Abel is 41 and incarcerated in the US (CA).
Spending more than half of my life behind these walls for a crime I committed and was ultimately sentenced to as an eighteen year-old nearly twenty-two years ago, has allowed me to view life with a new perspective. This has been made possible by the new direction the California Department of Corrections has headed in, unlike the old “lock them up and throw away the key” system that used to be in place. Going from a 24-hour lockdown maximum security prison with drawing and exercising being the only things to do, to a level 2 facility with skillful employment opportunities and self-help groups galore, should be enough to see how much is being put in rehabilitation. Don’t get me wrong, because today “drawing” is one of my greatest passions and has been so for twenty-one years.
As I consider the huge leaps California has taken towards effective ways to combat prison recidivism, I remain hopeful the next steps will be reforming our state’s excessive sentencing policies. Most of us in prison were teenage criminals with a warped belief system, who are now adults who reflect the beliefs of policy makers that youthful criminals can reform, regardless of their sentences. Society has finally got to chipping away at the idea that kids have no capacity of being anything else in life beyond their own worst mistake. Should everyone be defined solely by the biggest mistake of their lives? The foundation for these changes is public recognition that youth offenders can be rehabilitated and eventually earn the opportunity to parole. By challenging our every belief time after time, are we able to replace those negatives with positives.
Here are a few pieces I’ve done of some of my fellow incarcerated fellas alongside their partners, so you could get a glimpse of my style. It’s all done with a plain black ballpoint BIC pen, nothing else.
• Date of Birth: 07/12/1981 (41 years old)
• Gender: Male
• Marital Status: Married
• Sexual Orientation: Straight
• Race: N/A
• Ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino
• Eye Color: Brown
• Hair Color: Black
• Height: 5 ft. 7 in.
• Body Type: Average
• Hometown: Stockton, California (USA)
• Spoken Languages: English, Spanish
• Religion: Catholic
• Astrological Sign: Cancer
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• Incarcerated Since: 2000
• Sentence Received: Life Without Parole
• Earliest Release: N/A