Amanda DuBois, Author

I write to shed light on the profound realities people face. In over thirty years of practicing law, I’ve experienced firsthand the injustices in our system. I don’t embark on research before beginning a story. My stories come from actual legal situations that my clients or friends have faced. I write about the realities of the system—my courtroom scenes are vivid because I have spent countless hours in those cold and unfriendly spaces. My hospital scenes come directly from my experience as a registered nurse. And the rest of my stories are based on being a lifelong listener. All my stories are based on something about which I have deep personal knowledge. 

It’s safe to say that while my books are character-driven and take the reader on a ride with the expected twists and turns of a fun page-turner, my real hope is that my readers close the book and reflect on what they’ve learned. The stories flow to me easily because both my protagonist and I are lawyers, moms, and social justice warriors. And Camille shares my heartfelt frustration about grave injustices faced by her clients as she navigates the vicissitudes of the case she’s challenged to solve. 

I’m very well aware that that my own privilege allows me to be a successful lawyer, a non-profit founder, and now an author. And so, I’m compelled to craft stories about how much privilege plays a part in our society With the amount of power I carry, it’s important to me that my books contribute to a broader discourse on justice, empathy, and the transformative power inherent in storytelling. 

Amanda DuBois, Activist

About ten years ago, I wrote a short series of books about basic legal survival skills- how to rent an apartment, how to be a good employee, what to do if you get in a car accident- stuff like that. I ended up teaching it to a group of people who’d been in prison. The class was going right along, when one guy raised his hand, and very politely said something like this: “Thanks so much for helping us learn about all of this, it’s super interesting and helpful. But the problem is that we’re all felons, and we can’t rent an apartment, and we can’t get a job…” And at that very moment, they started teaching me. I’m a privileged white woman who had no idea about the lives of people who’d been in prison.  What was most notable to me was that all the inequities they taught me about (often through tears), were issues that had been created by well-intentioned legislation, that had horrific consequences for my new friends.  Well, I thought- I’m a lawyer- I can help with this. 

That’s when I created the Civil Survival Project, which ultimately became a nonprofit. CSP teaches advocacy skills to formerly incarcerated people who gather in Gamechanger groups and Workshops to learn how to work side by side with legislators and policy makers. And it works! That small but mighty team has changed countless laws here in Washington State. And now they’ve added free legal services to help with reentry issues. Civil Survival has changed the lives of tens of thousands of people across the state, and even beyond. My part in creating that organization got me thinking about the ripple effect we can each make in the world. So, I started a newsletter named after my family’s vacation place in Michigan- Ripple Haven. Now that name has a new meaning for me. I want to create a haven (safe space), for us to explore our own ripple effects by highlighting amazing women who are having an impact. Hence, Ripple Haven. 

Becoming immersed in the whole world of prison took me by complete surprise. It was about as far from family law as I could imagine- and at first, I felt like an accidental activist. But getting proximate compelled me to begin my own ripple effect. My formerly incarcerated friends taught me about the importance of getting a college education in prison- and so I joined the board of Freedom Education Project Puget Sound. They taught me about the realities of being unhoused and addicted which causes public safety challenges- and so I joined the board and now serve as vice president of the board of PDA. And to my great surprise, it earned me the Sally Savage APEX Award for Leadership in Philanthropy from the Washington State Bar Association and Foundation.  Most recently, I realized that we need lawyers who really understand the challenges of our system, and so I created the Full  Circle Scholarship at my alma mater, Seattle University School of Law – it provides tuition support for law students who have been impacted by the criminal legal system.

The Ripple Haven

Some of us have a special place from childhood that left a mark on our lives.

Mine was Ripple Haven, an old wood-frame lodge standing tall on the shore of Spring Lake in Western Michigan, where I spent my summers. One of my favorite memories of Ripple Haven was sitting on the porch, daydreaming of the future, and chatting with my mom, sister-in-law, and other female role models. You can see my mom in this picture on the day my parents bought this somewhat dilapidated edifice to serve as our extended-family vacation spot. I can only imagine what was going through her mind at that moment. I’m sure she’d be surprised to realize how much of a foundation Ripple Haven created in the lives of so many of our family members. That place had magical power.

Many decades later, I find myself sitting on my porch in Baja thinking about some of the amazing powerful women I’ve crossed paths with since those idyllic summers— and I want to share their stories with all of you. These women are creating ripple effects in our communities, industries, and the world at large.

The name Ripple Haven has taken on an additional meaning for me —haven is a safe space, and I hope to create a safe space for us to consider, and explore our ripple effects. And so, I named my newsletter and accompanying video, The Ripple Haven.

This is my first newsletter, so it’ll be a work in progress. I hope you’ll sign up and be as inspired as I am by the game changing women, I’ll be introducing you to!

Camille Delaney Mystery Series


Civil Survival logoSeveral years back, I found myself teaching basic legal survival skills to a group of men who’d just come home from prison- and I ended up learning more from them than I could have ever imagined. This was going to be very straightforward; how to sign a lease, how to rent an apartment, that sort of thing. My world was rocked when one of the students raised their hand and said, “Yes, but the only problem is we can’t get a job or housing because we’re all felons.”

And then they started teaching me. I quickly learned about the enormous number of barriers faced by people who have served their time in prison and are trying to get their lives back on track. As I listened to story after story of unimaginable struggle just to get a job or housing, it occurred to me that all these problems could be solved by changing laws and policies. So, I created workshops to teach formerly incarcerated people how to advocate for themselves at the state and local levels.

Over the past several years, Civil Survival has trained over five hundred individuals. Members of the Civil Survival community have spoken in our state legislature in, at City and County Council meetings, as well as State Supreme Court symposia. Civil Survival has partnered with over forty affiliated organizations that work to level the playing field for formerly incarcerated individuals. Civil Survival has now added legal services to its mission as well as policy analysis. The legal team has handled over a thousand cases for individuals struggling with post-prison legal issues. And the policy team is second to none when it comes to changing laws that negatively impact re-entering citizens. 

I now count as friends some of the most amazing individuals who have re-created themselves after prison. Some have graduated from law school or received advanced degrees, some are professors, some hold other life-changing jobs, and some are students. All are passionate activists dedicated to helping those still in prison, and those who are working to re-enter the community. I could not be prouder of these colleagues. In fact, they inspired me to write my third book, Unshackled which finds Camille representing moms in prison to help them reunite with their children.  

For more information, visit: Civil Survival – Equity. Community. Lived Experience. Humanity.

Civil Survival logo

Purpose, Dignity, Action logoOnce I learned that there are evidence-based solutions to some of our communities’ thorniest problems- homelessness and public safety, I joined the board of PDA – Purpose, Dignity, Action in Seattle. I’m now the proud vice president of this board supporting the organization that strives to build robust support for non-punitive, community-based solutions to many public safety issues. The principles behind the work of PDA have been around for decades, but widespread acceptance requires trust-building, which is key to PDA’s work. 

PDA’s LEAD program (Law Enforcement Diversion Program) works to create sustainable alternatives to punitive systems for individuals who engage in illegal activity related to behavioral health needs or poverty. The CoLEAD program offers temporary lodging and intensive case management to address the root cause of a majority of illegal activity amongst its audience: unmet behavioral health needs and/or income instability. JustCare works to find housing for hard-to-house individuals. And it all comes together in The Third Avenue Project in downtown Seattle where business, human services and law enforcement leaders coalesced around the concept of a community-based de-escalation and safety team (We Deliver Care/WDC) that would both provide a “milieu management” presence, and would make referrals to specialty teams geared to substance use, mental health and homelessness response. 

I don’t pretend to understand all the ins and outs of this multipronged organization, but I’m proud to support their work, and am constantly impressed by the successes they are creating in Seattle and across the country. 

For more information, visit: Purpose. Dignity. Action. (PDA) (

When I learned of the work of Freedom Education Project Puget Sound, I knew this was an organization I wanted to support. So, many years back, I joined their board. FEPPS was created and grown by the advocacy of incarcerated individuals at the Washington Corrections Center for Women. In 2011, members of WCCW’s Women’s Village began inviting professors to the prison to build a liberal arts education program, and the rest is history. Every year, FEPPS graduates students inside the women’s prison in Washington State. Many continue their education upon release. 

FEPPS mission is to envision a world in which people in prison can realize their academic potential through access to meaningful, sustained, high-quality educational opportunities; where a culture of punishment is replaced by a culture of human dignity.

In early 2024, FEPPS announced their new executive director. Alyssa Knight is one of the first FEPPS students to attend college behind bars. And now, she’s leading the organization! I can’t wait to support her in her new role and can’t wait to see where she takes this small but mighty organization next! 

For more information, visit: Freedom Education Project Puget Sound (

Seattle U School of Law logoRemember that old Bible story about it being better to teach someone to fish than to just hand out fish? That’s kind of how I see my Full Circle Scholarship. Once I got to know so many amazing leaders in the formerly incarcerated community, it struck me that they could make a huge difference by becoming lawyers, rather than us just providing them with legal services. But that’s an expensive and rigorous challenge. And so, I created and am funding a scholarship at my alma mater, Seattle University School of Law. My scholarship provides tuition assistance to students whose lives have been impacted by the criminal legal system. Some of my books proceeds go to this scholarship, which makes me very proud and also excited to continue to raise money for these deserving law students. 

For more information, visit: New scholarship helps formerly incarcerated students come full circle (