Check out Interview on WTOK 11 Mississippi
Check out the Interview on WSFA 12 by Tonya Terry
Check out the Interview with the Montgomery Advertiser:
I have a link to my very first Interview about my #LifeExperiences and upcoming #Book conducted by Fred Fistzgiles of Studeo22live.tv
PodCast Interview/Discuss his life & the Book
Interview with Troy University Trojan Cafe Student Spotlight
Mark Baynard: Lessons from behind bars
By Theresa Kiernan
In the course of a century, many things can happen — revolutions in music, travel, art, lifestyles and technology. In Mark Baynard’s family, over a century has been spent in jail. Baynard, 45, who is from Wilmington, Delaware, and now lives in Prattville, Alabama, spent 15 years behind bars before he enrolled in eTROY to complete his Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration in justice administration. One day, after he had been released from prison, Baynard decided to add up how many years he and his immediate family had spent incarcerated. The shocking reality of the wasted years hit him as the number grew to over 100. “Each of us faced a variety of challenges in our lives, but facing challenges was never, and will never, be the problem; everyone on this journey of life has a very high chance of facing challenges,” Baynard wrote. “The problem, then, lies in how we each respond to those challenges. The common denominator within my family, the common response to life’s challenges, was making poor decisions … Regardless of what our intentions might have been, however, our individual actions eventually led us to a common place, and that common place was prison.”
These words are from Baynard’s book, “100 Years: A Journey to End a Vicious Cycle,” which was self-published Feb. 11, 2015, under Baynard’s imprint: In Pursuit of Freedom Publishing (the book is available on Amazon.com and his website). This book tells the story of Baynard’s journey from the bonds of prison into a life filled with love, education, and a desire to make a positive difference. “I’m not saying I have the answers, but I want to show how I did it,” Baynard says of his book. “I want to show that despite the obstacles, you can still make it in society, to show that the streets are not an automatic alternative in the black community. Selling drugs should not be an alternative.” In 2004, Baynard, who is black, was released from prison a second time after spending a total of 15 years behind bars for drug-related offenses. That day he decided he never wanted to go back. “Inside prison, I hated being there. I wanted my freedom. I wanted control over my life. And I wanted it for myself.” Baynard then moved to Alabama to work for his dad. In 2005 he married his wife, Malinda, from Prattville, and they have an 8-year-old daughter, Mariah.
Initially, Baynard was not interested in continuing his education, but after being turned down for job opportunities due to his lack of higher education, he went to college. In 2012 he received his associate degree online through Ashford University in early childhood education. In February 2014 he received his bachelor’s degree from Faulkner University in criminal justice. And in March 2016 he plans to attain his master’s degree from Troy University. “He is so excited about TROY,” says his wife, Malinda, 46. “He even got a personalized Troy University license plate. He loves Troy University. He’s come a long way. He is on a great path.” Baynard talked about writing a book, but he did not tell anyone he was actually writing it until he finished it. “He always told me he would write a book about his life, and I believed him because I saw him writing all the time,” his wife said. “And he did. And now it’s published.” Mark Baynard’s goals go beyond writing a book, though. He said Alabama’s re-incarceration rate is 80 percent to 90 percent. He hopes to change that number. With his education and the experience he has gained from his current position working with troubled teenagers in the Alabama Department of Youth Services, he plans to set up programs to help teenagers and adults adjust back to normal life. He wants to have three programs — two for teenagers divided into violent and nonviolent offenders, and one for adults.
Baynard hopes to make a positive impact. He explains that his previous actions may have led others into lifestyles similar to the one he chose. He hopes that his new lifestyle can also encourage others — in another direction. His mother, Helen Baynard, 62, of New Castle, Delaware, said that because Mark now spends his day off work volunteering at his daughter’s school, his brother Tony has begun to volunteer at his own daughter’s school as well. She said she is impressed by how far her son has come after being in prison. “Now he has a good job, has written a book, and has his (college) degrees! I’m so proud of him.”
The Honor Roll, Faulkner University’s Academic NewsLetter Vol. 2 No.12
Friday March 20, 2015
Mark Baynard graduated from Faulkner University with a Bachelor of Criminal Justice in 2014, and he is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Administration at Troy University. He is married with two children. Mark is also the author of 100 Years, A Journey to End a Vicious Cycle. The book chronicles part of his life, and the changes that he determined to bring within, not only his life, but the history of his family. Mark made wrong choices, which involved alcohol and drugs, and it cost him years of his life, having served two separate prison terms. After release from the second term, Mark says that one day as he left the office of his parole officer, he began to write down all of the names of family members who had been imprisoned, along with the years spent there, and the totals quickly reached 100 years. (pg. 11). This was one of the deciding factors for him to turn his life around and break the vicious cycle that seemed to exist within his family. His plans for the future include working with troubled teens, as well as adults who are in the process of being released from prison. The book is available from Amazon in paperback, or Kindle ebook editions or it can be ordered from his website www.journey100years.com.
Asked to Speak at Book Signing