In honor of the holidays I am trying to think of positive things I did while I was working in corrections. I think there was one or two times I might have actually had a positive effect on a prisoner. One young guy used to come in for hearings for Disobeying a Direct Order, or Insolence for going into a tantrum/rant cussing out an officer. He always managed to do it about a month before he was scheduled to see the parole board. Of course, he would be denied parole. He expressed great frustration with himself and couldn't figure out why he kept sabotaging himself. Once again, I experienced the urge to indulge in a Teachable Moment! So I said to him, "You know, seeing the board is a stressful thing. It may be a good stress, but it is still stress. Maybe you are afraid. If you actually get parole, you will get out of here and be free again. But you will also be facing the expectations of society and family. They will expect you to do things for yourself, to get an education, get a job, take care of yourself. It's hard to do that stuff. Maybe you're afraid you can't do it so you are subconsciously screwing up because you are scared." He looked at me for a minute. Then he said, "I never thought of that." After that, he got paroled and I never saw him again. I like to take credit for that.
I tried saying that a few more times and the guys just looked at me and said, "Lady, you're crazy!" Oh well.