Julius Lige/ Class 7: Support Network

by Julius Lige

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

It’s a struggle to maintain relationships with people you know prior to confinement. As I move towards my sixth year in prison, many relationships I once considered to be strong have slowly faded away. My relationship with my immediate family remain strong, but has evolved into a more distance relationship which makes it vulnerable.

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

I nurtured support networks during this time I served by sharing visions an aspirations. Through my actions I’m showing my support network changes I have made as a person and the necessary steps I have taken to create opportunity. My support network followed me as I accomplished the goals I set, I’ve reassured them that I’m determined to succeed upon release.

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

With a strong support network in place, financial, leadership and spiritual contributions, along with dedication of peoples’ time, will play a key role in my success upon release. Good relationships are important for an individual that is being released from prison. Many doors will open which enhance my chances for a successful career.

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

In order to build a strong support network, an individual must reach beyond the boundaries of prison, and build relationship with people who are in position to help them. My support network of professional people can mentor me, give me advice, and help guide me in the right direction. Through self-improvement and positive changes, an individual’s actions will prove to their support network that they are worthy of their contributions.

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

Prisoners use support networks as motivation, therefore the impact it has on an individual’s adjustment is monumental. Prisoners rely on their support network to keep them knowledgeable about what’s going on in society. Also, because of a prisoner values hs relationship with his support network, he’s influenced to work hard to improve his skill set and also avoid any disciplinary issues with the prison.

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

My support network embraces the values of hard work and discipline, never looking to take short cuts. They’re law abiding citizens who place a high value on leadership, faith and family. My goal is to evaluate their values in learn to incorporate those values into every aspect of my life.

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

My body of work continues to speak volumes for me. Through my participation in programs such as the SAG program and TOAD (those outspoken against drugs) program, my support network is able to follow my progress which reassures them that I am taking necessary steps towards improving my life.

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

With aspirations of becoming a successful businessman, I expect the professional people in my support network to help guide me towards achieving that goal. Through mentorship and leadership, I can rely on my support network to facilitate and create opportunities.

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

I rely on my support network to keep me informed of potential job opportunities, research industries for business, and also update me on what’s going on in society. Members of my support network are professional and business oriented. Therefore I am comfortable with following their offered advice, which is preparing me for the many challenges I will face upon release.

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

I’m 100% committed to my support network, knowing that through our relationships we can help build each other. I may need their support now while I’m confined in prison, but eventually I will be able to help them in many ways.

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

Through my work as a public speaker in the prison outreach program, I position myself to meet people who are also passionate about working with our troubled youth. My involvement in the SAG program allows me to share my aspiration, and goals, with members in society, with a possibility of reaching a sponsor who can guide me in the right direction.

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

I am optimistic they will have a positive influence on my potential success upon release. As I continue to build my career, I will rely on their influence to guide me towards success.

186. Who are they?

Professional people who place a high value on faith and family. They are driven businessmen and women who hold positions of leadership in their community. I am influenced by their actions. These people have accomplished goals that I aspire to accomplish one day.

187. What interests do they have?

I assume through the actions of their work, my support network consist of people who are passionate about helping other people. Their contributions range from coaching youth sports, financial donations and creating structured housing for at-risk youth. I expect to have full participation in similar programs.

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

My goal is to continue to work hard towards building a network of people who share similar aspirations as I do. I reach out to those people by documenting my work and sharing my progress through letters, emails, and websites (such as the S.A.G. program).

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

My adjustment through prison thus far has been completely transparent. When I began my prison sentence, my goal was to build my skillset, improve my fitness condition, and earn academic credentials. Through hard work and a daily discipline program, I was able to achieve those goals. I’m convinced my adjustment to prison will leave a good impression.

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

I cultivate mentors with the work I do. My participation in programs such as our prison outreach program allows me to network with individuals who share the same passion as I do, which creates a mentor relationship. Through their years of experience working with kids, I have learned their effective methods of reaching out to our youth.

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

My behavior within prison boundaries reflects the person I have grown to become. With a clear understanding of what it take to succeed upon release, my daily activities demonstrate a level of commitment that will turn my aspirations into reality. Through my actions I will create a positive impact on my relationships.

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

I clearly understand how important it is to surround myself with good law abiding people. Therefore my closest acquaintances are committed to living value based lives. After serving a ten year federal sentence, I can’t afford to associate with anyone that doesn’t share the same values that I do.

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

A severe disciplinary infraction would be a major setback. My support network expects me to complete the rest of my sentence free of any disciplinary action. They understand while I’m in prison that minor infractions from policy changes and/or misunderstandings are possible.

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

The phrase “It’s not what you know, but who you know” has significant relevance. In today’s society knowing people in positions of power can provide you an opportunity that may not be available based on skill alone.

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

My actions show clearly that I have a different perspective on life. The necessary changes I have made come directly from the positive influences of others. I use the advice I receive and strategically apply it to my life.

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

A prisoner must communicate effectively to broaden his network of support. Through letters, emails and social websites, a prisoner can share his work, articulate his ideas, and cultivate relationships.

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

With a job offer in place, I believe my transition into society will be successful. Securing employment is one of the key components for an individual being released from prison. An individual will then have time to focus on reconnecting with family, while working towards creating other opportunities.

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

I will continue to broaden, nurture, and protect my support network by remaining focused on living a value based life. Through my daily activities, I will take advantage of any opportunity that pertains to improving my life. I will continue to communicate effectively with my support network, allowing them to evaluate my progress as I move closer to my release date.

199. How will you hold yourself accountable?

Accountability is very important to me. I have a daily program that requires me to be disciplined and focused, therefore as I work through my daily schedule, I emphasize the importance of using my time wisely and productively.

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