Hal Coates/ Class 1: Values

by Hal-Coates

16. Who are you?

I am a young man striving to become a better who is study to become a better person. i am working on my lower self and higher self.

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

I am in my 10th year of an 20 year sentence for 2nd degree murder I’ve made some wrong choices when i was an teenager. I earned my ged on march 11,2011. i also completed certification class which teaches safety to work on construction work sites.

18. What are you going through now?

right know i am working on staying out of trouble  so i can get a transfer to a low security prison. i have 8 years remaining on my sentence .it is always a strugle i am using the rest of my time striving to become a better person.

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

19. Time remaining to serve.

the time I have remaining I  will try to gain as much knowledge I can to learn how to run a successful business. I will also commit to my work out plan.  I also plan on sticking with the straight a guide program I am always striving to do better.

20. One month after release.

find a job open up a savings account and start building up my credit.  I would also need to attain my drivers learning permit.

21. One year after release.

by then hopefully i should have my own apartment my own car and dating my girl friend who is by then should be ready to be my wife.

22. Five years after release.

by then I should have my business running and my kids will be driving me crazy. I would like to be able to speak to trouble youth in my spare time.

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

the masses of the people do not know the truth about the prison population. a lot of people can be brain washed about all type of things with the media telling lies about everything. I will throw this out there some people may catch what i am saying  some wont. I believe in the nature of cause and effect. the majority of people who are locked up for drugs are not the ones who have the power to bring them in the country. but some how they make it in the country locking people up is a big business read between the lines.

24. Describe how television programs and movies depict prisoners:

televison and movies is a tool used to paint a picture of how things are run in a prison. The powers that be use this to their advantage so there can be no positive out cry about why there are 2.3 million people locked up in this country.

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 does 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 thought 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?

Like Michael said, no matter what he do to prepare we are still all prisoners and treated the same.

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

28. High security.

in high security prisons tension is always at an all time high. i have been to 4 penitentiaries and the tension was high.

29. Medium security.

medium security prisons are laid back for the most part but the respect level is at an all time low.

30. Low security.

i have never been to a low security prison.

31. Minimum security.

i have never been to an minimum security prison.

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

a lot of guys say that they do not want to return to prison. but the question i always ask them is what have you done while you have been locked up to make it on the outside you have to try to educate yourself and learn a trade.

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

those that do not return have a plan and will to prepare. That is what Michael shows. They are realistic about the challenges ahead and they work to fix it.

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

We must develop the skills that matter and that means we must use our time productively. We must stick to our plan.

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?

5 years or more i consider long term imprisonment.

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

in society you have people that will want to help you .you will also run across people who will give you a hard time because in their mind you are a criminal. i believe every one deserves a second chance.

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

long term prisoners should focus on steps they can take to ease their transition and lessen the likelihood of returning to prison.

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

l have run across staff members who will try to help you. i have also run into staff members who thing that just because you have been down a long time they always thing you are trying to cin them out of something. the unit team I am assigned with is the worst i have ever seen since i been down they are lazy and unprofessional.

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

a model inmate is a pet for the administration the administration loves a good ole house negro

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

michaels prison journey gives guys like me hope. i have a lot of respect for all the things he has been able to do while in prison. when he first came thru the gate he was always striving to better himself.

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

the prison infrastructure is designed to block an individual from meaningful preparation for success upon release.

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

michael had a vision to become a better man while he served his time.

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?

when you keep a positive attitude good things will happen for you. god will put people in your life that will help you when you stay positive and strive to live right.

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

my aspiration is very high failure is not an option for me. i have been locked up my entire adult life. i want to have a second chance so i can be a son to my mother a brother to my sisters.

45. What distinguishes an aspiration from a fantasy?

to prepare yourself for what awaits you when you are release from prison you have to take action.iam taking action by doing the straight a guide program. iam hoping to meet people who are doing postive things.iam looking to be a part of a new association circle.

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

i have grown out of always blaming some one else for the mistakes i have made in life. we have to accept responsibility for our actions in life.

47. Accountability: How are you measuring progress?

i am aware of what’s going on in my growth and development over the years i have been working on my higher self. my goal is to keep my lower self in the past.

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

when i passed my ged test that was a big achievement to me. i plan on going to college when i come home.

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

i have to give appreciation to my mother she is the only one who has stood by me thru thick and then. my friends left a long time ago while i was doing my time my girl friend told me i had to much time and i cant do anything for her in prison those were her exact words.

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

i know they will be real and i have accepted that. But I am not running from it. i am taking action and working to be ready.

51. Achievement: When do you celebrate success?

when i have done something well, like passing my ged. it feels good to take a moment and appreciate what i have done. then i get back to focusing on where i am going.

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

a lot. i want to prove to others that i have changed and i am ready for the next phase of my life.

53. Where did those choices lead?

the bad choices i made in my early 20s lead to my arrest.

54. What did you value then?

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

56. What would you do differently if you could?

if i could do anything differently i would have stayed in school and went to college. i was a product of my environment i grew up in southeast washington,dc.

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

when i first start doing this time i was always getting in trouble, as i started to get older i got wiser, i use to read only urban novels when i first started doing my time.now i only try to read self help books history books and books about runing small business.in my third month being locked up i lost my grandmother she was very close to me i took her passing away very hard i was stress out about that.i truly believe everything happens for a reason god sat me down to get my head right.the life style i was living i was gonna end up dead or in jail i have no plans of coming back to jail.

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

this week i started the drug program class.

59. Identify the values by which you live.

over the past couple of years i have been striving to live a peaceful and stress free life its always a struggle.

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

i am always striving to better my self i read a lot of self help books.

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

my main goal is to become a law  abiding citizen. my professed values relate to my main goal which is to leave prison and not return to prison.

62. Where does your allegiance lie?

my allegiance lie with myself and my mother. no one wants their child to end up in prison.it brought a smile to my face when my mother told me how proud she was of me for earning my ged.

63. Are values situational or absolute?

I believe values can be situational or absolute.

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