The Master Plan

The Master Plan
My Journey from Life in Prison to a Life of Purpose (with Chris Wilson)
Foreword by Wes Moore

You probably assume this is a story about a wrongful conviction. You’re wrong. Chris Wilson committed murder at seventeen. There were extenuating circumstances, as you’ll learn, both in his background and in the event. I might have done the same thing in his place—and I definitely wouldn’t have been sentenced to life in prison. But Chris makes no excuses. He takes full responsibility.

This book is about something more difficult than a miscarriage of justice, but more important: redemption. Can we forgive people the worst thing they’ve ever done? Can we prioritize rehabilitation over punishment? Are we willing to see the good in someone who has sinned and give them a second chance? What kind of justice system do we want, and what kind of country do we want to be?

Chris Wilson is the real deal. He has earned everything. He has inspired thousands, including me. When I think of his 5,000 days of hard work without a single day off, without a single infraction, with no guarantee any of it would earn him any reward beside the satisfaction of knowing he made his tiny world a tiny bit better that day…wow. He’s a better man than me.

Read this book, because you’ll learn a hell of a lot about our criminal justice system. Some of it will make your angry. Some of it will make you cry. It might even change your mind about a thing or two.

But more importantly, read it because it will make you ask yourself this question: If Chris Wilson can do that, from there, what’s my excuse? What’s my Master Plan? How am I going to make the world a better place? Now those are questions that will change your life.


The Master Plan is less a road map and more a philosophy that we should all take to heart: We are better than our worst decision, our sense of justice should honor the redemptive possibilities inherent in every person, and our destinies are truly intertwined.

Wes Moore, New York Times bestselling author of The Other Wes Moore

An incredibly moving book that will change the way you look at the criminal justice system.

Bernie Sanders

This is a brave book, full of thought-provoking insight…And yet, what sticks with me most is the beautiful, heartbreaking mother-son relationship.

Beth Macy, New York Times bestselling author of Dopesick
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