Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Positive Deviation from Recidivism

In the book Influencer: The Power to Change Anything,
the authors assert many wonderful ideas about how to influence change
by looking at the Positive Deviations in the world,
and whether the best results can be duplicated.

In statistics, a deviation means some result that is different from the normal,
either in a positive or negative manner.

According to Wikipedia: Positive Deviance is an approach to behavioral and social change based on the observation that in any community, there are people whose uncommon but successful behaviors or strategies enable them to find better solutions to a problem than their peers, despite facing similar challenges and having no extra resources or knowledge than their peers. These individuals are referred to as positive deviants.

This means in a world where school children normally fail a reading exam,
any who pass the test, especially with an exceptionally high score,
are the “positive” results we wish to duplicate.
The question then becomes, “how did they do it?”

When it comes to “Recidivism”, or the habitual relapse into crime,
where are the communities where it is lowest?
In other words, where are the places where criminals change
to become positive members of society?

As many of you already know, I am a criminal,
convicted on two counts of felony assault
as a result of injuries I caused from a drunk-driving accident in 2006.
I was released from prison in July 2008
and regardless of my crime or the sentence
the question I often see unasked by our community is...
“How did Zack do it?”

When struggling to find work with a criminal record,
and the difficult emotional stress endured by me and my family
how was I able to keep from returning to prison??

I know the answer to that question,
and I will go over it in some detail in the days ahead.

So come back tomorrow to learn more,
then enter the discussion to spark more thought!

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