While visiting with my closest friend, Brad Fullmer,  in federal prison I would remind him how much I admired his work ethic as a professional baseball player. Indeed, as I wrote in Lessons From Prison, Brad pursued excellence on a daily basis.


“I also had some breaks,” he would tell me. “I was drafted by a team that got players to the big leagues pretty quickly, and for the beginning of my career at least, I stayed injury free. Yes, I worked hard, but I had some breaks, as most guys who make it in the big leagues do.”

You might be wondering why this is relevant to you…I will explain.

In my book, I wrote that I pursued an adjustment plan in prison that would make people I admired proud of me (or I hoped it would make them proud of me). I did not judge myself to other prisoners. I did not compare my routine to them. If I did, as much as I hate to admit it, I would not have achieved much.

I did work very hard, but I also had some breaks, as Brad alluded to. I also made some stupid decisions upon my surrender. I engaged in the hustle too quickly and I was too quick to talk to people who loved to gossip and spread falsehoods. Without some breaks, my experience could have been measurably different.

Those who read this might or might not get the breaks. For that reason, I put up videos, blogs and share lesson plans to prepare you. The reality is the wrong friendship or saying the wrong thing in federal prison, yes even a federal prison camp, can derail your progress. Understanding your tendencies as a human being is essential to getting off on the right foot. And getting off on the right foot (too cliché?) will help you prepare to ascend the metaphorical U I wrote about in Lessons From Prison.

Thriving through federal prison requires understanding your environment, and the people you will share space with. To that end, I filmed a short video with my colleague, Geoff Mousseau, which I post below. I hope it helps you better prepare for your journey.



P.S. Earlier this morning a client asked me why I call the guards “guards” instead of “correctional officers”. It is not meant to be disrespectful. I am sure there are some guards who correct. In my time in prison, however, I did not see any “correcting”, only “guarding”.