In 5 months and 28 days I will walk out of prison. It’s been 10 years since I’ve known freedom and rightfully so, I did bad things. I got myself straightened out in every way I could. Mentally, physically, spiritually and financially…kinda.

I don’t have a lot of money right now. I’ve managed to save a few dollars and with the help of total strangers I will release with over $5k. Not many prisoners can say the same. That money will go quick though. I still owe fines to the state, I have no property such as clothes, shoes, kitchenware etc. I will have to spend my money getting bare essentials and paying off the $9k I still owe. Then there’s college. I don’t mind going into debt for college though, if need be.

My entire life I have only known and understood poverty. I’ve known nothing else. Financial stability was a dream or luck of the draw. I didn’t understand how wealth built in someone’s life. It takes self-control, hard work, and patience. Plus, I cannot do it alone. I will need the advice and guidance of those who’ve been there and understand what it means to grind like hell.

I want what I’ve never had and am ready and willing to do what I have never done to get it. Like the saying goes, if you want what only a few people have you must be willing to do what only a few people were willing to do. Let’s go.

I don’t know how or with what company or even what city, but I’m going to do well. Prison has forever shaped me and has illuminated precisely what I don’t want to be. But knowing what I don’t want isn’t enough, I had to define what I wanted to become. Part of that was owning that I’m a woman. Check. Then I had to embrace my natural talents and intelligence. Check. Next is understanding exactly what my values and morals are, what kind of woman I am, who I want to be and what I want to be known for. Check and check.

Only thing left to do is go chase that paper and make life happen for myself.

I’ll see you on the way up.

To help support or share in my release, please visit my gofundme at:


With Love

Ruth Utnage