Brian Harrod/ Class 1: Values

by Brian Harrod

16. Who are you?

I am a passionate person who felled in love with the wrong things growing up. Like the hustler and the tough guys around the neighborhood.

17. Describe your background with regard to your education, vocation or career, troubles with the law.

Again my pass is like so many others who allow the streets to trap them off. Yet i wasn’t looked upon as a bad kid. I went to school every day and graduated.

18. What are you going through now?

Now i’m working on me while dealing with being away from family and love ones.

Describe your vision of the best person you can become during the following time frames:

19. Time remaining to serve.

Continue to read many leadership books as well as history so i will be ready to lead teach and answer the questions of the people i will get the chance to speak with and be around.

20. One month after release.

Reconnecting with family and friends and most important networking with positive people who i met that can help me achieve my goals.

21. One year after release.

I’m planning on being employed still living with my brother and having at least 15 thousand saved up.

22. Five years after release.

I plan on having my own place by than. Maybe a condo a small car and a motorcycle also by then i will find a way to be a asset to the community i grew up in.

23. How do those in society perceive people in prison?

They think we are the worst of the worst they don’t think nothing good could survive in prison. They think we are societies rejects.

24. Describe how television programs and movies depict prisoners:

Like we’re all a bunch of vantage takers and con artist. With nothing on our minds but getting over on the next man.

25. Compare and contrast your prison adjustment with the prison stereotype.

My adjustment went well i had alot of older guys who wanted to see me grow mentally and not keep the same mind set that lead me to prison.

Yes the prison stereotype do exist in prison but its a small percentage. If i had to guess i would say 5 out of 40 people come to prison given no thoght to changing there way of thinking.

26. In what ways is your adjustment similar?

We both have a mind set or goal we want to achieve but only one of ours is positive and constructive.

27. In what ways is your adjustment different?

FROM DAY ONE I KNEW I DID’NT WANT TO SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE IN PRISON. So the first thing i done was observed the different personalities then tried my best to only be friend those who wasn’t in the mix of chaos.

Describe what opportunities for personal growth and development exist in the different prison security levels:

28. High security.

The only program in the high security prison i loved was j code. Thats a year long intense in house program design to open our third eye to life and other people. Even though i was already in touch with my new found relationship to GOD. And his creation like earning freedom by Michael Santos and the Straight A guide made me want to do more.

29. Medium security.

I’ve been in medium security prison now for 2 years and all i see they have to offer is different trades that work with our hands. And yes i love they offer that but they dont have a program to ask the question why we must change our way of thinking and start over.

30. Low security.

I haven’t been to a low.

31. Minimum security.

I haven’t been to a minimum.

32. Prior to release, what do prisoners generally say about their prospects for returning?

About 99% say they not coming back. The other 1% say they know they might be back.

33. In what ways, if any, do those who never return to prison serve their sentences differently from those who do return to prison?

There is three main reasons. One they never made their selves at home. It w2as nothing about prison they thought was fun and they always thought about what they had giving up on the streets. Second what i hear them say alot  is they are tired. So they begin to change their thinking then actions. Third i see them educating their selves in the areas the want to work in upon release.

34. What steps can a prisoner take to improve chances of success upon release?

Ask him self what landed him here and if this where he want to spend the rest of his life. If the answer is no he should find something he could do or is good at and perfect it now so when he go home he can earn a living doing it.

Sentence length is not a factor that is controlled from within prison, but adjustment inside prison may influence success upon release. For a better understanding of prison expectations, describe your thoughts on:

35. What length of time would you consider long-term imprisonment?

36. What expectations do those in society have for long-term prisoners?

37. What expectations do you suppose long-term prisoners have for themselves?

38. What do prison administrators and staff members expect of long-term prisoners?

39. How would you define a “model inmate”?

40. How does Michael’s prison journey support or refute prison stereotypes?

41. What role did the prison infrastructure play in influencing Michael’s journey through prison?

42. What vision governed Michael’s decisions as a prisoner?

The Straight-A Guide includes seven attributes that he describes explicitly in the books Triumph!  And Success! What do the following attributes mean to you?

43. Attitude: What level of commitment do you make to preparing for success upon release?

44. Aspiration: Where do you see yourself at various checkpoints in the future?

45. What distinguishes an aspiration from a fantasy?

46. Action: What steps are you taking toward aspiration?

47. Accountability: How are you measuring progress?

48. Awareness: How knowledgeable are you about the atmospherics around you?

49. In what ways do you reach beyond the boundaries that currently confine you?

50. What do you know about the challenges that will confront you upon release?

51. Achievement: When do you celebrate success?

52. Appreciation: What role do others have in your success?

53. Where did those choices lead?

The biggest choice I made in my life was made when I was in the 2nd grade.  My cousin asked me if I wanted to be cool and because I wanted to be like him and I saw him as a cool individual, I said yes.  Once I gave him my response, he said “don’t eat school lunch”, so I asked him “what if I’m hungry?”, he said “go to the corner store or go home and eat”.  So I said “what if I can’t leave school and I don’t have any money?”.  Instead of him answering that question, he just asked once more, did I want to be cool.  Again I said “yes”, then he said “don’t eat school lunch”.  Thinking I would sound cool, I said “can I take someone else’s lunch?”, he said “yes” and I never looked back.

54. What did you value then?

Respect from others and my cousins approval, back then all the way up until I caught this last charge.  I was living the life of a hustler that’s been shown in the movies.

55. How would you guide your children if they were making choices in the same way?

First of all, I would give them a different standard of what’s cool.  Because all children want to be who they look up to so I would show them a man who is caring.  Who considers others and want for them what he wants for himself.  I will also display at all times that I am my brothers keepers.  Even with complete strangers.

56. What would you do differently if you could?

Thought I went through school and graduated, I never took it seriously. It was only a fashion show and a place I use to make myself seen and know beyond the boundaries of my neighborhood.  If I could do it over, I would sit down and learn from the teacher.  I would try to get the knowledge I know now, then.  Because everything I know now that is meaningful, I learned in prison. 

57. Describe the differences in your life today from the first days of your confinement.

Today I’ already set on what I want.  And I have the knowledge to go about it and the wisdom to apply all the correct steps necessary to achieve my goals.  When I first came to prison, I knew only that I wanted to go home and I knew that I didn’t want to do anything that would ruin my time up.  I didn’t understand that I had to begin a process that will open my eyes and cause me to change from the inside out.  I didn’t know I had to study and show myself approve so I could become a solution to the problem upon my return to the streets.  I didn’t know if I didn’t change my way of thinking, I would return back to the streets the same person who left, both mentally and

58.  How have your activities from last week led to your activities for this week?

59. Identify the values by which you live.

60. To what extent do your daily activities harmonize with the values by which you live?

61. How do your professed values relate to your perceived role in society?

62. Where does your allegiance lie?

63. Are values situational or absolute?

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