Federal Prison Gone Bad – The Fallout

At least 20% of the people that reach out to my companies have been released from federal prison. Indeed, they are enduring the “Fallout” of not planning properly. They struggle with resiliency issues, depression, high rates of divorce, probation problems and so on.

When speaking with them, I learn most have regrets over how they served their sentence. Rather than plan, they spent their days drifting. They had no one holding them accountable. We all know the prison system could care less.

Rather than proactively planning for their release, many embraced the “to serve time one must stay disconnected from the outside world,” mantra that is so prevalent in prison.

To help you overcome the odds, I share class three in our Federal Prison Gone Bad Series. This class focuses on studying your environment and putting first things first…

When I surrendered to federal prison I studied the environment around me. I noticed some of the men were angry, others were happy, and others seem mired in a state of nothingness.  Knowing happiness does not necessarily translate to success upon release, I sought to study success. Fortunately, I had a mentor in Michael Santos who helped guide and get me on track. We are striving to be that mentor for you.

With Michael’s support, I established a proactive plan immediately. It was not a restrictive plan, as I was able to tweak the plan to maximum effectiveness as the first few months passed. If you are not adjusting your plan as you get closer to release you are failing…

Federal Prison can certainly go bad (like some of my friends who would wake each day at 2:00am to read charts and prepare to paper trade the stock market) when you do not pivot. They convinced themselves that because they could generate “paper profits” people would give them tens of millions to manage upon their release. They were wrong. They were so stubborn that pivoting was not an option. In fact, I recently filmed a video for members of our program about a prisoner with whom I served time and ran into at Coffebean. He appeared to work hard each day, but he pursued the wrong tasks. He regrets many things, including how he served the 1,492 days he was in prison. No do overs exist. We can learn from the good and the bad. This video I filmed features the bad, way bad.

What those traders, the former prisoner I ran into at Coffee Bean, and too many others in prison do is not begin with the end in mind. Like my friend David whom I described in class two, I knew that I would not be returning to the career for which I had trained. My days as a stockbroker had come to an end. I had to create something new.

How many of you who need to rebuild your career or start a new one understand the obstacles of doing so from prison? Wishing or hoping it will happen is not a solution…

The vision I had was to develop a career as a speaker, writer, publisher, and consultant on matters pertaining to ethics and the criminal justice system. 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 knew 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 my blog, and in prison I woke early to write new day.
David has taken the same approach. Once he accepted that his former career as a health care executive 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, David has put first things first for figuring what exact steps he should take during his time in prison to emerge successfully.

He writes blogs, grows his network and he has begun writing a manual that he will rely upon to make presentations before prospective clients.

Those who lead 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 was the adjustment pattern I relied upon, and it’s a pattern I highly suggest for you.
Best,
Justin

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Federal Prison Gone Bad – The Fallout
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