James Hunt/ Class 7: Support Network

by James Hunt

174. In what ways do you perceive relationships with people you knew prior to confinement to evolve over the course of your imprisonment?

For alot of the relationships that I had prior to being confined, most now hold on to the hope that this will be the time when I become the person that they have always known I could be, despite the bad decisions I made in the past. My mind has grown, and I am more humble, and have a better understanding and understand the responsibility I have to improve.

175. In what ways have you nurtured support networks during the time you’ve served thus far?

By stay connected as much as possible and by reaching out.  I call them, write them, and by them allowing me to be apart of their world, life. They listen to me, and me them. We respect each other.

176. In what ways will the support network you have in place now contribute to your success upon release?

They are supportive and encouraging me and will aid me in my transition.

177. In what ways would you build a strong support network while you climbed through years of imprisonment?.

By making growing your network a normal part of every day, like breathing. Making small steps every day to reach out. In time it will grow.

178. In what ways do support networks or the lack of support networks influence prison adjustments?

It has a way of negatively impacting your self worth and feeling alone and overwhelmed and hopeless. It can make you vulnerable.

179. To what extent are the values that those in your support network embrace harmonious with the values you profess to embrace?

Their values have guided them to law-abiding lives, being successful. I am learning from them the actions that have made them successful and what is important to them.

180. What steps are you taking now to build or nurture your support network?

This program is big. Why? It takes me from just talking, to a more concrete and accountable tool to show the world how I am preparing. I am not full of talk. I act! My goals are a catalyst to improve, and when I hit them I feel valuable, even from prison. My network can hear, see, and read about plans and how I am going to make it happen. They see how I deal with obstacles and how my vision stays clear through it all. These steps I hope shows I am working all day, and showing the world why I am deserving of a second chance. My network appreciates that.

181. In what ways can those in your support network facilitate your aspirations?

Holding me responsible to what I say and do.

182. In what ways is your support network helping you now?

By challenging me and pushing me, igniting that sense of urgency. My daughter is doing her part by doing well in school, and doing what I ask of her. So I must put forth a concerted effort to do my part and be a better person, parent, son, friend, and citizen.

183. What level of allegiance do you pledge to your support network?

100%! I have to always show that I am deserving of their support.

184. What incremental action steps can you to take to bring people you do not currently know into your life?

You know, I have heard that when you come up with a certain positive path in life to do better, that the world has a strange way to give what you are seeking, primarily because we have worked and earned it. You have to take small steps to improve, to gain an audience, and stay focused on networking. I always reach out, and slowly grow my network.

185. What thoughts do you have about people who would be most influential to your possibilities for success upon release?

I pay attention to their habits, how they have lived, and spent their time. These are people I strive to emulate.

186. Who are they?

Doc, a friend who has always treated me like a brother, and who has taught me more from doing the right thing and by what he says. He does not judge but teaches by the way he lives. He has also made some great suggestions that encouraged me to become better. My daughter Bryanna Evans for defining the true meaning of a selfless love. My mom who is a hero and superwoman in my book with all that she has to deal with and still face on a daily basis. She has a strength and attitude that inspires me every day.

187. What interests do they have?

Doc and my mom’s interest are bringing out the best in people and getting them to their full potential.

188. How can you make them aware of your aspirations?

By asking them to look at my blog, my profile, and through our phone conversations.

189. What impression would your adjustment through prison thus far make upon them?

That I’ve kept a positive outlook on life and not allowed myself to become deflated, or give up or become consumed with hopelessness.

190. In what ways are you working to cultivate mentors?

by doing this program, I really hope to attract more mentors interest. Other ways is my willingness to learn and listen and strive to grow. I reach out too, knowing I may not get a response. That is ok. I will keep trying and have the confidence to get past setbacks. I am also conscious who I would want to be a mentor.

191. In what ways does your behavior or activities within prison boundaries influence your relationships?

I look at it like my family who has been there for me. When I come home I want to be able to add to the support of my family. So everything I do here has to be to strengthen my relationships.

192. How would you assess the preparations and commitment your closest acquaintances make to a law-abiding, successful life upon release?

Some make mediocre attempts and others who have less time to go make a higher commitment.

193. If you were to receive a disciplinary infraction, in what way would that influence the support network you’re striving to cultivate?

It would depend on what the infraction was for. they have trust in me and I have trust in myself that I would make wise decisions to avoid trouble.

194. What relevance does the phrase “It’s not what you know but who you know” have to you?

Not to much because even when you know someone and it may open a door you still have to know what you are doing and express what you are bringing to the table. Who you know will only take you so far; what you know will take you even further.

195. To what extent would your actions show that you’re conscious of the influence others have on your prospects for success upon release?

This program brings a focus that I need and value. Then I have the support from the org and Justin. They want me to be successful and they can see I am putting in the work. Justin always emails me about data and tracking our path to freedom, then he tells me how many are dropping out and so on. He knows I am serious about leading a productive life when I leave here and because of that I get a lot of support.

196. How can a prisoner open more opportunities to broaden his network of support?

He must reach out, write to people. I ask others to follow my progress on this site so they can see the work I am putting in, and so I can show what valued I can provide. I want to show that I am not what society thinks of someone who has been locked up for a while. I am smart, capable, and strong, and want others in my network to realize this on their own and not by my hammering them with it. I hope they can see it.

197. How would your transition to society change if you had a job offer in place before your release?

Now, that would make a world of difference, but I still must plan to start from day one at least work wise. I have grown so much.

198. What steps will you begin taking now to broaden, nurture, and protect your support network each week that you remain in prison?

Working towards that which I profess from my heart and mind. I will stay to my values and never waver.

199. How will you hold yourself accountable?

My measuring my accomplishments, and taking small incremental steps toward my goals, and always putting these goals in writing. Plus I put it out here on this site for the WHOLE world to see. I must follow through and will because I love growing, progressing through all of this.

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