Halim A. Flowers turned his test into a testimony. By empowering current and formerly incarcerated people through his heartbreaking yet inspiring journey, Flowers became a changed man.
The Washington, D.C., native was arrested at 16 years old and was convicted as an accessory to murder. He was sentenced to 40 years to life.
Through the Georgetown Prison Scholars Program, Flowers, an academically gifted student who took his PSAT at only 11 years old, enrolled in government and philosophy classes.
Although he was physically locked up, his mind was not.
In 2005, he started his own publishing company, SATO Communications, while behind bars. He published 11 titles, including memoirs, self-help books and poetry, sharing his worldly wisdom.
"Held in a cage for 22 years, I began crafting my method of artistic expression to find some sense of peace in a hopeless place before I resurrected back into the 'real' world," said Flowers. "I use photography, painting, poetry, and spoken word to further my love revolution. Transcribing my poetry directly onto imagery and painting, I am dedicated to the now archaic practice of handwriting."
Through the D.C. Council's Incarceration Reduction Amendment Act, which allows a judge to commute convicted juveniles' sentences based on perceived personal growth while incarcerated, Flowers was released early on March 21, 2019.
Flowers co-founded Unchained Media Collective, a media production company developed to disrupt mass incarceration and those disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system.
Now, Flowers continues to blossom on the front lines of prison reform with his writings, motivational speeches and fitness routines that inspire people toward revolutionary and radical love.