Tag Archives: drug addiction

The Busiest Place in the World- Mother’s Day In PRISON!!!!!

Prison on Mother’s Day- the busiest place on earth. Certainly not the happiest, but the busiest. Mother’s day is the number one day for visitors in a women’s prison. You see it all. From kids who have not seen their mom in a year or more, to every baby daddy on earth trying to do the right thing even if just for a moment. In Prison every moment of doing time counts…

Mother’s day is also the hardest day if you are in prison and a mom. For many it is the only day of the year they allow themselves to be sad or even remorseful. People in prison all use different coping strategies to deal with the loss, anger and isolation of  their choices. When I was in a Federal Prison camp for mother’s day, it seemed like the only day when everyone got along with each other, or at least tried. In fact, I saw more compassion and empathy in prison on mother’s day than I do on the outside sometimes. It is the ultimate reality check when you find yourself in prison on mother’s day.

I was lucky enough to have my family and my children visit me often. But, for those who don’t, here are some resources. Prisoners with Children is a wonderful organization and has programs to help families. The Girl Scouts also has a program to help children visit their parents as does Get On The Bus. As hard as it may seem to understand, it is only through programs like these that we can stop the cycle and begin the healing.

As I say often, families are the forgotten consequences of crime. We can’t ignore that the best way for a successful re-entry back to society  is through the quality of family relationships. The trend is for prisons to encourage visits and family contact. I not only agree but do whatever I can to raise awareness to this issue. The stigma of an incarcerated parent is a heavy one, yet with the proper tools and understanding, this burden can be dealt with.

Support these and other programs and remember that change is possible with hard work. Also, as I say to every mother and father and client do not let poor choices define you,learn from them and change your life. The worst crime of all is to not teach your children to learn from your mistakes…

To everyone, Happy Mother’s Day and may you find peace and freedom in the future.

 

 

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 while making the client relatable and human. 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 shows The Insider and Entertainment Tonight and Inside Edition. Wendy is 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, People, New York Post, Los Angeles Times, The New Jersey Register, The Wrap and many others.  She may be reached at wendy@wendyfeldman.com.

www.custodialcoaching.com

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Filed under crisis manager, Mother's day, prison, teresa Guidice, Wendy Feldman

What Whitney Houston and Casey Anthony Have in Common?

The lives of Whitney Houston and Casey Anthony have one thing in common only- opportunities to shine the light of awareness.

The recent death of Whitney Houston has brought out the very best and of course the very worst in media and humanity. Let’s get the worst out of the way first. Whitney Houston, even with all of her issues and demons, was not a woman of ill character. So, those in media who are USING Ms. Houston’s name solely to get press are way off the mark. She certainly should not even be thought of in the same sentence as the likes of a Casey Anthony. It is clear that many media mavens miss the ratings bonanza that Casey Anthony brought them.

But, we can use both stories as teachable moments and to shine the light on serious issues. As you all know, I am primarily known as a true crime insider and commentator on all things criminal justice, prison and most importantly re-entry into society. My goal with the Casey Anthony case is to highlight how our court system works and what needs to change. Further, I think the Casey Anthony case must be used to shine the light on America’s dirty little secret, child abuse and neglect. The fact is that FIVE children die every day in this country from abuse or neglect. So, while I empathize with Caylee Anthony I try to keep the conversation going by talking about all of the other abused children we must take care of.

This brings me to the story of the day and Whitney Houston. The only similarity between Casey Anthony and Whitney Houston is the gigantic platform these cases have presented us with. The responsibility of how to handle that platform is a large one. Whitney Houston should not be used as a case where we point fingers and make assumptions. Facts are facts. Addiction kills and there is hardly a family in America that is not affected by substance abuse. Here is where we must be careful. As many of you know, I write about my own experiences in Federal Prison and probation. I have written about everything from daily prison life to how the FBI conducts investigations to alternative sentences and yes, even how to “pee in a cup” for probation and what that is like. I write from my heart in the hope that my experiences will help others. I will do the same with this post.

Many headline grabbers have very big catch phrases and are good at stirring up junk science. From Nancy Grace to Dr. Drew, none have gotten the addiction piece right. As a former drug abuser I do not believe that once an addict always an addict like Dr. Drew says, nor do I believe that AA works for everybody and that a “sober” person can never take a medication or have a drink. Every case and medical history is unique. Otherwise, we would not have so many people who fight this demon and die from this issue everyday. The same goes with how to solve our mass incarceration problem and what many of us call our Incarceration Nation. Is it a coincidence that our jails and prisons are full of addicts? In fact, over 75% of people incarcerated have some form of mental health issue or substance abuse condition.

Let’s keep it real. Addiction turns victims into victimizers. It is a thief in the night that takes away common sense, dignity and often leads to crime and then punishment. I do believe that some addicts benefit from time in prison if only to sober up for a prolonged period. I also believe that many of the in prison programs for addicts work. I participated in a Federal prison program called the RDAP program that not only teaches about addiction but criminal thinking and self-realization. After all, addicts exhibit criminal thinking errors. Addicts lie, sometimes cheat and always suffer from low self-esteem and shame. ALWAYS.

Addiction turns moms into children and children into care takers. It is a vicious cycle just like that of domestic abuse and crime. Addiction, like prison, does not discriminate. It is an equal opportunity condition. Yes, some may use more expensive drugs or alcohol, but the result is the same. But, just as one can overcome prison and re-enter society with success, so can an addict. I know. I have been there and done it. Desperation is desperation. And just as prison affects the entire family, addiction affects does as well.

Yes, my thoughts here are deeply personal just like when I write about prison and our court system. I know that we can change things. I know that name-calling and finger pointing is useless and harmful. It may be uncomfortable, but we must empower each other not tear people down. So, to the media whores who are desperate to keep themselves in the news by calling Whitney Houston a “crack whore” or a junkie, watch out. This type of non-journalism will not last. We must demand more from our media personalities. We do not all have to agree but we all, including me, must offer solutions and in times of need- respect.

If you are suffering from addiction or know somebody who is, reach out. Always remember that you are worthy. I always say that change is possible- once you admit you need to make that change. For a list of resources please note my previous post. And never give up on yourself or anybody you love. Please let’s use the death of Whitney Houston to look at what we can all do to prevent other such tragedies. Yes, there is a link between substance abuse and crime and the time is now to find solutions.

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Filed under addiction, Casey Anthony, child abuse, prepare for jail, whitney houston

Can you be addicted to JAIL????

The answer to this for many people is YES. The reasons are varied, some people get used to being institutionalized, some people just choose to keep seeking trouble and others are truly struggling with addiction and mental illness. And some simply like the gangsta life and the attention it brings.

This week DMX was released from jail once again and of course he was in trouble within hours. DMX has been arrested multiple times and for offenses ranging from animal cruelty, reckless driving, unlicensed driving, drug possession, and identity falsification. So, what’s the problem?

DMX like so many others, including Lindsay Lohan, have surrounded themselves with yes people and enablers. Truth be told, even though DMX has served jail time on several occasions, his stints have been too short to sober him up and get the help he needs. People do what is familiar, and what is familiar to DMX is the drama of it all. Not just the drugs, the drama and even excitement.

At some point this may all get old to him and he will make positive changes. Or he will continue on until he does something that lands him in jail for a long time. Something that he will regret.

DMX, stop before you become like Lawrence Taylor and are looking at HARD time. This insider reminds all of us that change is possible with hard work and a little Restorative Justice.

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Filed under celebrities, community service, criminal justice, Lawrence Taylor, Lindsay Lohan, prescription drugs, prison coaching, prison consultant, Prison Consulting, Restoratice Justice, War on Drugs