There are many types of people I work with as a prison consultant and legal coach. And, believe me it does take a village to handle all of these personalities. From Wall Street bigs, politicians and athletes to Celebrities, and even everyday mom and pop operators, mine is the best job on earth.
As fall begins we are about to embark on a season of very high profile and interesting cases. These include the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, the sentencing’s of Blago, Raj Rajaratnam and Barry Bonds and the re trial of Roger Clemens just to name a few.
Yet, all of these cases and defendants need something different and all must cope with the reality that faces them; prison time. As with most of my clients and even myself, there are the everyday silly things to think about like prison food, living “accommodations” and fear of the other people inside. But, there are also families who will be left behind and children to care for and explain things to. You see, I not only work with the defendant but the entire family.
And there are the complexities of a person standing trial like Conrad Murray or Roger Clemens. In cases like that, I try to get the person facing trial to accept responsibility not for a crime but for the fact that certain choices have landed them in their current situation. It is with this acceptance that they can often find inner humility that will help carry them through a trial, sentencing and maybe even their prison term. It isn’t about what clothes they wear, and more about how they “present” themselves without ever saying a word.
For those actually getting ready to serve time, the concept is the same. Two things make prison easier: Respect and humility. Seems easy but we must remember that people going to prison often posses one or more criminal thinking errors such as grandiosity, entitlement, mollification and super optimism. Much to overcome.
But, I also work with the families, as families are the forgotten consequences of crime. To do this I must first get through all of the small issues like what you can bring, what job you should have, why YOU will not get the lower bunk at first and more. The most asked question is always about safety and then next is THE FOOD. And yes, COPS is popular in the TV rooms!
People must remember that prison is a great equalizer and no celebrity status can help you there. But, a good coach can. People passing through the criminal justice system, have patience and learn and follow the rules. Then, get ready to come home and live a better life. Look, if I did it, anybody can. As I always say, change is possible and prison is easy, re-entry is harder.