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INDIANAPOLIS — “You know, the old cliché of “don’t judge a book by its cover” is so true. At the same time, don’t judge a book by a couple chapters, you know,” said Montez Day, who was previously incarcerated.

It was 20 years ago when Day’s chapter began.

“I was incarcerated for over 20 years in the federal prison system,” he said. “I was incarcerated for armed bank robbery.”

Behind bars for more than two decades, Day said he clung to helping people in hopes of coping with his own stress and anxiety. He helped an inmate learn how to read and tutored several young men, which opened the door and really opened his heart.

“You’re just trying to get through it with hopes of getting out and doing something better, with hopes of getting out and starting your life over and with hopes of getting out and not being judged for the mistake that you made and the penalty that you’ve paid,” Day said.

But it wasn’t easy dealing with the challenges and everything that comes with living in prison.

“Being in prison is not what most people think it is,” he said. “Being locked in a cell, a concrete and steel cell for 23 hours a day when you’re in trouble because you went to the shoe, or being locked in a cell for 8 to 9 hours a day, waking up on a piece of mattress that’s probably about 4 to 5 inches thick and having a guard walk up to your cell and tell you to stand up and strip naked and turn around and you were just dead asleep. These are things that you get used to doing, but you never get used to it emotionally and mentally and they can break you down.”

Read more from WRTV here

‘Don’t judge a book by a couple chapters’: Life during and after incarceration  was originally published on