Our guest Kenneth Hartman is an award-winning writer and prison reform activist who serves as the Director of Advocacy for The Transformative In-Prison Workgroup (TPW). TPW, or The Transformative In-Prison Workgroup, is a statewide coalition of over 50 Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) dedicated to providing trauma-informed healing programs in California and New York prisons. Their mission is to ensure that all people living in prisons have access to meaningful, high quality programs, and to accelerate the impact of recent sentencing reforms towards their North Star goal of decarceration.

Sentenced to life without the possibility of parole at the young age of 19, Ken spent over 37 years behind bars before his release, thanks to the commutation of his sentence by former California Governor Brown. He was paroled on December 20, 2017 and remains free.

Ken is not only an inspiring figure but also an award-winning writer and a passionate prison reform activist. His essay ‘A Prisoner’s Purpose’ earned him one of the John Templeton Foundation’s prestigious 2004 Power of Purpose awards. His memoir, ‘Mother California: A Story of Redemption Behind Bars,’ received the coveted 2010 Eric Hoffer Award.

Through his writing, Ken has offered poignant insights into his experiences during three decades of prison Christmases and the lasting impact of intergenerational trauma within his family. Today, he continues his mission as an internationally accredited Life Coach and a dedicated Community Teaching Artist, providing support to reentry populations and adult learners.

Ken’s profound influence extends to his role as the Director of Advocacy, where he tirelessly works to transform the prison system through The Transformative In-Prison Workgroup (TPW) (www.thetpw.org). His relentless efforts have also played a pivotal role in raising over $7 million in funding for crucial community-based organizations since his parole in 2017.

Join us for an intimate conversation that promises to leave you profoundly moved and motivated to be a part of transformation.

This episode was hosted by Priscilla Castro, PYP’s Program and Training Operation Manager. She is a facilitator in LA, offering a variety of programming in and out of prisons. She is a life long activist rooted in mutual aid.