I’m Shon Hopwood, Author of Law Man: Memoir of a Jailhouse Lawyer and Co-Founder of Prison Professors
My partner and I founded PrisonProfessors.com so that we could improve outcomes of the criminal justice system. We pursue this path on several fronts, including:
- Creating digital content for use in prison systems and schools.
- Providing guidance to people who face criminal charges.
- Providing assistance to people who prepare for sentencing or prison.
- Spreading awareness on the need for reforms in our nation’s system of sentencing and corrections.
In the fall of 2017, the 60-Minutes television news program will profile my journey. For those of you who don’t know my background, I provide a thumbnail sketch below. The brief bio appears on promotional materials from my most recent book, Law Man: Memoir of a jailhouse Lawyer.
Readers may order a copy of Law Man by clicking the order button below. Visit us again before the end of November to see my updated profile page on Prisonprofessors.com.
Shon Hopwood was a good kid from a good Nebraskan family. Those who knew him well would never have imagined that, as a young man, he’d be adrift with few prospects and plotting to rob a bank. But he did, committing five armed bank robberies before being apprehended.
Serving ten years in federal prison, Shon feared his life was over. He wasn’t sure if he could survive a cell block, but he was determined to try.
Hopwood pumped-up in the prison gym to defend himself and earned respect on the basketball court. He reconnected with the girl of his dreams from high school through letters and prison visits; and, crucially, he talked his way into a job in the prison law library.
Hopwood slowly taught himself criminal law and began to help fellow inmates rather than himself. He wrote one petition to the Supreme Court, which was chosen to be heard from over 7,000 other petitions submitted by the greater legal community that year.
The Justices voted 9-0 in favor of Hopwood’s petition when the case was finally heard. What might have been considered luck by some, was dispelled when a second petition from him was selected to be heard by the Supreme Court. He didn’t grasp it yet, but Shon’s legal work was the start of a new life.
Shon Hopwood is an Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown Law School. He is co-founder of Prison Professors and PrisonProfessors.com. Shon works as a law professor, an advocate for criminal justice reform, and as keynote speaker. See Shon’s work at PrisonProfessors.com. He works on policy reform and strives to improve outcomes of America’s prison system. Read his amazing story in Law Man.