Artwork by Kenneth Key

My failure, my regret is only a snapshot of the reality I live in. The odds are not in your favor, the ghettos of America doesn’t provide that. 

Instead society now sanctimoniously rejoices in our incarceration, with a self-righteous “They deserve it” mantra. I tell the youth all the time, don’t let my picture be your failure, your regret. I wake up in the morning to the regret of my son being in a cell right above me. 

 
Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. The Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned. The work is lightly edited but has not been otherwise fact-checked.

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Kenneth M. Key

Kenneth M. Key is a writer and contributing artist incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center in Illinois. He was born and raised in South Shore, on Chicago’s Southwest Side. He says he loved to draw as a kid, and he hopes to generate change as an artist, writer, and occasional poet while he is incarcerated.