Table of Contents

 

Tarot Reflections

 

 December 01, 2003

 
     
 
Insights from the Prison Service Project:
Tips for Incarcerated Students & Their Mentors
Joel Vore, CTI


Joel Vore

Joel Vore is a numerologist and tarotist of sixteen years from Boise, Idaho. He is certified as a Tarot Master by the Tarot Certification Board of America and as a Tarot Instructor by the Canadian Tarot Network. Joel is actively working to improve relations and understanding between free world and incarcerated tarotists in mentoring, certification, and tarot in general.

 

Note: The ATA's Prison Service Project puts mentors in touch with incarcerated students as part of our effort to share the benefits of Tarot-work with others. If you are interested in serving as a mentor, consider the following guidelines ... and please contact us.

Tips for Students

1. Protect yourself. Only share what personal information you feel comfortable sharing.

2. Donít offer up details behind your incarceration to your mentor.  Honestly informing your mentor of your crime is fine if asked, but shock value is not. Your crime has little to do with tarot and change.

3. Donít take advantage of your mentor. They volunteer their time and knowledge to help you grow. Respect your mentor and yourself. Donít ask them for money, cards, or other things; they are not your family or loved ones.

4. You represent inmates everywhere to your mentor. How you present yourself is how they will see all inmates.

5. Make regular contact with your mentor, at least once a month.

6. Respect your mentorís right to privacy. Do not pry into your mentorís private life. Properly dispose of anything bearing their mailing address, do not pass it around.

7. Respect, observe, and apply your Code of Ethics and those of the organizations you are affiliated with.

8. Be honest. If you are uncomfortable with a topic, request, or even with your mentor then say so. You only harm your mentor and yourself by holding in difficulties.

9. Do the work. Your mentor is not a pen pal, they are your teacher. Donít waste their time or your own. Your honest answers are more impressive than bragging or posturing.

10. Take some time when you are first assigned a mentor to explain what you expect and want from them. Opening a dialog helps prevent later issues.

11. Advise your mentor of your facilityís mail policies and requirements.

12. Never lose sight of the purpose behind the mentor-inmate relationship Ė tarot!

Tips for Mentors

1. Protect yourself. Only share what personal information you feel comfortable sharing. Consider using a P.O. Box or mail forwarding through ATA Headquarters to ensure your privacy.

2. Donít ask about a studentís crime, or if you must ask, donít ask for details. The reason they are incarcerated has little to do with tarot or change. Be warned by the fact your student is an inmate that you are not dealing with the best society has to offer.

3. Not all criminals are in prison, and not everyone in prison is a criminal. It is always best not to be too judgmental.

4. Try to erase the television image of prison from your mind. While some could be like you see on TV, you might be surprised by an inmateís life.

5. Be aware. Donít be gullible, go into mentoring an inmate with your eyes open. While not all will try to con you, there may be some. Do you trust everyone you meet?

6. Donít offer more than you are willing to give. No means no Ė donít be afraid to say it.

7. Donít try to fix, analyze, or change your student. At best you have very limited contact, and little information to go on. Just stick to tarot.

8. Make regular contact. To the inmate student, both tarot and your input are extremely important. Regular mail is slow and inconvenient, but it is all an inmate has.

9. Make a list of things your are willing and unwilling to do for your student, and stick with it. Only you can decide how far you can or should go.

10. Respect, observe, and apply your personal Code of Ethics as well as that of your organization for every student.

11. Respect your studentís right to privacy, just as you expect them to respect yours.

12. Be honest. If you are uncomfortable with a studentís request or even with a student, say so. You only harm yourself and your student by holding in difficulties.

13. Take some time when you first take on a new inmate student to explain what you expect and want from them. Opening a dialog helps prevent later issues.

14. Ask about institutional mail policies and stick to them. Excessive photocopies or printed Internet pages, for instance, can delay or prevent a student from receiving your letters.

15. Never lose sight of the purpose behind the mentor-inmate relationship Ė tarot!

         
 
 
 

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