Timothy Lee @timothy-lee ?

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Timothy Lee/ Class 9: Financial Literacy

November 6, 2012 in Financial Literacy, Straight-A Guide Curriculum by Timothy Lee

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

I don’t have any financial means of my own at this moment.

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

I want to make a financial means while I am incarcerated to make probability more better upon my release.

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

None if you do not have the right resources to help them.

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

Very expensive into the thousands of dollars.

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

Because you can learn how important the economy and value of currency work hand and hand.

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

You can see what direction a certain stock interest is going in demand for a company if it’s going up or down.

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

Hope to be able to get work within Un** or a good paying job to put a couple of dollars away each month to have something put to the side.

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

Trying to get my career together with a college degree to work toward my retirement.

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

I do not know about the US tax code that could help me when I get out.

232. What is your understanding of entrepreneurship?

You are controlling your own business in sales and business adventures.

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

Because they do not have a product on high demand as well as the recession that changes the economy.

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

I would do things that would be beneficial to my life and productive.

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

I only have some family members to help get my life but is look for other resources to help me before I get released.

236. What potential markets exist for you?


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

Halfway house with other resources they provide with other family support.

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

I hope to find an ok job paying above poverty a little bit better.

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

To be situated in hopes of making a minimum of $50,000 plus in the first decade.

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

It’s hard to find resources thru prison if you are limited to sources.

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

It opens the doors to more opportunities because it shows that you are not a quitter.

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

You have the ability to learn new ways of life which is what you’ll be facing upon release.

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

It shows that you use your time wisely while incarcerated to better yourself.

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

The economy, stock markets, economics, trade market.

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

The bank, credit union, with having accounts in these areas.

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

Because you will be able to strategize your financial status.

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

Family and friends when I reach advanced age.

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

Give me different answers with the things I’ll need help with in life.

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

Realize that I use to be that person who was hard headed as a young person.

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

It would cost me everything I owned like this case did which I lost apartment, truck and other financial means.

Timothy Lee/ Class 8: Relationships

November 6, 2012 in Relationships, Straight-A Guide Curriculum by Timothy Lee

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

I have stained relationships with others due to my past decisions of bad choices.

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

As of now, it has  a good influence on the guys I deal with here to do better.

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

The relationship I have with God has changed my behavior in every way to make better choices in my life.

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

I have to be careful with how I deal with the guys because they’ll take my kindness as a weakness.

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?

My prior thinking was messed up so I cannot answer this question properly.

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 would want them to see a different me other than the way I was.  The person I am trying to develop has a new meaning to life.

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

To stand by with principles and morals.

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

Do not run away from your problems, face them head on no matter what is going on.

208. In what ways do your relationships with other prisoners influence your possibility for success upon release?

Some influence me in a positive way to get my life together because I have another chance at life and they don’t.

209. How do your relationships with other prisoners influence the way that prison staff members assess you?

They respect me because of the way I carry myself within the prison.

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

Learn how to accept different adversity coming from the probation officer because I’ve learned how to get around other prisoners garbage.

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

I am trying to further my education to show my support that I am changing.

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

Show them the changes that I am making during my incarceration to prepare for my future.

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

Because it shows me that I need to watch the company I keep in prison and out in society.

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

It tells people that you take pride in yourself and show what kind of people you attract.

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

Because your vocabulary and writing can show people the level of character you have about yourself.

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

Continue to stay on the same page I am on with getting my life together.

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

To present myself in better stands to show my growth within.

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

That I am not taking full responsibility for my actions.

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

Blaming others is a weakness for potential success upon release because you are not being accountable for your choices.

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

People cannot change the relationships I have with others because I am my own person.

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

Living with transparency can cause different problems within someone’s life.

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?

 Because you are not the same person all around the board, you cautiously change up to meet with the other persons expectations.

Timothy Lee/ Class 7: Support Networks

September 14, 2012 in Straight-A Guide Curriculum, Support Networks by Timothy Lee

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

I try to stay in contact with different family members to not stay locked in prison environment and to have a strong relationship.

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

I have tried to have a network system but some people distant themselves from me because of my past.

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

They want me to learn from my bad decision and get my life together.  They will support me as long as I continue to do the right with getting my life together.

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

Show my family the things I am accomplishing to better myself and preparing for my release.

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

It tells me that this is my last chance to get it right.

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

They are all supportive with the things I am doing with getting my life together.

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

By trying to find answers that can help me when I get out to help me live a law abiding life.

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

Them seeing me do better is my aspiration to change my life.

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

They are talking to me thru letters and phone calls as well as some financial help when possible.

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

I give them a high level of respect for being here for me and want me to change my life.

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

By presenting myself with different things in hopes of getting their attention with what I want to do with my life.

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

I have a great respect for the people that want me to do good upon my release.

186. Who are they?

My children, uncles, aunts, cousins and also friends.

187. What interests do they have?

To see a different person come out of prison compared to the person I was in the past.

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

Showing them diploma, degree from college as well as my conversation.

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

Some difference to a certain degree but when I get out, it’s all about the show me state of mind.

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

I am continuing to reach out to family that I look up to as mentors as well as outside sources.

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

I stay focus for all of the people who have faith in me to not let my behavior be negative or get wrapped up in activities that’s wrong.

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

I had hoped that guys I deal with be successful but some of them may not live a law abiding life.

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

They would be disappointed and upset because I got into trouble and feel like I haven’t learned my lesson.

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

That has a pretty strong meaning because when you know certain people, it can take you a long way.

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

Because you care about what they think or say within your life.

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

Send letters of interest to people that are dealing with the field in society that you would like to work with them.

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

It would help a lot to close doors that would hinder me from being successful upon release.

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

Strive toward doing something better and showing them different achievement I am doing.

199. How will you hold yourself accountable? 

By continuing to accept responsibility for my wrong doing and work on myself to change for the betterment.

Timothy Lee/ Class 6: Communication Skills

September 14, 2012 in Communication Skills, Straight-A Guide Curriculum by Timothy Lee

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

My education level was gone and my communication skills was bad because I did not have the proper education.

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

Having my education together would have pushed my success in life.

153. What do communication skills mean to you?

They mean a lot because you can adjust to any situation.

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

It can knock down different barriers that you had before your confinement by getting better communication skills.

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

Because they will know how to communicate and talk to different people on several levels.

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

You will be able to be versatile to different situations on level outside of prison.

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

Reading different books, literature classes and tutoring classes.

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

I got my GED and brought up my communication skills.

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

Because you can comprehend different job tasks.

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

Do not give up in getting his communication level together.

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

He will see how lacking in different areas may have cause him to come to prison.

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

You build yourself up in different areas within academic skills.

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

To understand and broaden your mind to a much higher level.

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

I read more spiritual and educational books.  The bible daily and school books to further my education with some urban novels to relax.  I read them to help me ground myself.

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

It enlightens me to find better ways of coping with people and situations on a day to day basis.

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?

Self-meditation, laying back on my bunk and relax and think.

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

Using proper English and talking with a common tone using things helpful.

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

You can focus on what’s going on more so other than a unstructured environment.

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 a whole different language inside of prison than in society and you will have to adjust right away.

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

The way he speaks and how loud his vocabulary may be.

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

Because it shows that he takes pride in himself and he carries himself with respect.

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

It help see what you went thru on a daily basis because it helps understand freedom values.

One of the exercises Michael embraced to develop his communication strategy included writing book reports. In Earning
, 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
  • What I learned from (title of
  • 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 can help me get my meaning across to what my life has been like and to learn how to put my life together on a letter level.

Timothy Lee/ Class 5: Self-Improvement Training

September 14, 2012 in Self-Improvement, Straight-A Guide Curriculum by Timothy Lee

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

Find a meaningful daily routine that would help you develop self-improvement things around you in prison.

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

Walking to the library to find meaningful information to help with research for resources. 

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

I set out every day to find something constructive to do with the vision toward my future. 

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? 

Get my education, vocational trade and programs to keep up with today’s society level.

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

Daily exercise, running, push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks. 

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

Being involved with guys that indulge in gang activity, drugs and wine. 

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

Educational school, vocational trade and institutional programs. 

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

When guys see you trying to do something that’s right and they do negative things to stop you. 

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

It shows me how to work harder toward my goals no matter what’s going on around me. 

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

I try to stay to myself and stay focus on my goals no matter what is going on. 

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

I had a really bad attitude and decisions making problem that’s why I feel the SWOT model is good for guys. 

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

It can help me to learn more self­-control and decision making for when I go back to society. 

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

Stay out of the way of negative things and prepare for a better future with focusing on my goals. 

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

Getting involved with negative people and things that would cause you to be in harms way. 

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

Not wanting to do anything with free time but watch TV shows and play table games all the time. 

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

Making wine, drugs and gambling with low-reward all together. 

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

I try to use my day in a positive manner to achieve certain goals. 

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

Personal finance class, drug abuse counseling, domestic battery classes, psychology counseling, job skill preparation. 

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

I want to become a counselor to help troubled young minority men and women that was just like me. 

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

I would like to do a correspondence course in college for Human Services while I am incarcerated. 

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

Being able to talk to guys in here by influencing them to get their education together and to work on being a better person. 

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

There are not many programs in the BOP that could help me prosper with the career that I want to go into upon my release.

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

It shows the employer that you are not a quitter and you can accomplish different task. 

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

They look at your academic credentials as a positive thing.

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

A college degree and a self-will is the most important of all.


Timothy Lee/ Class 4: Life Management Skills

September 14, 2012 in Life Management Skills, Straight-A Guide Curriculum by Timothy Lee

105. How would you define your life management skills?

I have set out to do a college correspondence course in human services to become a counselor for young minorities.

106. What types of decisions influence how you will emerge from prison?

Being determined to do something better with my life while I am incarcerated, to get my education together.

107. In what ways does your daily schedule determine your potential for success upon release?

I try to find things to do within the prison that will prepare me to make a positive release.

108. How do personal relationships influence our prospects for success?

Because I would like to show them a different person other than who I was in the past.

109. How can we cultivate and nurture personal relationships that may prove helpful through our prison journey and beyond?

People still having faith and support in me that I can live a better life.

110. In what ways did Michael’s decisions at the beginning of his term lead to the opportunities that opened for him through the decades he served?

Staying persistent with his goals, not to stray away from his focus goals.

111. In what ways have the decisions you made from the day of your arrest influenced your life today?

To give up the things that caused me to come to prison from the drug lifestyle and gang involvement.  My thinking, behavior and getting spiritually connected with God.

112. How would you compare and contrast the initial adjustment decisions of two prisoners who offered their profiles?

Two different people one could live a positive life and the other could get influenced to live a negative life as a prison code.

113. In what ways does your prison adjustment compare or contrast with the individuals profiled?

I am my own person, I set my goals and make my own direction rather than do what other guys may do.

114. In what ways does your prison adjustment compare or contrast with the type of career trajectory that Greg Reyes or some of the other successful businessmen described?

It holds me back from continuing an education to be successful for my future to have a better life.

115. What steps can you take in the time that spans between now and your release date to prepare for a law-abiding,
fulfilling life?

Complete any educational programs that I can to better myself, seek and additional information or courses.

116. In what ways are your interactions with others in prison and beyond purposeful?

I try to interact with guys that want something out of life and if they are not searching for the same thing I don’t deal with them because there in the way of my progressing.

117. How do your interactions with others relate to the individual you aspire to become?

Because they may motivate me in different areas to change outside of my own motivation.

118. What types of activities, interests, and discussions motivate or inspire your closest acquaintances?

Coming up with ideas and game plans to do something with our lives, education and mature conversation.

119. In what ways will the relationships you cultivate help or hinder your aspirations?

Find guys that want to rebuild their lives and prepare for their release other than guys that are negative around the prison.

120. If Red had a stable job with opportunities for growth, what do you suppose would have tempted him to revert to crime?

Red had greed, to get fast money even though he had a stable job.

121. In what ways could a prisoner manage his life to persuade prospective employers that he lives by different values from
men like Red?

Basically explain that I made a bad choice that cost me to go to prison and while incarcerated I made good use of my time with obtaining my education and job skills.

122. How does an individual’s diction influence perceptions?

People may look at you in a funny way when you are trying to get your life together.

123. How does an individual’s personal grooming and presentation influence opportunities?

It shows that you take care of yourself and present a different image other than negative.

124. With regard to the attitude attribute of the Straight-A Guide, what does it mean to make a 100 percent commitment?

To totally give your all to things in life to prosper.

125. How would you assess your acquaintances with regard to the attitude attribute of the Straight-A Guide? 

I have told several guys about the program and how it could help them in life and that it’s good for me.

Timothy Lee/ Class 3: Accountability

September 14, 2012 in Accountability, Straight-A Guide Curriculum by Timothy Lee

97. Describe your thoughts on whether accountability logs would help, hinder, or provide indifferent to your opportunities for success upon release.

Yes, accountability logs would help me see my actions and they would not change things for success of my release.

98. In what ways will probation officers respond to efforts you’ve made at documenting your values, goals, and commitment to preparing for a law-abiding life upon release?

They would be shocked to see my accomplishments and a completely different person compared to the person I was in the past.

99. Elaborate on ways that full transparency with regard to your prison adjustment through accountability logs can influence
potential employers or support networks.

It will show a difference in the way I did my time to prepare for my release.

100. Describe the role accountability logs played in their success:

Because they were prepared in life with a direction and goals for a positive future.

101. How do universities evaluate which students to admit?

They do a student accountability academic process to see if you may qualify.

102. What information do creditors consider when deliberating on whether to extend loans?

To see if you have a good payment history by looking at your credit with determining if they will loan you money.

103. What governs investment decisions that people make?

If they have something worth investing in and if it will make them a profit.

104. How do your responses to the above questions support or refute the value of accountability logs? 

They support a way of life, to put things in perspective and direction.

Timothy Lee/ Class 2: Goals

August 16, 2012 in Goals, Straight-A Guide Curriculum by Timothy Lee

64. What values might lead a person to success upon release from prison?:

Being determined to change his life and put the past behind him.

65. How does a person ever become his values?:

By standing on his principles and values he has for himself, no matter what.

66. How does a person strengthen his integrity?:

My sticking to my beliefs and morals that my family instilled in me as a person and man.

67. What immediate challenges will a prisoner confront the day his prison term expires?:

Having to adjust to a different environment other than confinement.

68. Housing:

$1,000 to $1,800

69. Household furnishings:


70. Clothing:


71. Transportation:

Used car $2,000

72. Incidentals:


73. How much in the way of financial resources should a prisoner expect to need in the way of financial resources to transition to society?:

$5,000 to start

74. How will prospective landlords, employers, creditors, and others in society respond to an individual who discloses his criminal record(s) and history of imprisonment?:

They might look at you in a bad way. That’s why you have to be selective with telling people about your criminal record or imprisonment.

Describe the job market in the sectors for which you would like to find employment::

75. What range of income does the market offer?:

$26-$30 as a counselor; $30-$37 as a CNC machine operator

76. What level of education or experience do candidates for such employment typically have?:

They usually have a college degree to be a counselor or have vocation training in one machine operator.

77. In what ways will a prison record influence possibilities for employment?:

It can give an employer a negative point of view or it can possibly say that you made a bad choice in hopes of them giving you a second chance.

78. Where is the general employment rate in your community?:

Low, I haven’t been in society in 2 years.

79. How would you expect the general employment rate to compare with the unemployment rate for people with your background, considering prison record, educational record, and experience?:

I would fall under the unemployment percentage rate if I cannot find a job due to my criminal background.

80. How much time do you anticipate needing between your release date and securing the job you expect to land?:

I would hope to have a job within 30 days but I already know that it’ll be a hard task due to my incarceration.

81. If halfway house placement requires forfeiture of 25 percent of gross earnings, of your monthly take-home pay, how much do you anticipate you will keep during the time you’re in the halfway house?:

10% of my earnings after paying my monthly bills.

82. What do statistics show that average households in America earn each year?:

$30,000-40,000 per year.

83. How so you anticipate your income will compare with that average one year after your release from prison?:

It will be low until I am more stable with my career.

84. What emotions do we introduce when we obsess on issues beyond our ability to influence?:

We get frustrate, angry and act out toward people that does not have anything to do with these issues.

85. How can we overcome the despair that accompanies imprisonment?:

Set out to accomplish our goals to prepare for our release date.

Michael wrote about the numerous ways that his behavior could lead to the extension of his prison term or the aggravation of his prison conditions. No one wants to serve longer prison terms or serve sentences under harsher conditions. :

86. What types of behavior lead to such outcomes?:

Making wine, fights or stabbing, having a knife will lead to doing more time.

87. How do harsher prison conditions influence an individual’s ability to prepare for success upon release?:

Because it will make you prepare to not come back to prison because it shows you that this is not a place for a human being.

88. How does behavior that leads to harsher prison conditions influence the lives of those in our support network?:

It will make them worry about you to a degree if you are alright.

89. Although the prison system offered ways to lengthen a prison term or aggravate the conditions under which a prisoner served his sentence, what objective mechanisms exist within the system for a prisoner to distinguish himself in a positive way?

They offer different self-help programs to teach you to prepare yourself for release.

90. How then does the system encourage individuals to work toward reconciling with society, prepare for law-abiding lives upon release, or earn freedom?:

To work the programs and have community ties as well as keep in front of you consequences of coming back to prison.

91. Describe the goals you have set?:

To change my life to do better and accomplish different goals for myself to close the doors that hindered me.

92. Describe how your goals relate to your professed values?:

My goals make me have self-respect and morals about myself.

93. How clearly can you gauge your level of success toward each goal you set?:

As of right now, I am limited to obtain my goals because the BOP does not have too many programs to seriously work toward my goals.

94. In what ways does one goal lead to the next?:

Because once you accomplish a goal it opens the door for you to move forward.

95. If you achieve all of your goals, how will they influence your prison adjustment?:

I did not let my incarceration affect me in obtaining the goals I needed to accomplish.

96. How will the goals you set influence your prospects for success upon release?:

Because they will close those doors of negativity to help me do better compared to not having anything together when I walked out of prison in the past.


Timothy Lee/ Class 1: Values

August 16, 2012 in Straight-A Guide Curriculum, Values by Timothy Lee

16. Who are you?

I am someone who has a troubled life from a tragedy in my childhood.  As a person I try to live by morals with respect, integrity, and values.

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

I dropped out of school in the 9th or 10th grade but since my incarceration I have set out to get my GED.  I obtain a vocational trade in Machine Operator ?? entry level. I want to make a career as a counselor for the youth to share my experiences that I have been with the law.  I started getting to trouble by the age of eight years old up until my federal incarceration.

18. What are you going through now?

I am trying to reconstruct myself as well as my life to get away from the negative lifestyles that I was involved in.  As well as try to show my family that I have changed from the person I was before.

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

19. Time remaining to serve.

Get better spiritually connected with God!  I can work on myself with getting an education together face all of my personal issues mentally and emotionally.  Stay out if the gang involvement and stay positive.

20. One month after release.

Find employment as a counselor to help troubled youth.  Reconnect with loved ones and close friends.  Find my own place to live, and get other financial things together.

21. One year after release.

I plan on being somewhat situated with my life, career, and relationship with family.

22. Five years after release.

Have my direction with my life structured with a positive foundation. Owning my own home, car, nice bank account, career together and able to look back on my life with a smile on my face.

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

They look at prisoners in a negative way that they’re never going to be anything.  Then some say that we made mistakes and don’t look down upon us.

24. Describe how television programs and movies depict prisoners:

Television depicts prisoners as bad people due to committing crime against society.

25. Compare and contrast your prison adjustment with the prison stereotype.

My adjustment to my incarceration is different than the stereotype because I set out to better myself than just doing normal stint.

26. In what ways is your adjustment similar?

I go through the daily formalities of trying to get my life together.

27. In what ways is your adjustment different?

It’s really different from day to day.

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

28. High security.

There is not much to offer an in,ate but GED and some other programs to occupy our time, nothing to take back to the community beneficial.

29. Medium security.

I have not been to a medium security prison but from my knowledge there are more opportunities to better yourself.

30. Low security.

I don’t know because I haven’t been to one.

31. Minimum security.

more freedom, don’t know what the places may have for inmates.

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

Man, I ain’t never coming back to prison, but they do not have a plan, or education to help them have a productive release.  As well as have it within yourself to it return back to prison.

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

Because they spent their time obtaining an education, career for the betterment, when the other person wastes their time not getting an education.

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

They can do various educational programs to help them have a productive release.  As well as have it within yourself to not return back to prison.

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?

10 years or more

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

Oh well, that’s where he belongs.

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

Some do not have plans for success, due to their long sentences, and loss of hope.  And some have a brighter outlook.

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

That there is not much they can do but try to prepare themselves for release someday.

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

He’s someone that stays out of trouble, and to get his life together to do better.

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

His journey can show differences other than the prison stereotype for people like myself to keep hope and push forward to better myself.

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

It showed him how to make the best of a bad situation, and to strive to become a better person, so he will live a better life.

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

That prison was not the life for him, and to get an education to help him when he is released.

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?

I do not let the negativity affect what I want to do for myself to get my education, and do other meaningful things to help me upon my release.

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

After my release, I see myself living a positive life and becoming a positive role model to having a stable foundation as well as reestablishing my relationship with family and children.

45. What distinguishes an aspiration from a fantasy?

You set out to accomplish your goals, that’s realistic rather sit back and come up with things in your heads not beneficial or reality.

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

I am seeking my education, in hopes of doing a college course to become a counselor while incarcerated.

47. Accountability: How are you measuring progress?

I got my GED, and God will I will find help to pay for my college course.  I am also doing the programs within the prison to better myself.

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

I try to be aware of my surroundings a lot due to being in a high security prison.

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

I make plans to prepare myself for my release by trying to get my education.

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

I know that it will be a big difference due to my coming to prison, but I am attempting to change this by getting my education.

51. Achievement: When do you celebrate success?

When I accomplish positive things that will help me with my life.

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

My family plays a role by giving me encouragement to get my life together, and by being supportive by not giving up on me.

53. Where did those choices lead?

They led to a number of juvenile detention centers, to gang banging and not wanting to listen to loved ones.

54. What did you value then?

Gang lifestyle, nothing else.

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

I would try and explain to them there is a better way to life, and to look at my life coming in and out of prison.

56. What would you do differently if you could?

Listen to my family, and get out of the gang, and drug lifestyle before all of this happened.

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

I was much younger and naive to the life. Now I continued to work on me as a better person.

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

I have continued to strive forward toward my future in every way.

59. Identify the values by which you live.

I value respect and dignity, and morals as a man not matter the situation.

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

I am staying focused in the direction of my values, always living them. I am making important preparations for my future.

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

I do not know because at the time of my arrest I did not much care how society looked at me.

62. Where does your allegiance lie?

I stand alone for myself to be a man.

63. Are values situational or absolute?

They are absolute, because I go by principals as to the person I am within.

Copyright 2019 The Michael G. Santos Foundation