The other day I was asked to give a short lecture for a reentry class. I had no idea what I was going to spend my allotted hour pontificating about other than my speech should have something to do with being ready for a job interview, a topic I was told to speak about as the class was walking in. I had to wing it.

Long story short, the conversation with the students went very well. The point of this post is not to brag about my abilities as a public speaker. The point of this post is that I asked a simple question and was shocked at the groups response. The question I asked seemed to be a simple one. I asked the guys by a show of hands how many of them were afraid of being released and having to sit down for an interview. The majority of the room raised their hands.

I have suspected that fear is a prime motivator for a lot of guys in the criminal world. I was surprised that most of the fellas in the room would actually admit it. The first step towards rehabilitation is being honest with yourself, which I suppose is the same for any situation, whether one finds themselves in prison or not.

Anyway, in some circles of the prisons people are really trying to change their lives. This is a net benefit for society and also for everyone who is currently the guests of the State of Washington. By making our environment a safe place for reflection and growth, more and more guys are willing to embrace learning how to become better people. It is amazing what one can accomplish when you do not have to worry about being stabbed with a sharpened toothbrush.

Ryan Erker 390480
PO BOX 888
Monroe, Wa 98272

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