How Prison Changes People

November 18, 2018

Every time when I go visit my clients in prison, I ask them about the everyday life. I also observe the environment very carefully.

One thing is for sure, when the doors of the prison are closed behind our back, we are suddenly soaked into a different dimension.

The first word that comes to my mind when I say this is – time.

Inmates in most prisons have a lot of time. Plenty of time for sleeping and getting depressed, if they let themselves to flow this way. Or plenty of time for education, gym, work or getting involved in helping other prisoners if they decide to use their time actively and effectively.

Funnily enough, the prison staff also seems to have more time than the rest of the population outside. Many things happen in a different times than originally planned. Sometimes things do not happen at all and nobody seems to be excited about that.

I often find myself trapped in a situation when cases that are supposed to be obvious and prompt take ages.

The other word that describes the situation is – change. One of my coachees described it as follows:

“You have to change in prison, otherwise the prison changes you.”

Change in this case means to reinvent yourself in a very different environment. To face the fact that you have to cook your curry in a cattle and that the „brother” you have in your cell snores as hell and there is not much you can do about it. Change means also to use every second of happiness that visits you without previous warning. The “outside world” comfort zone is just a dream.

In my case, prison is also a good school of patience and ability not to take things too personally.

Each of my visits in this institution is a surprise. I never know when exactly I get to the proper wing of the building and how many clients I am going to meet at the end.

For example few days ago, one of my clients refused to get out of his bed at 10:30 and requested me to come back at 14:00. I saw him, I talked to him, but I was not worth enough for him to change his habits (he prefers to get out of the bed after 13:00). Did I came back at 14:00? No! I respect his decision but he has to respect my time.

But I still believe that effort is worth it. People have a choice and can change. And I will be there to assist them on this difficult path.

Should you want me to join you on your journey to a better life do not hesitate to contact me.

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