After I was sentenced, I knew that I had 60 days to surrender and I decided I was going to send an email to all of my friends. I was really fortunate to have a lot of friends and family wrote letters of support to me, to the judge, which I’ll talk about in a different video. But I knew that I was going to be very limited as to what I could receive when I was in prison. I had done some research. I had talked to some friends and one of the things that I know is accepted in new in the prison system are books. So I made an Amazon wishlist and actually very practically speaking, it was probably one of the best things I did. Most prisons do have some sort of library that you can check books out. And most of the women or men will probably have books that you can borrow that they’ve already read.
I think each housing unit even has a little library potentially, but I wanted to read books that I wanted and I didn’t know if the library would have it wherever I was going. A lot of my friends were asking, what can they do to help me? What will they be able to send to me? And because can really only receive letters, postcards, pictures, magazines, and books. So I remember I prepared a very detailed email and I attached a link to my Amazon wishlist. So I went into Amazon once I knew what prison I was designated to. I put in the address of that prison directly as an address. And then from there I created a wishlist. For me personally, I wanted to read some like self-help nonfiction.
I also knew that I would want to escape mentally, so I chose some really good fiction. I used to read a lot prior to having children, even as a young mom, I read a lot. And then as life got busier, as the kids got more active in their own activities, I found that I think it was really hard for me to make the time I just wasn’t making it a priority. So I decided I was going to take the opportunity to read while I was going to be in prison in a facility. I knew I would have more time than normal. So I made a list of about 50 books on my wishlist. Maybe it was more, and it was like half fiction, half like nonfiction, nonfiction, self help, self discovery type of books.
I then sent this link out to everybody and what happened was, and I know I’ll be very blessed and fortunate that the friends and family one by one as time went on, began to send me books. That one of the challenges I had was finding space because you are very limited in the space that you have to keep things in your locker. So I began to accumulate these books and, and I was able to read probably in the time that I was in prison. I read about 50 books, which was such a gift. So if you are in that space and time where you’ve been sentenced and you’re preparing to go to prison, one of the best suggestions I have is make an Amazon wishlist, send it to your friends or give them the link so they can, um, send you books that you are interested in reading.
Rashmi Airan‘s mission is to help organizations create cultures focused on integrity, authenticity, and accountability by connecting these efforts to human performance, behavioral ethics and emotional intelligence. Rashmi is a keynote speaker and consultant specializing in organizational culture, reputational risk, and human performance. Contact Rashmi to see how she can help your organization.