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Back in 2003 I was housed at the Salinas Valley State Prison. I wrote to Father Gregory Boyle, aka Father Gee, from Homeboy-Industries out in East Los Angeles. I asked him if he could sponsor me. I needed to take a paralegal course offered by Blackstone Career Institute out in Emmaus, Pennsylvania.

I gave him my word, if he sponsored me, I would assist other indigent prisoners. Father Gee responded in less than a month. He made 14 payments of fifty-five dollars and in 2004 I graduated. I learned about the branches of law and it was a good course, but my hands-on training was earned in the prison’s law library. Two African-American jailhouse lawyers took me under their wings, and gave me a crash course in state and federal law and post-conviction appeals.

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