Prison was my world. Forty years, four months, and 14 days.

That’s how long I was locked up in the Louisiana prison system – 11 months in a Baton Rouge jail awaiting trial and sentencing; twenty years at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola; eight years at the State Police Barracks in Baton Rouge; nine years at the David Wade Correctional Center in Homer; and two years at the C. Paul Phelps Correctional Center in DeQuincy.

Literally and figuratively, I traveled the length and breadth of that state’ prison system: first as a convicted murderer, then as an award-winning journalist, and, finally, as a protected witness and a convict author. I gained vast amounts of knowledge and experience through those travels; some of which were harsh and brutal while others rewarding and enlightening. I do not recommend growing up in prison, maturing from a punk kid to a man. It is not for the faint of heart.

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