Why would you marry someone in prison? That is a question Cecelia Conley is often asked. The answer isn’t simple but it’s endearing. These nuptials have led to advocating for change and the creation of Designed Conviction.
But we will get to that in a moment.
Lizzie Kommes was a reality star on the show Love after Lockup where oftentimes people meet incarcerated men and women online and form intimate relationships with them. Designed Conviction reached out to her wanting to showcase the transformative and positive changes she has made since her release from prison. You can hear that interview here.
Now Lizzie Kommes has some questions for Cecilia, a prison wife who works full time as a consultant and started a social enterprise called Designed Conviction with her husband Taylor who is currently serving life in prison without parole.
So who is Taylor Conley, and why is he in prison? Fourteen years ago Taylor was convicted of aggravated murder and sentenced to life in prison. He maintains his innocence and believes he was convicted because of how poorly his trial was handled.
Five years ago, Cecilia’s interest was piqued as to why criminals do what they do, what is inside a criminal mind? After learning that you can write inmates online she decided to try to understand herself by communicating directly with an inmate. Cecelia stumped upon Taylor’s profile and saw he was looking for a friend, she wasn’t looking for anything more than that either so she sent her first email.
Hundreds of emails, video calls, visits, and a marriage later. Cecilia feels she has found her true soul mate and knowing all the ins and outs of his case also believes his innocence.
Their story doesn’t end there. After knowing and understanding Taylor, Cecilia’s advocacy for the incarcerated bloomed into a passion. Not only is she supporting her husband through his stay in prison, her and Taylor have created Designed Conviction which helps support all those who want to show the world that they are doing good and their past mistakes do not define the person they are today.
So what exactly is Designed Conviction? The short answer is they are a social enterprise that creates a community for ex-felons and the incarcerated to showcase their artwork, writing and other talents to the world. Giving validation to them that even though they are behind bars they are still here, not forgotten about, they are still people and they are doing good things. They do that by their two magazine publications Inside Designed Conviction and Outside Designed Conviction.
Inside Designed Conviction the Magazine goes to the incarcerated. They are encouraged to send in their artwork and writing so Designed Conviction can share it with the world, they are entered into a contest.
Outside Designed Conviction the Magazine goes to the public, showcasing the artwork and writing. As well as featuring articles about ex-felons or incarcerated people that have shown amazing changes.
It doesn’t stop with Designed Conviction though. Cecilia works devotedly to consistently advocate for what she and her husband are doing. They created a podcast called a Life of a Lifer where Taylor and her interview ex-incarcerated, incarcerated people who have an amazing story to tell of the changes they have made, as well as other people who are advocates and have created ways to help incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people.
Taylor has other side projects as well. Not only has he became a talented artist himself, but he also produced music with his powerful lyrics featuring musicians such as Seth Anthony and Bubba Sparxxx. You can learn all about Taylor on his website, www.freetaylorproject.com
Cecilia is an amazing woman and wife. It’s not easy to be in her position but she handles it with a smile on her face. Being married to someone serving life in prison is extremely difficult to maintain but love has no boundaries, not even prison walls.
Check out the interview with Lizzie and Cecilia here on YouTube.
Check out more about Cecilia on Wife of a Lifer