Drafting an Insight Statement can be daunting. It should be. This is a very important Statement that provides a glimpse into how your loved one became a criminal. It requires them to take a sobering yet objective look at themselves.
Many find it heart-wrenching and cathartic at the same time—and far more find it next to impossible to get it right. Too often, I see Insight Statements that were generated only with the eye toward what the prisoner thinks the Governor’s Office staff or Parole Commissioner wants to see. This approach is doomed to fail. It should always be brutally honest, forthright, genuine and analytical simultaneously. Your loved one should be viewing the old SELF (before their turning point) the same way everyone else does: horrified and disgusted. If true rehabilitation has transpired in their life, there should be no defense of the indefensible. They should accept it and see themselves objectively.
When the victims of their crime(s) are referenced, too often prisoners become extremely formal. Mr. John Smith..., or Ms. Suzanne Johnson... Most victims of crime knew their attacker. There should be a balance of formality and familiarity. The prisoner should humanize the victim(s) by identifying them by their personal names (if known before). Otherwise, it translates as disingenuous and contrived. Save the formality for the introduction.
Your loved one should be careful to not tell their life story. An Insight Statement is NOT their life story. It is a chronological depiction of events that identify defects of character: when, where and how they were transmitted to them (sourced), and how they were reinforced throughout their life up to and including the life crime and subsequent criminality prior to your turning point. INSIGHT is not abstract; it always has an object. In the context of criminal rehabilitation, its object is Causative Factors (aka Character Defects). Thus, it is called an INSIGHT STATEMENT INTO CAUSATIVE FACTORS.
This means that it is an intuitive understanding and identification of the character defects possessed (at the time of the life crime), their origins, how they were cemented in your loved one's psyche throughout their life (i.e., reinforced), and how they factored into their thinking relative to the life crime. Often times it’s necessary to continue this analysis subsequent to the life crime because criminality continues after incarceration. Accordingly, the analysis should operate up to the turning point.
When your loved one accomplishes this, they have connected the dots (or the life cycle of the character defects) throughout their life. In criminal rehabilitation, the goal is to understand the character defects’ relative construction & dynamics and replace them with character assets. This begins to occur at their turning point.
--Nick Woodall, Founder & President of Posse Solutions