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Conviction with Shane Flemens

Shane Flemens turned a mistake into his biggest life lesson. He used his experiences to help others, bring awareness to the flaws in the prison system, and communicate that failure isn’t the end of the road. We talked about his time during incarceration and how he came to write his book Conviction. Tell me about your background and where you grew up. I grew up on a farm in Wenatchee, Washington. It’s actually the apple capital of the world. This whole journey to where I am now started because I used to go fishing a ton. Back in 2008, I got in trouble fishing in Alaska. While I was in jail I studied and had the desire to help others become better people. Tell me about your book, Conviction? I didn’t know how to write a book, but I knew how to use Microsoft Word. I just started writing my daily life and handed it to one of my inmates. It was about him and he passed it around. Then all the inmates started telling me about their lives.

What types of things were you writing about at first? I was really detailing my entire experience. What happened when I would get transferred, when I met certain people, how I grew and evolved as a person. I was shocked to find out that the system was broken and in many ways wasn’t helping these people. I started asking questions and pushing paper. I was getting controversial answers and eventually, I got all the way to the courts. I was helping people get their GEDs, I was organizing groups to help these people’s families who were hurt by their inmates, and I helped people forgive themselves. Do you think starting the book in prison helped you get through your time being incarcerated? At first, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I knew people would think my prison experience was interesting. I was then really intrigued by everyone else’s stories and felt like the public could learn something from each person’s story. What’s one of the biggest flaws