Published Nov 21, 2021
When we think about the prisoners, we often assume that no more opportunity will knock on their doors once they get out of prison. Most people believe that there’s a lot of chance that former inmates will go back to jail.
To be honest, that is somehow true. Many surveys and studies show that the rate of recidivism in the US is high. But not all former inmates have the same fate.
Joe Guerrero, the creator of the “AfterPrisonShow” on YouTube, used to be a prisoner for more than seven years. He was charged with non-violent drug offenses and arrested on December 20th of 1998.
He didn’t care what would happen to him; he didn’t even care if he died. He was caught with drugs and illegal firearms. For him, he was already a lost cause.
Until he realized that nobody cared if he would die. This is what Joe has to say when he finally came to his senses:
“Wouldn’t it be the worst damn thing in the world, if people thought this was the best for me… for someone who had been nothing… except a burden, and a constant failure.”
That’s when he started changing his life. He wants to live a new life once he goes out of jail. That’s why after his release, all he did was try several things that he thought could change his fate.
Before his fame, he tried applying for several jobs where he never got hired because of his records.
He said that this is the main reason why other ex-convicts return to committing a crime again. But for him, this is not a reason to give up. Quitting is not an option anymore.
He tried to shoot videos of himself whenever he went out to apply for a job. He aimed to show how hard life can be once a prisoner returns to society.
All the videos he uploaded weren’t noticed until he uploaded a tutorial video about making a jail-house tattoo gun.
He didn’t expect that that video would blow up. At first, it started as 2,000 views only within the first week of uploading the video. Then it began to grow, and now he already has millions of subscribers to his channel.
When he started to have lots of viewers, he then created the AfterPrisonShow, in which he details what it’s like inside a prison.
He now has 700 videos on his channel, and most of its purpose is to help those struggling with incarceration.
He wanted others not to lose hope, the same thing he didn’t do. He wanted to let everyone know how he, a former inmate, once lost, juggled his way up to rise and change his fate.
How Joe Guerrero Found Success On YouTube
YouTube is an excellent chance for people of many backgrounds, as YouTuber Joe Guerrero discovered. Guerrero was in the terrible but not uncommon position of being free but unemployed following a seven-year sentence, but he had a purpose when he was released. He desired to recount his life as a cautionary tale.
Here are some of the reasons why his show, After Prison Show, gained popularity.
1. He is unapologetically honest
Guerrero’s life behind bars is anything but idyllic. However, the challenges and hardships he endured while serving his term shaped him as a person, and he does not attempt to disguise this fact.
While each story he recounts is fascinating, they are all true. Not all stories portray him positively, but that only adds to their value and makes him easier to trust.
2. He possesses a sense of humor
While telling jokes during his vlog is not always suitable, when it is, he bombards the viewer with his brand of dark comedy. It lightens the tone in videos that could otherwise be tedious to binge on.
He obviously possesses the ability to do so, as evidenced by the contrast between his lighter videos and his heavier ones.
3. He never runs out of topics to discuss
When someone has had a life similar to Guerrero’s, marked by difficulty and low points, the bright side is that they frequently have many experiences worth sharing. He uploads a video practically daily, and each one is distinct yet familiar.
He primarily discusses his time behind the prison, but it’s fascinating when he discusses his current life and the problems he continues to face.
4. He is very informative
Another silver lining to his ordeal is that he has a wealth of knowledge about prison culture and standards to impart. In addition, he moved between institutions and has a unique viewpoint on the system that is beneficial to anyone who has a family member or friend who is incarcerated or is simply curious about the justice system.
He is critical and opinionated, but he clearly distinguishes between this and the facts about how things work, which perhaps makes his channel informative.
Guerrero provides what people desire: a unique perspective. He attracts an audience with his wit and candor. Sometimes, all it takes to succeed on YouTube is to be open and candid about your life.