In March of 1990, Pat Peterson, a licensed chemical dependence counselor and a recovering addict/alcoholic, was hired by the Texas Department of Correction to work on the Ellis Unit, the home of death row, as a Substance Abuse Counselor.
Pat brought with him a few open-ended questions relating to the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and a belief to receive the benefits of these steps, one must work them. He started a group called a “Step-do-group,” open to all prisoners. The only requirement for entering the group was a desire to do the steps. A miracle began to evolve.
This process on the Ellis Unit lasted eight and a half years with as many as sixty men being in these groups at any given time. Usually one step would be given per meeting, by one inmate. The only requirement of the other members was to honor the bravery of the member doing the step by giving him their attention.
Throughout the years, Pat personally practiced the principles of the steps and realized that he was evolving, too. As he began to love and accept all the character defects of the men, he started the process of loving and accepting all those same aspects of himself.
No one who completeds even one of those steps will see themselves in the same way. A part of them knows if they ever decide to change, a tool is available.
Just as the book Alcoholics Anonymous and the A.A. twelve steps were the result of the effort of the first one hundred members, this workbook is the result of the effort of incarcerated men.