From the June 2014 magazine.

A Free Woman

Because the AA volunteers who came looked at her—not through her—she was able to let the program lift her shame

I entered the Washington Corrections Center for Women in Purdy in 2007 a frightened, angry, bewildered, hopeless woman. I had committed a heinous crime, and my failure as a daughter, a mother and a human being permeated my existence.

When I began serving my time, I could see no end in sight. Survival was the best I could hope for. But then something happened. I began attending the AA meetings held here in the prison. I found the sense of comfort and belonging there that I had experienced in meetings on the outside. I met people from the free world who sacrificed their time to bring...

-- Melissa M.

Gig Harbor, Washington