Enrolling in RDAP was initially a strategic move – a bid to carve six months off my 24-month sentence. I had no idea what to expect with regard to programs/classes in prison but I certainly wasn’t worried. There is a common misconception that prison classes are a breeze…but that perception crumbles for most people after the first week of RDAP. Beyond the coursework, RDAP demands a profound introspection into the impact of addiction on your life, requiring a brutal assessment of the collateral damage and acknowledging the ripple effect on those around you.
You need to remember I was detoxing the first 4 months of RDAP (I could barely stand) my objective was to be passive at most….very minimal participation. However, that game-plan shifted after my first weekly process group session (It took few weeks until I was able to go to process group). These intimate gatherings, moderated by our Drug Treatment Specialist, Ms. Katz, became a sanctum of confidentiality. In one of these sessions, a seemingly hardcore prisoner, revealed a transformative experience. His name was Max (fictitious name), I barely knew him, but I will never forget him. Despite his unfriendly demeanor and prolonged stint in prison, he was on the brink of graduating RDAP. I didn’t know much about his RDAP experience but I knew staff didn’t make it easy on him.
Ms. Katz, who is actually one of the few staff most inmates will sign off on… inquired about his feelings on graduating. I expected a brutal/smart ass response. To my surprise, Max, with a previously unseen sincerity, declared, “RDAP saved my life.” WHAT???? Did I just hear that right? I couldn’t believe it…It was a pretty crazy moment for me. Here was an individual who, by all appearances, loathed authority, probably disliked most of us (never said a word to me)….yet wholeheartedly embraced a program that somehow had changed his life. His words resonated deeply with me, prompting me to reevaluate my stance. This became the reality check I didn’t know I needed.
In Max’s unexpected revelation – a tattooed, seemingly unyielding figure acknowledging that RDAP had saved his life – I found myself realizing I needed a new attitude shift towards this experience. It was a humbling moment, challenging my assumptions and forcing me to take a hard look at myself.
“Carps you are in prison, you have fucked up larger then you could have ever imagined. Time for serious changes.”
From that moment, I embraced RDAP wholeheartedly, realizing it wasn’t just a means to reduce my sentence but a crucial chapter in my journey toward self-discovery and rehabilitation. Time to get my shit together.