Over a thousand men and women are housed at the Albany County Correctional Facility in upstate New York. They are kept there while they await their trials. They usually spend over a year in this place before they are either released or transferred. For many, this waiting period becomes a time for deep reflection on the past and the inevitable consequences of their bad choices. For others it’s simply one more step in a long journey to nowhere.
Lorenzo grew up hearing terrifying stories about the Mexican Mafia. This fear is what attracted him to them. Soon he was caught up in the power trip of thinking he could live his life any way he wanted without having to deal with any repercussions. He felt like some kind of god who held people’s fates in his hands. Then he became an informant and his brother and father were murdered in revenge. The guilt of being a snitch and probably being responsible for the death of his loved ones still overwhelms him.
Celeste grew up in a nice family, but was sexually molested by an adult when she was in kindergarten. He told her she was a fat freak and that nobody would believe her and so she kept quiet about the abuse. She has seen many people she loved die from drug overdose but this has never kept her from continuing her heroin habit. Celeste believes that without heroine her view of herself and the world would be drastically different, even unacceptable. She states candidly that if she weren’t locked up she would be high on heroine, so basically being in prison was probably what was keeping her alive.
Jason grew up seeing an alcoholic dad become violent with him and his mother and he decided he would not do any of that. But then he started to drink to hide his pain, and in so doing, he turned into the very thing he hated. Accepting God’s forgiveness has helped him see that he needs to become a better father to his five-year-old son.
Travis lost a son at six months old, a daughter at two months old, and many friends. While in custody he received the news that his father had also passed away. Death, to him, is an unavoidable part of life, so he might as well enjoy life while he still as it. Travis claims that he was born into a lifestyle of crime— he didn’t choose it. But seeing his dad’s dead body lying in a coffin shook him up enough to make him promise to get his life back on track.
These young men and women are not oblivious to the fact that they are responsible for what is showing up in their lives and also for the changes they need to make. Do they have what it takes and the support they need to make those changes, though?