Tag Archives: prison consultant

What’s new in criminal Justice???

Well not much new, but a lot of wrong things still going on. For example, here we are in 2014 and we still have a huge disparity in sentencings in drug cases and in cases where children are harmed. There are much tougher rules for both in Federal courts. Sad but true.

Federal courts still have mandatory minimums on what can be simple drug cases, and much harsher penalties on anything having to do with children. So, it’s a true mixed bag.

What I do know is that one can “program” easier in State prison and be released much earlier than in Federal Prison. This again hardly seems fair.

And of course both have almost no help for people who need real re-entry assistance. We must start here so that people stop going back for silly reasons. Our prisons are full of people who could have served creative alternative sentences that would help both the offender and society. Remember, almost everybody incarcerated today is coming home and most in less than 5 years. A sobering thought at best.

It is 2014 and the time to change is NOW. It is not that complicated a system that we cannot change it. But, we need to understand it first. Prison is BIG money and the fewer people in prison the less money made by the Prison industrial complex. This too must change and will.

There are plenty of people who do belong in prison, but let’s work on those who can change and be rehabilitated first, This will actually make room for the people who belong there.

 


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,US Magazine, Perez Hilton, Fox News, NBC News, BBC, CNN, NPR Slate, Wall Street Journal, Discovery Network ID and others.  She may be reached at wendy@wendyfeldman.com

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Filed under alternatvive sentencing, Criminal Justice, prepare for jail, prison coaching, prison consultant, prison re entry, probation

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

Families ARE the Forgotten Consequences of Crimes

I have said this before, and I am saying it again. Far too often we forget about the families. Not just the victim’s families, but also ALL of the families.

Last week I handled a very high profile, rather ugly case involving an ex LAPD officer. The point of my involvement was not to make life easier for my client, but to make life go on for his families and the family he victimized. My client had three children under 5 and the victims’ family had two children. Lots to worry about. In cases like these it is human nature to only wonder about the victimizer and maybe his victims. But everybody is a victim. And both families will need to learn a new normal and a new way of life in order to move forward.

Criminals are often selfish, or at least selfish in that moment. The truth is the legacy lives on long after the crime. This is where are system has NOTHING in place, and where I often have the privilege of stepping in. Of course the crime and the criminal intrigue us, but we cannot have true change without looking at the larger picture. Here is where some restorative justice can make a world of difference.

My experiences, my media and my platform allow me to shine the light on stories we normally do not see and rarely talk about. The truth is that everybody has a story and society at large is severely affected by crime and those left behind. That is why we need to offer services such as bringing children to visit incarcerated parents. Therapy and quality re-entry programs.

These are how we will stop the cycle and make the past a lesson. For more information on services and what you can do visit my website at www.wendyfeldman.com. And- help make a change, if not for the person who committed the crime, but for all families.

Wendy Feldman is a criminal justice expert, crisis manager and family legal coach. She is the leading expert on Alternative Sentencing. 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, prepare for jail, Prison conultants, prison preparation, Restoratice Justice

Will life be a box of cherries and Commissary Snacks for Arias????

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Everyday people ask me what life will be like in State Prison for Jodie Arias. People are especially interested in the quality of her life. To be sure, her life will not be all snacks and fun, but it is not that bad either. And, if she is sent to death row it may be even better. There are only two women on death row in Arizona. Both are at Perryville State Prison where Arias will eventually end up no matter if she receives life or death. She will DIE there.

But life inside a maximum-security prison is not all hard times and labor. In fact, some prefer the maximum section of the prison. It is here that one is allowed their own TV and sometimes Internet. No mass TV room, no waiting but no privacy from the guards either. It really is life in a fishbowl. But, for a narcissist like Arias, this will suit her perfectly.

Jodie Arias says she wants to accomplish many things while in prison. While this may seem unfair to many people, the truth is that she may be able to do. The alternative is that we keep paying for her and others to do nothing. Arias however will not be allowed to come and go as she pleases and her ability to exercise of the “yard” will be very limited if at all. This as she has been convicted of first-degree murder.

But, let’s not forget that Arias has been held in the infamous Maricopa county jail headed by none other than master criminal himself Sheriff Joe Arpaio. A true case of birds of a feather. For those in a rush to have Arias sent to State Prison at Perryville, stop and consider that Sheriff Joe runs the WORST county jail in the United States and conditions are horrific. They even have a section known as “tent city” where inmates live in tents outside in the Arizona heat. I would prefer Arias stay there but once formally sentenced she will move to the more plush Perryville in Phoenix.

I have worked with many women who have been and are at Perryville and the treatment depends on the crime, the time and the behavior. Do not expect it to be easy for Jodie Arias but it certainly will not be hard time. And yes, she can order all kinds of snacks from the commissary. Is this rehabilitation? Nope, but a life sentence is not designed for that. I for one am closing the Arias chapter and turning my attention to those who need to rehabilitate and their families. Never forget that over 95% of all people incarcerated in the US are coming out and most in less than 5 years. We must learn to deal with this population now.


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 death row for women, Jodie Arias, prepare for jail, prison consultant

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

Mindy McCreedy is DEAD- as predicted here- RIP…

Sadly singer Mindy McCreedy has died from a gun shot wound that was self inflicted. On January 24, 2013 I wrote about McCreedy and why rehab alone does not work. And here we are. The criminal justice system, reality TV and our mental health system has failed.

McCreedy was under investigation in the death of her boyfriend- hmmmm

The saddest part is that she is a prime example of a person who spent years in rehab and jail and still was NO better. WHY???? Because rehab and 12-step alone does not work. There is such a thing as MENTAL ILLNESS and we need to start treating these people as not simple addicts. Addiction exists, but for many there is a much more serious mental health component. Television shows like the one McCreedy was on- Celebrity Rehab- do a great injustice to those suffering. Mental health treatment needs to be done by a professional not just an ex addict.

Like many of my clients, McCreedy was court ordered to “treatment” many times. But, this NEVER took into account that she needed intensive mental health treatment not just addiction/ DUI classes. Judges must wake up. When I prepare an alternative sentence for a client it always looks at the long term well being for them. Like rehab, therapy and community service. Too often lawyers are looking for the easiest way to “get their client off.” That will backfire in the end. My job is the long term and to help my clients change their lives and ways. Lawyers must open their eyes and this is why many of the good ones now work with me to accomplish both goals.

I wrote a lot about the death of my client actor Johnny Lewis  this summer. He was not an addict at all. He was ill. I have several clients now where I am literally fighting for their lives as the court system is not helping but hurting by sending them to rehab alone. We must stand up and out and educate ourselves and our judges. Sadly, we all know of many more to come. For now, Mindy McCreedy R.I.P.

 


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, drug abuse treatment, Johnny Lewis, Mindy McCreedy, prepare for jail

Why Lance Armstrong is a DOPE!!!

 

 

If you commit a crime, bully and abuse people and then need positive PR- who you gonna call? OPRAH of course.

Well, maybe call Oprah back in the day when she actually had an audience. Now it is just a very pathetic way to try and manipulate the court of public opinion.

Lance Armstrong has now confirmed what we all knew- he used performance-enhancing drugs for many years. SURPRISE! The issue really isn’t that he used the drugs, it is the lying and the bullying that he participated in.

From a criminal justice standpoint the issue is did Lance Armstrong open himself up to any legal issues? I say yes and time will tell. What is certain is that he opened the door to immense civil law suits and all because he still wants his 15 minutes. Lance- that is long over. Your fame is now infamy.

I have been asked if I think that Lance Armstrong deserves to go to prison. My answer is simple- YES. He lied, broke laws and strong armed people. Prison is the perfect place to teach him humility and respect. We waste time putting small time drug dealers in prison but it is people like Armstrong who belong there. This because he felt the rules and laws did not apply to him. He obviously still feels that way or he wouldn’t make such a grandiose gesture of coming clean.

Entitlement and grandiosity are two criminal thinking errors and are common in many people who break the law. Armstrong did try hard to mitigate his criminal activity with his philanthropy but one does not in any way make the other right.

Lance Armstrong- prison awaits. At least a prison of your own making. Not even the best prison coach- me- can help you now.

 

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

Follow @thewendyfeldman

 

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Filed under Lance Amrstrong, prepare for jail, prison coaching, Restoratice Justice