Magazine

From the April 2011 magazine.

An Inside Job

An inmate gets the tools from AA to be a worker among workers at a prison factory

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Working the program works when I work it at work and also where I live, in a federal prison. When I fail to live by the principles of the program and land in a trench, the Twelve Steps provide me with a blueprint for digging myself out, helping me reconstruct relationships damaged by running on ego.

I work in a textile factory operated by the Federal Prison Industries as a document control clerk, internal auditor, and tutor in their quality assurance apprenticeship program. I work closely with staff and many other prisoners, some of whom have control issues and personality disorders. I once heard in an AA meeting that, "If you spot it, you got it," which is possibly true. I view dealing with other flawed individuals as God providing me with an opportunity for improvement. I've also learned to accept responsibility for my flaws and shortcomings, to not worry about the other person and keep the focus on myself.    

-- Wayne D.

Edgefield, South Carolina

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