John Broman/ Class 7: Support Networks
by John Broman
174. In what ways do you perceive relationships with people you knew prior to confinement to evolve over the course of your imprisonment?
They slowly dissolve, if not get severed as soon as you receive all the time. Friends and families grow up and have their own families while you sit in prison waiting to get out and really start you life over.
175. In what ways have you nurtured support networks during the time you’ve served thus far?
The people that have always been close with me, I make sure that I stay in contact with them. I find out how they’re doing and let them know how I’m doing.
176. In what ways will the support network you have in place now contribute to your success upon release?
If I didn’t have my family and a couple close friends right now, then I’d say my transition to the street would be an extremely rough one to say the least. I have no illusions that I’ll be able to do it on my own as I KNOW the world has changed GREATLY since my incarceration.
177. In what ways would you build a strong support network while you climbed through years of imprisonment?.
Through reaching out to people by letter, emails, face book etc. Honestly nobody writes letters anymore. But with email they have here and my family to run my FB page there’s a lot of people I can get in touch with now.
178. In what ways do support networks or the lack of support networks influence prison adjustments?
When you have a support network, there is so many opportunities for you. Help when you need it. Without, man, it’s beyond difficult and you’re forced to pretty much “do what you gotta do.”
179. To what extent are the values that those in your support network embrace harmonious with the values you profess to embrace?
First off everyone is clean from drugs and lives “straight lives”. That’s the main thing for me. When I’m released I can’t be around those in the drug culture. They’re also all extremely generous with others, just like I am.
180. What steps are you taking now to build or nurture your support network?
I’m using facebook to deep in contact to to re-establish contact with people. I’m also doing this program. But in all reality, I’m not doing nearly enough.
181. In what ways can those in your support network facilitate your aspirations?
They really can’t. Other than my family that will support me upon release, none can guide me in the career I want.
182. In what ways is your support network helping you now?
They help support me, through communications and financially. I would really be in serious trouble without them.
183. What level of allegiance do you pledge to your support network?
I’m committed to what I believe in, which all in my network know, and why they DO support me. They know that I’m not going to get out and go back to my old ways.
184. What incremental action steps can you to take to bring people you do not currently know into your life?
I can find out who is respected in the yoga field and try to cultivate relationships with them.
185. What thoughts do you have about people who would be most influential to your possibilities for success upon release?
Those that will be/or can be influential for success for me are a total blessing. If I can make it in my field when I get released it’d be the best thing that can happen for me.
186. Who are they?
Right now it’s my family that will support me to receive my certification (Yoga) after release. I need to establish contact with those highly regarded in the field.
187. What interests do they have?
The same as me. To help others and move others through the teachings of yoga and meditation.
188. How can you make them aware of your aspirations?
Through writing to them and trying to get a hold of them through email and other communications.
189. What impression would your adjustment through prison thus far make upon them?
I think it would make a huge impression. When I started my sentence, I was a mess. Drinking and getting high. Doing absolutely NOTHING to better myself. Now, I’m proud of who I am.
190. In what ways are you working to cultivate mentors?
I haven’t been. I’ve been more geared to keeping myself as “peaceful” as possible this first 10 years.
191. In what ways does your behavior or activities within prison boundaries influence your relationships?
The way that you live and act will draw towards you the same type of energies/relationships. The way I live is geared towards keeping all the junkies away from me and the positive coming towards me.
192. How would you assess the preparations and commitment your closest acquaintances make to a law-abiding, successful life upon release?
None of them are committed to life after prison. But they all are people that stay “out of the mix.” in prison.
193. If you were to receive a disciplinary infraction, in what way would that influence the support network you’re striving to cultivate?
I have MANY on my record. I didn’t have use of my phone for 5 years, which has caused me to lose many people that were in my network, and makes it EXTREMELY difficult to cultivate others into my network.
194. What relevance does the phrase “It’s not what you know but who you know” have to you?
I know it’s true. If you don’t have the right doors opened for you, well…it’s going to be a long hard struggle to get where you’re trying to get.
195. To what extent would your actions show that you’re conscious of the influence others have on your prospects for success upon release?
I keep in contact with those that I’m close with and will be able to help me out after my release. I have no illusions that if I don’t have them after release that everything will be ok.
196. How can a prisoner open more opportunities to broaden his network of support?
Write letter and use the email system to try and cultivate those that are in the field they want to enter upon release.
197. How would your transition to society change if you had a job offer in place before your release?
It’d make the transition about as smooth as you’d possibly hope it could be.
198. What steps will you begin taking now to broaden, nurture, and protect your support network each week that you remain in prison?
Stop getting in trouble is first. But I need to get addresses and start to writing to build it up cause I right now have none.
199. How will you hold yourself accountable?
By sticking to the goals that I’ve set out to accomplish. Letting others know what I’m trying to do and call BS on me if I don’t do it!