Monthly Archives: February 2013

Hope in prison

Seeking a future

Seeking a future

I have had the opportunity to be in correspondance with prisoners who are using Test Success! to prepare for the GED.  The book was given to a young prisoner by his Mom and then other prisoners became interested in it. Some states require a GED in order to be released from prison at the end of sentence. This causes considerable  and sometimes crippling anxiety in many prisoners because they have been out of the educational system for a long time, or they have a previous history of failing on tests, or they have a history of sabotaging their own success. All of these issues have come up in my correspondance. Yet at the root of the issues and questions these men pose, there is a genuine desire to move forward, to clear their paths of the damage they have done, to themselves and others, and to create a life for themselves that is meaningful. We all make mistakes in life, and some make more drastic and consequential mistakes than others. Yet, what these prisoners are teaching me is that the spark of desire for self-improvement and self-realization never goes out, it just dims and is obscured. The feedback these men are giving me is that the tools in the book are useful to them not only in preparing for the GED, but in their daily lives in prison. To a person they respond to the tools for being calm, confident and focused, and many have mentioned that they already see the relevancy — and necessity– of continuing to use the tools once they are on the outside. I applaud their efforts and want to do what I can to support them.  A note: I’ve said, “these men”: to date I have been introduced to male prisoners and would very much like to be introduced to female prisoners as well. If you have a story to share about prisoners or can facilitate an introduction of Test Success! to a prisoner, please let me know. Everyone can make a contribution to society given the right opportunity.

 

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