Empowering Incarcerated Writers: AL-Saadiq Banks' Journey of Inspiring Change Through Stories

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For the past 22 years, I've dedicated my life to writing stories that resonate deeply with a unique and often overlooked audience: the incarcerated. My journey as an author began with a profound realization brought on by the birth of my daughter. This life-changing event shifted my heart and mindset, making me determined to leave behind the street life. I wanted to be present for my child, not raising her over the phone from prison.

Through the pen, I found a way to change my life. Writing books full-time became not just a career, but a form of therapy that transformed my perception of life. The pen didn't just save me; it became my tool for change. Once I understood that a better life was possible through a changed heart and mindset, a passion ignited within me to reach out to those trapped in the cycle of incarceration. I wanted to show them that a better life is possible for them as well.

My first book, "No Exit," symbolized the inescapable nature of a lifestyle steeped in crime and poor decisions. It conveyed a powerful message: without changing one's heart, there's no way out. Over the years, this message has resonated with countless inmates across the country. With 18 books published, over a million copies sold, and a loyal readership within the prison system, I’ve become a beacon of hope for many. These individuals see in me a living testament to the possibility of change.

I've received hundreds of thousands of letters from inmates seeking advice on how to turn their lives around. Many of them also aspire to become authors themselves, inspired by my journey and the stories I've shared. While I never initially set out to become a publisher, I found myself frequently offering guidance on the steps needed to get their work published.

However, it became clear that advice alone wasn't enough. Without a strong support system on the outside to handle the legwork—typing manuscripts, editing, designing covers, and navigating the distribution process—publishing a book from behind bars is almost impossible. Recognizing this gap, I decided to create a solution.

I founded a firm specifically designed to assist incarcerated authors in bringing their books to life. My dedicated team provides comprehensive services, from transcribing handwritten manuscripts to professional editing, cover design, and distribution. We ensure that every step of the publishing process is handled with care and expertise, as a paid service, allowing the author to be their own publisher and retain full ownership of their work and its copyrights.

This initiative is my way of giving back to the community that has supported me throughout my career. By helping incarcerated individuals realize their dreams of becoming published authors, I hope to inspire them to leave their old lifestyles behind. My goal is to empower them to tell their stories, find success, and build new lives filled with purpose and possibility.

Through this firm, we are not just publishing books; we are fostering transformation. We are giving incarcerated individuals the tools and support they need to change their hearts and, ultimately, their lives. This is my commitment to the community that believed in me for 22 years, and it's my hope that through these efforts, we can continue to create stories of redemption and new beginnings.