Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Forty-One Days Until My Release From Taft Federal Prison Camp
The statistics say it all. Senator Webb recently released a congressional report calling for massive prison reforms. Among other complaints, Senator Webb said the recidivism rates were unacceptable,. He describes our prison system, as a national disgrace, with two out of every three people who leave prison returning to confinement within three years. That’s horrid.
Although the numbers should cause anyone to pause, they do not frighten me. I have adjusted to confinement in the manner of all successful prisoners. That means I established a proactive plan soon after I arrived. It was not a restrictive plan, as I was able to tweak the plan to maximum effectiveness as the first few months passed.
One of the essential steps was beginning with the end in mind. Like my friend Steve whom I described in yesterday’s blog entry, I too knew that I would not be returning to the career for which I had trained. My days as a stockbroker or financial services professional had come to an end. I had to create something new. The vision I had was to develop a career as a speaker, writer, publisher, and consultant on matters pertaining to thriving through adversity It’s a subject I’ve come to know a lot about.
With that end in mind, I could advance to the next phase of any successful prison adjustment. That was to put first things first. I needed to create content that would help me advise clients on how best to master confinement. The first step necessary was to convince my dear mother to help me. With her on board, we were able to launch the blog, and I’ve been waking early to write new content each day since.
Steve took the same approach. Once he accepted that a career as a health care administrators was beyond his reach, he adjusted. With the end in mind of launching a new career as a consultant to help others navigate their way through complicated bureaucratic processes, Steve put first things first for figuring what exact steps he could take during his time in prison to emerge successfully. He began writing a manual that he would rely upon to make presentations before prospective clients.
Those who lend proactive adjustments, begin with the end in mind and put first things first, succeed in prison because they have a definite purpose. They know what they must achieve and they can set benchmarks to establish their progress. That has been the adjustment pattern I relied upon, and I’ve noticed that other successful prisoners do the same.