SFI: “Now it’s Starting to Make Sense”

February 20, 2015 in Corrections, Justice, Pilot Project, Stories From Inside by Robin Stramp

Hello, ADHD Community!

As promised, we’d like to share a  new “Stories from Inside” entry with you this week to kick off our blog’s return to activity. The author of this entry just completed our ADHD coaching curriculum in January of 2015. We found his revelations insightful and inspiring, and hope you do, as well.

Entry 18 Pt 1

Entry 18 Pt 2

Before I got involved with the ADHD Corrections Project, I didn’t even know what ADHD was…All I knew was what I’d heard, that it was bad and an excuse to give medication to out of control teens. After working with the coaches and the other inmates who signed up for the class I realized it’s really not what everybody stereotypes it to be…It’s a chemical imbalance and it’s perfectly normal. Some of the world’s biggest celebrities and athletes have been diagnosed with ADHD.

Before I was even screened and tested to see if I had ADHD, I never saw myself as a possible candidate for diagnosis. Now it’s starting to make sense…Not that it’s an excuse for my actions that lead me to incarceration, it’s more of an explanation. I can look back and see where I messed up, and now I know why. All I have to do is learn from those past mistakes and prevent myself from repeating them over and over.

The best part about the project was the coaches…having a class full of inmates ages 18-46, who have all screened positive for ADHD can get a little crazy. They never complained, never turned one of us away or made us feel less than human because we were incarcerated. They gave us tools to cope with ADHD, and community resources we can use once we are released. They never gave up on us, and that means a lot.

I am grateful I got to participate in the ADHD Project and would recommend it for anybody struggling with the disorder.

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Stories from Inside: Part 17

May 12, 2014 in Corrections, Justice, Pilot Project, Stories From Inside by Kyle Dopfel

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.

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“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.”

Stories from Inside: Part 16

May 5, 2014 in Corrections, Justice, Pilot Project, Stories From Inside by Kyle Dopfel

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.

16“ADHD, Me and the Justice System”

I would like to say after many unknown reasons of why I found myself in particular situations I never knew ADHD played a part in those problems. Fex examples of why my impulsive decisions of not thinking it through has been damaging to my life that I can never get back. Especially out of my child life I can never get back. Also I can say that I have experienced my share of sensational seeking and turned to substance abuse, because nothing else brought me the attention as a drug high.

I never took the time to look at what I was putting at risk once again the consequences out-weighed the pleasure, eventually falling into the hands of the justice system. With short term pleasure with long term consequences. There is a tool that I’ve learned in ADHD class that works well for me. Think five time and act once which work wells for me. The ADHD Corrections Project has life saving information.

Stories from Inside: Part 15

April 21, 2014 in Corrections, Justice, Pilot Project, Stories From Inside by Kyle Dopfel

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.

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“This class has helped me to understand and no longer be unaware of people with ADHD and people without it. I think that I have learned the effects on ADHD, on people who find themselves in the justice system like myself. The impact that I got from experience is that I’m aware of something that I was ignorant of for years. And now I think that I understand ADHD and can point out ways to deal with kids and adults who has it. ADHD and the biggest impact it has had on me is that it now makes me want to learn more about it and be able to teach it the way that I learned it from my two teachers…”

Stories from Inside: Part 14

April 14, 2014 in Corrections, Justice, Pilot Project, Stories From Inside by Kyle Dopfel

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.

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  “ADHD impacted my whole adolescence growing up. Mischief played a big part in it as well. Growing up I wasn’t aware of everything like what would happen if I did this, where would I go if I take this car, steal this money, sell drugs, live? My thoughts honestly were of me making sure I had everything I needed to survive in this world. Quick to react to certain situations, not really paying close attention even when I’m trying my hardest. In and out of jail isn’t one, or few of my proudest moments but its something I can look back on and say to myself you’re really trying to take the next best step of making it back to your family.”

Stories from Inside: Part 13

April 7, 2014 in Corrections, Justice, Pilot Project, Stories From Inside by Kyle Dopfel

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.

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“I think living with ADHD help me in a lot of ways but it also caused me to back track a few times in my life. Living with ADHD isn’t always easy because I believe it changed your thought pattern in many different ways. There may be a friend of yours that has not been diagnosed with ADHD and may be more likely to stay out of trouble because he can control hisself while you can’t seem to stay seated and pay attention for two second because your mind is wondering off. I believed it help me a lot also because having ADHD young helped me cope with it better now as an adult. Now I learned that you have to control it by finding a hobby or at least exercising once a day.”

Stories from Inside: Part 12

March 31, 2014 in Corrections, Justice, Pilot Project, Stories From Inside by Kyle Dopfel

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.

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“ADHD, Me and the Justice System

Having ADHD and being in the justice system is not easy. But at the same time it’s good for me because it helps to create more structure and helps to put a routine into perspective. Sometimes in situations like this program I’ll have a responsibility and get sidetracked by something that can create a domino affect and interfere with something important that I was supposed to be doing. Or if someone was supposed to be after me on the phone and someone else starts talking to me and distracts me I’ll leave the phone unattended and someone else will jump on and that’ll cause some havoc.

3 Actions that ensure successful reentry:
1) Take medications as prescribed don’t abuse it
2) Spend spare time wisely with only my son family etc. and stay outta trouble
3) Get a job as soon as I get to the halfway house and focus on developing a career

3 Challenges I’ll face upon reentry:
1) Finding a job with a criminal history and one that is flexible enough to work w me while I’m in the halfway house. I’ll prob have to get some low paying job and work early hours until I’m out of the halfway house. But then I’ll have to wait till then and I’ll get a sales job doing what I was doing, hopefully my contacts from the past are still there
2) Prison has retarded my social skills some and has almost immatured them some. I’ll have to readjust to a strict business setting and try to be more social.
3) Getting readjusted to being a father and getting my son readjusted to me being his father. I’ll just have to spend alot of time with him and assert a little authority at a time”

Stories from Inside: Part 11

March 24, 2014 in Corrections, Justice, Pilot Project, Stories From Inside by Kyle Dopfel

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.

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“How does having ADHD effect me while being in the justice system

Being in prison is harder for people with (A.D.H.D.) then for people with out because of the daily things that goes on in a prison life. Like for instance you are going to have people test you not only other inmates but also CO’s. And its hard to keep your kool if you have (ADHD.) You have to worrie about trying to get on the phone with out fighting and then once you finaly get on the phone the COcalls count or shake down shows up and you have to lock in your cell. I was incarcerated on Aug 7, 2012. I was locked in a POD ment to house 40 inmates, with 60 inmates on the POD. I was locked in a one man cell to share with two other inmates. There were only 2 beds so I had no choice but to sleep on the floor 2 feed from the comode.

The conditions were terrible there was mold bugs, several mice and out brakes of Mersia. We had 3 phones for 60 inmates to use with only 2 hours of free time out of our cells a day, It took over 100 days to be indicted, 8 ½ months untill I was sentenced and an additional 2 months befor I was moved from the presentenced side of the prison that’s a total of 14 months in these conditions.

So if you come to jail and you have a mental illness like Bypolar or ADHD making it threw these types of conditions is almost impossible. And on top of all this you are worried about your family and all the other things on the outside like bills, truck, boat, house, and the reality of losing so much is hard to deal with.”

Stories from Inside 10: “Love Magnified”

March 17, 2014 in Corrections, Justice, Pilot Project, Stories From Inside by Kyle Dopfel

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.

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“Love Magnified

This is for my people, so close an understanding
Victims of this world & all of its demanding
Our voices are small to them becuz of a small mind
I promise that a normal one
among them is a rare to find
Everyone is not conscious like us
but seeing is believing
Beware of the phonies who always relish in deceiving
Remember that time? Yeah! When everyone was staring?
Actin very concerned but never really caring?
Those are the ones! Just bounce them from your mental
The fakes are spitting lies & its coming from their dental
Still the focus is on us becuz we’re too much to handle
Too real! With the ability to put diplomas on the mantle
I know its easier to hurt then to deal with the new
But things can be different I swear, I promise you!
OK! Things happend & things aren’t like they used to be
Let’s put our hearts our feelings out there so they can see
We use this for strength to build & make us strong
Then we step out like royalty after we’ve forgiven the wrong
at night when alone we ask ourselves, is it really worth it?
To hold on to some B.S. when we couldn’t even help it?
The anger, sadness, dark clouds & the pouring rain
No! Our tears means something it’s the hurt & pain!
So what they know now, they won’t be able to judge us
It’s not our fault! There’s no need to fuss!
We got this, can you call off the so called “sanctified”
Becuz we are living proof- that everything is magnified!”

Stories from Inside: Part 9

March 10, 2014 in Corrections, Justice, Pilot Project, Stories From Inside by Kyle Dopfel

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.

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“Through attending these (A.D.H.D. – groups), I’ve learned alot of different ways to cope with my A.D.H.D. For instance, just knowing that I am not alone & that I have resources available to help me if needed. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be given the information to help me upon my release from this hellacious place I put myself in.

Having a release of thoughts in my head with other people who have the same (A.D.H.D. symptoms) I have, really helps me. I also realized also that I will probably find A.D.H.D. groups when I get home to help me, as far as venting to other is concerned”