Rehabilitation, It’s My Choice

I’m always hearing people say things like:

“DOC does not rehabilitate people”
“DOC makes people worst off”
“DOC doesn’t give a fuck!”

Unfortunately, the people who say things like this are exposing their attitude towards life in general. Perception is reality.

Prison is full of pessimism. Most of these guys in here focus on the negative. And the majority of their conversations are full of whining and complaining. It’s always everyone else’s fault, except their own. Some of them make valid points, but that’s it. They don’t follow it up with positive action.

Not too long ago I used to fight this environment with a bad attitude, harsh words, clinched fists, and devastating elbows. I was doing nothing to better myself. I recognized this. I wanted to change, but I didn’t know how. So I sought help from DOC (Department of Corrections).

I sent numerous requests for various treatments, such as CD, PTSD, MRT, VA, AM, etc. And every single request was denied! The reason being: my “time structure.” (aka: I have too much time left to serve). Unbelievable! I sought help, and they told me “NO”.

So, I had to help myself. I mean, if I really wanted to change, I didn’t need any classes to succeed. It sure would be helpful, but DOC had made their position clear…”NO HELP FOR GUYS DOING A LOT OF TIME.”

As I worked hard on myself and my attitude, I realized that there was still a major hump that I needed to get over. I still found myself on the verge of fighting. I’d be doing good, but then I would get into an argument which then resulted in a fight.

WTF!! I was actually putting forth a lot of effort to change my ways, yet I was still getting into fights. I asked myself why this keeps on happening?

I thought about that long and hard, day after day. I really didn’t like how I was failing. I should be able to control this aspect of my life. But I obviously couldn’t.

After a couple years since my last request for help, I wondered if maybe DOC would help me now? So, I tried again. I submitted several requests to get help.

Again, I am DENIED!

But wait! There’s a new program called “Redemption” and it’s open to all. I’ll do it!

I enjoyed it. I felt productive. I learned things about myself. I gained tools I could use to build a better me. Then five months later, it was over and I graduated from that class. I was getting along with my peers, and I was applying what I had learned. I was finally over that hump.

All was good, right? Wrong!

Within a few months I found myself in a heated argument. Dude swings on me with no real warning. He hits me twice before I slam him down on the cement floor. His head cracks open, he’s knocked out, and blood forms a huge pool under his head. I walk away. When its all said and done, I loose my EFV’s (Extended Family Visits) for 5 years, and I spend 3 weeks in the hole.

While in the hole, I requested help. But I was denied once again. This time because I’m only doing 3 weeks in the hole.

The help programs are designed for guys doing 3 months or more. Think about that for a minute. I’m denied self help programs because I’m doing too much time in prison AND because I’m not doing enough time in the hole.

But I wasn’t mad at DOC. I was mad at myself.

I was the one who kept doing this. I needed to figure this out. I needed to find something that would last longer than the length of any class. I needed to find a way to help myself and to impose my own goodwill within this environment. But how could I consistently do that?

Well, I am proud to say that I have finally found a way. I’ve created my own personal ministry. It involves daily meditation and inspiration rocks.

I know what inspires me…my family, love, peace, and living in harmony.

The challenge is…to remain focused throughout every second of every day.

That challenge can be difficult in here where I am surrounded by so much negativity. But thankfully, I‘ve found a way to channel my energy into a positive & rewarding form that brings me clarity.

Every morning before I get out of bed, I meditate. Meditation amplifies what I already know. It helps me to stay focused., and it also allows me to reset my mind and visualize a positive lifestyle.

In addition to meditation, I also hold my inspiration rocks. My mantra is to feel the rocks in my hand as I focus on the words written on them and their meaning to me. This helps to keep my mind alert, aware, open, and receptive. I now do this everyday, several times a day. It seems to be working. (Please see my blog titled: Inspiration Rocks).

My personalized daily mantra of meditation & inspiration rocks helps me to be more open to myself, and to others, as I expand my patience & tolerance level.

I want to be a peaceful man. And now, after 40 years, I am finally learning what it takes to achieve this…desire, dedication, and constant commitment.

Rehabilitation, it’s my choice. I’ll never give up.

Steven Jennings



  1. Every person that falls and is redeemed blazes a trail through human nature. Keep up the good fight, brother! When you finally corner that demon anger in the shadows, give him a pat on the head for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Im working on it. My biggest challenge is knowing when to keep my mouth shut. I still spew foolishness from time to time. At least now I recognize it. And Im doing something abt it. With time it gets easier. Thanks for the encouragement.


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