Successful Adjustment to Prison Does Not Happen by Accident

By · Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Writing about prison adjustments is an important part of my adjustment. I have been serving time in prison for longer than 21 consecutive years, and thriving through confinement is one subject that I know a lot about. I began my term inside a high-security penitentiary, and I remained locked inside those walls for longer than five years. From there, administrators lowered my custody level and transferred me to various federal correctional institutions. In 2003, my security level dropped again and administrators transferred me to minimum-security camps.

My experiences introduced me to many hundreds of prisoners. While educating myself through academic programs, I also increased my knowledge of the prison system by interviewing other prisoners and writing their stories. That work has led to several publications and given me a real depth and breadth of knowledge regarding the prison system and adjustment patterns. My hopes are that others in society will find some value in this work.

Those who anticipate that they may serve time in prison may want to read my article Strategy for Successful Prison Adjustment. In that article, I describe the importance of understand how the choices we make in prison can lead to empowerment or failure. Many prisoners, sadly, fail to make such distinctions until they have begun an adjustment pattern that leads them to higher security levels, violence, lost contacts with home, and dismal prospects upon release. The high recidivism rates that newspapers publish regularly and accurately validate this reality.

Those who experience a successful prison adjustment do not do so by accident. Prisoners who thrive through their term of confinement live a purpose driven life. I urge anyone who may be coming into the system, and those who have a loved one in prison, to review my work. I’m confident it will help.

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