Finding Hope and Life Behind Bars

by | Mar 18, 2022 | Book Feature, Faith, prison, Social Issues | 0 comments

There are a lot of stories behind bars that inspired filmmakers and writers alike to recreate their stories and brought to life issues surrounding the present prison system. One of those stories that stood out is the story of the notorious inmate, Rickie Smith. Rosser book on transformation of a notorious Texas inmate, Real Prison Real Freedom, effectively brought to life the story and the redemptive change that took place in the life of Smith, infamously known as one of the most violent inmates in the Texas correctional system. Rosser McDonald touched on sensitive topics such as how a man who is significantly impacted by his family and environment became a high profile prisoner, the involvement of prison warden Keith Price, and a frustrating criminal justice system that doesn’t seem to change along with the times and adapt ways and practice that would be beneficial for both the inmates and the society at large.

At the Other Side of the Bars

Prison sentences do not only affect the life of the detained. Prison has a ripple effect that vibrates throughout several levels of society. When a person is imprisoned, the first level of people affected is the families and friends, or those people who are in regular contact with the prisoner. Those who are married found their relationship in upheaval, with the imprisonment causing strain, tension, and pressure in maintaining connection or intimacy with their spouses. Other family members are also affected, bringing stigma to the family that often leads them to be outcasts since they’re related to someone behind bars.   

The next set of people affected are the correctional officers or the prison guards. Former prison warden Keith Price explains that interacting and being exposed every day to prisoners can be very draining for a correctional officer. Dealing with the different characters and attitudes of the prisoners can cause a toll on a correctional officer’s personal life. 

The community comes next. In the case of Rickie Smith, the community played a major and influential role that led Smith to become the person that sent him to jail. Aside from growing up in a domestically abusive family environment, Smith was also bullied at school and was falling behind in his studies. Finding no support from family and school and being stigmatized, Smith turned to the wrong crowd that ushered in the life of criminality for the teenager at that time. Rickie Smith is a classic example of how a community pushed a teenager to become one of the most violent prisoners in Texas. 

Finding a Lifeline

Real Prison Real Freedom also talks about how Smith eventually found God and drastically changed his image and life. The author records how an encounter with Christ can affect a significant change in a person’s life. Smith’s life underwent a crucial change upon reading a letter from a consistent Christian correspondent, which contained a famous Bible quote from Matthew 11:28 that goes, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” 

Rickie Smith, one of the most violent inmates in Texas, became a Christian. Keith Price witnessed firsthand the change in Smith and the positive influence that Smith radiates towards the other inmates. Although still serving his prison at present, Smith was responsible for leading several prison gangs to embrace the faith and values brought about by Christianity. Hence, Smith’s story is the one that goes down in the books for all time. 

Find out more about how Rickie Smith and his transformational journey led him to find God and a new life. Grab a copy of Rosser McDonald’s Real Prison Real Freedom on Amazon, or visit the author’s website.


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