My story of a successful woman who fell is also the tale of a troubled inmate who rose.
If you search this site looking for a broken woman with a felony, you’ll find me. If you read this story hoping for answers, you’ll find a woman living with conviction. With wisdom, you’ll find both. In my story perhaps we’ll find each other.
It was time to take stock. I felt as disposable as the 670,000 dogs put down in the United States every year so I started a prison dog program called Safe Harbor.
Through Safe Harbor, I helped hardened inmates develop compassion and responsibility. I offered well-adjusted dogs to local families.
Tall, confident, and cool, John Manard, a convicted murderer, noticed me.
Socially engineered safeguards designed to prevent indiscretions only fanned the flames. What began as fun and games under the nose of authority turned criminal when I smuggled him out of Lansing Prison in a dog crate.
A police helicopter illuminated our fugitive run. Like dogs, heavily armed officers bolted us into a tree at 100 miles per hour.
Convicted, I went to prison where, shockingly, I felt no longer invisible. Within my story of ruin, I discovered who I needed to be. I found freedom behind bars.
Buy Toby’s book: Living With Conviction
the year I became a number and a face everyone recognized but no one knew not even me who knew less than nothing of the woman buried inside a turning point that year that was really more than a year the year I lived on peanut butter, mail call, visiting day the year I sank into the deep muck of depression, fears and fate the year when I felt I wasn’t entitled to smile or dream the year when the darkness settled and waters became clear and deep the year I learned that hope is blue like a springtime sky and prayer is purple bold and royal and everywhere the year I was just a number 86519 the year I became me who was always hidden inside...