January 14, 2015
Very thankful to my friend Michael Santos for writing a foreword to my expanded and updated addition of Lessons From Prison.
Foreword to Lessons From Prison, by Michael G. Santos
Defendants facing prosecution in the federal system will not find a more honest guide than Justin Paperny. It pleases me to provide this personal testimonial as a Foreword.
Those who read Justin’s compelling book, Lessons From Prison, will find that I have a unique insight into Justin’s character. When he surrendered to the Taft Federal Prison Camp, in 2008, I had already been incarcerated for longer than 20 years. That journey provided an unparalleled depth and breadth of personal experience. After multiple decades in prison, I was well positioned to assess the sincerity of an individual’s commitment to preparing for success.
I met Justin within days of his surrender. We became friends as he told me about his remarkable career in the financial sector. Then, when we discussed his plans for the career that he wanted to lead upon release, I became even more impressed. Justin wanted to help people make better decisions. He aspired to teach people that although they may have faced challenging times in the past, they could take a principled, deliberate course of action to recalibrate their life and move forward.
Justin’s passion for working to make the world a better place inspired me. As the weeks turned into months, I became even more impressed with Justin’s commitment to follow through. Anyone could say that they wanted to overcome struggle. Investing the time and energy to do so was another matter entirely.
Justin adopted a disciplined schedule in prison. He woke before dawn to begin his work. Each day he sat alone at a table with a pen in hand, determined to write the next chapter of his life. Those efforts resulted in the book that you now hold in your hand. In addition to writing the manuscript, with nothing more than a pen and blank pages of typing paper, he wrote daily blogs by hand. He made all the right decisions in prison.
As a consequence of Justin’s strategic approach to serving time, he emerged from prison precisely as he anticipated. Despite returning to society during the worst economic recession of our lifetime, Justin hit the ground running. He began consulting for global corporations and individuals. His probation officer was so impressed with Justin’s adjustment during his first year of liberty, that he extended Justin the respect of liberty. His success after prison was a direct result of the strategies he set, which makes him uniquely qualified to teach others who are working through the complexities of a criminal charge.
. He has personal experience of dealing with matters that include a presentence investigation, a sentence-mitigation strategy, surrendering to prison, and adjusting through prison in a deliberate, principled way. Most important, however, is the indisputable evidence of how he returned to society. Rather than being crushed by the experience of a criminal prosecution, Justin has thrived. He has built an extraordinarily successful career in leadership, inspiring tens of thousands to move beyond current struggles and achieve new heights in their personal and professional life.
Success after prison doesn’t materialize by accident. In fact, statistics show that people who encounter struggles from the criminal justice system frequently slide into cascading troubles. Individuals who proceed through the system without proper guidance can easily suffer consequences that extend long after the sentencing hearing, the prison journey, or the release date.
People who once led successful entrepreneurial careers can become so traumatized by a criminal prosecution that they completely lose their way. It may take them decades to get back on their feet. They may suffer from the trauma in both emotional and biological ways. They can lose their family and support network. They may suffer from unemployment, lack of access to credit, and an inability to carve out a new path when they return to society as a convicted felon.
Justin’s expert guidance can help defendants get a jumpstart on creating a new life. I’ve worked alongside him to write lesson plans that anyone can follow. In addition to the lesson plans, Justin offers consulting on sentence-mitigation strategies and preparation for the prison journey.
Justin spends as much time as necessary with his clients to ensure that they embark upon their path to a better life with confidence and a clear understanding of the outcome. He is uniquely qualified to serve as an expert sentence-mitigation strategist and prison consultant for a number of reasons. I’m confident that anyone who works with Justin Paperny will find the investment enormously valuable. For those reasons, I am proud to give my categorical and unequivocal endorsement of Justin Paperny as sentence-mitigation expert and prison consultant.
Michael G. Santos