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Lavell's Choice: Healing Or Revenge?

Lavell Stewart
KALW / Uncuffed
Lavell Stewart made a choice to choose healing over violence. He shared his story with the Solano Uncuffed team.

Prison can be a violent place. And for incarcerated people, choosing to not participate in violence can have consequences - both good and bad. It can even be life-changing. In this episode of Uncuffed, the team at Solano explores the role violence has played in their lives, and talks about the moments they decided to change course.

My family, to a certain extent, is proud of who I've become, and they're happy to see that I'm no longer going to the hole, I'm no longer getting into fights, I'm no longer addicted to substances and alcohol…
Bryan Mazza

This episode was produced by bf thames with help from Bryan Mazza, Jay Evans, Kathy Novak, Sonia Paul, Ninna Gaensler-Debs, Angela Johnston, and sound designer Eric Maserati-E Abercrombie.

This piece was brought to you by the team at Uncuffed. Our work in prisons is supported by the California Arts Council, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and donations from listeners like you. The producers fact-check content to the best of their ability. Content is approved by an information officer.

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Learn more, sign up for Uncuffed news, and support the program at www.weareuncuffed.org

Uncuffed Personal StoriesFrom The Producers Of Uncuffed
An avid listener of radio, award winning podcaster, and published author, Bryan Mazza spends his time writing, teaching, and training service animals for those in need. A native of California, Mazza uses his experiences to help others and to shape his artistic perspective in his many endeavors in both radio and creative writing.
Brian “bf” Thames has published five non-fiction books while incarcerated over the last 30 years. A pending 6th book advocating self-reliance and better decision making in potentially dangerous encounters is on the way. Learning languages is an exciting pastime for him. He’s become reasonably fluent in French, conversational in Spanish, and learned ASL during the Covid-19 pandemic. His favorite animals are Great Danes, and any variation of parrots/parakeets. Acquiring general knowledge and education about the world and existence tends to make him giddy.
Walter "Jay" Evans Jr. is from Palm Springs CA. Born in 1975, he has been imprisoned since 1995. During this term, he has written plays, acted in a Shakespeare class, and earned a paralegal certificate from The Blackstone Career Institute. His intent in working with Uncuffed is to learn as much as he can and take it into the free world. He has plans to earn a broadcast journalism degree, or take the bar exam. He has written model legislation, and is a contributor to the ACLU, Anti-Defamation League, and Initiate Justice.

Stories from inside California prisons