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True North Man

Jul 2, 2021

As a formerly incarcerated felon, Jay Dan Gumm understands all too well the ways his background was against him. That’s a big part of why he named his top-rated podcast, now streaming in prisons and jails across America, “Background Check,” and it’s why he became founder and CEO of Forgiven Felons, too. 

A nonprofit organization that Jay runs with his wife, Forgiven Felons equips men with housing and the life skills needed to turn over a new page in life: “I just wanted to have a landing place for men to get out of prison and successfully reenter society,” he says. 

For a lot of men, and incarcerated people in general, where they first go after leaving jail or prison isn’t often a space that sets them up for success. That’s part of the reason rates of recidivism are so high. Nationally, combining numbers from federal and state prisons, the recidivism rate is almost 80%. It’s something Jay has seen happen to people he’s close to, and it’s a pattern he wants to help change.

In this episode of True North Man, Paul and Jay talk about what led Jay to “willfully walk away” from God and his faith earlier in life and ultimately landed him behind bars, and how he’s using his experience to help others today.


What You’ll Learn

  • How Jay learned to embrace the word “felon” without letting it define him (and why he says God wanted him to)
  • How a stint in solitary confinement opened his heart to the Holy Spirit
  • Why so many people wind up re-incarcerated, and how he hopes to change that
  • And much more!


Favorite Quote: 

“We want to help more people get out of prison and successfully reenter society so they don't go back. Because that's a huge problem. It's called recidivism. And the church has a recidivism problem, too. Recidivism is just a relapse into old patterns. It's all behavior, and even in the church, there's a tendency and a temptation to go back to your old ways and your old patterns. And so we exist to help guys not recidivate.”

— Jay Dan Gumm


Connect With Jay: 






How To Get Involved:

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