Recovery (or a better life at any price to oneself)

A Former “Felon’s” Guide To Restoration

Rebuilding your life after a criminal conviction in an era of public online disclosure.




The information contained in this publication is only meant to be a general guide for tips, resources, processes, and opportunities for those seeking abstinence, sobriety, and healing from addictive substances and many other damaging or harmful behaviors.


If you are reading these words then you or someone you know may have recently been involved with possible criminal charges and/or conviction. Relax, take a deep breath. Exhale. Repeat these words, “We Can Be Free From Past Mistakes”. Welcome to a group of fellow former convicts, offenders, and people in recovery from abusive substances, lifestyles, and other harmful and addictive behavior. You truly can be free from your past mistakes, if you choose to make better decisions, have a strong commitment to sobriety, and make the changes to your life. You can live free from the bondage, shame, and destruction. You, like thousands of others, can be a better person! You can have peace, joy, and love in your heart like never before. You can help yourself and others find purpose, belonging, and fulfillment by rebuilding a personal support group and finding others to help hold you or others accountable for healthy and safe conduct in all areas of life. All these things are quite possible and there are many examples of restored lives, rehabilitated persons, and re-entry into many of life’s wonderful communities. There are no easy methods to this dramatic change you or someone close to you will need to make. The route on this ‘map’ has some curves, limits, and challenges. Our success is tied together with the bands of humility and we are encouraged by the progress made by those whom have given up “trying”. Some of what you will hear, read, and witness is not for the faint of heart. We need people like you to take loving and brave steps to embrace, guide, befriend, and support someone who the rest of the world has shunned publicly and cast out of many opportunities for involvement in a common or public community. We need people like you to say to themselves in the waking of their day; “If it is going to be, it is up to me”.


I/You/We Agreements:

Seek professional help to become sober and abstain from abusive behavior. 

Be honest with as many people as you can trust to hold info in confidence.

Never judge, reprimand, or criticize others openly in public.

Develop and maintain open and transparent involvement in a group of peers.

Find and participate in a safe and appropriate hobby or ‘carefree’ social group.

Sponsors, Mentors, Pastors, and other long-term sober people are assets.

Set realistic goals for short, medium, and long terms of achievement.


First, get sober.  Only when we have truly ‘had enough’ of our selfish, destructive, and sometimes criminal behavior do we make an attempt to do the right things and make better, healthier decisions. Some of us may have exhausted all of our friends, families, etc. We may not be able to ask the same people to help us; they may want to see more concrete evidence of our new way of living. Actions speak louder than words, always!

Ricardo “Rico” Morales



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