Two of your intrepid co-authors, Jim and Todd, were once in prison together.
But only for a day.
Several years ago we spent the day in Solano, California State Prison in Vacaville, visiting a friend, David, who had been influenced by a book we had written about how to thrive in – not just survive in – conflict.
David, now reintegrated into society outside prison walls and doing beyond great, was an inmate and at that time was leading classes for other inmates on the topic of conflict resolution, largely based on our book.
He had invited us there to meet some of the hundreds of students he had led in exploring the principles of peace-making.
On the appointed day, we went to the prison, passed through a gauntlet of metal detectors, and received our plastic whistles.
“Plastic whistles?”, we asked.
“Yes”, said the corrections officer, with a smile. “In the event that you get into a hostage situation or some such predicament, California can’t guarantee your safety or negotiate for your release. Just blow your whistle as loud as you can and hopefully we can get to you before things escalate”.
We looked at each other.
It was too late to turn back. We had walked into the heart of Solano Prison, and our worlds were about to change forever…