June 17, 2014

Forbes Article with Justin Paperny, Federal Prison Consultant

Certainly, a portion of my federal prison consultant services involves helping those about to surrender to federal prison.  Walt Pavlo, a writer for Forbes, wrote an article about Rajat Gupta, who surrendered to federal prison today. Mr. Pavlo asked me to contribute to the article. 

Mr. Gupta was the former McKinsey and Company chief and Goldman Sachs board member. From Mr. Pavlo’s article I learned that Mr. Gupta will be serving two years. With halfway house time, good time and home confinement Mr. Gupta can expect to serve roughly 16 months on the inside. Piece of cake as my bunkie from Taft Federal Prison Camp loved to say. 

Mr. Pavlo asked my opinion on some of the emotions Mr. Gupta or anyone else would expect to feel upon surrendering to prison. I share a few of those thoughts in this Forbes article. Additionally, Walt included a Google hangout we created that gets into greater detail on surrendering to person. That video is also embedded in this article.

While the day of my surrender was at times troubling,  in retrospect I realize what a relief it was. The anxieties that had been tormenting me for so long were abating. The certainty of it, of knowing that with each second I was getting closer to the end helped me. Despite the emotions of that first day, I was realistic. I knew that earning a living would be harder because of my conviction. Through my prison advice services I urge my clients to always be thinking about the challenges that await their release. To that end, I had already set goals to come out intellectually stronger, emotionally sound, physically fit and spiritually balanced. In so doing, I would come home better, stronger and more prepared to overcome the obstacles that awaited me. On that first day I began pursuing these goals, including doing 60 push ups while waiting in the holding tank. I began to read my first ethics book. That pro-active adjustment on my first day helped set the tone for a very productive prison term.

The time will pass, I tell all my clients. The challenge is learning to let it pass by maintaining your dignity and while adhering to a rigorous plan designed to help you emerge stronger than when you went in.

JP

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