INCREDIBLE WOMEN I MET IN FEDERAL PRISON
by: Jamila T. Davis
In February 2016, after serving 8 years at the Danbury Federal Prison Camp, I was transferred to Alderson Federal Prison Camp in West Virginia. One of the first warm faces that welcomed me was Brandi Davis, who was introduced to me by my prison sister, Aisha Hall. From the onset, I admired Brandi's energetic swag. Like myself, she was sentenced to over a decade in prison for a non-violent crime, and her son Debron was left behind without his mother. Despite her hardships, Brandi didn't let prison life get the best of her. Behind bars, she used her time productively. She wrote two books, got her cosmetology license and her fire fighter certification. It was her drive and her determination that attracted me to Brandi. Our conversations were full of hope and positivity. I also liked the fact that Brandi was committed to helping young girls avoid the mistakes that she made, which led her to prison.
As time went by Brandi and I began to share more, and we bonded. Even though I am from New York City and Brandi is from Detroit, I learned that we knew a lot of the same people and ran in similar circles in the free-world. We also had common denominators that led us to choose life in the fast lane. After an intense conversation about our desire to get back on the right track and make a difference, we decided to join forces and work together.
From behind bars, after I launched "The High Price I Had To Pay" Book Series about the lengthy sentences that many women are serving for non-violent crimes, it led to me being involved with the production of two reality shows and a documentary to create awareness. After listening to Brandi's story I knew she could be an asset to the cause. Without hesitation she agreed to share her story. Her passion was epic! Non-stop she worked on completing her memoir, which is Volume 4 of "The High Price I Had To Pay" Book Series. As soon as she completed the last chapter, she finally exited prison after serving 7 years. Two camera crews were there to capture her exit and follow her on her journey to reintegrate back into society. I was elated to hear the producers of the shows brag about how powerful Brandi's interviews were. They said her passion captivated them and they compared her to a modern day version of Angela Davis.
Brandi told Aisha and I she was going to hold the fork down, and she's done that to the fullest! Brandi has showed us the power of loyalty, sisterhood and undeniable dedication to the cause. For these reasons and more, I am proud to call Brandi Davis an "Incredible Women I Met In Federal Prison!"
Be sure to follow Brandi Davis's journey @freeprettygirls. Also, look out for her upcoming film projects and her memoir "The High Price I Had To Pay 4," which will be released in November 2016.
Although many of us are still locked up, including myself, we refuse to be locked out! You will be surprised about the talent that is trapped behind bars.... America, don't just lock us up and throw away the key. If you give us the resources and an opportunity, we will become the best that we can be!....END MASS INCARCERATION!!