These personal audio and video stories have been recorded especially for BBC Leicester and come from the inmates of the STORM unit at Leicester Prison.
Watch Mo's moving story and listen to six other inmates as they share their stories with you...
All seven of the storytellers have been taking part in a four week course that aims to address their drug abuse and reasons they re-offend. The stories make an often shocking, but insightful read...
Mo got into trouble at an early age - he was imprisoned after his drug habit lead him to crime. From here things just seemed to get worse.
|Mo - Leicester Prison Telling Lives|
He now wishes that he’d listened to his dad when he was younger but looking to the future Mo hopes to turn his life around.
"I want to help all the people who are walking the same walk of life that I've been through. I'm going to be a drugs counsellor to make a difference."
Jak lived a glitzy life in the Ghetto whilst still at school through his criminal dealings, meanwhile his drug habits worsened.
After two spells in prison he now realises there’s much more to life than money and fast cars.
"I've done so much evil, that even being locked up for life won't add up to the amount of lives I've messed up."
John’s childhood was not always the happiest – he believes the break up of his parents marriage is partly to blame for his past behaviour.
|Mo writes his story.|
However the special course at Leicester Prison has made him feel more positive about his future and he hopes after his six months is up he will no longer have to presence another prison.
"I am hoping that what I have learned here will help me go on and be able to cope with adversity in a positive way, rather than turning to drugs and things that are bad for everyone."
Like many addicts Chris smoked cannabis when he was younger but was soon drawn into experimenting with harder drugs. He is only 21 but has repeatedly been in and out of prison since turning to crime to fuel his heroin addiction.
|"I'm now in a man's jail, somewhere I didn't want to be. I see old people in here and think I don't want to be in here when I'm that age."|
Now Chris wants to sort out his life and make it up to his family who have supported him throughout his troubles.
"I see old people in here and think I don't want to be in here when I'm that age."
Shaun got mixed up with drugs when he began mixing with the wrong crowd, which in turn led him to crime.
One of Shaun’s biggest regrets his missing his daughter’s birth but the proud father is determine to have a new positive life when he leaves prison.
"I only took drugs to take away my problems but they never went, just got put to the back of my mind and then I had to take drugs to feel better again."
Michael was always naughty as a kid and as an adult it got worse. After a number of prison sentences his girlfriend got pregnant and he turned his life around – however it didn’t last long.
|The prisoner's writing in a group|
This time Michael is determined to prove that he can stay clean so he can be there for his family.
"We'll go and walk down the canal and feed the ducks, take them to the park when I get out. It's the little things that really count and it's time to give them some good memories of their dad."
James first got into crime after living in a children’s home. At 14 he was sentenced for five years after stealing a car that crashed killing one of his friends, at 18 he turned to drugs in an attempt to block out the memories.
Now at 21, James wants to break the vicious cycle he has found himself in.
"Life's been strange but I think I'm ready now to sort it out and make something of myself."