Why Valjean?

Jean Valjean is a fictional character of Victor Hugo's 1862 novel Les Misérables. Hugo depicts the character's 19-year-long struggle to lead a normal life after serving a prison sentence for stealing bread to feed his sister's children during a time of economic depression and various attempts to escape from prison.

As a parolee, Valjean is issued a yellow passport for travel to a local town where he will be forced to live under severe restrictions. This yellow document identifies him to all as a former convict and immediately brands him as an outcast wherever he travels.

After betraying a Bishop's trust by stealing valuable silverware, that same Bishop tells the police that he has given the treasure to Valjean. Out of this encounter, Valjean becomes a repentant, honorable, dignified man. He is kind to all he encounters, a devoted substitute father to a girl who loses her mother, Fantine, and a benefactor to those in need. Though a known criminal and a parolee, Valjean yet grows morally to represent the best traits of humanity. Valjean occupies a place on the wrong side of the law, but the right side of human virtues and ethics.

Valjean Society was born while our founder, Michael Harris, was reading Les Misérables in the Mohave Unit of the Arizona Department of Corrections in 2014. In prison for his second time for charges stemming from Prescription Opioid Addiction, Michael decided that, like Jean Valjean, he too desired to be on the right side of human virtues and ethics.  Upon release, Michael set to rebuilding his life and being of service to those who felt that, like Valjean, they had completed their time, but been issued a "yellow passport" to life.

If you are visiting this site, you or a loved one have found themselves incarcerated or on the wrong side of the law in one way or another. It is our sincere desire at Valjean Society to encourage you on the journey to long term recovery and show you the path that we have also traveled to find ourselves on the right side of humanity.  Please become acquainted with our services by exploring our site and feel free to Contact Us at anytime!