James Hunt @james-hunt ?

active 7 years, 3 months ago

James Hunt/ Personal Journal Entry

October 5, 2012 in Personal Journal Entries by James Hunt

Oct 5, 2012

I am looking forward to receiving my Straight-A Guide Profile, and then working to edit and improve it. Thank you to everyone for reviewing my work. Justin sent me my word count and I was suprised to learn I had written 16,000 plus words. I look forward to writing more and documenting my growth through prison.


James Hunt


James Hunt/ Personal Journal Entry

June 21, 2012 in Straight-A Guide Curriculum by James Hunt


My algebra teacher is a tax attorney who broke the law. He’s also great at teaching. With curiosity and an interest to see what I could learn about his release plans I asked him, “what do you plan to do when you get out?”

With a deadpanned look, he paused. Then came the honesty,” I really don’t know, I’ve not given it any thought”, he said.

Well, something you could consider, is tutoring and teaching”, I said. ” You’re great at it, as well as patient in a way that has been long forgotten. Your tact in making one feel confident that they can and will get it, instead of becoming frustrated speaks volumes of your ability”.

“Man, you think I can do it”, he asked.

“Not only do I think you can do it, I think you’ve been preparing to do it for a while. Look at how you’ve spent your last few years, teaching, tutoring and you’ve come to be great at it, you enjoy it and it does not seem as if its work for you. Its like its a personal challenge to you, to see in what way are you able to get this person to learn.”

“It will be hard”, he said.

“Not as hard as it will be, if you don’t take the time out to figure out what you plan to do. I have a book I want you to read. Michael Santos wrote it. Its speaks of people who came into the system just like you, and like you, they had to search to find their way, a new way”.

“When can you get it to me?” he asked.

“Soon as we leave class, I’ll get it for you”.

So began my quest to make the Straight-A Guide part of this institution. Since, I have spoken to the person who runs the education dept. here, I have told her what the program is about, and asked if she be willing to order all the books offered by the Michael G. Santos Foundation. She said it would take a little time, but that she did not see why not. This is a program that is a tangible and credible way of not only providing hope, but showing you that with effort you can change your life despite whatever odds you face. It’s people such as ourselves, which have not read about the issues we face or emotions we go through, but have lived with them.

I have spoken to a few guys who are in the program that are at the camp. What’s amazing is, I ask how far are they in the profile and work book. Some say, I started but got to busy to do more. I point out, you get the best results when you give your best effort. I honestly tell them, hell, some of the questions scared me because it forces you to deal with questions you would rather not think about. They agree. We push each other and if the program becomes a part of this place, through the administration, I will, if its okay with Mr. Santos and Justin, lead the class. If not, I will still do my part and take what the program has to offer, and pass it on.

I will write with an update again soon!

James Hunt

FCI Forrest City Low

James Hunt/ Personal Journal Entry: Updates From The Camp

June 4, 2012 in Personal Journal Entries by James Hunt


Its been a little over a week and I’m now pretty much adjusted to being at the camp. I’ve been able to see all that goes

on and come up with a plan to navigate the pitfalls and temptations. I’ve taken an assessment test, in order to take the college courses they offer. I’ve begun participating in classes, in subjects that I am weak in.

The most important to me is, I passes on two prison jobs, that would have given me a prison sense of financial security. Instead, I made the sacrifice  and opted to invest in myself. I took a job in the education dept, which allows me to take advantage of the time and resources.


B.S, or business, which am I about. That’s the question I awoke to asking myself on this day. Its my birthday, just a another day, but one where you’ve got ask how have I grown? I vow to keep my word to myself. I began running today and I hate to say it, but have to be honest, a mile killed me. I will keep at it daily.


I wonder how important is it, in choosing your mate or who you love that effects your decision making.


James Hunt/ Personal Journal Entry: I am at the Camp!

May 25, 2012 in Personal Journal Entries by James Hunt


First morning at the camp, and it seems like the air is fresher, the day brighter, and my sight clearer. The physical freedom, is a bit more tangible. The realities of the real world, are alto closer.  I’ve already signed up to take the college assessment test, and algebra. That will allow me to take drafting, for what I hope will allow me to enter into a sheet metal apprenticeship. I am also continuing with the Straight-A Guide Program and will be writing more blogs and editing the 10 classes from the workbook. My friend Justin Paperny told me that my 10 classes totaled more than 14,000 words. I had no idea I wrote that much!

Thank you,

James Hunt

James Hunt/ Personal Journal Entry: Take Heed

May 9, 2012 in Personal Journal Entries by James Hunt

May 9, 2012

Take Heed/ A Letter To My Sister

You have always been like a little sister to me, and with that said, I have always loved you as one. There are so many times, that I have wanted to say things to you, but I thought it best, to let you live your life and  hopefully, with time, you would also gain a vision of what you wanted and begin making the moves to go get it. Live, what’s that? To feel as if you are alive and doing things that have significance and and purpose and brings you joy. Joy, a lasting feeling of being happy and content. You will have enough drama in your life with time and you also can control how much you are willing to allow of it. I can say, like my daughter, I want more for you, but me wanting it, means noting, if you are not able to desire it for yourself.

When the party stops and the music no longer plays a tune you can dance to, what then are you left with. When the lights come on, who will you see? You are still that sweet, respectful, quite and smart girl I know and have come to love.

You are also in a position to sit and ask yourself, what the hell is it you want out of life and not only plan, but go to work in getting it. Those streets, and the things in them will never change, years will pass and if you chose to return to them, you will find the same people, doing the same things and talking the same game that they talk.

Its fun to sell a dream to someone and have them believing something, that benefits’ their agenda. Its even easier, when they know that a person who does not know themselves or the direction of which they wish to go, and is searching for something outside of themselves to provide love, happiness, a sense of being secured.

All what you are looking for is in and of you, know that. Its time to get serious, what you put into life and living, will reflect what you value and think important. So what have the results told you thus far. Love you, your Brother Rick.

P.s Its easy to give lips service on what  has to be done, but an actions speaks a million words. I have faith in you, believe in your self.

James Hunt/ Class 7: Support Network

April 19, 2012 in Straight-A Guide Curriculum, Support Networks 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.

James Hunt/ Class 6: Communication Skills

April 18, 2012 in Communication Skills, Straight-A Guide Curriculum by James Hunt

151. Describe situations you can recall when inadequate communication skills led to decreased opportunities in your life.

Throughout life without the skills your self confidence can take a hit, such as in school when you do not speak up for fear of being wrong and sounding stupid. Or when you misspoke and brought about the opposite effect of what you intended.

152. Describe situations where stronger communication skills may have enhanced your prospects for success.

I still like to use a lesson I learned from T.I., who said that “when people approach him and he could tune them out within seconds all from the manor in which they attempt to deliver their spiel.” He could tell how the information was given, how it was obtained, and he could tell if they were prepared.

153. What do communication skills mean to you?

It means to be able to transcend barriers, and open doors that would otherwise remain closed. It is the ability to show off your skills, and your vision.

154. In what types of ways can improving communication skills assuage the burden of confinement?

It allows you to more easily get across to people, and more quickly. It helps you navigate and stay focused on the task, without rambling or lack of direction. I will not have to revert to emotions taking precedent over intellect or reason. You can share what you are going through without pity, but from a position of strength, reminding others that regardless of what is going on around us, we are improving.

155. What types of influence do communication skills have on an individual’s prospects for success upon release?

The skills help me sell myself, and articulate how valuable I would be to a company. I can relay my ideas with ease.

156. How can developing communication skills open opportunities through imprisonment?

When I reach out to my network, either through email or the phone, I can more easily convey what I am doing, why, and how it will help me upon release.

157. In what ways can an individual take clearly-defined, measurable steps toward improving communication skills?

Reading and doing the work to understand what you read, and the context of the words. Constantly developing your skills can be a joy, a process towards improvement.

158. In what ways have you taken measurable, deliberate steps to improve your communication skills?

I read with a purpose, learning from others I admire. If I do not know a word I look it up, then use it verbally and or in writing.

159. What value do enhanced communication skills offer to a prospective employer?

It allows you to effectively communicate your vision, your skills, and maybe even become a voice for the company.

160. How can a prisoner convey the extent of his communication skills and his personal investment to improve such skills?

Writing for others to see and to review. Speaking, they will hear you. The more I read the better I speak and the better I think.

161. How does the prison experience influence an individual’s development of communication skills?

It hinders your growth in the way of what you constantly hear. The level of communication, the slang terms and meanings, the incomplete sentences and the profanity can stunt your development.

162. In what ways do developing communicating skills resemble the development of physical fitness?

By practicing every day your muscles will become stronger and bigger

163. What does it mean to read with a purpose?

It means you have a vision with each book, a goal to walk away with something that will help you in life. You must read with an objective, a defined goal.

164. Describe the pattern of books you have read throughout your term in prison. What kind are they and why do you read them?

Reading has always been my escape, my movie in my mind. It is a pleasure for me. I read self help improvement books, fiction to learn styles as well for entertainment. I love informative books, and business books on the trucking industry. The more I read the better I retain the information.

165. In what ways do books you read prepare you for success upon release?

Books like Hurricane Carter, Nathan McCalls Makes me want to Holla, books like Michael’s, Herman Hesse and those types are books that illustrate people who have redeemed themselves from bad decisions, and they have gotten back on track and found a vision. They want to become better, like me. They want to communicate their message better, like me. These books help me prepare.

166. When you consider the amount of free time available to you on a typical day, how do you determine the most effective ways to use it toward preparations for success?

Every decision I make I ask myself, “How will this help me in the future?”. Then I plan my day.

167. In what ways do you work to improve your dexterity with language, using words, sentences, and paragraphs to communicate ideas?

By writing, talking to myself in my head, reading with a plan and purpose. I write letters. When I am done with the 10 classes Justin will send me my work. Then I can review it, makes notes, changes, add to it. Just keep improving.

168. How would you describe the argot of the imprisoned class?

Broken english, slang spoken with no plans to improve.

169. In what ways does the jargon of imprisonment compare of contrast with the language in the society you expect to encounter upon release?

There is no place in the world to speak like the way some do in prison. There is no comparison and I make it a point to talk as if I were in a business meeting. Period.

170. What does an individual speaker’s enunciation convey to his listeners?

If you use words properly people notice you instantly. People can give a second take when they hear you discuss values, and why you choose those values. They may look at the record, but your ability to use works and sentences changes the narrative. It is a game changer!

171. In what ways do an individual’s grooming habits or manner of dress communicate his values?

It says non-verbally how someone feels about himself and what he thinks is important.

172. To what extent does documenting a prison journey communicate an individual’s commitment to success upon release?

It shows how he spent his time, the level of commitment he made to bettering his life. It shows execution of planning and purpose. It shows veracity, desire, in spite of our situation. It shows what we once saw and what we see now and what we are thinking, doing and what we are working towards.

One of the exercises Michael embraced to develop his communication strategy included writing book reports. In Earning Freedom, he wrote that books opened opportunities that contributed in meaningful, measurable ways to prepare him for triumph over the obstacles he expected to encounter. Each book had a purpose, and to stay on course, he used the following format to write his book reports:

  • How I came across the book (title of book):
  • Why I choose to read (title of book):
  • What I learned from (title of book):
  • Ways in which (title of book) will contribute to my success upon release:

 173. In what ways would writing similar book reports contribute to the development of your communication skills and preparations for success upon release?

It will teach you to explain and examine what you read while at the same time force you to practice on your writing. Later you will be reexamine your reports and chart progress, like my accountability logs help me do. They also make sure I read with a purpose. Justin emailed a quote from the poet Dante who said, “there is no knowledge without retention.”

James Hunt/ Class 5: Self-Improvement Training

April 18, 2012 in Self-Improvement, Straight-A Guide Curriculum by James Hunt

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

If a person placed the same energy and thought to what he stood in his way, he would figure and learn to see if the shift in his desire changed. He has got to want it.

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

No time is free. Once you have spent it is is gone. The question is how did the time benefit me and help me achieve my goals. Was it purposeful? It teaches you how to maximize every moment.

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

It is like a house I wish to own X amount of years after release. Every day my actions should go towards building a brick and once all the material is gathered, then we begin building.

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?

Man, it would be used towards goals with a 100% commitment and not half hearted attempts. There would be no question about success.

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

Once you have honed in on your strengths and know what has to be done, you sink in with a relentless tenacity. You look for ways to sharpen your strengths. If you are a great people person, identify what why and improve it. That is one example.

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

Procrastination, indifference, the path of least resistance, searching for the short cut, and a manipulative mind.

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


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

Wasting the time away, lack of values or goals, nothing worth living for and being around negative people.

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

what you put into your preparations in here will determine your future. Release starts today, everyday, not when we are about to go home. By then it is too late. I pursue things that get me ready.

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

For the last few years my mind has been on autopilot, constantly working to improve. I am focused on my release and let nothing get in the way of that. I avoid anything that can harm my future.

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

Poor, without an ability to see the end game or fully understand the consequences of my actions.

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

It causes you to dig deeper and question and analyze yourself and actions all day. I always consider my next step, the next thing I say, and the consequence. It helps me make adjustments when necessary.

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

Taking the steps we took here and carrying them in the real world is low risk. No downside in that. The reward is priceless.

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

Using your influence to continue to engage in criminal activities here and on the outside.

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

That indifference, sitting around and doing nothing. Playing cards, watching tv, reading books without remembering what you reading, The time goes without risk but it is a waste of time.

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

Anything we do that does not consider the consequence. Criminal behavior, disrespecting others, drugs, wine making. All that is high risk and low reward. It comes at the detriment of your future.

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

After reading the risk/reward analysis, I copied and placed it in my locker to where it is one of the first things I see. I did that with the intent of drilling it into my head. I did it to make sure my actions are authentic, honest, and real.

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

Anything that adds to or aides the improvement of your development.

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

Truckdriver, dump trucks, car sales man, speaker. Several I know but I must start with one.

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

Confidence, smart, driving experience, business skills, accountability, honesty, and all seven A’s of the Straight-A Guide!

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

I need to stay informed of the industry and gain more knowledge. I must be able to understand the business of trucking, the money aspects and risks. Selling cars interests me but I need to pick up more knowledge. I want to speak as well and need more programs to help me speak. But the more I write through this program the better I think and speak.

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

If you had the money you could enroll in college programs and find guys who have had success in their line of work and learn from them. I email with Justin a lot and we talk about how I can enhance my plans for release. His info helps a lot. I am learning how to better focus my time, and to work on programs, like this one, that help me prepare for release.

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

It matters because it tells a person you have devoted a portion of your life to improving and sets you apart from those who do not have it. It shows we acted.

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

If you are competent and if I had a company I would rather hire a person who had economic credentials.

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

This is one of them. Why? It shows that you are living a values-based life. It shows how you committed yourself to being a better person with real values. That should appeal to employers own self interest of hiring capable people who are accountable.


James Hunt/ Personal Journal Entry

April 18, 2012 in Personal Journal Entries by James Hunt


I sit here and realize, its been a little over ten years to the date, that I have been in prison. I try to compare how I feel now, to how I felt then. the same with how I thought then, to now. My understanding  has grown, with an awareness that I saw things as I was, not how they were. For me, as you gain clarity, so to will peace enter your life. The absence of chaos and confusion in not completely gone, but its roar of discontent is greatly quieted.]

When I see myself start to drift with the wind, as I sometime will, I come up with an action, that will place my feet on solid ground.

James Hunt

James Hunt/ Class 8: Relationship Training

April 18, 2012 in Straight-A Guide Curriculum by James Hunt

200. What relationship do you have to others in the world?

It is improving every day. I want to benefit others, and myself, and prove that I am progressing through this prison term. I have great joy knowing I am connected to the world, and reaching out from prison. It helps me prepare.

201. To what extent do the decisions we make have an influence on the lives of others?

We have people that look at us more by what we do rather than what we say. Our action speak volumes.  A lot of guys here talk, and at one time I was one of them. Now I act and work hard all day. I want to show others how my actions align with who I am as a man.

202. In what ways does a relationship with God influence the choices we make or behaviors we pursue?

As a young man I had a strong faith in God. In the mist of all that went on in my neighborhood you could always find me in church, singing in rest homes to seniors and trying to give back. I felt alive and happy. Then things began to spiral out of control. Just one after the other. I had a hard time dealing with it and at the time thought God had given up on me. Then I gave up on myself and became reckless. God was deaf to my heart. I suddenly lacked meaning and my actions spoke of it. I valued pleasing myself at all costs. Now I strive to life as a man that is pleasing to him and others, and not just putting my desires first, and in a way that could hurt people. I know this road I am traveling has meaning, even if at times I struggle to figure it out.

203. In what ways does our relationship to anyone else influence the choices we make or behaviors we pursue?

I want to be around people I emulate and only those that can have a positive influence on my future and life. I want to be around people who are positive, who know that we can still do great things even though we are in prison. I pursue good choices and good people!

204. If everyone in society made decisions from the same code of personal values that we embrace, how would the world advance or decline for future generations, including our children?

I would not want my daughter to choose the values I did before prison. Our world would decline. I want her, and others, to choose values that benefit everyone. Then we can advance. My values are strong and I am ready to show the world this. I used to value materialistic things. That is all I valued. Now I value family, health, discipline, knowledge.

205. To what extent do your choices and behaviors match the choices and behaviors you would want your children or people you love to see and emulate?

I want my daughter to learn. When I use new words she does not know I want her to go look them up. We can learn together. We can help each other grow. I want my actions to only have a positive impact on her. I am patient, caring and want them to emulate such values. I believe I am becoming a more effective father. Together we work towards definable goals, showing love and always having a positive outlook.

206. What does it mean to you to live with integrity?

To stick with what you value no matter what.

207. What does it mean to you to serve a prison sentence or to confront adversity with dignity?

Despite what the world shows you we will not allow it to destroy us. We always have a choice on how we respond.

208. In what ways do your relationships with other prisoners influence your possibility for success upon release? & 209. How do your relationships with other prisoners influence the way that prison staff members assess you?

I like to label myself as independent, meaning I do not run with nor am I part of any organization. I do associated with others by listening and being a friend. I am just always aware of the negative consequences that can follow being around the wrong people. If am the good apple among 12, for example, but something happens they throw away the whole bunch.

210. In what ways will your relationships with other prisoners influence the probation officer who supervises your release?

They will tag and place the same motivations on you that the group is known for, either good or bad.

211. What efforts are you making today to influence the relationships you will have in the months and years to come?

Working and putting forth an effort that says, not only am I living the Straight A Guide life, but worthy of a second chance.

212. In what ways can you influence relationships with people beyond prison boundaries while you’re incarcerated?

Writing, reaching, teaching, studying. Show the world I am preparing.

213. How would maintaining relationships with people who embrace criminal values influence your potential for success upon release?

What they do not only affects you, but it can really affect those that love and support you. It would put it all at risk and ruin what I am striving to build. It’s regression.

214. In what ways do grooming and personal appearance influence your relationship with others?

It’s  representative of you, it tells who you are, what you values and the pride you take in your life. It is important.

215. How do writing skills influence the potential for opening new relationships that may lead to success upon release?

By writing it has the influence to do much. It gives you a medium for expressing yourself, your visions, your thoughts and plans in clear, cohesive way. Then others can respond and become involved.

216. In what ways are you working now to nurture relationships that may help you succeed upon release?

By doing this program, setting goals, such as completing my manuscript, by defining goals and working towards them.

217. What influence will your relationships with others have on your possibility for success upon release?

It has the possibility of adding me to their support network now and when I am free.

218. How would prospective mentors respond if they were to hear you attribute your predicament to the choices or actions of another?

Not well, because they will see a person who will duck responsibility and is quick to have excuses. We have to take responsibility.

219. In what ways does the blaming of outside forces strengthen or weaken your potential for success upon release?

As long as we are able to blame others we never have to face or deal with the root of the problem. So we will remain weak.

220. How do your relationships with others influence the people closest to you?

It allows them to form a judgment of my intent by my associations.

221. To what extent does living with transparency, or as an open book, influence relationships?

If the relationship is open you get a glimpse of who that person is. It builds trust and leaves no doubt. or question.

222. How would behaving one way with one group of people and another way with others strengthen or weaken your potential for success upon release?

It leaves a question of ones commitment. Like wearing different faces for different people. It makes someone appear as if other than what they have professed.


James Hunt/ Class 9: Financial Literacy

April 14, 2012 in Financial Literacy, Straight-A Guide Curriculum by James Hunt

223. How would you gauge your level of financial literacy today?

Fair, but with continuous improvement.

224. To what extent would you suppose that financial literacy relates to your probability for success upon release?

Greatly. We all have legal ways to make money and the more my literacy increases the easier it will be for me. We learn what to do with our money, and we learn how to better spend it on things that get us closer to our vision. It allows us to be more informed with all we do. It will help me be more successful. I want to be able to speak to anyone about business and finances.

225. What opportunities exist for prisoners to improve their financial literacy?

Books, reading, and classes. Some say there are not opportunities, but there are if you are patient and look for them.

226. How would you summarize the total costs of your imprisonment?

I have lost years of my life doing nothing of significance. For a while nothing mattered or was worthwhile. I’ve put my family in a position that goes against the role of a father. I became what I said I never wanted to be, abandoning my kids. I’ve lost years of my life and the income as well that I could have used for my family.

227. Describe ways in which in an understanding of the stock market may help you value investment opportunities.

It teaches you to look beyond the face of a company and dig deeper into its history, in relation to its present and future growth. It can be a warning sign of things to come. It tells you how your money is expected to grow and the risk you should expect.

228. How would improving skills to analyze the fundamentals of a particular stock lead to becoming a better small businessman?

Using the SWAT method is a good way to make business decisions, by identifying the risk and reward of all investments. We have to be able to identify strengths and weaknesses.

229. Describe the level of thought you are giving to your financial future.

It is always on my mind. I must be ready for it.

230. Describe the level of preparations you are making to prepare for retirement.

I think alot about how I am going to come up with money for a house to afford. I am preparing for a career that will allow me to save. I am learning all about investments that could help get me there. I want to build a portfolio and make sound investments, then as I age I can re-access risk. It comes down to knowing what I need, versus what I want, then acting properly. Preparations are ongoing all day.

231. In what ways would an understanding of the U.S. tax code contribute to your preparations for release?

It will save you time and money to understand it. You will be able to estimate your income, tax liability, and know the taxes that can come from investments.

232. What is your understanding of entrepreneurship?

One who has a vision, courage, and can assess risk, then take measured chances. And one must work hard to make it happen.

233. What would you attribute as a primary reason for business failures in the United States, and why?

Mismanagement, and the inability to accurately chart progress. Not being decisive.

234. If you were going to run your life as a business, how would you describe your preparation to succeed?

First we have to identify our goal and then come up with a plan and direction that will lead us along the way. We have to use our tools so we know how to measure our progress. We have to chart our growth and make sure we are being realistic and making changes when necessary. Nothing can be left to chance. We must do our homework.

235. What resources do you have available to you now?

Time is my best resource.

236. What potential markets exist for you?

Stone fabrication, car sales, truckdriving, and speaking to kids about the importance of making good decisions.

237. What level of resources do you anticipate having on the day of your release?

I know that the day I come home, some will be awaiting my arrival with fear and hope, and they will wait to see if my actions reconcile with my words. So I have to prepare to come home with the world on my back and make preparations to be able to handle all of it. I hope for a lot and am preparing for it all day.

238. What level of earnings do you project during your first three years after your release?

$30-$37,000 a year

239. What level of earnings do you project during your first decade after your release?


240. What action steps can you begin taking to increase your financial literacy?

Reading, studying, and analyzing magazines and books. I am always improving.

241. What relationship do academic credentials have to enhancing financial literacy?

It allows you to be more receptive to learning, and to show that you have put in the work. They credentials are all accomplishments that get us closer to our goals. And in the process we learn much need financial skills.

242. In what ways would fluency with mathematical concepts and equations enhance your potential earning power or opportunities upon release?

It teaches you to solve problems and weigh the situation. You will not be caught off guard.

243. In what ways would developing your skill with regard to reading, writing, and speaking enhance your potential earning power or opportunities upon release?

Reading allows you the ability to better convey your thoughts and ideas to others. Speaking, which becomes improved by reading, the right way can be powerful and it can make others see how intelligent you are. I also think you will earn more money by developing these skills. No, I know it.

244. Describe the types of books that might broaden your financial literacy and thus help you prepare for success upon release?

New books on stocks and understanding them. Reading books by notable people who have had success.

245. What resources will you rely upon to make financial decisions in your future?

Investment, my knowledge, books, and trusted advice from leaders who have been successful.

246. To what extent do you anticipate investment decisions having a role in your future?

Major, is has to be because I will rely upon my investments in my old age.

247. Describe the resources you anticipate relying upon as you advance in age.

With hard work and dedication I should have 5-10 trucks on the road, a property or two, a small investment portfolio, and a few books.

248. What role will these resources play in sustaining your life?

Without them and there love there is no life.

249. How will you adjust your tolerance for risk as you age?

To get out at 36 years old I still have a window for risk and to work hard. As  I get older my risk will adjust.

250. What influence would another problem with the criminal justice system have upon your financial stability?

It would cause everything that I have been working to build explode.

James Hunt/ Class 10: Leadership Training

April 14, 2012 in Leadership, Straight-A Guide Curriculum by James Hunt

251. What does leadership mean to you?

Being decesive and resolute, without wavering from your vision no matter what.

252. In what ways have your past decisions prepared you for leadership?

I would say that I have the ability to lead people rather than follow. Sometimes I do not lead. I can act in both ways. The key is to learn to lead in the right direction with values that have substance.

253. Where does leadership begin?

With the individual and the decisions we make.

254. In what ways can an individual measure his capacity to lead?

Defined goals an ability to execute a plan to accomplish them. Holding yourself accountable and responsible, and understanding what is important to you. Also the willingness of others to buy into your plan tells a lot.

255. In what ways can an individual measure his effectiveness at leadership?

How he has been leading in the past tells a lot. Do his actions in the past demonstrate leadership? If not change.

256. What does it mean to have a vision?

Your mental projection of the vision must be real and practical.

257. How does a leader gauge the effectiveness of a plan?

You must be able to identify all the strengths and weaknesses of a plan, then  change when necessary. The tools help big time. Then your logs can help you improve on the weak parts and put contingencies, like a new plan in place. Think it through and tear it apart and start over if necessary.

258. Why would leadership require accountability tools?

To be able to chart progress, and like Michael wrote, to know if we are getting closer and on track to reach our goals. They are necessary to reach the plans we set.

259. How would a leader make the most effective use of accountability tools?

He will use it as a ladder to mark his progress and climb up as every task is completed in order to keep moving up.

260. How would you describe leadership by example?

By being willing to do anything you ask of someone and even helping them and doing it patiently. Leaders help others and are patient.

261. What does leading with integrity mean to you?

It means standing and leading on a set of of values that you will not compromise on, in the way that your actions say who you really are.

262. In what ways does personal leadership require an individual to put the concerns of others ahead of his own?

When you are a leader you are doing things for the greater good, to be a benefit and have a positive effect on many. It is not always about you, but at times we must sacrifice. Nothing can jeopardize the vision.

263. How can our behavior in prison influence the lives of those we ask to support or sponsor us?

That which we profess to strive for should also coincide with our actions. Our actions speak volumes. If others see it they will know we are on the right track and want to get on board.

264. When living within the restrictions of prison boundaries, where can we turn for leadership training?

Reading, watching, acting like a leader and watching others who are leaders.

265. Describe an individual who has leadership skills that you admire?

Michael “Doc” Reaves. He has been in many roles of influence in my life. Mentor, brother, father, friend, honest, principled, and focused. His actions bring about his vision of the life he lives, he’s a leader of his family and he does it all with grace. The most important thing, is he made a chose to do so, after a life changing event in his life.

266. To what extent would emulating such leadership traits influence your prospects for success?

When practicing, training and preparation meets opportunity, its a benefit to you becoming successful.

267. In what ways do our day-to-day actions show our commitment to personal leadership development?

Our actions coincide and harmonize with out vision. Its a journey of a million miles, on where we wish to end up, and everyday our footsteps should place us that much closer. We walk towards it daily.

268. How can a commitment to personal leadership development while in prison influence your relationship with people you haven’t yet met?

It provides them a view  of who you are , rather then what you’ve done. Or it shows them what you’ve done despite of.

269. In what way can the Straight-A Guide influence your prison adjustment?

It provides a concrete, time consuming for investment in your well being, thought provoking into what awaits us when released and allows you to come up with tangible goals, while also providing direction to execute a plan with accountability; which will alleviate our transitions into society.

270. In what ways can the Straight-A Guide influence your prospects for a law-abiding, contributing life upon release?

By challenging you to foresee what you face and then taking the steps to place yourself in the best position possible.

271. In what ways will you use the Straight-A Guide going forward?

This is a program that doesn’t allow you to escape reality, you can chose to ignore it or put off what has to be done in to find your success, but in life, what you -put it, will reflect what you get out.


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