Starfish Statement #3 Forum

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Starfish Statement #3

Post by Signal3 » Sun Sep 11, 2022 12:02 am

Some how this one is less than 2 pages. Well, let me have it. Feedback at all, even from one person, helps me extrapolate a lot. The title of Starfish is referring to the "starfish technique" which I mentioned in my last draft, haha, but that I left out this time. I just found it catchy.


Everyone said the first time you set foot in a prison and hear the main gates click behind you, that is when the fear comes. That wasn't the case for me. I loved it. I remember staring at the barbwire fences from the parking lot, in awe. I was finally facing a fear of mine and I was there to conquer it. And on top of that, as someone who passionately studied philosophy, psychology, and sociology, there was absolutely no way I was going to go through life not witnessing, first hand, the secrets going on behind those locked doors.

My first time walking with my group of "newbies" through the prison during orientation, started in the workcamp. The first thing I saw when I stepped in the door was a pair of dirty feet hanging off a bunk two feet away. I looked around, and it was a room packed full of bodies. I remember having a brief moment of regret. I didn't realize the inmates would be walking around free; I thought they would be locked up! This meant I would have to rely on more social skills than I have previously accounted for.

Nine months later I returned from the academy, graduating top of my class in academics, firearms, and physical fitness, and was soon placed as lead officer in the sole section housing maximum security, disciplinary confinement, and protective custody inmates.

One day I went to deliver basic necessities to an inmate who had just stabbed someone in another wing. The stabbing was done by someone with a security threat group title of "enforcer," who inmates at other prisons would communicate with in order to enforce their law when they could not do so themselves. I don't want to get into what group it was, or bring your focus onto security threat groups, because the truth is I always thought it best to completely ignore group affiliation and treat every inmate the same. I thought that was the best way to be fair to everyone. On this occassion, however, it was my first time looking in the eyes of someone who had just stabbed another human being. I was genuinely curious what could possibly be going through their mind. What I saw was rage, but even more interesting was that he did not seem psychotic or unstable. Likely, and this is just a guess, he probably had a rough childhood, went through abuse on multiple levels, and joining up with a group such as he did was possibly the first feeling of family he ever experienced.

I will never excuse violence, and even in self defense, many times violence is not justifiable in my opinion, but, I also cannot discount the humanity that exists in every soul, if only we had the resources to provide the therapeutic environment necessary for change to people who need it most.

I practiced as a mental health counselor student intern as part of two practicums in a masters in psychological counseling program and worked as a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist with various types of people for several years. Not only did I learn how to make a life plan for myself in order to experience fulfillment, but I learned a great deal about what is in the minds of others, and what led them there.

I believe my experience does me enough justice for you to take my word for it when I say what I want is to be a public defender, and then in time, open my own practice for criminal defense and family law as well as start a non profit to help families stay together and criminals stay out of trouble. This is what I want, and this is what I will do.

The real difference between people who can accomplish something that many say is unlikely, is their character, and you will learn more about my character in the diversity statement and various addendums.

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