Tag Archives: prison

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

My Birthday in Federal Prison

 

Yes, today is my birthday. And as I sit here watching the new Netflix show Orange is the New Black, I am reminded by the birthday I spent in a Federal Prison Camp. Life is a trip, and if we remember the good times and the bad times with some humor, the ride is a lot more fun and compelling.

As my readers and followers know, I am now a highly sought after legal coach and crisis management strategist. But I never forget that SIX short years ago I celebrated my birthday with strangers. Strangers, yet some of the most loyal and interesting people I ever met. And yes, many of us keep in touch. Sorry DOJ.

In fact, my dorm mates decorated my cubicle, made me gifts and of course a legendary “prison cake.” I always say that prison is a great equalizer and nothing proves my point more than memories like this one.

What happens in the secret world inside is not only a tale of survival, but also one of humanity. After all, on the outside when the going gets tough, who is really there for you? How often do people, especially friends, go out of their way to make you feel special? Sadly the truth is that many of us are way to “busy” to really think about people in our lives. Even people who are important. That is one of the “gifts” of prison– time! Time to reflect and time to make the most of the little things, not trip out on them. Would I go back? Of course not.

My birthday party was filled with fabulous decorations- toilet paper streamers- gourmet dinner- a rice and cheese soufflé- and the glorious prison cake. A prison cake is a specialty that many learn to make. It is made up of bags of crushed up cookies and prepared in the community microwave. And the gifts I received ranged from the popular crocheted scarves, to specialty water smuggled from the warehouse. Ah, the little things…and the maxi pads!

Orange is the New Black is just a sneak peak inside our world, but the memories, good and bad are very intimate. I can never replace the time lost with my family and children. But the people I met inside made me realize to never take things for granted, and I try hard to live this everyday. So on this birthday never let it be said that I have forgotten any of the unique and bizarre times that have led me to the place I am today. The past is just that, and the present is a gift that I love opening everyday.

 

 


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 in the media on The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, E! News, People.com, Fox News, NBC News, CNN, NPR Slate, Wall Street Journal, Discovery Network and others. 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 jail, prepare for jail, prison, prison coaching, prison consultant, prison re entry, probation

What is prison and who do we find FREEDOM???

Everyday I work with a wide variety of clients. Sometimes I am preparing the defendant for prison, sometimes I work only with their families, prepare people for court, prepare alternatives such as community service and rehab. Always I am in crisis management mode. But recently I have noticed a sharp increase in the number of people who have not only addictions but also mental health issues. Often these are not genetic issue but problems that have developed due to abuse, stress and trauma.

So, I ask the question- what is PRISON? Many people I met while in prison myself were not only growing and learning from their experience there, but also had developed a lightness about their circumstance and re-entry. Yet, many people recently seem to be in a very dark place. Maybe this is timing, maybe this is based on the fact that they have had other chances and failed and maybe the real issue is that I am finding it necessary to have most of my clients seek serious therapy now and not just AA and other rehab options.

Thus, many people are in prisons of their own making and just do not know how to find freedom. Prison is a relative term now to me. I learned a lot from prison. Just as money can’t buy you class, escaping jail time cannot and will not buy you FREEDOM.

All of the recent repeat offenders suggest just this. We can’t expect that AA and rehab is going to turn a person’s life around. They must do the work and get to the heart of the matter. Celebrities are always in the news for repeat DUI arrests and even other crimes including shoplifting and other cries for attention. This is not a coincidence. This is a cry for help, attention and a true lack of coping skills.

One culprit may be the lack of personal connection many feel in this age of social media. It certainly adds to the stress level of many and the isolation of many more. Add those together and we have loneliness and a type of self imposed prison.

Where we find Freedom is an extension of what is prison. The answer to both is within. There is no doubt that 30 days in jail changes nothing but long term work and treatment does. So does community service and being of service to others. As I often say, Community Service should be mandatory for anybody finding themselves in a courtroom. This may indeed be the key to the path to FREEDOM.

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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February 27, 2013 · 10:11 PM

Sentencing Day for Sandusky…

Sentencing day is here for Sandusky and what is he doing? Making media statements from Jail of course! So, either his attorneys have given up telling him not to talk or they all are media whores and nuts. Whatever the case, this is NOT the type of thing I ever let my clients do. A statement to the judge is crucial and must be carefully crafted. There should be no media comments whatsoever.

Yet look at the statements Sandusky is making. He says he is innocent of “the alleged disgusting acts.” WHAT! The acts are disgusting not allegedly, they are. Why Sandusky uses the word allegedly tells us a whole lot about him. You see he really doesn’t think the acts are disgusting or they wouldn’t be allegedly, they would just be. This is one very ill man.

I have been asked what will happen to him once he leaves county jail for State Prison. The answer is not much. He will be held in protective custody for a while and then he will join the general population. What people don’t realize is that that general population is apt to have many sex offenders just like Sandusky. Yes, we often house them together. Then it becomes a kind of don’t as, don’t tell.

I often work and coach people who can and have changed from their criminal thinking. I write that change is possible with hard work and I am living proof. Plus, I really believe this. Well, except when it comes to child molesters and rapists. There simply is no evidence that this population can change. SO, the question becomes what to do with people like this. Sad to say but the only option is incarceration, we must protect our children. As for famous cases like Sandusky, let these be lessons that there are consequences and they will catch up to you. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

 

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 in the syndicated America Now radio program. She may be reached at wendy@wendyfeldman.com

Follow @thewendyfeldman

 

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Filed under child abuse, jail, Joe Paterno, Prison Consulting, prison preparation, success after prison

CELEBRATE FREEDOM- July 4 in prison???

Have you ever wondered what prison is like on Independence Day?  Ironic, as prison is a place you earn your way to by choosing to give up your freedom. Independence what? The truth is that in the Federal Prison system– the BOP- Bureau of Prison’s- puts it’s best self forward as they do on all holidays. This means card tournaments, sports events, movies and special meals. All with prizes. Yep, prizes. Why? Because prison is supposed to be for paying your debt to society and rehabilitation. The fact is that most people in prison in the U.S. are coming home and most in less than 5 years. So, a little perk here and there does serve a purpose and make inmates feel more like people. People they will one day need to be as they re-enter society.

Of course, I was in a Federal Prison Camp– a la Martha StewartSteve Madden and Mike Milken, but the BOP strives to make all Federal Prisons more tolerable on holidays. As for State Prisons on holidays- they also try to lighten the mood. The problem here is that there is no consistency from State to State and Prison to Prison.

My hope is that by shining the light of awareness on our prison system we can make changes and punish those who will be lifers and rehabilitate those who are coming home. That is a tall order but a very doable one.

The fact is that most inmates appreciate these “perks” and holidays are hard. The Fourth of July and the celebration of freedom is a tough concept to deal with in prison. That’s why most choose not to think and reflect about their choices and the consequences. Those who end up in prison in  the United States have made a choice in most cases. It’s that choice that is hard to accept and why they may need a few tries to “get it right.” The bottom line is that the sooner your own your choices, the sooner you can make peace and move forward in a positive direction. For others, remember we live in the land of the free and change is possible.

But, I urge all of us- even those who have FREEDOM, to sit back and show gratitude. We do live in the land of the FREE. Happy July 4!!

 


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 Fourth of July in prison, jail, prepare for jail, Prison Consulting

What’s prison like on Mother’s Day???

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’s in a year or more, to every baby daddy on earth trying to do the right thing even if just for a moment.

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.

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 the most 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 available for media commentary and has appeared on shows from Today, CBS Early Show, Nightline,  Fox News and ABC News, She is a regular on the CBS entertainment show The Insider and featured in the hit series on E! Secret Societies of Hollywood. She may be reached at wendy@custodialcoaching.com. www.custodialcoaching.com

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Filed under Federal Prison, Mother's day, prison consultant, prison re entry

BP- Is the The Gulf a crime scene?

Here we are almost two months later, the questions are mounting and the global devastation is growing. So many questions and very few answers. Worse yet there seems to be very little outcry from those who can make a true difference with their platforms and voices. Bring on the celebrities please!

When the spill first happened I was shocked at the lack of media coverage and understanding. Now we are playing catch up. It seems that it is very hard to comprehend the environmental and ECONOMIC disaster without “horror” images. There are no towers falling and no bodies in the streets. This is a slow pain. An economic bleeding that will have impact for years to come.

FEMA has not been on the scene because this was not a natural disaster. But, the fact is that jobs have been lost and money is tight. A recipe for criminal activity and scam artists. I have several clients who went to jail for SBA fraud and other crimes related to the WTC bombing. People, get ready and open your eyes because a fraud is coming. Or, is it already here? Tony Hayward this means YOU.

We need to remember that Hayward is CEO of the fourth largest company in the world. He is no amateur but he also seems to forget that his customers are the “little people.” In fact, Hayward is making mistake after mistake with each lie. Obstruction of justice is a CRIME. Ask Marta Stewart.

The bottom line is that there are so many issues with the gulf spill that we need a cohesive effort to help clean up all of the messes. As for BP, Hayward and others, a nice prison term awaits and I know a good prison consultant. You are all going to need one.

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Filed under celebrities, criminal justice, Criminal Justice, Federal Prison, financial fraud, prison coaching, prison consultant, Prison Consulting, Prison conultants, prison preparation