In our second #IWFReads Author Chat on October 22nd, Patrice Onwuka, Independent Women’s Senior Policy Analyst, chatted with Alice Marie Johnson about her book After Life.

Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old grandmother, is a criminal justice and prison reform advocate, and highly sought after speaker, who has been featured on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” at the Republican National Convention, at the White House, and on several other shows.

She was sentenced to life plus 25 years without the possibility of parole for a conviction in 1996. Her crime: first-time, nonviolent drug-related offense. Alice was told that the only way she would leave prison grounds was “as a corpse.”

Alice served over two decades behind bars for drug trafficking. She said, “I went into a complete panic and out of desperation, I made one of the worst decisions of my life to make some quick money. I became involved in a drug conspiracy.”

Yet, in prison, she became a model inmate: a hospice worker and even an ordained minister. In her new memoir, After Life, Alice details her life and long journey to restore her freedom. She takes readers through her life—from prison to presidential pardon. Alice has recognized Kim Kardashian West with helping to save her life and returning her to her family by bringing her story to the President.

Alice’s story has sparked a national conversation about criminal justice and prison reform, which led to the passage of the groundbreaking and historic FIRST STEP Act.

Today, Alice says she is fulfilling the promise that she made to the women and men she left behind by advocating for prison reforms.

Stay tuned for our next book club meetup. We will announce the date and time HERE.