DEFYING THE ODDS by Prison Inmate Published Author & IMT Blogger, Martin Lockett

February 17, 2016 — 4 Comments


We all encounter life’s most arduous circumstances from different vantage points and with varying levels of support to help us through them. We also are deferentially equipped to cope with and overcome such trials with a renewed sense of perspective on life. But in my own experience, and in what I witness in others in this circumstance almost on a daily basis, is a common thread of human might and a defiant will to turn one’s gravest misfortune into a profound sense of purpose and triumph.

In the beginning of any remarkable loss is immense grief and a sense of chaos and helplessness. But as humans we have the uncanny ability to adapt to even the most extreme adversity. We notice that as we begin to accept what is and turn our attention to how we can get the most out of the situation before us, we are greeted with strength we didn’t even know we possessed. Our sense of helplessness metamorphoses into an invigorated sense of empowerment and control over our destiny.

In my experience, the most distinguishing characteristic that separates those who thrive in times of immense adversity (such as prison) and those who succumb to their plight is belief. Belief in oneself and the ability to overcome is the essential ingredient to success that comes out of otherwise tragic situations. The biggest hurdle for those incarcerated, however, is having enough positive people in their corner to counter the pervasive negativity that surrounds them. It seems for every one person who speaks encouragement, there are ten who project the opposite. But belief is cultivated, not inherent. It is built over time and through trials; it is not instantaneous. But when it takes root and begins to drive our thoughts, actions, behavior and habits, then our character and destiny become much more defined and sustainable.

Many of us in prison have lived our lives doing the opposite of what society, our parents, and communities would have liked for us to do. As a result, we have been labeled as “bad,” “criminal,” and “no good.” When we internalized these beliefs, our behavior quickly followed suit because, well, if everyone says these things about us, we reasoned, they must be true! Now we find ourselves in this dreaded situation and we are again told on a daily basis by staff in the prisons and even family members that we are still these same labels, that we’ll never amount to anything–even if we tried! We again believe these things and subsequently release from prison only to return within a year or two (or less) because we believe we can never change, we can never be anything but bad and no good. Statistics show this to be true.

Those leaving prison face discrimination at every turn: employment, housing, insurance, etc. We are more likely to return to prison than someone who has never been to prison. In other words, as the old saying goes, the odds are stacked against us. For many, this is intimidating enough to throw in the towel and resign themselves to this falsehood that no matter how hard they try, things will never change for them. Well, many have in fact defied those odds!

Defying these daunting odds starts with a mindset, a mentality rooted in non-negotiable self-determination and perseverance. I’ve found prison to be a great place to transform one’s life because of the lack of distraction (drugs, alcohol, harmful places and people, etc.) and time to self reflect. It certainly gives one reason enough to examine their life’s decisions and contemplate what they could have done differently in many instances to bring about more desirable outcomes. And with the support of wonderful, loving people like you, how can one NOT succeed?! Defying the odds is not easy, but then again what is?


Martin Lockett, Inmate Published Author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, Martin Lockett

Martin Lockett is serving a 17 1/2 year sentence for a tragic car accident. Martin has substantially turned his life around by completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, published his first book and is currently working on his Masters in Psychology. Martin plans to counsel at risk youth when he is released. He hopes his insight, thoughts and experiences from prison will help those who have a loved one incarcerated or someone facing prison time.

To read more about Martin, CLICK HERE 

PLEASE LEAVE FEEDBACK/COMMENTS for Martin:  If you enjoyed this blog, please take a few moments to share your comments.  All comments will be passed along to him.

Remember, a few words of encouragement for someone in prison can go a long way, make their day and make a difference.  Thanks a bunch!! 🙂
HOW TO LEAVE A COMMENT:  Scroll to the top of the blog and click on “Leave a Comment”.

4 responses to DEFYING THE ODDS by Prison Inmate Published Author & IMT Blogger, Martin Lockett


    This sounds wonderful, I want to send my 27yr old son a copy . He is serving a 5 yr. sentence after seven a five year sentence.He was home for 1 1/2 yrs. before getting hooked on crack.Thank you, I’m sending envelope today,he is an amazing artist and loving young man


    Yes Martin, my son Anthony Puthuff who is incarcerated in a California prison for the next 18 years ( for intervening on another persons behalf just to have the tables turned on him for trying to help someone else out bc of his past record) was told his whole life that he was punk, no good never would to anything, etc etc etc, this was told to him by his own father, he did eveything he could do his whole life to win his approval and love but to avail, no matter hiw hard he tried it still wasnt good enough for his father, my son is compassionate, warm, loving and has a heart of gold, he always was helping the less fortunate, he got rit of drug dealers in his neighborhood and even took dug addicts into his home, gave tjem a place to live, fed them, clothe them, stayed by their side to help them while they were going thru withdraw, got them clean and sober and made sure regularly attended rehab programs, he osa good person that at times in his life made choices and paid the consequences for his actions, bit as u know once u r labeled society as a whole doesnt let u forget or wont give a person a chance to demonstrate the the type of person they truly are inside, society wants to keep them in the system with no chance at being a positive product of society!


      Kathy – Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to Martin’s blog. I am so sorry to hear of what your Son went through. I do hope he has learned that sometimes in life, no matter how hard we try we can never please someone. I can relate to this with one of my parents too as well. It is a tough road when you are always told over and over how you can’t do something right and in turn you are told what a mess up you are or that you can’t do anything right. Ultimately, it crushes one’s spirit and ultimately when done enough our self esteem. In my opinion there is only one place I seek approval and acceptance and that is the man upstairs…anyone else..well, it is not necessary. I truly hope that your son (if he has not already come to that realization) he will some day soon. God Bless You and your son Kathy. ((HUGS))

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