Category Archives: Lindsay Lohan

Are some people beyond help? AKA CONRAD MURRAY

 

Conrad Murray is getting lots of press lately. I am not sure why as the media is just fueling the fire of a very ill man who can not be rehabilitated. This should not come as news to people who know my work, as I very publicly spoke about FIRING  Murray on Geraldo two years ago. He is one of the few who is so mentally ill that there is no chance of rehabilitation. NONE.

I meet all kinds of people in my work and most can and are rehabilitated in some way. Yes, even Lindsay Lohan and Chris Brown. But Murray is a sociopath who has his own agenda. What is amazing is how certain people in media keep giving Connie another 15 minutes and many even still call him a doctor. That’s is insane.

As a legal coach and alternative sentencing expert, I try to make a difference. But, the sad truth is that some people are beyond and are untreatable and unchangeable. Murray is one of these people.

It may be shocking, but even people who have done violent crimes can change. They may not be able to leave prison, but they can change and even make a difference while behind bars. Murray did not learn anything inside except how to order commissary.

I prefer to focus on those who need me, appreciate learning from past choices and make a positive difference in the world. There are more than enough of these people to make the world a better place, and to make working in criminal justice worthwhile. Yes, thank you Perez Hilton for calling me the “queen of the criminal justice system.” That may not be true all the time, but more often than not when people get real and get honest it works!

 


Wendy Feldman is a criminal justice expert, crisis manager and family legal coach. She is the leading expert on Alternative Sentencing. She is also director of the Alternative Sentencing Program at Cliffside Malibu. She is available for private consultation on how to prepare for a successful incarceration, probation and re-entry. She is also available for media commentary and has appeared in the media on The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, E! News, People.com, Fox News, NBC News, BBC, CNN, NPR Slate, Wall Street Journal, Discovery Network and others.  She may be reached at wendy@wendyfeldman.com

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Filed under alternatvive sentencing, Conrad Murray, crisis management, Lindsay Lohan, prepare for jail

What’s a LOHAN supposed to do???

 

The Lindsay Lohan saga in criminal court just got even more LINSANE. Really- nobody could make this up. Lohan or a lawyer on her behalf was supposed to appear in Los Angeles court today. But, neither appeared. Well, a “lawyer’ named Mark Heller did. Mark Heller- the formerly disbarred NY lawyer appeared for Ms. Lohan. But, as previously written and talked about, Heller is not a California lawyer and California criminal law and jails are much different than New York’s.

Judge Jim Dabney admonished Heller for not having local co-council and went as far as to state that Lohan must hire local lawyers or appear and state that she understands she has an “incompetent” lawyer and is willing to take that risk. So, what is Lohan going to do? The answer is as complicated as the many issues Lohan has going on.

Lohan faces charges of lying to police and a probation violation. In fact, she faces multiple jail terms and jurisdictions. This is not just a simple misdemeanor case. Lohan also faces allegations of IRS problems and a large UNPAID bill for an amount due to her previous lawyer Shawn Holley. Holley was sadly fired by Lohan after years of helping her escape jail and turn her life around. Many of us who believe in alternative sentences have seen the Lohan case demonstrate what creative options are possible for those who want to work hard to change their lives.

So, again what CAN Lohan do now? The lawyer who takes her on will have to put in many hours and be able to be creative. A global solution involving all of the criminal cases should be sought. But the problem will be who is going to pay the bill, and who is smart enough to structure such a deal. This deal will need to involve rehab, psychiatric help, probation expertise and the respect of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. A LOT of work. This legal coach suggests that Lohan get real, get busy and get a solid team together yet again. And Lindsay, I said TEAM. And that will involve a sponsorship by a quality rehab and all of us to believe. Well, it is Hollywood the land of make-believe!

 

Wendy Feldman is a criminal justice expert, crisis manager and family legal coach. She is available for private consultation on how to prepare for a successful incarceration, probation and re-entry. She is also available for media commentary and has appeared on shows from The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, E! News, People.com, Fox News, NBC News, CNN, NPR and Nancy Grace. She is a weekly featured guest on the syndicated America Now radio program. She may be reached at wendy@wendyfeldman.com

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Filed under alternatvive sentencing, Lindsay Lohan, Los Angeles District Attorney, Prison Consulting, prison preparation

Lohan and what price she might pay…

Lindsay Lohan has once again landed herself in a heap of legal trouble. Just as she found out she would be charged next week in Los Angeles for lying to police after a June car accident, she is in yet another bind. A new arrest in NYC for assault. I call people who commit a variety pack of crimes people in need of an Incarcervention. That is an intervention with a criminal legal component. It is common for people in this pattern to not only commit several crimes, but also several types of crimes. With Lohan we have DUI’s, theft and now assault. Quite a combo.

The new charges in Los Angeles are all misdemeanor charges that would normally be eligible for an alternative sentence of rehab, therapy and community service, but because she is already on probation, she may actually do some jail time. In addition, if she is found to have violated her probation she could be ordered to serve a larger part of that original sentence. Now Lohan also faces an assault charge in NYC. Time will tell if the DA files a criminal complaint in that case.

But, no matter what, it is clear that Lindsay is in need of a new round of therapy, accountability and a dose of humility. I tell all of my clients to get a head start on the humility train, as that is a key to success once in our criminal justice system. The two keys are respect and humility. As for Ms Lohan and all of the other celebrity cases in the news this week- acting entitled gets you nowhere except a mug shot gallery. But, change is possible as I always say. But that takes work.

 

Wendy Feldman is a criminal justice expert, insider and family legal coach. She is available for private consultation on how to prepare for a successful incarceration, probation and re-entry. She is also available for media commentary and has appeared on shows from The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, E! News, People.com, Fox News, NBC News, CNN, NPR and Nancy Grace. She is a weekly featured guest on the syndicated America Now radio program. She may be reached at wendy@wendyfeldman.com

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Filed under alternatvive sentencing, Criminal thinking, Lindsay Lohan, prepare for jail

Hello LOHAN-What does it take to re-enter society???

I am often asked what it takes to come back to society after prison and if it is possible. The answer is that it happens everyday and it is very tough. Prison is easy- Re-entry is hard. But, possible and wonderful if looked at as a task. Freedom should never be taken for granted.

There are three very famous, very different high profile cases going through re-entry right now. Casey AnthonyAmanda Knox and Lindsay Lohan. All served jail time and all have been released back to society with a new level of infamy. Anthony is the only one who has some probation to finish and who will have other conditions with her for a long time. But, the process of re-entry after any formal probation or incarceration is a difficult one.

People do well in prison and on probation because of the accountability. Once that accountability is lifted it is up to an individual to remember what they learned and how to translate that into free life. There are two components that make up a successful re-entry: FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS/COMMUNITY TIES and accountability. This is why visiting people inside prison and keeping in touch is so important. The fact is that over 95% of all people incarcerated in the U.S. will be released and most in less than less than 5 years. This means that we must do a better job to empower people and help them learn from their mistakes and pasts.

There are resources for those coming back to society but they are few and far between. Imagine you were coming back to a free society with little money, no job and a family to support? It is no wonder why so many people wind up in trouble again. This is compounded for high profile people who have definite targets on her back. Life will be difficult and everyday things can get in the way and even trip you up. My advice-be cautious and stick to some sort of routine that works with it’s own accountability. That could mean continued therapy, substance abuse programs and even something as simple as exercise and support groups.

I often coach people who are re-entering society and this are much more difficult than preparing people for prison. I often ask them to pretend that they are still on probation or in prison so that they have rules to FOLLOW. Freedom when you have lost it is even more enticing and of course sweeter. But, it is a task to learn how to experience it and appreciate it properly. As I say, change is possible but it always takes hard work.

 

Wendy Feldman is a criminal justice expert and family legal coach. She is available for private consultation on how to prepare for a successful incarceration, probation and re-entry. She is also available for media commentary and has appeared on shows from Today, CBS Early Show to Fox News and Nancy Grace. She may be reached at wendy@custodialcoaching.com. 


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Filed under Casey Anthony, Lindsay Lohan, prison coaching, prison re entry

Lindsay Lohan and the target she wears as she re-enters society

 

Lindsay Lohan is entering a very interesting period for anybody who has served jail time and formal probation- FREEDOM. Yes, freedom for a former felon has its challenges. Freedom for Lohan and other high profile people is even more difficult. In fact, I always tell clients that prison is the easy part.

There are three very famous, very different high profile cases going through re-entry right now. Casey Anthony, Amanda Knox and Lindsay Lohan. All served some jail time and all have been released back to society with a new level of infamy. Anthony is the only one who has some probation to finish and who will have other conditions with her for a long time. But, the process of re-entry after any formal probation or incarceration is a difficult one.

People do well in prison and on probation because of the accountability. Once that accountability is lifted it is up to an individual to remember what they learned and how to translate that into free life. There are two components that make up a successful re-entry: FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS and COMMUNITY TIES.  This is why visiting people inside prison and keeping in touch is so important. The fact is that over 95% of all people incarcerated in the U.S. will be released and most in less than less than 5 years. This means that we must do a better job to empower people and help them learn from their mistakes and pasts.

There are resources for some of those coming back to society but they are few and far between. Imagine you were coming back to a free society with little money, no job and a family to support? It is no wonder why so many people wind up in trouble again. This is compounded for a person like Lohan who has a definite target on her back. Just look at what went on last week with an alleged hit and run that resulted in a demand for money of course. Life will be difficult and everyday things can get in the way and even trip you up. My advice- be cautious and stick to some sort of routine that works with it’s own accountability. That could mean continued therapy, substance abuse programs and even something as simple as exercise and support groups. Whatever works!

I often coach people who are re-entering society and they are much more difficult than preparing people for prison. Freedom when you have lost is even more enticing and of course sweeter. But, it is a task to learn how to experience it and appreciate it properly. As I say, change is possible but it always takes hard work. You go Lindsay!

 

Wendy Feldman is a criminal justice expert and legal coach. She is available for private consultation on how to prepare for a successful incarceration, probation and re-entry. She is also available for media commentary and has appeared on shows from Today to Fox News. She may be reached at wendy@custodialcoaching.com. 

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Filed under amanda knox, Casey Anthony, Lindsay Lohan, prepare for jail

Why are we upset about Lohan and Chris Brown making a comeback???

It started with The Grammy performance by singer Chris Brown. I could hear the outrage through my Twitter feed and on every media appearance I did. I must say that this level of outrage as well as the lack of empathy and understanding surprised me. Better yet, I was surprised that people think that because I am a woman I should be anti Chris Brown. How absurd. As anybody who reads my blog or follows my work knows, I believe that in most cases change is possible. I have written a lot about the Chris Brown case. In fact, I wrote that the judge put such strong orders and requirements in place over a five-year period of time that a small jail sentence may have been easier. Brown had that option but took the Five-year probation deal that included anger management, therapy, probation and community LABOR. He is still on probation. To date, Brown has done everything asked of him by the court even though he has a large target on his back. Just look at the case last week in Florida where a woman claimed he stole her cell phone?! Believe me this would never be a case with police action and press if didn’t involve Chris Brown.

To be clear, I do not condone the actions that landed Chris Brown is trouble. I am not sympathetic to men who abuse women, especially having been one. But, I do know that over time if somebody is given a chance and they take it seriously, we must give that person a second chance in order for all of us to learn and go on to other productive things. Look at Michael Vick? Amazing comeback.

The other name in the news is Lindsay Lohan. Lohan is set to guest host Saturday Night Live March 3 and will be on The Today Show March 1. From what I hear this will not be a piece of cake interview by Matt Lauer. There will be tough questions and there should be. If we are giving a person like Lindsay Lohan the chance to host a big network show, then we have the right to expect her to answer some questions and at some point lead by example. Once again I have received a very negative reaction to my support of Lohan. So, once again I state that anybody who receives an alternative sentence like Brown and Lohan has an obligation to take it seriously and show judges that community service, therapy and strict probation work.

I handle alternative sentence deals everyday for my clients. They are an important part of our criminal justice system, yet they are very misunderstood. The good news is that when handled properly they work and we can all look at the examples. I strive to bring awareness to the issues that can help our incarceration nation and can actually look at the big BUSINESS of prison. There is often a better way.  Keep in mind that 95% of people inside prison are coming home and most within five years. If we don’t start to understand the issues now, we only create problems for the future.

To Chris Brown and Lindsay Lohan I say keep up the good work and the world is watching. Don’t let us down. Change is possible!

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Wendy Feldman is a prison consultant and criminal justice expert. She is available as a media commentator and for private clients and speaking events. To contact Wendy visit www.custodialcoaching.com or email Wendy@custodialcoaching.com

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Filed under Chris Brown, community service, Lindsay Lohan, prepare for jail

What should happen to Lindsay Lohan in court and what will happen???

This week Lindsay Lohan has a hearing to determine the sentence for her probation violation. Judge Stephanie Sautner has many options, but is also somewhat restricted by the California prison system overcrowding at this time. As an expert on probation, alternative sentences and prison preparation, I work with people on probation violations all of the time. Recently, there was the case of Redmond O’Neal and his probation violation for using drugs. LA Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz cited California’s notorious prison overcrowding problem as the reason he sent Redmond to a recovery centre instead of jail. This sentence, even after it was obvious that O’Neal belongs in a long-term mental health dual diagnosis program, not a Dr Drew program. Yet, he went to the Dr Drew type program. Yikes!

However, Lohan is a more public case and the issue at hand is not a drug violation. Judge Sautner needs to decide if the sentence will be strictly punitive or also rehabilitative. The current morgue community service is solely punitive. Sautner knows that if she sends Lohan to jail, Lohan will likely only serve a little time. So, creativity may be in order. What options exist?

Sautner may sentence Lohan to mental health treatment with a specific “lock down” program, jail time and mental health treatment or simply order a very restrictive probation that will again call for drug and alcohol testing. That is my bet as that may force Lohan to get the help she looks like she needs.

This is an odd case in that the probation Lohan was found to be in violation of was actually reported to be in good standing by the probation office! The DA is pushing for jail time. Both the DA and judge have found the Beverly Hills therapist cited in the report to have done a poor job, hence the judge can also order a new psychological evaluation.

The major problem here is that as a society when is enough, enough? What can we rely on our judges for and how can we make somebody like Lindsay Lohan “get it.” Surely she is in need of what I call an Incarcervention. That is an Intervention for somebody who constantly gets in criminal legal trouble. Lohan certainly does not have the two requirements that somebody coming back to society after a prison or probation term needs. These two components are: family support and community ties. In fact, Lohan has little support in the community, none in her Hollywood community and a poor family structure. How do we expect Lohan to learn when her own father Michael was arrested twice last week on violations of a court order?

But, we must remember that Lindsay is an adult and at some point she must take responsibility for her own actions. So, how does she do that? Simple really, have her acknowledge the consequences and GROW UP! Lindsay, change is possible but get help and stop acting like you are so entitled. Clearly you need to learn a lesson and if you escape jail again this time, what’s next time look like?

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Filed under alternatvive sentencing, community service, Lindsay Lohan, Prison Consulting