Prison consultant speaks with at-risk youth
As a prison consultant, I speak with a lot of people when they’re in challenging times. People contact me when someone they know has been arrested and they worry that they, too, may face arrest. Other people contact me when they’re further along. They’ve been arrested, or they’ve been charged, or they’re preparing for trial, or they’re preparing for a sentencing hearing and imprisonment. In addition to working with those types of clients, I devote time speaking to students. It’s my hope that students will find some value in the message. If they grasp the relationship between the decisions they make today, and their prospects for success tomorrow, then I’m doing my job.
Our podcast today and tomorrow is specifically for students.
In today’s podcast, I send a message to students at the Central Youth Reporting Center, in Santa Ana, California. I visited the school yesterday to speak with them for an hour. I have a friendship with Keith Laszlo, a teacher at the school. He uses a program I designed to teach strategies that empowered me through 26 years in prison. Keith used that program while he taught inside of jails, prisons, and juvenile halls. He now uses it several schools across Orange County and I’m happy to support the work by visiting classes that he teaches.
I arrived at the school around 9:30 in the morning and I shared my story with six young people between the ages of 13 and 17. Each of them expressed an interest in returning to the traditional Orange County schools. They could do it, I explained. They simply needed to ask Keith for guidance and then follow the path that he would lay out for them.
They listened as I discussed the bad decisions I made as a young man and the consequences that followed. I was arrested at 23, but I began making bad decisions when I was much younger. I hope the students learn from the story. Perhaps when I return, they will share how they’re working to achieve their dreams.
I send special regards to Tony, Andrew, Alex, Andres, Samantha, and Brian. And I express gratitude to Keith Laszlo and his fellow educators in the Orange County school district.
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