Prison B.R.E.A.K. is an acronym for Building Relationships Empowerment and Knowledge
One thing I can appreciate about my life is the opportunities I’ve had to meet so many different people. Even in my darkest hours, God makes sure to send encouragement and lessons that I carry with me every day. In 2003, I had the pleasure of meeting George Jung. Many may know his story from watching the movie Blow starring Johnny Depp. Others may know him as Boston George from the many interviews and documentaries that can be found about him.
At the height of his career, George and his team were making millions of dollars and were responsible for the mass percentage of cocaine smuggled into the United States.
Though he was a drug dealer and many look at him as the bad guy, George has a lot of good in him. He carries himself with a lot of confidence and when he has a good idea, he has no problem helping others benefit from his plans and plots. He also is a loving father who wanted nothing more but to provide for his family.
The George I met was a bit different from the drug kingpin thatreigned in the ’70s and ’80s. He loved to plant flowers and he had a very kind disposition about himself. We were in Fort. Dix Correction Facility in New Jersey. I noticed a lot of the other inmates would gravitate towards him and naturally I was curious as to who he was. Seeing as we were in the same unit it was easy to make his acquaintance.
George kept to himself just like I did. Soon we found that we had other things in common. One of those things is the love and importance of our daughters. We would talk about our baby girls and reflect about what we felt was the hardest part about being in jail; being away from of children. We both agreed that after everything is said and done, and the material things fade all that matters is family.
Children and being humbled were not the only things that we both could relate to. George and I also had a history with betrayal. For George he found himself being turned in by the same people he helped and trusted. In order to reduce his sentence, his marijuana connect told authorities about George ‘s dealings which lead to his first arrest.
While in prison for his sentence, he formed a friendship with his cellmate. Once released the two put their knowledge and connections to use and began working with Drug Lord, Pablo Escobar. George was the middle man and still managed to make millions per day. After years of smuggling George was again turned on by a former partner and sent back to prison.
While George was turned on and put into jail, I felt my betrayal in a different light. I found myself being turned on while in prison. I saw that once I was in prison some of the people that I looked out for forgot about me during my bid. The time that I needed them most I felt abandoned. I was blessed with solid individuals in my corner so I was taken care of, but betrayal from family hurts the most.
What I learned during my time with George was to take time to smell the flowers. Even while in prison looking at more time than I ever have, he still found time to appreciate his life. I also was able to realize that time in prison humbled me. All the glitz and gold I chased was taken away from me in a snap of a finger, but the love I had for my children remained. That lesson showed me that’s what’s really important. Family.
It also showed me that family and friends won’t always do right by you, but that doesn’t mean change who you are. Even after being turned on George still made acquaintances, helped others and had trust for those around him. Same with me. Even after being treated in ways I didn’t deserve, I still look to help and love those I come in contact with. That’s how you know you’ve won. When you come out of adversity as a better person.
Dave Bishop is the founder of the nonprofit organization, K.I.T.E. Inc., Konnecting the Incarcerated Through Excellence. The mission of the organization is to provide mentoring and support to children, younger than 18 years of age, who live in urban, underrepresented areas, and have at least one incarcerated parent. K.I.T.E. facilitates programs dedicated to providing financial assistance, emotional and crisis counseling, and educational and life skills training.
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