Matt’s Story


I don’t know when the last time I wrote was, but it could easily be close to a year. I’ve been incarcerated for over two years now. That’s something that I never thought would be a part of my life but this life is like clockwork to me now. I am now a progam aide for the rehab/recovery program here at PCI, and I keep moving forward by helping others move forward too. I am in college both here at the prison through Sinclair CC and through correspondence courses at Ohio U. I have completed about 25 hours so far an am working on another 21 this semester, so I’ve been staying busy. I play music in my free time, and I also follow a strict workout plan everyday. I have never been so disciplined in my entire life.

After awhile in here I started to notice that I began feeling numb a lot. I really am making the best of everything but doing 6 1/2 years in this place requires more than just strength. Some of the smallest things are really what gets to me. It is hard to let people care about me when I know that there is still so much time left before I get out and they will just leave before then anyway. There are people who consistently try to reach out to me but I know that once I engage them, the clock starts ticking on when they will not care anymore. It’s just the way it is in here.

I think about Vince a lot, and I’ve figured out that I will never forgive myself for what I did to him. I am still grappling with it, but it is like trying to hold onto lightning. I can’t rationalize the thought of doing what I did and still being able to be a good person. I can’t seem to make those feelings mesh together so I avoid that too and keep it in the back of my thoughts. I know I am going to have to confront it all at some point, but whenever I try I am already broken before I get anywhere. I don’t know what the next step is but I do know that I will be able to handle it when I need to. That’s one thing that prison had taught me, I am much stronger than I thought I was and I can handle anything that is put in front of me. I still have work to do but I am proud of myself. After I get my degree I will focus on dealing with these emotional and abandonment issues that I have, as well as figuring out how to deal with guilt. That’s my plan for now at least, continue to build myself.


  1. Nina - October 8, 2015 9:48 pm

    Matt, I enjoy hearing your voice very much. It brings tears to my eyes. Touches the same place in me – the place where I have a tendency to make a prison for myself. To find a way to make sense of being human and also being a good person. It is true. They don’t often match up. Yes, like trying to hold onto lightning. Can give you quite a jolt. I wish you well on your journey of building yourself and I celebrate knowing that you can handle whatever life throws at you. Thank you again for letting us know how you are. All best to you and your family, Nina

    • Jim Edelstein - October 9, 2015 12:08 am

      Matt you sat in my lap when you were 3. Remember?};-) As I see it, the Matt Cordle “Drunk Driver” is not a threat because that part of you died with your Victim. Your attitude is genuine seen through the eyes of others by your actions and leadership. Let’s face it you have no choice but to be an A+ Person in your surroundings. One day you’ll look at yourself in the mirror and see you as others do.
      You’re into music? Have access to a computer? Youtube Sax & Trax. check out my videos.
      Be Safe. Be Well. You’re already Cool!

  2. Gloria Kelly - October 9, 2015 9:25 am

    Hi Matt,

    Thank you for the update. Last time you wrote you were feeling overwhelmed, vulnerable and in a very dark place, I think.

    I’m glad to hear that you have settled into a routine and resolved to make the most of your time, keeping your body & mind exercised and focusing on helping others.

    You are a good person, Matt. You’re not perfect, but who is? Prisons are full of people who made mistakes. Some will learn from their mistakes and others will go on to repeat them. I believe you are already showing the world you are learning from your mistakes. You are moving forward and reshaping yourself into a better person and inspiring others at the same time.

    Vince has given you a gift, which is the opportunity to make something good out of something tragic. The #saveyourvictim campaign has already saved lives. Whether you believe it or not, you are on the road to redemption Matthew! All the best xox

  3. Tina - October 18, 2015 1:26 pm

    Honey , I would love to get you a bible or some literature that will help you forgive yourself & prove to you that God has already forgiven you! As far as the east is from the west is one way He words it-and He remembers your sin no more!!
    You’re a great person doing great things!! Try to see you as you are NOW!!
    We all make poor choices, and we all learn from them… But please don’t stay in that dark place of the past!! That person that made that poor choice doesn’t even exist anymore, so please try to move forward in your thoughts too!
    I’m sending you love & hugs from a distance!!
    Love, Tina in Georgia

  4. Amy McNeil. TN - May 27, 2016 5:14 pm

    Hi Matthew, I heard about your story on the news. I couldnt imagine how you feel. I think with each passing day things will get better…. Ive done bad things….good people do bad things. Making that video to me shows you know you messed up and that shows me and im sure everyone alot. I dont know anyone that would of been that brave to make that video it was a wake up call to alot of people please email me anytime I wish u well

  5. Tara - September 8, 2017 2:45 pm

    I love this blog. My son was just sent to prison (his first time, and hopefully last) in June for addiction related charges. Matt you remind me so much of my son and his struggles and this blog has helped me to not only understand him better but also feel closer to him and what he is going through. He is at CRC and getting ready to go to Pickaway to the Oasis program. I copied this blog and sent it to him at CRC, he loved reading it and it made him feel better knowing he is not alone in his feelings. You are a brave, strong person, I am in awe of you and want you are doing! Wondering if you can give us an update on how things are going for you now. Stay strong and keep your head up – you are an amazing being! Sending you Divine Love & Light, Tara

  6. Caitlin - November 10, 2017 11:30 am

    Matt, I saw your story on Facebook years ago and have used it ever since in a Victim Awareness class I teach through the Foundation of HOPE. Every few months, it is shared with 65 men who are currently incarcerated at the county jail. It always leads to a powerful discussion and many of them share how deeply they are moved by your accountability. We are praying for you and hope you are able to forgive yourself. You are making a difference.


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