- Days since my release from 26 years in prison: 130
- Miles run today: 0
- Miles run this week: 11.75
- Miles run during the calendar month: 92.6
- Marathon distances completed: 12
- Weight: 167
Journal of activities:
The prison system needs reform, and I’m grateful for every opportunity to advance that effort. I’m determined to make sense out of the 26 years I served as a federal prisoner. My long journey inside allowed me to learn from the people who served time alongside me, from scholars who wrote about the prison system, and from leaders who transformed society. All of that experience helps me to understand my role. I must work to:
- Create programs that facilitators may use to teach others how to reject criminal lifestyles, criminal associations, and embrace a values-based, goal-oriented approach to overcoming the challenges of life.
- Assist the formerly incarcerated as they strive to transition into the labor market as law-abiding citizens.
- Educate more taxpaying citizens about steps we can take as an enlightened society to improve our nation’s prison system.
With those goals in mind, I spent the early morning on Friday working with my friend Justin Paperny to create more marketing materials. Revisions I made to the newsletter will help him announce products and services we offer to professionals who work with prisons, jails, and schools that serve at-risk populations.
In the late morning I had a wonderful telephone conversation with Dr. Ed Rhine, a former director of the Ohio prison system. We each wrote chapters for Joan Petersilia in her book The Oxford Handbook of Sentencing and Corrections, so I had a connection with him. I’m happy that he has agreed to mentor me and introduce our Straight-A Guide Life Skills Program to officials in Ohio’s prison system.
Following my conversation with Dr. Rhine, I enjoyed a wonderful lunch meeting with Maura Roessner, a senior editor with the University of California Press. She contacted me
last week with an invitation to discuss opportunities for a book project. Several years have passed since I’ve written a book for an academic market. Her interest in my work intrigued me and sparked ideas about how writing a new book for the scholarly market could really advance efforts I’m making to bring more awareness to the great injustices of our nation’s prison system. She treated me to a wonderful lunch at a hotel restaurant in the Berkeley community. While I feasted on an exquisite duck salad, my first ever, we spoke about the publishing industry, my career as a writer, and steps we could take to begin a book project together. In order to advance the project, I’ll need to develop an outline, write a sample chapter, and submit a formal book proposal. Maura would then send the proposal out for review. Then an editorial board would decide whether to issue a publishing contract. After that, I’d have to follow through and write the manuscript. The entire process would take between 18 months and two years.
I’m enthusiastic to have this opportunity. Now I must stare at the wall and contemplate the next book I’d like to write. I’ll begin that work this weekend and write an update before year end.