By students at the Frederick Douglass Academy in New York City

My mother has been to jail before. She was in jail for sixty days. My mother and her jail mates did a lot of things together and even though they were in jail, it didn’t seem like it because they were having too much fun. One of the craziest things my mother and her jail mates did was she lit a cigarette with eyeglasses. I know that my mother has learned that she should never do what she did again. But my mother has become more fun from the kindness and funniest jail mates ever, and I thank them for that.
Tamara Jones, 12

A couple of my family members went to prison. My brother John went for five years for drug dealing. He learned his lesson and got a good job. My brother Phillip went for four years for armed robbery. He learned his lesson and got a good job too. My father Jimmy got out of prison six years ago after serving 10 years for drug dealing. But he learned his lesson. My brother Steven and his wife went to jail for attempted murder and both served 10 years. My brother Sean is in jail now and has been in jail before and is coming out in February of 2010. The people who have gotten out of jail, all of them are successful and all of them turned out to better themselves.
Nicholas Walker, 11

My aunt went to jail for one year because she was a drug addict. She now is changing her life by becoming closer to God, trying to find a job and taking care of her children. She also challenged herself to see how long she can stay clean without smoking or drinking. She has made it several years. She doesn’t even like to drink anymore.
Tyesha Henry, 11