Blog Article 

 SAG-7-Awareness 

Michael Santos

Michael Santos

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Hi my name is Taylor Evans and I am on the team with Prison Professors.

This is now the seventh video in the Straight-A Guide and the topic we will be discussing is awareness. Awareness is unique compared to the six previous topics we discussed.

Michael shares with us that the first six topics only have one component to them, how you can help yourself. Awareness is different because if you are following the Straight-A Guide from defining your values to being accountable to yourself and your own definition of success then the people who you want to show that you are showing remorse and making positive changes can start to see this themselves and apply it to whatever step in your journey to earning freedom you are in.
I can share with you how awareness from the outside looking in played a pivotal role in my case against the criminal justice system. As I mentioned in previous writings my case was related to substance abuse, so I sought out treatment through professional help and recovery communities.

At every court appearance, I would share with the district attorney and the judge a report that showed how many AA meetings I attended, how many hours of professional counseling I was receiving, how many documented drug and alcohol tests I had passed, among other data points trying to create awareness to show how I care about changing my behavior.
I can also say, at the beginning both the district attorney and judge were skeptical of me really changing and could care less about the report. But I stayed persistent with my daily efforts and began to expand to speak at conventions or at conferences. I got a job as I was going through the most difficult challenge of my life. I was trying to make the district attorney and judge aware that I was and could be a productive member of society that made a mistake as opposed to someone who wants to continue to cause harm to society.

In the beginning, my offers did not change dramatically, but after 6 months of consistency, both the district attorney and judge started to take notice of my consistent efforts and started creating more favorable deals with my attorney for my case.

I will be the first one to tell you, I thought my efforts were all for nothing. No one was judging me harder than I was and I thought I was going to receive the maximum sentence. But I was wrong. This experience showed me a few things. First, people are more aware of my actions than I thought. Second, the people who judge us in our cases are human and have hearts as well. I felt like all judges and district attorneys were cold heartless humans who woke up thinking about how they can ruin lives. But I was wrong, if you put the efforts into making a change, and it appears and feels genuine, even judges can demonstrate some level of empathy.

The bottom line is if you have the attitude to committing to 100 percent achieving your level of success and you spend your time on completing action items that show remorse and you doing the right thing, then you are putting yourself in a better position for the people who are judging you to be aware that you are sorry and that you want to be a positive member of society.

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