The PI Goes to Prison

The PI.com took a trip to the Shelton prison to look at recent drops in incidents of violence behind bars:

While populating cellblocks with members of the same gang may make it harder for members to get out, he said he believes inmates can break away. In his experience, he said, prison staff is willing to listen if someone says they want out of the gang life.

Horsley said it took him 24 years to decide he was done with it. By the time he is done serving his time on his current gun and drug offenses — June 2011 at the earliest — he’ll have spent more than half his life in Department of Corrections custody.

“I lost my wife, my kids,” the 38-year-old said. “I lost everything.”

Like many of the 3,200 or so gang-involved convicts, Horsley was raised in the gang. Members were like family. There was a time he didn’t expect to leave them, and felt sure he’d spend the rest of his life in prison.

The idea that he should change came slowly.