Serving Life in Folsom … with the Hope of Parole

“I want to reconnect with my family,” Rick shares. “I’m a father — I have three sons that are out there living with their mom, and I basically haven’t been in their life at all.”

Rick fidgets as he stands before the camera. He’s sharing his dreams for the future, dreams that he has no doubt spent hours developing during his time at Folsom State Prison.

His thoughts are on his family. If he gets out of prison, he plans to be a good father and son.

“My parents are elderly, so I really want to be there for them. They’ve been here for me the whole time. They’ve supported me. They didn’t judge me. I owe them a lot, so I’m going to be taking care of them.”

Rick has even decided on the job he wants to pursue: sales representative for a snack company where his father works.

These dreams are full of hope, but they hinge on whether Rick will leave Folsom. That’s a decision for the parole board to make.

In two years.

Folsom State Prison, Photo: Prison Fellowship ®


The turning point in Rick’s life, the moment he began his path to Folsom, came early in his youth. When he was 8 years old, Rick’s parents split up, and for most of his childhood, he spent his time unsupervised.

By the time he was 13, Rick was a functioning alcoholic and drug addict.

“That was my downfall,” he says. “I’m in prison serving a life sentence for a drunk-driving accident.”

Before prison, Rick had a home. He ran his own business. But he never addressed his addictions. His drunk-driving accident resulted in the death of his best friend, the woman he loved.


In prison, Rick has participated in Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous groups, but he credits Someone else for how well he is doing today.

“The foundation of my sobriety is my faith in Jesus Christ,” he explains.

Folsom State Prison, Photo: Prison Fellowship ®

Rick is involved with the Prison Fellowship® Academy at Folsom. The program has developed within him a deeper understanding of Christ’s love for him, and Rick feels compelled to share his faith with others.

“I need to go forward in my spread of the Gospel to help others … find that same foundation that I found that has given me that inner peace that no person or no situation can take away,” he says.

In two years, Rick may be granted parole. It’s clearly what he wants, yet he has left his future in the hands of God.

For now, “I’m here in prison. I’m grounded in Christ, and that’s the beauty that I have that just helps me be a more solid man.”


Prayer touches the deepest hurts of those who feel so lost, lonely, and unwanted by the world. Even if you’ve never been inside a prison or jail, you can intercede before the throne of God for those who are incarcerated.

Not sure where to start? Check out our list of common prayer needs of prisoners.


Join us in lifting up the men and women behind bars, that God might transform these lives, and in turn use them to transform their prisons, their families, and their communities. And let us pray for you, too!


Originally published at on May 19, 2017.