Posts Tagged ‘worksheets’


I’m at the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF), an institution in the Wisconsin Prison System (WPS), participating in the Earned Release Program (ERP). Due to the snowstorm canteen got pushed back to Thursday night.  It didn’t matter to me though as I had somehow forgot to turn in my canteen order last week.  I’m the type to plan ahead so the only things I will come close to running out of were the prepaid stamped envelopes and single blade razors.  I used to think I couldn’t shave my head without my 4-blade Shick razor.   Now I can do it with a previously used disposable single blade razor.  The secret is just to take your time!  The rest of the night was pretty quiet except cellies Andre Charles and Brian Whalen arguing usually in a good natured way about who owes what to whom.   Today it was my ERP group member Scott Bunker’s turn to read his autobiography.  We were joined by intern Nikita which made all the guys happy. There were a couple of significant things I took from his story.  First, he said he had expected great things of himself as a kid and is saddened he won’t achieve it.  At the end I raised my hand and told him that he shouldn’t lose hope, that at 57, there is still time for him to do great things. I sensed in him a great despair, a beaten spirit.  I had similar thoughts when I was in Waukesha County Jail (WCJ) and occasionally as you’ve read, on this blog.  But we’re 4 months from release and if we don’t start believing now we never will.  Bunker has lost 6 1/2 years in prison to OWI offenses (he has 7) and lost his love of 26 years and another wife of 11 years due to it.  But it was clear he was still mourning the loss of his first wife not even able to look at pictures of her with her new husband or the kids with him.  I understand that pain too.  People we love move on without us and we feel the desperation in our hearts, wanting to cry out that they will wait and not forget.  In many ways, for us its like mourning the death of our loved ones or at least we think it is.  Truth is though, and as it was pointed out with Bunker, the opportunity for a relationship with them is there.  It’s just not the one we might want.  His first wife had reached out to him but he wasn’t receptive to what was offered.  That would have required him to let go of his anger and resentment.  But I think that anger and resentment was there to prevent him from feeling the pain that she is gone produces.  I so understand that.  But you may only make yourself miserable doing this.  I had to accept and extend forgiveness in order to move on.  It’s not an overnight thing or one where those feelings don’t come back some days.  But it gets easier.  I imagine it’s the same for the loved ones out of prison as they try to move on.  Anyway, Nikita struggled in asking questions but did okay.  We were done early again but this time there was no talk of real estate or such as Ms. Grey, our ERP Group Coordinator, didn’t allow it in front of the intern.  Our afternoon session began with a video called Good Intentions, Bad Choices, Overcoming Errors In Thinking featuring Stanton Samenow Ph.D by EMS Productions.  This video focused on bad intentions and choices then can be done by those newly out of prison or in recovery and unrealistic expectations.  It was far better than the video from yesterday.  We reviewed the worksheets from yesterday as well and then Ms. Grey brought in posters related to recovery or promotion of African American hero’s for ideals.  We taped them to the walls of the rec room that doubles as our group room.  It would have been pretty funny to watch all of us along with Ms. Grey and Nikita, none of us really knew for sure if any of this will actually stick to the wall.  But we’ll see.  We have this thing where we end each group day with reciting the mission statement I had written. In the confusion it’d been forgotten.  Group member Mark Hogan prevailed upon Ms. Grey to pull us all back together so we could do just that.   We were all still smiling as we finished and wished Ms. Grey and Nikita a good weekend.

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I’m at the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF), an institution in the Wisconsin Prison System (WPS), participating in the Earned Release Program (ERP). On Thursday it was back to business as normal after the snowstorm.  The morning started off with group member Augie Prescott from our ERP group reading his autobiography.  His relationships were mostly with the various pickup trucks he has owned while touching on his girlfriend he had.  I guess what I took from it mostly was what sacrifices we made for drinking.  Ms. Grey, our ERP Group Coordinator, didn’t have any questions of significance for him nor did we.  We were done early so we had a  casual conversation in our group about real estate, cars and jobs.  After lunch, I had a good talk with ERP member Scott Dietz about his ideas for multicolored tints for motorcycles and cars.  He’s the idea guy.  He’s got all this going on but he doesn’t have anywhere to go when he gets out either.  So there’s a bit of a disconnect there.  When Ms. Grey returned we watched a movie called “I Don’t Know What To Do Decision Making Skills” by Guidance Associates.  To be honest, it was the worse video I’d seen here.  The dialogue was something where you’d expect Wally and Beaver Cleaver to show up in the next scene.  They lost the room almost immediately.  The whole point was to think through the decisions we made which was quite valid.  Afterwards we got a couple of worksheets for homework weighing the positives and negatives of making or not making a decision.  It wasn’t real clear how to do it but we’ll get there.  Afterwards we had our Weekly Community Meeting.  Callie Andre Charles had the current event, dealing with the bank robberies and its effect on ERP.  He did a very good job on that.  One of the other ERP Coordinators announced that due to lack of participation by some in the meetings we would now have to write down our comments to the quote, word and defense mechanism of the week and turn it in.  Yeah I’m rolling my eyes a bit.  But the good news is tomorrow is Friday, this weekend is the Super Bowl where the Green Bay Packers will be crowned Super Bowl 45 Champions and week 8 of 26 is complete.