As a young man, I did not make much of an effort to educate myself. I graduated from Shorecrest High School in North Seattle in 1982. Following my graduation, I began working for my father’s electrical contracting company. A few years later, in 1987, authorities arrested me for leading a scheme to traffic in cocaine. I was charged in the Western District of Washington. The U.S. Attorneys responsible for overseeing my case included Jerry Diskin, Ken Bell, and Portia Moore. Federal Judge Jack Tanner presided over all of my trial and sentencing. After my conviction, I made a commitment to work toward preparing myself for a law-abiding, contributing life upon release. The three-part plan that guided my initial adjustment began while I was still awaiting sentencing inside the Pierce County Jail. The plan required that I take deliberate steps:
- to educate myself,
- to contribute to society, and
- to build a support network that would have a vested interest in my success upon release.
By staying on that course, I expected to reconcile with society and return with my dignity intact.
As a consequence of that disciplined approach, I earned the following credentials while serving time:
- bachelor of arts degree from Mercer University, 1992; Human Resources Management
- master of arts degree from Hofstra University, 1995; concentration on political science and cultural anthropology
Following my graduation from Hofstra, I enrolled in a program at the University of Connecticut with intentions of earning my Ph.D. I studied under the distinguished professor George Cole, Ph.D. He served as my doctoral chair and also as a mentor of mine through many years of my imprisonment. Unfortunately, after I concluded my first term of study at the University of Connecticut, a new warden came to the prison where I served time. The new warden, Joseph Meko, determined that my continuing pursuit of education “interfered with security” in his institution. Warden Meko’s management philosophy contrasted with the leadership of the former warden, Dennis Luther.
With the conclusion of my formal education behind me, I began working to prepare for a career upon release. That focus led to my publishing several books, available through Amazon or through this website. Universities across America use several books that I wrote to educate students about the criminal justice system. Indeed, I include links to a few professors who cite my work in their syllabus postings:
- Michael G. Santos, San Francisco State University
- Nancy Lewis, State University of New York, Potsdam
- Marie Gottschalk, University of Pennsylvania
Authorities released me from prison on August 12, 2013. I’m now continuing my education by learning from everyone around me as I work to build a career helping others understand prisons, the people they hold, and strategies for overcoming adversity.
I am building a career to show others how to confront adversity and become more than current circumstances or bad decisions of the past. Please contact me to discuss how I can help you or your organization. Or book me for consulting services through the store on this website and I will contact you within 24 hours.
Partial List of Endorsements
The various drop-down menus offer extensive amounts of free content, and my books are available at a reasonable amount for those who want more detailed information. I am totally transparent and I encourage those who would like to follow the path I am on to review my Daily Logs. They document the life I’ve been leading since my prison term ended. For the newest articles that I publish, please visit the What’s New tab. For summaries of the courses that I teach at San Francisco State University and student comments, please visit the San Francisco State University tab. For a sample video of my lecture style, please see my speech at University California, Berkeley.