Kenyatta Leal has won the Quora Answer of the Year award at the annual Shorty Awards. He provided a moving answer to the question: “What does the first day of a 5+ year prison sentence feel like?

Below, we’ve included links to all five finalists for the Best Quora Answer of the Year award. Leal accepted his award from prison. Here is an excerpt from his Quora essay:

I remember my first day because it was my worst day. I was sentenced to life in prison on September 25, 1995 and about a week later was transferred from the San Diego County Jail to RJ Donovan Prison for intake into the state prison system. The morning of my transfer a deputy came to my cell and told me that I was “catching the chain” to the pen.  I had just made it to sleep as my cellmate and I had stayed up late playing chess and talking. He was a 19 year old 1st termer headed to the joint with a life sentence and every night he would ask me a gang of questions about prison life. I felt compelled to answer his questions in as much detail as possible because I knew he didn’t understand the danger he was headed into and he needed all the help he could get.

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