“One person can be a catalyst for great pain, but one person can also be a catalyst for great change!”
This epiphany derived from countless hours I spent meditating and reflecting early on into my incarceration, at the realization of the pain I caused so many through my juvenile naiveté. As I continued my introspection, I understood my life’s journey would now be taking a scenic detour to my ultimate destination. This would be a defining moment, but not the defining moment of my life. Now my epiphany wasn’t always so eloquently articulated but I knew three things:
1) I had to accept responsibility for my actions and acknowledge my erroneous behavior
2) Life as I knew it would never again be the same, and that
3) I decide how I will utilize my past to mold my future.
My name is Cyril Walrond, and at the age of 17 I was involved in a night of crimes that resulted in an innocent man losing his life and led to two other people being victimized. As I take full and complete responsibility for the incidents of that night, I know no amount of words could ever accurately convey the depths of my remorse. I realize that there is no way to erase the transgressions of my past so I have given my life to a greater cause, one in which I will repay society for the damages I have inflicted upon it by keeping others from going down this same destructive path.
After about a year and a half in county jail I pled guilty to what was supposed to be reduced charges. Ignorant of the inner workings of the criminal justice system and its intricate complexities of all of the bartering taking place behind closed doors. I took a deal I was told would send me away for 15 years but ended up with 34 ½ years on my first ever criminal offense.
My life was used as the sacrificial lamb, laid at the altar of the criminal justice system to set a precedent and make me an example to other “juvenile delinquents” of my generation, of my city, of my neighborhood. But what was meant to destroy me, God turned into an opportunity, a platform.
I am in fact a proud example for my generation, city, and ‘hood…I am an example of growth, change, and persevering in the face of adversity among many other things. While my life was assumed to have no options for vertical elevation because of the expansive system that holds the key to my freedom, but only physically. I have turned my failures into opportunities, my setbacks into breakthroughs, my adversities into adventure. And to those who can’t see past their present circumstances, I believe my life is a testimony that we are only limited by our self-imposed limitations. Now at the age of 25 I am a new man. Like a phoenix arising from the ashes. I have been refined by the fires of my past, and yet not defined by them.
In prison I have learned the only true person is in the mind, therefore I vigorously work to free myself spiritually, intellectually, academically, as well as mentally every day. In these last few years I have learned knowledge isn’t power but the application of knowledge is power. I will never claim to know everything because the more I know, the more I realize I don’t know, which entices my insatiable thirst for more knowledge. In the same breath, people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.
I am honored to have a platform such as this to share my experiences, my thoughts and my views while hopefully igniting many relevant discussions. I will let you into the reality of my Stone City.
I am willing to be as transparent as possible to allow the conversations to flow freely but I will never write to glorify any aspect of prison, crime, or violence. My posts will range in topics from my personal beliefs about and my first hand experiences within the system, to my life prior to incarceration and everything in between so be on the lookout.
Any additional comments, thoughts, questions, or suggestions feel free to contact me.
Categories: Cyril D. Walrond