Letters Describing Life at the Federal Prison Camp, Sheridan

Hey Family and Friends!

I hope you are all doing well. I feel so blessed to have such a supportive family and friend network. Each of you have played a significant role in my life, which is why I live each day with so much gratitude.

I am so thrilled about a new project I am working on. I was just asked to be the new facilitator for the “Victim Impact Program” here at FCI Sheridan. This program is designed to help inmates learn and discover all the consequences of their actions, take ownership of their past choices, discuss the victims associated with their crime, and most importantly, create a plan to atone for their actions and redeem themselves. As an 8-week course, it is held on an ongoing basis year-round. The Victim Impact Program is highly prioritized here at the institution, as it has been praised for its mission at all levels of the BOP.

I was honored to be asked to be the new inmate leader and facilitator of this program. The inmate who previously facilitated the program, and recommended me for the position was a man with an illustrious career as an NBA Coach. He had served as a Head Coach of the Seattle Supersonics, Boston Celtics, Portland Trailblazers, and the German Olympic Basketball Team. When he asked me to take this new role on at camp, he said he selected me because of how outspoken I am about atonement, my transparent nature, strong work ethic, and believes I would be well-suited to coach inmates in their path to pursue redemption. Coming from a guy like him, I was so pumped.

The following are the areas of emphasis for this program. It is designed to help inmates:

1. Comprehend the broad consequences of their actions
2. Understand your victims and how they are affected. Victims includes direct victims, your family, community, etc.
3. To learn how to begin the process of forgiving yourself.
4. Hash out the emotions associated with your crime
5. Accepting responsibility instead of living on excuses and justifications
6. Learn to talk openly and transparently about your crime
7. Work towards rebuilding relationships and rebuilding networks
8. The process of rebuilding trust
9. Creating a long term plan on making amends with the victims
10. Building a roadmap for a path to redemption

This program is so meaningful to me, because these are all goals I live by each day. I so badly want to be let out of my cage so I can make my wrongs right.. I want to be able to look at the people I affected in the eyes, because I know in my heart that I have worked hard to make amends with them. And how can you expect people to forgive you if you haven’t forgiven yourself first? I want to rebuild relationships, build trust, and devote my life to using my past poor choices to helping and educating others.

Through previous leadership positions I have held in prison over the past two years, I have become an avid public speaker and writer. More importantly, I have been able to openly speak and communicate about all the issues this program covers. As the VP of Toastmasters, I learned to take my newfound transparency to the stage in front of a crowd of people. As the Founder of IMPACT, I took that on-stage transparency, and created a program devoted using inmates to publicly speak to teens and at-risk youth to get their lives back on track. Lessons from both of those experiences, I plan to use in making this Victim Impact Program highly instrumental in the rehabilitation of all those inmates around me.

As always, I love keeping you guys informed on the various projects I am working on. Thank you all for your relentless support along this journey.

Cheers,

Neal Goyal