I am now a lecturer at San Francisco State University. On Thursday afternoons of each week I teach a course called The Architecture of Imprisonment. The submenus below provide more detail into my course, and at the end of this entry I offer links to my course notes. Let me tell you how I transitioned from federal prison to university lecturer.
From the start of my prison term, I worked hard to prepare for a law-abiding, contributing life upon my release. In the About section of this website I provide a summary that describes how I came to develop the three-part plan that would guide me through the decades that I expected to serve. Basically, that strategy required that I make a commitment to work toward the following:
- educate myself
- contribute to society
- build a support network and prove worthy of those who believed in me.
That principled approach to serving time made all of the difference in my life. Upon my release, I had values, skills, and resources that would allow me to open numerous opportunities. For example, within days of my release an editor from The San Francisco Chronicle contacted me to inquire whether I would have an interest in participating in a news story about what it was like to transition into society after a quarter century in prison. I accepted the invitation, which led to a front-page story in the newspaper. The story exposed my work to hundreds of thousands of people. I used it as a marketing tool when I wrote to numerous criminal justice professors in the San Francisco Bay Area. I sent a letter indicating that I would like to contribute to their classes. That open letter led to my receiving an invitation to visit Dr. Jeff Snipes, professor of criminal justice at San Francisco State University. After our meeting, Professor Snipes asked whether I would like to teach at the university. I felt incredibly honored and expressed my enthusiasm to accept the position.
I concluded 26 years of imprisonment on August 12, 2013. Only 17 days later, on Thursday, August 29, I began teaching the course. Sixty-five students who are in their senior year of the criminal justice program enrolled in the course, and I am grateful for this opportunity to help them understand America’s prison system. It’s my hope that the students and those who follow my work will join these efforts to bring more awareness to the prison system. We can work together to solving one of the greatest social injustices of our time: mass incarceration.
The following links provide my course recap for each week. At the bottom of each course recap, you can how the 65 students who are enrolled respond to each class. Those who would like to follow may order the books, which are available through this website or on Amazon, and follow along with the lecture notes below: