"Victory happens when ten thousand hours of training meets one moment of opportunity."
The Way Back Program is designed to encourage former offenders to choose a path back to society. It provides a framework of methodical steps to learn skills, gain credentials, and earn privileges. All participants have access to mental care, life skills, ethical training, and other supports. Unlike local-America, Terramagne-America greatly values citizens who have made serious mistakes but made the effort to recover from them. It shows other people that recovery is possible. Prosocial activity is widely rewarded.
A skill tree is a set of techniques organized into a logical progression that shows which ones someone should learn first and how to move from easy ones to harder ones. This most often appears in games, but applies to many other situations such as card magic or computer programming. It is much easier to acquire new skills in this format, because you don't frustrate yourself trying to learn things that are too hard or waste time on things you don't need. SkillBonsai is one example of a site that offers skill trees on different topics. Some people find it helpful to view life as a game, such as this strategy guide.
The Way Back Program uses skill trees to give people options that help them practice good decision-making techniques and demonstrate their trustworthiness to society. This often includes not only the length of individual courses but also "time in grade" for gaining experience and staying out of trouble. The program often has more steps than other training programs to allow room for this. However, people with previously applicable training may qualify to renew their certifications with a refresher course, or test out of some requirements and replace those with new training on a related topic. This is especially common with basic first aid and CPR where the training is so widely available that many people have already had it. They can refresh it and then work on learning a new specialty or more complex ethics. Thanks to some hard work by pantha and hosting by alexseanchai, you can now see the skill tree for caring and emergency service careers in the Way Back Program.
Basic First Aid -> Intermediate First Aid and/or CPR and/or other civilian specialties -> Advanced First Aid and/or Narcan -> EMT-Basic -> EMT-Intermediate and/or medical specialties -> EMT-Advanced -> Paramedic
In L-America, a few places are spearheading programs in which former offenders become the first line of defense against opiate overdoses by carrying Narcan. T-America discovered this concept ages ago and has since refined it.
Another branch after Basic First Aid goes Children's First Aid with CPR -> Emotional First Aid and/or Relationship Skills -> Babysitting Certificate -> Parenting Skills.
Another branch after Advanced First Aid goes Certified Nursing Assistant -> Licensed Practical Purse -> Registered Nurse. Many medical programs support caregivers in upgrading their certifications over time. In T-America, former offenders are highly valued for working with high-risk patients, such as at community clinics in poor neighborhoods, because they are seen as insiders rather than outsiders.
The different levels of nursing are straightforward to upgrade.
In most areas, medics need at least EMT-Intermediate before they can start adding specialties, but many programs offer civilian certifications at lower levels of training. These are things like pediatrics and geriatrics. The ones most favored by former inmates include hot zone response, addiction care, mental health crisis, class awareness, ethnic awareness, and trauma-informed care.
Basic Emotional First Aid -> Intermediate EFA and/or specialties -> Peer Counselor, Life Coach, Sober Companion, or Gang Remediation Mentor -> Emotional First Aide, Community Counselor, or Troubled Youth Care -> Emotional Trauma Care
Again, the preference is for at least intermediate level before adding specialties, but some offer those after basic training. Popular EFA subtopics include helpline support, domestic violence, and hate crimes in addition to previous listings.
Basic Fitness -> General Athletics and/or Basic First Aid -> Individual Sport or Team Sport -> Personal Trainer or Team Coach
Another branch after Basic First Aid goes to De-escalation Skills and/or Trauma-Informed Care -> Self-Defense -> Offensive Hand-to-Hand and/or Weapons Training -> Security Guard or Police Work
Another branch after De-escalation Skills and Trauma-Informed Care goes to Firefighting or Disaster Response. You only need De-escalation Skills to study combat skills, but must have that plus Trauma-Informed Care for anything in the first responder field.
Hijo de puta kind of translates as "son of a bitch" in English but literally it means son of a whore. Puta is short for Spanish "prostituta" which means prostitute.
Shut up you hijo de puta
-- Urban Dictionary
In T-America, Equestrian Oratory Therapy actually has nothing to do with horses or speeches. It's an oblique way of saying "from the horse's mouth." In this school of counseling, a therapist can only be licensed to treat conditions they have personally experienced and overcome or at least learned to live with. Counselors who have survived multiple challenges may choose to specialize in one or handle clients from the whole range. (They can still treat other problems, just not within this system.) The goal is to teach people how to live with the body/mind they have. It's like peer therapy, and in fact had its roots there, but functions at a professional level now.
Peer counseling is a type of self-help group, popular with folks who don't feel comfortable with more formally trained counselors. It can be very effective. It has the advantage of passing on practical experience from suitable people who know what it's like to deal with this kind of problem. In this case, Simon is leaning on his background in dealing with terrorism and traumatic stress. Learn about how to lead a peer counseling group. Here's an example for stuttering. This is an outline of a training manual, and here's a 2-day course. Explore best practices for peer support and tips for therapists dealing with trauma survivors.
(These links are tense.)
In L-America, stigma is a lifelong sentence for former offenders. This is the opposite of helpful, because stigma worsens behavior. Obviously, if they're not permitted in the "good citizens" club, they will behave elsewise. Stigma reduction is an important part of mental health. Here are some ways of doing that. Former inmates can help new releases to succeed. Follow the steps to reduce self-stigma.
Feelings caused by stigma include shame, guilt, fear, loneliness, vulnerability, alienation, numbness, boredom.
Some people like talking about themselves, while others hate it. You don't have to talk about your feelings in therapy, but it's very useful for most goals. There are suggested topics and techniques for talking about yourself in therapy. Here are some tips on talking about your feelings.
As scavengers, skunks are prone to getting stuck in jars. See a video of one such incident.
(Some of these links are harsh.)
People need people. Social interaction is essential to human health, and family ties correlate with success after release from prison. L-America has huge problems caused by prison shattering family ties. That's not an accident; it's designed to do that. Employment is another stabilizing factor. Learn how to connect with people and maintain family ties over distance. There are ways to help someone develop emotional intelligence and help a shy friend.
Check-out activities in therapy include the One Word exercise.
Wheelchair martial arts come in various styles. Watch a video demonstration. Notice that the martial artist uses a similar style of sport wheelchair as Simon does: lightweight, sturdy, low back without handles, slightly canted wheels, and it's still suitable for everyday use by an athletic rider. Lots of people, especially veterans, favor this kind of sporty model. Simon was not kidding when he said that he saw his wheelchair as a weapon. Para-jiu-jitsu is a good choice, because jiu jitsu has always been designed for the underdog. Criptaedo is a blended martial art adapted for people with disabilities, including those who use a wheelchair.
(Some of these links are heinous.)
Chokeholds include a variety of options, such as the rear naked choke. A blood choke, as shown in this video, shuts off blood supply to the brain rather than air to the lungs. As this video about the murder of Eric Garner shows, chokeholds are dangerous. When police can slowly strangle a man to death, using a forbidden technique, in broad daylight, in front of a crowd, ON CAMERA -- and not be punished -- then the legal system is a vicious farce and there is no justice in society. Because T-America is a saner place, they're serious about not allowing law enforcement to use chokeholds. Military training, however, still includes such techniques. So if you attack a veteran, you get what you've got coming.
Complex moral and ethical issues surround the use of force, continuum of force, and what is considered appropriate force. The prevalence of superpowers and advanced technology have influenced these developments in Terramagne. One result supports a general trend toward preferring de-escalation and minimal force, due to the risk of extreme superpower incidents. Another concerns priorities, in that responsible authorities are expected to consider everyone's safety, not just their own. A third effect extends the expectation of appropriate force beyond civil authorities to superheroes in particular, and other people with superpowers in general. This circular chart illustrates one perspective of increasing appropriate force as the danger increases. This grid maps areas of excessive force and ineffective force, divided by the target line of appropriate force.
The Rules of Engagement can save lives in combat. In civilian context, they help provide guidelines for emergency combat.
Self-defense relies on the principle of necessary force. So let's consider the two combatants. Batir has the superpower of controlling force. He is an effective thug with a preference for blunt-force attacks. He has extensive experience but no formal training. He's trying to humiliate Simon, not commit murder in front of a dozen witnesses. Simon looks like he has a disadvantage because of the wheelchair, but in fact, he can use it quite effectively in combat. His mobility impairment would only count in traversing rough terrain at speed. He has considerable upper-body strength. He's fully trained in various types of combat, has served in the field and defeated enemy combatants, and still practices regularly. Once Batir turned the conflict physical, Simon's goal was to neutralize the threat as fast as possible. He would prefer to leave Batir alive and relatively uninjured. While risky, a blood choke is actually one of the fastest ways to do that, including someone with superpowers, because when the oxygen starts dropping then the brain tends to focus on survival, not expensive superpowers. Except for certain reflexive powers, most require training to activate under those conditions. Had Batir managed to pose a credible threat even from a chokehold, Simon could have switched to simply breaking his neck. In short, Batir never had a chance. Simon knew that, but Batir didn't. Victim selection FAIL.
Wheelchair prices vary radically, and in general, you get what you pay for. The low end ranges from a shitty clinical model at $100 to an ultralight for $800. More realistically, an everyday chair worth having runs $1,000-2,000. The Zephyr is an everyday/court chair that retails for $3,799.
A quickie wheelchair repair kit offers a variety of wrenches, screwdrivers, and other tools. Normally, one doesn't want that sort of thing inside a prison. But the guards and other staff routinely have things that most or all inmates are not allowed to have. It's based on authority, responsibility ... and ability to protect your gear from inmates wanting to make mischief. After this display, 1) none of the guys would dare touch Simon's gear, because even the ones who don't like him won't want to get posterized, and 2) the guards know better than to hassle him about it, because Simon's lawyer could make a stink, especially since he just needed to use the kit.
Better wheelchairs have modifications you can make at home. Knobby wheels are similar to those used on dirt bikes for traveling over rugged terrain. X-core wheels are a good choice.
Wheelchairs offer a fantastic array of options for weaponry. Simon is entirely capable of hauling a small arsenal for himself and his people if he feels a need. Compare open carry vs. concealed carry holsters. An extendable baton is another good choice, as shown in this video. Any reasonably slender weapon such as a baton or a knife is easy to conceal among the hardware of a wheelchair, because: most people don't know exactly how a wheelchair looks, most avert their eyes, and wheelchair users are routinely dismissed as threats. Shiv knows, but he ain't saying nothing.
Prosthetics are part of self-image, because the human brain rapidly incorporates tools into the body's sensory map. Adaptive equipment which is used most or all of the time tends to become part of someone's permanent self-image. For this reason, a wheelchair should be considered part of the user's body; if you wouldn't touch their body, don't touch their chair. It's polite to ask permission before touching in any case. Notice that a significant number of the inmates actually know this, because it's widely taught -- although not universally learned -- in T-America. Conversely, Simon asking Wade to fetch his chair is a show of trust and intimacy. Simon is perfectly capable of crawling or even walking over to it, but asking for assistance is less awkward and more comfortable. Explore wheelchair etiquette for interacting with disabled people.
Felony property damage varies from one state to another. In Nebraska, the threshold is $1,500. Good luck even getting a court/day chair repaired for less than that. Fortunately, Simon won't really need to tap his insurance for that, just notify them that he was assaulted and the felon will be paying for the damages. They only need to know if his mechanic says he needs a new chair so they can restart the depreciation clock.
Ogham is a type of Celtic writing done with hash marks. The letters are named for sets of things, and the one commonly used today is the tree ogham. The mention of beth, ailm, tinne, ifin, ruis spells out the name Batir. It's subtler than writing the name in English or using a photo, which can make bystanders twitchy.
Spoon Theory explains that people with special needs have a more limited supply of energy and/or a higher level of demands, which requires them to make more mindful choices.
L-America has surgical skin markers with gentian violet, which doesn't come off easily; and temporary tattoo pens, such as these, which are easier to get off. T-America has gentian too, and a nicer selection of short-term tattoo pens. But they also have skin pens with a special hypoallergenic gel ink that sticks really well and needs a special remover to get off; otherwise, it wears off in two to three weeks. They come in a variety of colors so there's something that shows up well on all colors of skin. Due to body autonomy issues, medical personnel are taught to use stickers instead of ink whenever possible, but for some things like boundary tracing, there's no substitute. To compensate for the boundary stress, they offer a choice of colors and the option of decorations. The neon pink, which would barely show on fair skin, really pops against Simon's milk chocolate tone.