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These Inmates Wrote The Most Powerful Letters To Their Younger Selves. They’ll Make You Think, Cry And Be Grateful For Your Life.

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Co-Founder of Inspire52. A writer, musician, content creator, and data analyst at heart.

When photographer and video producer Trent Bell learned that one of his friends was sentenced to 36 years in prison, he decided to document the lives behind the bars in this compelling, emotional and beautiful project called “The Reflect Project.” Trent interviewed and photographed the inmates before he imposed those images over letters that they had “written to their younger selves”.

While reading the quotes and letters in moving, it’s the father of an inmate in the video below that had me feeling empathy for those with family and loved ones of those serving time in the criminal justice system. At the end of the day, we are all humans. Some of us make decisions that destroy our lives, for those of us that haven’t, we should be grateful for our ability to make rational decisions.

“Ask yourself, ‘What is it you want for your life? What makes you happy?’ Whatever that happiness may be I promise you it’s much better than being locked up in prison. A world full of loneliness and darkness from being away from family and loved ones. Wes, I believe in you, so many people do, you just have to believe in yourself.”


“Every decision you make affects everyone around you, most importantly your own future.”prison2

“Be quick to smile, slow to anger, and treat all people with respect they deserve. That is how you will avoid becoming me.”prison3

“We let drinking and drugs shatter our dreams and our potential future.”prison4

“Life is far from over, Jamie. The mistakes we made in the past are the mistakes we will learn from.”prison5

“You must be willing to forgive those that ask or deserve for forgiveness in order to be forgiven yourself.”prison7

“Never lose the person you really are because it may be too late by the time you find yourself again.”prison8

“If you think something might be a bad idea, believe it! Don’t do it.”prison9

“Just know that people will always try and test you, and no matter what you think, only a real man can walk away.”prison10

“There is always another choice and you must find it. I have spent most of my life behind bars and you are worth much more than that.”prsion6

CREDITS: Trent Bell

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