What Have I Recently Learned In Prison?

October 1, 2018

Last week I spent three full days in prison. We had two back to back workshops with young offenders, together eleven young men on board.

During our meeting we talked about very personal issues, for obvious reasons I cannot give you too much details. But I can tell you my observations.

The border line between success and total failure is very, very narrow. Triggers are most often a combination of poverty, easy access to drugs and family matters.

Between the most frequent factors that I hear about again and again, I can name:

–    Absence of father

–    Mother working two shifts

–    Role model absence

–    No quality time with parents (caretakers)

–    Drugs, with cannabis as an entry door to other psychoactive substances

–    Companion of other kids left alone on the street, most often united in gangs

–    No value seen in education

–    Money being considered as most important success indicator

–    Violence observed or experienced as part of life style

–    Undiagnosed behaviour disorders (ADHD, etc.)

Young prisoners often have a feeling that they are not responsible for what happened to them. They understand what they did, but frequently are not able to point out other solutions at the time.

Suddenly we (life coaches) appear out of nowhere with the crazy idea that they are the sole governors of their lives and there surely is a space for change, if they want…

“Watch your thoughts; they become words.

Watch your words; they become actions.

Watch your actions; they become habits.

Watch your habits; they become character.

Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”

/Lao Tzu/


Are these young offenders going to change their lives after our workshop? I don’t know. Few of them, maybe. Let’s hope.

What should you take from the story?

–    The most important thing you can give your kids is time

–    Never underestimate the cannabis use for other than prescribed   purposes. These guys usually sell cannabis at first and then shift to harder drugs.

–    Be a good example. Kids do not learn from what they hear but from what they see and experience

Most of us have a reasonable life, ok parents and childhood without poverty. Let’s appreciate it. We do have luck.

At the end, remember that should you have any coachable problems you need to address, remember to contact me. I will be happy to assist you.



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