Jobs For Returning Citizens Stories

Does a Story Matter?

John Jackson

« I changed my life because I had hope for a better future. »

At 17, I committed robbery and became a member of one of the largest prison gangs in the United States and served 18 years in prison.

As an employer, would you want to hear more; would the rest of my story matter?

My aunt was a drug dealer. I was with her one night when she was pulled over with drugs in her car. She asked me to lie and tell the cops the drugs were mine. I did. I was charged with possession of a controlled substance at the age of 17.

This was my introduction to a criminal lifestyle. Just a few weeks later, I committed my first aggravated robbery. Before the end of the year, I was convicted of four aggravated robberies and heading to a maximum-security prison … as a skinny, lost teenager.

My story of incarceration is not unique but often goes unheard because of the stigma of a criminal history.

Since my release in 2019, I’ve co-authored nine books that teach employment, entrepreneurship, and life skills to those who are still incarcerated to set them up for success when they’re free.

My amends for the pain and destruction I introduced in this world, is to walk alongside those who are trying to break free from the shackles of their past.

I changed my life because I had hope for a better future.

Jobs For Humanity is about providing hope to those who might be hopeless. They’re hoping for a second chance to show they’re more than the labels society has placed on them. They’re hoping for a chance to share their story with you.

Share John Jackson's story and help inspire others