Stephen Kraut/ Class 1: Values

by Stephen Kraut

16. Who are you?

I am a middle aged man with great family values and honesty and integrity. I have great vision on what I want and will work as hard as I need to as long as I need to accomplish my goals. I feel that by living a life helping and protecting others that God will reward me with everything my family needs for a complete and happy life.

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

I have a high school education ,was a chore to graduate with medium grades. I have been around cars all my life as I grew up in a family of a car dealer and several other car related businesses. I started in the car dealership that my father owned I was eight years old and I started by cleaning the mechanics locker room after school. I progress thru the shop in my older years and went into the body shop and learned body and paint before I ended up in the sales department. At age 17 I was a salesman traveling the state selling school busses. I left my fathers employment and opened up my own body shop at the age of 18 and was selling cars and repairing them and painting them. At the age of 23 I got married to my wife Kathy and we moved to California as I got a job in a big dealership that was opening, I sold my business and house and moved. I than worked for several dealers in California and had a goal that by the age of 30 do become some way some how a dealer myself. At the age of 29 I became a partner in a dealership in Tracy California with a verbal plan to have complete ownership in 7 years.

I had never been in trouble with the law in my entire life.

18. What are you going through now?

Hell, this is the toughest thing i have had to do in my life and it is not easy at times. Being taken away from my family in the time that they need me the most is like living in hell. Learning the daily regiment in prison is the easy part because I feel I have control of what happens to me by the decisions I make. The rest of it all is out of my hands I was once thought that life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it. But when it comes to what my family is going thru on the outside partly because of my actions and partly because of basic family problems I am totally helpless but partially to blame and that is not a good feeling.

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

19. Time remaining to serve.

the best person I can become during my remaining time frame is to stay true to the family and personal values I have in me, not be persuaded to compromise them again and learn that I am here because I did that once already and learn from it. i can not let this system or the people in it or running it shift my course as they in general have very poor values and work ethic and people values. I can help by trying to convey my values and help out my fellow inmates when asked other than that I feel I owe the rest of my time to myself to so self-analyses.

20. One month after release.

Spend as much time with my wife that I love and let down who i feel is doing a harder sentence right now than I am and same for my 2 boys. I feel we just need some alone time to get caught up and bring the family unit back together and learn each other over again and reestablish the relationships back to what we once had.

21. One year after release.

1 year after release I see myself helping my son open his business with my knowledge that I have in the same field that i was in and mentoring him to help start his carrier pattern.

22. Five years after release.

5 years after my release I see me and my wife spending every day all day being with each other and enjoying life as it is, not chasseing the carrot any longer but helping my son.

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

24. Describe how television programs and movies depict prisoners:

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

26. In what ways is your adjustment similar?

27. In what ways is your adjustment different?

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

28. High security.

29. Medium security.

30. Low security.

31. Minimum security.

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

45. What distinguishes an aspiration from a fantasy?

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

47. Accountability: How are you measuring progress?

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

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

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

51. Achievement: When do you celebrate success?

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

53. Where did those choices lead?

54. What did you value then?

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

56. What would you do differently if you could?

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

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

59. Identify the values by which you live.

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

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

62. Where does your allegiance lie?

63. Are values situational or absolute?



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