Punishment or rehabilitation? The American prison system
Travis Richey is an entrepreneur and motivational speaker. Having invested in over 25 companies the last 15 years; he knows a thing or two about success and more importantly failure on the road to success.
At the age of 25, Travis managed a hedge fund with millions of dollars under management. Due to a regulatory oversight in the State of Arizona, he was charged with transactions of an unregistered securities dealer and sentenced to 2 years in Arizona Dept of Corrections.
This 17,520 hours became the framework of Travis’ new mission in life; he founded AccomplishED Ventures to provide incarcerated and returned citizens the proper resources for a second chance at a successful life.
Over the past 8 years his curriculum and programs have been used by hundreds of thousands of inmates and over 125 jails and prisons. Currently, his content is seen on over 500,000 prison tablets daily in the US.
AccomplishED Ventures has become the largest prison curriculum and content provider in America. Sometimes referred to as the Tony Robbins of the prison world, Travis speaks the language of failure and perseverance to inmates nationwide bringing them hope and purpose.
Travis believes that the worst prisons in America are not the ones made up of concrete and steel but perhaps the limitation of the self-doubt which keep us locked inside of a mindset and even worse a life that does not serve our potential or purpose.
Travis founded Convicted Mindset; a program focused on unlocking the potential of people around the world.
Learn more about Travis’ organization here: AccomplishedVentures.org
To learn more about Recovered On Purpose, get your free copy of Adam’s bestselling book, or to book a free call with Adam, visit https://RecoveredOnPurpose.com
Read The Transcript Below
episode of guest sundays i’m so excited to be introducing you to travis ritchie and we’re going to have an incredible conversation about his story and about the things he’s been doing for the prison system and the inmates that are incarcerated right now don’t miss this episode and guys the recovered on purpose show is brought to you and sponsored by all the students in the recovery speaker course that have said yes to sharing their stories powerfully with the world to help attic suffering today’s student shoutout goes to crystal lavender crystal has an amazing story of overcoming a meth addiction that started at a very early age she came to an event i was speaking at in the beginning of 2021 and made a decision that night that she wanted to be able to say i am recovered on purpose and she has been clean ever since and made the decision to take the leap to share her story with the world i’m so proud of you crystal and honored to be on this journey with you enjoy the show and keep living recovered on purpose the black represents the darkness from which we came
the white represents the light in which we now live and the red represents the passion it takes to live recovered on purpose
all right welcome everybody i’m so excited that you’re here and i’m so excited to introduce you to travis travis richie is an entrepreneur a motivational speaker having invested in over 25 companies in the last 15 years he knows a thing or two about success and more importantly failure on the road to success at the age of 25 travis managed a hedge fund a hedge fund with millions of dollars under management due to a regulatory oversight in the state of arizona he was charged with transactions of an unregistered securities dealer and sentenced to two years in arizona department of corrections this 17 520 hours became the framework of travis’s new mission in life he founded accomplished ventures to provide incarcerated and returned citizens the proper resources for a second chance at a successful life over the past eight years his curriculum and programs have been used by hundreds of thousands of inmates and over 125 jails and prisons currently his content is seen in over 500 thousand prison tablets daily in the us accomplished ventures has become the largest prison curriculum and content provider in america sometimes referred to as the tony robbins of the prison world travis speaks the language of failure and perseverance to inmates nationwide bringing them hope and purpose travis believes that the worst prisons in america are not the ones made up of concrete and steel but perhaps the limitations of the self-doubt which keep us locked inside of a mindset and even worse a life that does not serve our potential or purpose travis founded convicted mindset a program focused on unlocking the potential of people around the world guys i’m so excited to introduce travis travis thank you so much for being here brother we really appreciate you coming on oh man it’s my pleasure i love what you’re doing and i think any time that guys like us can get together and share the real adversity that we go through on a daily basis i think it is supposed to help the world heal so i’m grateful to be here my friend amen and i i agree with that so much we we that have recovered from you know these dark times whether it be you know drug addiction or we went through you know a prison sentence you know us that have transformed our lives we have to be sharing our stories we have to be giving back because that’s literally what our call is now so in your in your bio you talk about what happened when you were 25 right give us a little bit of information on on that story what was going on um why you got sentenced and then we’re going to go into you know how that turned into your purpose in your call yeah man i had the tiger by the tail the world you know the the worldly views if you will you know married successful you know financially successful all those quote unquote things that we subscribe to but you know god had a had a different purpose for my life and that’s what i have loved to be able to really focus on for me my charge was very simple it was very unsexy it was uh transactions of an unregistered securities dealer or salesman simply put we did not file the right paperwork with this um and you know since then there’s been many changes in securities laws that that paperwork wouldn’t even be relevant in today’s world but nonetheless in 2007 it was and so you know when that charge came to me it read like a thesaurus and and a greek thesaurus at that because i didn’t have you know the experience in the judicial system i didn’t grow up as a troubled teen and i wasn’t in and out with drug addictions or anything this was really my first time in you know the justice system and as i navigated that system i realized that it was incredibly one-sided and it wasn’t going to be on on our side in terms of favor so you know i was really able to look at it and say you know instead of just identifying a problem which i hate to do you know let’s figure out what a solution could be to some of the problems that are happening in the incarcerated community yeah and what is the what is the recidivism rate of people that go to prison golly man it’s incredible eight out of ten individuals that go to prison or jail go back within a three year time period of their release wow and i want to mention it really quick um i’m i’m with you on the one-sided thing i think that prisons are privatized and the system is kind of made to keep people in there and i was actually charged with a felony um when i was when i was sick when i was really sick i’m actually going to play you this video real quick this is what this is what i was charged with a felony for
so right here i was found behind the wheel of a car overdosed from fentanyl good gracious you don’t even look alive i i wasn’t breathing no pulse they’re looking for a pulse here and uh you know luckily i was one of the very lucky ones who came back and in that time you know when i had to watch that in court and they gave me a five-year suspended doc sentence which for anybody out there that doesn’t uh doesn’t know what that means that basically means i was put on probation and if i screw up i have five years in prison that i have to go to and the charge that i had was this much dope this much dope and then in my in my probation i couldn’t stop using oh and my probation officer he couldn’t find me treatment i couldn’t get help so it was as if the system was made to end up incarcerating me you know and i wish there was more resources for people that are that are facing things like that also you know and you said something that you know the justice system is one-sided what do you what do you mean by that and how do you how do you flip that into being two-sided or having opportunities for people yeah it’s a great question and into your point you know there really isn’t very many resources out there unfortunately so when i say that it’s one-sided what i mean you know when i go in and i get to talk to these individuals or these departments of corrections bureaus of prison i tell them that the system isn’t broken the system is is working in the exact manner that it was designed unfortunately so when you start to look at data we love data in the united states right you know we pass all these bills in congress yesterday you know big dollars are spent based on data well eight out of ten individuals who go to prison are not receiving the help that prison is supposed to provide so they end up going back and so when you look at it in terms of a business right let’s say eight out of ten ubers got into a car crash every day eight out of ten teslas failed on the autopilot eight out of ten delta airlines fell out of the sky every day there would be no more industry right it wouldn’t happen people would start to look into it they’d say what’s the problem here if you tell us you can get on an airplane and take us from point a to point b and and we don’t get there 80 of the time there’s a flaw in this business plan well with the prison industry it’s the exact opposite the more individuals that fail the more dollars are put into the system and the more dollars that are put into the system the more people are incarcerated the more people are incarcerated the more employees are needed the more employees that are needed the more prisons and jails and cells are needed to be built the more prisons and jails and cells that need to be built the more land is sold the more developers aren’t great it’s this humongous opportunity a failure yeah yeah and what is the uh what percentage of people incarcerated are non-violent offenders boy i’ll tell you what not only non-violent offenders non-violent offenders hover around 40 of individuals right now in the united states 4 out of 10 people you know you look at my case specifically non-violent non-dangerous non-repetitive those are supposed to be three buzz words in the in the justice system that are like a big deal for mitigating sentences if it was your first time if it wasn’t a violent defense if it wasn’t a repetitive offense those are supposed to be large mitigating factors and when you look at the rehabilitation what i found when i was incarcerated was that when i looked at this similar to a business the root cause was never treated so what i meant by that is like so for example your sentence had they charged you you know incarcerated you your sentence wouldn’t have matched your character you were probably driving or they gave you some sort of dui or you know some sort of a vehicle-related charge and oftentimes that never addresses the issue because while you would have been incarcerated they would say okay um you know you’re you’re you have dui charges you have department of motor vehicle fines you’re not able to get a vehicle your driver’s license is suspended the reality is you really don’t care about the vehicle you’re a drug addict right adam was a drug addict and so unfortunately that was never his character that was charged and so it’s very interesting when you start to pull at the root cause and you start to relate like some root identities to it individuals will come in for a dui individuals will come in for car theft individuals will come in for a robbery and none of them were really the root cause the root cause typically was some sort of an addiction it could be gambling it could be drugs it could be whatever but because of the charge it was never addressed while incarcerated and so then they would get out most of the time with bigger connections and a bigger desire for that same addiction and they would run into the same people the same place as the same things and then it would be a reincarceration all over again and because of the statistics and the data that’s how it was supposed to be and so nobody would look at you and say hey adam why does 80 of your case load as a probation officer go back to prison all you have to do is point to the date and go well that’s because they’re supposed to wow wow crazy right it’s it is crazy and i know and i don’t fault my my probation officer for that i don’t follow it you know because his heart for me was amazing like i i had nothing but good experiences with him i would go into him high out of my mind unannounced and tell him i can’t stop what am i supposed to do you know asking to put me in prison because there wasn’t anything for me to do right he wouldn’t let me go he was like nah there’s there’s it’s not gonna help you in there right it’s not yeah yeah i’ve also heard stories of people that get like you know a two or three year sentence and then they end up with life yes because something happens and then they they have no choice except to act upon it how often does that happen happens all the time to be honest i talk to these guys all the time and most of the time it’s the younger kids you know i’ll unfortunately right now in the prison system approximately 30 percent of all juveniles that are incarcerated experienced an addictive substance for the first time with their parent or guardian so when you’re looking at that it doesn’t really put you in an advantage to begin with i get to talk with these youngsters and i hear some stories that are just incredibly sad they’ll say oh when i was 14 my mom gathered me and all of my friends and she got us all drunk and she handed me the aaa bible and told me you’re going to need this not really setting up a kid for successful trajectory if you will and so when you look at how that impacts the the juveniles fast forward to some of the charges at play so an individual comes in at 14 without an identity they they get two or three years um it turns into 16 or 17. they can’t really find themselves so they recidivate they go back now they’re an adult and so now they’ve been to the system twice three times etc and now they’re 18 years old facing a five-year sentence well 18 years old to them is kind of a lifetime because they’ve been in the system since they were 12 or 13 or 14. and so now five years could seem like an eternity i might not make it out alive so then they start to do things drugs are incredibly prevalent inside the prison system they’re they’re probably as prevalent as they are on the street i know that’s hard for a lot of people to understand but it’s true and so when they get drugs on the inside and then now it becomes a game of russian roulette how do i get the drugs how do i get the money to get the drugs and so then the things start to happen and so you’ve got a five year sentence you’re a heroin addict or you know fentanyl or whatever it might be and you know that somebody on the tier has the drugs and and that person on the tier needs something to be done and so it just becomes this horrible cycle where an 18 year old kid ends up getting out of prison at the age of 38 after 20 because he came in with a five-year sentence was a drug addict and had to do things in order to survive wow wow and they just like they grow up in the prison system that’s what they that’s what they learn yeah what i’ve realized is a lot of these kids when they end up getting out if they if they’re fortunate enough to get out they’re usually when they get out mentally the same age as when they went in and so if an individual is you know on paper 33 years old but they went in the age of 18 mentally they’re usually around that 18 years of age they haven’t experienced you know college they don’t know what it’s like to talk about credit they don’t have any friends you know just by default you know this like just by default since you since you’ve been on this side you know of your journey you start talking with people in a different fashion people start talking about different things i mean look at you you live outside the country and so you experience life just by default right and so when you’re incarcerated in the six by nine there is no default there is no experience there it just is concrete and coldness and a lot of individuals that are trying to use you for their benefit wow you know i uh i built a company in 2012 with one partner he was he was my best friend he was my manager at another company before we decided to open our own company and he did 13 years wow and you know when he came out and i and i i watched him and i watched the way that he worked and the way that the way that we worked together and then you know when we would talk about his past and what used to happen it didn’t seem like like he did he did the classes he got you know uh a degree inside of prison and everything but it almost seemed like he made the decision himself it didn’t seem like you know he was told by anybody it didn’t seem like he had that opportunity for someone to come in and change him yeah he just like he had that strong will to make that decision himself you know 100 yeah and and i and i think where your friend is you could probably correct me if i’m wrong but your friend probably developed the belief system yeah right like there there’s a i i i often kind of cringe when people go oh you know motivation like motivation for me is you know cute quotes or you know uh pithy sayings uh but you know when when you were there laying on the street all the motivation in the world wouldn’t have got you off of that addiction you know going into your probation officer all right reading all the tony robbins books in the world you were still addicted to fentanyl right and so then you had to develop a belief system to where you believed that you either deserved better or were better or could be better and that belief system is what carried you to where you are today and so your your partner probably had to do the same thing like when an individual is incarcerated it it you have to develop a belief system that’s so strong that it creates your programming and so that programming carries forward with you whether you’re incarcerated or not a lot of times as you know so many of the the worst prisons in america are not concrete and steel but they’re these limiting beliefs that a lot of individuals subscribe to i’m not good enough i’m never going to be smart enough i’m never going to be rich enough i’m never going to date her i’m never never never never never and unfortunately it creates that programming for you that either limits you or pushes you towards greatness yeah but most people i would say have this like negative story of themself and those thoughts are are what actually create their programming so i i’m not good enough to start this business because i’m not smart enough because my boss said so because i screwed up on my review so i might as well never go after it right and so no motivation in the world will change that but the belief system the belief in yourself the belief in the idea the belief in your identity hopefully where you can really get to that’s what i hope changes the world is that belief system not just some fun quotes amen and i’m i’m with that 100 percent i think that and you know the the weird thing is in my addiction i read a lot of tony robbins i was coached by i was posted by high level people while i was an addict while i was shooting up heroin i was i was always writing on white boards and like planning this and planning that but i couldn’t ever you know actually fulfill on the things because i couldn’t get rid of drugs and i would always fail i would continually fail and in my recovery i don’t know if there was actually ever like a i would say the shift in belief was that i didn’t believe in myself being able to do it anymore so i released i released control of it because for so many years i i kept like in my grasp like i’m gonna go to this many meetings i’m gonna go to this church and this bible study i’m gonna go to here and go to here and make all these plans holding tight around you know around the neck my plans but then as soon as i switched realizing that i can’t do this and i had this new belief that okay if i can’t do it i i need god i need god to do it and when i became that willing that’s when it happened and what i noticed about about my friend the and business partner was that i don’t i don’t know if we ever talked about those beliefs but he always did the actions he was coming to pick me up at 7 00 a.m six days a week and we are hitting the doors and you’re selling this pest control and i’m doing the services every single morning there was nothing i could do about it i couldn’t say bro bro i don’t i don’t want to go today i don’t feel good he’d be like get your ass up you know we got we got work to do you know so just these constant actions so maybe that’s the belief yeah maybe that’s the belief system no big time bro and i think what’s interesting is like i like to call the triangle of change you know there’s there’s like three parts to it so to speak but you know when you look at yourself as an individual the story that you tell yourself is one that you’ve created and so like as as simple as that might sound to people you hold the pen it’s your it’s your right it’s like your pen that writes your script and i think that’s so simple it doesn’t have to be profound it’s like literally like like your body waking you up every day like the constant actions like you wrote this script if you feel you aren’t good enough you’re right if you feel you are good enough you’re right amen you know and then it’s the programming the conversations you know it’s like it’s a scary thing i go in and i talk to these youth all the time and i say you know everybody raise your hand if you would say that that you uh make poor decisions and they all raise their hand yep and i’d say this is where we have to stop all of us in our past have made bad decisions that doesn’t mean that that’s who we are yes that’s so good that’s the biggest thing it’s like so many of these individuals have to understand like i’m sure on amazon right now there’s probably a quarter of a million books on self-help right like there’s maybe more could be could be way more but everything like everything that these folks are searching for and anybody who’s listening to this whether you’re coming out of a tough situation a situation of darkness a situation of addiction situation of loneliness right like there’s something out there that’s divinely meant for you man yes that’s what i want you to pull out of this conversation with adam and i like the two of us have been in a situation where like there was nowhere down it was it was bottom right yeah but 100 your dna my dna your reason you’re here my reason i’m here like spending another day having a negative conversation with yourself is only ignoring your identity amen and there’s uh you said something in there with you know changing the mindset to you know writing your own script you know raising your hand if you make poor decisions you know that’s like affirming you’re making poor decisions and one of the affirmations i read daily is i’m on a mission from god and always prioritize his call over my pleasures that’s something i speak into myself because that’s how i want to live i want to make my decisions based on this call and this purpose that god has given me i didn’t always think like that you know living impulsively in addiction or whatever whatever we’re doing with our life you know it’s it’s difficult to break but once broken you know it’s a totally new life and i want to ask you one question that you know because you’ve been in there who is benefiting so much from creating this system that keeps us down so many people unfortunately you know it’s a it’s a it’s a multi multi multi billion dollar business and there’s so many individuals that benefit from it you know they’re publicly traded organizations and companies and when you really start to look at the finite details of it okay if an individual is in is in a state department of correction they are given a dollar amount for a bed it’s kind of like a rental rate for an airbnb look at it just that simple and the state is simply going to say here’s our rental rate for our bed here’s our expenses for our room and the profit is going to be the difference and in between there we’re going to have all sorts of providers that are going to pay us money we’re going to have religious organizations we’re going to have donors we’re going to have non-profits we’re going to have the food service industry we’re going to have telecommunications you know on i can go on and on it’s a laundry list and so as long as we can keep our occupancy rates high as long as our airbnb is full we’re going to have all of these other ancillary products that they’re going to want to sell to our consumers
it’s a business my friend and it’s it’s kind of shocking when people look at it that way but as dumb as it may sound to some people when you have four and a half million people locked up every night if you can charge 17 cents for an email it’s a lot of money whoa think of it very simple right and that’s just an email nowadays it’s photos they have these tablets inside kind of like an android-based tablet they can send they can have phone calls like a facetime without a face they can send emails they can send photos they can send videos short videos um and all of that is is it has a price to it all of it has a price to it you’re looking at food you know you’re looking at protein powder supplementation um shoes and everything has a price to it everything wow and i i i just remembered this and started thinking about this you know i started getting emails from jails when my when my books started going into jails and things like that and i had to pay to send emails to them yep yeah wow but are we supposed to do it are we supposed to not do it and not support the people that are locked in there i know man i say it all the time you have to support them right you have to support them i think if you’re really looking at it from a um a faith-based perspective we’ll go there for just a moment right when you look at all the heroes of the bible the old testament right joseph from egypt sold into slavery lived in a prison you know job you know was supposed to be perfect and had a hell of a year you know lost his family right and so i think if you’re looking at it from a faith-based perspective the individuals who we read about that we subscribe to be like are individuals who have been in the pit yeah amen you’ve learned something there right i don’t know about you but you know when you’re talking about anything like a cpa a a personal trainer a business coach you never want to take advice from the guy that’s like hey man haven’t sat for the exam yet but i’ll get there one day
right like a lot of people selling that though dude don’t even get me started
let me let me show you how to make a million dollars by making a million dollars off selling how to make a million dollars from my mom’s basement in my rented bmw don’t get me started bro i’ll go nuts on it i’m with you a thousand percent but you look at these guys you know you live the addiction life yeah and so you have these coaches that are in there like look just put the cigarette down and you’re like dude miss me with that mastermind bs yeah that’s not how it works you’ve got a reverse engineer you’ve got to pull out the pain and the trauma of a childhood you’ve got to pull out the insecurities of an adulthood you’ve got to pull out the people that are influencing like this is so much more than like oh come on adam just don’t use the needle my friend i think you tried bro and i’m telling you and that’s what irritates me about this social media game at the moment like i made a post last week i said all of your gurus are broke because it’s it’s super frustrating to me that a lot of people that are out there just screaming at their iphone and thinking that you have to yell at people and swear at people in order for them to make a change it’s not the case in my opinion in my opinion in my opinion right open to being wrong and i know there’s thousands of people who are yelling and screaming and swearing at phones that are doing very well right now but that’s just not my mo i don’t think that that’s a lasting change i don’t think that you know you fast forward 10 years you know i’ve got i’ve been married 15 years and i’ve got four little ones and when i look at my daughters you know who are seven and three and fifteen months the way that you make a change in them is not by yelling and swearing preach and so you can’t make a full term identity shift based on a short term transaction yeah i have to instill confidence in my daughters at the age of seven to let them know that they are special not that they can get anything they want special but that they have an identity from god that makes them special and we have to develop their purpose yes and so if i don’t want them to yell and swear at me i shouldn’t be yelling and swearing at them yes so at the age of 7 27 57 77 i don’t think that you can always yell and scream and swear at the instagram phone to make a change in the world amen amen and for people that have that watch the show regularly um i’m usually very animated i’ll say that very animated and like you know moving around and you know yelling and everything obviously not cussing at people or telling them that kind of stuff but um i like i like this this energy that we have together you know um because it makes it so that you know we’re talking about how to change your mindset without you know having to do all this guruy and like and like powerful stuff you know i believe in it all right so and i think that i think that people that have found their path their path to purpose their path to their their best self you know it’s good for them to help others find that path because there’s different personalities with different personalities and some things some things work for everyone you’re right there’s certain strategies there’s certain hacks mind hacks practices habits that work for everyone guys we’re going to take a 30 second break and when we come back we’re going to talk about how he implements these with the prison system and people that are coming out see in a second what’s up family i hope you’re enjoying this episode as much as i do when i’m making them and guys if you are getting value from this if you’ve heard any golden nuggets that you think other people should hear make sure that you’re sharing it with your groups or your pages so other people that are looking for a message of hope are able to find it also in case you weren’t here for the beginning of the show if you have a recovery story and you want to learn how to add impact and income through sharing it follow the link in the pinned comment to book your one-time 100 free call with me where we’re going to strategize exactly how you can share your story and do just that enjoy the rest of the show keep living recovered on purpose all right travis let’s go into you know what it is that you have created and why so you’re you’re in this you’re in this prison sentence of two years and you have this you’re looking for the solution you see the problem but instead of focusing on the problem you look for the solution what does that look like and what did you start seeing when you’re looking for the solution yeah the solution to me um at the time not only was it my background but it was easy for me to articulate came down to dollars and what i found i actually got very very fortunate during my during my sentence my my 15 months that i was actually in for the last year i was able to leave the yard every day very minimum custody yard and they had an agreement with a community college and so i was the tutor out there i would go out there and i would teach the business 101 and the financial literacy stuff and not only was it an opportunity but it was also therapeutic adam yeah right like i i found myself in the service of others and so it kept me going monday through friday and and so i would start to really because i was new to this industry i would say like what’s the problem you know what’s the barrier to entry and they’d say well when i get out i can’t get a job okay well let’s talk about that when i get out i can’t get a car all right let’s talk about that when i get out i can’t get i can’t and i thought okay if we if we boiled all these things down on a white board they would start with financial literacy yeah if i was able to get you guys to walk out with fifteen hundred dollars and you were able to walk out with a 620 credit score it might be a different outcome because you’re able to go lease a toyota camry for example yeah mind-blowing simple stuff i found most of these guys didn’t understand what fico score even was let alone you know credit worthiness and arbitrage and any of the above i tell the joke all the time one of the mexicans on the yard he would always joke with me came up to me and said hey i hear you’re talking about fico you know i know that homie too it’s great like in it and so i realized that how much they didn’t know and so i thought okay i’m going to put together this financial literacy course and we’re going to start with everything and we’re going to end out how to buy a car what does it mean what’s a buyer pay here a lot why it’s a bad idea what’s an annual percentage rate all of these interesting things yeah and so that was my kind of give back here you go here’s my course here’s my literacy um make sure to spread this with the world and and after i was released um you know the prison industry called me and said hey we heard about this course can we have it and i said sure i’ll send it to you and then like it went wildfire i was really surprised and so one course after another little by little i thought let’s let’s put together some real tangible steps the thing that i dislike that we talked about earlier is the gurus that have never done it the guys who uh want to teach you how to build a business but have never done it themselves right you you mentioned pest control and door knocking if there’s any adversity in the world it’s through door knocking pest control yeah it was awesome though it was great yeah it’s fantastic right absolutely and then not only okay after you’ve door knocked them and you’ve sold them now you gotta think on your feet while you’re at this at the door but now you’ve got to fulfill it right how am i servicing it what’s the contract what how am i taking forms of payment bro there’s a lot of energy required in order to do that simple transaction and so when i would focus these cats in that same capacity in prison on their ideas and i’d say adam what do you want to do i want to build pest control great and i’d whiteboard just like we did together bro their minds would expand yeah and when i realized then i thought okay if i could attach to you this purpose that is is so ingrained in you that when you get out this is who you are you are now adam the pest control guy adam the personal trainer you know whatever it might be then you would have a shot of not coming back yes and underneath that i’m going to layer it with some cool stuff i’m going to get you your credit report we’re going to make sure you walk out if you have a loved one with an unsecured credit card right like all of these little things that we you and i take for granted right you’re down in in south america you want to jump on a plane i bet you pay for it with a credit card yep right like most rewards credit card absolutely right i’m sure it is i’m sure you got points and all sorts of fun stuff most these guys don’t even know where to go to apply for one let alone they should be looking for a zero dollar uh annual fee oh no no no not right yeah and so i thought wow we just got to boil this way down way down it was a beautiful experience and so that’s where i really started and you know over the last decade we really expanded um we’re in a 17 states at this point you know 500 000 tablets on a nightly basis and we just have a beautiful community with with a few dozen programs over 40 at this point everything from mindfulness to meditation to breath work to exercises you know and then everything that could be tangible the business 101 and a process with business 101. here’s what an ein is here’s what a secretary of state is here’s how you file your your legal documents not just a pay me and see you later no no i wanted to give it away i i believe that the ultimate flex for guys like you and i is being able to give it away at this point yeah amen 100 and i started my my addiction recovery with a 421 credit score you know like what am i supposed to do you know i learned and before i hit two years i was up above 700. yeah there’s there’s so many there’s so many little tricks and hacks and things to do and even just like starting your credit you know yeah help you out a lot so how does somebody how does somebody start building their credit while they’re in prison great question couple ways so uh your three credit bureau reports are free on an annual basis equifax experian transunion you can get those twice a year for free so we would order those we’d write to them order them and get them in if they had a loved one it was obviously quicker because you could obtain it online and they would just mail it in to them we went through uh so we’d start with that get your credit report and then we would go through and erase any derogatories you know you’ve been incarcerated probably for a little bit of time let’s remove some of these negative inquiries we’ll send a letter to them they’ll remove it it’ll bump your score up once that’s taken place then we move on to establishing credit um what i tell people all the time there’s no incentive for me you go to creditkarma.com you log in you create a free free free everybody don’t pay it’s free you create a free account and it allows you to see exactly what your credit score is your fico score and then at the top it will tell you under the credit cards tab it’ll tell you which credit cards that you have a high approval odds for we’re looking for cards in a perfect world that have a zero dollar annual fee to start with and then of course we’ll look for you know points and rewards and things like that but the very first one is a zero dollar annual fee let’s get that approved and and it and all of that can be done within the confines of a prison cell now based because of technology wow even easier if they have a loved one on the outside because it can be done even quicker yeah but that’s the process that we go through and so then they can walk out with a little bit of credit even if it’s a 300 card they can walk out with a halfway decent score depending on how many years they might have to work on it and they can walk out with some knowledge of what they want to do amen and i i say this all the time and the reason why my company is called recovered on purpose and why i’m like jamming this in to the community is i believe that purpose is the number one relapse prevention 100 or or you know recidivism in the prison system if they come out and they you know they’re not going right back into the gang life or right back into the crime life you know they in prison they’ve created this identity this purpose that you’re giving them that you’re talking about when they exit you know they have this whole plan to go do so why would they go over here and go go drink and party and you know get get back involved with them i love that my goal bro 100 my goal was just give them the knowledge that they were thirsting for and then create tangible steps yeah and now how is this um how is this going to continue to get into more and more prisons and you said that the that a prison system actually hits you up doesn’t this aren’t you like cutting back the recidivism rate why would they why would they want to help this yeah i’ll tell you a couple true stories that are sad and kind of a bummer so to answer your question i get both ends um
when when the the leadership at the top of an institution sees that change can happen they want to push any and all programs that they can because it’s good for their inmates what i can tell you is that unfortunately because of the world that we live in um criminalizing almost everything is becoming the norm right um you’ve got a lot of you have a lot of things that are happening now i mean you look at marijuana we’ve been arguing about that for i don’t know how many years now and so we all know whether they want to say it out loud or not but if if the legalization is passed on a broad sweeping measure you’re going to have to answer to a few million people who have criminal records for something that is now free yeah something that is now legal that’s going to be a tough pill for a lot of people to swallow there’s a lot of money to be lost there and so i think when you start to look at how the the justice system has gone you know we we have increased sentences minimum sentence requirements that have been passed you know by the legislatures require judges to sentence an individual in front of them to a minimum sentence and so it really ties a judge’s hand and so they can’t have adam in front of them as a jaywalking recipient first time non-violent and they can’t say you know what i’m going to give this young man a second shot but they actually have their hands tied and they say you know what i’ve got to give him six months in jail minimum sentencing requirements so but inside the prison system a lot of wardens a lot of deputy wardens really enjoy the programming and the reason most of them do is because it it it dampers any of the violence that happens on the yard so typically when you have a good program on the yard and you get a few hundred people involved you can you can have a yard rally around like our courses so let’s say we have a course every friday from 8 to 11 um the yard is going to be acting a little bit differently that friday to make sure that nobody does anything stupid so that everybody can get out of their cells or their pods or their units and they can all come together to expand their minds and have a good experience yeah that’s kind of really the goal of the programs and so a lot of the wardens will see that and they’ll want that on their yard now fast forward there is and i just had a couple uncomfortable conversations that really kind of saddened me but i had an individual tell me from an actual department of correction tell me that they were um frustrated and upset with me because i was making their department the travis show i thought that was an interesting conversation um right it to me it was full of egotism to me it was it was full of nepotism and unfortunately they thought that it was me against them instead of us trying to come together to really solve a problem yeah and so my response to them was well you know you’ve been in the seat that you’ve been in for about 18 years and your recidivism has gone through the roof in those 18 years and so perhaps there’s a different way to do things and we don’t even need to say that you’re wrong and i’m right but what we need to do is sit down with people because i know that you can’t get a live branch from a dead tree and so if this individual at the top thinks that my programs are going to make them look bad this individual isn’t going to want our programs inside right and those those are some frustrating conversations to happen because in the in the in the department of corrections you have some really good people that are trying to make some changes and then you have some really higher ups that realize that there’s a lot of dollars attached to people recommitting crimes wow wow so you’re doing this from from a you know inside out you’re doing this from you know the solution of helping the inmates getting in there teaching them and everything do you have aspirations or are you working on policy changes working on going places and actually like saying this is garbage yeah you have to do something politically for this yeah big time you know we work us personally no we work with some organizations that have some deep roots into policy change and i’ve made some good inroads with some legislatures um around the country who are open and and want policy changes yeah and that’s where i really think that that we can start to make some some real grassroots movements if people really understood what happened behind prison walls there would be blood in the streets right now you know we’re really glorified it’s hollywood-esque you know it’s it’s hbo’s eyes you know it’s uh um i can’t even think of it uh black orange is the new black right it just becomes very sensationalized and very sexy and then you just kind of turn it off and go on the reality is when when my community college was closed for vacation um the department of correction moved me to the elementary school and i would open up chocolate milks and serve slices of pizza to kindergarteners and we would do that for 22 cents an hour and you you walk yourself through that right if i’ve been in those shoes and i don’t want any of my children being fed by inmates but you look at the towns that most of these prisons are built in they’re usually built in some kind of crummy towns on the outskirts of nowhere and their labor force is almost non-existent and their wages are unable to be paid and so the simplest solution is to hire 25 guys for the price of a half of one right right and so that needs to be changed that narrative needs to be told because if i wasn’t good enough in my situation to be on the streets why was i good enough to be on the streets as an inmate it’s a very confusing situation if you want me as a six seven figure a year earner paying into the tax base donating offering gifts and services to the local schools the food banks etc that’s a good productive member of society when you take that away and you put me at 22 cents an hour for 15 months there’s no productivity there yeah right and so that like dichotomy needs to be changed pretty quickly and pretty severely um i think in general you know i say this all the time i’m using round numbers 20 of the people in prison deserve to be there and need to be there um you know they’ve done some terrible things um and i think that that’s where they belong they’re just not in society the other 20 of people i think are victims of circumstance i’ll tell you um i had a guy who um in oregon was working a double during covet and was basically commuting and fell asleep at the wheel and you know hit a family and so they gave him five years for that vehicular manslaughter charge not high not drunk not nothing not a not a criminal nonviolent not nothing that man doesn’t need to sit inside of a prison cell for the next five years and realize he did something wrong he knows he did something wrong the best use of that man’s time would be to rehabilitate himself and then to tell other people how to avoid some of the pitfalls he’s made yeah right so you have the 20 that don’t belong there you have the 20 that absolutely belong there but this middle of the road 60 is really where we need to focus on and those are the individuals that need the accountability they need their hand up not a handout and they need actual information that can take them from point a to point b most importantly what they need is some empathy when they get out yeah because they because literally if you if you get a you know if you’re incarcerated you’re you’re an ex-con they say you only got a three or four or five year sentence or whatever you serve that time but you come out with a life sentence life strapped on your forehead as a convict as a felony they have this box you have to check to get a job yeah you know saying i’m a felon yep you know and i i was you know early on i learned to lie in that box yeah what we all do we all do and i think that’s what’s it sucks anyways it’s just terrible i have a girl comma friend a female friend um and and she actually served prison time years ago and she was married she still is married to this man fantastic dude fantastic woman and because of her crime the government came to him and said hey if you don’t cooperate you know you’re going to get pulled in on this as well and he said i’m not going to cooperate at all i had nothing to do with it true story so he ended up not going to prison but they ended up giving him a slap on the wrist felony for not playing ball and even though they incarcerated his wife they stayed together through the whole process you know fantastic humans great marriage now literally it’s a true story yesterday he found out she texted me that his employer ran the background check you know of 10 years ago and rescinded his job offer oh my gosh right this is a decade old this is a man with credentials a man that never was incarcerated like that type of stuff to your point is a life sentence and it’s completely unfair and i don’t think that we need to live in a world that you know gives everybody fair and gives everybody a trophy but i think that there needs to be some common sense that goes along with some of these empathetic guidelines 100 and the process for you know changing your life and and being able to be an example like hey i really have changed my life this is what i’m doing now can i get my record expunged you know it is it is not easy to do is not easy to do nearly impossible yeah so what is the what do you think because here’s this is like one of those one of those problems that’s like almost a an unsolvable problem when you look at the macro of it yeah you know because it’s like ingrained in our system to incarcerate people and make money off of them right and not to rehabilitate so what is the what is the macro solution to this from from a change perspective of the actual system of prison like the system of prison how do we how do we change this so that you know people are being rehabilitated and you know coming back and living in society without having to go back to the way they were yeah i think couple things you know if we lived in a perfect world which we don’t but we’re gonna pretend for a minute we did um i think one of the first things would be term limits i think just kind of by default you know a lot of the judges and a lot of the pos probation officers that i’ve spoken to over the years they have a ton of preconceived notions and i don’t think that that’s necessarily wrong on their part you know the way that i subscribe to it you know is like this if you’re if you are a police officer and you’ve worked the same zip code for 20 years and it’s always at night time typically typically you’re going to run into the same types of people yeah right and and so when it’s a tuesday morning and you’re off duty and you’re sleep deprived and that typical individual that schematic of an individual confronts you all of a sudden it’s front page news because you had an altercation as an off-duty police officer that killed someone yeah and i can speak from experience that a lot of judges will get in that same temperament when you’re reading case files every day by the dozens and it’s the same thing right bald white male swastika tattoo bald white male swastika tattoo bald white male swastika tattoo right yeah no matter what that bald white male with a swastika tattoo now becomes your server at olive garden that judge automatically has a preconceived notion it’s just human response and and so i think that’s kind of one of the first things is that term limits we see it now where people are really starting to talk about it from a political perspective you know how do we how do we really create change if the same person’s been in office 60 years and they’ve done nothing yeah i think that’s one but then i think two is really you know the 2023 pell grant hopefully uh will change quite a bit for people um the opportunities of incarceration what we know is that through education when you get a bachelor’s degree you have a a single digit recidivism rate which means once you’ve got that bachelor’s degree your recidivism your likelihood of going back to prison goes to almost nine percent or lower wow and anything higher than that um statistically speaking when you receive a master’s degree it goes down to one percent so it’s almost gone so education term limits a education b and then c i think an individual when they’re inside their character really needs to be that that what’s being rehabilitated if we can look at humans as humans and realize that we all make mistakes we’re all in this you know flesh-covered uh sack of bones and blood and that we’re all gonna make some poor choices along the way but when we do that there’s some areas of opportunity there now the areas of opportunity that i think are uncomfortable to really get over is you know all of the individuals who work for me are former lifers and so nothing will give you a sense of um street credit for lack of a better term than walking into a prison and saying hey i had double life and i got out i had triple life and i got out okay wow my 15 months isn’t cool enough i didn’t kill anybody stab anybody like it just isn’t neat um it’s a paperwork charge and so when you have somebody that can walk into a prison system to and sit across from a 17 year old and say you know what look at what i’ve done with my life and i had it worse than you did that i think is that third component what’s interesting is some of the largest companies in the world like the geo group um they they are one of the three companies that control prison policies yeah they are unable to hire anybody with a criminal record
how does that make sense i was waiting for you to get there how does that make it it doesn’t it doesn’t right it simply doesn’t you would never hire an uber driver without a driver’s license you never hired a pilot without a pilot’s license so the geo group is one of the examples and there’s there’s a few of them who are unable to hire felons and so when you go okay but how does one rehabilitate the community that you’re serving how do you even serve or speak to the people that you’re serving when you can’t even relate not even accounts yeah so there’s some of those things that need to be changed and i think that’s kind of the three step it’s very uncomfortable we start with policies we move into really education and then the third program needs to be done from individuals who have walked those shoes amen i agree 100 are you are you connected with the uh with the dream centers dream center no is that charlie uh denver dream center uh pastor b i’m gonna i’m gonna connect you with these guys yeah they’re uh they basically do all the uh everybody coming out on on parole they have to go through this program okay and they go out in the streets and they talk to people that are out there doing the gangs and stuff like that and man these guys i i really connected with them lifers i got out with just these huge hearts bro yeah yeah because these these guys that were that literally looking at at their life behind prison thinking they’re never getting out of there when they get out you know after 23 25 30 years their heart is like oh my gosh on fire on fire yeah and you said something you said something else the the recidivism rate goes down significantly when they get a bachelor’s degree and then even more when they get a master’s degree yes what kind of incentive could we give them on a grandiose scale like like a big scale all inmates that get a bachelor’s degree will get this you know how do we how do we incentivize them because sometimes you know i wasn’t really incentivized to have a bachelor’s degree no because the the the reward was you have a bachelor’s degree that you paid for you know and 50 grand in debt congrats right what do you think what do you think is something we could incentivize so that everyone in prison gets one yeah man i think it’s a honestly so so for example it’s not really that difficult when when uh so for example when i went to the state of arizona and and first came in an intake they had to make sure that i had a ged or high school diploma and so it’s part of their rec it’s part of their requisites part of their program the state of arizona actually gets paid for getting inmates a ged while incarcerated and it’s part of your process in your program in order to leave the prison yard you have to have a ged you have to have a diploma and i think it would be very interesting if you’re talking about associates degrees if you’re talking about i think it it could almost be treated in this in a fashion like uh like a high school where you said look here’s here’s a certain amount of things you have to do but here’s a certain amount of electives that you’ve got and if you elect to you know bust your butt and get a four-year degree you know done in the time that you’re here or two-year degree or however much effort you want to put into it i think that would be an incredible incentive for folks to really reduce their their prison sentence yes based on their educational requirements a hundred percent that’s that’s actually where i was going with it because if they are if they’re being really rehabilitated for 10 years you know their sentence is a 10-year sentence yep and they have to stick in there for 10 years and that that confinement is what’s supposed to rehabilitate them if getting a bachelor’s degree drops their likelihood of recidivism down to nine percent and a master’s degree drops it down to one percent doesn’t that literally mean that they have been rehabilitated you would think right yeah i would yeah pretty simple yep huh i love it i love it so what do you what would you say to people out there that maybe they haven’t been to prison they they aren’t necessarily completely involved in this if they’re listening right now what could they do to to support this to help this cause if they just if they have that heart for it what could they do uh first of all i think it’s pretty incredible if they do have that heart for it you know we have a sponsor and inmate program that allows uh it’s kind of two-fold we have a sponsored inmate program which gives them education and literacy in a vast majority of subjects um and then we also have a sponsor of family program that’s something that’s been really pulling at my heart strings the last couple years is the youth that have parents that are incarcerated are six times more likely to be incarcerated themselves and so for us i want to talk about it and you know this year for example we had the convicted conference we put a thousand kids under a roof that had justice impacts in some capacity we just are in the process of doing a prison yard carnival where we’re bringing family members to the prison allowing the inmates to have like a carnival games prizes toys hot dogs hamburgers with their with their loved ones i think as much as that situation sucks if we’re being honest mom and dad being incarcerated still needs to be talked about so that we don’t have young children that are growing up confused that are growing up addicted that are growing up without identity and so i think it’s imperative that if a dad wants to be involved with his his children vice versa that we make that happen yeah so we have a sponsor a family program that allows us to bring families together on a consistent basis we walk them through we have a program for it where we talk about things that aren’t supposed to be spoken about you know we make sure that dad uh comes full circle with his accountability why he’s there why why mom might be there and dad and mom need to have because that’s also an uncomfortable conversation dad and mom need to have authentic dialogue about what they did wrong and take complete responsibility for it and then they need to tell the kids because you you can’t just go to junior high every day and you look in the football stand and all of your your friends dads are there but your dad’s not there you have to talk about that and so if that if that really gives the individual or the young man or young woman um the ability to rehabilitate as a youngster the ability to grieve and heal as a youngster i’m hopeful that putting that family unit together that reunification process will allow that second generation not to make mistakes at the first awesome and where can they find that how can they get involved in that yeah our nonprofit is accomplishedventures.org um ed on accomplish stands for education so it’s accomplishedventures.org gives you the ability to either sponsor an inmate or to help that family reunification process awesome i’m going to put that up right now and uh i’m also going to put it in the i spelt that right right and then the ed is capitals yeah it’s okay but it’s yeah it’s lowercase there yep perfect no it’s perfect you spelled it guys this is going to be this is going to be in the in the show notes also so if you want to find out more about what he’s doing over there um go ahead and check it out sponsor sponsor some of these guys man he’s literally what he’s talking about sponsoring a family that’s prevention of of a kid going down that path and us in the recovery community we are all super into preventing kids from going down the path of drugs and a lot of these guys a lot of these kids you know we’re able to help them so travis i i really really appreciate you coming on man this is a great conversation one that needed to be had and uh man thank you so much for coming i’m super grateful brother i’m glad you’re here with us keep changing the world amen love you guys so much