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Dallas RSO Challenges Inmates to Write Letters to Younger Selves for SCM

Tags: Dallas
May 22, 2024 12:00 AM
By: DOC Staff

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The SCI Dallas Reentry Service Office completed a special project for Reentry Week and Second Chance Month where the RSO participants were challenged to write a letter to their younger selves.

The purpose of this activity was to take a look back at themselves when criminal thinking and/or behaviors began. The goal was for letters written to reflect personal growth, maturity, change in criminal thinking, and an understanding of consequences and all positive change.

While the RSO focuses on moving forward and planning for a positive future, this exercise allowed participants to look back to a time when they may not have had prosocial thinking, coping skills, and resources to address mental health needs or substance use.

The RSO participants completed their letters on their own, and they were then read aloud in a group setting. They discussed what it felt like to address “that person.” Some of the feedback was that when they thought about it, a lot of the issues were how they viewed themselves and valuing things that really didn’t matter.

One participant reported that he thought back to when he couldn’t read and didn’t care. Now he values his mind more than anything; he was proud to say that he wishes he knew just how smart he is back then.

Another reported that he never knew about mental health issues because it wasn’t acceptable, you were just told you were weak. He now engages in any type of therapy or selfcare he can. He has specifically requested to parole to a mental health program if paroled, he has discovered this is his main priority.

Dallas has a large population of young inmates coming in, and the RSO participants gave permission to share the letters with the young guys coming through the RSO in the future.

Read a few of the letters below:

A letter written by an SCI Dallas inmate to his younger self

Another letter written by an SCI Dallas inmate to his younger self

One more letter written by an SCI Dallas inmate to his younger self

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