New Unit, Same Environment, Different Mindset




Hello! Over the last 12 months, I’ve been doing a lot of moving. I moved from H4 to the Honor Unit in H6. Then I moved from H6 to the Dog Program in H3.

Moving from unit to unit can be stressful…if I let it. Because to some I’m the new guy, and certain people try to take advantage of that. They show a lack of respect and push boundaries. I try my best to view moving as an opportunity to meet new people.

Most of these new people don’t know anything about me, except for what I show them. So now is my opportunity for new beginnings by showing them love and respect as I treat them with honor and dignity.

For the most part, the universe has been responding favorably to my positive efforts.

However, in the game of life (especially in prison) I must be prepared to deal with every force that comes my way. Especially the negative.

Here’s a little situation I recently found myself in:


I was in the dayroom, conversing with a few of the fellas.

Then all of a sudden, JP walks up to me and asked me a question. JP is a S.O. The fellas hate him!

There was a time when I hated him too. Fortunatly, I’m on a different path these days.
I treat ALL people with dignity and respect…that includes wierdos and S.O.’s.

Before I responded to JP, I tell him, “Let’s go over here.”

And then we move to a table away from the fellas.

I do this as a curtisy to the fellas. Because I know they don’t want these type of people anywhere near them. Plus, I don’t want to be the subject of their gossip, talking about I’m the one attracting misfits to their little area.

TOO LATE!!! As I return I hear one guy saying, “I don’t get it! I just don’t f*cking get it! I don’t understand how anyone could f*ck with that sick son-of-a-bitch! He’s in here for f*cking his own kids!”

No one speaks after that. They’re all looking at me. I feel uncomforable.

My instincts push me towards aggression. Years ago I would’ve lashed out whenever I felt this way. But today I am able to recognize and control my emotions. I’m able to think clearly and concise as I demonstrate self-control.

My mission in life is to treat everyone with respect. That includes these very fellas that are making me feel a certain kinda way right now.

As all eyes are on me I say, “Sorry about that. I meant no disrespect. That’s why I took him over there…away from you guys.”

One guy asks, “Why do you even f*ck with that chi-mo?”

I feel like I’m on the spot. Like I’m the one getting “paper checked”.

I keep my cool.

I respond by saying, ”I’m committed to a positive lifestyle. That includes being kind to all people. I’m not nice to that guy because he deserves it. I’m nice to him because I desire inner peace. And being nice to people brings me that.”

One guy who was shuffeling a deck of cards this whole time, drops the cards on the table and says, ”I’ve heard enough BULLSH*T for one day…I’m outta here!” He gets up and walks away.

I take offense. But I say nothing. My heart is beating fast and I am trying my best to stay focused and composed.

I’m in a situation I’ve never been in before. And I’m responding in a way that is relativly
new to me. I’ve never really responded like this before. But then again, I’ve never been in a situation like this before.

We eventually all go our seperate ways. But I know our paths will cross again…several times. So I go to my cell to self-reflect, meditate, and re-compose.

Because it did cross my mind to tell everyone to “F*ck off!” But if that’s the case, I might as well have told JP to F-O! I mean whats the difference? Mean is mean, regardless of who it’s directed to.

None of this F-O talk is an option for me. I know what I need to do…STAY FOCUSED!!!

I will use my strength and intelligence to continue to rise above all the negative influences as I impose my own goodwill.

Now my focus is on being kind and respectful to some of these fellas who now look at me differently. It would be so easy to stoop to their level and be an ass. But I know that could lead to bad things….for them! I’m not that man any more.

And my actions will prove it!



Steven Jennings

(Please read the Glossary of Prison Terms for clarification on terms used in this post)


Author: Steven & Suzie Jennings

She was raised as a Mormon, and he is a convict serving 43 years in prison. This blog offers a glimpse into two vastly different worlds that somehow came crashing together. Join them on their journey through prison life & married life.

4 thoughts

  1. My Mom always said “The President is wrong 100% of the time; no matter what he says or does 50% of the people will be pissed off.”

    So keep doing what you’re doing because you’ll never be able to please 100% of the people 100% of the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good for you! Change is always stressful, and you are making a lot of positive changes. Keep it up. Eventually it becomes the new normal, and then one gets to make more changes. At least, that is how it worked for me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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