Infamous Outlaw John Hawkins Uses True Crime Stories To Deter Delinquency

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John Hawkins—the ex-con whose true crime story was covered by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Vanity Fair magazine, “NBC Nightly News,” and “Oprah,” among others—has just released a book titled The Dirty Nasty Truth.

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Bank robbers, jewel thieves, gangbangers and murderers are the protagonists in The Dirty Nasty Truth: 18 True Crime Stories to Stop Juvenile Delinquency, the new book by infamous entrepreneur John Barrett Hawkins. During the 1990’s Hawkins’ criminal case ignited a media firestorm. The story was the subject of two books, several TV shows and documentaries, and the Fox TV movie "If Looks Could Kill – John Hawkins Story." The debut author did not testify at his trial; nor has he ever granted a media interview. Now he tells all in a book of true crime stories that provides insight into the root causes of juvenile delinquency.

The Dirty Nasty Truth is based on a youth intervention program called Convicts Reaching Out To People (CROP) that John Hawkins participated in while incarcerated at Donovan State Prison in San Diego. CROP was founded on the belief that the most effective way to deter juvenile delinquency is through storytelling. CROP was a public speaking forum, where prison inmates gave personal testimonies concerning drug use, gangs, crime, bullying, self-esteem, and life in prison – before large groups of teens – who were brought into the prison by parents, teachers, and police officers.

"This book can be a useful tool for parents, teachers and law enforcement professionals seeking to deter teens from making poor choices," Says Priscilla Steiner (Director of From The Inside Out, a non-profit organization that facilitates intervention programs for youth offenders in conjunction with the Carlsbad Police Department). In the book's foreword she writes: "The stories provide a non-threatening, non-judgmental platform for adults and kids to talk about important issues including drugs, drinking, shoplifting, bullying, gangs, sex and self-esteem."

In a chapter titled Million-Dollar Murder Conspiracy, Hawkins chronicles his descent from successful entrepreneur (at the age of 25 he owned 22 Just Sweats clothing stores in Ohio and Kentucky) to convicted felon. He was tried and convicted of conspiracy to commit murder for his role in an insurance fraud that unexpectedly resulted in his accomplices killing a man. Hawkins faced the inescapable truth that he was responsible for a homicide. For many years he searched for a way to make amends through service to others. The CROP program provided an opportunity for redemption.

“It was morally self-evident that I should use the story of my crime and all the people I hurt as a means of deterring others from breaking the law," Hawkins said. "The CROP program provided a way for me to give back. My hope is that The Dirty Nasty Truth will enable me to continue this work now that I am a free man.”

The Dirty Nasty Truth is a 247-page trade paperback book; retail price $15.95. Visit the author's website http//: to read free sample chapters.

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