Second Thoughts, Inc.

Changing Lives



You can always choose your choices, but you cannot choose the consequences of your choices. The thing about our choices is after we have made them, they turn around and make us!

Second Thoughts, Inc.

P.O. Box 43

Norfolk, MA 02056

Tel. (508) 668-0800 ext. 254

Our Philosophy

Second Thoughts was conceived as an inmate coordinated juvenile counseling program with the ultimate aim of discouraging delinquent behavior and deterring youths from incarceration. We believe that by fostering open and honest communication between incarcerated offenders and youths who are at a critical point in their development, we can promote values that can lead to more insightful decision making in their personal lives.

Second Thoughts provides short term focused counseling oriented toward discovering the power and responsibility of our choices.

The fact this group takes place within a prison setting reinforces the consequences of not excepting responsibility.

With effective and disciplined training, inmate counselors can become constructive agents for change.
The emphasis is on foundation for therapy.

"I really paid attention to what
ya'll said because you have
been there and done that."
(N.F.I. Alliance House)


Second Thoughts offers a structured sixteen- week counselor training course. It is designed to familiarize the trainees with essential counseling concepts and a disciplined approach to counseling.
As inmate counselors we are not profession als, but it is important to recognize both the opportunities and the limitations inherent in this type of therapy.

The greatest asset inmate counselors possess is their life experience which are unique. As incarcerated offenders, we have a set of experiences, which enable us to establish a rapport with incarcerated youths at D.Y.S. facilities that is not accessible to professional therapists. Thus, our strengths as well as our limitations are explored in an effort to further define our role as counselors.


Depending on the needs of the facilities, group cycles range from six to eight weeks on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The range of topics for group discussion include:

Effects of Incarceration, Prison
Family Issues, Violence & Alternatives
Gangs & Peer Pressure, Drugs & Alcohol
Promiscuity & Aids, Victims & Remorse

Past and Present Clients

Judge John J. Connoly Youth Center
Worcester Secure Treatment Program
C.H.D. Central Secure Treatment Program
Northeastern Family Institute
N.F.I. Middleton)
Alliance House (N.F.I. Stoneham)
Westboro Secure Treatment Program
New River Academy (Wakefield)
Dorchester House
Phaneuf Center (Brockton)
Watson House (Cambridge)


Mark Huntington
Director of New River Academy

"I truly believe in the work (ministry) you and your colleagues are doing. I know first hand that Second Thoughts makes a
difference... I will continue to "sing the praises" of the work Second Thoughts does with D.YS. committed youth. "

Leslie Lamb
Clinical Director-Roslindale Secure Treatment Program

"Our residents consistently express hat they feel they learn a great deal from the inmates involved in the program. They are able to relate to individuals who have often come from their neighborhood or have had similar experiences to them and have made mistakes that have resulted in their incarceration."

A Word From the Youths


"Thanks for all the support and honesty. I think this program is very interesting and it made me decide to get drug treatment."

(CTU) Secure Treatment


"Who ever reads this, these men are real and speaking nothing but truth, so listen and follow their advice".

(CTU) Secure Treatment


"I hope this program keeps going and also keeps trying to change other kids way of thinking.. Don't let this program fade away it helps."

(N.F.I. Alliance House)

"Each week I was waiting to come here and learn what you guys had to share and to also talk about the things I have learned. I wanted to see how you handled different situations so I could use the ones that work and not do the same thing. I was once told that "If you learn from a mistake, then it was not a mistake!" After I would leave the prison (on the way back), I would think about what was said and think about what I would do if I did something to end up with a sentence of twenty years. I felt like I would have a heart attack, if a judge told me that I had to stay behind the wall for that long. Just as the group ended I told myself, "I will never set foot in another prison again!"

(N.F.I. Alliance House)


Poem by Youth

With a group of people showing a special kind of love.
A group of people I call my family and will give my all and above.
Every Tuesday is a day we show unity,
I've found a special bond with this family.
When I talk they seem to understand,
they don't make those ignorant and meaningless demands.
They come straight when it's time to speak,
when with this family it's okay for me to be weak.
At first sharing my feelings with them were wild,
I know now it's something I need and didn't have as a child.
Everyone in this family to me means a lot, even when we're far apart,
they'll always have a place in my heart.
To let them know I feel at home,
I dedicate to them all this very special poem. ..

How to get involved?

Do you work with youth who you believe may benefit from participating in the Second Thoughts Program? If so, please contact our Director, Thomas Koonce.

Thomas can be reached at:
PO Box 43
Norfolk, MA 02056

If you are mailing information about your  program, please include a brief description of your program and the youth that you work with. We are always looking to  reach out to more youths and we are confident that our program will make a positive impact on the young people whose lives we touch. .

Second Thoughts II  -  Beyond the Walls, Inc.

Program Information

Thomas Koonce's Web Page

The Injustice System Site Map