Question Time


Hello Mr Attwood, 

I am a student at Kingsbury high school who you did a talk for about your experiences in the American criminal justice system (Arizona) and I asked many questions regarding how the criminal justice system worked in your case. If you don't mind me asking more I was interested in:  

How did you manage to adjust to life after prison?

What helped you get through every day of prison life?

What made you think that the way to turn my life around is to talk to young people and show them the reality of drugs and prison?

What advice would you give the person you were before you went to prison?

Other than do not commit a crime ever again what have you learnt from being in prison?

Prior to having your phone conversations tapped were you ever on the police's radar that may have been a pre-cursor to having your phone tapped or was it always like that? 

I am sorry that there are so many questions. I was just so interested about your talk and it got me thinking about how many human rights that were violated in prison that we take for granted. I found it so inspirational to see you completely turn your life around and try to help people not get to the stage you once had to endure. 

I hope to never forget you, your campaign and the important message you try to get across and thank you so much for sharing your story. 

Iman Mohamed

 

Iman Mohamed,

Thanks very much for your interest and all of the questions. Here are my answers: 

How did you manage to adjust to life after prison? 

It takes months to adjust back to society. My parents helped a lot. I was a bit institutionalised. I was used to being told what I could and couldn’t do. My mum said I was like a puppy dog following her around the house, awaiting orders. At first, it was hard to stop reacting as if I was in prison, but over time, I returned to normal. To adjust in a healthy way, I structured my life around positive interests, reading, writing, and lots of exercise, ranging from yoga to karate. Physical activity keeps me mentally strong. Writing books and talking at schools keeps me focussed. 

What helped you get through every day of prison life? 

Support from my family, girlfriend, and blog readers. Forming friendships with fellow prisoners. Staying away from the drugs, drama and violence. Channelling my energy into the things I mentioned above, reading, writing, working out, doing yoga and meditation.  

What made you think that the way to turn your life around is to talk to young people and show them the reality of drugs and prison?

When I first started talking to young people, I had no idea how they would react or if they would relate to my story. But after doing talks, and getting positive feedback from students and teachers, I realised how important it is for me to help others. It’s such a positive thing, it’s helped me turn my life around. Helping others fills me with positive energy, whereas my previous focus on making money at all costs filled me with tension. 

What advice would you give the person you were before you went to prison? 

To stop and think about the consequences of what you’re doing because there’s always a price to pay in the long-run if you are breaking the law. 

Other than do not commit a crime ever again what have you learnt from being in prison? 

Prison forced me to grow up. It crushed the irresponsibility out of me. It was an intense journey in trying to understand myself. I learnt to channel my energy into positive things, which has been the key for me to stay out of trouble. 

Prior to having your phone conversations tapped were you ever on the police’s radar that may have been a pre-cursor to having your phone tapped or was it always like that? 

Prior to the wire tap, some people had reported my Ecstasy dealing to the police. 

Take care out there!
 
Shaun Attwood
 

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