Prisons Hold Many People

John K. McLaughlin Author Interview

“Lifeline to a Soul” is an inspiring autobiography of an entrepreneur turned teacher, offering valuable lessons on resilience and determination through a unique perspective on life and success. Why was this an important book for you to write?

This book is about a real life event, my teaching experience inside a minimum-security prison. I spent over twenty years building a business and had a strong desire to teach what I had learned to others.  In seven years of applying for a variety of jobs, my only offer was to teach in a prison camp.  Although teaching in a prison was never my plan, since it was my only opportunity to teach, I accepted the job and am very thankful that I did. 

I took the job to teach and never had any intentions of writing about the experience, but I realized that I had spent time in a place that was very unfamiliar to almost everyone, and by sharing my experience, I could take the reader through the gate with me and let them see what life inside a prison is like and also share the change in perspective I experienced towards the incarcerated and the entire correctional system.

What I learned from the experience is that prisons hold many people who could never function normally in society but they also hold many people with tremendous potential who have made only one mistake.  It’s usually a really bad mistake, but many people serving prison terms have learned from their transgressions and are ready and able to move forward in life and leave the prison experience behind them. Unfortunately, when you treat everyone the same, as prisons are designed to do, you deny much needed resources to people who require them to change their lives and break free of the prison recidivism cycle. I want to share this perspective with readers in hopes that they will look at people with felonies as people who deserve a second chance.

What advice would you give to individuals who are struggling to overcome setbacks and adversity in their own lives?

Looking back on what I’ve learned in business and as a teacher, the one common denominator between those who overcome setbacks and adversity and the ones who don’t is determination.  First, you’ve got to decide what it is you want to accomplish in this world and then you have to go after it with everything you’ve got.  Nothing worth having comes easy and the people who refuse to quit until they get what they want are the people who succeed.  

What do you hope readers will take away from your book, and what impact do you hope it will have on their understanding of life and success?

I have a relative who works as a prison guard in a maximum-security prison, and he has shared with me the times he or a coworker was attacked by an inmate, it’s a tough job. The prison system has to dehumanize its denizens in order to work properly.  This makes it easy for people outside the system to adopt the same philosophy and consider every ex-offender as someone who can’t be trusted.  I want the reader to realize, as I did, that people should be given second chances, despite their mistakes. 

I hope that everyone who reads the book is entertained by the story, but also comes to realize that our criminal justice system discriminates against people of color, people with low income levels, and the uneducated.  We are making a huge mistake by not providing the tools these people need to be successful when they are released back into society.   

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Great question and I seem to be getting it a lot lately.  Lifeline to a Soul is a book I never planned to write and is likely to be my first and only book. I currently have the good fortune of working with Tavares James, the founder of Lifeline Education Connection.  Together, we have a program in place that will help those that have faced obstacles in their lives move forward.  We focus on teaching financial literacy and the principles of entrepreneurship and are ready to bring our classes anywhere we can help people make positive changes to their lives. I plan on staying busy with this program, but maybe the writing bug will bite me again, time will tell.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website | LinkedIn

The Victories and Challenges One Man Faced as a First-Time Teacher in the Strange World of Prison Life
After devoting half of his lifetime transforming his start-up business into a multi-million dollar industry leader, author John McLaughlin set out in a new direction: to teach what he had learned to others.

Due to a lack of teaching experience, his only job offer was to teach entrepreneurship to prisoners at a minimum-security camp in North Carolina. John gradually builds an effective program until a scandal involving prison officials blindsides his progress and threatens to bring his teaching career to an unceremonious end.

Lifeline to a Soul takes the reader inside the fence and chronicles the victories and challenges one man faced as a first-time teacher in the strange world of prison life.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on March 28, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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