NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — His voice is unmistakable, but nearly nine years after he resigned in disgrace Jim McGreevey is almost unrecognizable.
“Most of the people that I work with don’t know that I was in government,” McGreevey said in an interview with 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.
New Jersey’s former governor has left the limelight of politics far behind since resigning from office in November 2004 after announcing “I am a gay American” and admitting to having an extramarital affair with a man.
“I’m done with politics, so done,” McGreevey said.
He has since embraced a much simpler life and says he is now at peace.
“I’m right where I’m supposed to be,” McGreevey said. “Politics was a drive to be accepted, to be recognized. I think addictions come in many different shapes.”
McGreevey now draws from his own experience to counsel drug addicts and prisoners on the promise and possibility of a second chance.
“I understand falling and I understand recovery,” McGreevey said. “When you put your hands and your life and your will and you turn that over to faith, that’s the best prospect for living a healthy and godly life.”
Though the former governor avoids the spotlight, he will be cast back into the public eye in a new HBO documentary “Fall to Grace,” which focuses on the failure of the country’s prison system to rehabilitate and prevent recidivism.
McGreevey advocates for rehabilitation over incarceration and says the current prison system is broken.
“Guys lift weights, the women play dominoes, I mean this is insane. If you want to change behavior it’s about productivity, sense of purpose,” McGreevey said. “Do I want to change policy? Yeah, I would like to.”
“We’ve got a 66 percent failure rate and incarcerate more people than any other country in the world,” he added.
The documentary airs next Thursday.
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