Tag Archives: prison

Jamais vu

Over the next few moments, take a self-psychological moment and get into the conviction of jamais vu.

Seeing eyeless allows one to gain insight and empathy into a world most know nothing about or are too afraid to invest emotionally.

jamais vu.
Andrei Lazarev, Unsplash

Crossing the bridge onto renewing adventures is challenging. For those leaving prison and entering a new world the level of trauma is dominated by an eerie sense of misplacement.

Try to imagine entering a new world after 13 years wrongly incarcerated as Duck experienced.

One of our goals at 2nd Chance University is to bring worlds together through life experiences from Duck, Stick, and many others contributing to our curriculum.

Don’t just read the lines from Duck, for a moment, feel each word and emotion. Come to understand crossing the bridge is not a matter of walking through an opened steel door.

Doing Time

Nothing was more intense than approaching the door for the final time. I grabbed mismatched clothes, got a bus voucher, and held my head high. No greater feeling at the time. Looking back, I don’t see release as a success. Release meant I let people down. After all, if I had done right, I would have never been sent to prison in the first place. This failure will haunt me every moment of my life.
Duck

After serving 13 years Duck entered a changed world. For a moment, place yourself in his shoes and imagine how your life would be if you were locked away for the next 13 years.

  • What world would you enter?
  • What do you think the most difficult adjustment you would have to make?

Escape jamais vu: See eyeless to transcend self/social-delusion.

I welcome your stories to be added into our series. If you chose to share or support, email me directly.

For those wishing to introduce 2nd Chance University justice-involved empowerment programs into an organization, institution, or facility, step forward; together we can make a difference.

Danny Huffman
407-878-0474
2nd Chance University
http://www.2ndChanceUniversity.org
dhuffman@2ndChanceUniversity.org

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2CU: Stick / Sanity and Steel Doors

In prison, sanity is balanced by lost years and steel doors. Stick takes our workshop audiences on a quick mental venture as he compares freedom to lines captivity.

Sanity and Steel Doors
Sanity and Steel Doors

2nd Chance University keeps the experience real, giving all a taste of what life behind bars is like in an effort to pull workshop participants back onto their path.

Stick

Lines are formed in a silent hypnotic manner as we are told how to walk, where to sit, and when to think. Don’t talk or act on your own initiative, for those things are reserved for the free world.

Obey, work, obey, work, and then you notice a faraway look in your coworker’s cold gray eyes. Where is he looking?

For some it’s 2025 and for others 2040. Still others can only look back in time to that one precious thought, that real moment in time, freedom, knowing they will never hold freedom ever again.

Interactive Insight

In the eyes of an ex-convict, what do you think freedom means? Why would Stick claim they will never hold freedom ever again?

  • To an ex-convict, what do you believe freedom means?

After our work day we silently shuffle down the quarter-mile-long hallway that connects to our wings. They lead us to our six-by-nine-foot homes.

Cruel steel doors loudly slam behind us as we step inside the small, dreary existence of home. The few possessions we are allowed to keep try to fill the emptiness of our cement boxes.

Pictures from home, a small plastic radio and commissary goods are no match for the colorless white and gray that overwhelms our comfortless cells. But in this apathetic world these small concessions mean as much as having a ten thousand dollar bank account in the free-world.

Interactive Insight

  • If you were in prison, what possessions would you hold most dear and why

Day becomes night and night becomes day with little variation in most of our lives.

We think back on past mistakes that relentlessly chew on our memories.

For most of us these memories are hurtful and hateful things we try to erase, but they continue to creep, crawling into our awareness like a stinging scorpion. Heartaches and headaches are now measured in choices that were wrong.

Sanity is balanced by lost years and steel doors.

We suffer from a broken past and a distant, uncertain future of when and how. When are we going to get out, and how? Walking or carried out feet first?

Depression and doubt constantly lurk in the shadows of our mind. Insanity hides just behind them.

Interactive Insight

  • Do you believe Stick’s words ring true to what it’s like in prison? Why or why not? What do you think prison is like on the soul and sanity?

I welcome your stories to be added into our series. If you chose to share or support, email me directly.

For those wishing to introduce 2CU and our programs into an organization, institution, or facility, step forward; together we can make a difference.

Danny Huffman
407-878-0474
2nd Chance University
http://www.2ndChanceUniversity.org
dhuffman@2ndChanceUniversity.org

2CU: The Real Thing

Throughout our programs Stick and Duck detail their experiences about doing time. Though there are entertaining movies and books about prison life, those don’t compare to the real thing.

The Real Thing

Bosses scream while walking the runs of our prison wing all day and most of the night. The nights are the worst. Some of their voices are all right but most of them grate on our nerve endings, like fingernails screeching against a blackboard. Other sounds pierce the fleet slices of nightly solitude.

The banging of locker doors, the abusive curses from one row to another, and the pitiful pleadings and crying of, “please no more, no more” make this world one nobody could understand without experiencing it.

We cover our ears, longing for the unnatural acts to be over quickly. A few of us begin to pray for the person being molested. We get very little sleep.

Stick

Insight

What do you think you know about doing time and prison life?

Doing Time:

Prison life:

2nd Chance University partners with organizations/institutions dedicated to those who have stumbled. Our material and workshops take advantage of real people, real life, and real issues.

For those wishing to partner with 2CU and our programs into an organization, institution, or facility, please step forward; together we can make a difference.

Danny Huffman
407-878-0474
http://www.2ndChanceUniversit.org
2nd Chance University, nonprofit 501(c)
dhuffman@2ndChanceUniversity.org

2CU: Mark and You

Fresh from prison release, Mark gives a unique perspective many will identify with.

Mark

Used to get around fine, hitting around the block and doing enough to get things done. Got into some trouble and needed cash in a hurry. The guy I was delivering to was not who he was supposed to be.

Same old story. Got busted and found a way out by going inside. Did some time in county and a year in state. Not much time but enough to know I got the rest of my life with this on my back.

After getting released, not many places gave me a chance. Got my GED inside, but that’s not enough.  Don’t know if I am going to make it but hoping this series can help get me on the track and out of prison. Truth is, without a job doesn’t look like a good start.

Oh yeah, name’s Mark and I got out 26 days ago.

Insight

In what ways can you identify with Mark?

I welcome your stories to be added into our series. If you chose to share or support, email me directly. For those wishing to introduce 2CU and our programs into an organization, institution, or facility, please step forward; together we can make a difference.

Danny Huffman
407-878-0474
2nd Chance University
dhuffman@2ndChanceUniversity.org

2nd Chance University: We…

2nd Chance University has lived its design, writes about what we know concerning our years of empirical findings and shares what works by applying those years of experience living within the criminal justice system.  

Our proprietary methods for altering potential criminal sentences, as well as helping those who have been sentenced to incarceration, builds on a structured methodology which allows those in pretrial and those leaving detention and incarceration to fit into society as a productive citizen.  

Each justice involved person, including Juveniles, may find identity, significance, and purpose in life and to the values their social environment offers. 2nd Chance University saves money, reduces recidivism and helps build communities by Educating, Empowering and Employing the justice involved.  

We recognize employment is a key factor in helping the justice-involved. 2CU is built upon behavioral modification, trauma centered therapy and holistic approaches to breaking the revolving door of incarceration.

Within three years of being released, 60% of ex-prisoners re-offend and 52% are re-incarcerated, according to a study published in 2014. The rate of recidivism is so high in the United States that most inmates who enter the system are likely to reenter within a year of their release.

Therefore the lock them up and throw away the key methodology is not working as can be seen by the percentage of people going back to prison. 2nd Chance University gives the justice-involved a solution to this problem. We teach them to learn, earn, and stay out.

Our program addresses the haunting effects of trauma, felt and witnessed horrible experiences attached to their environment. By addressing these issues we uncover the reasoning for many of the justice involved who exhibit a lack of empathy. Therefore the use of Looking Glass Self Theory helps them understand their situation and resonates a new meaning in their life as how to view the social constructs of society in a different and hopeful manner.

The team at 2nd Chance University relies on proven concepts in order to break this revolving door of recidivism and the continuous cycle of poverty exemplified by incarceration. Our system has been proven and the principals of our program are walking examples of successful reintegration.

For individuals, organizations, and/or institutions dedicated to transforming the world, we are always looking for support and partnerships. Give me a call (407-878-0474) or email (dhuffman@2ndChanceUniversity.org) for insight.

Danny Huffman

Journey to an NP, Part 2

If you have not checked out the previous submission, you may feel a bit out-paced. Either way, here goes the second part as the journey to a Non Profit continues…

Since 2012 I’ve expanded our non-profit to support three justice-involved categories:

  • Youth reintegration and empowerment
  • Adult alternatives to incarceration
  • Pre- and post- release from incarceration

Six years later, our 4-month, 18-book, series/interactive workshops, are launching mainly because this once 16-year old softball player saw people in La Tuna as peoplenot as monsters… just people who made a mistake and needs to regain balance and Hope.

Over the years, this journey has had a personal cost of over six figures… the amount returned to cover? Zero… not one cent.

Worth it? You tell me, would you sacrifice years and over six figures with only Hope to make a positive difference in lives, families, and the world?

In this regard, will share participant journeys and how their lives change as we grow.

We are a 501 (C) (3) on the brink of great things… let me know if you would like to share in this journey; your insight, contacts, support, and donations are appreciated.

2nd Chance University is a non-profit designed for our youth as well as our adult population who have stumbled to regain their Commitment, Hope, and Empowerment.

If you chose to share or support, email me directly at dhuffman@2ndChanceUniversity.org and if you or a family member played softball years ago while at La Tuna, thank you for letting me into your world.

Danny Huffman
Founder
dhuffman@2ndChanceUniversity.org
321-972-8919
2ndChanceUniversity.org

Steven’s Doubled CHE Quotient

Last time we stopped abruptly in the middle of Steven’s story, time to check out how his CHE Quotient — not too worry, for those not in the CHE Quotient know, you will soon.

Looking at the numbers, Steven had no chance…but you can’t always bet on the numbers

What Steven had to learn was that he was a unique person with value. That he deserved a better future. That he could actively choose a different path than the one he had walked since his youth.

His lesson started there: by restoring hope, developing empowerment, and bolstering the commitment necessary to change one’s life. Recognizing his own potential and aware that failure (a return to prison) wasn’t an option, Steven committed himself to embracing these lessons and became one of our human element successes.

For Steven, 1 + 1 = SUCCESS!

I had felonies in my background and I couldn’t get a job. You helped me overcome them in my interviews and become a man of integrity. Now I have a job! Thank you!”

Steven isn’t a number or a statistic, he’s a person. He’s a person who won’t be an inmate ever again. He’s a person able to find employment despite his past. He’s a person with the hope and skills to make his bright future real.

Speaking of numbers, his CHE Quotient doubled to 3.8, and that’s a number one can be proud of.

For the politicians and haters, statistics and numbers have their uses, but they don’t provide the whole picture. That’s why we measure numbers by lives changed: nothing else matters.

I invite you to join in—send your human element short story for publication consideration. Together, we will build a force and make a difference.

2nd Chance University is a non-profit dedicated to the socially invisible, those justice-involved seeking a journey of wonder and amazement.

1 + 1, what does it add up for you?

Richard Milaschewski
2ndChanceUniversity.org