Hello, my name is Duane Angelo Gittens, #K22294 and the nature of my life crime, was a Horrific (matricide) for which I was reluctantly a part of in 1994. I was abused as a young child and as an adult teen; in a state of desperation, I vented to a best friend who was nineteen or twenty in 1994, as I was. He did not take my frantic ranting to him serious, but unbeknownst to me, he had company in an adjacent room who overheard my yelling and took my rants to heart. My distresses about being abused, hurt, and neglected for years fell on dangerous ears. And that is when my nightmare began.
I was brought-up in an upper-middle class home. I was a Cerritos Athletic over-achiever with high hopes and dreams of being in the NFL. From the age of 15-years-old to 19, 20-years old, I held down a part-time job while in high school, as well as in college, while playing football. I was raised by a hard-pressed, firm disciplinarian, single-parent mother whose love I deemed abusive in my teens. For a short period of time during my pre-teens, I was molested by her, which I never shared with anyone until I came to prison. I first shared this with my fiance, the love of my life.
While I’ve been in prison, I’ve written over thirteen unpublished books. I completed two Anger Management courses; I am a spearhead for the Nation of Islam and formed student minister, and helper of Muhammad, the righteous people, and have become a 5%. I am also a well-studied, secured party creditor for the past ten years, registered with the Secretary of State.
Delano III-prison has picked my brainchild-baby of a reform class, called F.I.R.M. Resolutions (which stand for Firm – Intelligent – Responsible – Models; also known as Significant Challenges) created by a fellow LWOP named Rudy Murphy at Delano State Prison, who is now with us at Solano. I am currently striving to get this approved at CSP-Solano.
I know that, no matter the circumstances in life, they cannot define or defy who you really are. My testimony in life is to let all who hear me, understand the struggle is real. Struggle is ordained; we all, all of us are equipped by the Most High to overcome any and all mistakes, bad choices, circumstances, people, places, things, environments… for a positive, pro-active, social lesson in one another’s life in society.
Everyone’s contribution counts for a child, good, bad, and ugly. My presence, back in free society, will only project positive, reform insight and strength of a Man whose been to the darkest places in self and prison-of-self and society, yet has emerged to see and be part of the light.