Ken Larsen's website - "Writing After Life - Stories from Those Who Served a Life Sentence"


"Writing After Life - Stories from Those Who Served a Life Sentence" is a short book (109 pages) of interviews with four men who served long prison sentences for crimes they committed as gang members in their youth.  It was compiled and edited by Leslie Willis as part of her Master Thesis work at the University of San Diego during 2017-2018. 


Leslie Willis with RiseUp Industries workers


I met Leslie at a swing dance in 2012, and we've been Facebook friends since then.  During 2018 she posted on Facebook about her thesis work and Rise Up Industries.  She asked for donations to Rise Up, and I contributed $ 50.  In response, Leslie mailed me a copy of her book. 


The book opened my eyes to a few sides of society that I am totally unfamiliar with:  how youths become criminals, gangs, prison life, and how an organization such as Rise Up Industries can rehabilitate people. I recommend the book.  It can be bought on Amazon for $ 10 [ordering info].


The book raised a lot of questions in my mind that our society needs to address:


  1. How do we help parents become better parents? 

  2. How do we prevent criminal gangs from forming?

  3. In the U.S., there has been a strong shift to the far right.  In my opinion, that will create a much larger gap between the rich and the poor.  I see this as leading to an increase in poverty and crime.  I also see a decrease in funding for social programs as conservatives prefer to cut those programs as a way of reducing taxes.  [They need to make up for reducing the taxes on the wealthy.]

We need to study what works across the whole world.  Trump-era Republicans condemn socialism and liberalism, but in my opinion, those ways of governing a country are far better for us.



Ken Larsen's home page