Phillip Jamison/ Class 2: Goals

by Phillip Jamison

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

For a person to be successful upon release, it starts with a positive optimistic attitude and the fortitude to persevere through many obstacles to come.  Sharp communication skills and professionalism are two powerful attributes in seeking the right employment and connecting with future employers.  A man must continue to stay on the right path, consistently pressing forward and not repeating old negative habits.  Even if your on the right track, you could get hit if you just stand there or even go backwards.  You must always strive on gaining more knowledge and sharpening your way of thinking and understanding how to deal with various possible outcomes whether positive or negative.  Like a Chess player, “what will the resulting action comprise of if I make this decision prior to?  In addition, proper planning is a must for it could mean the difference between success or failure.  People never plan to fail, they only fail to plan.  Furthermore, as a man with a prior conviction.  Failure is a strong possibility, even in the process of seeking employment.  Like Quicksand, when you receive one to many no’s or “I don’t think so’s.”  You feel as your sinking deeper and deeper into a hole.  Before you know it, your up to your neck in misery.  This will make you feel stuck and want to give up hope.  Through time, you may start to believe that you will never achieve success based of your resulting failure.  This is when the value of self-discipline and perseverance come into play which pulls you out of that hole and brings you back to remembering your values.  Therefore, if one is absolutly committed to the values they pledge in as a way of life.  One can overcome triumph.  As a former Gunners Mate of the U.S. Navy.  I’ve come to see that many people aim to do right; they just fail to pull the trigger.  “So just do it.”

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

If a man consistently follows his values and splices them in with his daily life.  His personal ethics and progress in personal development will than metamorphosis his inner being, resulting in becoming his values.  Mastering your values comes through proper discipline, dedication and the commitment to live your life free of deception and with all sincerity.  Only one who devotes himself to the cause with his whole body and soul can master his values.  For this reason, mastery demands all of the person.

66. How does a person strengthen his integrity?:

I believe when an individual adheres to his code of values.  Then leads a life of honesty with an indomitable spirit and the courage to actively power into accomplishing any given effect.  His integrity will than grow stronger.

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

As a prisoner leaves the wire to finally be released back to society, he will no longer have the living stability that the prison system offers to house a prisoner.  He will now be on his own and will need to provide for himself.  He’ll need clothes, a place to live and transportation.  In addition, he will need a means of financial flow for nourishment and hygiene.  This comes with the challenge of finding employment.  Prior to a prisoners release, he will need to create a plan of action on what he’ll need to accomplish in order to gain stability.

68. Housing:

Prior to a prisoner being released back to society, he will need to save an estimate of $6500 in order to live in an area of comfort and worry free.  For a one bedroom apartment, he’ll be required to have an average of $2200 for the first and last months rent as well as a $1500 security deposit.  In addition, he’ll need $300 for 5 months worth of utilities such as water, gas and electricity.  Furthermore, he will need an additional $3000 for collateral incase his progress in gaining employment renders unsuccessful.

69. Household furnishings:

For a prisoner to live in a state of comfort, he’ll need to provide himself and his home with the proper necessities that come with daily living.  These items comprise up of food, enough furniture to fully furnish a one bedroom apartment, electronics equipment, kitchen supplies and hygiene products.  To meet these demands, a prisoner will need to save an estimate of $5000.

70. Clothing:

Based on a prisoner who has been incarcerated long-term.  His clothing sizes may have increased or decreased since he checked into prison.  Furthermore, he may need to be brought up to the current fashion.  “Bell Bottoms are phased out and Platform Shoes may cause more problems.”  With this in mind, he may need an entirely new wardrobe.  In addition, based on the amount of time the prisoner serves, fluctuation costs may increase.  So an estimated amount for shoes, business suits, clothes for daily living and so on may cost anywhere from $4000 to $5000.

71. Transportation:

Depending on the location of an individuals home.  They may be able to gain transportation via bus or trolley if they live with in a city in which provides it.  This may have an estimated monthly cost of $150.  However, if an individual lives with in a town or rural area, they may require reliable transportation.  For a vehicle which is considered low end, with high mileage.  The estimated cost could be $8000.  To add to that, extra labor expensive for future restoration costs may also be a factor.  Although this may be true, in order to avoid unwanted expenses for restoring a low budget vehicle.  An individual may prefer to purchase a vehicle with greater reliability and lower mileage.  This may cost and estimated $16,000.  In addition to that, they’ll need to factor in monthly fuel costs as well as general maintenance fee’s estimated from $300 to $400.

72. Incidentals:

For me to have a successful transition back into society.  I estimated a monthly savings budget of $3200.  This brings the estimated yearly savings to $35,400.

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?:

For a prisoner to have a successful transition back into society.  The amount of financial resources expected to re-build their lives is based on one of two things.  First, does the individual have any resources they’ve collected over a coarse of time, prior to their incarceration that can muster when released back to society?  And secondly, how long has the individual been incarcerated?  In the likely hood that a prisoner has been incarcerated long-term and/or suffered the loss of all recourses gained prior to sentencing.  They may require all resources to begin re-building their life.  For this reason, an estimated figure required would be $25,000.  Although this may be true, some prisoners may have been fortunate to have a means of outside support whom is storing their personal resources, which contains all household items required to live conformable, plus all of their clothing apparel.  In addition, they may still have a vehicle for transportation which could have been one of the greater challenges to attain.  Therefore, if a prisoner happens to return back into society with all of these recourses.  They may only need an estimated figure amount of $10,000 to successfully jump start their life again.

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?:

I strongly anticipate a high degree of contradiction through prospective landlords, potential employers, creditors, etc.  Regardless of the long road I have ahead of myself on piecing my life back together, I know it will be challenging.  Some may stereotype against me, while others may question my integrity.  These are all issues that may break a man until he shatters.  Although this is a high probability, I believe that victory goes to the one who has no thought of himself.  If you adhere to your values and follow your bliss, you will gain achievement.  Taking responsibility for your negative actions was the beginning, overcoming the triumph of your actions is progress, reaching out to prospective landlords, employers, creditors and more on how you responded to adversity through positive values is success.  The ending results may constitute in preventing others from repeating your negative actions in the future…  That’s priceless… There  are many different area’s of employment I would like to obtain, especially one that relates back to my Naval career.  One would be the position of a Small Arms Marksmanship Instructor that’s contracted globally in supporting foreign and domestic military and civil service personnel.  Another ideal job field would the position of a Private Security Protection Agent in which operates globally as well.  These particular fields would be highly rewarding.  However, due to my criminal history and restrictions of the Federal Lautenberg Act.  Gaining clearance to operate as a Private Protection Agent or obtaining a small arms weapons permit may not be an option due to having a felony.  So my sights are currently set on gaining certification to be a Underwater Construction Diver.

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

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

Having the position as an Underwater Construction Diver comes with multiple benefits.  First and for most, the traveling.  Depending on various job contract agreements.  A diver may be assigned to travel to various places around the world.  This would cost a tourist a fortune in flight fees.  Secondly, the SCUBA diving. Many people in the world haven’t yet taken the opportunity to SCUBA dive into the abyss.  When descending 60 feet below the surface, you’ll encounter a world within another world where you’ll meet lots of new friends.  Some will be small enough to fit in your pocket and some will be large enough to see you as a morning vitamin.  Although this may be true, the best vitamin for making new friends with these creatures is B1…  Holding the position as an Underwater Construction Diver comes with a lot of responsibility.  The yearly salary can range with in the figures of $70,000 to $150,000.  In addition, you’ll be granted full medical and dental benefits as well as a retirement plan.  Obtaining a position of this nature would be highly rewarding.

“The only easyday was yesterday.”

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

This type of career requires an Underwater Diving Construction Certification through a creditable institution that offers the program.  One of the most reputable schools is The National University of Polytechnic Institute.  This 9 month coarse teaches candidates on how to properly operating a Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA), basic and advance diving skills, dive safety, diving physics, and more.  However, earning certification may only get you an entry level position into a diving construction unit.  But obtaining a position of leadership and management or a field pertaining to dive medicine may require further education.  In addition, prior experience through a job field such as the U.S. military may also increase a candidates chances for employment selection.

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

I believe, through positive values, honesty and perseverance, my employment goals will be met, for possessing a criminal history may hinder my chances in gaining proper employment.  So I know I’ll need to work extra hard in order to rise above adversity.  I’ll have to show future employers that regardless of making bad decisions that effected my life and being forced to face the hard end of a Federal sentencing.  I took the time and initiative to better educate myself , create more positive values and personal growth and purge my life of any negativities that may affect my future.  This will take a lot of courage and discipline to open up my heart to any future employers.  Many people fail at doing this because the wishbone is where their backbone should be and neglect to show true honesty in the presents of an employer.  This is why I believe that through positive values, honesty and perseverance, my employment goals will be met.

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

Based on economical press releases and various magazine ads.  This countries general employment rate is at 9.2%.  In the community where my residents will take place upon release.  It currently shows an average unemployment rate of 13%.

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?:

For an individual that lacks the proper education required to meet work standards with in the United States.  The possibility of gaining a stable career that offers advancement, benefits and job security many render unattainable.  For an individual lacking job experience, they could find themselves enduring the harsh reality of challenging the job market.  Both of these issues may decrease an individuals chances on great employment opportunities.  However, obtaining employment in general, especially during a high unemployment recession may presume to be even more challenging and to some individuals impossible.  The failure to find a job can be as harsh as paddling a canoe upstream.  “Your not getting anywhere.”  All of these dilemma’s could crush a mans spirit.  A man must always strive of improving his work ethics and furthering his education.  For this reason “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”  Whether our country is facing an economical crisis.  I will still continue forward on educating myself and following my core values.  By pursuing these goals and values, I plan on becoming a more positive model citizen who overcame the triumph and adversity of making bad choices resulting in incarceration.

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

In pursuing my career goal as an Underwater Construction Diver, this may take a year or two from my release date, in achieving.  However, my plan upon release is very firm.  First I’ll enroll back into college and continue forward with my education.  I’ll do this by acquiring financial aid (which as a felon, you’ll still be entitled to) as well as un-subsidized student loans.  In addition, I’ll continue conducting personal training sessions and martial arts lessons part-time to gain extra income.  Upon earning my Bachelors Degree in Business and Administration, I’ll move forward in gaining certification as an Underwater Construction Diver.  This plan will not work unless I do…

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?:

In regards to spending time in a halfway house.  My goal is to meet all mandatory prerequisites for home confinement eligibility.  This is comprised up of a home to reside in, employment and a land line telephone.  In addition, the owning of a vehicle could aid you in gaining the credibility in earning eligibility as well.  I will also continue to move forward in my college education courses.  In calculation of my overall streams of income through college financial aid, VA Benefits and employment.  I plan on gaining a monthly income salary of $3000.  However, in being required to forfeit a mandatory 25% of monthly gross income.  I will need to save a monthly amount of $800 over a coarse of 6 months which will calculate to $4,800 in savings upon release of home confinement.

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

The average yearly salary for a household with in the U.S is with in the figures of $40,000 to $50,000.

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

My plan is to focus on my college education for the next two years upon release.  However, as a part-time personal trainer and mixed martial arts coach.  I plan on gaining more clients and doubling or maybe tripling my yearly compensation.

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

When we obsess our passions and desires towards influences beyond our abilities.  We activate a stress source known as physiological stress.  These are stress factors that create anxiety and depression.  These issues could advance into greater problems such as substance abuse.  In addition, the physical reactions will result in creating stressful symptoms such as muscle tension, headaches, stomach upset, and inadequate sleep.  These physical signs all tax the body.

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

An individual must always maintain a strong and optimistic attitude.  They must believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel that leads to personal recovery and success.  They must set goals for themselves and believe that they can accomplish those goals.  They must also work towards cleansing their lives of all negativity, even in the mist of prison.  As a prisoner, I myself had made it a requirement to avoid toxic people and negative area’s with in the prison camp.  These area’s and individual’s can pollute the mind and could set you up for greater disappointment.  In failing to meet these personal demands, one will soon come to realize that the true test of character waits beyond the gates of freedom.  This can mean the difference between a successful future or relapse.  As a prisoner confined with in the depths of depression and men with crushed souls.  Always keep your heart open to dreams.  For as long as there’s a dream, there is hope and as long as there is hope, there is the joy in living…

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?:

There are many types of internal prison behavior that could lead to an external lapse or relapse while back in society.  One type of behavior is the committing of theft crimes.  When a prisoner steels from another prisoner.  The chances of them repeating these criminal acts on release are highly likely.  Another behavior type is the smuggling of illegal contraband.   For a prisoner to sneak in other forms of unauthorized materials.  This is considered a form of cheating the systems of incarceration.  If they feel the need to cheat your way through imprisonment, the probability of them cheating their way throughout life is very high.  Another form of bad behavior is in not preparing themselves for prison release.  If all your going to do is wait for the storm of incarceration to pass on by.  You’ll come to discover that when your killing a little time, you may be murdering opportunity.  Learn how to be the one to go out and dance in the rain.  You can do this by utilizing your time in area’s such as education and personal growth programs that the prison has to offer to a prisoner.

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

Living with in harsher prison condition could render a prisoners ability to progress forward in preparing themselves for release.  For reasons such as the inability to have the freedom to move freely amongst the prison grounds.  This could prevent them from completing various tasks in gather resources to prepare themselves for release.  These are issues such as the prison institution rules and regulations.  Rules such as boundary lines and regulations such as time confinement to a two man cell, 23 hours a day.  Another reason is the prison inmate rules and inmate politics.  In addition, one of the bigger issues is the inability to roam freely due to gang territories.  For example: An individual may wish to utilize space with in the television and entertainment room to work on college courses.  However, the television room just so happens to be over ruled by gang related individuals with bad intentions.  An individual must find the strength and fortitude with in themselves to create and discover new ways on progressing forward in their personal growth, education enhancement and achievement.  Although these issues may be true about upper level prisons.  Through speaking with other prisoners who have been with in the prison system for a long period of their lives.  They have stated that there are various high level prisons that offer more educational and personal growth opportunities, than a low level prison or prison camp.

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

Practicing poor behavior skills while incarcerated could call for disciplinary actions by the prison institution.  Behavior problems such as theft, possession of illegal contraband and fighting are all against prison rules.  Disciplinary actions such as a long extensive stay with in the Special Housing Unit (SHU) or transferring to a higher level prison institution may occur.  A prisoner may lose their line of communication to the outside world for an extensive amount of time.  This will strongly effect their outside network.  This may also hinder a prisoners ability to progress further in their personal growth.  In addition, this will decrease a prisoners morale and create a substantial amount of stress and anxiety.  Furthermore, this will create more stress for their loved ones in regard to a prisoners safety and wellness.  I myself have continuously chosen to not to practice nor create poor behavior habits as well as putting myself into vulnerable situations.  For this reason, my family is counting on my safety and assurance.  What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies with in us for good behavior is our future saver…

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?:

There currently are no objective mechanisms prisoners could utilize within the B.O.P. to distinguish themselves in a more positive way.  There’s really only two ways a prisoner can distinguish themselves in the eyes of others.  One is the distinguishing trait of fear due to inmate politic powers, such as gang leadership.  The other distinguishing trait is by building a reputation through disgraceful acts such as criminal rape crimes, child molestation crimes, telling on another prisoner or even being abandoned by a group they’ve affiliated with.  One of the strongest traits a prisoner could have is the ability to remain unimportant and irrelevant.  If an individual can create this quality with in the eyes of others and not be labeled as a threat, nor as one who possesses anything to their concerns.  Then their doing the right thing.  To remain humble and unknown is a true act of integrity.  Although the highest courage is to dare to be yourself in the face of adversity.  Choose right over wrong, ethics over convenience, and truth over popularity.  These are the choices that measure your life.  Travel the path of integrity with out looking back, for there is never a wrong to do the right thing.

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

There are currently no resources with in the prison system that encourages prisoners in preparing themselves in reconciling with society.  Whether their serving a 24 month sentencing or a 24 year sentencing.  The B.O.P system is designed to clench a man with in it’s grasp as hard as it can from the day of their sentencing, up until the day of their release.

91. Describe the goals you have set?:

Since I have been a candidate of Lompoc’s Residential Drug Addition Program, I’ve created new goals.  First and for most, my goal of pursing a Masters Degree in Business and Administration is still at the top of my list because I believe that there’s justification for an individual who achieves a higher education.  Secondly, continuing to press forward in overcoming the triumph of imprisonment only through positive and productive practice.  My third is to later become a Big Brother with in the RDAP community in which helps out more junior RDAP members.  Forth is to continue advancing forward in my physical fitness enhancement abilities.  And last but not least, complete my SAG with in the next seven.  In order to meet these goals I must attack every problem with enthusiasm…  As if my survival depended on it.

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

My professed values are comprised up of the following areas: 1) Self-Discipline 2) Goal Oriented 3) Perseverance 4) Family 5) Fatherhood 6) Education 7) Fitness 8) True Religion.  All of these values have been spliced into my daily living routines.

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

Everyday I keep track of my progress through daily journal entrees.  Every weekend I’ll take the time to input my journal entrees along with my SAG responses into an email format and forward them to the website.  The journal entrees show what I’ve accomplished throughout the week along with current events that have occurred throughout the week as well.  In addition, it helps me in keeping track of my weekly progress through my time of imprisonment in regards to meeting my personal goals and demands.

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

All of the goals work hand in hand with my daily values.  These goals will help in preparing me for a more successful transition back into the community.  Upon my release, I will continue moving forward in my education. In addition, I will continue on creating new goals and personal demands along with strengthening the integrity of my values.  Regardless of the fact that I have successfully triumphed over incarceration.  My process in creating new goals will always continue to stem forward throughout my life.

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

When I finally accomplish all of the goals I have set prior to my release date.  My adjustment back to the community will be less stressful and more successful.  New doors will open and new opportunities will arise.  The days of imprisonment will finally be behind me and the journey towards the rebuilding of my life with the values and achievements I’ve gained through imprisonment will take effect.  By successfully completing the goals I have set for myself.  I create a powerful road map to follow in beginning the next journey in my life.  In addition, I have eliminated many of the possible barriers that could hinder an individuals process in gaining the stability needed to meet their standards of living.  And furthermore, only I’ll have the power to achieve success without the contradiction of the prison system, along with the many other unwanted obstacles that a prisoner encounters throughout imprisonment.  A new journey known as “A life of honesty and freedom” will be at my feet.  Although this will be a new chapter in my book of life, this 1000 mile journey only begins with one step.

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

These goals I have set all work in harmony in helping me successfully rise above the adversity of incarceration.  This will have a greater and more positive impact on the prospects and demands I have set for myself in returning to the community as a law-bidding citizen.  My goal is for community members not to perceive me as a man who has spent “anytime” with in a correctional facility, nor as a stereotypical wash out from society.  But as a man with strong values and humility.  On the contrary, I want to be noticed as a man with self-discipline, positive morals, honesty and the determination to help others rise up through times of adversity.  And as I liberate from my own fears, my presence will automatically liberate others…


Phillip Jamison/ Class 3: Accountability

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