Steve Jester

I grew up with one brother a year older than me. My pops always worked and was an alcoholic. He coached football, baseball, did boy scouts the whole deal. I started acting out at about ten years old, due to I was never pleasing my dad. So I looked for some attention, I got out of control.

I went to juvenile hall at the age of ten. From there it was a way of life. I was accepted in prison or jail. I used my size and controlled things. With some twenty five plus years of doing drugs and drink, it medicated my real problems I felt to be rejected. So my life became very involved with prison drugs and more prisoners. I became very against authority. So I have a very lengthy rap sheet for assaulting police. I felt they were my problem.

 

Drudging was out of control. Geographic's was very convenient because trouble sought me out or so I thought. After doing three CDC #s, one DOC # and numerous county jails, I thought that was how life was done. I left my family, friends and everything, my homeboys were my life. I fought two life sentences, enough was enough. I needed something else. I didn't know what but I did. I always worked while I was free but I couldn't put more than ninety days together. Stockton was trying to retire me and somebody spoke of Delancey Street . I had no clue, besides the courts launched that idea. But after fourteen months fighting they gave it to me. I was a pilot for this, it was the 1st time San Joaquin Co ever did this. I jumped on it of course to get out of a life sentence.

 

I was a wreck when I got there and had a very hard time. Worst than most I would say. I did things my way. Oh boy I never knew how to deal with my feelings as over the years I dealt with violence and drugs needless to say I have to learn new skills. Accountability, well by far two years was not enough cause instead of being grateful for the opportunity to live I graduated Delancey street very angry. Mrs. Shirley, Mrs. Delane and even Mimi Silbert had their hooks in me. Everything they told me happened and became real. As when I left mad I caught another case in San Mateo luckily. So I had Choices. But with that I got prison anyway. I was just consumed with no knowledge. But to recover is very, very difficult for me. I was raised in prison and a certain code. I lived that way everyday to survive. But to be where I am today that is a history in the making. I never could imagine doing it this way. Did not know it could exist. But by the program of Delancey Street, Choices and the network of those fellowships as of 2009 I have 5+ years clean and sober and give back daily.

 

I can't redeem all the lives I've shattered or hearts I damaged, nor can I fix the years I've spent locked away deep in the California prison system. But I can and am showing people like me or people heading in my steps there is a better way, I ran from my problems. Now I stand up and ask for help, that help comes from people just like me "In recovery", I show up and am accountable today.

 

I ran a hard line in prison but I run a even harder line in recovery. I can't get back time but I can surely enjoy my free time. Nobody says life is easy. Prison life is cause there is no feelings or responsibility. Life is what you make of it. A person has the means to but sometimes not the knowledge. For me, I feel I am a poster child for criminals and hoodlums to see the light. It's hard work to have to care for the next guy and not be so self absorbed. With that I owe my future to Delancey Street , Choices, P-90 and the fellowship that is our future. Strength without these programs we lose the edge to help, people in headed in our direction never get it. A few do, I know I've cost the state millions but now I'm trying to save millions by greeting a couple of guys a day to see it our way. So to give my life would have been a waste of money for tax payers and look, I'm finally a tax paying healthy person in society. With that I thank you for reading my short version of my disruptive destructive costly violent life.

Now I am very soft and fluffy.

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