top of page

Jose Ortega T60444

Dear Jenny,

I know sorry cannot make up for not being there for you when you needed me the most. For missing those once in a lifetime moments of your life. Please know that I am sorry for not being there for you and for not being able to be there for those special moments with you.

I want you to know I’m not trying to justify or blame anyone for leaving you. I’m here to tell you the truth and let you know that I will never leave you again.

Through my rehabilitation here at Calipatria, I came to understand that my dysfunctional upbringing and the environment I lived in, had causative and contributing factors to my development that lead to a destructive lifestyle as a criminal gang member an addict. I have address these underlying issues, I take full responsibility for all my antisocial behavior, and I no longer practice or live by those criminal warped beliefs. These programs CGA, NA/AA, AVP have given me the tools to use in my daily affairs. It has been over 20 years and no walls or distance has come between us, we have a bond like no other.

Those statements you made at visiting, "I don’t want to see you in the hole again" and "remember when I used to do cartwheels on the visiting mats", that made me reflect and made me realize what kind of person and father I was (irresponsible, inconsiderate, and selfish). That was my turning point.

I’m sorry for everything I’ve put you through and that you had to go through by yourself. I want you to know that I am no longer that man today. I am a loving father, determined and earning my freedom to be there for you. That is my purpose and what gives me meaning to my life *you. You were three years old when I got incarcerated. Look at you now, 25 years old. You are a beautiful, brave, and smart young lady. There’s nothing that can come between us but ourselves.

I must thank you for not giving up on me, for believing in me, for your unconditional love. I love you.

C.G.A. lifestyle of addiction to criminality Step 9


To all the people that I victimized directly and indirectly by my self-centered, irresponsible, impulsive, inconsiderate, prideful, and greediness way of living in the past it only left a path of distraction,

I am deeply sorry for stealing your pigeons, your bikes, for vandalizing your property, by riding on it, for breaking your windows, for stealing your hubcaps, speakers, radios, cars, and I’m sorry for acting aggressively for fighting you, and selling drugs to you. I am sorry for hurting you emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and financially directly and indirectly to you and your loved ones. I am no longer living recklessly victimizing. Today I am a humble respectful and responsible hard-working man that obeys all the laws and rules, that thinks before he acts, that cares about others. I’m a man with a conscious, living with the purpose of making positive impacts anywhere and everywhere I go by sharing my truth, my experience of how powerful this lifestyle of addiction to criminality is, and it’s destructive force behind that has no compassion or empathy and preach not to live like I once did. Today I live by this motto “one less criminal, one less crime, one less victim.“

Once again I am truly sorry for the hardships I put you all through.

C. G. A. lifestyle of addiction to criminality

step nine

State of California

To the State of California I would like to apologize for my greedy criminal lifestyle that I once lived irresponsibly, impulsively, inconsiderately, violating your laws, the rights, the privacy‘s, and the freedoms that you established and gave the citizens of your communities and society as a whole. I’m sorry for being a financial burden to the state of California and to its hard-working taxpayers who had to pay for all my courts and attorneys fees, restitution to my victims, and have had to pay for all my courts and attorneys fees, restitution to my victims, and I’ve had to pay for my incarceration to the state. I’m also sorry for the emotional, psychological, and spiritual distress I caused the first responders and police as well as witnesses and the people of those communities and societies that I am directly affected by my senseless acts of violence. Through my rehabilitation I came to realize that you, the great state of California, became my second mother that I’ve come to care and respect.

It’s through programs like CGA, AVP, NNA/AA that you provide that helped me address my core issues. I am no longer that gang member or criminal that caused you all those problems. Today I am a humble and responsible hard-working man that cares about others and his community.

It’s through you, that I have a quired he’s working skills PI a janitorial skills, IDL, landscaping, maintenance, hazard certified waste management, secretarial skills, and I am proved my education.

Today I live with gratitude, when I’m not working, I volunteer in anyway I can buy picking up trash, mentoring, giving back what was freely given to me and living in peace and harmony with everyone around me.

I am deeply sorry for being a burden for what I have made you go through

C. G. A. lifestyle of addiction to criminality

step twelve

step 12 was not the end of the program, it was the beginning of a new way of life with a new attitude towards everything and everyone. For I was blind and deaf by warped beliefs and by the grace of God I’ve slowly regained my site and my hearing. Today I see and hear clearly, and living life with gratitude, with a purpose of one less criminal, one less crime, one less victim. By sharing my truth, my experience in my programs. Being there for those in need, mentoring, and facilitating, volunteering my time to the community in anyway I can to help and living responsible and in harmony with everyone by being kind, respectful, caring, compassionate, responsible, empathetic, tolerant, and understanding. It is through God I came to trust, feel, belief, and expressed and do His will. I thani God for putting the people (staff, inmates) He did in my path which became my friends and my support network. I will forever be grateful to God and his angels for sacrificing their time, their thoughts, for sharing their stories, for showing compassion and respect, their kindness, showing what they care and understand what I was going through, for listening, for believing in me, for encouraging me, and I will be forever grateful to God for their love they gave me unconditional and consistently.

John 15:10 “greater love has no one in this, then to lay down one’s life for his friend“

this was what was given to me freely and I am committed to giving it back freely any where I’m at and everywhere I go.

Romans 12 :2 “do not be conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that is good and acceptable and the perfect will of God”

I have adopted spiritual principles, new beliefs, values, and a new attitude towards life. Today I have in harmony, self respect, and a sense of accomplishment. Last but not least, I’m living in peace through love, security, And acceptance. Excepting myself and others the way we are; and perfect. Through security far from fear and doubt and through love loving myself and others.

C. G. A. lifestyle of addiction lifestyle of addiction to criminality

step 12

spiritual awakening

Through the steps I came to see that these warped beliefs blinded me they would not let me see, hear, or let me be who I was meant to be; son father brother uncle cousin nephew and friend. These warped beliefs became ingrained in me which only led me to live a lifestyle addicted to criminality that only left a path of destruction and a trial of direct and indirect victims. This lifestyle had no compassion or empathy for anyone. It was through my salvation that I will set free from my own prison. There’s no doubt, that my faith has set me free, changed, and improved my life. And through the grace of God I’m humbly walking in this life‘s journey of redemption. Where I am able to do things that I could not do before. I can feel, believe, trust, and I can express and do gods well. I am sober. I no longer hide my fears or insecurities with drugs. I can ask for help and help others, share our testimonies, I’m open, honest, and vulnerable about my problems and I have no problem doing what’s right because I have inner strength, courage, my self-esteem, and my worth is no longer dependent on others opinions or the way they perceive me. Through the steps and the guidance of God I have found myself,

Jose Ortega.

What is addiction?


My name is Jose Ortega T60444.

When I first met addiction and it’s friends minimize and justifies through criminality and it’s beliefs.

I had no sense of direction in life or any coping skills to handle daily life events or situations.

I knew nothing about these addictions. They slowly took over my mind and body. Both of these addictions can have deadly or serious consequences.

These addictions led me to live a greedy, self gratification, irresponsible, impulsive, inconsiderate, and manipulative life.

Living in this lifestyle caused me to hurt everyone that crossed my life emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and financially.

My mind craved that self gratification and my body could not function without heroin.

I would steal, like, manipulate. I would live with nothing just to feed my addiction. I even manipulated my daughters mother to smuggle drugs, which ended with her in jail.

My addiction to criminality had tragic consequences. On August 20, 1996 I committed a cowardly, callous, senseless crime of murder, carjacking, and robbery.

I was tried and convicted for it and currently serving a life without parole sentence.

Addiction and criminality go hand-in-hand. They’re slick, they're beliefs will blind you and will not let you hear of the ones you need to hear. Once you let them in you will not see reality. You will minimize, justify, or rationalize your actions.

Criminality has an ego that always wants that self gratification. When addiction has its deadly grips on me and my life, I didn’t realize that I was running away from internal issues. So I found another way out and not fase my internal issues.

My criminal and gang beliefs and addiction make me a monster. I didn’t care I had no regard for anyone!

What is addiction?

Today, I understand this saying clearly, “hurt people hurt people”. I was emotionally broken. I am no longer that criminal working member and I am sober by the grace of God.

So what is addiction to me? It’s deadly, it’s vicious, it has no compassion, it has no cost conscious, and it doesn’t discriminate who it hurts.

A life of crime is not normal, it’s a cry for help!

Turning point

I’ve missed so many of my daughters precious-once-in-a-lifetime moments. Instead of me taking her to gymnastics class, she would come to visit me and to show me what she was learning in class. In the visiting room they had mats, so she would do cartwheels. She would be so excited! In 2003 I manipulated her mother to smuggle drugs, which culminated with her mother in jail for a year. My daughter and her mother had to be separated for that year. In 2006, I was sent to administrative segregation unit for a manufactured weapon; I spent three years there . My daughter would ask her grandparents to bring her to visit me and then she would see me come in all shackled up.

In 2013 I remember her first visit when she turned 18 years old. The first thing she said to me was “remember when I used to do cart wheels there” she was pointing at the visiting mats. Then, at the end of our visit she said “I don’t want to see you in the hole“.Those two statements really hit me hard they made me see who and what I really was. A monster without a conscious. I was hurting my baby. How many times has she called out for me? How many times has she wished for me to be there with her? I missed her 15 era.

Those distorted beliefs I once lived by, blinded me and wouldn’t let me hear the ones I needed to hear. I would like to quote a Bible scripture 1 Corinthians 13:7 “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.“ This young lady is not only my lovely, beautiful daughter, but my angel as well. She never gave up on her dad (me).

By the grace of God I see clearly how blessed I am, to have my family, and daughter; to see their smiles, to hear their laughter.

Today, I understand what I took away from my victims family on August 20, 1996. No child or family deserves to go through what they’ve been through and continue to go through. I am deeply sorry for all the emotional pain I’ve caused them.

As you can see 'daddy‘s little girl' is all grown up, and our relationship is stronger than ever. God is good. I am no longer that foolish, irresponsible, impulsive, greedy, self-centered, and inconsiderate criminal. I am a man of God. Today, I am a father, and a son, a brother, and uncle, and nephew, a cousin, a friend, and a better person in general with a conscious that cares about others that thinks before he acts. That is responsible and determined and making a positive impact wherever I’m at, or go by, sharing my truth and experience and living by this motto “one less criminal, one less crime, one less victim“.

I ask of you to please make time for your kids and create precious memories so they can share with their kids. We can make a difference in our kid’s lives or any other kid's life.

God bless you.

19 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Please forgive me

Richard Randall Monday, July 11, 2022 I have been incarcerated now for 29 years; I have been assigned a new identity by California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. As a result of my past


bottom of page