AA Behind Bars: A Volunteer’s View

-The following is taken from a recorded conversation with Pine J about his volunteer work out at the Utah State Prison.

“In volunteering at the Utah State Prison, the reason that it’s been so rewarding to my sobriety is because men that are in prison now are coming into our classes, into our AA class, and not only reading the big book, but they read the big book on a daily and on a weekly basis. Because of our meetings, we have explained to them that all it takes, when they go back to their pods, is for them and a couple more guys to start sharing with each other about their experience, strengths and hopes. Once the prisoners started doing that, in our classes we would give them the choice to either share as they read or at the end of class. The AA program out there is…grows every week, as prisoners find out about it, it has become something that they even miss their softball practice to come and do, and in my own recovery it is very important to me that I have obligated myself to these men, and to that system out there because the only difference between myself and ninety percent of those prisoners that are out there…I never ran over anybody, I never got that DUI, never went to prison. But I know how those men feel at that Utah State Prison because in my alcoholism I was trapped in a prison inside myself, and those prisoners can all relate to that. Those prisoners can relate to being confined 24 hours a day, seven days a week inside yourself. Being able to express my experience, my strength and my hope to the prisoners out there…they all say, cause they all hug me and treat me like their brother…that it’s helping every one of them, but I know for a fact what it’s done for me. I didn’t chose it, my higher power did, and I can actually speak to those prisoners through my higher power.”

-Pine J

1 comment on “AA Behind Bars: A Volunteer’s View”

  1. Annette H Reply

    Thank you Pine for your beautiful letter and mostly for the good you are doing out there. You have helped our son have hope in a better future. No one else has done what you have done. Bless you!

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