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My Soul Said to Me: An Unlikely Journey Behind the Walls of Justice

Robert Roberts

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ISBN 10: 0757300642 / ISBN 13: 9780757300646
Published by HCI, 2003
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: My Soul Said to Me: An Unlikely Journey ...

Publisher: HCI

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: New

About this title


In the mid 1980s, Bob Roberts was a successful dentist, stunt flyer and racecar driver. While undergoing marital counseling he was fascinated by the psychological process and pursued his own doctorate in psychology.

Intrigued by the community-building work of M. Scott Peck, Roberts' doctorate research consisted of applying and testing Peck's community-building model in an environment where it seemed only a distant possibility-the prison system. It was there, in Louisiana's Dixon Correctional Institution, where Roberts' life was forever transformed, as would the lives of hundreds of inmates and former offenders. What started as a literacy program evolved into sessions of shared soul searching, group therapy and a celebration of the prisoners' roots.

Although prison officials sabotaged his project, Roberts went on to found Project Return, the most successful aftercare program for former offenders in the country. Aimed at breaking the cycles of addiction, crime and violence, Project Return is the only prisoner rehabilitation program in the country funded by the U.S. Department of Justice.

This memoir is Roberts' adventure into his heart and his conscience. It explores the darkest terrain of violence and human suffering, and the brightest terrain of redemption, human dignity and hope. It will leave readers deeply inspired, encouraged and impassioned-in awe of the human capacity to survive and recover from cruelty and hardship.

From the Inside Flap:

Spiritual journeys sometimes take us in a direction we never considered. Bob Roberts’ led him downward, to shovel ashes from the smoldering fires of hatred and racism in a Louisiana prison, in a circle of fifty angry men.

Roberts had everything—a successful dental practice, a wife and children, and a comfortable, affluent lifestyle. He was a thrill-seeker who sought the adrenaline rush of stunt flying and racecar driving. Then something happened: much as the death-spiral moves he executed in his plane, his life spun out of control. He sought counseling to repair his failing marriage, sending him along a completely different path. While in therapy, Roberts became intrigued by the human psyche and its capacity for healing and went back to school to earn masters degree in clinical social work and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction. Here he became connected with the community-building work of renowned psychiatrist and author M. Scott Peck. Peck mentored Roberts and encouraged him to begin his spiritual journey through exploring this type of work. Roberts decided to try the community-building process out in the unlikeliest of places: Louisiana’s Dixon Correctional Institution. Here his life was forever transformed, as would be the lives of hundreds of inmates and former offenders.

In this compelling memoir, you will be propelled with Roberts into an unforgettable journey behind prison walls. It is an astonishing voyage into Roberts’ heart and his conscience through the experiences of society’s forgotten people—repeat offenders who had lost all hope of making a life for themselves outside of jail. What began as a literacy program evolves into sessions of shared soul-searching, grief work, and a celebration of prisoners’ ancient cultural roots through drumming and traditional African storytelling. Set amidst the brutality and humiliation of prison, together they find a haven for healing and transformation; to the rhythm of the collective drumbeat they discover the unique song within themselves that had been silenced by years of abuse, addiction, self-hatred and hostility.

Exploring the darkest terrain of violence and human suffering, and the brightest regions of redemption, human dignity and hope, My Soul Said to Me will change forever your view of criminal justice, your appreciation of deep relationships and freedom, and your ability to determine your own future. It is a story of deceit and honesty, cowardice and courage, prejudice and acceptance. Most importantly, it is the story of the power of friendship and the ability that lies within each of us to create beauty in the world through commitment, determination, and the understanding that all of our souls came here for a reason.

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