Category Archives: incarcervention

The week of liars…Lance Armstrong and Brian Williams!!! YOU HAD TO BIG SHOTS…

Seems to be the American way- deny, deny, deny. In a week that has seen the scandals of two HUGE names- Lance Armstrong and TV Newsman Brian Williams- one has to wonder what makes people who seem to have it all- LIE.

But what I wonder is why is this a surprise? More interesting to be me as somebody who is a legal coach and crisis manager– why is this all so shocking???

The fact is that most people lie about something, sometime in their life. SO why are these two bringing out such outrage? To me the answer is simple. Something I work with everyday with people from all walks of life. It boils down to two things. The cover up and the MOTIVE.

Really most people do not set out to commit crimes, lie or deceive. This might sound strange, as many people I work with, including myself, have committed white-collar crimes. Shockingly even these are not really about greed usually, but about grandiosity, power orientation and often a small lie that builds. As they say- the cover up is worse than the crime.

Same is true with Lance Armstrong and Brian Williams. Yet I think the motives are very different. But the outcomes will be the same- FAMOUS becoming INFAMOUS. The question is will either see forgiveness and redemption?

I say with Brian Williams if he and NBC get a grip on the scandal fast the answer is YES. And with Lance Armstrong NO CHANCE- the nine lives are over with the lie about his stop for DUI and asking his girlfriend to well- LIE and say she was driving. That is the mark of a true Sociopath. But that is nothing new for Armstrong who seems to be addicted to lies, Scandals and bringing others down. Amazingly he has escaped prosecution up to NOW- unlike Barry Bonds who was convicted in the BALCO steroid scandal in major league Baseball.

In fact, Lance Armstrong is one of those who fits the word INCARCERVENTION– he is in need of one as the years of illegal activity, betrayal and lies are finally catching up with him. As anybody who has watched the documentary about Armstrong knows, he is one cocky and selfish dude. He even seems to have manipulated his work for cancer research to justify his illegal and immoral behavior.

For Brian Williams the lies about being shot down while covering wars, Katrina and more have escalated to a remarkable level. Why did he lie in the first place? Probably good stories that he never expected to repeat and once he did since it was a lie, the story changed! SURPRISE!!!! That is what happens with lies. For Williams the real issue is his apology. I must say the apology was a glimpse into the world I work in. A person with such an ego, so out of touch and so manipulative that he felt saying he had made “mistakes” was enough. AND Williams did this while on his TV throne during the nightly news. Hardly the place to apologize and lie

Why not go on the tonight show or Today and explain, say WOW I am sorry and move on? Again simple. Williams does not get it. He needs a humility check and fast. NBC is now in a tight spot. This is a crisis manager’s dream. But did NBC learn from Sony? Looks like it with the leave of absence Williams is now on.

Celebrities and Networks need to understand that social media and the audience is now part of the process. Information is readily available and people want and deserve answers. Just look at how Brian Williams is #TRENDING. So is Armstrong. This is 2015- WE are all running the studios and networks.

Like all the work I do, I try to look for the lesson and take away in order to help build awareness, educate and help people. Here it really is a lesson in humility and walking the walk. Do that and people will forgive you, move on and even let you DWTS!

NBC seems to understand this and I believe Brian Williams will as well. As for Lance Armstrong- he needs to do a lot of work and THERAPY- I would not bet on that and his days as a hero and more are over. Now he should focus on his children and try to save some part of his legacy. But that would mean putting others first- nah- doubt that will happen.

The moral of the story or this blog is look at Martha Stewart and others who have lived through scandals and even myself. Stand up, speak out and never forget you are lucky to have a second chance.

Wendy Feldman is a  family legal coach, crisis manager and a well known expert on alternative sentencing. She is available for private consultation on how to navigate the many aspects of our legal system. She is also well known as a media manager and helps clients get their stories out. She is also available for media commentary and has appeared on shows from Today, CBS Early Show, Nightline, Fox News ABC News, She is a regular on the CBS entertainment show The Insider and Entertainment Tonight and featured in the hit series on E! Secret Societies of Hollywood. She is a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal, Slate, BBC, NPR, People, US, New York Post, The Wrap and various radio shows around the world. She may be reached at wendy@wendyfeldman.com.

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Filed under Barry Bonds, Brian williams, crisis management, forgiveness, incarcervention, Lance Armstrong

CHRIS BROWN- did he do it again???? NOPE

Once again Chris Brown has been arrested. Last year he was accused of stealing a woman’s cell phone, and this time he is accused and was CHARGED with felony assault for hitting a man in Washington DC. But did he?

Now late in the day, after a weekend in jail, the charge has already been reduced to a misdemeanor and the DC judge refused to order a standard drug test for Brown. The truth is celebrities like Brown have a target on their back.

Yes, Brown should no better to go anywhere near an area where a fight is likely to break out. The same is true for Lindsay Lohan who should stay far away from drugs and alcohol especially in public. As with all celebs, much of the problem is the people who are around them after the experts like myself leave.

Many celebrities I have worked with retain me or a sober coach to work with them long after their court case has been handled. These are the people who do the work and thus have a better chance of staying out of trouble and actually making positive changes.

There is no doubt that many celebs including Chris Brown and Lindsay Lohan have received amazing alternative sentences. Last week on an E! Network special, Secret Societies of Hollywood, I was called the person who helps KEEP clients out of jail long after their lawyer is gone. While I do my best and many treatment centers do as well, in the end it is up to the person to make proper choices. Sometimes people are just not ready to give up the press even if it is negative.

As for Brown, the truth is he will have another day in court, and the truth will come out about this latest incident, but for now imagine life with a target and how YOU would handle it. Clearly Brown needs a little more help staying on the right track no matter what. Many people do, but as I always say, change is possible if you work hard.

 


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, Chris Brown, community service, crisis management, incarcervention, prison consultant

Can money buy you FREEDOM???

 

I am always asked this very question. In fact, I am featured on a special on E!  Entertainment Thursday October 24 about this very issue called Secret Societies of Hollywood.Heidi Fleiss

The answer is very simple- NO. Money does make access to key talent and legal professionals easier however. But far too often these “pros” are simply not worth the money they are paid and actually make the issue worse in the long run. I always tell clients a lawyer’s job is to get them off the hook, and my job is to keep them on the right track. But none of can buy our way out of a legal mess.

This is 2013 and the old tricks simply do not work. Yes, jails and prisons are overcrowded, but that alone is not enough to keep people out of them. I strive to present to judges a road map to an alternative sentence that makes sense to everybody. The defendant, the system and society, but far too often others make this process way to complicated and people get off the hook in one case and pick up another. This is why I coined the word Incarcervention. Simply a legal intervention for people who may have some elements of criminal thinking and who keep breaking the law in one way or another. Celebrities often do this because they have giant entitlement issues and really do think that money can buy freedom. It just aint so.

Currently, there are several cases in the news that would be perfect for an alternative sentence like Cee Lo Green, Heidi Fleiss, Lamar Odum and others. In those cases the money can help bring about freedom if a person has the money to go to treatment. But in the end change and true freedom is up to the person in trouble.

As I always say, change is possible but it takes real work and honesty.

 

Wendy Feldman is a criminal justice expert, crisis manager and family legal coach. She is the leading expert on Alternative Sentencing. She is also head 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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October 22, 2013 · 8:46 PM

My time with the Bling Ring…

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Recently I have been contacted everyday about the new movie coming out called The Bling Ring. The movie is based on events of several teenagers who “stole” items from celebrities homes. The case itself has two major players, Rachel Lee, my client and Nick Prugo. One of the very minor players, Alexis Neirs was rewarded with a reality show on E! and a light sentence and rehab.

ALL of these players have spoken extensively to the media except Rachel Lee. Lee has never spoken publicly except for a letter she wrote to her sentencing judge. Lee received the harshest sentence 4 years in State Prison but was released to a “fire camp” after over one year. This fact and that Lee has refused all media has made her a case of much speculation and mystery. Yet Lee should be the easiest one to figure out.

I worked with Rachel to prepare her prison and to help give her the proper guidance for entry into Fire Camp. I also helped her family and still keep in touch with them. So, the story of Rachel Lee is a private one that is hers to tell. What I can say, as I did recently in the Los Angeles Times , is  that there is often a reason NOT to talk to the media and in fact I often advise my clients not to. After all, what’s in it for them?

There is also the issue that this crime spree is nothing to be proud of  or be famous over. Thus, if a person is trying to really change and improve their life after such a catastrophic event that should be respected. I often say that Prison can be a transformative experience.

But in order to understand the crimes the Bling Ring participated in, it is helpful to understand criminal thinking in general. There are eight criminal thinking errors including grandiosity, entitlement, mollification and cut off. Many of these apply in this case. Add this to the fact that I often see people get away with things and then take bad behavior to the next step. For example, Lawrence Taylor went from drug crimes, to white-collar crimes and recently a prostitution related crime. Each time the crime gets bolder and bigger. This is when people need what I call an INCARCERVENTION- a legal intervention of sorts. Otherwise, we see bad behavior get rewarded and grow.

There is no mystery to the bling ring kids and no reason to continue the saga unless people want to understand that poor choices happen and it’s what one does with those choices, the teams they put in place and the family support that makes the difference and what matters.

The media speculation can continue, but the truth is that this was a series of crimes that  became bigger and bolder not because the players were such criminals, but because of the fascination with celebrity and most importantly the excitement of “getting away with things.”

As for Rachel Lee and her family, they may make a statement at a future date but they are not naïve enough to help promote a movie that does not show them is the best or most truthful way.

 


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, Bling Ring, incarcervention, jail, prepare for jail, prison consultant

Will Prison help Lindsay Lohan???

Dare I say it- Lindsay Lohan is back in the news again for legal problems! Shocking no, but this time there are reports that she has been evicted from her Los Angeles home. This may or not be true for now, but it will happen. And here is why…

Lohan-, who I have been a huge supporter of, has never had to suffer any consequences, despite her numerous legal problems. In fact, she was not even ordered to what I would call PROPER therapy or Community Service. Working at the morgue will not help rehabilitate anybody and may make him or her so disengageged that they are worse off.

This is why I always insist that my clients perform Community Service, but service that is matched to them. For example, I have a client who is a young man who loves music; hence he is teaching music to at risk youth. The benefit is obvious to the kids but for my client it has helped him build some much-needed self-esteem and learn Gratitude. Everybody facing prison has low self esteem.

There are two key words for being in criminal legal trouble- gratitude and respect. Both lead to finding the often-elusive humility. In the Lohan case, as in many, the lawyer feels her job is done by getting the client “off”. The reality is that is short sighted as people like Lohan need much more than just to get out of trouble. They need to learn the life skills needed to STAY out of trouble. That’s where I usually come in unless I have also worked on the alternative sentence being presented. Obviously, that has not happened with Lohan. She needs an Incarcervention and not just for her crime sprees.

I do believe that Lohan will not serve jail time for her probation violation and probably not for her new charges of lying to cops. In that case she may face some LA County jail time that may be done under house arrest, as LA is so overcrowded.

But, I do see Lohan being sent to The BIG HOUSE- aka Fed town for her many IRS issues. This is not unusual and would not be simply because she owes back taxes. It is more likely that she is under investigation for not reporting cash that she receives for events etc…In normal cases this is called Tax Evasion or even money laundering, and this is where the Feds have the power. If I were Lohan’s lawyer I would look for a federal specialist before my predictions come true.

On the other hand, the question of prison actually being helpful is a likely one. In cases of people like Lohan who just have so much entitlement, a tad of mental health problems and substance abuse, prison may be the only thing that helps her turn her life around. The time needed to do this would fit right in with a year or so in a Federal Prison Camp. Lindsay, you may not agree now, but you will thank me later- well that is if you had some gratitude.

So, there you have it. I DO think that in some cases prison is a transformative experience and this is one of those cases. I know most of my clients with shorter sentences feel the same way. It’s when we get into the multi year drug sentences that we can all agree there is NO benefit.

For now an eviction for Lohan is not the point as BIG HOUSE ready or not, here she comes!

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, incarcervention, jail, Lisa Bloom, prepare for jail

Why Casey Anthony will never get that million bucks…

Rumors are running rampant that Casey Anthony will get over a million dollars for an interview and maybe even a book. But look at the obvious. Anthony has a slew of legal troubles including IRS liens, her felony convictions, the appeal of her most recent convictions for lying and various civil suits. Even if she were to receive money, she would either not be able to keep it or she would lose her indigent status and therefore her defense in the criminal matter that is on appeal would have to be funded by her and not the state.

Add all of this to the fact that Casey Anthony cannot file bankruptcy easily and cannot make herself judgment proof. She simply will have to take this slowly and continue to accept the help others are giving her. Yes, others are funding her life now and her parent’s lives as well. How else do you think they are all living the life?

Certainly a network has not already paid cash directly to any of them, so who is?

The benefactors are front end paying the bills for their own reasons. Then, a network deal can come later after Casey cleans up and has proper coaching. Believe me, she is in therapy and coaching and maybe even having media prep.

And, at the end of the day if she does receive a money deal, she will have to pay her debts and then make a long term plan. Even a million dollars will NOT last forever and this high school dropout needs forever.

As for the parents, Cindy and George, who is funding them? Somebody is and we will soon learn. Expect them to do an interview before Casey.

No doubt Casey Anthony needs cash, but she also needs therapy and long term planning. Where she gets this or if she gets this is anybody’s guess. But, first Casey Anthony must stop playing the victim and start doing something for somebody else. How about donating a portion of any proceeds to charity? That could start what is truly needed here-some Restorative Justice.

Stay tuned. Change is possible. Maybe!

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Filed under Casey Anthony, CBS Early Show, child abuse, community service, Criminal Justice, George Anthony, incarcervention, jail, Jose Baez, Nancy Grace, Prison Consulting, prison re entry, Tot mom, women in prison

Do we care where in the world Casey Anthony is???

At this point the mystery of how Casey Anthony would be released is over. Truth be told it was never a mystery. As I said on The CBS EARLY SHOW Saturday, all inmates have a similar release protocol. No, the Sheriff does not have to provide 24/7 protection and let us keep in mind that high profile people are released everyday.

The questions still abound for many about her re-entry into society. I also addressed this on the Early Show. Re-entry is the single hardest part of the incarceration process. Anybody can do time. But, many people have a hard time coming back into mainstream society. As with anybody I work with, I advise Casey Anthony to get help.

Celebrities in high profile cases often re- offend because of the enablers and takers around them. This case is not likely to be any different. After all, change takes work and admitting you NEED to change. How can Casey Anthony expect society to forgive her until she does the work? Maybe she should practice some restorative justice? Probably not, that takes work too.

Will Casey Anthony write a book? Can she write a book? That takes work too. Lying does not make somebody a murderer, but her lack of attachment and empathy do make her an unlikely candidate for change.

So, how long until Jose Baez looses interest and they too split? Criminal thinking is done in patterns. There are eight patterns of criminal thinking. Most people in prison exhibit at least a few of these. Number one pattern of criminal thinking- ENTITLEMENT.

Casey Anthony may never realize that there is a difference between FAME and INFAMY. Or, she may not care until she lands in jail again.

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Filed under bail, Casey Anthony, CBS Early Show, celebrities, Criminal Justice, Criminal thinking, incarcervention, jail, Jose Baez, Nancy Grace, prison coaching, prison consultant, prison re entry, restorative justice, success after prison, women in prison