From the July 1976 magazine.

The Curious Woman Prisoner

Now free and sober, she brings AA to institutions

AS A GRADUATE of a penal institution, I want to express how I feel on a very important part of our program--AA in institutions. By the grace of God and institutional AA, I have had quite a few years of continuous sobriety. For me, a person who wound up at the bottom of the heap after twenty-seven years of drinking and ten years of addiction to pills, this is truly a miracle.

It was in an institution that I learned to take my first feeble inventory and found my God again, this time a kind and loving God, who lightened the burden for me while I was confined. Upon my sentencing and incarceration, I had lost all hope of ever being anything in life. I had been in and out of jail, made promises to do better, and broken them. I was at the end of my rope. My drinking had long since gone out of control, and I knew no other way to live. When I was told of AA at the reformatory, I cannot honestly say I had a sincere desire to stay sober. But I thought, "What have I got to lose?" So I joined the group. The good AAs from the free world aroused my curiosity. They seemed to have something going for them, and I wanted to know what it was.

-- Connie A.

Columbus, Ohio

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