Federal inmates train service dogs

prison5I’ve written quite a bit about the importance of training and educational programs for inmates in helping prepare them for release. This program is a good example of helping inmates learn a skill that is transferable to the real world. As you prepare to enter prison, and once there, I highly recommend making a list of specific skills, training and education you want to gain while doing time. being intentional about it is critical in building a sense of dedication, direction and accomplishment.

When I entered prison I knew I wanted to work on body, mind and spirit. This meant spending time studying both spiritually and mentally and taking time to eat healthy and work out. I took classes around entrepreneurship and also taught classes about marketing and public speaking.

Do you know you are going to prison? If so, you can really choose to take two paths. You can crawl up and wait to be taken into custody, or you can get busy preparing yourself for the day you enter prison. The more prepared you are now, the better you will do once you get there. We are here to help you.

God bless,

David

Email improves communications for Vermont prisoners

My wife and I during a visit at FCC Petersburg

My wife and I during a visit at FCC Petersburg

While I was serving my five years in Federal prison, the BOP rolled out an email system for prisoners. It allows inmates to correspond with friends and families on a more consistent basis. In Federal prison you get 300 minutes of phone calls per month, or about 10 minutes per day. While it was a blessing to be able to speak to my wife almost every day, it was difficult to deepen a relationship or deal with issues that cropped up. Plus, I was shipped off to FCI Elkton in Ohio which was about 9 hours away from home, so our visits were very limited.

It looks like states like Vermont and others are implementing a new email system for their inmates to help improve communications with family. This is a good step forward, but hopefully they will not use it to replace personal visits as some institutions have tried to do with video chat systems. Nothing can replace the personal and intimate moments inmates experience with their family during visits. This should never be replaced by technology.