I won’t speak for every inmate everywhere, I will speak for myself. What exactly do I do with my time? Here’s a list:

1. I attend Computer Programming, learning HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript/JQuery, Node.js, and REACT

2. Toastmasters: I am the Executive Secretary for club 2535, Twin Speaks Toastmasters Club where I have received nearly 20 public speaking awards and counting!

3. Book Club: I belong to the UW Book Club

4. Community Aid Coalition(CAC): Quilting! Yay! I make quilts…super fun.

5. Theater: I also belong to a theatre residency called Freehold Theatre, we put on a play once a year…super cool

6. Defy Ventures Washington: We are learning what it takes to be entrepreneurs and how to connect with the business community

7. Unity: LGBT and Ally Peer Support Group, we help each other be better people and plan the annual Pride Event..yup, big things!

8. Read: I read about 20 books a year depending on what kinds of books they are, usually all nonfiction, maybe one of these days I will publish a book list?

9. Workout: Your girl’s gotta do it…

10. Help: I spend an extraordinary amount of time helping people write their proposals for programs and mentoring…it’s kinda my thing

11. Oh, and plucking hair…I spend lots of time in the mirror plucking facial hair.

12. Associates Degree: Yup, I got educated folks, Phi Theta Kappa, BTW.

13. Roots of Success: Program that teaches how to work with green energy and responsibly source building materials and day-to-day products

14. Thinking 4 A Change: One Year intensive Cognitive behavioral therapy program that demands inner reflection

15. Redemption: This list is long: Self-Awareness, Mentor ship and Acquired Communication Skills, Facilitators class, Coping With Incarceration Workshop….some of which I developed and taught, some I took, all I enjoyed and was heavily impacted by.

16. Compassion Focused Therapy- Working With Anger: this program changed my life, this was an “Aha!” moment for me early on in my sentence that has shaped my anger response dramatically and how I work with stress and emotional turmoil….every person should take this…

17. Small Business Entrepreneurship: More education

The list goes on and on…I am proud of all that I have done thus far and I am not done yet. The main point is that some inmates come to prison and waste their time claiming boredom and nothing to do…its here if you want it. This is the difference between being a convict (lazy, abusive, unwilling to change) and someone who is rehabilitating.

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With Love
Jeff aka Ruth Utnage