Prison Consultant Shows Pattern of Success
Sunday, May 31 through Saturday, June 6, 2015
Sunday, May 31 (Mother from Pottsdam)
This morning I had a difficult conversation. A woman contacted me to discuss her son. Authorities arrested him for a drug-related crime and the young faced 14 years in prison. Fourteen years in prison is a long sentence. She wanted my help in creating a sentence-mitigation strategy. Although I would like to help every individual who contacts me, my time is limited. Writing an effective sentence-mitigation strategy requires dozens, and sometimes more than an 100 hours. Defendants who cannot afford to retain me to devote that much time can access all types of information that I offer without charge. They can listen to the Earning Freedom podcast, for example, and learn a great deal. Or they can visit my author page at Amazon.com to see the numerous books I’ve written about preparing for a successful outcome from prison. I’m hoping the woman and her son are able to find value from all of that work, because I must reserve the one-on-one time for clients who can afford to make the investment.
Monday, June 1 (UC Irvine)
I attended a panel discussion at UC Irvine today. During the discussion, I listened to two authors who discussed complexities of race inside of a penal facility. Race is a factor in many American communities and institutions. But in prison, as the authors suggested, race has all types of implications with regard to the power structure. During the 26 years that I lived in prison, I did my best to live race neutral. I didn’t want to identify with any particular group. Instead, I served my time alone–always focused on steps I could take to prepare for success. The system itself insisted on using labels, identifying prisoners as being black, white, Hispanic, or other. Instead, I focused on living as an American. That strategy worked in my case, but as the authors who spoke at UC Irvine described today, it doesn’t work for everyone.
Tuesday, June 1 (San Diego)
Carole and I woke really early so we could leave our house before 5:00 am. We needed to drive to San Diego for a long day. Theoretically, the drive should only take about 90 minutes from Irvine. Not knowing traffic conditions, we decided to leave early. Carole was presenting at a conference for health care, and I had to attend several meetings. On behalf of the Michael G. Santos Foundation, I’m working to open employment opportunities for the formerly incarcerated. Today I met with leadership from Hocking International Laboratories, with the CEO of Emotient, and with Greg Reyes, Sr, also known as “The Rocket.” He’s on the Board of Directors for Seagate Technology and an influential voice in Silicon Valley. It’s my hope that those meetings will open more employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals that proceed through the MasterMind program that I designed.
Wednesday, June 1 (Self Surrender)
I interviewed several people today for the Earning Freedom podcast. I especially enjoyed talking with David Foley, a businessman who recently was convicted of a white collar crime. David will soon surrender to federal prison to serve a two year sentence. During our podcast, I got some insight into the mindset of a man who was about to surrender to prison. It isn’t easy. I work with many offenders who endure such difficult times and I strive to help them. Decades have passed since my journey with the criminal justice system began. In my case, authorities arrested me. I didn’t need to surrender to prison because once I went it, I stayed in for 9,500 days, when I concluded my obligation to the Bureau of Prisons
Thursday, June 1 (Ninth Circuit)
A federal judge recommended that I contribute to a summit meeting that the Ninth Circuit is sponsoring this coming fall in Sacramento. I’m looking forward to making a presentation. Today i drafted a lengthy document to share what I would like to propose. I’m told that several hundred stakeholders from various agencies will participate. The audience will include prison officials and court officials from every level, including judges and probation officers. As a former prisoner, I will share insight with regard to what steps we can take to inspire more people in prison to prepare for success. I appreciate these opportunities to share insight with representatives of the system. It’s my hope that the presentation will persuade officials of the value that the Earning Freedom podcast can provide.
Friday, June 1 (LACOE)
Today I presented as the keynote speaker for participants in the “Academic Bowl.” The Los Angeles County Office of Education sponsored the event for students who were pursuing their educations while simultaneously serving sentences with the juvenile justice system. Leaders from LACOE invited me with hopes that I would inspire the young people. In reality, they inspired me. The students impressed me with their commitment to master complex subjects. I watched the students compete in activities that included debate, powerpoint, and a jeopardy-like competition. Following their performances, I shared the story of my transformation through prison and I encouraged the young people to continue their pursuit of education.
Saturday, June 1 (Maine)
What a busy Saturday. I spent the morning writing. A client is preparing for a sentencing hearing and I wrote his narrative. That’s an exhaustive task, but one that can have a monumental influence on the sentence. Defendants retain me to help them build a persuasive case that will show why they’re worthy of the lowest possible sentence. Rather than relying upon their defense attorneys alone, I help the defendant write a narrative that will explain–though not excuse the crime. These projects take a lot of time. First I interview the client extensively. After taking detailed notes from the responses he gives to questions I ask, I draft the narrative in the first-person voice. These narratives require anywhere from five to 100 hours to write. The revenues I earn from this work generate the resources I need to spread more awareness on why America’s commitment to mass incarceration represents one of the greatest social injustices of our time.
Miles for week: 6.44
Miles for month: 6.44
Miles run for year: 383.58