Meet Lawrence Pela of FirstWatch

I’m Lawrence. I’ve been incarcerated for 11 years and I’m so much more than someone sentenced to 46 years for armed robbery.

I’m a writer who enjoys laughing with friends until my cheeks hurt. I’m a student who uses kind words to show the love of God. An uncle who advocates for stories to be told in their authentic voices. I’m a human being who believes bringing everyone back together is our first step towards success.

And still, I’m so much more; welcoming anyone to come and see, making their own decisions about who I am.

I invest my time on the inside scripting and directing plays for the chapel’s Drama Ministry, mentoring youth with the SQUIRES Program, attending Patten College, coordinating production for the prison’s furniture factory, publishing fictional stories in the Brother in the Pen creative writing anthologies, and preparing to spread the gospel in urban communities using strategies from Prison Fellowship’s TUMI Program; there’s never enough time in a day! I’m pressing on thought; that’s also just who I am.

CDCR # AB5054 5-N-33