“We Knew Better . . . But Done It Anyways . . . Don’t Do What I Did.” Prisoners Letters To Younger Selves

Photographer Trent Bell was shocked to learn that a friend – an educated, professionally employed, husband and father – was sentenced to 36 years behind bars.  Troubled by the reality that we are all just a bad decision away from the loss of our own freedom, Bell began capturing the advice inmates would share with their younger selves.


As Bell pointed out, “Our bad choices can contain untold loss, remorse, and regret, but the positive value of these bad choices might be immeasurable if we can face them, admit to them, learn from them, and find the strength to share.”

It is hard not to be touched by these letters and the advice they contain . . .

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