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Married to the Streets for Better for Worse

NCJ Number
Terry Moses
Date Published
145 pages
This autobiography describes the criminal career (from childhood to manhood) of Terry Moses, who was raised in the projects of the Watts section of Los Angeles in the 1960s.
The book describes the crimes Moses committed, his associations with his criminal peers, and his experiences in the criminal justice system. His first theft was at age nine, when he and some of his friends robbed the local milkman. This began a pattern of theft that eventually evolved into armed robbery. With the emergence of drug trafficking as a lucrative option, Moses obtained the kind of money selling heroin he could never have earned in a legitimate job. His criminal lifestyle of theft, violence, and drugs under the influence of gangs and like-minded peers persisted in the face of multiple incarcerations as a juvenile and an adult. None of his experiences while in custody and under the influence of the California corrections system changed his way of living after release. His imprisonments were but interruptions in his commitment to surviving and obtaining cash through his criminal activities. In his epilogue, Moses acknowledges that his story has no happy ending, as he reflects in this book on what brought him to his current imprisonment of 25 years to life for homicide. This sanction for his current conviction was made more severe under California's "three strikes" law. He wrote this autobiography to show that a "bad beginning will always lead to a bad ending." He does this by not only telling the story of his own life but the outcomes of some of his criminal cohorts, many of whom died violently.