How a Life Sentence Became My Saving Grace
by Amanda Warner, Jojo Godinez
Pub Date 26 Jun 2018
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Jojo Godinez grew up in L.A. County surrounded by gangs. The night he
joined one, he swore to represent his gang until death. Fights,
shootings, and arrests followed, but his love of violence waned through
the years as more and more of his friends died around him.
Amid the bloodshed, he met a homegirl, Dalia. At just 18 years old, they married in Vegas, but their honeymoon was interrupted when a crime Jojo committed brought him into court and eventually into a 45-years-to-life sentence. On the day he was found guilty, Dalia gave birth to their son.
Suicidal, Jojo lost himself in the evils of the jail, trying to forget his former life and even his family. It was during a stint in solitary confinement that he came to terms with his need for change. He asked God for forgiveness and resolved to never fight again.
Jojo's nonviolent rebellion against the prison culture of hatred and racism was consistently met with death threats but he was willing to risk everything for his newfound faith. In prison after prison, Jojo spread peace, while his wife, Dalia, and their son faithfully waited for the day he finally came home.
The powerful true story of Jojo Godinez shows the incredible transformation of a man once written off as nothing more than a criminal.
“Careful with this book. It dares to hold the heat of the streets, of a
gun barrel, of a young man’s pounding heart, and even hotter as that
heart’s chambers load with the fire of divine love. This is what change
looks like, up close. I hope this gripping book can ignite new fires in
cells and minds alike.”
-Chris Hoke, gang pastor, cofounder of Underground Ministries, and author of WANTED: A Spiritual Journey Through Jail, Among Outlaws, and Across Borders