Renaldo Hudson knew he needed to change his life when he got uninvited from a death row birthday party, for scaring the other inmates.
He laughs ruefully telling the story now.
Mr Hudson committed murder as an abused, drug-addicted teenager, and served 37 years in the Illinois justice system. He walked out a very different man, but considers he was fortunate to emerge at all. And having worked as a peer educator in prison, he’s thought deeply about how to support incarcerated people and preserve their links to the outside world.
Now 56, he has a vocation for 2020: “I want to encourage a million people to vote!”
Why voting? Because it’s a right that hundreds of thousands of people in jail don’t know they have – and that unawareness locks them out of participating in democracy, and shaping their communities.
Mr Hudson is one of scores of activists pushing to prevent the mass disenfranchisement of up to 750,000 people in US jails.