My name is Kenneth Simmons, and I was privileged to be a part of the documentary "Faith in the Big House". The experience for me was surreal, being incarcerated yet taking part in the making of this brilliant film. From the onset Mr. Jonathan Schwartz and his crew were extremely kind, and were patient enough to answer all the questions we threw at them about the film-making process. They also had the respect of the men in the prison some of whom I introduced them to in the cell blocks, which house some of the hardest convicts in the system. All of whom gave Mr. Schwartz and his staff the utmost respect.
I have spent almost two decades incarcerated and my faith in God has been the only thing that has allowed me to endure the reality of being locked away from life and the people I love. I still to this day am extremely dedicated to my faith, and I constantly work with at risk youth, and the young men I encounter daily on my job in the chemical plants of Louisiana. My message is simple and clear, work hard, sacrifice and stay crime free, because if you don't there is a place the state of Louisiana will send you. I thank God I have been free now since March 2013, and haven't, by the grace of God, seen any jail, with the exception of the one time I went back to visit a fellow convict I was housed with, at the prison I last was incarcerated in. That was until the prison guards put me out of the visit because at that time I hadn't been home long enough. But now, I am off of parole, living free, and clear, and loving every day that God blesses me with. I thank Mr. Schwartz and his crew for taking the time to document our lives behind the wire, because as the film showed, we all make mistakes, but some of us learn from them and can leave prison to be better members of society. Thanks for the opportunity, and may God bless you all.
Coming from an inmate at EHCC from 1999-2008 I had the pleasure of working with Interlock Media to help get together a group of inmates that fit the criteria for a documentary. During incarceration I lived by an 85/15 rule. 85% of the population is negative and 15% of it is positive; as long as you cling to that 15% positive you give yourself a chance to return home a changed man. After taking advantage of all the 15% EHCC had to offer, I can definitely say it helped mold me into the man I am today. I am a proud father, business owner, supervisor of an oil company, and most importantly a relationship with Christ. Prison by far is no walk in the park, but to those who do it in a manner of rehabilitation it becomes a life changing experience that molds us into productive men & women in society. This documentary exemplifies just a few men who have changed their life and I pray all become great men in society.