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July 2002

Interview With Allen Ault

AA has had extraordinary friends in corrections from the beginning. In 1942, just seven years after Dr. Bob and Bill W. met, Clinton Duffy carried AA's message into San Quentin, the largest correctional institution in the country. Thirty years later, nonalcoholic trustee Jim Estelle, former director of the Texas Department of Corrections, encouraged members in prison to get involved in AA's service structure and nurtured the growth of AA in prisons nationwide. Now the torch has been passed to incoming Class A, nonalcoholic trustee Allen Ault, director of the National Institute of Corrections, U.S. Department of Justice. Before taking this post, Ault served as director of prisons in Georgia, Colorado, and Mississippi, and chaired the Criminal Justice Department at Georgia State University. Despite his impressive resume and imposing height, Ault is an extremely modest man, who laughs easily at himself and seems fully mindful of the difference between the things he cannot change and those he can. Recently in New York for his first General Service Conference, Allen Ault spoke of his life-long work with alcoholics in prison and the role AA has played in their recovery.

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