From the October 1967 magazine.

Arrange That First Contact!

For the AA coming out of prison:

IF the AA program is to benefit the con when he hits the street, an AA contact must be arranged for him either through the Intergroup Institutions Committees in the metropolitan areas or through the individual AA groups as found in the World Directory.

The school of thought that a convict AA had to make his own contact as a proof of his sincerity and as a proof that he had gotten the AA message in jail is fortunately passing from the scene because it failed to understand the real nature of the convict about to be paroled. The man coming out of jail is a man, filled with all kinds of fears, doubts about himself, apprehensions about his reception into the community, about his acceptance by his family, and real worries as to whether he can "make it out there." If we expect the con to make his own contact, we are demanding more from him than we do from the "squares" who, while filled with all kinds of living problems arising from their drinking, are, nevertheless, vastly more uncomplicated than the man coming out of jail. If we accompany "squares" to their first meeting, why deny it to cons who need it so much more?

-- Reverend James P. Collins

Elmira, New York

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