In 1995, DarRen Morris was sentenced to serve life in prison. During his sentencing, the judge told then seventeen year old DarRen: “You will die in a cold dark prison cell. You will have gone nowhere and you will have done nothing. You have no friends and no family.” Despite serving a life-sentence in Green Bay Correctional in Wisconsin, DarRen has become an accomplished artist. His distinct painting style, developed in a 6 x 9 prison cell, inspires others with powerful images of faith, uplift, innocence, and transformation.
In his words:
Seventeen. That was my age what I was sentenced and I have now served more than half of my life in maximum security Wisconsin prisons.
My sentence? Life in prison. My crime? I was part to the unintentional death of an innocent man. Although I was involved in his death, I am not a murderer. I know this in my heart, in my regret for this loss off life, and through my daily actions.
I am an artist. I paint and donate my works of art. In the years to come, I want to create art that will help save youth from making thoughtless choices. I also want to create art that will help you on the outside understand what we face on the inside - the very real need for prison reform in Wisconsin and elsewhere - the vey real need to involve more people in working toward prisoner rehabilitation rather than punishment.
You are invited to join members of the Payne Theological Seminary faculty during our February 14 videoconference, when DarRen and several of his friends from Green Bay Correctional in Wisconsin will be joining us to discuss what it means to be human.