Thomas Ross / Class 2: Goals

by Thomas-Ross

64. What values might lead a person to success upon release from prison?

Success upon release from prison begins with one having his priorities lined up. the person must realize that having goals and the will to accomplish the goals becomes priority. one must realize that he cant fall into bad habits or interact with people that can patiently put him back in trouble with the law. he must want to succeed, but also realize not to do too much to soon and lose confidence if goals are not being accomplished right away. he has to stay focused and on course. he must also have a great attitude.

65.  How does a person ever become his values?

He must live his life according to his values. he must be accountable for his actions everyday. he has to take on life day by day by living values out and staying honest with himself.

66. How does a person strengthen his integrity?

An individual strengthens his integrity by holding on to what he believes. staying grounded to what is right in his heart. if he lets God in the center of his life, God will lead him in the direction of righteousness within, then he is capable of dealing with all challenges.

67.  What immediate challenges will a prisoner confront the day his prison term expires?:

When a prisoner is released  fitting back into society will not be easy. he must realize that he will be faced with all types of challenges. he must have goals and priorities in place so he can provide for himself and his family. he also must leave the past in the past and think about his future. he must be a man and make no excuses. his family will depend on him.

How much savings will a prisoner need to accumulate in order to secure the following items:

68.   Housing:

If a prisoner wants to rent a home it would coast approximately $6,000.00. I use this number based on a average three to four bedroom unit. This dollar amount could be increased tremendously based on where a prisoner decides to call home. That amount stands for first and last months rent plus a security deposit. Then you must pay to have the utilities turned on, including electricity, gas, water, and telephone service my require a deposit as well.

69.  Household furnishings:

Based on a average desire to live this total can range between $10,000.00 -$ 15,000.00. A person would need numerous items to furnish a home such as furniture for the living room and bedrooms. You will also need to have a dining room set, dishes, pots and pans, silverware etc. Not to mention TV’s for the home. In some rentals you may even need to provide the refrigerator.

70.  Clothing:

Depending on how long a prisoner has been incarcerated that person may need to invest in an entire wardrobe. personally I will need everything, my body has changed in so many ways that anything I may have left will not fit. I will need work clothes, church clothes, business attire, as well as underclothes and shoes. In my opinion a person may need up to $5,000.00 to start off with and I believe this amount would cover the bare minimum.

71.  Transportation:

Transportation is very costly. An average truck will cost around $30,000.00. If I were to put down approximately $10,00.00 my monthly car note would be about $322.00 for 72 months. It’s not just the actual vehicle that costs, a person must have insurance without that you are subject to have your car impounded which will also cost several thousands of dollars in fines and possibly loose your license. Maintenance is also a must and the gasoline is at an average of $3.79 per gallon.

72.  Incidentals:

Incidentals can vary based on a persons needs. I would say a average person would need approximately $1500.00 per month. This cost would cover everything from toothpaste to food.

73.  How much in the way of financial resources should a prisoner expect to need in the way of financial resources to transition to society?

Based on what I have averaged in the previous questions I would say a person would need about $40,000.00 -$50,000.00 to transition into society. My fear is if a prisoner comes home to nothing or just the bare minimum he or she may turn back to what brought them there to begin with. So I feel it is very important that prisoners have the financial backing upon returning.

74.  How will prospective landlords, employers, creditors, and others in society respond to an individual who discloses his criminal record(s) and history of imprisonment?

I expect a negative response from landlords, employers, creditors, and others in society. I realize that I am a convicted felon and society has a bias towards ex-cons. There will probably be no trust and maybe some fear, but I will do my best for myself and my family to overcome these prejudices I will be facing.This is the purpose of me working hard to better myself by continuing my education and trying to live a Godly life to make the transition easier

Describe the job market in the sectors for which you would like to find employment:

The job market that I am interested in is very slow because of the housing conditions. I believe that when I get out of prison in 3 1/2 to 5 years the economy will probably be in a better position. I am sure that all the houses, apartments, and businesses that will need paint will be very high at that point. I plan on owning my own paint service company and I expect many opportunities to open up. I will be prepared.

75.  What range of income does the market offer?

76.  What level of education or experience do candidates for such employment typically have?

77.  In what ways will a prison record influence possibilities for employment?

The fact that I am ex-military and I’ve worked my entire life before being incarcerated I have a very good idea of what it takes to maintain good employment. This experience has taught me to take advantage of opportunities and continue to strive to be successful. I am a leader and very motivated to have another opportunity at a new career. I want to do my best to take care of my family.

78.  Where is the general employment rate in your community?

79.  How would you expect the general employment rate to compare with the unemployment rate for people with your background, considering prison record, educational record, and experience?

I want my paint company to have very skilled people that are hard workers. I want them to have good communication skills and be willing to want to advance within the company structure. If the economy is strong, there will be a demand for skilled painters.

80.  How much time do you anticipate needing between your release date and securing the job you expect to land?

81.  If halfway house placement requires forfeiture of 25 percent of gross earnings, of your monthly take-home pay, how much do you anticipate you will keep during the time you’re in the halfway house?

I plan to be working throughout my time in the halfway house. I will begetting all my resources together so that I am not wasting time when myhalfway time is over. So I am very motivated about my opportunities andI do not want any setbacks. I am not waiting for things to just happento me. I will open up doors for myself.

82.  What do statistics show that average households in America earn each year?

83.  How do you anticipate your income will compare with that average one year after your release from prison?

Hopefully when I’m released the economy will be doing much better. I plan on working very hard and taking care of my family and providing employment opportunities for others. I also plan on expanding my business. One year after I pray that I am successful and that all of my goals are accomplished and my income should be above average for my line of work.

84.  What emotions do we introduce when we obsess on issues beyond our ability to influence?

The objective is to not stress or worry about things that we have no control over. When we start to stress or obsess over things, our emotions get involved and we lose focus and that can turn out to work against us. Once our emotions get involved, outside forces take over– things out of our control.

85.  How can we overcome the despair that accompanies imprisonment?

You must have God in the center of your life to give you strength to overcome despair that en companies imprisonment. We have to realize that you cannot do it alone and you will face obstacles. The goal is to stay in pursuit of accomplishing your goals. You are in charge of your own destiny with God being in the center of your life, He will give you direction if you believe in yourself.

Michael wrote about the numerous ways that his behavior could lead to the extension of his prison term or the aggravation of his prison conditions. No one wants to serve longer prison terms or serve sentences under harsher conditions.

86.  What types of behavior lead to such outcomes?

A prisoner can make any infinite number of decisions that can lead to a longer prison term or the serving of his sentence under more harsh conditions. Every day, while he shares small spaces with hundreds or thousands of people who may be disturbed because of the many ramifications associated with imprisonment, he exposes himself to volatility. That volatility can erupt in violence at any time. He may be put in a situation where he feels threatens and the threat can lead him to act irrationally. He may want to ease some of the pains of imprisonment by eating an extra slice of bread and that can lead to a disciplinary infraction and time in the hole or transfer to higher security. He may engage in a contraband hustle that results in additional criminal charges and a longer prison term. Any number of scenarios can exacerbate a prison sentence.

87.  How do harsher prison conditions influence an individual’s ability to prepare for success upon release?

The harsher prison conditions put me in a position to want to do better for myself because I did not want the prison environment to influence me. I wanted better for myself so my goal was to stay out of trouble and prepare myself for growth. I realize that my family was doing this time with me and I had to make decisions that was for the best of my family. I also realize that I had to be a man and not make excuses.

88. How does behavior that leads to harsher prison conditions influence the lives of those in our support network?

Those in our support groups have a vested interest in our safety, our fulfillment, our happiness. If we were to behave in ways that led to our being transferred to harsher conditions, we influence their lives in significant ways. First of all, they worry for our safety. The harsher conditions may result in our not being able to communicate with loved ones as regularly. That causes new anxieties and worries when they love us. Another way that we influence the lives of those in our support network if we behave in ways that lead to harsher prison conditions is that we can cause them to question whether we’re worthy of their support. A stigma can come to those who support people in prison. Although we struggle with the day-to-day realities and indignities of imprisonment, they struggle with it from afar. To the extent that they have to share or describe their relationship with people in prison, we make it harder on them when we do not behave responsibly.

89. Although the prison system offered ways to lengthen a prison term or aggravate the conditions under which a prisoner served his sentence, what objective mechanisms exist within the system for a prisoner to distinguish himself in a positive way?

The federal prison system does not offer such mechanisms. At least I have not ascertained any mechanisms through which a prisoner can work to distinguish himself in a positive way. He can avoid disciplinary infractions, but that is an act of discipline rather than an accomplishment. He can participate in a variety of programs, although completion of programs does not entitle a prisoner to any professed values include the following categories: 1) discipline; 2) industriousness; 3). fitness 4) godliness; 5) integrity; 6) marriage; and 7) network. All of my goals work in harmony to further such professed values. It is those values that allow me to set the activities that guide me through each day.y type of positive distinction; he will still eat the same food, wear the same clothes, and be vulnerable to placement in the SHU if he steps out of bounds. There isn’t any formal, positive distinction within the federal prison system. Despite such a barren infrastructure that the federal prison system presents, a man can distinguish himself in a positive way if he focuses on personal growth and development. Prison administrators may not recognize the growth, but those in society will. The more accomplishments an individual makes, the better he increases his chances for success upon release.

90.  How then does the system encourage individuals to work toward reconciling with society, prepare for law-abiding lives upon release, or earn freedom?

The system of prison that I have known for the past twelve years does not encourage individuals to work toward reconciling with society, prepare for law-abiding lives, or earning freedom. On the contrary, it obstructs those who prepare for law- abiding lives upon release. It blocks individuals from nurturing close family and community ties; it interferes with individuals who strive to prepare for the numerous challenges awaiting them. Nevertheless, it is the prisoner’s responsibility to anticipate the challenges and obstructions wrought by imprisonment, prepare, and overcome.

91.  Describe the goals you have set?

I would like to finish my ministry college degree program, continue to log my daily activities so that I stay on point with my goals, continue to exercise and stay fit and healthy, continue to grow stronger with my wife and kids, continue to learn on about what the bible teaches me, work on my business plan, and continue my education.

92. Describe how your goals relate to your professed values?

My professed values include the following categories: 1) discipline; 2) industriousness; 3). fitness 4) godliness; 5) integrity; 6) marriage; and 7) network. All of my goals work in harmony to further such professed values. It is those values that allow me to set the activities that guide me through each day.

93. How clearly can you gauge your level of success toward each goal you set?

I started a daily log and I write down everything throughout the day that I accomplish. At the end of the week I can track how much I have read, how much I have worked out, and how much college work I have completed. This is tracking my steps towards my goals and this keeps me in line and helps me stay on point for all that I am trying to achieve.

94. In what ways does one goal lead to the next?

I am a very motivated person, and as I accomplish my goals I am eager to start the next goal. This will prepare me for my career when I am released back into society. These are the skills that I plan on teaching my children so that they can apply them to their lives.

95. If you achieve all of your goals, how will they influence your prison adjustment?

I do not think that I am ever going to achieve all of my goals. I continuously add goals as I accomplish them. This has helped me over the years. I plan on staying focused and motivated to achieve the goals that I set for myself.

96. How will the goals you set influence your prospects for success upon release?

When I am released, I pray that the economy is in a much better position so that I emerge with a winning attitude. By being educated, career driven, and focused on success and business. I also would like to help troubled kids with my ministry skills that I have obtained with my ministry college course. In return this will help me with my family and do God’s will.

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