Darrell Tatum/ Class 5: Self-Improvement Training

by Darrell Tatum

126. When you assess your environment, what opportunities for self-improvement can you create or seize?

To be honest, here at Forrest City, there isn’t a lot of opportunities, but the handful of people that I’ve met, I can get some opportunities, but I want more for self-improvement.

127. What is your interpretation on the value of self-imposed structure of free time?

Me, I use all of this free time to strengthen my mind, get physical and mentally stable.  Refocus on life itself and most important get all the negative out of my systems.

128. What relationship do your daily activities have to the vision you have for your life upon release?

My Bible study keeps me steady.  My workouts keeps me focused.  My studying on new skills and tasks keeps me motivated!  Just staying positive keeps me in check.

129. Imagine that you were to replicate your activities or use of time yesterday every day or your sentence. If you did, what level of preparation would have to triumph over the obstacles that await you upon your return to society?

Really, just work them into the more important things that I have to do out there.  Just like a everyday routine.

130. What activities within the prison environment can you pursue that will enhance your strengths?

Overall, to stay out!  I’ve taken a couple of classes that has strengthen my brain to take to the outside.

131. What activities within the prison environment would you categorize as a weakness?

Being around the negative people.  The limitation of vocational classes here causes a weakness, ’cause it don’t help a person improve with a skill.

132. What activities within the prison environment would you perceive as offering opportunities?

The CDL class, home investing and towing/recovery.

133. What activities within the prison environment do you perceive as threatening your prospects for success upon release?

Listening to people who speaks on doing the same thing when they get out!

134. To what extent do the activities you pursue inside the prison environment contribute to your strengths and opportunities?

As far as the CDL, I want to renew my CDL license ’cause I haven’t had them since I was in the military.  The home buying relates to what I’m doing now and towing/recovery is another investment I want to inquire in.

135. What steps do you deliberately take to minimize your exposure to weaknesses and threats?

Stay away from that surroundings.

136. Using the SWOT-assessment technique, how would you assess your decision-making process prior to imprisonment?

I know what will keep me out and I know what I want in life.  I just made bad decisions and I’m aware of my surroundings, so I know you live to learn and I want to live strong!

137. In what ways can the SWAT-assessment technique guide your decisions as you prepare for success upon release?

I’ve weighted all my assessments.  The more positive I be, the better.  I can’t put my life in prison again!

138. What types of activities in prison fall into quadrant one: low-risk/high-reward?

Staying out of trouble.  Taking up various of classes.

139. What types of activities in prison fall into quadrant two: high-reward/high-risk?

Doing all the wrong stuff.  Fighting, smoking, stealing.

140. What types of activities in prison fall into quadrant three: low-risk/low-reward?

Being a inmate!  They think of us as another person.

141. What types of activities in prison fall into quadrant four: high-risk/low-reward?

Getting out early.  No reward from getting a disciplinary infraction.

142. To what extent do your consider risk-reward analysis when assessing activities, interactions, or time allocation in prison?

I stay committed to being focused and make the best of this time.  Whatever trades that I learn, I’m taking that knowledge back out to get a better productive life.

143 What type of self-improvement programs would enhance an individual’s prospects for success upon release?

Programs that will direct that individual to making a difference upon their release.  They can actually learn something that they wanted to do and use that as an advantage to be law-abiding.

144. What thoughts have you given to the type of employment you want to pursue upon release?

I’ve always worked in warehouse driving the forklift.  Until I get my janitorial company back on track, I would go back to operating various of forklifts.

145. Define the qualifications necessary for the type of job you want to pursue?

Drug free first of all.  Knowing how to shift the controllers.

146. How do your self-improvement programs prepare you for the type of job you want to pursue?

I was always focus, so I can say they just enlightened me more to be criminal minded free and be all the way legal.

147. What types of self-improvement programs can you pursue independently that will enhance your prospects as a candidate for employment upon release?

The programs that I took was stress management, time management and business investments.  It got me more ready for release.

148. In what ways do academic credentials influence an individual’s candidacy for employment?

Knowledge is the key.  Just keeping them academic skills sharpens your ability for various of employments.

149. How do prospective employers gauge the value of academic credentials?

They value a person who has finish high school.  Certain jobs requires academic skills, so they can rise within their company.

150. What types of self-improvement steps trump academic credentials?

Not staying focus!  You have to keep a positive strive.


Leave a Reply


Copyright 2019 The Michael G. Santos Foundation