Writing from a Prison Cell

By: Jovon Scott

I’m writing to you from a cell in the Hills Correctional Center, looking to share the experiences from my earlier years that helped shape the storyteller I am today.

The characters and personalities in “Blood of my Shadow” come from people that I know. I’ve met some entertaining people who later became subjects in my stories, allowing me to balance imagination with the reality of my life. Getting to know me, the author, is imperative to understand why I say and write different things.

Before my life in the prison system, I was handed off from one relative to another. Most of my siblings were adopted by foster parents, causing a distance to develop among all of us. We were like strangers. Later we tried to reintroduce ourselves, hoping to bond as ordinary families are suppose to do. My father at the time was still finding himself and trying to support his children. But life sometimes has a way of reminding you that you are alone. Being the only boy in a pool of sisters and an absentee father, left me without a male role model to guide me through the perils of manhood. This was when I turned to the streets and the gang culture.

I grew up on the Southside of Chicago in the Robert Taylor housing projects. The stuff that I was forced to endure were not things that should be a part of a kid’s life. My mother was raising too many children on her own, leaving me to be consumed by the streets. When you’re raised in a toxic environment, you learn to live inside of your head and create a safe place to exist. My imagination was filled with an array of colors — vibrant and full of life.

When I first came to prison I was used to the violent and hostile environment. After all, I was raised in a world that equated to what I was being thrown into. Although this was the first time I’d ever been isolated from society, it was no different from the world on the streets. It all seemed like part of my life’s cycle. The first couple of years in prison weren’t any different than life on the streets. Eventually, prison nearly destroyed me. Prison makes you more aggressive and fills your heart with so much anger, resentment and perplexity.

I lost myself and nearly became that person I didn’t want to be. I was in a dark place and being pulled into an even darker one. I contemplated suicide. Life wasn’t worth living any more and I wanted out.

When I went to segregation for an extended amount of time, I rediscovered writing. This was where that shift from the unknown to certainty brought me back to the living. It was in that moment that I began writing “Penumbra,” which was later changed to “Blood of my Shadow.” I found myself in each of the characters I created in my stories. Writing saved my life and allowed me to see all of my lost years. The circumstances weren’t what held me back, it was me. I held myself back.

All of my writings will take you on an interesting journey filled with suspense. I thank everyone who has supported me, and I pledge to take advantage of this life-alternating experience. I ask that you spread the word about “Blood of my Shadow” and encourage people to visit my website — authorjovonscott.com I’m also on Facebook — Author Jovon Scott

I’m open to correspondence from anyone that’s interested in getting to know me and have a dialogue about the book. 

About the Author

Jovon Scott

“Writing is the avenue that changed my life, and I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon” – Jovon Scott

Jovon Scott is 30 years of age and began his incarceration in an Illinois prison at age 18. He has a projected parole date of 2033. Jovon was raised on the slum streets of Chicago in an area better known as the Robert Taylor Projects where unemployment reached 95%, an African-American population of 96%, 40% single-parent families, and a public assistant family income of $5,000 per year. It comes as no surprise that Jovon turned to street gangs that offered a means of survival, a family-like environment, money, drugs, sex, and respect.

Jovon gives credit to the gang culture for forcing him to want more out of life, and a willingness to pursue it with gusto. Discipline was front and center in the street gangs of the 1980’s and 90’s. Being self-educated, Jovon continues to prepare himself for a more favorable future upon his release.

It was in a 6 x 9 foot double-occupancy cell where Jovon discovered how writing frees the soul and opens an imaginary reality, a breeding place for creativity. “Blood of my Shadow: The Rise & Fall of the Syndicate” is a work of urban fiction, focusing on the underbelly of the urban culture. It is where Jovon combines lessons learned on the streets of Chicago, an unharnessed imagination, and his ability to spin an exciting story.