Jay Dan Gumm named his top-rated podcast “Background Check” for a reason. As a recovered alcoholic and formerly incarcerated felon, he understands all too well the ways his background was against him.

“When I got out, everything was a background check,” Jay says. “That word is so negative. I want to turn it into something positive. I want not to be afraid to say, ‘You know what, check my background.’”

When you’ve experienced as much growth in life as Jay has, you can’t be stopped by your past. Instead, you use it as a source of empathy and a tool for helping others. That’s what he does today as founder and CEO of Forgiven Felons, a non-profit supporting the formerly incarcerated that was born during Jay’s own time in prison. 

Jay’s addiction ultimately led him to receive five DWIs and a 10-year sentence. During that time, he landed in solitary confinement after a fight for eight days — and, free of distractions felt God’s presence for the first time in years. That was when his fortune, and his outlook on life, started to turn.

In this episode of Life After Addiction And Indictment, Steve and Jay talk about the power of using a troubled past to help others, opening your heart back up to God, and ending stigma for other felons.


What You’ll Learn:

  • How addiction led Jay to work for an escort service, lose the use of his back (and almost lose his life) in an accident, and ultimately land in prison
  • Why creating safe, quality housing for formerly incarcerated people is so crucial, and how Forgiven Felons is helping do that
  • How finding God helped him change his relationship to the word “felon”
  • And much more!


Favorite Quote:

“I don’t want my background to hold me back. I want it to pay me back. And basically what I mean by that is by leveraging your bad past, you can help people in the future… you should be able to use what you’ve been through to help others.”

— Jay Dan Gumm


Connect with Jay Dan Gumm: 






How To Get Involved:

Find Steve on Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, or on the Life After Addiction and Indictment Facebook Group.

Website: http://lifeafteraddictionandindictment.com

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