Posts Tagged ‘Delaney’s Hope’


I’m honored to have one of my books banned, Delaney’s Hope. I join a prestigious group of people who have had their books banned. The Grapes of Wrath, Green Eggs and Ham, Brave New World, Lolita, etc. See the whole list here:

Two days after I taught a class in prison, I received a call from the prison authorities. “You’re out. Turn in your badge,” the deputy warden said in her harshest of tones. “Your book tells of the rape and murder of a young woman.”

Yes, it does, but nowhere does it approve of such an action. I pointed that out to the friendly deputy warden, but she wasn’t impressed. So I said, “I appeal this decision.”

At the appeal hearing, the acting warden quickly moved away from the initial complaint and said that I brought in things without clearing them with the administration. Yes, I did that, as any good teacher would, bring in materials that would help students understand. In this case I only gave it to one man to teach him how to edit someone else’s work.

The hearing continued and then the acting warden said, “Now about this blog you write every week, Prison Uncensored. You are often critical of the prison.”

“Warden,” I said, “I can’t believe this is part of our discussion today.”

“We expect our employees and volunteers to say positive things about the prison and the administration. You’re banned from entering any federal prison from now on. You can appeal this decision to Ottawa if you want.”

Despite my twenty years of volunteering to teach writing in prison, I was out. I knew Ottawa would back up their local man. My daughter said, “They don’t pay you, they don’t honor you, so just get out.”

A further comment is that Delaney’s Hope is  a warden who set up a prison that really worked i.e. it changed people.  I don’t editorialize in the book, but an existing warden might not like what he or she read.

So, I’m out, but my blog continues. Prison Uncensored Blog The back of Delaney’s Hope says the book was banned in prison.

I’m working on a novel that scares the hell out of me. Here’s how it happened. People kept talking to me about prison. “You’re against prison, Griffin. So what’s your answer?

I’m trying to write my answer. It’s called Delaney’s Hope and it’s the story of a man with a dream. Delaney wants to set up a prison that really works. Right now 1 out of 2 people who get out of prison will return. Delaney wants something different.

To do this novel I had to look up a lot of prison programs. But the bigger challenge was to make the characters come alive. A rule of mine is NO PREACHING, which means I can’t push my ideas in the novel. I can’t say what I think. I can’t say so-and-so is a jerk, I can’t say Delaney has a good idea. I have to respect my characters and let them do what they will. While the book started out as my idea, I hope I let the characters do what they wanted to do

I’m trying to get Delaney’s Hope out this year.prison