Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sept. 16, 2015

You will be missed Maggie

We got some bad news this past week. We lost a very special member of the PPR family. Maggie Andrews past away early Friday morning. Many of you know her as Jimbo's mama.  She had become family to us all.  She was as tough as nails and fought hard to stay alive for many years. She never gave up no matter how bad it got. She absolut4ely loved coming to see Jimbo every chance she got. I will always remember her big smile, her sense of humor, and that she always had a hug for everyone she knew. She always wanted to make everyone smile. Her "never give up no matter what" attitude was an inspiration to so many people. None of us will ever forget her. We are sad that you are gone, but it makes us happy to know that you are no longer in pain. We will celebrate your life and you will always be a part of PPR. We love you Maggie. You will be missed.

Jon Rogness
Co-Founder of PPR

Friday, September 11, 2015

We are saddened by the loss of Maggie Andrews.  The mother of Jimbo Andrews one of the co-founders of PPR. She will be missed.. Our prayers go out to the family.

Margaret "Maggie" Irene (Bruggeman) Andrews, 66 of Sioux Falls, SD, died peacefully on Saturday, September 5th, 2015 at the Dougherty House. She was born May 2, 1949 in Sioux Falls, SD, the daughter of Cletus and Patricia (Wilka) Bruggeman. She graduated from O'Gorman High School in 1967, later on attended Killian Community College to work on a Human Service degree. She worked as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor at Detox, Second Street Manor, and Counseling Resources. She also worked for Face It as the Director of First Impressions until her retirement due to failing health.
In 1968 Margaret married Terry Cady and they had two children Anthony and Angela Cady. In 1974 she married Jim Andrews and had one son James Andrews. 
Margaret was small in stature but had a big heart. She had an absolute love for flowers, music, and dance. She even went to a Bob Seger concert recently. Keeping up with the latest dance styles was her passion too. 

Survivors include her children: Anthony (Lisa) Cady, of Watertown, Angela (Cady) Blosmo, of Garretson, and James Andrews of Sioux Falls; step-daughter: Nichole Andrews, of Sparks, Nevada; brothers: Joseph of Sioux Falls, Mike (Cathy) of Lincoln, Nebraska, and Matt of Larchwood, Iowa; five grandchildren; and special friend: Gale Richardson, of Murdo, SD. She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Patrick.
Visitation will be Saturday, 1 PM at Barnett-Lewis Funeral Home with a Memorial Service at 2 PM.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

To the Youth of the Nation

I am nobody special, just a concerned person.

I read the newspaper and watch the daily news. And it troubles me to see today's youth turn to drugs and violence to solve or try to solve their problems.

I'd like to tell you a story. Its a true story with no embellishments needed. It's a story I've told countless times to a number of at risk troubled youths in order to try to get them to turn their lives around. It's the story of my own youth. I say my own youth because as I write this I am now 41 years old. Some of you might think what does this old guy think he know  about today's youth?  It is true there is allot about this day and age that I do not now but as I mentioned earlier, I too thought when I was young that I could solve my problems with drugs and violence.

As a teenager I was like allot of other teens, didn't think I fit in with the ?In? crowd, so I turned to alcohol. A few beers here and there then before to long I turned to the harder stuff, mainly whiskey. Soon after that it was party time every weekend. Of course that also progressed in whenever I had money I'd drink.  That because my life for a few years. I didn't have any ambitions, no future. I blinded myself and couldn't see anything beyond what was directly in front of me. In those few years allot of b ad things happened. I'd fight, Id get beat up, I even got robbed while in a drunken stupor. After a while I'd drink just to drink. I wasn't even having fun anymore. Realizing this I should have stopped but like any addict I turned to drugs to try to block out the world I created.  With drugs and alcohol in my system most of the time. I had become someone I never knew. I was a mean violent uncontrollable person with little regard for anyone around me.  This path that I had chosen, the drugs, alcohol and violence would all come to a head on a cold October night in 1993.

In a drunken drug induced rampage I did the unforgivable. I would take a young mans life.  At first I didn't even remember doing such an act. As the days passed, as I Sobered up sitting in a jail cell, like still frames of a movie I started to piece together that nights events. It was terrible, and terrifying what I had done.

After months of sitting in jail. It was now time to stand before a judge and har my fate. He had decided that since I took a life then mine shall be taken as well. In a blink of a eye, what life I had and what life I couldn've had was gone. I was 19 years old. I was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole. That was 21 years ago. So here I've  sat, no future, no present only a past that will haunt me for the rest of my days. At first I thought it was all just a really bad dream and I'd wake up and everything would be alright. Little did I know my nightmare was just about to begin.

Life here in prison is terrible. I would not wish this on my worst enemy. If anyone says different then they have either never been here or is lying. Trust me there is nothing, I mean nothing cool about being in prison. For those who read this especially todays youth. I implore you don't turn to drugs or alcohol they only weaken you.  Violence only breed more violence. Use the people and the resources around you to find a better non violent way to address your problems. Never be afraid to ask for help. Its not a sign of weakness. Its a sign of maturity to want to find a better way.

I've shared my story with you, not so you would feel sorry for me or to glorify my actions. I share my story and experiences a a warning beacon to the youth of today.

Trust me when I say every second of every day I am sorry and ashamed and deeply regret my actions on that October night.  I have not only brought shame on myself but my family as well.  Don't live with that regret. Don't follow my footsteps. For those of you that have taken steps do3wn this road. It's not to late for you to turn your life around. You can do it, you have that power within you.

Before I sign off I want to say one more thing.  I know even now after all I have shared, there are some who are saying to themselves "that won't ever happen to me." I said those exact words myself when I was young. Take heed spending the rest of your life in prison is just one possible stop on this road.

Thank you for your time. My prayers are with you.
Mark Milk #17409


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Choose Wisely What You Have Pride In!

I am thirty-one years old, married with five children. Sadly I've been doing time since I was seventeen years old.
I did everything the "convict way". I took pride in that and I was going to the hold all the time to save face and to be selfish. I've got ten years here on the Hill so far and the sad thing is that I could have been out in two and a half if I wasn't so prideful. I have kid's pictures up on my board and I get into a fight a month before my parole? What sense did that make? Is pride more important than my wife and kids? For thirteen years the answer for me was yes. It sucks for me to even have to admit that but it's the truth.
That all changed for me in April of 2013. I was doing ninety days in the SHU for supposedly smuggling drugs into the prison during visits. While doing my SHU time I got bored and started reading the Bible. After reading for a few days I asked Jesus to come into my life and save me from my sins. It has been a 180 degree change in my life since then.
I still struggle with pride and judging other people by their crimes like sex offenses and whether they are known rat and how they do their time because I am still a convict. But on the other hand I've realized what is really more important to me is growing up and holding myself responsible for my choices and putting my family and religion before my pride.
People in here think it's a badge of honor to have done a bunch of time filled with pride and reputation. But what I've learned in the past fourteen years is we are being self-centered, prideful losers who have proven to ourselves and our families that our pride is more important than our family.
I just wish that fourteen years ago someone would have told me how to be a  real man who put the interest of my family and my wife and kids before my own. I'm just glad that through my faith in Jesus Christ I am able to change and become a real man who thinks about others and puts his wife and his kids first. Now I can take pride in the fact that my word means something to me and my family and that I'm putting somebody else before myself.
I have faith that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I hope that by reading my testimony it might help somebody  before they waste years of their lives ruled by pride and anger. God blessed me in changing my heart and mind....He can change yours too.

Written By: Josh Sullenger