Action: Choosing Associates (Class 11)

Straight-A Guide Job Training Program

Lesson #11: Action: Choosing Associates

Rejecting Criminal Lifestyles

Materials Required:

  • Classroom space
  • Sufficient number of chairs with writing surface
  • DVD: 6.4. Ronnie Massaro
  • Handout on rejecting criminal lifestyles

Introduce Lesson #11 (5 minutes):

  • Describe reasons successful job applicants reject criminal lifestyles.

First steps (10 minutes):

  • Take roll of participants.
  • Facilitator opens discussion on how employers perceive people who embrace criminal lifestyles.

Goals and Objectives (5 minutes):

  • Facilitator will persuade participants that it is in their best interest to build relationships with law-abiding, contributing citizens, and to cut relationships with all criminal associates.

Expected Learning Outcomes (5 minutes):

  • Facilitator will teach each participant how to choose associates in strategic ways that will advance prospects for success.

Preliminary introduction (5 minutes):

  • Facilitator will ask participants to listen closely to associates Ronnie Massaro choose and how his relationships influenced his prospects to success.

Direct Instruction (10 minutes):

  • Play Ronnie Massaro DVD

Guided Practice (20 minutes):

  • Facilitator holds breakout session.
  • Facilitator tasks each group with discussing Ronnie Massaro’s adjustment through prison.
  • Facilitator asks each group to appoint a spokesperson to discuss Ronnie’s adjustment and different steps he could have taken to influence prospects for success.


Lesson #11: Action step of choosing associates carefully and rejecting criminal lifestyles

Ronnie Massaro said that he served decades in prison and that his closest relationships were with gang members.  The relationships that Ronnie choose led to his being locked inside segregated housing units.  In wasn’t until Ronnie was isolated by negative influences that he began to recognize the influences his friends would have on his behavior.

  • What could a person in prison learn through Ronnie Massaro’s experience?
  • Think back on your experience in prison.
  • What relationships did you keep in prison?
  • How could you have chosen relationships that would have opened more possibilities for success upon your release?
  • How would you apply what you learned about choosing prison to help you make better choices going forward?