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Define Me By The Good I Have Done And Am Going To Do

By August 21, 2023No Comments

Missouri Prison Reform received the following message from a resident of a Missouri Prison.


Hello, my name is Justin Campbell. I have been incarcerated most of my adult life. During my first incarceration, I spent 5 of 7 years on the inside, learning no skills necessary to make it in life. This time I have 11 years in prison, having to serve 15 years of a 17 year sentence for several crimes, 2 of which were violent, 1st degree assault and 1st degree robbery. This time around, I have realized that if I want to change my life I cannot wait on the Department of Corrections (DOC) to help me, so I decided to help myself.


Since my incarceration, I have earned an Associate’s degree in Social Science and a Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Studies from Ohio University with a 3.1gpa. I have also earned two Master’s degrees from California Coast University one in Organizational Leadership with a 3.9gpa and the other in Criminal Justice with a 4.0gpa. I have also completed several certificate courses. First, I have completed 3 from Blackstone Career Institute: Paralegal/Legal Aid, Criminal Law and Interviewing/Investigating for Paralegals. Another from Ohio University, Victim Advocacy. Finally, Launch Code’s Web Development. I am also a proud member of Delta Epsilon Tau’s National Honor Society. I don’t know how all this education will help, because DOC doesn’t let me use it to teach their institutional classes. If I were released today, I would pursue either a Juris Doctorate or a Ph. D. in Criminology, but since I know this is not the case, that is but a dream.


When I get out of prison, I would like to do some web development, but I really want to get involved in legal work and/or reentry. I cannot wait to join you on the other side. I know I am ready, but I still have more time, because Missouri still has outdated laws in place such as the 85% law, that prevents rehabilitated persons from getting out early. I would like DOC to allow us to do web development work so we can save money for our release. I am 50% blind in both eyes and cannot work in the prison industry, so I have no other way to save money, which is integral in making it out there. We could have a work released style program for web developing, but is being thwarted by DOC, something to do with intellectual property rights. If you have taken the time to read this, I am both humbled and grateful. If you can help implement change, we need your help. Some of us like myself are good people who have done bad things. I don’t let the bad choices I have made in life define me so please don’t define me by them. Define me by the good I have done and am going to do. Kind Regards, Justin Campbell

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