My name is Adam Hamilton. I am 45 years old. Born May 16, 1974. I came to prison November 23, 1999. I was 25. I received a 99-year sentence for Murder 1.
Life in prison has mostly been isolating, lonely and cold. It makes one hardened toward others; uncaring as well. To keep humanity is a constant struggle. As soon as I came to jail, I knew my current lifestyle wasn’t working; I had to do better.
What has been the best help for me has been my faith and my family. I find peace and reassurance from both. Art and music that I’ve taught myself is my way of coping with the isolation. They have also given me a larger view of the world and humanity. Lately, Hands of Peace (the alternatives to violence project) has given me tools to solve conflicts without violence. As an inside facilitator, I get to show others those tools that have helped me grow so much in a short time.
What hasn’t worked for me was a live-in faith-based community. It was repressive, judgmental, small minded and faith stifling. It was uncaring to a degree that it was cruel.
My vision for the future is to have contact in a contact visit. Telling my young nieces and nephews they can’t sit on my lap or have any real interaction with them is not helpful for a good relationship with them, or any member of my family. In general, I would like to have more normalcy in prison. In prison we don’t learn how to be better citizens, we have to learn how to do that once released. More vocational training would help people. Once released they have hope in something positive that will sustain them.