In the first book published by her New York-based Resilience Multimedia, Sheila Rule delivers much-needed information to a segment of society that has long been ignored: the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated. In ‘Think Outside The Cell: An Entrepreneur’s Guide for the Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated’ by Joseph Robinson, readers learn vital information, including how to overcome obstacles that convicted felons face while trying to reenter society and find work.
Rule, who worked at The New York Times for 30 years before her recent retirement, was spurred to start her publishing company after writing to the incarcerated as a volunteer for the Riverside Church Prison Ministry. With funding from the Ford Foundation, she plans to publish next year the ‘Think Outside the Cell’ book series featuring real-life stories by the incarcerated, formerly incarcerated and their families. Rule takes time to talk about the book with AOL Black Voices.
AOL Black Voices: How did you come up with the idea for the book?
Sheila Rule: Joe’s book has been published amid renewed efforts to help the formerly incarcerated-who are disproportionately black and Latino-successfully reenter society. But Joe believes that the reentry programs being developed, while commendable, too often focus on finding jobs in a nation where, according to a Princeton University study, it is easier for a white person with a felony conviction to get a job than for a black person who has never been arrested. Joe believes that "Think Outside the Cell" presents a largely unexplored option-entrepreneurship-that can help give men and women leaving prison a realistic second chance