Although the United States of America only consists of 5% of the world’s population, it houses over 25% of the world’s prison population! With close to two million Americans behind bars, the faces of the U.S. prison population has dramatically changed. Jail cells are no longer inhabited by just men. Today, there is a major increase of female offenders, sweeping across the nation. The true stories of these women, and the injustices they face in the U.S. judicial system, often remains untold!
The High Price I Had To Pay, Volume IV, is a captivating real-life story about the life of Brandi Davis, a young, single mother who entered the drug game after the sudden death of her child’s father, Deron Gatling. Gatling, a notorious drug dealer and a well-known member of the infamous Black Mafia Family (BMF) organization, showered Davis with expensive gifts and provided her a lavish lifestyle that she was unwilling to give up so easily. Feeling as though her back was against the wall, determined to stay afloat, Davis accepted an invitation to enter the drug game.
As the daughter of a legendary hustler, Davis was no novice to street life. She quickly integrated her business savvy and prominent drug connections, skyrocketing to the top of the drug under-world. All was well, until she got caught red-handed with 27 kilos of freshly packaged cocaine. With the help of a few key informants, Davis’s empire swiftly came crumbling down, landing her a ten year bid in federal prison. Hopeless, behind bars, Davis didn’t suffer alone; her son, who was a toddler, was also left behind without his mother.
This cautionary tale reveals the shocking truths of those who enter the drug game in America, and the harsh penalties they face. Is a decade plus sentence necessary to punish a young mother who became a product of the game? Or, is there a better way to level the scales of justice in America? You be the judge!
“It’s Time For A Call To Action!”
Spending close to a decade behind bars has been one of the most difficult experiences in my life. I am first to admit that I made many mistakes, but now that you’ve read my story hopefully you see clearly how my life went astray. I became a product of my environment; I did what I saw others doing around me. I had no clue at the time, my actions would cost me a ten year prison sentence in federal prison.
Behind bars, first-hand I noticed many others around me made the same mistakes. We were taught it was “cool or “cute” to date a drug dealer and live off his fast money. But no one told us our decision would cost us football numbers in prison, or even life! That is why I felt it was necessary to share my story. I wrote this book to warn others not to make my same mistakes, and to shed light on the lengthy sentences women face in the U.S. judicial system.
When people usually think of prisoners they think about just men. That is no longer the case. Women are filling prisons in this country in record amounts! Between 1980 and 2010, the number of women in prison increased 646%, rising from 15, 118 to 112,797. Today there are over 205,000 women in prisons and jails within the United States. Approximately 10% of this population is federal prisoners, many of whom are serving decade plus sentences for nonviolent crimes, as first time offenders.
I am stating the facts, because it’s important that light is brought to this population, which is often left without a voice. Although I am now free, I have left behind several of my prison sisters, who still have long sentences to serve. Just like myself, they were stripped away from their families and children. Consequently, their families are also serving time. In addition, this epidemic is sparking another nasty cycle of intergenerational incarceration.
Many may say this not your problem, but the truth is it is! Taxpayers are spending billions of dollars to house and care for the incarcerated. Behind the walls, there are limited platforms for real rehabilitation. Therefore, prisoners are simply “warehoused,” so they come back out to the free-world in a worse state than they come in. I watched this vicious cycle first hand. In a dark place, which often is lacking love, women are caged in, just sitting until their release dates. Many aren’t scheduled for release for many years to come, so they feel hopeless and give up.
Even more disheartening, many of these women I am speaking of are women of color. In record amounts, black women are being severely punished by what appears to be a heartless system. I am not saying we shouldn’t have to pay for our mistakes, yet is a decade plus sentence for young mothers really necessary to get the lesson? I don’t think so! Given the opportunity, I believe I could have paid my debt back to society in a more productive manner, and I would have still gotten the message loud and clear.
Although I’ve done my time, and paid a hefty price for my mistake, I have still chosen to give back. Today I am an advocate for women who walked the same path I did. I am here to tell them there is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s never too late to turn your life around. I made it, so can you my sister!
Today I plead with every American to take a closer look at our nation’s judicial system, which is supposed to represent justice for all. There are thousands of women behind bars that face many injustices and are held captive, with no recourse! These women could be your neighbors, friends, co-workers or even your relatives. The FEDS don’t discriminate. Next, it could be you! Therefore, it’s time for a call to action! It’s time to demand justice and equality for all in the U.S. judicial system, and it’s time to release the many women serving decade plus sentences for nonviolent crimes! Your voice can make a difference! Please speak out and help us in our plight for change.
Brandi Davis, born and raised in Southfield, Michigan, is an author, motivational speaker and a prison reform activist. Davis, the daughter of legendary street hustler and the girlfriend of a notorious drug dealer, was no novice to street life. After her child’s father suddenly died in federal prison, she faced the challenge of maintaining the lavish lifestyle he provided. With her back up against the wall, Davis accepted an invitation to enter the drug game and became extremely successful. Life was grand until Davis was caught red-handed with 27 kilos of freshly packaged cocaine, landing her a ten year sentence in federal prison.
After serving close to a decade behind bars, Davis has decided to share her life experiences to warn others about the danger of poor choices. With her powerful voice and bona fide street credibility, she has captivated the attention of youth and adults across the nation. Exposing the naked truth and deadly consequences of street life, her heartfelt story has become an anchor used to save the lives of many of today’s troubled youth.
Get to know Brandi:
1) Please introduce yourself to our readers and let them know a little about your new book “The High Price I Had To Pay, Volume 4.”
My name is Brandi Davis. I’m a 34 year old, native of Detroit, Michigan. My book “The High Price I Had To Pay, Volume 4” is a memoir about my life and the experiences that led to my imprisonment.
2) Tell us why you decided to write this book and why you feel the message enclosed is important?
I decided to write a book about my life to bring awareness to the epidemic that I’ve seen in our judicial system. While incarcerated in federal prison for 7 1/2 years, I’ve watched a transition in the prison population. The age of the women coming in has grown younger and younger for non-violent, drug crimes. I listened to some of the girls stories and they really touched my heart. Many of them are serving double digits, and some even Life behind bars! I can relate to their experiences and how they got involved in the fast life. This led me to share my story, so I could help prevent others from making the same mistakes that we did.
3) Describe a little about what your life was like growing up in Detroit?
My life growing up in Detroit was kind of different from your typical middle class family. My father was a drug dealer who provided a good living for his household. From the outside looking in, you would think that I came from a hard working family. But in all actuality, my father was heavily involved in a criminal lifestyle. I didn’t know this until I grew up and heard stories about my dad. So I would say, even though I grew up in the suburbs, my life was far from typical.
4) What kind of influence did your father have on your life? Would you describe it as good or bad? Explain.
My father had a huge influence on my life. I admired him greatly. As a result, I was attracted to men who emulated his lifestyle. I was inspired by the drive my father had and the way he took care of our family. He was what I considered to be the “ultimate hustler,” yet he was quite a gentleman. Growing up, I aspired to have a man that treated me like my daddy treated my mother. But in all actuality, the lifestyle my dad provided was a gift and a curse. I never wanted for anything and was spoiled with expensive gifts and attention. Yet at the same time, I was exposed to an addictive lifestyle that came along with lots of consequences.
5) Tell us a little about why you decided to try your hand in the drug game?
I tried my hand in the drug game thinking I was being a loyal girlfriend. I was dating a guy from Chicago who had some issues in his hometown. He needed to quickly move some work outside of Chicago, so I decided I would help him out.
I had never sold drugs a day in my life. I was surprised how easy it was to make a lot of money swiftly. At the time, I never knew my actions would cost me my life. I now realize I was extremely naive and I didn’t think through the consequences.
6) What was the most difficult about serving a 10 year bid in the FEDS?
While I was in prison, being away from my son for 7 1/2 years was the hardest thing for me to deal with. When I was arrested my son had just turned 3 years old, so I left a toddler behind. It broke my heart knowing that I was going to miss out on so much of his life. Till this day, I have not completely forgiven myself for leaving my son, due to my poor choices.
7) What message do you want to leave readers with who read your book?
I want my readers to be cautious of the decisions they make in life. Sometimes we don’t think things through before we act. This can be detrimental! Love is also blind and we tend to move on our emotions, instead of our intellect. Therefore, we must watch the company we keep, because everyone doesn’t have the same intentions or love that we have for them. Life is too short to live on the edge, especially when you have children! Our decisions in life don’t only affect us, they also effect our loved ones too. Therefore, I caution my readers to cherish their lives and don’t choose life in the fast lane! It only leads to two things, death or prison.
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