Billy Davis’ Bio

This bio for Billy Davis was written in collaboration with his mother (Janet Davis). you see, Billy is developmentally disabled and visually disabled because of pre-mature birth, with a cyst in his brain that was
not identified until the age of ten. Nevertheless, as an adolescent/teen, Billy became as sociable as his condition would allow, including fulfilling a romantic interest with the love of his life.

Billy also made friends with ease, especially male figures in, or above, his age group, which, in his naïve heart and mind, was a marvelous thing, however, that innocent interacting with others would prove fatal because – due to his under-developed brain – he was subject to manipulation by those who held little or no regard for his safety or well-being. To  rveryone’s dismay, at age 19, Billy was implemented in a crime, along with others, (found guilty) and sentenced (under the Felony Murder Rule) to Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOP).

In the year 2000, while housed at CSP-Calipatria, Billy was stabbed several times and also received massive blows to his head causing the Cyst to rupture, caused cerebral spinal fluid buildup in his brain
triggering displacement of the brain stem, spinal damage and an enlarged cyst. After several surgeries and time spent in Segregated Housing Unit(s), Billy is now housed at CHCF, where he receives the much-needed medical/mental healthcare.

From his hand, he shares these words:

“I have been in jail/prison longer than I haven’t! Because of my medical condition, from birth, I wasn’t able to put my own thoughts together. So, I just took comfort in doing what I was told. While I still need to be told what to do, more and more, I’ve been realizing that I can make thoughts myself. While I’ve been in prison a long time, the CCCMS, DDP, CHURCH and GROUPS have helped me, and when I get out, I’d like to keep being able to learn from them. I’m also wanting to help change the way people think about each other, they should want to do all they can for each other. As for me, though, in its own way, my medical condition had positive aspects too. Unfortunately, I just don’t/can’t think of what is going to happen next. What I do know, though, is that if I don’t help everybody else, how can I ask for forgiveness myself!”

Through Billy’s many medical battles and misfortunes with the justice system, his family, mother, grandfather and sister have been there every step of the way; hoping, praying for a humane resolution of Billy’s cause.

In 2017, his family petitioned the Governor’s Office for a compassionate release, however, the family still waits for a response. Long before the judicial and prison systems misfortunes, Billy was born six (6) weeks prematurely, triggering hospitalization, surgeries resulting his arrested development in all areas of growth; he did not walk, or talk, until age two (2). Sadly, Billy’s trial attorney failed to present any of his developmental / visual disabilities during the course of trial.

Regardless, sentencing anyone in Billy’s condition to LWOP, and forcing them to serve out such is most cruel and inhumane. And, I am hopeful that we (citizens of California) can work together, and through legislation, to amend existing laws, or, create new ones that take into consideration the under-developed mental status of those LWOP’s who were above age nineteen (19) at the time of the offense and reconsideration for those offenders who have since fallen mentally/physically ill, and would be better off at home or a non-prison setting. So, let us be brave and work in a united effort for all those (like Billy and the taxpayers who pay for their long-term incarceration) who deserve better.

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Robert Henry

Congratulations my fellow prisoners who maintained the struggle and faith in the fight to get parole consideration for many prisoners serving Life Without Possible of Parole (LWOP).

“Your voices,” by way of application for commutation of your sentences, petitions to the courts and 602’s (appeals) have resonated with the courts, California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and most importantly the Governor of California, Jerry Brown and his staff.

On May 17, 2018, myself and several of my friends and associates have received commutation hearings from the Governor’s staff for the prospects of getting our sentences reduced for demonstrating good conduct, redemption and unusual sentences based on lack of participation in the crime.

They (Governor’s staff) are considering all of the issues “we” have been arguing for the last five years or so that no one should be given LWOP as a first termer, aider and abettor or as a youth offender under current law.
The Governor, the courts and CDCR would not have known our cry for justice and equality without us voicing our opposition through politically motivated legislation.

My thanks go out to the Lifers with Optimistic Progress (LWOP) its facilitators, coordinators and members at CHCF and CSP Solano for encouraging me to be optimistic, the Governor’s office and its staff for being objective, professional and courteous. In addition, to the CDCR for respecting the process.

Sincerely,

Robert Henry D-32467
CHCF PWC-108u
PO BOX 31960
Stockton California 95213

Introducing Deandre Hill

Deandre Hill with his supervisors from the volunteer educational program

Deandre Hill with his supervisors from the volunteer educational program

Hi there – my name is Deandre Hill, I am 29 years old, and I am serving a sentence of Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOP).  In 2008, I was convicted of murder robbery under the Felony Murder Role as an aider and abettor.  I take full responsibility for my participation in the robbery although there was no intent on any of this happening.

I did not commit the homicidal act nor did I have any knowledge that it was going to happen. However, I still regret my participation and wish that I could have done more to prevent it.  I am now a husband, stepfather, uncle and a better role model for many youth as well as my family and I am passionate about promoting education and giving back to my community.

I was born and raised in Oakland and am the youngest of 4 siblings with two brothers and a sister.  My father has been incarcerated throughout my whole life. In 2003 when I was 14 years of age, my mother passed away from cancer.  I then went to live with my grandmother with very little time she taught me a lot.  Responsibility, good work ethics, proper goal setting amongst many other things.  Unfortunately, I still sought guidance and approval from my peers who were the wrong role models.

I have now matured and I strive to give back to society in any way that I can.  I have maintained employment throughout my incarceration as a tutor and clerk within the education department.  I have earned my GED and I am now in pursuit of my AA degree.  I have completed several self-help programs as well as facilitator training.  Furthermore, I have managed to stay clean of any violence for 10 years now with hopes to be a better example to other young men.

Meet Roy L. Walker

Roy L. Walker photo age 18 and his aunt Missy

Me and Aunt Missy, age 18

My name is Roy L. Walker (V-41346) and I am 37-years-old. I’ve been in prison approximately 19 years (I was arrested at the age of 18) and was given a Life Without Parole sentence.

Let me give you some background on me and how I grew up. I was taken out of my father’s house at the age of 12 due to child abuse and was placed in the foster care system. At the age of 13, my mother passed away from breast cancer and I felt lost. I went from one foster home to another, and then at the age of 14, I was put in a group home after going to juvenile hall for an altercation that I had with my aunt and uncle. I was always looking for that ‘family environment,’ and I felt I’d found that acceptance in the streets. I never went around looking for trouble, but I looked at my friends as my family and I was willing to defend them at all costs (sometimes even to the determent of my own safety).

At 18-years-old, I was arrested for murder over a misunderstanding (I now know). After 2 1/2 years, I went to trial and got a hung-jury, the D.A. immediately refilled the charges on me and after 2 years, I went to my second trial. The D.A. argued that I was the primary shooter (there was evidence to prove that I wasn’t), the judge gave instructions to support the primary shooter theory and after 24 hours of deliberation, the jury instruction was changed to add Aider & Abettor  – 30 minutes later, I was found guilty for the new instruction.

Since my incarceration, I’ve done a lot of self-reflection. I received my GED while I was in the county jail and while I’ve been in prison, I have done several self-help groups: Victim Awareness-4x; Anger Management; Relapse Prevention; Denial Management; I’m currently enrolled in Lassen Community College,  and I’m currently the Lead-Coordinator of the Lifers With Optimistic Progress (L.W.O.P.) Group at CSP-Solano.

After the self-reflection that I’ve done, I can honestly say that I regret the harm that I caused his family and the community, and I work every day to put positive energy in the world. I mentor young men that come into the system with a group called Life Line; the group tries to educate these young men on life skills and how to make better decisions and no go through the pitfalls that the mentors went through.

If I was given a second chance, I feel that I can bring positive energy to a community that desperately needs it. I want to open up a Group Home and help the youth that feel like nobody cares or understands them. I know this because when I was in the foster care system, I felt I was just a paycheck to group homes. I was to show the youth that things/life can be different.

Pic. 1 Me and Aunt Missy age 18
Pic. 2 Me, My brother, Father & a few cousins
Pic 3 Me & my brother before my mother’s death
Pic 4 me at Pelican Bay
Pic. 5 my sister, moms, brother and me
Roy L. Walker photo age 18 and his aunt Missy

Me and Aunt Missy, age 18

Photo of Roy L. Walker, Brother, Father & a few cousins

Me, My brother, Father & a few cousins

Photo 3: Roy L. Walker and brother before their mother's death

Me & my brother before my mother’s death

Photo 4: Roy L. Walker at Pelican Bay

Roy L. Walker at Pelican Bay

Photo 5: Roy L. Walker: sister, moms, brother and me

My sister, moms, brother and me

Meet Antione Crecy

Antione Crecy with child

Antione Crecy

I’m in for murder-robbery which was a senseless crime. I was 22 at the time and I’ll be 43 in August. The role I played as an aider and abettor still breaks my heart — I never expected death would occur.
I have taken full responsibility for the irresponsible choice I made as a young man who lacked understanding on how such a crime can impact not only a victim’s family, but also my own as well as my community.

I grew up in a home of Domestic Violence. I started acting up in school in the 3rd grade and fighting became my normal lifestyle until I was 18. I started selling drugs at 14 to support myself since my mom had to feed and clothe my younger siblings on her own. I worked for the Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard a couple of years off-and-on, and then I was arrested.

Since I’ve been incarcerated, I joined a Victim’s Awareness program which impacted me so deeply, I took the group twice to fully understand how any crime can cause a ripple effect of heartache and pain. I completed AVP (Alternative to Violence Project) twice. Basic and the Advanced groups. I have a G.E.D. I’m a qualified facilitator for self-help groups such as; Life Line, Replace Prevention, Denial Management, C.G.A., Lifers Group, Defense Mechanisms, Anger Management, L.W.O.P. (Lifers With Optimistic Progress), and I also completed these groups as a participant.

I’ve been involved with helping the youth in prison, which started on a Level 3 yard here. Now I’m on a Level 2 yard and continuing my goals to help young men of all races stay out of prison. I’m part of the L.W.O.P. group Steering Committee to continue helping our group grow and share ideas with men to keep our fight alive and get home.

I’m qualified to drive Commercial Trucks after passing both written driver’s tests. I was baptized in 2003 as a Jehovah’s Witness, and even though I’m not perfect, I do my part in sharing God’s word and love it.

With the help of a close friend, I will work on starting my own Non-Profit Organization dealing with the youth in our community. Sharing my experiences as a youth, and in prison, giving the youth a reality they’re not watching on TV and being unfamiliar with the court system will hopefully open their eyes to not commit a crime. Even if I can only reach a few hearts.

Photo of Antione Crecy

Antione Crecy

Voices and Faces of Lifers With Optimistic Progress Group At Defy Ventures Business Pitch Competition

Hung Ly being congratulated

Hung Ly receiving a “I Choose You” card from Bill from Netflix

Voices and Faces of Lifers With Optimistic Progress Group At Defy Ventures Business Pitch Competition

By: “Humble” Hung Ly (pronounced “Lee”). Defy @ Solano Level II Peer Group Facilitator/Enrollment Coordinator

Defy Ventures returned to the Level II gymnasium at California Prison-Solano on Wednesday, February 21st, 2018, for Cohort V’s BPC and CEO of Your New Life – White Belt Graduation.

Representing the LWOP Group, “Successful” Steven Jones Jr. (Cohort II), “Justified” Joe Bell (Cohort III), “Rapid” Rich Hodge (Cohort III), and I (Cohort IV), served as members of the Defy @ Solano Coordinators and Facilitators team, providing assistance, exceeding, and logicistal support in organizing the event.

CEO YNL is a program developed by Defy Ventures, Inc., a non-profit organization serving men and women with criminal histories nationally, who are returning or have returned to society, redirecting their natural talents, creating profitable and legal business ventures, gaining valuable employment and personal development skills, and building character.

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To meet the requirements of CEO YNL, entrepreneurs-in-training (or EIT, what participants are referred as) complete 100 video courses taught by some of the country’s leading experts, developed comprehensive and realistic reentry plans, including written plans related to personal growth, health and appearance, relationship management, decision making, finding employment, and commitments to staying free. EITs are also required to formulate a small business idea that will allow them to generate legal income upon release.

Defy is in the business of creating “legitimate first chances.” “Transform your Hustle” and “Defy Odds” is the motto. Defy has incubated and financed over 100 of its EITs companies. Grads have reported an 83% increase in income and achieved a 95% employment rate. Defy’s recidivision rate is less than 5%.

Beginning at 6:00 a.m., the Defy @ Solano team arrived at the gym to prepare for the big event by setting up the stage, chairs, and tables. The Solano Vision News was present with journalists and a photographer, while the media crew set up the sound equipment. Cohort IV EITs arrived about an hour later with their cue card, props, fresh shaved faces/haircuts, ironed shirts, and a mixture of confidence and anxiety.

Last minute pitch practices were conducted in several small groups with Defy @ Solano team timing and coaching the EIT contestants.

At about 9:00 a.m., Founder and CEO of Defy Ventures, Catherine Hoke, made her grand entrance along with her Defy team; Bay Area Executive Director Veronica Ensign, Director of Engagement-Live Events, Danielle McMorran; Post Release Program Manager-Southern California, Quan Huyunh (who paroled from Solano in the year 2015 after serving 16 years), Family Liasion Michelle Garcia, Event Planner-Northern California Scott Chamberlain. Photographer Nancy Rothstein hired by Defy to capture memorable moments of the event, was also present and snapping away.

After taking several minutes to catch up with correctional staff and past cohort alumnis and meeting Cohort V EDITs, Catherine stepped on-stage and opened the event. Catherine announced a special guest, her friend and supporter, David Hornik, will be arriving shortly to celebrate his 50th birthday.

Suddenly, “Tunnel up!” was shouted from all directions. Over a hundred volunteer coaces serving as BPC judges arrived in groups. Arrivals were welcomed in the Defy Tradition by passing through the “Tunnel of Love,” with up-raised arms, high-fives, and cheers from the EITs before loud music. EITs networked, exchanged stickers, and took photos with volunteers for about an hour, while the rest of the volunteers gradually filled the gym. Without further due, the anticipated birthday boy, a Venture capitalists from August Capital and a regular at Solano, arrived with a group of colleagues.

Following the arrival of the last group, Catherine, with mic in-hand, announced for everyone to find a seat before she called, “Time!” or face the penalty of doing push-ups onstage. The penalty was avoided as everyone swiftly made their way to the seating area.

With mic in-hand and her usual dynamic personality, Danielle, Catherine’s co-emcee, summoned Rich onto the stage to explain the “Level 10 Clap,” which is a noisy standing ovation applause. Rich started with level 1, a lame golf clap. “We’re going to get this party jumpin’ like some hot grease,” Rich said. As he counted with his fingers to 8, 9, 10, the gym was on their feet, clapping loudly, cheering, and whistling.

As soon as everyone settled down, a round of 18 bear hugs (signifying the year 2018) was announced. With the stopwatch counting, EITs excitedly rushed from an open pair of arms to the next as they counted down from 18 while the volunteers did the same with each other. After this icebreaker, ground rules were in order. EITs and volunteers were instructed to face and look directly into each others eyes and commit to treating each other with respect and humanity. Affirmations were shared between EITs and volunteers.

Once trust was established, Catherine welcomed Mr. Hornik onto the stage. With music blaring through the speakers, Mr. Hornik danced his way onstage, finishing off with a carthweel while Catherine danced along. After a brief speech, Mr. Hornik redirected the focus to the volunteers. Mr. Hornik asked the volunteers to stand at the amount their businesses are worth as he counted from the millions to the billions. At the billion mark, one man stood which caused a Level 10 clap. Catherine handed Mr. Hornik a birthday cake cap, which he wore almost the entire day. EITs, volunteers, and Defy staff sang “Happy Birthday,” and when the song ended, a painting signed by all EITs was presented as a birthday gift.

Groups of Venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and business executives were invited onstage with typical Defy energy. After dancing their way onstage, volunteers took turns shamelessly giving his/her company brag and why he/she would make a good BPC judge. The introductions were both mind-blowing and entertaining. Many big-name companies were represented, such as Netflix, Lyft, Apple, Google, Simplexity, and Pandora. When the last group of volunteers danced off-stage, Solano’s fifth BPC officially kicked off.

Upon breaking down to 2-3 EITs per station, Catherine warned EITs, “If you don’t pitch, you don’t graduate.” For some, the desire to don cap and gown and walk the stage to complete CEO YNL dissipated any fear of public speaking. Pitching rules were announced; first, panel moderators have 45 seconds to read the presenter’s leadership statement. Second, the presenter has up to 3 minutes to pitch his idea and make an “ask” (investment, mentor, references, etc.) within that time or face disqualifcation. Third, 3.5 minutes of Q & A. Last, 2 minutes of feedback.

Over 30 EITs pitched small business ideas before judges with curious Defy Staff, and proud peer facilitators listening in. These pitches included mobile hair salons, motorcycle cleaning services, cause-related crochet clothing training and manufacturing, and boothless photo station machines. Upon completion of the quartersfinals, judges took several minutes to deliberate.

As soon as decisions were reached, Catherine guided the event into the next phase, an exercise in empathy and commonalities called “Step to the Line.” Volunteers and EITs were instructed to spread out on opposite sides of a pair of colorful duct tapelines, running diagonally across the gym floor. Once in place, both sides are to face each other, looking directly in each other’s eyes, while remaining silent. Speaking softly, Catherine guided the group through the process, reading from a sheet of statements. Participants were instructed to step to the line if true or take 5 steps back if false. As it became more intense and personal, socioeconomic patterns emerged. Almost all volunteers earned college degrees compared to the several EITs on the opposite side.

Economically, most EITs grew up in poverty whereas only a handful of volunteers experienced such hardship. Common ground was reached between both sides when a statement regarding driving under the influence was read. Catherine warned the volunteers, “Driving under the influence is a carime. If you kill someone, you can easily be in their shoes,” referring to the opposite side. “I committed a violent offense,” all volunteers stepped back while majority of the EITs stepped up. “I said committed, not convicted,” after a brief moment, several volunteers returned to the line. “I once thought of ending my life,” bringing several brave souls forward from both sides. Watery eyes emerged followed with empathetic handshakes across the line.

A session in active listening and honesty called “60 Second Questions,” was initiated. Participants took turns answering questions posed by Catherine while the person directly in front, listened. After affirming each other, both sides left with a better understanding of each other. I had the honor of sharing this moment with Bill from Netflix who treated me with utmost respect and understanding.

It was time to announce the semifinalists. Every EIT that pitched hoped to hear his name. Once called, the semifinalists were soon beaming onstage, receiving congratulations from Catherine. The semifinalists locked hands, squatted down, and jumped in the air, raising their arms together in celebration of their advancement to the next round.

During the lunch break, fresh salad and sandwiches with chips were served. EITs and volunteers ate their lunches while socializing and exchanging “Sweet Sheets,” with one another to jot down comments.

Lunch was cut short and it was time to start the semifinals. Each semifinalist faced 3 additional judging panels in hopes of advancing to the finals. Upon completion, judges deliberated for several minutes and submitted their decisions.

During the next portion of the event called, “I Choose You,” volunteers were instructed to line up on the tapeline with begging, cupped hands. EITs carefully picked their favorite volunteers by handing out signed business card-type cards to their chosen 10. Once all cards were passed out, the role was switched. EITs received cards from volunteers.

Once all the chairs were placed back into rows, it was time to announce the Top 5 finalists. As soon as their names were called, the finalists ecstatically made their way onstage to a Level 10 clap with cmaeras snapping away. The finalists proudly raised linked hands for a victory photo. With mic in-hand, the finalists each presented their pitch on stage for everyone to hear. As soon as the last finalist walked off-stage, EITs and volunteers picked their favorite pitch by placing a ticket in a paper bag marked with a finalist’s name.

Catherine took a moment to speak to volunteers requesting donations for EIT scholarships. “At Defy, we don’t work with criminals; we work with people with criminal histories… You’re probably wondering why we work with lifers who aren’t getting out. A lifer sentenced to 25 years-to-life has a parole hearing on his/her 25th year for possible release. For those sentenced to life without parole, some are getting their sentence commuted to 25 years-to-life, so they have a chance to be released as well.”

The event relocated to the Level 2 visiting room for the graduation ceremony. EITs were reunited with proud family members while Mr. Hornik and his band set up their equipment. Once all EITs made it into the visiting room, the band perfomed several cover songs while volunteers, EITs, and family members showed off their dance moves. It was a concert, celebration, and party all-together.

EITs briefly left the room to don royal blue caps and gowns and for some, it was for the very first time. Volunteers and family took their seats. With the beautiful, but powerful sounds of “Pomp and Circumstance,” filling the air. EITs returned, smiling proudly, while some threw their arms in the air. They walked in formation before taking their seats.

After a long day of anticipation, the moment the EITs and everyone else have been waiting for has arrived. Graduates were called onstage one after another to receive their CEYO YNL Completion and Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business-Career Readiness certificates replete with firm handshakes and a congratulatory photo op with Catherine.

Grads presented their loved ones with roses and teddy bears wearing t-shirts customized by the EIT the day before. Grads and family/significant other danced, taking in the moment. It was time to drop “Love Bombs.” Grads with the mic in-hand, welcomed their loved ones on stage to affirm each other, complete with hugs and affection.

Graduation cake and delicious pizza were served while grads spent time with loved ones taking photos while others conversed with volunteers and Defy staff in small groups. “Voices of Defy” was initiated with several EITs performing original songs and one spoken word. Rich, along with 2 other EITs, perfomed the song, “EIT,” with the catchy hook, “I’m an E.I., about my B.I. (bidness), I’m an E.I., I’m an EIT!”

Hours after BPC results were reached, Catherine summoned the finalists onstage to announce their places. Jeff Hall placed 5th with his business, “Secure Photos” and was awarded a $100 IOU oversized check. Once offstage, I asked Jeff if he had any comments for this article, he replied, “Yes — all too often, us LWOP are excluded from various programs simply because we are an LWOP… Defy invests in us as human beings and most importantly, treat us as humans, not a lost cause simply because of our sentence. Seeing the volunteers truly believing in me absolutely gives me hope that not everyone has given up on us LWOPs… I’m thankful for Defy for helping me focus in a positive direction for a positive future.”

The party continues as the band performs Journey’s, “Don’t Stop Believin'”. Seizing the moment, Defy staff and an EIT jumped onstage, dancing and singing along with endless energy.

It was 8:00 p.m. and it was time to say goodbye to loved ones, volunteers, and Defy. I took a moment to thank volunteers and Defy staff. I expressed the importance of keeping LWOPs in the public eye, “Your LWOP EITs need you.” Catherine compassionately replied, “You guys are not forgotten. We are working on something for you.” After 14 long hours, the fifth BPC and graduation at Solano came to a satisfying end. What an awesome and memorable event!

As Defy @ Solano team members, we volunteer our time because first and foremost, we love Defy. Also, it is only appropriate to give back to our communitty as others before us had done to get through the program. Watching our fellow EITs grow into confident and professional men and graduating in the presence of their loved ones is priceless. Witnessing some of these EITs leave this environment better than when they came in brings joy to our hearts. That is our return. Congratulations Cohort IV for your hard work and determination in following through with the program. I want to thank the rest of the Defy @ Solano team who were not mentioned. Your assistance, motivation, and presence is greatly appreciated.

Special thanks to Catherine Hoke and the entire Defy staff for providing us the opportunity to become professional men with life and business skills, but most importantly, become better human beings. Thanks for the awesome graduation party and thanks to all volunteers.

The EITs named and identified in photos are serving life without the possibility of parole sentences. We accept, acknowledge, and regreat that we have made horrible choices in our past lives. Choices that lead to lives lost or damaged, and the families and communities who have been affected, which resulted in our removal from society. However, our past decisions do not define who we are today or who we will potentially become.

The reason why I decided to write about this experience is because LWOPs are often left in the dark. Not too often are we seen or heard in the free world. Therefore, I decided to take this opportunity to shine the light and create awarness, and to showcase LWOPs in our element and our positive direction — despite our sentence. Whether we spend the rest of our lives within secured permeters or potentionally earn freedom one day, we will continue to seek a better understanding of all the harm we have caused and skills to prevent ourselves from returning to that negative lifestyle we once lived. We are not a lost cause because we have found (for most) or will find (for others) ourselves on this long, and at times, bumpy road to redemption. We are “Lifers With Optimistic Progress, on a mission for greatness.”

To be announced, Cohort VI launch dates for Level 2 and 3. Contact any Defy @ Solano team member if you’re interested in becoming an EIT. Hustle Harder and Defy odds.

All photos are courtesy of Defy Ventures.

For more information about Defy Ventures, visit defyventures.org and follow on social media: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Willie Bailey

Picture of Willie Bailey

Willie Bailey

Hi, my name is Willie Bailey and I was convicted of two 1st Degree murders and was sentenced to Life without the Possibility of Parole. At the time, I was 23 years of age. I do express my deepest condolences to the victims, their family members, and the community for the pain, hurt and destruction I brought to their lives.

My upbringing was difficult. I was raised by a single parent, my mother, 2 sisters, and one brother. My father was never around, so my mom did the best that she could raising us. She was also my disciplinarian and I got my butt whopped many times from her. None of us had the same father. I spent a lot of my childhood at school and on the streets, being that she was at work all the time. The streets lead me to gangs and selling drugs, which is why I became part of a criminal lifestyle.

Since I’ve been incarcerated, I have become a facilitator here at CSP-Solano in the In-Building Self Help Program. I have received over 20 certificates of achievement and Chronos for programs, such as Anger Management, Denial Management, AA, NA, Cognitive Thinking, AVP, etc… I am also in the Men’s Advisory Committee. I would be a productive member of society by giving back to the community and mentoring youth on how to have realistic positive goals in their life and provide them the tools to accomplish them. I would help them deal with the pressures of drugs, gangs, suicide, depression, and better communication skills.