We asked participants of the ADHD Corrections Project to share their stories of how ADHD has impacted their lives, and how this might relate to their experience with the criminal justice system. The resulting journal entries, written towards the close of their eight-week group coaching session, were remarkably thoughtful, hopeful, and compelling. While each inmate’s story is unique, we can also recognize in them some of the unfortunate experiences that are all too common among those with ADHD. With the permission of our anonymous authors, we’d now like to share with you these powerful first-person perspectives on the relationship between ADHD and the criminal justice system.
“Since I’ve been a participant in the ADHD class, and learning all about how deeply this disorder can affect those who are caught up in the justice system, as well of those who are living criminal lifestyles. From listening to what the life coach and the lady from the Department of justice have told me, I am quite interested in its finding out if I also suffer from ADHD as well. From what I’ve been informed of what the symptoms are of having the disorder, and after passing the ADHD screening for “A person very likely to have ADHD.” I am pretty certain that I have “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder” ADHD too. With that being said, it leaves me wondering now if this could be the reason why I’ve been caught up in a life of crime for the past 12 years. I often act out of impulse and many of my crimes were wither committed out of impulsivity, or thru pleasure seeking. So now I’m curious to know if I were diagnosed with ADHD and treated for it earlier in my life, would things be different today? Could my poor decision’s and negative behaviors have been prevented? I wonder now if I were to had a life coach and be prescribed the proper medication’(s) would I be sitting in jail right now? Would my life be different today? Could simple treatment for a disorder have made a difference in the outcome of my life? Since I can’t change my past, what I can do is focus on my future. I have learned that people who have ADHD are more likely to return to jail, then people who don’t have ADHD. I also know that there is treatment out there that will help to reduce the effects caused by having ADHD. So what I intend on doing upon release “since the Department of Correction’s doesn’t” is go seek medical attention and find out if I also have ADHD, and get put onto the proper medication’s. If treating a disorder is what will help to keep me from acting impulsive and doing things that get me into trouble and placed in jail, then that is what I’ma do.”