The Prison Post Bonus Episode #14 Mannie Thomas III, Freedom Experience after a 32 Years to Life Sentence

Published on: 24th February, 2021

CROP Organization's Podcast, The Prison Post has been releasing a series of bonus episodes with the incarceration and freedom stories of the currently and formerly incarcerated. This episode features the story of Mannie Thomas' last day in prison after over 15 years of incarceration. He shares the deep emotions associated with leaving after so many years. Full of excitement, his wife picked him up at the gate and constantly wanted to know what he was thinking, but Mannie fought to put his first day out into words. Freedom was hard to grasp and he had the overwhelming feeling that he would need to adjust to an all new world. Mannie found it hard to believe that he was no longer going to be confined in a concrete box. His story is filled with laughter and tears and what it was like to surprise his relatives who thought they were just being invited over to his wife's house for a visit with Mannie's parents.

Mannie Thomas has been a Success Stories facilitator at CTF Soledad Prison since 2017. He holds 5 Associates Degrees in multiple disciplines. Manny was sentenced to 32 to Years to Life. He served a total of 15 1/2 years. Nearly two years ago he had his sentence commuted by Governor Brown and was subsequently found suitable for parole. Upon his release in October of 2019, he was hired as a Success Stories Coach and Growth Coordinator. He focuses on identifying and securing new sites to deliver the Success Stories Program. Mannie understands the power that comes with sharing “our stories” and has written and edited for online publications. He strongly believes in community collaboration which is why he works with Initiate Justice facilitating healing circles for men the second Monday of every month. It is Mannie’s strong belief that people can be given what they need in society to transform and not be subjected to isolation and trauma. He has dedicated his life to ensure that people have that opportunity and not commit the same harm that he did. Please listen to his profound story of hope. #CROPOrganization #ThePrisonPost #WorkingTogethertoRestoreLives Learn more about us at

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About the Podcast

The Prison Post
Transforming Lives and Healing Communities by Reimagining Reentry
The Prison Post is a podcast interviewing leaders in the criminal justice reform, restorative justice, and social justice movements. In addition, we share the transformational stories of the currently and formerly incarcerated and highlight what CROP Organization is doing by reimagining reentry for returning citizens.
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Richard Mireles

With a Bachelor of Arts in Healthcare Management from California Coast University, Richard is a dynamic public speaker and expert communicator with Advanced Leadership and Communication certifications with the world recognized Toastmasters International. Having spent over 21 years inside of CDCR, Richard made abundant contributions as a cofounder of the Inside Solutions think-tank and lead intern for the CROP Organization’s programs offered within institutions. An inspiring leader and powerful orator with over 35 transformational coaching seminars and workshops, Richard possesses the uncanny ability to capture a room's attention while conveying impactful messages to any audience. He has an advanced certification as an Alcohol and Other Drug counselor (receiving a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his contributions to the recovery community) and was the only known incarcerated person to earn the status of associate trainer for John Maxwell’s EQUIP Leadership and its Million Leader Mandate.