Category Archives: George Zimmerman

George Zimmerman and Family what’s next???

Now that George Zimmerman is FREE what’s next for him and his family? Will they be able to move on with their lives and will they ever practice some Restorative Justice and do the right thing?

Just as many clients of mine, they will have an adjustment period. It is not as simple as being acquitted and now you are FREE! Freedom comes in many shapes and sizes. For sure Zimmerman and his family will need a lot of therapy and help. They have a lot of work to do and may never be accepted back into society. For one, it is hard to tell if he has any remorse and thus Zimmerman himself is NOT a sympathetic character. Can he be rehabilitated? I am not sure, but as I always say, change is possible, but he would need to admit he made poor choices and thus needs to change.

There are two components to a successful re-entry after jail or a trial. They are family support and community ties. The community ties are absent here. One idea if they were my clients is to have Zimmerman begin doing Community Service and walking the walk so to speak. As for his family, they too are victims as families often are. Families are always the forgotten consequences of crime.

George Zimmerman may have “gotten off” but he is far from free and able to lead a decent life. After all, what was his life like before he used his gun to kill somebody? That is the question and the answer is that sadly many “rent a cops” are not qualified to carry a weapon and should not be. Now Zimmerman has a second chance and an opportunity to make something of his life and maybe help others. Time will tell. But for the short term, I suggest Zimmerman assemble a quality team to assist him with his transition so that nothing like this ever happens again. The trial is over, but the hard work is just beginning.

 


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 George Zimmerman, prepare for jail, prison coaching, prison consultant, Restoratice Justice, Trayvon Martin

Knock Knock- The Zimmerman Trial

Seminole County Jail

The jury is about to get the case of Alleged Kid Killer George Zimmerman. Sadly, this has been one of the strangest trials ever. From the opening statements where the defense attorney told a “knock knock” joke, to Zimmerman himself.

The defense team clearly did not prep their client well as Zimmerman rolls his eyes, is agitated and appears the angry man that he must be. If he were my client I would have prepared him much better, and there would be no doubt that he made a mistake and had remorse. But the truth is Zimmerman appears to have NO remorse that a child is dead, and worse yet the prosecution is now asking the judge for a lesser included. That means the jury will be allowed to find Zimmerman guilty of a crime like manslaughter that carries a very light penalty.

This tells me that the prosecution is hedging and does not believe they have proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Sad but not surprising. This case has been a mess from day one. Is it a racial case, a case of a “wanna be” cop or just a tragic accident? No matter what, we will never know the truth, and justice will not be served. That because we don’t know what justice is in a case like this.

Truth be told, the U.S. has the best system in the world, but it becomes more flawed every day. Budget cuts and personal and political agendas make for confusion. Add into that the “for profit” prison industrial complex , and we have a real mess. This will NOT change until we as a society distinguishes between certain types of crimes and decides if we are punitive or rehabilitative.

The Zimmerman case should be one that we study for all of these reasons. There are answers and ways to make our criminal justice system better for all of us. But implementing the answers will take, hard work, patience and of course and insider’s point of view

 

 


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

Follow @thewendyfeldman

 

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Filed under alternatvive sentencing, George Zimmerman, prepare for jail, prison consultant

Why is the Colorado Killer’s Family standing by him???

I have said it before

James Holmes Mug Shot

James Holmes Mug Shot

and I will say it again- FAMILIES ARE THE FORGOTTEN CONSEQUENCES OF CRIME. This is true for families of people at all levels in our criminal justice system. From a small misdemeanor to the horror of the killings in Colorado, families pay the price long after a prison term is served.

I work with families all over the United States. In many of these cases I have never worked for their family member who is incarcerated. I am hired to help families establish boundaries with their loved one while he is inside, help find resources for them and provide the must needed answers of how to move on with their own lives. I also serve as living proof that this can be done, and of course provide my insider’s point of view.

These families live with guilt, shame and many fear retaliation should they decide to in some ways support their family member. Truly guilt by association. Families are the only segment of our criminal justice system that have no representation and are not presumed innocent.

Should we blame the families, especially when they become part of the crimes like Cindy Anthony and George Zimmerman’s wife? Do we blame the family of Amanda Knox and John Hinkley who stuck by their children?

With crimes come consequences. One of the consequences that we read and see little about are the families. Families on both sides- victim and victimizer. Those consequences include the children of incarcerated parents and the cycle that often repeats should the child not have a good support system. This is why many prisons have good protocol in place for family visits and contact. Remember, most people inside a prison today will be released and the majority in less that 5 years. That brings up the problem of re-entry with families.

Many of those incarcerated assume that upon release all will be forgiven and they will automatically be back and bonded with their children. This is rarely the case. Re-Entry takes work and effort and must be very carefully handled. Yet another family consequence of crime.

The past weekend’s mass murders in Colorado saw the media immediately going after the family of the killer Holmes. But, in reality what would one expect these parents to do or say? Especially when they too were just hearing this news and are now victims. Is it possible they knew their son was “off?” Of course, but then what? Should we blame them, or have compassion for them? Families of infamous murder cases are a particular group in that they must also deal with media attention and in many cases fear for their own lives.

If anything good can come out of tragedy it is an open discussion. My hope is that the Colorado case does just that and helps to shine a light on families and crime and what our society can do to learn more about this taboo subject. I for one will continue to write about it and of course work with these families as part of my everyday practice. Think about them before you judge. What would YOU do? And how would you hope to be treated?

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, Fox News, NBC News, CNN, NPR and Nancy Grace. She is a weekly featured guest in the syndicated America Now radio program. She may be reached at wendy@custodialcoaching.com. 

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Filed under Casey Anthony, Colorado killings, Criminal Justice, forgiveness, George Zimmerman, perjury

Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman- THE LESSONS

I have written much about both of these cases. Everything from the odd Anthony family jail visiting tapes to my opinion that the Zimmerman case is an example of everything wrong with our criminal justice system. I still believe this, and the arrest this week of Zimmerman and his wife for lying on a bond declaration prove my point. Now the trick will be to use both of these high profile cases to shine the light on many issues.

There remains no doubt in my mind that Casey Anthony and her family will all resurface once Casey’s probation comes to an end. Never underestimate money and MOTIVE. We may see separate interviews and then a “family” one if the price is right. Twisted- Yes- but true.

I have also written a lot about how I viewed the Casey Anthony jail visits from her parents as suspicious. They were and still hold the keys to what really went on in the death and subsequent cover up of Caylee Anthony. The visiting conversations simply were not consistent with a family grieving the loss of a child. The behavior since that time confirms my thinking. There is deep mental illness and criminal thinking by every member of the Anthony family. What we can learn is that the consequences of this are deep. From the abuse and death of a child to the cost to tax payers and how even something as simple as probation was mishandled by the court, jail and MEDIA.

In the case of George Zimmerman and the death of Trayvon Martin, there are also many criminal justice issues. These range from the shooting, the cover up and of course all of the media misrepresentations. And now we have perjury. Wait!!! We also had perjury in the Anthony case- CRIMINAL THINKING.  And of course we also have jail house visits that are very suspicious. For the record: inmates know these visits are recorded. SO, why risk talking in code or anything that will bring negative attention to the case? The negative attention of course. For these types of people the attention is everything. Remember we are not dealing with normal psychological profiles.

The many things in common between Anthony and Zimmerman will continue to grow. Maybe we will eventually see a joint FLORIDA jailhouse lessons interviews with all of them. The key thing to remember is not the players but the lesson. We must learn more about our criminal justice system in order to change it, and we must shine a large spotlight on crime, punishment and redemption when it is valid. Neither of these cases will earn that privilege. My motto is “change is possible” but I am very clear that takes work, and these two, and those around them will keep blaming, scheming and looking for the easy way out. Here is hoping that we can learn the lessons and the two deaths will serve as turning points for positive change and build awareness.

 

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 Today, CBS Early Show, Fox News, Judith Regan Show, WNYC and Nancy Grace. She is a weekly featured guest in the syndicated America Now radio program. She may be reached at wendy@custodialcoaching.com. 

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Filed under Casey Anthony, George Zimmerman, jail, prepare for jail

Is Casey Anthony jealous of George Zimmerman???

As my readers know I have written much about Casey Anthony and her family. I have been very careful to note that the jury has spoken and while that verdict must be respected, there will no doubt be much more to this story. That said, I have been very outspoken about the crossing of the probation line that Anthony has blurred with her video blogs and that in my opinion those “diaries’ have put her in legal jeopardy. This because she like everybody on probation has financial requirements. In her case she also owes money to the State of Florida and to the I.R.S.

One must be very careful while on probation to follow all rules and requirements. I was the ONLY media commentator who insisted that Anthony would in fact have to serve probation, and that she did not serve probation in jail. After all the term probation means “testing period.” Casey Anthony, her family and her legal team all capitalized on the death of Caylee. George and Cindy Anthony never acted like grandparents who were operating without an agenda. I have taken much criticism about this and while I sympathize with them as people, they did have many questionable actions. Not the least of these is the foundation that now finds itself in financial peril. While John Walsh and Mark Klaas turned the murders of their children into crusades to help other victims, the Anthony family has yet to do this and they have had ample opportunity.

Now today comes word that Jose Baez has released a statement to the media that he no longer is representing Casey! Poor Jose. This is the problem with the case, the media and the loss of the bigger picture- THE DEATH OF AN INNOCENT CHILD.

But, word on the street, and yes there is a such a thing in cases like this, is that Casey is desperate to get her story out- no doubt this is a story of fiction based that is best played out in Fantasyland and Disney World. Why all of a sudden is Casey unable to sit still and hold tight until the end of her probation? George Zimmerman and all of the attention his case is getting right in her own neighborhood. The fact of the matter is that Anthony will wait until her probation is over yet she will continue to release- aka- SELL her video blogs- Then, as would figure, she will sell her story to cable or network television and that will be the bonanza that all are looking for. Plus it will correspond with the new fall TV season. #winning.

I will keep a close and skeptical eye on this as it develops and urge everybody to not support Casey or her family. Yet, we must look at the bigger picture and channel this energy into preventing child abuse. Get involved, take action and make a difference. There are organizations like Childhelp.org that care. As for Casey, there is no doubt that she has not changed nor will she. It is all about her. How sad, twisted and sick.

Yes, I believe that change is possible for most people. But, for some it is not in the cards. Change takes work, humility and honesty. Some people are just plain evil. Families are truly the forgotten consequences of crime and in this case so is the victim.

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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 Today, CBS Early Show, Fox News and Nancy Grace. She is a weekly featured guest in the syndicated America Now radio program. She may be reached at wendy@custodialcoaching.com. 


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Filed under Casey Anthony, Caylee Anthony, George Anthony, George Zimmerman, prepare for jail, Prison Consulting

Zimmerman is THE high profile case of the moment- AND???

Seminole County JailThe shooting death of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman illustrates everything that is wrong with our criminal justice system. From the looks of it we have a young man who is dead and another being held in Seminole County Florida County Jail. We also have very few facts other than that. It seems that it took an extraordinary long time to arrest Zimmerman. And we have a “special prosecutor” no less.

Now we have a media circus. From lawyers giving press conferences about Zimmerman who never may have represented him to the Special Prosecutor herself giving a lengthy and rather cheerful one. Never a good idea. Then we have Zimmerman’s new lawyer Mark O’Mara who specializes in criminal defense work AND DIVORCE- WHATTTTTTTTTT? That combo is what is wrong here. A case as serious as this needs specialists; not wanna be media stars. As I have stated, every defense lawyer I know wanted to jump in a represent Zimmerman. Not because they were going to be paid a lot but because they wanted their TV Time!

Factually it looks like another over charge just like we had in the Casey Anthony case. This may have been done to answer some political and media pressure. Never a good idea to overcharge if you have a weak case. Friday Zimmerman lawyer O’Mara will ask for bond at a special hearing. He has also asked that judge Jessica Recksiedler be replaced. Should bond be granted we will really see every crazy coming out of the woodwork? Maybe even our favorite bounty hunter! Yikes.

This is obviously a high profile case and we must begin to separate fact from fiction. Who are the key players, did they have records, did they ever encounter each other before and did something else happen that night? Also, we need to keep people away from this case who simply want to turn it into a racial issue. It may be partly racial and it may be fully. We just do not know yet. But, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson mixing up trouble is the worst thing they can be doing right now. Unfortunately, this is their pattern and one that never advances their community very far.

Trayvon Martin’s mother even stated on television that she thought this was an accident. However, moments later she recanted and went on to read an obviously staged statement. Who wrote it? AL Sharpton? My advice to everybody is to keep quiet for now if you really want to see justice done. But, I fear we will see Zimmerman and his team selling interviews and pictures just like we saw Casey Anthony do when she was out on bond. Really media? Just don’t pay for that garbage.

Lastly, I see many “experts” talking about what it is like for Zimmerman right now. Please- here are the facts as I work with people inside prisons and those coming out for a living. I even prep people on how to stand strong during a trial and how their family should behave, as it is a very stressful time. Zimmerman is being held in Protective Custody by the Seminole County Jail. He is inmate 201200004452. Protective Custody is for his own good as he may face harm in the general population. Anthony and others have been held in what we call PC.

So, now it is time to let the system begin to play out while we all watch and draw our own conclusions. I urge everyone to see what the evidence says at trial before rushing to judgment. I will be watching and talking about this case too. Stay tuned…

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, CBS Early Show to Fox News and Nancy Grace. She may be reached at wendy@custodialcoaching.com. 

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Filed under bail, Casey Anthony, Criminal Justice, George Zimmerman, Prison Consulting, Prison conultants, Trayvon Martin