Timothy Lee/ Class 1: 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.

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