A Change Of Plans

By Jay Goodman

Almost everyone in today's society has developed a system of some sort to direct them in a useful daily routine. Most individuals will go as far as planning ahead weeks to months at a time. Every morning as Americans wake up and follow their routines, it gives them a measure of purpose and the will to accomplishment. Here is an example:

6:00 a.m. wake up and get ready for work

6:30 wake up kids for school and prepare lunches

7:00 leave for work and drop off kids at school

7:45 arrive at work

12:00-1:00 p.m. lunch, pick up dry cleaning and other errands

5:00 leave work, pick up Jimmy from karate, pick up Lyndsey from piano class, stop by market for dinner

6:00 prepare dinner and have family time

8:00 make next days plans

9:00 shower and get to bed, maybe some light reading

And then it starts all over the next day.

Criminals will even plan out their days to productively run their criminal empires. Drug addicts and alcoholics even need a good system to ensure they can cater to their addictions. I recently sat down with a good friend of mine named Jerad and talked about all kinds of things. I've known this guy for a few years now, since he came to do his time here at the Stevenson Unit. There really has been an overall positive change that I've seen over the years take place inside his heart and mind. I would like to give you a little insight about Jerad's journey through life.

In 2012 Jerad was having a rough time dealing with his drug addiction and extreme alcoholism. Throughout the better part of his life, he wandered around the streets of New York City with no purpose or plan for his life. Most of the time he just worked in his family's businesses, simply going through the motions. After two failed marriages and no children, he decided to travel around the United States, nowhere in particular, no plan or system to go by. He had been living with his sister at that time upstate and on an impulse decision decided to head to Seatle, Washington. On the way he stopped in East Texas, staying with his foster parents to visit awhile and scrounge up a little more drug money.

As Jerad arrived in East Texas, after visiting with his family, he was talked into staying a little longer than intended and took a position helping some of his family's friends in one of their new Italian restaurants. Of all things, to bring a little authenticity to the new establishment. Plans changed after he met and got acquainted with one of the newly hired waitresses, a young college student at Stephen F. Austin University, named JoJo. (her nickname) Everything seemed to be going great for a few weeks. Jerad had been without drugs since arriving in Deep East Texas, even his alcohol consumption had been cut down substantially. He and his new waitress girlfriend became seriously romantic and were inseparable.

Jerad still had no plans for himself, he was being led around by his emotions. On the inside his life long anger, hatred and a desire for violence kept boiling, demanding release. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." The veracity of this statement is indisputable. After only one month of what seemed like a great start to possible sobriety, the alcoholic caged inside broke free, full force. It was all downhill from there.

Not holding back Jerad's downward spiral back into his overly indulgent lifestyle began to affect his relationship with his girlfriend, his job and his family. Within a few short weeks, everything came crashing down. He lost his vehicle, all of the money he had saved and the last bit of self-respect he had left. Without any direction or purpose, we as humans tend to fall into a cesspool of negative emotions. This being the subject of our thoughts, is then made reality into the physical world. Everyone around my friend began to see him for who he really was on the inside, self-centered, self-destructive and extremely violent. Alcohol and chemical narcotics were the catalysts that brought this all to the surface.

This anger for no apparent reason had been building up and eating away at Jerad for years. Why he had so much anger and hatred inside of him is without a viable answer. He came from a decent family, both his natural and adopted. He is well educated and is a very talented musician and writer. His initial plans for life were to join the military and move on into the intelligence field for the government. Those plans changed when on impulse he chose the life of an addict. On one particular day, I believe enough was enough for my friend. After being on a week-long binge and all inhibitions lost, thirty-one years of anger and violent emotion took total control, and he snapped.

On June 3, 2012 while walking along the Lanana Creek Trail in Nacodogches, TX early morning, Jerad made the decision and started planning out the kidnap and murder of his girlfriend and her family and then to take his own life. By the time he made it back to the house he was living in with his foster brother it was set in stone. Later in the afternoon he was fairly intoxicated and set out to go to a few of the local bars with one of his younger foster brothers and some friends of his one last time. When the local bars began to close down he set off to the restaurant that his girlfriend was working at to wait for her, but she was already walking out, with another young man. Jerad became even more furious by seeing this and confronted the pair. Not so much as in jealousy, but as I wrote about in my last chapter, he said it was the principle of the situation. Now there was another change of plans, because my friend and JoJo began arguing loudly and she left. Jerad had planned on everything going easy by calmly going home with her and then tying her up and then go after the rest of her family.

Making his way home, after stopping off and stocking up on more alcohol, Jerad was trying to form another plan, due to his impulsive behavior back at the restaurant. Confused and emotionally distraught, he walked the three and a half blocks down to JoJo's house, beat on the door and continued the argument where they had left off. She got fed up with it finally and called Jerad's brother Blake to come and make him leave. A word of advice to all the readers, never leave a violent alcoholic alone with a full stock of liquor and his thoughts, because twenty minutes later he was out the door and on his way back down the street. This time JoJo called the police, things got a little chaotic and once again Jerad was driven home and left alone. When everyone, including the cops, were gone Jerad grabbed a knife and made his way for the third time, back to JoJo's to basically just kill her, and then run away. A simple plan.

This time Jerad sat in her driveway slowly drinking letting his emotions guide his actions. Then the violence found its escape. After slicing the tires and dragging the blade across JoJo's and her sister's vehicles, he kicked the door in. At that moment the reality of what he was doing became very clear. Something deep inside asked, "Hey what are you doing?" Not just at that instant, but throughout his lifetime. JoJo and her sister were sound asleep and woke up to Jerad in a violent rage tearing the house apart. After finally stopping he suffered a nervous breakdown and collapsed into tears. When everyone somewhat calmed down, JoJo called the police once again. Ten minutes later my friend was in handcuffs, charged with aggravated kidnapping and burglary of a habitation. Jerad was taken to jail and after sitting in the county for about a year, he was sentenced to twelve years in T.D.C.J.

Whether the thought be negative or positive, whenever someone has singularity of purpose most time the attainment of those desires is practically absolute. Acting on impulse causes chaos and confusion. Without a definite plan, you are almost guaranteed to fail in all of your endeavors. Stick to one system and if you fail, you can analyze the system and strengthen the weaknesses until it becomes a naturally flowing routine. By adhering to an iron tough system all else is insignificant. This not only works for businesses or education, but for life in general. Build a strong system to live by and drive that path, never looking over the edge to the left or to the right, straight ahead with one purpose.

Every day I see inmates being led around by puppet strings. No plans for their future, only the day to day chaos of prison life. The Puppetmasters have built this system of enslavement leading the inmates into confusion and hopelessness. They have taken God-given Universal Laws and perverted them into a system of greed, mind control and plain old slavery. It is time for a new change of plans from the U.S. government and the people serving time in this prison system. If every man and woman currently incarcerated in T.D.C.J would take a positive step forward and make legitimate and sincere plans for change in their lives, the units of the Texas prison system will soon look like old ghost towns.

My friend has taken up a new life. One full of purpose and has made a definite plan built for success, wealth and happiness. It has taken hard work and a strong will, a will in concordance with God's Universal Laws. By taking the time to choose and learn a different way of life, nothing but your own mind can allow you to fail. As Napolean Hill states, "As knowledge is acquired it must be organized and put into use, for a definite purpose, through practical plans."

The Attorneys
  • Francisco Hernandez
  • Daniel Hernandez
  • Phillip Hall
  • Rocio Martinez