Parole Denied

Letters from Prison

Parole Denied

HKF receives about 400 letters each week from people who are incarcerated. The letters shared here are very real. We hope that as you read them you will also offer a blessing in your heart for the people who wrote them. We are honored by their vulnerability with us. We share these in the hopes that others will recognize that they are not alone.

Dear HKF,

Unfortunately for me, our Governor has overturned the Parole Board’s decision to grant me parole.

I am very hurt, sad and feeling like I can’t go on. I found out today that after months of the review period, I’m not going home and still don’t know if I ever will.

I was keeping your address close because I meant to contact you all upon release. This has been such a long and difficult process only to find out that the light at the end of the tunnel was a train. 15+ years. I thought it was over. Now I have to tell my family it’s not. And then in another year I have to go back and try again.

I’m just so lost, lonely, and sad. The Governor looks at paper and sees the me of the past. All the terrible things I did and that were done to me … but that’s past.

Where is God? What can I do to truly feel that God is with me? How can I go on? It feels unbearably painful. I used to feel close to God, but somehow I lost that. Is it gone forever?

So dramatic huh? Yeah I feel that way.

I love you all at HKF,


Gabe was a prison monk for 9 of the 19 years he was incarcerated. Since his release he has devoted himself to answering letters in order to help others through some of the same challenges he faced himself.


Just wanted to let you know we got your letter and so sorry to hear about your parole. Not much to say about that except that it sucks. And as much as it does suck, you still have to continue with life.

I’m an HKF volunteer who did 19 years in prison. I’ve been out for over six years. I was granted parole the first time I ever went up, which in the state I was in, never happens. But, after a few weeks of waiting and hoping, it came back denied. I wasn’t eligible for parole for another 3 years after that. I was feeling just what you’re feeling—who wouldn’t? As painful as it was, I never blamed GOD, I never asked why, and I never thought of it as the end. It’s not, brother, and you will get through this.

For me, I understood that this comes with the path I took and the damage I did. I mean if you’re going to feel like GOD let you down every time something goes wrong, I would definitely do some deeper work on this subject. I don’t believe this is a test, or punishment, or a lesson, it just is part of what you have to deal with for past actions. I face it in some way or another almost daily out here!!!

Yes it bites, and it’s hard to move past, but you’ve still got a lot of fight in you and as Bo says, WE CAN DO HARD. Get mad and cry and all that, and then pick yourself up and keep stumbling toward the light.

Keep holding on friend,