LAKELAND, Fla. - In one of her most viewed videos on YouTube, Christina Randallcount the indignationbeing stripped naked and having to show her nether orifices to please a threatening prison guard.
“Because they want you to open up enough so they can see your fucking throat through your ass, okay?” she says.
The video has nearly 1.3 million views. That's higher than the average for Randall's channel, which has over 450,000 subscribers. It became her main source of income and led to her television debut on the competitive series Bravo.spy games, which premiered on January 20.
Randall, 35, doesn't know why his videos started in March 2019, just over a year after he started posting on the site. She performed with the same quirks and intimacy the entire time. Maybe it was something in the algorithm, he said. Her stories seem to resonate with many young women.
At the end of the video, after describing in sometimes drastic detail several other uncomfortable prison experiences, he mentions the one that changed his life. It was an unlikely discovery of faith, considering she held such a negative view of religion in prison during the time she was charged with assault, robbery and escape. I used to see other women going to church and I didn't think it was authentic.
"You didn't try to take Jesus to the streets or you wouldn't be here," he said of his attitude at the time. "Now everybody wants to go to jail and be pious like bible-beaters?"
Still, it was on a visit to a prison facility popular with inmates for the food and drink it brings that Randall had a raw transformative experience.
a stolen childhood
Randall was 1 year old when his mother, an exotic dancer who didn't have custody of her, took her from Florida and fled to Mexico with a man involved in the drug trade. The things he did over the next 17 months were serious enough to burn the memories into their young minds. The physical scars are still visible.
Randall remembers turning on the stove and placing the back of his hands on the boiling surface and pressing down on them with the plunger. He forced her to watch him have sex with her mother, which she shouldn't call rape. Randall hopes so, he says, because it would be worse if his mother willingly participated in what he saw.
She was placed in a bathroom, which gave her a sense of security as the door could be locked. Still, she was the scene of more abuse. The man grabbed her feet and plunged her head into the toilet. One day he burst through the door and began kicking her repeatedly in the head, slamming her against the wall and sinking until blood was splattered everywhere. Her mother showed up, threw Randall over her shoulder and rushed her to a hospital. There, Randall remembers a nurse blowing on a plastic glove and inflating her fingers to distract her while the back of her head was being sewn up.
Her mother left her at the hospital. she was 3 years old
Associates contacted her grandmother in Pensacola, Florida and met. on aVideo about the experience., Randall questions the grandmother about the consequences.
"Terrible," says the grandmother. "I mean, everyone who saw it was shocked. I mean, nobody could believe that someone would burn a 2.5 or 3 year old baby's hands on a stove because that was the kind of punishment."
"A Bad Girl"
Randall's grandmother was the only constant in a chaotic life. Behavioral problems arose early and resulted in her moving from one caregiver to another.
“And when you were a teenager, you were a mean girl,” says her grandmother in a video.
Randall was just a teenager and no stranger to the police force when her run-ins with the law landed her in a juvenile detention center. This first arrest was the result of a fight. Fights with other kids were common as she followed the beaten path of the rebellious teenager, partying with dangerous amounts of alcohol, drugs and all the wrong people.
Randall said he hit rock bottom at age 18. She was drunk at a party in a rough part of town when she got into an argument with two girls that turned physical. After a chaotic exchange of blows, the girls got into a car to leave. Randall, currently without power, he says, jumped into another car and repeatedly rear-ended his vehicle until he pushed it onto the main road.
Her friends were behind her, crying and screaming at her to stop before she killed someone. Randall said he remembers waking up and seeing the rear end "ripped off" from the other car. He fled the scene and went to another house, where he called a friend at the party to find out if anyone had been hurt.
A friend answered the phone. There was a baby in the backseat of the car who ran them over, he said. He was the son of one of the girls and a boy named Jeremy, a schoolmate of Randall's.
The baby was not hurt, but the shock at the information was profound. "I was embarrassed," said Randall. "I carried that guilt around forever because I would never hurt a child."
After another fight a few years later - in which he brandished a glass bottle - he ended up in prison with a three-year sentence. Randall was transferred to Lowell Correctional Institution, Florida's premier facility for women. she was 21 years old
During the first half of her time there, she saw women going to church. He was repulsed by the idea, she said. He looked so dishonest.
A "God Thing"
Few things represented this apparent inauthenticity as much as the clamor for a place on the Kairós list.Kairos International Prison Ministryis a non-denominational Christian group that sends teams of volunteers to prisons for three-day events. Everyone knows each other, talks, sings and loves each other. And they eat.
The food and drinks brought by the volunteers are the main attraction. For people who have spent a decade or more indoors, it's their only chance to experience food outside.
That enthusiasm is the same across all facilities, said Craig Combs, Kairos program coordinator.
To participate, you need to secure a coveted spot on the list. Thirty women in Lowell are selected for each visit. Prisoners can, and many do, give their names. Sometimes Kairos asks facility chaplains to add some names to the list. They ask about people who have some leadership status, some positive and some negative, Combs said. They want to influence people who influence others.
One day, Randall was sitting in her bunk when she heard a noise in the living room, an indoor play area. He looked over and saw that the room was full of women trying to push each other. She thought it would be a struggle. Someone told him that the form was sent out to people who wanted to submit their names for the Kairos lottery. The names were soon scribbled on every blank space on the paper except Randall's.
"I didn't care what they ate. If I had to be therechurchall day, it's the last thing I want to do," he said.
A few weeks passed. A woman he knew ran up to them, looking excited. The Kairos list was available, the woman said, and Randall's name was on it. It can't be, said Randall. A few more people came and told him the same thing.
"Eventually I went to check, and the last name on the list was my name," he said.
He continued to resist the idea as the date approached, until he fell out with a friend in his unit. Another friend encouraged her to go to Kairos, if only as a break from the drama. Randall relented.
On the first day of the event, after she and the others had registered, the prison chapel doors opened and a line of women formed. They smiled, held out their arms and walked over to the inmates, hugging each other in the middle of the group.
It was the first time Randall had been hugged by someone who wasn't trying to get something out of her, she said. I suspected this might be the case for at least a few other women as well.
Then the food came out. Randall started eating and kept eating. They all did. Pizza, cookies, sodas - it kept coming and they kept eating. Volunteers watched without an ounce of judgment, Randall said. They passed and seemed happy about it. Randall was surprised.
"I judged these ladies," he said. "I've been trying to find something wrong with them so I can make it all make sense as to what they want."
One of them sat next to him and they started talking. The woman looked so nice, Randall thought. I envied everything he had done. Later, everyone went to another part of the chapel where everyone started to sing and applaud. Randall did not interfere. He sat looking around and judging everyone.
"And I felt these tears well up in my eyes and I thought, oh, fuck no. I don't know what this is. I didn't even cry when I was sentenced to prison. I'm not... what's going on?" she said.
He closed his eyes to try and stop it. Tears grew stronger and streamed down his face. She continued to struggle, but soon she was hyperventilating, caught in a tsunami of emotions as her mind raced to try and regain control.
"And I was literally like, please God, don't let anyone touch me," she said. As soon as the thought came, she felt a hand touch her back. "As crazy as it sounds, I felt a shock go through me."
Randall still didn't want that, he said, but more hands started rubbing his back. He avoided eye contact with anyone. When the chant ended, everyone returned to the first area and she went to the bathroom to recover.
“I thought, 'God, if you're real and you're saying all I need is faith the size of a mustard seed, you've got to show me why that's all I have: faith the size of a mustard seed. .' 🇧🇷
Every Kairós event has a theme, and that was "Faith is as big as a mustard seed", a phrase I heard all day long.
“I thought, 'God, if you're real and you're saying all I need is faith the size of a mustard seed, you've got to show me why that's all I have: faith the size of a mustard seed. .' 🇧🇷
After joining the group at a table, she continued to cry. She felt as if all the emotions she had suppressed in her life up until now were gushing out, she said. By the end of the day, she was exhausted but felt like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders. Returning to her bunk, he picked up the packet of Newports she had left there and handed them out.
After the conclusion of the Kairós event, he began to attend all the services that took place during the week. She doesn't know anyone in the organization, but she hopes they realize the importance of her work. He never found out how her name got on the list.
"It was a godsend, that's all I can think about," Randall said.
Kairos volunteers receive about 35 hours of training before attending an event, Combs said. It's about telling them what to expect: being amazed at how much they have in common with people in prison and how much they'll enjoy the experience. They are told to be themselves and to avoid intervening too much; Allow inmates to process things together when emotions arise.
Intense expressions of emotion are common, Combs said. The simple act of listening to traumatized and distressed people is a powerful icebreaker. "That doesn't really happen in prison," he said. "Nobody cares what they say or do."
Alex Launius, 34, was held at the same facility. She often saw Randall walking around and was intimidated by her, she said. One day, Launius was on the phone with a detective when Randall approached him.
“Hey Lexi, you gave your life to the Lord, right?” Randall said.
Launius thought Randall was making fun of her. She replied yes. That conversation was the beginning of a great friendship. They worked together in the chapel and studied the scriptures. True friendships are hard to find in prison, Launius said. "It was a really sweet moment."
Randall had read the Bible before, but "it was like trying to read Chinese." He was beginning to understand, she said. One verse was especially true: Ezekiel 36:26.
I will give you a new heart; I will put a new spirit in you; I will take your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. - Ezekiel 36:26.
Those words described the transformation Randall felt. His hardness was replaced by a tenderness that continued to expand. She always said what she wanted and called him straight and honest, "but really I was just being rude and inconsiderate," she said. Thought of her now spun on its own axis; He cared about what he said and how he treated people.
Randall was released after 31 months in prison. She went to a women's shelter and kept going to church. As she delved deeper into religion, her newfound confidence leaned toward self. The church people she looked up to judge other people and their actions, so she allowed herself to be like that.
One day, while sitting with Launius (they were released within a few weeks of each other), Randall criticized a member of one of his focus groups. Launio intervened.
"I don't want to judge people," he says. "I'm so tired of doing this. I'm so tired of judging everyone. I just want to love people. That's all I want to do."
It hit Randall "like a ton of bricks," he said. It was another defining moment. After that it got even smoother.
After that, Randall bounced around, working several menial jobs at once, becoming disheartened by his career prospects as they were limited by his criminal record. She wanted to be a social worker, but that seemed unattainable. Who would let a convicted violent criminal near children or vulnerable people?
On the way, she received a friend request from Jeremy, the man whose one-year-old son was in the backseat of the car that hit her. She accepted nervously and they struck up a conversation. She told him that she was the one who hit the car. He knew that, she told her. He was most angry with the boy's mother for having him with her in such a place.
They kept in touch and got to know each other better. They finally got married. Randall ended up helping Jeremy raise their son, who is now in college. They had another child together.
Randall thought YouTube was silly when he saw his oldest son watching videos of things like kids unboxing new toys. Still, she thought her experiences might reach someone who could learn from them, so she created an account and started posting.
When its ratings peaked a year later, it was as if "God had just opened the floodgates of love." People who watch and comment on her videos are more than just fans, she said. She feels spiritually connected to them. People of other faiths share how they relate to her faith journey. That level of attention is still overwhelming for someone who isn't used to people caring about what they have to say, Randall said.
"You can curse me, you can mistreat me and in a really weird way, that's my comfort zone because I've been through so much of my life," he said. "But when I get love from people, it's such a strange feeling in my life that it makes me really emotional."
Her transformation continues to impact those who know her, on YouTube and in life.
"She's one of the most grateful people I've ever met," Launius said. "It's great to have someone like him who always sees the bright side of things and is always happy to be alive."
Micah Danney is a member of Poynter Koch and an associate reporter and editor for Religion Unplugged.
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“Jailhouse religion”—the sudden desperate piety of an inmate who's up against it and hopes that God will somehow bail him out.Is Christina Randall still married? ›
The social media star is married to Jeremy Randall and together they have two sons, Jordan and Jayden Randall.Where is Cristina Randall from? ›
Cristina Randall (born 1985/1986 (age 36–37)) is a Canadian-born Mexican entrepreneur profiled in 100 Women (BBC).What religion do most prisoners convert to? ›
Rate of conversion to Islam
J. Michael Waller, senior analyst for Strategy at the far-right Center for Security Policy, claims that 80% of the prisoners who find faith while in prison convert to Islam.
According to "Muslim Prisoners' Experiences" report by Chief Inspector of Prisons, Dame Anne Owers, conversion to Islam in prisons in the United Kingdom is attributed to converts seeking "support and protection in a group with a powerful identity" and "perceptions of material advantages of identifying as Muslim" in ...Did Christina Hall get married again? ›
As of this writing, Christina Hall is still married to her third husband, Joshua Hall. The pair started dating in March 2021 and confirmed their marriage in April 2022, saying it had happened sometime in the six months prior.What does Christina on the Coast new husband do for a living? ›
What does Josh Hall do for a living? On the website for The Foundry Group, Josh describes himself as a Real Estate Advisor. He's a licensed Realtor based in Austin, Texas.Is Christina back with her husband? ›
Real estate agent and HGTV star Christina Hall (née Haack) is starting a new chapter in her life, and career, through her marriage to realtor Josh Hall. Josh and Christina got married in April 2022, about a year-and-a-half after Christina announced her divorce from British TV host Ant Anstead in September 2020.How tall is Christina Randell? ›
Christina Randall's height and weight
Christina is 6 feet 1 inch tall (185cm). She weighs 110 pounds (50kgs).
Born in Israel with a Russian background, Christina migrated to Australia with her family when she was 10 years old after her father decided it was too dangerous to live in Tel Aviv.
As of 2023, Jessica Kent has a net worth of $970,000 USD.
This is based on the value of her home, car and online business.
Prisoners' daily life takes place according to a daily schedule. This will prescribe the wake-up, roll-calls, morning exercises, times for meals, times for escorting the prisoners to work and school and times for studying and working, as well as the times prescribed for sports events, telephone calls and walks.Do prisoners have TVs in their cells? ›
The rooms house televisions that still have their external speakers, so that inmates who lack personal funds can still watch programming. There are usually one to two TV rooms in each inmate housing unit. Programming is also decided either by majority vote or by the prison's administration.Can inmates have cell phones? ›
Law Calls For Stricter Prison Cell Phone Rules : NPR. Calif. Law Calls For Stricter Prison Cell Phone Rules Although prison policy prohibits inmates from using cell phones in California, their use is still rampant: Thousands of phones were confiscated last year.What religion you Cannot convert to? ›
Sects of some religions, such as the Druze, Yazidis, Zoroastrians, and Yarsans, do not accept converts at all.What religion is the fastest growing? ›
Statistics commonly measure the absolute number of adherents, the percentage of the absolute growth per-year, and the growth of converts in the world. Studies in the 21st century suggest that, in terms of percentage and worldwide spread, Islam is the fastest-growing major religion in the world.Why do prisoners convert to religion? ›
A very important reason why inmates become involved with religion is to improve their own self-concept. Lack of a positive self-concept is a common problem with correctional inmates who may suffer from guilt related to failures in life, remorse from criminal acts, or, from the pain of a dysfunctional family background.How many people convert to Islam every year in USA? ›
25,000 Americans convert to Islam per year. The conversion rate of Americans has become 4 times more since September 11. In more recent years, there has been significant conversion to Islam in the state, federal, and local prisons of the United States.What is the penalty for leaving the Islam religion? ›
Apostasy from Islam is considered a hudud crime. Death penalty is the traditional form of punishment for both male and female apostates for leaving Islam. Jaʿfari or Imāmī school – Male apostates must be executed, while female apostates must be held in solitary confinement until they repents and return to Islam.How many Muslims are in jail? ›
The population share of Muslims in India is pegged at 14.2% (204 million). The data showed that 19.5% of all under trials and 17.4% of all convicts in Indian jails were Muslims.
Christina Hall and Ant Anstead were granted joint physical custody of son Hudson, 3, when their divorce was finalized last June. Christina Hall and Ant Anstead have reached a custody agreement for their 3-year-old son Hudson and will not be going to trial.Where did Christina Haack get her money? ›
Christina Haack initially earned her money through her real estate company with her ex-husband Tarek El Moussa. The one-time couple was able to leverage their business into a successful HGTV series Flip or Flop, which has spawned several franchises.What autoimmune disorder does Christina on the Coast have? ›
Christina went on to explain she's been battling autoimmune disorder Hashimoto's disease, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and Raynaud's syndrome, which causes numb fingers and toes.What disease does Christina on the Coast have? ›
In addition to her mercury and lead poisoning diagnosis, Christina has also been candid about experiencing chronic pain. “I've suffered on and off since 2016 with extreme stomach pain,” she wrote via Instagram in October 2022.Does Christina on the Coast have a nanny? ›
Extra Help on Both Sides
The Christina: Stronger by Design star revealed that both she and Anstead “employ a nanny” in their respective households, before noting that her husband and Anstead's girlfriend, Renée Zellweger, have also joined them in parenting duties.
Flip or Flop alum Christina Hall (née Haack) found love with husband Joshua Hall shortly after her split from ex-husband Ant Antstead. In September 2021, Christina announced the two were engaged a little more than two months after becoming Instagram official in a series of photos documenting Joshua's proposal.Who is Christina Hall married to now? ›
Christina HallWhat ethnicity is Tarek El Moussa? ›
Tarek El Moussa was born on August 21, 1981 to a Lebanese Catholic father, whose family migrated to Egypt, and a Belgian mother in Long Beach, California.How old is Christina on Coast? ›
|Real Name/Full Name||Christina Meursinge Haack|
|Nick Name/Celebrated Name:||Christina Haack|
|Birth Place:||Anaheim, CA, USA|
|Date Of Birth/Birthday:||9 July 1983|
|Age/How Old:||39 years old|
Christina's maiden name is Haack and she changed her name for the first time when she got married to Tarek El Moussa. After their divorce, she changed her last name to Anstead when she married her second husband, Ant Anstead.
Christina HallWhere did Christina get married? ›
The Halls made things official before their Maui ceremony. On Thursday's season 5 premiere of Christina on the Coast, Christina Hall revealed that she and her husband, Josh Hall, had a secret courthouse wedding before saying "I do" in Maui.What is Samantha Jones net worth? ›
Kim Cattrall aka Samantha Jones: $40 million (£30.3m)Who is Jessica Kent fiance? ›
Jessica Kent and Reece Cline's Wedding Website.How did Sarah Jessica Parker make her money? ›
SJP's acting career took off into the stratosphere when she won the role of Carrie Bradshaw in the wildly successful "Sex and the City" (SATC). This series ran for six seasons, with Parker netting $50 million for the first three seasons, and as producer and actor in seasons 4-6, she grossed a cool $147 million.How often do prisoners shower? ›
Inmates may shower anytime during out-of-cell time, except during meals or head counts. Inmates in cells may wash their bodies at any time using the cell sink. Inmates must shower or wash their bodies at least twice a week. week.Do prisoners shower? ›
Most prisoners will try to use the showers alone, but if it is close to lockdown or in the evening (when showers are busier), then it is normal for you to shower in tandem with a friend, whereas, much like in a gym shower room, you shower with others following a workout.What is the most common thing to go to jail for? ›
Drug offenses still account for the incarceration of almost 400,000 people, and drug convictions remain a defining feature of the federal prison system. Police still make over 1 million drug possession arrests each year, many of which lead to prison sentences.How many meals a day do you get in jail? ›
While many TV shows and movies depict American prisoners as eating poor quality food, inmates within the Federal Bureau of Prisons are provided three nutritionally sound meals each day.Are there unisex prisons? ›
While most prisons exclusively house inmates of either gender, there are some facilities that house both men and women. Within such institutions there are cases where inmates engage in heterosexual sex with prisoners of the opposite gender.
Even in states that allow conjugal visits for other prisoners, death row prisoners are not entitled to conjugal visits, and no state officially permits conjugal visits for death row prisoners.Are prisoners allowed to go to funerals? ›
Inflexible prison policies mean that people in prison, including children and young people, are refused permission to go the funerals of family members. In some cases this can even include being denied access to funerals of their grandparents, who are not deemed to be “close relations” under prison service policies.Why do inmates ask for money? ›
So, what do they need money for? A lot, it turns out. Prisons typically provide the bare minimum when it comes to food, clothes, shoes and hygiene supplies. Some states provide items such as toothpaste, soap and limited amounts of letter-writing supplies only to the “indigent,” or those who have little to no money.Are inmates allowed to smoke? ›
Smoking is banned in prison but to enable the findings to impact on other socially disadvantaged groups, these findings should be disseminated to policy makers, particularly in health.”Why do prisoners find religion? ›
A very important reason why inmates become involved with religion is to improve their own self-concept. Lack of a positive self-concept is a common problem with correctional inmates who may suffer from guilt related to failures in life, remorse from criminal acts, or, from the pain of a dysfunctional family background.Do prisoners have freedom of religion? ›
While in prison, you have the right to observe and practice the religion of your choice. 1 The U.S. Constitution, as well as federal and state laws, protect this right. This Chapter describes these protections and explains how courts determine whether a prisoner's right to religious freedom has been violated.What is jail culture? ›
Prison culture is a concept used to encapsulate the values, norms, and beliefs of prisoners.What is a jailhouse called? ›
A prison, also known as a jail, gaol (dated, British English, Australian, South African and historically in Canada), penitentiary (American English and Canadian English), detention center (or detention centre outside the US), correction center, correctional facility, lock-up, hoosegow or remand center, is a facility in ...Do prisoners receive communion? ›
The symbol that underlies the practice of communion in jail is less the communal meal than it is the reality of the cross: the broken body of Christ, made present for and handed over to his beloved siblings behind bars, in whom he himself is present and suffering.What does the Catholic Church say about prisoners? ›
The human dignity of all persons is rooted in our common creation in the image and likeness of God. Neither crime nor criminal sentence can change this. Human dignity sets a high standard for the treatment of those currently and formerly behind bars as well as their families.
Chaplain, originally a priest or minister who had charge of a chapel, now refers to an ordained member of the clergy who is assigned to a special ministry. The title dates to the early centuries of the Christian church.What percentage of US prisoners are religious? ›
Caroline, 44, Philadelphia.
|RELIGION||PRISON POP.||GENERAL POP.|
Religions such as Orthodox Judaism, Rastafarianism, and Sikhism all prohibit haircuts, the removal of facial hair, or a combination of the two due to beliefs that hair is sacred or a gift from God.Can you have a Bible in jail? ›
Generally speaking, yes. Bibles are allowed in prisons. However, inmates are not allowed to bring their personal Bible to prison with them. If they wish to obtain a Bible or other religious materials, they can do so through the chaplain or, in some cases, the prison library.What does a white shirt mean in jail? ›
Though there is no standardization, in many jails color designations are dark red for “super-max” or the “worst of the worst,” red for high risk, khaki or yellow for low risk, white as a segregation unit like death row, green or blue for low-risk inmates on work detail, orange for general population, black with orange ...How do you get inmates to respect you? ›
Speaking to inmates in a cool and collective tone, asking before ordering, and showing concern for an inmate's wellbeing are three general concepts that can assist officers when it comes to having reciprocated respect from the inmates, staying safe, and smoothly running an institution.What is the food like in jail? ›
The typical prison diet, which is high in salt, sugar, and refined carbohydrates, contributes to the elevated rates of diabetes and heart disease among the incarcerated population. People who are incarcerated in the U.S. are also six times more likely to contract a foodborne illness than the general population.What do prisoners call their food? ›
A spread is a prison meal made by inmates. Spreads are often made with commissary ingredients, such as instant ramen and corn puffs. Spreads can be simple meals, or elaborate and inventive combinations of ingredients.What is a pretty in jail? ›
Pruno, or prison wine, is an alcoholic beverage variously made from apples, oranges, fruit cocktail, fruit juices, hard candy, sugar, high fructose syrup, and possibly other ingredients, including crumbled bread.