My name is Carlos Maldonado. I am 46 years old and serving multiple life sentences. I began stealing at four years old I first went to juvenile hall at eight years old, went to California youth authority at 15 years old until I was 20 years old I first came to president 20 years old. This is my third term in prison. I committed my life crime in 2012. When I was 37 years old. I’ve been incarcerated over 30 years of my life at this point and over 20 years in isolation.
Through it all, I had no desire for rehabilitation, but I did want to stay out of prison. I just could not figure out what was going wrong in my life. I continuously made such bad choices?
In 2019, I had been feeling hopeless for a few years, and felt like my cell would eventually be my coffin. I realize that I had to learn something new and different if I wanted anything in my life to change for the better. The knowledge, in life experiences, I had to draw from led to a seemingly endless string of bad choices and negative consequences. I decided to try to do something to help me make better choices, so I could have better outcomes. It began with prayer from my younger brother, then I went to church and started to read the Bible, soon I began to believe what I read. When I became a disciple of Jesus Christ, He begin to heal my heart and change the way. I thought about the world and myself and others. I realized that I couldn’t change on my own, that I needed help. Help from God and from other people. Now that some of my unresolved pain was being held by God, I became able to participate in rehabilitation groups and programs.
Change is uncomfortable, sometimes slow, and it can be discouraging once you truly understand the depravity and callousness your heart has from all the years of abuse and bad choices, but at least you know now what the problem is. For me, I chose to take full advantage of the opportunity to attack the problem that had held me captive for close to 45 years. Now I’m closer to the man God intended me to be, and I feel the burden of responsibility for all the people I have victimized throughout my life. I can’t right all of the wrongs I’ve done, but I can live my life in a way that honors my victims and tries to help prevent future victimization by helping others change their lives also. Rehabilitation may help the criminal change his behavior, but the real benefit comes from the service of rehabilitation criminals can provide others; in making amends through life of preventing others from creating new victims
P.O. Box 5007