Below is a guest post from one of our newest supporters from the inside, Javier Card.

“Greetings to S.O.S. family:

My name is Javier Card and I am currently incarcerated at Green Haven Correctional Facility in New York State. I have been in Federal and State prisons for the past 26 years. I came to this country in 1986 from the Republic of Panama and became heavily involved int he crack epidemic, which ultimately lead to the destruction of many lives. The criminal lifestyle I lead was featured in numerous publications over the years. (Newsweek Magazine December 1994, The Washington Post and Washington Times published 30-40 articles, 1992-2000’s, Don Diva Magazine issue #27 (2006), the same article can be seen on Gorrilla Just like many of the youth out there I thought it was cool to be tough or cool to  keep it “gangsta.” Well that’s only true in rap songs and movies. The truth of the matter is that that lifestyle only leads to a painful existence and the negative social consequences involved are devastating and life-shattering.

When you find yourself sitting in a court room accused of murder you suddenly realize that the one you considered your enemy was a human being, someone’s son, a brother, a father, a member of your community. As the years go by you also come to the realization that you had the potential to became a C.E.O., doctor, or who knows? Perhaps the next Barack Obama, sky was the limit. Since I’ve been in prison I’ve earned an Associates degree in Psychology with a 3.9 G.P.A. and I am currently working on my Bachelors of Arts in Sociology with a concentration in Criminology. Just imagine if I would of realized my potential before I ever thought about picking up a gun?

Some of you reading this are probably saying that I don’t understand what’s going on out there, that you’re at war in those mean streets, it’s do or die right? Trust me when I say there is always another option, S.O.S. is definitely an option available, USE IT!

It’s time to stop shooting and start living. A lot of us in here would give anything to go back in time and choose a different option. It’s amazing how a 10 second decision could cost you the rest of your life or end someone else’s life. Most of my friends in here are sentenced to 25 years to life, 50 years to life, 88 years to life, life without the possibility of parole, it’s real in the field.

I would also like to thank my new-found Save Our Streets family for allowing me the opportunity to contribute to the extraordinary work they are doing out there, they are “soldiers in God’s eyes.” This is the first of many letters I plan on sending in to their blog. It is said that those who are close to the problem are the ones closer to the solution. I was once a part of the problem, I have a moral obligation to be part of the solution. Empathy and forgiveness are key elements towards the solution.

One Love,

Javier Card”