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The jail

We change minds by changing hearts and we change hearts by changing minds. And we can change the world one heart and one mind at a time.                                                        

Roger McGowen

Roger (3) 023.jpg

Make no mistake, the prison, especially Wynne Unit where Roger is held, is not a place of comfort and ease. Deprivation, harassment, threats and intimidation happen daily, and the arbitrariness of policies and of the guards is a permanent feature. However, Roger constantly seeks to overcome this straitjacket and to bring patience, listening, kindness, and brotherhood to this place.


With the help of his support committees and the wonderful work of Ron, an American friend from Missouri, with whom he is very regularly in phone contact, Roger has been able to bring help and comfort to many very poor inmates. Without money, without family, they have no way to buy the minimum necessary to improve their daily life, which is so difficult in the prison. This deeply touched Roger's heart. 

But beyond that, he has managed to change the culture inside the prison, from one of mistrust, hatred and resentment among prisoners to one of mutual respect, tolerance, sharing and belonging. Many of the guys he is with come from very violent backgrounds which led them to drug addiction, crime, and eventually led them to prison. They are suspicious and are not used to kindness, because for them everything comes with a price - especially kindness. Roger shows them that the suspicion is not necessarily, and that with the unconditional kindness and love he offers, there are no strings attached.


With the Spread of food shared freely with all inmates, prepared with care and creativity by Roger and his friends once a month, the prisoners all sit at the same table, regardless of origin, age, religion or skin color and the barriers between groups fall. Those who prepare meals with Roger feel useful and valued by seeing this dynamic that takes place and the smiles on the faces of those they serve make them happy. Those who taste this true brotherhood for the first time are touched, moved to tears sometimes, and want to be part of this momentum of sharing and support. When they ask what they can give in return, Roger simply asks them to offer their support for free to anyone they meet who is in need.


Here are some poignant testimonies of prisoners writing to Ron how their lives have changed thanks to the presence of Roger:

Testimonials  

To all our friends of whom I like to refer to as “Angels on our shoulders“ I’d like to say it is both my honor and pleasure to use this platform as an opportunity to share with you my deepest gratitude for your kindness and generosity. If I am to be honest, you must know that for me this exchange has proven difficult for there are no words to convey such levels of appreciation. I know not a language strong enough to depict by phrase the lives you have touched, the walls you have broken, the hearts and spirits you have restored. In a land forlorn of hope and faith, your love, commitment and contributions resonate – defying the gravity of burdens weighing heavily on the shoulders of all here. 


With your help, my brothers and I are afforded the opportunity to create and share an atmosphere of fresh blessings, pure in heart and spiritually contagious. In the moments when we congregate over a good meal prepared by the hearts and hands of our own, we witness differences dissipate, egos and attitudes alter and malice melt like hot cheese across “Macho Nachos” - my favorite dish! LOL!


But seriously though, I just want every heart and all Angels included to know that I believe that what comes from the heart reaches the heart - and in this way you have allowed me my hearts full capacity. I pray your blessings be many - my friends and Angels!

Lakim Guild

Read more letters Dec 2018 -Jan 2019 >>>

...

I’ve now come to realize Mr. Ron, that people can never give you what they have never received. Some people don’t know how to give love because love has never been given to them. This bridge that you and your members provide for my dorm has enabled me to  realize, know, and understand that the most hardened of criminals can be shown how to love in ways that words alone could never explain. We experienced that each day that passes...

Adrian Eleby

Read more letters  May-June 2019 >>>

PRISONIERS' CREATIONS

These items are for sale.
If you are interested by these articles you can contact Ron Radford at ron@ronaldradford.com

Thettis Howard

Leather craft items

Edward Hernandez

Size of these paintings :  
15” x 20” (31 cm x 50 cm)

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