My name is Verlie Word. Location, Nottoway Correctional in Virginia Department of Corrections. I’m serving multiple life sentences in the Virginia Department.
In 1993, two men lost their lives because of my action. I do not make excuses for my actions, and I accept full responsibility for allowing the drugs and alcohol to rule my life. Because of this remorse for all the pain my choices I’ve caused to the victims and their family, to the community, I like to share this, dedicate this, not only to the victims but to the community in Halifax county that I destroyed.
I have been incarcerated for over 19 years and through rehabilitation in my faith, Jesus Christ, I’m a changed man. I have remained infraction-free for the entire 19 years of incarceration. I work extremely hard to better myself, maintain positive mindset, and I choose to teach other offenders who come through here receiving in Nottoway Correctional Center about gun violence, using my life as an example.
Not only I, but a close long time friend of mine named Corey de la Risio and I have started a group called PEACE Initiative. PEACE Initiative addressed gun violence, positive lifestyles, choices, and laying foundation for success. PEACE is an acronym for Education, Activism, Community, while striving for Excellence; our initial is for this Primary focuses are to have returning citizens sfor those incarcerated of every age so that they may be encouraged to use that time and experience to discover their true purpose and reclaim a productive and replacement society.
I have completed numbers of college courses to enhance my education along with two other offenders. We also have not only the PEACE, but I have 20/20 Clear Vision Ministry. This ministry reaches out to others just to show the love that has placed in my heart through God, and I’m prepared to give to others. My biggest accomplishment has been holding a job as a chaplain assistant for a decade. In this position I’m able to teach in God both non-believers and believers of who Christ was and is.
Life in prison is short of an execution. I was given two life terms. The hardest imaginable punishment is available in America is holding a life sentence. It scream’s a person is beyond hope, beyond redemption, and beyond rehabilitation. It rips away any chance of reconciliation with society and give no chance of fulfillment outside of prison walls.
I strive to show and have shown tremendous rehabilitation by surrounding my life not only with others in this position, but I’m working a secure area around staff members at the facility. For this purpose, I leave not only a legacy of trying to do better for my kids but for those around.
The hardest thing that I have swallowed since being in here is I have a son that I left on the streets of five years old who is now incarcerated in the face of 15 years. So that alone is a struggle, and my job now is not only show him how to be a man, but how to navigate through these prison walls.
Rehabilitation is not just a word. It’s an action. And so with that, I want to share with others that come through, and I’m thankful for this opportunity with Prison Radio just to share my story. Thank you.
These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.