Why We Do The Thing We Do
Hi, I'm Alex Glass, founder of Phoenix Reentry Resources. I was an inmate in the BOP from 1995 until 2000 and from 2017 until 2020. During this time I was subjected to so much ugliness and aggressive degradation that I swore to myself that when I got out, I would not forget the people who were still in there.
You see, there are a lot of people in the federal system and the state also, I'm sure, who feel completely forgotten in there. Sure there are some who have amazing family members out here, but even then they're subjected to so much negativity that its no wonder the recidivism rate is so high. The guards could and should be locked up for some of the actions that I've seen. They act just as badly, if not worse than most of the inmates. They do things to intentionally hurt you and keep you disconnected from your family.
Most of inmates' friends drop off, girlfriends drop off and sometimes even families abandon them as hopeless and "incurable." It's understandable. I know before I went to prison I was behaving like a real jerk. I didn't and still don't hold it against any of them. Perhaps in some cases, that's a good thing that some friends drop off. As inmates we need to change some things in our lives anyway.
After I got out, I sent in a couple of letters to people that I had made friends with and when I got that first e-mail from a friend he was so excited to hear from me. I don't flatter myself to think it was me personally. I think it was mostly that it felt really good to not be forgotten. I know that was how I felt in there. So its with that mindset that I started Phoenix Reentry Resources.
The number of smart, charismatic and driven people I met in there was remarkable. There were artists and authors and people who wanted to end violence in their communities. The number of people that I met int here who genuinely want to live a different life is equally remarkable. While they're in prison, even with all of the negativity around them, they have the perfect opportunity to use that time to their advantage and figure out where their lives went wrong and to change course. That's what I did but it wasn't easy.
That's why I want to offer them some assistance. I believe that if they're shown some positive support and given the tools they need then they can and many WILL turn their lives around. I will not allow them to be forgotten. I will fight for them and offer them everything I have to help them learn how to live the lives that they're capable of despite where they're at right now. And that's why I do what I do.