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Irvine Terrell Tatum E20208

troubled to transforme

By: Irvin Terrell Tatum

at Calipatria State Prison

I got into trouble because of my exposure to trauma in the past—

I hid behind feelings of fear and looked for acceptance from others which is why I wore a mask;

No one really knew me on the inside because my moral compass was broken and my soul was damaged—

I developed antisocial personality disorder and my lifestyle became hard to manage;

Selfishness, greed, lack of empathy, and lack of compassion—

I hopped over the neighbors fence to steal plums from their trees, I didn’t think about asking;

As a kid growing up I appeared to be normal like the other kids to ride their bikes—

I was the devious kid out of the bunch who often times snuck out of the house in the middle of the night;

as I got older I became more audacious with criminal intentions – –

Even though I was raised by Christian values, my mind was in the devil's den with devilish ambitions;

I posed a threat to public safety and was a menace to society – –

my mother told me I know who you really are so you don’t even try to lie to me;

I lied and I lied and my mother cried and cried --

She knew that something was definitely troubling me that I tried to hide;

After years of being a thug and the villain, a supernatural force touched my soul—

I wish God would have saved me sooner, not at 42 years old;

God gave me the rehabilitation recipe that I followed until I regained the moral compunction and sanity—

There’s no greater feeling like being in tune with God and serving a positive purpose for humanity;

I live my life with purpose and I’m also seeking redemption—

are used to be troubled but I transformed myself with God's rehabilitation prescription.


troubled to transformed

By: Irvin Terrell Tatum

at Calipatria State Prison

I got into trouble because of my exposure to trauma in the past—I hid behind feelings of fear and looked for acceptance from others which is why I wore a mask;No one really knew me on the inside because my moral compass was broken and my soul was damaged—I developed antisocial personality disorder and my lifestyle became hard to manage;Selfishness, greed, lack of empathy, and lack of compassion—I hopped over the neighbors fence to steal plums from their trees, I didn’t think about asking;As a kid growing up I appeared to be normal like the other kids to ride their bikes—I was devious kid out of the bunch who often times snuck out of the house in the middle of the night;as I got older I became more audacious

what would you say to your victim if you had the opportunity?

by Irvin Terrell Tatum

I am deeply sorry, ashamed, and still feel guilty and remorseful for being involved in the crime that resulted in your accidental death. You wasn’t supposed to die. That was not part of our plan, when me and the guy I was with, attempted to car jack the Mercedes that you were riding in. I hate that your life was cut short because of my poor choices and bad decisions and addiction to drugs and criminality. I’m not making any excuses in the attempt to justify my criminal actions and involvement that caused you to die at such a young age for such a stupid reason. I am only giving you the reason what led up to that fateful night that I couldn’t foresee would happen because I was under the influence of drugs and alcohol and also because I’ve had no control over the person I was with who fired the gun he was carrying accidentally killing you.

I didn’t know that he was going to discharge his weapon inside the car your family member was driving. Had I known that the person I was with was reckless with a gun, I wouldn’t have been with him and your life wouldn’t have been cut short.

I deserve to be punished for the role that I played in the crime. I’ve been incarcerated for 33 years because of my involvement in your accidental murder. I never had murderous intentions when seeking to assist my codefendant to car jack the Mercedes that your family was driving. I only wanted the Mercedes.

I had no idea that there were children inside the backseat of the car. Due to the dark tent on the windows. Had I known, I wouldn’t have pursued the Mercedes to car jack.

I never told my codefendant to shoot inside the car. I thought that he was just going to show his gun to intimidate the driver of the Mercedes to give up her car. But it’s obvious that he had other plans that I was not aware of. My codefendant was very reckless when he discharged his weapon inside the car you were riding in.

I am also deeply sorry and remorseful for terrorizing all the people who were riding inside the car with you on that fateful night. I’m ashamed about causing them to be scared for their lives and experiencing the sadness and emotional pain of watching you die and missing you when you’ve been gone.

I am deeply sorry and my heart still hurts because of my empathy and compassion that I have for you and the lives of all your family members who love and miss you.

My mission in life is to make a living amends and to redeem myself by doing positive and good things on a consistent basis to help people while thinking about you while I’m doing it in memory of you.

My character defects

by Irvin T Tatum


My character defects consist of the following:

1.) attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD,

2.) antisocial personality disorder, and

3.) post traumatic stress disorder PTSD.

These character defects caused me to develop a criminal mentality that led to my life of crime. Growing up in the inner city of Northern California (i.e. Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco) I was exposed to many adverse childhood experiences that had a negative affect on my social and mental development. I witness, experienced, and was exposed to police harassment/abuse; racial profiling; racial attacks; corporal punishment, whipping from parents; domestic violence in the home; shootings and violence through my community; drugs and alcohol use/abuse; and other adverse childhood experiences. I became broken and hurt by those experiences and I developed a warped belief system. I developed a brief I developed a belief that it was OK to lie, cheat, steal, and hurt others. I developed a selfish attitude and an impulsive disposition that involved instant gratification. I also developed an addiction to drugs, alcohol, and criminality. I had a serious illness that needed to be treated. My mental illness of criminality required various methods of treatment that I prescribed for myself. I had to first deconstruct my old criminal ways of thinking to discover what made me become a criminal. I also had to reflect to my past childhood years of development to think about all the internal wounds I received from all the tragic events and the bad things that occurred to me. I had to put my mind on a steady mental diet of positive TV programs; self-help books and enroll in prison programs that help me to identify the wounded parts inside of me and warped beliefs that I had adopted that wasn’t mentally healthy for me. I developed my own prescription of rehabilitation that cured me of my mental illness of criminality. My rehabilitation prescription can be prescribed to others who are currently suffering from the mental illness of criminality.


Poem:

Remorse and redemption

by Irvin Terrell Tatum


I feel shame, guilt, and I am remorseful for my immoral acts and past sins. I had to repent and ask for God‘s forgiveness before my mission of redemption could begin.I have remorse deep in my soul and I am a man with integrity and deep compassion. I’m on a mission to redeem myself overlooking all negative distractions. Redemption is a process of making living amends. I owe God my life of positive living until my life comes to an end. I view myself as the answer to someone else’s problem. I will always do things with good intentions to help people solve them. I’m not a perfect person, God got me under construction. I pray to keep my spiritual channels open waiting for God's orders and instructions.


Deconstructing my past criminal conduct in search of understanding about who in search of understanding about how I became a beast. God introduced me to reconstruct a positive way of thinking, now I am no longer a thug and a thief. There is no right way to do the wrong thing, we have to do the right thing in the right way. Even if it’s unpopular or politically incorrect, disregard the negative things that people may say. Seeking redemption involves acts of kindness by doing what’s right for people. Redemption shifts the universal laws of goodness in your favor, is the truth that I was told. If you do something wrong, because of a mistake that you have made, seek to make amends and God will consider your redemption debt to be paid My service to others in prison

By Irvin T Tatum


I’ve been incarcerated for 33 years. At some of the most violent and dangerous prisons in the state of California. For a significant number of years, I was a part of the problem within the prison system due to my past criminal conduct and bad behavior. It took some time and divine intervention for me to realize and come to terms with the fact that there is no right way to do the wrong thing. And if I wanted good things to happen to me and for me, I had to change and put good energy into the universe by doing good things with good intentions.

Throughout my years in prison, I read quite a few self-help books and studied law. The more I learn the more empowered I felt and more responsible I began to feel for myself and others. I couldn’t use ignorance as an excuse for doing ignorant and irresponsible things. I began to feel a moral obligation and a social responsibility to help other incarcerated people with positive and helpful advice with respect to

1.) changing their negative attitude and behavior;

2.) giving them advice and information about how to change, and how to deal with complicated prison related issues in a responsible way;

3.) helping them challenge their prison convictions and sentences with my jailhouse lawyer representation and

4.) being a positive prison mentor and role model for many young incarcerated men.

Because of my years in prison experience in my knowledge and insight and positive transformation, God has given me the wisdom and ability to have a positive positive impact on others inside of prison as well as outside of these prison walls. My service to others is a part of my road to redemption, and lifelong mission that I will never give up. I know what to expect for myself, so I’m going to always live up to my greatest expectations date July 19, 2021 My daily prison routine

by Irvin T Tatum

My daily prison routine consists of the following:

1. I wake up at 5 AM and pray to God for allowing me to wake up to witness another day. I also pray for God‘s advice, instructions, guidance, and protection.

2. I brush my teeth, wash my face, and clean my room.

3. I meditate and I do yoga exercises for about 45 minutes

4. I review my daily agenda log booklet to review my need to do list for the day and prioritize everything that it that I need to do such as writing letters, read books, work on programs etc.

5. I recite the 12 steps of “criminal and gang members anonymous CGA and the 12 steps of narcotics anonymous and a, and the four agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I also recite my “life purpose“ statement and my “life goals.”

6. I go to work at 7 AM as the janitor within my housing unit.

7. After work I shower and go to my room and read self-help and educational books and materials. I also read positive affirmations that I wrote on pieces of paper from books I read and from people who speak positive affirmations.

8. I work on writing poems books and draft programs for community that I intend to implement when I regain my freedom. I may write letters to family and friends or sis someone with legal help and write articles for prison newsletters.

9. I exercise on the main yard and sometimes in my room. I also play handball, basketball, and jog as a part of my exercise regiment.

10. I watch approximately three hours of television programs daily. The TV content I normally watch consists of comedy, educational, religious, and wildlife/nature shows. I shower again before bed.

11. I go to sleep at about nine or 9:30 PM before I go to sleep I pray and write down my daily activities in my daily agenda log booklet

From Prisoner to Entrepreneur When I entered the prison system in 1989 I was 20 years old. My main objective was to get out of prison, which led me to the prison law library to study and learn about the law and my constitutional rights. While trying to fight for my freedom through the courts, I also had to fight for my survival and to maintain my sanity while housed at some of the most violent prisons in the state of California.


While in “survival mode“ I became lost when I immersed myself deep into the prison culture of drug dealing, violence, gambling, deception, manipulation, and violating just about every prison rule in the book. I was a “true criminal“ who lived by the “code of conduct“. Living by that code, I felt that I had more to prove and not very much to lose. But, in actuality, I lost a lot because of spending many years in solitary confinement (SHU) away from family and friends. While serving a significant number of years in solitary confinement, I invested a lot of time reading and studying a lot about law, business, history, culture, psychology, politics…


I began to learn more about myself and the warped ways I used to think after reading books like the four agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz; the purpose driven life, by Rick Warren; the community of self, by Nah NAM Akbar; the autobiography of Malcolm X, by Alex Haley…


I became enlightened in a lot of subjects, but I also remained addicted to “criminality” which hindered my emotional development to care about others. As smart and slick as I thought I was as a criminal, I didn’t know who I was as a human being. I was mentally and spiritually lost, and I was not looking for God to save me.


And then one day, I was divinely inspired and motivated by a spiritual force to deconstruct my old criminal ways of thinking, to figure out exactly how did I become a violent criminal? I thought back to the very first time that I committed a crime and why I did it and how I felt about it at the time. I did question my warped belief system and I tried to apply logic to it. I humbled myself and prayed to God to extract those defective thoughts from my mind. Destroying my warped belief system took some time and it was difficult because I was losing who I was (a thug), and I was fearful about who I would become. I built a criminal reputation from the streets to prison that gave me certain level of respect in the criminal culture. I was trying to hold onto that. But I also realize that I knew that I had to change if I wanted to have a better life in prison.


If I could regain my freedom to live outside of a prison cell I had to make the change now. After deconstructing my old criminal ways of thinking, I began the difficult process of reconstructing positive ways to think and prosocial ways to behave.


I began to realize that my life is business and that people in power are using my body as an asset for their prison business. The state receives over $65,000.00 a year in tax revenue to housing care for me in prison. My life is a business and I need to structure and run my life like a company. I am the president, the CEO of my business and my company is me. I am a brand and my face is my logo and my name is the title of my company. I conduct and operate my life like a business.


I’m no longer a criminal entrepreneur; I am a spiritual and social entrepreneur. I seek to use the divine inspiration and guidance that I received from my higher power (God) for prosocial purposes. My spiritual and social entrepreneurism has a redemptive element to it because I’m also a lifelong mission to redeem myself from all the past negative energy that I put into the universe. Once I began to realize that my life is a business I began to view my life differently, operate differently, and I understand my social responsibility to do the right thing at all times even when no one is watching. I refuse to allow my company (my life) to go bankrupt.

July 12, 2021

Poem

Protect the youth

By Irvin Terrell Tatum


Our youth are endangered because they are being exposed to so much hardship and adversity-

Parents are so out of touch with understanding their kids because they’ve allowed the Internet to become the kids reality.

Public schools are dilapidated and educational curriculum do not prepare our kids with real-life survival skills.-

Kids are learning survival tactics in the streets and on the dope track and often time end up like roadkill.

Preachers, teachers, and parents are employing frivolous methods in the attempt to help the youth.-

Kids are losing faith in adults because they’re not telling kids the truth. Parents lying to kids about the tooth fairy, Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus is something that parents shouldn’t do.-

Parents make their kids lose trust and faith in them when their kids discover the truth. Kids need to be taught the truth and giving real life lessons. -

And if you are a person of faith that believes in God, pray that our children receive God‘s blessings.

All adults have a social responsibility and a moral obligation to protect our kids from danger.-

What kids don’t know can and may hurt them, so keep telling them to "don’t get in a car with a stranger".



Why do I want to participate in self-help groups?


There are quite a few reasons why I want to participate in self-help groups. The main reason is to rehabilitate myself through education and enlightenment.Self-help groups give me the safe space to vent and express my views in the company of men who seek and desire to change, and will offer their advice to help me change. Self-help groups offer and provide me and others with a specialized curriculum, designed to empower me with coping tools and strategies, to help me deal with potential problems may face or things that may trigger me to relapse.Self-help groups also consist of a pool of positive people who I can associate myself with beyond the classroom setting to engage in other positive activities within the housing unit and yard. Self-help groups offer the help that I need to deconstruct my old criminal ways of thinking and learn how to reconstruct a positive and pro-social way of thinking and behaving.I participate in self-help groups because I want to repair what is broken inside of me. I want to fix those damaged parts of my “moral compass“ that caused me to lose my positive sense of direction. Being involved in self-help groups gives me the tools to fix my broken moral compass so that I will have the ability to navigate through life in a peaceful, positive, and productive way.Being actively involved in self-help groups is what is needed for me and others to begin and continue to the process of change. Change is a necessary requirement to become suitable for parole if one has to appear before the board of parole hearings (BPH). Change is also a necessary requirement for a prisoner to regain and maintain one’s freedom if you have a release date.I truly enjoy the “rehabilitative unity” that develops between myself and others when I participate in self-help groups. The rehabilitative brotherhood, that develops between those who are serious about changing for the better, is what I love when I participate in self-help groups. There are many men, wise and not so wise, who participate in self-help groups, who have a very unique perspective that is often times shared with the group that I have learned from. I love to learn from the wise and not so wise men in the self-help groups regardless of intelligence. Everyone has a backstory to tell that is similar to others, and some people's backstory is unique. We all can learn from one another and self-help groups. That’s the overall purpose why I love to participate in self-help groups. I need the help from the people in self-help groups who want to help me. It doesn’t matter how old or young they are. I seek to learn from all people regardless of race, religion, beliefs, political ideology, or sexual orientation. We are spirits, having a human experience on earth, and we all need each other to help one another; which is why, self-help groups are needed at all prison facilities.I have learned a lot over the years by participating in self-help groups. I’ve learned how to be responsible, accountable for my actions; honest in my dealings with others; compassionate towards others; and I’ve learned how to apparently manage and control my feelings and emotions in a healthy way. Self-help groups helped me to learn how to battle and defeat my addiction to criminal activities and substance abuse is. Self-help groups inject hope and the people who feel hopeless and it gives people the mental and emotional support that incarcerated people need, as a support system of survival motivation inspiration and rehabilitation.


Who were you at the time of your life crime and who are you today


At the time I committed my life crime, I was a teenage criminal opportunist. Anytime I found the opportunity to commit a crime that could benefit me financially, materially, or enhance my criminal reputation, I would engage in whatever criminal act that I needed to commit in order to succeed in accomplishing my criminal mission. As a teenage "criminal in training" I attempted to perfect my craft as a "criminal entrepreneur". When I reflect back to my old criminal ways of thinking I honestly and foolishly thought that I could figure out the right way to do the wrong thing. I was just that stupid and naïve to think that way. In the process, I became addicted to criminality. I developed an antisocial personality disorder. I had no respect for the rights of others, I feared and hated the police, and view them as the enemy to the black community because of how I witnessed the police mistreat, harass, beat, and arrest people who look like me (black people). Since the police represent "law and order", I had to be the opposite by being unlawful and creating disorder and problems in society. When I went to public school in my early years of development, I received good grades and my parents reward me with toys and money for receiving good grades. As I got older and learned about history of America I discovered that the founders of America stole the Native Americans land and kidnap my African ancestors to be enslaved to build America to be a wealthy nation and international bully to other countries throughout the world. The founders of the United States formed and trained a military to shoot, bomb, and kill people of color in other countries and to take whatever resources those countries had. And to control foreign government officials under the threat of assassination or bombs or economic sanctions. Reading about American history caused me to adopt the same principles as a person. I stole things from people and justified it by telling myself the founders of America stole this land and kidnapped an African slaves who were also be raped terrorized and sold like animals. I told myself that if the founders of America can do all that and still be viewed as honorable and great leaders of this country, why can’t I do the same?Raping women or harming children or the elderly was never a part of my criminal activities. My crime of choice was drug dealing robbing, violence, terrorizing people, theft. I was a criminal opportunity list. I looked for opportunities to commit crimes and would also think of crimes that I could commit for personal profit, material gain, or enhance my criminal reputation in the streets. When I committed my life crime I was 19 years old I was arrested and convicted of first-degree felony murder attempted robbery assault with a deadly weapon and a shooting on an occupied motor vehicle. I was found guilty of the above listed crimes under the old felony/murder rule because I was the getaway driver. In the attempted robbery my co defendant was found guilty for being the actual gunman who shot and accidentally killed an innocent person. I received a prison sentence of 33 years to life for my participation in the crime. When I entered the prison system at the age of 20 I continue to engage in prison related criminal activities for over 22 years. Around age 40, God begin to divinely inspire me to deconstruct my old criminal ways of thinking. He guided me to figure out how and why I became a criminal. I conducted a fearless and thorough moral inventory search of my entire being. I began to question myself as to why I thought the way I thought ,and acted the way I acted. God gave me the answers to all my questions about myself. I didn’t seek God's help, but deep inside my soul I knew God was injecting His spiritual vaccine to help cure me from my criminal addiction. It was "divine intervention", something that I needed. After I deconstructed my old criminal ways of thinking. God inspired me to reconstruct new positive ways to think. I began the difficult process of rehabilitating myself to become my best self and serve a positive purpose based on spiritual principles. The man that I am today is a man of purpose, A man of honor, and integrity. I am a man who exercise is good moral judgment in the actions I take and in decisions I make. I follow my moral compass and the guidance and instructions God gives me Heart & Soul. Our heart is a physical muscular mechanism that pumps blood through our body to keep us alive. Without a beating heart our entire body will collapse and die. Our soul is our divine heart and mechanisms that allow our spirit to remain connected to God to keep us alive and to allow us to receive divine messages information and guidance from God. Our soul is like a spiritual receiver that picks up divine information in guidance from God for us to use for good and positive purposes. Some people spiritual receiver (their soul) has been damaged, and they have difficulty receiving divine messages and information from God because of the negative and bad energy that they have chosen to entertain by engaging with negative and bad people. Negative thoughts, negative feelings, and negative input from negative sources music television Internet books.Our soul functions in a manner similar to our heart. Our soul pumps divine information, inspiration, motivation, and messages through our spirit so we can get into our soul for us to act upon. We as humans have the free will to act on it or not. God gave us the free world to do that. But, there are consequences for not acting on the divine information/messages and guidance that God gives us. There are also consequences for doing whatever our body desires when we seek pleasure, self gratification, profit, or material gain in bad faith. When you do everything with good intentions, God will make sure everything turns out right for you.Treating and transforming the criminal mentality. The criminal mentality is an antisocial personality disorder that develops over a significant period of time. It’s a diseased way of thinking, infected by exposure to criminal activity, people, and environments that are toxic and unhealthy for social development. The criminal mentality can be treated and eradicated. The process to treat/eradicate the criminal mentality is difficult due to the complicated nature of the criminal mindset of certain people who are criminals. The process for treating and transforming the criminal mentality requires the “snakebite“ approach. When a person has been bitten by a poisonous snake, the same venom that is used to kill a person is used as anti-venom to treat and heal the snakebite victim. The same approach should be used when treating criminals and transforming their thinking mentality. The rehabilitation of ex-offender, who used to be criminals, need to be used. In the right setting as the anti-venom to people who suffer from the poisonous neurotoxin of the criminal mentality. The treatment and transformation process for people who has a criminal mentality consist of the following treatment processes: deconstruct the criminal mentality through counseling engagement to discover all the factors that may have caused the mental illness “criminal mentality“treat the internal wounds of anger, resentment, fear, and addiction with the influence of purpose rooted in spirituality reconstruct positive and productive ways of thinking through education, meditation, and an influence of insight from rehabilitated ask offenders who must counsel and carefully monitor the progress of the person being treated. The educational curriculum for people who are infected with the criminal mentality should and must actively engage in criminal-gang-members-anonymous (CGA). Self-help group. And read the following books and not be limited to the four agreements by Don Miguel RuizThe purpose driven life by Rick Warren the secret by Rhonda Byrne Think and grow rich by Napoleon hill the 12 universal laws of success by Dr. Hebert Harris and earnings for earning freedom by Michael J Santos Mentally digesting such material will cause a person to question their criminal thinking and shift their perspective. Due to the sensitive nature of the criminal mentality there are many dynamics to such mentality that will require a unique approach to certain people or certain groups of people (example: gang members, drug dealers, etc. etc.) professional psychologist alone cannot fully treat and be thorough with the criminal mentality, it will require a collaborative effort with rehabilitated ex-offenders. snuck out of the house in the middle of the night;as I got older I became more audacious—



what would you say to your victim if you had the opportunity?

by Irvin Terrell Tatum

I am deeply sorry, ashamed, and still feel guilty and remorseful for being involved in the crime that resulted in your accidental death. You wasn’t supposed to die. That was not part of our plan, when me and the guy I was with, attempted to car jack the Mercedes that you were riding in.

I hate that your life was cut short because of my poor choices and bad decisions and addiction to drugs and criminality. I’m not making any excuses in the attempt to justify my criminal actions and involvement that caused you to die at such a young age for such a stupid reason. I am only giving you the reason what led up to that fateful night that I couldn’t foresee would happen because I was under the influence of drugs and alcohol and also because I’ve had no control over the person I was with who fired the gun he was carrying accidentally killing you. I didn’t know that he was going to discharge his weapon inside the car your family member was driving. Had I known that the person I was with was reckless with a gun, I wouldn’t have been with him and your life wouldn’t have been cut short.

I deserve to be punished for the role that I played in the crime. I’ve been incarcerated for 33 years because of my involvement in your accidental murder. I never had murderous intentions when seeking to assist my codefendant to car jack the Mercedes that your family was driving. I only wanted the Mercedes. I had no idea that there were children inside the backseat of the car. Due to the dark tent on the windows. Had I known, I wouldn’t have pursued the Mercedes to car jack. I never told my codefendant to shoot inside the car. I thought that he was just going to show his gun to intimidate the driver of the Mercedes to give up her car. But it’s obvious that he had other plans that I was not aware of. My codefendant was very reckless when he discharged his weapon inside the car you were riding in.

I am also deeply sorry and remorseful for terrorizing all the people who were riding inside the car with you on that fateful night. I’m ashamed about causing them to be scared for their lives and experiencing the sadness and emotional pain of watching you die and missing you when you’ve been gone.

I am deeply sorry and my heart still hurts because of my empathy and compassion that I have for you and the lives of all your family members who love and miss you. My mission in life is to make a living amends and to redeem myself by doing positive and good things on a consistent basis to help people while thinking about you while I’m doing it in memory of you.

My character defects

by Irvin T Tatum

My character defects consist of the following: 1.) attention deficit hyper activity disorder ADHD, 2.) antisocial personality disorder, and 3.) post traumatic stress disorder PTSD.

These character defects caused me to develop a criminal mentality that led to my life of crime. Growing up in the inner city of Northern California (i.e. Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco) I was exposed to many adverse childhood experiences that had a negative affect on my social and mental development. I witness, experienced, and was exposed to police harassment/abuse; racial profiling; racial attacks; corporal punishment, whipping from parents; domestic violence in the home; shootings and violence through my community; drugs and alcohol use/abuse; and other adverse childhood experiences. I became broken and hurt by those experiences and I developed a warped belief system. I developed a brief I developed a belief that it was OK to lie, cheat, steal, and hurt others. I developed a selfish attitude and an impulsive disposition that involved instant gratification. I also developed an addiction to drugs, alcohol, and criminality. I had a serious illness that needed to be treated.

My mental illness of criminality required various methods of treatment that I prescribed for myself. I had to first deconstruct my old criminal ways of thinking to discover what made me become a criminal. I also had to reflect to my past childhood years of development to think about all the internal wounds I received from all the tragic events and the bad things that occurred to me. I had to put my mind on a steady mental diet of positive TV programs; self-help books and enroll in prison programs that help me to identify the wounded parts inside of me and warped beliefs that I had adopted that wasn’t mentally healthy for me. I developed my own prescription of rehabilitation that cured me of my mental illness of criminality.

My rehabilitation prescription can be prescribed to others who are currently suffering from the mental illness of criminality.


Poem:

Remorse and redemption

by Irvin Terrell Tatum

I feel shame, guilt, and I am remorseful for my immoral acts and past sins

I had to repent and ask for God‘s forgiveness before my mission of redemption could begin.

I have remorse deep in my soul and I am a man with integrity and deep compassion

I’m on a mission to redeem myself overlooking all negative distractions

Redemption is a process of making living amends

I owe God my life of positive living until my life comes to an end

I view myself as the answer to someone else’s problem

I will always do things with good intentions to help people solve them

I’m not a perfect person, God got me under construction

I pray to keep my spiritual channels open awaiting for gods orders and instructions

Deconstructing my past criminal conduct in search of understanding about who in search of understanding about how I became a beast

God introduced me to reconstruct a positive way of thinking, now I am no longer a thug and a thief

There is no right way to do the wrong thing, we have to do the right thing in the right way

Even if it’s unpopular or political incorrect, disregard the negative things that people may say.

Seeking revenge involves acts of kindness by doing others seeking redemption involves acts of kindness by doing what others seeking redemption involves acts of kindness by doing what’s right for people so.

Redemption shifts the universal laws of goodness in your favor is the truth that I was told.

If you do something wrong because of a mistake that you have made

Seek to make amends and God will consider your redemption debt to be paid

My service to others in prison

By Irvin T Tatum

I’ve been incarcerated for 33 years. At some of the most violent and dangerous prisons in the state of California. For a significant number of years, I was a part of the problem within the prison system due to my past criminal conduct and bad behavior. It took some time and divine intervention for me to realize and come to terms with the fact that there is no right way to do the wrong thing. And if I wanted good things to happen to me and for me, I had to change and put good energy into the universe by doing good things with good intentions.

Throughout my years in prison, I read quite a few self-help books and studied law. The more I learn the more empowered I felt and more responsible I began to feel for myself and others. I couldn’t use ignorance as an excuse for doing ignorant and irresponsible things. I began to feel a mortal I began to feel a moral obligation and a social responsibility to help other incarcerated people with positive and helpful advice with respect to one changing their negative attitude and behavior; to giving them advice and information about how to change, and how to deal with compliance how to deal with complicated prison related issues in a responsible way; three helping them challenge their prison convictions and sentences with my jailhouse lawyer representation. For being a positive prison mentor and role model for many young incarcerated men. Because of my years in prison experience in my knowledge and insight and positive transformation, God has given me the wisdom and ability to have a positive positive impact on others inside of prison as well as outside of these prison walls. My service to others is a part of my road to redemption, and lifelong mission that I will never give up. I know what to expect for myself, so I’m going to always live up to my greatest expectations date July 19, 2021

My daily prison routine

by Irvin T Tatum

My daily prison routine consists of the following:

1. I wake up at 5 AM and pray to God for allowing me to wake up to witness another day. I also pray for God‘s advice, instructions, guidance, and protection.

2. I brush my teeth, wash my face, and clean my room.

3. I meditate and I do yoga exercises for about 45 minutes

4 I review my daily Jenda log booklet to review my need to do list for the day and prioritize everything that it that I need to do such as writing letters, read books, work on programs etc.

5. I recite the 12 steps of “criminal and gang members anonymous CGA and the 12 steps of narcotics anonymous and a, and the four agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I also recite my “life purpose“ statement and my “life goals.”

6. I go to work at 7 AM as the janitor within my housing unit.

7. After work I shower and go to my room and read self-help and educational books and materials. I also read positive affirmations that I wrote on pieces of paper from books I read and from people who speak positive affirmations.

8. I work on writing poems books and draft programs for community that I intend to implement when I regain my freedom. I may write letters to family and friends or sis someone with legal help and write articles for prison newsletters.

9. I exercise on the main yard and sometimes in my room. I also play handball, basketball, and jog as a part of my exercise regiment.

10. I watch approximately three hours of television programs daily. The TV content I normally watch consists of comedy, educational, religious, and wildlife/nature shows. I shower again before bed.

11. I go to sleep at about nine or 9:30 PM before I go to sleep I pray and write down my daily activities in my daily agenda log booklet


From Prisoner to Entrepreneur


When I entered the prison system in 1989 I was 20 years old. My main objective was to get out of prison, which led me to the prison law library to study and learn about the law and my constitutional rights.


While trying to fight for my freedom through the courts, I also had to fight for my survival and to maintain my sanity while housed at some of the most violent prisons in the state of California. While in “survival mode“ I became lost when I immersed myself deep into the prison culture of drug dealing, violence, gambling, deception, manipulation, and violating just about every prison rule in the book. I was a “true criminal“. I was a “to criminal“ who lived by the “contact code of conduct“. Living by that code, I felt that I had more to prove and not very much to lose. But, in actuality, I lost a lot because of spending many years in solitary confinement SHU away from family and friends.


While serving a significant number of years in solitary confinement, I invested a lot of time reading and studying a lot about law, business, history, culture, psychology, politics… I began to learn more about myself and the warped ways I used to think after reading books like the four agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz; the purpose driven life, by Rick Warren; the community of self, by Nah NAM Akbar; the autobiography of Malcolm X, by Alex Haley…


I became enlightened in a lot of subjects, but I also remained addicted to “criminality” which hindered my emotional development to care about others. As smart and slick as I thought I was as a criminal, I didn’t know who I was as a human being. I was mentally and spiritually lost, and I was not looking for God to save me.


And then one day, I was divinely inspired and motivated by a spiritual force to deconstruct my old criminal ways of thinking, to figure out exactly how did I become a violent criminal? I thought back to the very first time that I committed a crime and why I did it and how I felt about it at the time. I did question my warped belief system and I tried to apply logic to it. I humbled myself and prayed to God to extract those defective thoughts from my mind.


Destroying my warped belief system took some time and it was difficult because I was losing who I was (a thug), and I was fearful about who I would become. I built a criminal reputation from the streets to prison they gave me certain level of respect in the criminal culture. I was trying to hold onto that. But I also realize that I knew that I had to change if I wanted to have a better life in prison. If I could regain my freedom to live outside of a prison cell I had to make the change now.


After deconstructing my old criminal ways of thinking, I began the difficult process of reconstructing positive ways to think and prosocial ways to behave. I began to realize that my life is business and that people in power are using my body as an asset for their prison business. The state receives over $65,000.00 a year in tax revenue to housing care for me in prison.


My life is a business and I need to structure and run my life like a company. I am the president, the CEO of my business and my company is me. I am a brand and my face is my logo and my name is the title of my company. I conduct and operate my life like a business. I’m no longer a criminal entrepreneur; I am a spiritual and social entrepreneur. I seek to use the divine inspiration and guidance that I received from my higher power (God) for prosocial purposes. My spiritual and social entrepreneurism has a redemptive element to it because I’m also a lifelong mission to redeem myself from all the past negative energy that I put into the universe.