Most of you have probably never stepped foot in a prison and are not sure what to expect. Although many executives initially have reservations, as soon as they walk through the prison gates and actually “see what an inmate looks like,” most of their fears disappear. Although all the units are “real prisons,” it is not like the movies. We see tremendous opportunity in these men and women, and do not view them as caged animals as much of our society does. Many of these people landed in prison precisely because they were entrepreneurs in the first place. They are intelligent, creative, passionate and driven individuals.
We also expect that you will find our participants to be extremely courteous and thoughtful. We have a few participants in our program who made the bad mistake of having an extra drink after a cocktail party and killed someone in a drunk-driving accident on their way home. Others grew up on the streets – without a chance, without hope, without fathers. They learned violence and drugs at an early age. They have paid dearly for their choices. The only reason why they were hand-selected to participate in PEP, and why they have persisted through this intensive program, is because they are choosing to live a different life and have new values.
Given that every participant is nearing release, the rate of “negative incidents” on any of the units is exceptionally low, even among inmates. They do not want to do anything wrong to mess up their chances of going home. We expect that you will feel surprisingly comfortable at the unit. Of the executives who have participated in PEP in the past, almost all get “hooked” and can’t wait to come back. This is an opportunity for you to leverage your skills and expertise in a very meaningful and tangible way.