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REFLECT: Convicts’ letters to their younger selves

Photo by Corey Desrochers

Trent Bell; Photo by Corey Desrochers

At Truth Be Told, we love hearing about other prison projects and are particularly pleased when they validate our efforts and experiences. Photographer Trent Bell was moved to create a prison photo project in response to one of his friends receiving a thirty-six-year sentence.

His friend, who was in his twenties, was an educated professional with a family and Trent couldn’t stop thinking about him. In the introduction to REFLECT: Convicts’ letters to their younger selves, Trent says:

“Our bad choices can contain untold loss, remorse, and regret, but the positive value of these choices might be immeasurable if we can face them, admit to them, learn from them and find the strength to share.”

We couldn’t agree more! Our Talk To Me classes lead women through the process of understanding and then sharing their stories.

Trent photographed twelve convicts against a background of the letter each one wrote to his younger self. During the photo shoot, filmmaker Joe Carter produced REFLECT, video interviews with the men sharing what brought them to prison, what they miss the most, and how they have changed.

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Click photo to see a video of this project in a new window

In Donna Sapolin’s nextavenue article, 5 Things Older Prisoners Want You to Know, she shares how the stunning REFLECT photo project mines critical wisdom from regret.

If you see an inspirational prison project that might be appropriate for this blog, please share it with us at office@truth-be-told.org.

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About Shelley Seale

I'm Shelley, a journeyer and learner of the world, freelance journalist and author, yoga chick and dog lover. I pound the keyboard from home barefoot every day, and while my boss is demanding she also occasionally lets me have the early afternoon cocktail. I think not going into an office or collecting corporate paychecks are very good ideas, though not always profitable. I have written for National Geographic, USA Today, The Guardian, Texas Monthly and CNN, among others. Neither the New York Times nor Johnny Depp have answered my letters yet. I love yoga, indie movies, wine, and books, though not necessarily in that order. I believe in karma. Mean people suck. If I could have any dream job I would like to be a superhero. I have performed a catch on the flying trapeze, boarded down a live volcano and was once robbed by a monkey in Nepal. But, I don't know how to whistle. My mantra is "travel with a purpose."

One response »

  1. Shelley, these projects are powerful and your bringing them to expand our awareness of this movement we are a part of thrills my soul! After 15 years of being a behind bars facilitator, I see more clearly than ever that we tapped into what I see as a God Universe Spirit plan for transforming the downward spiral of imprisonment practices into a way for incarcerated people to learn & share their own stories in a way that restores Their sanity and provides opportunities for seeing & making better choices. At the Same time their stories told truthfully become interesting and life transforming for US- the community of people who they will be returning to. What a divine plan to overcome centuries of locking away those individuals who have broken & been broken, and who can now help us heal as they heal! I’m
    So honored to be a part of what TruthE be Told is doing. I’m one piece of TBT’s puzzle, and TBT IS ONE PIECE OF THE CREATORS BIGGER PIX…and the creativity of these other projects helps us all begin to see the Big picture. We all are a needed part of the next steps! Thank you again for plugging in and staying connected-to mix metaphors. Your energy is so vital – maybe this is a high tech puzzle!

    Reply

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