope to people like me.”
-Inmate in Ohio Prison

“Hey man it was truly a blessing to receive a letter from you! For you to say that
you guys want to drive 5 hours to see me when I get out is amazing and just blows
my mind. But it shows me two things: God is moving in my life and that there are
still people out there who care.” -Inmate (Belmont Correctional Institution)

“I speak for both me and my brother, when I say we want nothing more than to get
involved with your program. I believe this is the turning point for both of us. I
want to personally thank you and the rest of the Scars and Bars members. If it
wasn't for people like you all, a lot of us would not know people still care about
us. I really feel like it's my turn to give back. This time I feel different, I have a hunger
to succeed and I know with people like you on my side I can make it.”
-Inmate (Belmont Correctional Institution)

“I was at the meeting you did at O.S.P., I'm the guy with tattoos all over my
face and body. You shared your music and story with myself and some other guys
there this past Sunday. I would like to thank you for coming. I really look forward
to you coming back as much as possible. There's nothing better than listening to
someone speaking about hope that you can relate to. I could really relate to you and
your story. I'm really willing and trying to turn my life around. I want what you have. I
saw how happy and satisfied you are. I want to come home and be successful. I'm not
coming home to be a failure again. I'm asking you for as much help as possible. I like
your newsletter too, how can I get all of them?” -Inmate (O.S.P. Super Max Prison)

“I'm 28 and have a 24 year sentence. I grew up on the streets of Youngstown with no friends
and was picked on everywhere I went. I was made fun of because my mom was a drug
addict and we were poor. I grew up in a rat and roach infested house and felt like the
only way I could stop the abuse was to get violent. I'm reaching out for help and
guidance. Sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind being locked down for 23 hours
a day. When you came to my prison it made me feel better and gave me hope that
maybe someone still cares about me. The newsletter reminded me people still
care and there is still hope.” -Inmate (O.S.P. Super Max Prison)

“ I really do appreciate you taking a part of your day to write me, especially when I
have family that won't. Just hearing from you guys is good encouragment, showing
you care and support me.” -Inmate (Lucasville Prison)

“I'm so thankful that it's on your heart to start and outreach program for us. I believe
a way will be made for you to expand to a Columbus location and my wife and I would
like to help make it happen when I get out soon. I'd like to help any way I can.”
-Inmate (Noble Correctional)

“You inspired me with your music and your words. I knew there was something
I was suppose to do when I get out. I truly believe Scars and Bars is what I'm suppose
to get involved with to help me change my life. -Inmate (Noble Correctional)

“Thank you for coming to our prison today. I'm going to the parole board this
year after doing 20 years. I would like to know more about what you guys do
and how to connect with you when I get out.” -Inmate (Noble Correctional)

“I would like to sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming to Noble Correctional.
I love hearing from people who really care about helping others. Everyone needs someone like
you guys and a mentor to inspire them to do more with their life. Thank you for showing me
the hope that I can achieve something different for my life.” -Inmate (Noble Correctional)

“I've been incarcerated for 22 years, and most definitely have a burning hunger and desire
to live a different life than what I've known. I don't ever want to come back
to prison. Whatever it takes, I'm willing to do.” -Inmate (Madison Correctional)

“It was an honor to hear you at Noble Correctional. I recognize your music and event as more
than just entertainment. It breaks through our barriers and bridges gaps. I would love to help
start a Scars and Bars in Columbus when I get out this year.” -Inmate (Noble Correctional)

I attended your presentation at Noble and was deeply moved. Your story is inspirational.
I must admit that I'm not much of a hip hop fan, but your lyrics really hit home for me.
It was like a call to my soul, I was really moved. I think you have started something great
and I want to get involved in any way I can. I need help, and when I'm ready I want
to help other people.” -Inmate (Noble Correctional)

“ My name is Eric and I'm on my second prison term. I'm 26 and a recovering heroin addict. I was involved
in a prison gang, stole, fought and gambled. But recently, with the help of God I've started to change my life.
I'm getting out soon and need help when I get out. I would like a mentor. I'm locked up with my brother too.
He has changed his life as well and we both would like to help out Scars and Bars when we get out.”
-Inmate (Noble Correctional)

“Thank you all for coming to see us. I believe you've touched my life and also my future.
I can honestly say I'm at peace because of your work. I was molested from age 5 until I was
10 or I grew up with a lot of pain and anger. In fact my anger landed me in prison. I was raped
and assaulted while in the county and was then medicated heavily for Post Traumatic Stress
Syndrome. I've been in prison for the past 16 years, but will be getting out in 4 months. I
was drawn to your first meeting because of the name “Scars and Bars.”

After hearing your music, I felt like no one was in the room except me and that you were
talking to only me. Ironically, I felt at peace and not once did I want to run. Instead a calming
sense came over me. I've since been to many meetings with different groups, but only when
I am around you guys and hear you is there this strange sense of peace and calm that comes
over me. I truly want to thank you for coming. You mean a lot to us and have touched many
of us deeply. I can say I am starting to slowly find healing.” -Inmate in Ohio Prison

“Thank you for your message of hope and care for inmates. Those of us in prison don't
receive too much support from the outside. Family and friends tend to disappear after we're
imprisoned. When Patrick spoke, I felt a small glimmer of hope in this abyss of despair. This
means a lot to me since I have no one in my corner” -Inmate (Lucasville Penitentiary)

"I just want to let you know I'm on my way to rehab. I want to thank you for
all your support and coming out to the girls Detention Home. Drugs took over my life.
I'm only 15 with a record of an adult. As a kid I was beat up by my dad and watched
him sell and do drugs as I was growing up. I thought drugs were the only way, it
was normal. Now I'm on my way to rehab. It's been hard, but I'm not giving up. I've let
God in and His light and I want to thank you for the support and showing me the way.
I'll definitely stay in touch and let you know how I'm doing!" -Juvenile Inmate in Ohio

“I personally don't know you but I have a tremendous amount of respect for you and
what you do. I don't like when people try to preach at me but haven't been in my shoes.
But you've walked in my shoes and I believe if God changed you, than He can definitely
change me. My father died when I was 10 and it crushed me and sent me in a downward
spiral. I've been in and out of prison my whole life. It's hard to express myself, but I want
to change. What you rapped about today touched me, it sent a message to me. I'm tired of
just existing, I want to change and I want a new life.” -Inmate (Madison Correctional)

“Thank you for coming back to Madison and sharing what you did. You're the first
group I've seen that has come in here that I feel sincerely wants to help guys like me.
Your non-judgmental approach I know will help me transition to life beyond bars.”
-Inmate (Madison Correctional)

"Holidays are especially tough. Your letter has given me a reason to press forward
towards my goals. I've never really had someone believe in me and advocate on my
behalf. It's surreal. Thank you very much!" -Inmate in Ohio Prison

“First and foremost I want to thank you for coming to see the women at Dayton Correctional
Institution. I know your music touched me. Your songs are absolutely incredible. The words
just lifted my spirit right up. Music has always been an outlet for me. I hope to one day be
blessed enough to have the opportunity to hear you perform again. You definitely made at
least 1 fan and D.C.I..” -Inmate (Dayton Women's Correctional Institution)

"I met Patrick at the Detention Home in Elyria and I just wanted say his story about his
brother touched me and it has helped me to become a better person. I just wanted to
say thanks." - Juvenile Inmate in Ohio)

"I'm shocked that you guys actually wrote me back after I wrote you. I watch this
religious channel and I wrote them and they only wrote me once to ask me to send
them money. It's encouraging to see there are still genuine and loving people out there that
just frankly care." -Inmate (Lucasville Penitentiary)

“Thank you for the message you shared with us at Madison. I grew up seeing my dad beat
my mom up, we lived in a car and I was molested repeatedly when I was 6 years old. I've
been in and out of foster homes and prison my whole life. At one foster home my foster dad
threw hot coffee on me because he was mad at me. At one point I was on a mission to kill
myself by overdosing on heroin hoping I would pass out and never wake up. But after being
sent to prison this last time, God has transformed my life. When I heard you talk chills went
through my body. You're words connected with me deeply. I would love to get involved in
what you guys are doing.” -Inmate (Madison Correctional)