Title: Inside and Out
Instructor: CO Dwight Johnson
Why I took this course:
This is an Evidence-Based Recidivism Reduction (EBRR) approved on the FSA Time Credit class. The class title is Inside and Out – Pathway to Transformation and Hope.
I wanted to find out how to cope and thrive in prison. Also how to improve my: communication skill, coping strategies, and social skills and build goals and plan to address these issues. These are some of the skills I listed on my release plan that I intend to improve while I am in prison. These skills will enhance my reentry into the communities. How to take care of my health and maintain a healthy lifestyle while in prison. How prison affects me, my family, and my friends. How to deal with BOP while in Halfway house and home confinement, restitution, and recidivism.
What I learn from this course:
I learned about the eight dimensions of wellness: emotional, financial, social, spiritual, occupational, physical, intellectual, and environmental. The stress of being in prison leads to poor health which could lead to recidivism. Behavior choices can impact our wellness. How each dimension of wellness contributes to healthy and unhealthy behavior. We assessed our overall wellness as well as individual strengths and challenges.
We identified our core values and how to live with them. We developed goals and plan to make them happen. We defined and Identified our core values. Learned to identify negative thought patterns that keep us from changing our behavior. We developed individual Goals for changing our behaviors and developed action plans to accomplish our goals.
Communication skills with active listening. Communication problem leads to misunderstandings, unhealthy relationship, depression, and anxiety. The communication module teaches us active listening and communication styles. We defined passive, aggressive, and assertive styles. We practiced effective communication skills and active listening and speaking to be understood. These skills will help me avoid conflicts while in prison and upon release.
Coping Strategies – how to cope in prison and with life upon release. How our ability to cope affects our wellness. We learned coping strategies and skills that can help us manage feelings and reactions during and after incarceration. These skills will help me control my emotions, avoid incident reports and engage in healthy behavior.
Prosocial skills. helps us improve interaction with others, ways to stay calm in stressful times, learn to restrain anywhere, and put others’ priority to help me become healthier and happier. It teaches us to practice slowing down our thoughts by taking time to breathe, staying in the moment, and seeing the options we have before making choices and acting on them. We learn how to value ourselves while developing an other-oriented perspective.
Sustain skills: we practice skills to master them. Prioritize which action plan we will work to master. How to get support and assess our own progress and how to sustain our new habits and skills.
Most important of all we used real-life situations that were discussed in class. It provided us with lots of knowledge and how to deal with them assertively. I recommend this class to all inmates.
How will this class help me upon my release:
The class provided me with tools and knowledge on how to communicate, assess situations, react, make good decisions, active listening, and other tools needed to deal with others in prison and outside of prison. The knowledge will help me avoid recidivating upon my release. Also, it enhance my life and brings peace and a healthier lifestyle. All these tools will be applied to my volunteer work with the communities after my release.