Andre Bridges 248420
Fox Lake Correctional Institution
Po Box 200
Fox Lake, Wi 53933
Was a juvenile when He committed his crime. He foolishly fired into the air trying to stop a fight . This incited not the quiet he hoped for, but mayhem and someone was killed. Andre was severely depressed when first in prison and is not a changed man. His fiance awaits him and he deserves a second chance-
Here is his blog: http://andraebridges.blogspot.com/
Andre entered the system as a Juvenile, 6 days after he turned 16. He was charged with First Degree Intentional Homicide-party to a crime, and was waived into adult court and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole until the year 2037. He had fired a gun into the air during an argument between gangs, hoping to defuse the argument and instead it escalated and 14-year-old Corzette Vance was killed. Andre claimed responsibility but no one knows who fired the fatal shot.
Andre states: “I have never made excuses for my actions and I never will. Many may wonder, how dare I plead for a second chance at life after standing accused of taking the life of another. Well, it's because I truly believe I have earned a second chance at the life I never had. I plead for this chance with a clear conscience. I committed my crime when I was very young--I am not the same person I was when I got arrested. In the nearly 23 years I've been incarcerated I have gained a real appreciation for life and everything it has to offer. I have not only accomplished everything that was asked of me but I have volunteered to participate in programs that changed me for the better. My prison record indicates positive adjustment with good work evaluations, as I have used my time productively.”
Andre has transformed himself since that day. He came to prison with serious mental health problems and a history of being abused; he has since written an autobiography and become a helper to many other inmates. Not only has he completed an impressive list of programs, been employed as lead food server, dishwasher, administrative clerk, segregation janitor to name a few, he has many certificates, an Associates Degree in Theology and LVA tutor training, and over 600 hours of community service.
Andre's final words:” However, I pride myself most on my personal and spiritual growth, and having had the opportunity to participate in the Reach Out Program once facilitated at Columbia Correctional for 10 years. This program gave me the opportunity to educate and mentor at-risk youth. I am blessed with an outstanding support system and a loving fiancée I'm planning a life with. I have drafted an extensive release plan and will present well to potential employers upon release. These factors, together with my level of maturity, labor skills, and desire to give back will significantly reduce the likelihood of me ever re-offending. The community does not need protection from me!”
Andre's Writings on his blog
- Bridges not Barriers
- At the Hands of His Mother
- Discovery of Self
- On Self and Family
- it simply cannot be put into words
- crime, the other cancer
- depression and me
- schools not prisons
Andre was also waived into adult court as a juvenile, has matured , and is eager to give back to society. Below is his summary of his parole status and his original essay "At the Hands of his Mother"-an incredible story.
sign his petition!:http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/petition-for-the-release-3?source=c.em&r_by=109 92208
see his blog at: http://andraebridges.blogspot.com/
January 12, 2015
Andre L. Bridges 248420
Fox lake Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 200
Fox Lake, WI 53933-0200
To whom it may concern:
Please pardon my intrusion but I'm writing this letter to plead for a second chance at the life I never had. My name is Andre L. Bridges and I currently reside at the Fox Lake Correctional Institution here in Fox Lake, Wisconsin. I have been incarcerated for nearly 23 years now. I entered the system as a juvenile and have since changed my life for, the better.
On March 25, 1992--just six days after my 16th birthday I was arrested and charged with First-Degree- Intentional Homicide-Party to a Crime. I got waived into adult court and subsequently sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole until the year 2037. That means I won't be able to see the parole board until I'm 61 years old, and even then release isn't guaranteed.
The events that took place on the night of March 25, 1992 resulted in the tragic and senseless death of 14 year old Corzetta Vance. I initially made a statement claiming responsibility for the shooting but it was never determined who fired the fatal shot. In either event, I was convicted and sentenced as such. I take full responsibility for that night's events whether it was my bullet that caused the death of another or not, as I fired the first shot.
Upon realizing my female friends were arguing with another gang of females I fired my gun into the air in the hopes of defusing what I believed to be a very hostile situation. I NOW know that discharging a weapon like that was totally irrational on my part--a testament to my state of mind at the time. Needless to say, after firing that shot, all hell broke loose. In turn, one life was lost forever and many other lives were drastically altered.
I have never made excuses for my actions and I never will. Many may wonder, how dare I plead for a second chance at life after taking the life of another. Well, it's because I truly believe I have earned a second chance at the life I never had. I plead for this chance with a clear conscience. I committed my crime when I was very young--I am not the same person I was when I got arrested. In the nearly 23 years I've been incarcerated I have gained a real appreciation for life and everything it has to offer. I have not only accomplished everything that was asked of me but I have volunteered to participate in programs that changed me for the better. My prison record indicates positive adjustment with good work evaluations, as I have used my time productively. I have completed several educational, vocational, and treatment-based programs.
Associates Degree in Theology of the Bible Math/Marketing Classes - 6 Credits
LVA Tutor Training
Over 600 Hours Community Service Welding/Production Welding
Lead Food Server
Vocational Printing Clerk Controller-Dishwasher
BSI - Printing/Cabinet Making
Cognitive Interventions Program (CGIP) Phases I, II, III, and IV Restorative Justice
And that's just to name a few. I have received many more certificates. However, I pride myself most on my personal and spiritual growth, and having had the opportunity to participate in the Reach Out Program once facilitated at Columbia Correctional for 10 years. This program gave me the opportunity to educate and mentor at-risk youth.
I am blessed with an outstanding support system, including and not limited to my father, Peggy Swan of FFUP, Dean/Professor Stan Stojkovic, and a loving fiancé I'm planning a life with. I have drafted an extensive release plan and will present well to potential employers upon release. These factors, together with my level of maturity, labor skills, and desire to give back will significantly reduce the likelihood of me ever re-offending. The community does not need protection from me!
Thank you for your time and consideration in regards to this sensitive matter.
Andrae L. Bridges
or Keep scrolling for Details and more
Latest campaign update 2 14: Andre asks if we are fighting for his release to in our old law campaign. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole at the age of 16. The answer is YES- juveniles sentenced under these unjust law will also finally get fair hearing. See our juvenile blog for latest supreme court rulings on juveniles.
" As you already know, I am a parole eligible lifer who entered the system as a juvenile. However, my parole eligibility date was extended. Therefore I'm considered an old/new law prisoner. The "new law" aspect comes into play because in 1989 the law which had parole eligibility dates set at 13 years and 8 months for individuals sentenced to life was changed. That change gave judges the ability to set parole eligibility dates to wherever they saw fit. Needless to say, in 9 cases out of 10, one sentenced to life got his parole eligibility date extended well past the aformentioned standard of 13/8.
And so, in 1992 (at the age of 16) I was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole until the year 2037. My question to you is this. Are prisoners like me included in this "old law/parole eligible" campaign? Or, are you all looking for specific old law prisoners? My hope is that the campaign DOES, in fact apply to all old law, parole eligible prisoners, regardless of sentence structure. Should that be the case, please accept this letter on behalf of all the old law or old/new law lifers in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections."
click to read on pdf:At The Hands Of His Mother- Why we tend to throw our lives away; a worse case scenario -
or Keep scrolling to read full text and more
see his Andre's blog at: http://andraebridges.blogspot.com/
full text of:
- Why we tend to throw our lives away; a worse case scenario -
- I knew of a little boy who suffered severe abuse at the hands of his mother. Such abuse consisted of verbal put-downs and insults, tons of head games and life threatening physical attacks. This young boy loved his mother dearly and practically worshipped the ground she walked on. If only I could get her attention without being beaten all would be all right, he thought. As a result, by the age of eight this young boy could cook, clean, sew, shop and do just about everything else within the guidelines of properly running a household. For he was obsessed with impressing his mother in the hopes that he would in turn receive the love he so freely gave.
Just when he thought he saw signs that his mother loved him, they were soon erased by her abuse. For he couldn't understand why he was constantly being subjected to such awful brutality. And it could have been for the smallest reasons; like forgetting to tie his shoe or losing the door key. He also got beat for the things his three younger siblings did, or didn't do. If that meant getting a black eye then so be it. He didn't want his brothers to go through what he was going through so he felt obligated to protect them and thereby took the blame for everything.
Aside from what this young boy underwent at home he was a high achiever who made the honor roll on a consistent basis and thereby loved school. Bright and intelligent beyond his years was this young boy. Unfortunately he had a few problems with his behavior. Teachers termed it hyperactive disorder but it was nothing more than this young boy's desire for attention manifesting itself. He was a class clown who really didn't take anything seriously. This resulted in classroom disruptions. Which ultimately led to some of the worse physical punishments any child should have to endure. Yet and still this boy protected his mother, for she could do no wrong! Besides, who would believe him?!
One incident in particular his mother beat him for what seemed like hours. Only to beat him more because he would not cry. This left the boy with two black eyes and a badly bruised body. Upon attending school the next day teachers saw this. Being concerned, they asked the boy, "What happened to you?" Without coaching from his mother, the boy simply stated, "I fell from the pear tree I was raiding." Although the teachers knew better, they accepted his story. Again, in his mind, Momma could do no wrong.
As time went on, so did the abuse. This young boy started to realize that there was no real way of escaping his mother. Often times he fantasized about running away, killing her, or simply killing himself, but he couldn't find the courage to do either. Along came an older friend. Someone he could consider a big brother, and someone he could put the blame on in the hopes of being spared a beating from time to time. God had looked upon him. For his plan seemed to work. But at what cost?
Simply put, at the cost of sexual abuse. Yeap! The someone he considered a friend and loved like a brother was sexually molesting this young boy. Thankfully that was short-lived (3 years) but the damage was done. All he had to contend with now was the abuse his mother had to offer.
As the young boy matured into a young man, so did the abuse at the hands of his mother. It was apparent that every time she attacked him, it was in the hopes of killing him. Not only had his mother broken several of his ribs but she chipped teeth and broke his jaw with an iron. That wasn't the worst part. Upon breaking his jaw, she refused to take him to the hospital until
several hours and a whole lot of swelling later. Staff at the hospital called the law because signs of child abuse were apparent. The boy wanted so bad to tell of the things he had not only been through but was going through as well. But he refused to make his mother look bad, even at the expense of his own safety.
Due to the fact that the young man's mother became a drug addict it was either prepare for a beat down because she didn't have and/or couldn't afford any drugs or make her "happy" by going to get some. As awful as it made him feel, the boy took it upon himself to purchase dope for her. For he still yearned for his mother's attention and affection. In addition to that, he was tired of suffering. All of that ultimately led to the young man using and selling drugs himself. For he could not only take care of the house, his little brothers and himself, but he could use his dope as a means to get his mother to let him hang out.
When the young man hung out, he practically stayed out. A beating was always in store but the little freedom he attained was well worth it. Besides, his friends showed him love and seemed to care, unlike his mother. Therefore in order to keep their love and attention he felt he needed to impress them; and impress them he did. School was no longer a priority, money didn't matter and neither did the opposite sex. In fact, he had a certain dislike toward females but he pretended to like them for the sole purpose of getting what he wanted, be it sex or money.
See, it was all about his gang. The one avenue he used as a means to "act out" his deep seeded anger and self-hatred. Therefore, when it came to gang-banging, he banged with the best. As a result he was considered crazy by his peers for the stunts he'd pull during shoot-outs or in general. To be considered crazy was to be looked upon as "not to be fucked with!" But the boy had an ugly secret. He never really intended to hurt anyone while letting his anger and rage free. NOPE! That was not the case. He just wanted to die. So upon acting out he hoped and prayed he'd one day receive the short end of the stick, as did many of those around him. That would be the ultimate escape from the abuse at the hands of his mother.
One frightful morning the young man unexpectingly got his wish. For he died a quick,, painless death at the hands of those who could have helped him had he "chose" to be helped!
- The End -
"How" did this young man die and who killed him?
Without even knowing your answers I'm willing to bet they're wrong. Good! But wrong! You see, that young man is NOT dead at all. Not in the physical sense at least; which is exactly what you all may have concluded. "For he was killed by the Justice System." Whereupon at the age of sixteen he received a life sentence for First Degree Intentional Homicide-P.T.A.C. this in turn left him "institutionally dead!" Andrae L. Bridges would be that young man and this is my story. I've been incarcerated for nearly eleven years and I have a lifetime to go. Although I've written about my life, this isn't about me at all. Better yet, it's about YOU! It is through my story I hope you all realize just how precious life is before you throw it away, as I did my own. Sure, you may have been abused as I was, or perhaps worse; you may still be getting abused which leaves you feeling worthless. Thus suffering from low self-esteem, depression, etc., etc., all together making you very angry! You're not alone! But trust me, nothing or no one is worthy of you throwing away your opportunity to live a positive and productive life! Love yourself enough to get help; You do have a choice! I don't intend to make anyone feel sorry for me, nor do I make excuses for my childhood behavior. My only goal now is to educate; in the hopes that you will not end up like me.!
Click here to read more quick intros to other parole ready prisoners
see his Andre's blog at: http://andraebridges.blogspot.com/