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To: All Concerned

From: Jim Fussell A154-973 M.C.I.

Date: December 4, 2021Subject:

PROPOSAL

The movement has begun to attempt the introduction of IOP (Intensive Out Patient) program into ALL Ohio schools. Some may be skeptical, but I ask you this. Is it easier to build strong children than to repair broken men? I bring this proposal to all decision makers because if I had known about the contents found in the IOP program during my formative years from 8th grade thru high school, I firmly believe that I would have made far better choices regarding drug/alcohol use.

The contents found in the IOP program cause a person to ask themselves serious questions about the person they once were, prior to alcohol/drug use/abuse. Forces you to face who you became and enables you to utilize that knowledge to remold and become a better person. This type of honest self-reflection is critical in making long-term changes.

Society needs to be more proactive than reactive when dealing with these issues, as it will be more costly later on. We often hear “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Perhaps we as fellow humans, no matter what side of the fence we reside, should join forces and allow our voices, our knowledge, our experiences to open doors that till now, were sealed shut. Let’s think outside of the box.

We all watch the news. We see the devastation many younger people are dishing out. I can relate. Many start out not knowing or being taught acceptable behavior because their guardians may have never been subject to acceptable surroundings. This can be attributed to many things. The domino effect.

Many rely on educators to guide them. If educators have IOP modified version, at their disposal and each and every school in Ohio utilizes the program, just stop and think how many lives can be saved. How jails and prisons will be impacted by fewer people committing crimes that were fueled by drug/alcohol abuse. Think of the billions of dollars taxpayers would save, down the road, by putting a few million into the school system today instead of billions into corrections tomorrow.

I reflect back on my own bad choices. I remember my addiction to drugs & alcohol became paramount in my daily life, my self-respect, respect of others, pride, loyalty, honor, trust, love, all of those traits and more, were in serious jeopardy, compromised beyond comprehension. Please keep in mind, drug and alcohol abuse DOES alter your thought process, your decision process. Every bad choice (crime) becomes like a ripple in a lake, the center is the incarcerated individual, the victim, both families, friends of victim and offender, community as a whole. Law enforcement, the criminal justice system as a whole, virtually everyone is affected by a single bad choice.

I quit drugs/alcohol back in 1990 cold turkey. Fortunately for me to have that ability and strength. Many are not so lucky. I decided to enroll in IOP in 2018 and during my involvement, I kept wishing I had known about the contents of the journals and teachings, many decades prior to making my own bad choices. Certain if I had known, I would not have ended up behind bars.

Ever since completing IOP, it has festered in my heart that not enough is being done to reach younger people. A tragedy takes place, we call feel it and we feel helpless. This proposal challenges all of you to step up and use your influence, use your connections, use your social media powers as a superpower and help me to spread the word and utilize all of our collective abilities to make this vision become reality.

I urge you to consider setting up informative/honest/genuine conversations that reveal real feedback that decision-makers can use to brainstorm a workable format that would be appropriate for school age youth. IOP is a standard treatment modality used for mental health and substance abuse patients, covered by most insurance companies as a transition from Inpatient to Outpatient. It can provide the necessary support for a patient while transitioning.

Many on social media have left remarks on https://www.dominodeeds.org/ as well as discussions on Twitter, JimFussellDD, a platform set up and administered by people in society. The discussion needs to begin somewhere and be shared with those capable of bringing about desperately needed change to make incarceration NOT a part of anyone’s life. If started by an incarcerated individual, it does not matter, the important thing is, to start the conversation and not ignore it.

I have changed since my decades of being sober. This change is reflected by numerous accounts on social media and involves my evolving to values of passion, people, integrity, respect, and community. Some of these changes are shared on Domino Deeds to help others to see that sobriety does work and can turn your life around. The evolved me has embraced the concept of lifting hopes of others, frowns have turned to smiles, and tears that once were shed due to despair are now shed for joy by those I touch.

Just think if I had not come to prison, had not engaged in drugs and alcohol, if only I had experienced IOP in my school days, the what if’s we face in our lives and as adults, we regret our choices. Let’s save the youth from facing the What If’s. As said by Dr. Steve Maraboli, ” A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal”. If I can be of any assistance in providing evidence of the value of IOP and the importance of the need to be introduced into the Ohio school system in ALL 88 counties, please do not hesitate to contact me. I urge you to act today. I come in peace and with much respect.

Sincerely, Jim Fussell A154-973

M.C.I.P.O. Box 57Marion,

Ohio 43301