Designed Conviction a Social Enterprise

Mark Jackson: From White Collar Criminal to Author & Advocate

Mark Jackson earned millions of dollars before his mid-30s in the addicting world of stock trading.  He could have retired young, but the easy money was too addicting, it ended up being his downfall.

mark jackson

Although it wasn’t necessary, Mark Jackson knew the more money you have to invest in the stock market, the more money you can possibly earn. He ended up borrowing money from investors that didn’t question Mark’s strategies as he had been a trusted person in the stock market for years.  

Mark figured he would use their money to invest, make tons of cash then repay them. In an ideal world perhaps that could have happened, but as easy as it is to make money in the stock market, it’s easier to lose it. That is what happened, Mark scrounged away millions of dollars, and then borrowed more to try to cover other losses, essentially starting a ponzi scheme.

At 65 years old, Mark Jackson was arrested for this white-collar crime and sent to one of Colorado’s most violent prisons.  He was sentenced to 15 years I prison.

What happened soon after was unexpected and changed the course of Mark’s life. While serving kitchen duty he collapsed. Mark had contracted a flesh-eating bacteria and was sent to the hospital clinging on to life. The nurse told him he would live only if he wanted to. Mark thought about his family and the legacy he wanted to leave them, he changed his mindset and fought back. Eventually recovering and sent back to a different prison.

Mark Jackson book cover

Mark Jackson was able to maintain a good attitude and carried on with his life. Inspired by the events of his life, he decided to write a book about it. Since he was in prison, conventional ways of writing a novel were not available. Mark hand wrote his book and sent it to his family a few pieces at a time over the course of his sentence.  

Mark was released four years and seven months after his sentence. He spent time in a halfway house, with an ankle bracelet and two years on parole. Today he is a free man with a story to tell.

Mark Jackson’s book is called ‘Greed, Survival, Redemption. How Dying in Prison Saved my Life’ he wrote ninety-five percent in prison. The book is around four hundred pages.

Currently, Mark Jackson is living in Colorado with his wife. His book is on sale on Amazon and across various bookstores. He often goes to the prisons to advocate for the inmates and is a keynote speaker. Learn more about him on his website

Taylor Conley interviewed Mark Jackson on his podcast, Life of a Lifer. The interview goes further into Mark’s intriguing story. You can view the animated interview on YouTube below.

If you prefer the audio version, check it out on Apple Music, Spotify, or anywhere you listen to your favorite podcasts.

For more interviews, check out our BLOG.