About the Author

Born in Lancaster Massachusetts in 1954, Al Joyce was stealing bikes in the neighborhood by age 6 and by 10 had progressed to breaking into houses. So beings what would become a life of crime, drug & alcohol addiction, failed relationships and a string of personal disappointments.  Fast forward to his final release from The Worcester County Jail  in 2001, you have record consisting of over 73 arrests, arraignments & indictments, 7 incarcerations, 17 detox & recovery facilities, and time accumulated behind bars of close to a decade.

With his last arrest in April 2001, came his first day of sobriety, and a glimmer of hope. Through perseverance, 12 step work, a return to honest labor, and tremendous laughter, Al Joyce has managed to string that first day into over eight years clean and sober. It is this amazing journey of a life controlled by a needle and gun to a life free of drugs, alcohol, and crime and full of friends and humor that become the back drop of Al Joyce’s comedy and message of recovery. Now a professional Recovery Stand-Up Comedian and Motivational Speaker, Al Joyce, works under the name, Felon O’Reilly.

Al Joyce aka Felon O’Reilly, has toured the country performing his comedy, along with his experience, strength, and hope from the nightclubs of Boston and Los Angeles to Recovery Conventions, and back into the confines of the prison walls.  His early comedy roots began in Portland Maine on the stage of the Comedy Connection, where he once worked as a handy man and prop builder for the comedy acts coming through. He has co-authored a book with writer Sandie Webb, Laughing on the Inside, The Life and Crimes of Felon O’Reilly; a stable in treatment centers and prison libraries alike. He is currently the subject of a documentary film, Stand-Up Convict, filmed by Ben Kahn of Flying Fish films, and slated to be release in early 2010.  A second book, The Audacity of Dope, is currently in the early stages.

For Al Joyce, his true dedication and passion lie in working directly with fellow addicts and alcoholics as they struggle to get and remain clean and sober. Over the past five years, he delivered his story to countless youth groups, organizations working with troubled teens and high school classrooms. He brings his story directly into the Criminal Justice System, not only speaking at Prisons but assisting in Training Programs for Professionals working with criminals and addicts.  Mr. Joyce has been a lecturer at the US Justice and The Federal Board of Prison and Parole Conferences. The shifting of public policy in the criminal justice system from one of incarceration to one rehabilitation and recovery has become the mission of Al Joyce’s message.  It is his hope that many of misconceptions of and stigma surrounding the disease of addiction will be revisited by those with who shares his very personal, sometimes tragic, and often courageous and always humor filled story.

 

MEDIA, EVENTS, OUTREACH PUBLICATIONS & MEDIA EVENTS

Laughing on the Inside,
The Life and Crime of Felon O’Reilly
Author: Sandie Webb with Felon O’Reilly
Life of a Felon, Documentary Film
(Projected Release 2010)
Filmmaker: Ben Kahn, Flying Fish Films LINK
Lasting on the Outside
(Projected Publication 2011)
Author: Felon O’Reilly
Inspiring “ME” Public Television, Channel 13, Maine
Recovery Coast to Coast Radio Program LINK

MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKING, RECOVERY COMEDY EVENTS, PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS

Day One Treatment Centers
“2005 Making a Difference” Award Winner
Portland & Hollis, ME
Jumpstart Program Saco & Westbrook, ME

Mercy Recovery Center, “Cop Talk”

Portland, ME

Spectrum Health Systems

University of Washington Medical School

Seattle, WA

International Doctors of AA

Scarborough, ME

Oxford House Fellowship of Maine

Winthrop High School

Winthrop, ME
Deering High School Portland, ME
Clearpoint Corporation Seattle, WA

PRISON & CORRECTIONS, JUSTICE DEPARTMENT PRESENTATIONS

Maine State Prison Windham ME
Vermont State Prison Springfield, VT
New York Department of Corrections North Albany, NY
Mount Joy Prison Dublin, Ireland
Worcester County House of Corrections West Boylston, MA
Androscoggin County Jail Lewiston, ME
Maine State Drug Court Recovery Program

RECOVERY EVENTS – RECOVERY STAND-UP COMEDY

National Drug & Alcohol Addiction MOAR & Friends Recover Voices
Sober in the Sun 2007-2009 Worcester, MA
Winter Holidays, WWYPC 2009 Bellevue, WA
Portland 12 Step Conventions 2009 Portland, OR
Laughs Without Liquor 2009 Kirkland, WA
Alano Recovery Center 2004 Colchester, VT
Sober Jam 2004 New Orleans, LA

STAND-UP COMEDY SHOWS & VENUES

Boothbay Harbor Opera House Comedy Boothbay, ME
The Comedy Connection Portland, ME & Boston, MA
Largo Little Room Hollywood, CA

FELON BY THE NUMBERS

Born 1954
Place Lancaster, Massachusetts
Education Nashoba Regional High School, 1972
College Cape Cod Community College,  MA
Suffolk University, MA
University of Lowell, MA
Major BS Criminal Justice
First Crime Age 6  - Stole Neighbor’s Bike
First Burglary Age 10 – Broke into Neighbor’s House
First Drink Age 10 – Drank Beer
First Drugs Age 12 – Smoked Pot
Age 13 – Cocaine Used
First Dope Age 17 - Injected Heroine & Cocaine
First Arrest Age 17 – Fishing without a License
Total Arrests, Arraignments & Indictments 73+
Total Drug & Alcohol Rehab & Detox Programs 17
Total Incarcerations 7
Total # of Correctional Facilities 12
Total # of Years Spent in Prison 10
First 12 Step Meeting Age 17, 1972
Last Arrest Friday April 12, 2001
Last Day In Prison August 29, 2001
Years of Heroine Use (Needle) 27 Years
$ Spent On Drugs $1 Million +
Sobriety Date Age 47, April 13, 2001