Appreciation is the Secret of Authentic Living

My Story of Appreciative Rehabilitation

August 2022
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In 1994 the author sat in a cell in Mule Creek State Prison, California, wondering if it was possible to change inmates’ resentment- and grievance-filled conversations to positive ones. His discovery of Appreciative Inquiry led to two ongoing programs: Bridging the Gap and, during the Covid pandemic, the Offender Narrative project. By the time he left the prison system, his programs had the support of the administration, staff, inmates – and thousands of participants. He plans to continue as a volunteer staff member.


Author: Tracy Scott Selsor

In 2019, Tracy, an inmate in the Mule Creek State Prison in California, came across a copy of The Power of Appreciative Inquiry in a prison library. Recognizing AI’s potential to transform the prison system’s culture, he designed an AI-inspired inquiry into inmates’ most positive experiences in the prison, and a five-point program for non-confrontational communication. He continues his work to transform the system from outside prison.


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