It was in a 6 x 9 foot cell where the author, Jovon Scott, discovered how writing frees the soul and opens a breeding place for creativity. Blood of my Shadow is a work of street lit, focusing on the underbelly of urban culture.
I feel as if Jovon Scott deserves a second chance. Scott was incarcerated at age 19, and is currently serving his 13th year of a 30 year sentence. He has demonstrated remarkable rehabilitation through the completion of mental health classes, institutional programs, educational services, and has become a published author. Book one of a six book series was recently published by the History Publishing Company in New York. Scott has consistently worked while incarcerated, and has maintained a positive behavior. It is my wish that Jovon Scott is granted clemency.
I’m not sharing this for a pat on my back or some positive recognition. It’s always been my hidden dream to make a positive contribution while I’m still living. Perhaps it’s part of the aging process; wanting to be remembered in a positive way before we move to the next level, where ever that might be.
This letter reinforces the idea that we can all make a difference. Be kind to someone with an open hand and share the best of yourself. That’s all it takes. The reward in unimaginable.
Larry L. Franklin
I’ve learned to live in my head, a place to be free. But that was not always the case. Imagine that you met a person in your life who will forever change the way you view strangers. I met such a man. He knew nothing about me, at least nothing positive or good. He only knew that I was incarcerated for gun violence. This man taught me things a father should teach his son. Being that I came from the slums of Chicago and had been hardwired to be destructive, I grew up less fortunate than most. Where I came from did not offer hope or a different path from the one that guided me to prison. But I’ve always been creative with a vivid imagination.
I was isolated from society while being confined in a cage and forgotten. But I met a stranger who believed in me and grounded me when my life was falling apart. The culture of the streets isn’t built to elevate your potential or drive you towards success. It taught me not to trust strangers and be relentless in terms of rage.
This man wasn’t like the men that I grew up with. His skin is a different color and he doesn’t speak the same urban language that I do. But he believed in me and never gave up. And for a kid from the streets of urban Chicago, that’s the difference between life and death. This man is my role model, father figure, noble, and someone who pushes me to be great. He is my second chance. His legacy will forever be embedded into the fabric of my future. He is also the man who advocated on my behalf, and invested in me without complaint. This man is my friend, Larry L. Franklin.
Thanks to everone who has purchased a copy of “Blood of my Shadow” and who continue to sped the word. If you’re trying to contact me, you can write to me at:
Jovon Scott #M09478 P.O. Box 1700 Galesburg, Il 61402
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It feels like I can’t breathe being isolated from society,
despite my sobriety of being sober from sidewalks and stop signs.
Seeing cars pass me by as years fade in crimson shades.
Time evades like ticking clocks,
seconds morphed into a thousand days.
I watched myself watch myself,
through broken mirrors and foggy perceptions.
Dying to find myself,
knowing I’m divine in self.
Lost wealth in hidden books on forgotten shelves.
Waiting on my moment, waiting on my moment.
I said I’m waiting on my moment
as if my freedom means anything to the free world.
The spoils and riches defined by inches as I grasp my sanity,
exposed to bridges of vanity,
profound words of profanity.
Taught not to give a fuck,
as luck have it I never gave a shit.
Defined by crimes I was convicted as forgotten,
thrown into a cell like…
Nigger or nigga, you know what the fuck going on,
Being trapped, confined in a cycle of bars and cop cars
with flashing lights, lights so bright.
They blind the blurred lines that entangle minds to think alike.
Jobless homes and fatherless thrones where princes often land,
enslaved in chains far from home.
Detached my sense from pain and grief,
for lies and blood filled streets.
I fell from grace, landed in isolation.
I live for time, I lone for time,
and define myself as a man who’s trapped in time.
This writing was taken from “The Black River,” the latest manuscript written by Jovon Scott and edited by Larry L. Franklin. This is a new type of writing for Jovon, an inmate in an Illinois Correctional Center.
THE BLACK RIVER by JOVON SCOTT edited by LARRY L. FRANKLIN
Victoria watched as the rough-water moved into the riverbank. The sun had retired for the day as the river gave birth to short bursts of waves that threatened the shore. Mother Nature’s elements of tranquility and destruction were on full display. Victoria’s eyes pierced the water’s surface that guarded the riverbed, allowing her to see the river that snaked through pastures and open plains. Barricades dared not to confine its flow.
When Victoria was young, large bodies of water threatened her well-being. So much so that she barred herself from diving into the mysteries that lie below the river’s surface. Time revealed the reason for her fears. Someone or something lived in the darkened waters, prepared to cause her harm. But don’t blame Victoria for having a dysfunctional childhood and an overly creative mind. Her brain was hardwired to think irrationally.
Something was off that day; a gut-wrenching and unnerving kind of off. Victoria blamed herself for what happened when she met Chanel at the river. While all of the signs were there, it was a time of confusion when 2 equals 1.
“Are you scared?” Chanel asked. “You’re shaking.”
Victoria knew that she was afraid. As the two of them stood on the edge of the bank watching the currents race by, there was an eerie silence. Victoria didn’t know why, but she had told Chanel that she wasn’t afraid.
Chanel had an energy about her that was quite alluring; an adrenaline junkie who danced along the edges of danger. Each adventure was accompanied by a spiritual energy as if she was suddenly reborn.
Although Victoria didn’t know what was about to happen, her breathing was labored and her heart was on fire. She grabbed Chanel’s hands that were cold and unwelcoming as if she had touched a stranger. They faced each other; so close that their heartbeats were in unison. As their lips touched, Victoria was reminded of the passion that burned deep into their soul; eyes that told a forbidden tale; spellbound and persuaded by the words that were never spoken; and private things withheld from the world.
Chanel’s demeanor morphed into an emptiness disconnected from reality. Is this the person who Victoria had known to be Chanel, or was she an illusion?
“Do you love me?’ Chanel questioned. She gripped Victoria’s hand tighter as if she dared her to lie.
“Of course, I love you,” Victoria answered. But the grip of Chanel’s hand was different, causing Victoria to wonder if Chanel had become a complete stranger. At the moment, Victoria did not fear the river. She was more afraid of the entity she perceived to be Chanel.
“Why would you ask if I loved you?” Victoria asked.
“Because I need to know,” Chanel answered.
“Yes, I love you. But you know that already. You’re acting strange and freaking me out,” Victoria admitted.
Chanel’s laugh was accompanied by a sinister smile. “If you love me, jump, jump into the river,” Chanel commanded. “Love is all about trust, right?”
“I will drown,” Victoria replied. “I can’t swim, you know that.”
“Trust me,” Chanel explained.” I would never allow anything bad to happen to you.”
Victoria felt overcome by emotions knowing that she needed to escape before it was too late. While she remembered fragments of what happened that day, she preferred to believe that Chanel pushed her into the river. Given Victoria’s fear of the river, that made more sense. But reality told a different story. Victoria jumped into the river.
Stupidity is oftentimes driven by ignorance, a compelling force that causes us to defy logic. Perhaps a need to display her courage was why Victoria jumped into the river; maybe it was love interlinked with confusion.
A blind fondness accompanied by faith creates the foundation for love. But reckless love ignores your core, leaving you to think only of the image you desire; the one that caused Victoria to jump into the river.
Chanel stood on the shore watching Victoria struggle to evade the adversary she had feared since her childhood — drowning in the river. Most people who fear the possibility of death by drowning, stay away from large bodies of water. But not Victoria, she jumped into the river.
Victoria’s attempts to scream were muffled by the sheer volume of water. Her mind held no clarity or reasoning for what was happening. She felt the burning sensation a body experiences when its lungs take on water. The image of the river changed as she began to accept her fate. The deeper parts were calm and without motion, unlike the chaotic movements of the river’s surface. The struggle to survive diminished as her body sank towards the river’s floor.
Victoria remembered seeing Chanel through the water’s surface; lips parted and a smile on her face. At that moment, Victoria’s life ended, and her heart no longer beat; not from drowning but from a broken heart. Chanel had killed Victoria before the water filled her lungs and cut off her oxygen supply.
Victoria then saw a more peaceful world filled with the natural beauty of the water and the private sanctuary where her body embraced the river’s floor. She looked up through the surface and saw Chanel standing at the water’s edge. No longer angry, Victoria accepted her fate as she saw the two of them standing side by side; both one-in-the-same, when 2 equals 1.
We’re subjected to circumstances and judged by the same set of rules that plague not only our freedom, but our lives. While I never wanted to be a gang member nor have ties to the street culture, that’s who I became. It’s clear to me now that I got caught-up in a maze that led to my incarceration. For the past twelve years I have been searching for a meaning to my life. Im not trying to act like I’m rehabilitated just to be free. This is a real journey that I’m on whether I’m released or not.
I grew up in a jungle without a proper role model to show me a more righteous path. My mother lost all of her children to the system. I was moved from one place to another and for a period of time, I became part of the homeless community.
I know I’m incarcerated for wounding two people, and there’s nothing I can do to right my wrong. I’ve completed twelve years of my thirty year sentence and have lost my youthful years. During that time, I’ve become a published author through book one of a six book series — “Blood of my Shadow.” Writing has saved my life, and given me an opportunity to explore who I am as a person, and my future role in society.
I ask that you pass the word around of my writings and support my first novel — Blood of my Shadow. Ill continue to share my thoughts for you to better understand my situation. Also, I ask that you pass the word of my clemency. I need your help.
My name is Larry L. Franklin, editor for Jovon Scott’s recent book, “Blood of my Shadow: The Rise & Fall of the Syndicate.” I’m asking that you support Jovon who has completed 12 years of a 30-year sentence at the Hill Correctional Center in Galesburg, Illinois. I met Jovon through a friend while I was awaiting publication of my latest book, “Supermax Prison: Controlling the most dangerous criminals.” I was told that Jovon was an up-and-coming author and asked if I would check out his writing. While his work was Urban Fiction, an unfamiliar genre for me, his imagination grabbed my attention. He takes the reader on a fast-paced, exciting journey. So much so, that I’ve completed the editing of book #2 of a 6-book series — “Blood of my Shadow.”
Jovon’s writing offers the opportunity for him to become a successful author. To do so, requires his acceptance as an author in the outside community and the finances to pay his legal fees. Both needs are difficult while incarcerated in a 6 x 9 foot cell, an environment where only the strong truly survive.
It is my goal to “Support an Author, Save an Inmate.” Book sales support his writing, provides a future occupation, secures a timely release from prison, and affords hope and a means for survival. This is his hope for a better life. The book can be purchased as an E-book for $9.99 or a paperback book for $18.95. Click the button on the website to purchase his book. In addition to buying his book, you can share his story on your social media.
This letter will be the first of many to establish my case for clemency, followed by copies of certificates earned through the Illinois Department of Corrections system. A petition will soon be posted allowing you to support me if you choose to do so.
I never imagined that I would spend a substantial part of my life in prison. Here I am, isolated from society and labeled a dangerous criminal. That’s how the prosecutor portrayed me.
I had been indoctrinated into the gang culture at an early age and had spent my early life on the streets. At age 18, I was involved in a gang related confrontation between myself and an opposing gang member. I felt threatened by the gang member who was much bigger than me. So much so, that I decided to shoot him in the leg, allowing me to escape. I fired two rounds from my handgun. One bullet hit him in the leg and the second bullet went through a door wounding an occupant in the house.
I live with regrets each and every day of my incarceration. Each day I see myself in the mirror and witness the passing of my youthful years. I’ll forever be judged by the one mistake I made when I was barely 18.
When I first came to prison I was uneducated and full of anger. Looking back, I can see that I didn’t even know why I was so consumed with rage. Was it because my mother had lost all of my siblings to the system or was it because I had a missing father or was it because I had been programmed to be another dysfunctional youth on the streets of Chicago? My childhood consisted of moving from one house to another, enrolled in too many grammar-schools to count, and/or time spent as a homeless kid on the streets.
Years of confinement gave me the opportunity to think about my situation and how I made so many bad decisions. I soon discovered that it was an internal issue that needed to be address. While it might sound strange, I’m better off now than I’ve ever been. I’ve become self-educated, committed to self-reflection, and aware of what I want out of life.
The state of Illinois has denied me a chance to recuse what’s left of my youth. Since my crime did not cause the death of any individual and I did not receive a 40 plus year sentence, I am ineligible for the “young adult and juvenile sentencing violation.” There was a recent supreme court ruling that allowed anyone convicted of murder to be eligible for release if they were a juvenile or young adult at the time of their crime. Since I was 18 at the time of the crime, you would likely assume that I would qualify for the release program. I’m not being considered because I did not kill any one and my 30 year sentence is less than the 40 plus year requirement.
Since I’ve been in prison, I’ve completed multiple mental health programs, various educational classes, and have written “Blood of my Shadow,” book 1 of a 6 book series. The book has been published by History Publishing Company out of New York. While I can prove my rehabilitation, I don’t have access to the courts to demonstrate my recovery. Now I’m forced to find relief through clemency.
I’m asking that you support me in my journey for clemency by signing my petition, make a cash contribution and/or purchase a copy of my recent book, “Blood of my Shadow.” The money will support my plea for clemency.
“Blood of my Shadow” can be purchased online at Amazon books, any retail store, or directly from my editor, Larry L. Franklin, at a cost of $20.
Jovon Scott #M09478
P.O. Box 1700
Galesburg, Illinois 61402
Blood of My Shadow is a book that covered all the shenanigans that takes place in the underworld where drugs are freely ferreted across borders by cartels. Granted that lots of books have been written in the past that gave insight about the drug world, however the author, Jovon Scot told the story in a unique and indebt way. The reason is not farfetched considering that he was an active player in most of the activities and was able to have firsthand information as well as observed everything from close quarters.
Another good attribute of Blood of My Shadow that helped in making it more “real” and pulsating is the way Jovon Scot begins the chapters with time, date and venue in dateline sort of. Once again, in helping to project the worldview of the characters in the book, the author would bring everyday life theories in explaining the motive or why the characters chose to act the way they did.
In terms of overall character development, the actors in Blood of My Shadow does not really ‘jump in your face’ so to speak. That is one area the author should have done better. The characters ought to have been more dramatic with salient unique attributes that would easily set them apart. This is not to say that they are all bland, not even in the least. However, the point is that they should have been more developed.
Another important aspect of written works whether fiction or nonfiction is the plot. It is the storyline that will determine whether a story will be thrilling or otherwise and that’s another major area Jovon Scot was able to score a bull’s eye. The book has a rich plot that seamlessly flowed from the beginning to the very end.
Another factor that helps in transforming literary works into becoming evergreen classics is the ability to make readers to identify with it, and Blood of My Shadow did well in that area. Readers that know how the underworld of drug racketeering works will easily agree with the events that took place in the book as factual while others who had no prior knowledge will be able to gain an insight beyond what is peddled in the mainstream media.
On a general perspective, Blood of My Shadow is amazing and such well detailed book can only be written by someone who was once actively involved as an insider.
Who is the woman behind the image on the book? Her name is Tianna Cooks and we’ve know each other since our adolescence. From on and off relationships growing up – to a complete absence. Some people you meet in will forever have an affect on your life – both positive and negative. So to answer your questions – Tianna is the push I needed to become – in part, who I am today. She challenged me, encouraged me and made me honest with myself. Somethings just aren’t easy and I see that now. Writing to me is like opening doors – but, when you open one door, you’ll also shut others. I’m choosing to be transparent and allow my readers to know the man behind the words. Tianna had told me once – not to put expectations on people and I understand that now. I see it more clearly. In the world of writing, you can create these worlds, conditions and enforce expectations on the characters. you can hide from reality and live in a place where you feel comfortable. I often find myself using people that I actually know, putting them in my stories. It’s a way I keep my characters alive – I see them better that way. Thank you for visiting my site and taking interest in who I am. Keep the questions coming!
Prologue; Rebellion – resistance to any form of authority given to or engaged in rebellion. To be defiant or promote any cause of mutiny…
Raged, I was troubled and filled with a raged complex. My adolescence was had been constructed with the building blocks of anger, perplexity and rebellion. I understood nothing, but rebellion and that was the principle, that I lived by. It was the only language, that I felt was my ordinance and way of conversing. Rules is what creates order out of chaos and I was in no favor of being bound to any form of compliance. I felt that it was against my nature to be governed by any form of rule or law, that wasn’t facilitated by my own desire. I was steadfast in the mind frame of being my own principle and that was to be bound to nothing of compassionate structure. I was of that “fuck you” state of mind. I would often find myself at odds, when it came to the rational aspects of conjuring a decency of thought-in terms of the way I viewed others. I forced myself into a shell and I kept my mind trapped in the loops of the radical functions of the world I created within the corners of my thoughts. I was controlled by the environment that raised me. I became the things that I witnessed as a child. Raged by a rebellion that had existed for decades before my conception. The very world that I had been raised in was the cause of me being defiant and disconnected from he edited reality, that had been altered to control. To control the minds of those trapped within the corners of it’s pandemonium and carnage. I don’t believe that these things were all by chance or just a coincidence. It was an experience to be put on notice and shown to the world, that people or urban society had no place among the civilized, but they omitted the fact, that these conditions had been created by them. I watched my mother get the shit beat out of her all through my childhood and it never made sense to me, as to why she allowed her self to be treated as if she didn’t deserve better. She trapped herself in such a toxic situation, that it became the norm. Her desires had been blood, abuse, drugs, and ice to help with the swelling. So, growing up – watching these things as a kid made me irrational in terms of being isolated from perception. I wanted nothing to do with the liking of the world in which I had been raised. I was lost in the world of condemnation, under the thought of false control created by my own perception – of perception! I was in no favor of compliance nor being dictated by a rule or law. I wanted absolute freedom and the will to do as I saw fit. My moral compass had been guided into the direction of rebellion. I became transfixed within the cradle of my own mind. I had no real idea why I was so mad at the world, but I was. I had ran into so many hurdles and failed at clearing. I stopped trying to jump over them – instead, I started to just either go under them or around them. I was so angry at the world and the position I had been placed in, that it was driving me mad. My mother was addicted to crack cocaine and that was part of the reason I had no up bringing in terms of productivity. I wish I knew what was needed to help her and I wanted nothing, but for my mother to be happy. As a child you’re not equipped with the tools to deal with those kind of things. So I turned to what was displayed before me and started to act out those very learned behaviors. My father had a huge influence on my life as a child and the fact that he was seldom there was perplexing. Even more damaging in terms of the harm it had done to my psyche. It made me rebel and feel as if I wasn’t wanted. So, my behavioral history with rebellion started in my adolescence. I felt as if I was guarding my own well being by disconnecting myself from the world. I de-programmed my self from everybody, but a selected few. New that I’m older, I realize that a lot of my issues were internal. And it all starts with my father. In this very hour, what I’m sitting here typing this book, that anger still exist. There are things between the two of us that is still unresolved. His absence and the lack of teachings a father is to give a son is a void, he would never be able to correct not make up for. I’m 30 years of existing and I care not to have a relationship with him nor and understanding. As far as family – I don’t relate to such terms and the only family that I have would be my siblings, a aunt and a few that isn’t biological related. And I like it as it is. I;m in no need of a bunch of people being in my personal circle. Life can be anomaly, a puzzle filled with many pieces. Some pieces would fit and others wouldn’t. Prison has a way of opening your eyes to things that can be both heart breaking and necessary. It shows you who have genuine love for you and who just love you for moment that you’re there. Prison also taught me how to identify my issues and deal with them – effectively and not in the manner of being destructive. Hate is a powerful thing and it’ll drive you towards things, that you may not want to indulge in, but it’s apart of the rage fueled by hate. So, I try not to hate nor hold on to the things that entices it. Although, I have such a troubling past, I refuse to let that be the way my story ends. Now I’m in control and not being controlled by the elements of my surroundings. I’m rebelling against that forced nature I created within myself and living according to a more divine principle. My name is Jovon and this is my story…